2 Chronicles 13; 2 Chronicles 14; 2 Chronicles 15; 2 Chronicles 16; 2 Chronicles 17

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2 Chronicles 13

1 Abijah became the king of Judah during the eighteenth year Jeroboam was king of Israel.
2 Abijah ruled in Jerusalem for three years. His mother was Maacah daughter of Uriel from the town of Gibeah. And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.
3 Abijah led an army of four hundred thousand capable soldiers into battle, and Jeroboam prepared to fight him with eight hundred thousand capable soldiers.
4 Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim in the mountains of Ephraim and said, "Jeroboam and all Israel, listen to me!
5 You should know that the Lord, the God of Israel, gave David and his sons the right to rule Israel forever by an agreement of salt.
6 But Jeroboam son of Nebat, one of the officers of Solomon, David's son, turned against his master.
7 Then worthless, evil men joined Jeroboam against Rehoboam, Solomon's son. He was young and didn't know what to do, so he could not stop them.
8 "Now you people are making plans against the Lord's kingdom, which belongs to David's sons. There are many of you, and you have the gold calves Jeroboam made for you as gods.
9 You have thrown out the Levites and the Lord's priests, Aaron's sons. You have chosen your own priests as people in other countries do. Anyone who comes with a young bull and seven male sheep can become a priest of idols that are not gods.
10 "But as for us, the Lord is our God; we have not left him. The priests who serve the Lord are Aaron's sons, and the Levites help them.
11 They offer burnt offerings and sweet-smelling incense to the Lord every morning and evening. They put the bread on the special table in the Temple. And they light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. We obey the command of the Lord our God, but you have left him.
12 God himself is with us as our ruler. His priests blow the trumpet to call us to war against you. Men of Israel, don't fight against the Lord, the God of your ancestors, because you won't succeed."
13 But Jeroboam had sent some troops to sneak behind Judah's army. So while Jeroboam was in front of Judah's army, Jeroboam's soldiers were behind them.
14 When the soldiers of Judah turned around, they saw Jeroboam's army attacking both in front and back. So they cried out to the Lord, and the priests blew the trumpets.
15 Then the men of Judah gave a battle cry. When they shouted, God caused Jeroboam and the army of Israel to run away from Abijah and the army of Judah.
16 When the army of Israel ran away from the men of Judah, God handed them over to Judah.
17 Abijah's army struck Israel so that five hundred thousand of Israel's best men were killed.
18 So at that time the people of Israel were defeated. And the people of Judah won, because they depended on the Lord, the God of their ancestors.
19 Abijah's army chased Jeroboam's army and captured from him the towns of Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron, and the small villages near them.
20 Jeroboam never became strong again while Abijah was alive. The Lord struck Jeroboam, and he died.
21 But Abijah became strong. He married fourteen women and was the father of twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters.
22 Everything else Abijah did -- what he said and what he did -- is recorded in the writings of the prophet Iddo.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Chronicles 14

1 Abijah died and was buried in Jerusalem. His son Asa became king in his place, and there was peace in the country for ten years during Asa's time.
2 Asa did what the Lord his God said was good and right.
3 He removed the foreign altars and the places where gods were worshiped. He smashed the stone pillars that honored other gods, and he tore down the Asherah idols.
4 Asa commanded the people of Judah to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his teachings and commandments.
5 He also removed the places where gods were worshiped and the incense altars from every town in Judah. So the kingdom had peace while Asa was king.
6 Asa built strong, walled cities in Judah during the time of peace. He had no war in these years, because the Lord gave him peace.
7 Asa said to the people of Judah, "Let's build up these towns and put walls around them. Let's make towers, gates, and bars in the gates. This country is ours, because we have obeyed the Lord our God. We have followed him, and he has given us peace all around." So they built and had success.
8 Asa had an army of three hundred thousand men from Judah and two hundred eighty thousand men from Benjamin. The men from Judah carried large shields and spears. The men from Benjamin carried small shields and bows and arrows. All of them were brave fighting men.
9 Then Zerah from Cush came out to fight them with an enormous army and three hundred chariots. They came as far as the town of Mareshah.
10 So Asa went out to fight Zerah and prepared for battle in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.
11 Asa called out to the Lord his God, saying, "Lord, only you can help weak people against the strong. Help us, Lord our God, because we depend on you. We fight against this enormous army in your name. Lord, you are our God. Don't let anyone win against you."
12 So the Lord defeated the Cushites when Asa's army from Judah attacked them, and the Cushites ran away.
13 Asa's army chased them as far as the town of Gerar. So many Cushites were killed that the army could not fight again; they were crushed by the Lord and his army. Asa and his army carried many valuable things away from the enemy.
14 They destroyed all the towns near Gerar, because the people living in these towns were afraid of the Lord. Since these towns had many valuable things, Asa's army took them away.
15 Asa's army also attacked the camps where the shepherds lived and took many sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Chronicles 15

1 The Spirit of God entered Azariah son of Oded.
2 Azariah went to meet Asa and said, "Listen to me, Asa and all you people of Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you obey him, you will find him, but if you leave him, he will leave you.
3 For a long time Israel was without the true God and without a priest to teach them and without the teachings.
4 But when they were in trouble, they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel. They looked for him and found him.
5 In those days no one could travel safely. There was much trouble in all the nations.
6 One nation would destroy another nation, and one city would destroy another city, because God troubled them with all kinds of distress.
7 But you should be strong. Don't give up, because you will get a reward for your good work."
8 Asa felt brave when he heard these words and the message from Azariah son of Oded the prophet. So he removed the hateful idols from all of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the Lord's altar that was in front of the porch of the Temple of the Lord.
9 Then Asa gathered all the people from Judah and Benjamin and from the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were living in Judah. Many people came to Asa even from Israel, because they saw that the Lord, Asa's God, was with him.
10 Asa and these people gathered in Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa's rule.
11 At that time they sacrificed to the Lord seven hundred bulls and seven thousand sheep and goats from the valuable things Asa's army had taken from their enemies.
12 Then they made an agreement to obey the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with their whole being.
13 Anyone who refused to obey the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be killed. It did not matter if that person was important or unimportant, a man or woman.
14 Then Asa and the people made a promise before the Lord, shouting with a loud voice and blowing trumpets and sheep's horns.
15 All the people of Judah were happy about the promise, because they had promised with all their heart. They looked for God and found him. So the Lord gave them peace in all the country.
16 King Asa also removed Maacah, his grandmother, from being queen mother, because she had made a terrible Asherah idol. Asa cut down that idol, smashed it into pieces, and burned it in the Kidron Valley.
17 But the places of worship to gods were not removed from Judah. Even so, Asa was faithful all his life.
18 Asa brought into the Temple of God the gifts he and his father had given: silver, gold, and utensils.
19 There was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa's rule.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Chronicles 16

1 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa's rule, Baasha king of Israel attacked Judah. He made the town of Ramah strong so he could keep people from leaving or entering Judah, Asa's country.
2 Asa took silver and gold from the treasuries of the Temple of the Lord and out of his own palace. Then he sent it with messengers to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who lived in Damascus. Asa said,
3 "Let there be a treaty between you and me as there was between my father and your father. I am sending you silver and gold. Break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will leave my land."
4 Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies to attack the towns of Israel. They defeated the towns of Ijon, Dan, and Abel Beth Maacah, and all the towns in Naphtali where treasures were stored.
5 When Baasha heard about this, he stopped building up Ramah and left his work.
6 Then King Asa brought all the people of Judah to Ramah, and they carried away the rocks and wood that Baasha had used. And they used them to build up Geba and Mizpah.
7 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, "You depended on the king of Aram to help you and not on the Lord your God. So the king of Aram's army escaped from you.
8 The Cushites and Libyans had a large and powerful army and many chariots and horsemen. But you depended on the Lord to help you, so he handed them over to you.
9 The Lord searches all the earth for people who have given themselves completely to him. He wants to make them strong. Asa, you did a foolish thing, so from now on you will have wars."
10 Asa was angry with Hanani the seer because of what he had said; he was so angry that he put Hanani in prison. And Asa was cruel to some of the people at the same time.
11 Everything Asa did as king, from the beginning to the end, is written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
12 In the thirty-ninth year of his rule, Asa got a disease in his feet. Though his disease was very bad, he did not ask for help from the Lord, but only from the doctors.
13 Then Asa died in the forty-first year of his rule.
14 The people buried Asa in the tomb he had made for himself in Jerusalem. They laid him on a bed filled with spices and different kinds of mixed perfumes, and they made a large fire to honor him.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Chronicles 17

1 Jehoshaphat, Asa's son, became king of Judah in his place. Jehosha- phat made Judah strong so they could fight against Israel.
2 He put troops in all the strong, walled cities of Judah, in the land of Judah, and in the towns of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.
3 The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he lived as his ancestor David had lived when he first became king. Jehoshaphat did not ask for help from the Baal idols,
4 but from the God of his father. He obeyed God's commands and did not live as the people of Israel lived.
5 The Lord made Jehoshaphat a strong king over Judah. All the people of Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so he had much wealth and honor.
6 He wanted very much to obey the Lord. He also removed the places for worshiping gods and the Asherah idols from Judah.
7 During the third year of his rule, Jehoshaphat sent his officers to teach in the towns of Judah. These officers were Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah.
8 Jehoshaphat sent with them these Levites: Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-Adonijah. He also sent the priests Elishama and Jehoram.
9 These leaders, Levites, and priests taught the people in Judah. They took the Book of the Teachings of the Lord and went through all the towns of Judah and taught the people.
10 The nations near Judah were afraid of the Lord, so they did not start a war against Jehoshaphat.
11 Some of the Philistines brought gifts and silver to Jehoshaphat as he demanded. Some Arabs brought him flocks: seventy-seven hundred sheep and seventy-seven hundred goats.
12 Jehoshaphat grew more and more powerful. He built strong, walled cities and towns for storing supplies in Judah.
13 He kept many supplies in the towns of Judah, and he kept trained soldiers in Jerusalem.
14 These soldiers were listed by families. From the families of Judah, these were the commanders of groups of a thousand men: Adnah was the commander of three hundred thousand soldiers;
15 Jehohanan was the commander of two hundred eighty thousand soldiers;
16 Amasiah was the commander of two hundred thousand soldiers. Amasiah son of Zicri had volunteered to serve the Lord.
17 These were the commanders from the families of Benjamin: Eliada, a brave soldier, had two hundred thousand soldiers who used bows and shields.
18 And Jehozabad had one hundred eighty thousand men armed for war.
19 All these soldiers served King Jehoshaphat. The king also put other men in the strong, walled cities through all of Judah.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.