1Abijah became king of Judah. It was in the 18th year of Jeroboam's rule over Israel.2Abijah ruled in Jerusalem for three years. His mother's name was Maacah. She was a daughter of Uriel. Uriel was from Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.3Abijah went into battle with an army of 400,000 able fighting men. Jeroboam lined up his soldiers against them. He had 800,000 able troops.4Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim. It's in the hill country of Ephraim. Abijah said, "Jeroboam and all you men of Israel, listen to me!5The LORD is the God of Israel. Don't you know that he has placed David and his sons after him on Israel's throne forever? The LORD made a covenant of salt with David. The salt means the covenant will last for all time to come.6"Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, was an official of David's son Solomon. But he refused to obey his master.7Some worthless and evil men gathered around him. They opposed Solomon's son Rehoboam. At that time Rehoboam was young. He couldn't make up his mind. He wasn't strong enough to stand up against those men.8"Now you plan to stand up against the kingdom of the Lord. His kingdom is in the hands of men in David's family line. It's true that you have a huge army. You have the golden calves that Jeroboam made to be your gods.9"But you drove out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron. You also drove out the Levites. You appointed your own priests. That's what the people of other nations do. Anyone can come and set himself apart. All he has to do is sacrifice a young bull and seven rams. Then he becomes a priest of gods that aren't really gods at all!10"But the LORD is our God. We haven't deserted him. The priests who serve the LORD belong to the family line of Aaron. The Levites help them.11Every morning and evening the priests bring burnt offerings and sweet-smelling incense to the Lord. They set out the holy bread on the table. That table is 'clean.' They light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. "We always do what the LORD our God requires in his law. But you have deserted him.12God is with us. He's our leader. His priests will blow their trumpets. They will sound the battle cry against you. Men of Israel, don't fight against the Lord. He's the God of your people who lived long ago. You can't possibly succeed."13Jeroboam had sent some troops behind Judah's battle lines. He told them to hide and wait there. He and his men stayed in front of Judah's lines.14Judah turned and saw that they were being attacked from the front and from the back. Then they cried out to the Lord. The priests blew their trumpets.15The men of Judah shouted the battle cry. When they did, God drove Jeroboam and all of Israel's men away from Abijah and Judah.16The men of Israel ran away from them. God handed Israel over to Judah.17Abijah and his men wounded and killed large numbers of them. In fact, 500,000 of Israel's able men lay dead or wounded.18So at that time the men of Israel were brought under Judah's control. The men of Judah won the battle over them. That's because they trusted in the Lord. He's the God of their people.19Abijah chased Jeroboam. He took from him the towns of Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephron. He also took the villages that were around them.20Jeroboam didn't get his power back during the time of Abijah. In fact, the LORD struck him down. And he died.21But Abijah grew stronger. He got married to 14 wives. He had 22 sons and 16 daughters.22The other events of Abijah's rule are written down. The things he did and said are written in the notes of the prophet Iddo.
1Abijah joined the members of his family who had already died. His body was buried in the City of David. His son Asa became the next king after him. While Asa was king, the country had peace and rest for ten years.2Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God.3He removed the altars where strange gods were worshiped. He took away the high places. He smashed the sacred stones. He cut down the poles that were used to worship the goddess Asherah.4He commanded Judah to worship the Lord, the God of their people. He commanded them to obey the LORD's laws and commands.5He removed the high places and incense altars from every town in Judah. The kingdom had peace and rest under him.6He built up the cities of Judah that had high walls around them. The land was at peace. No one was at war with Asa during those years. That's because the LORD gave him peace and rest.7"Let's build up our towns," Asa said to the people of Judah. "Let's put walls around them. Let's provide them with towers. Let's make them secure with gates that have heavy metal bars. The land still belongs to us. That's because we've trusted in the LORD our God. We trusted in him, and he has given us peace and rest on every side." So they built. And things went well for them.8Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah. They carried spears and large shields. There were 280,000 men from Benjamin. They were armed with bows and small shields. All of those men were brave soldiers.9Zerah marched out against them. He was from Cush. He had a huge army. He also had 300 chariots. They came all the way to Mareshah.10Asa went out to meet Zerah in battle. They took up their positions in the Valley of Zephathah. It's near Mareshah.11Then Asa called out to the LORD his God. He said, "Lord, there isn't anyone like you. You help the weak against the strong. LORD our God, help us. We trust in you. In your name we have come out to fight against this huge army. Lord, you are our God. Don't let mere men win the battle over you."12The LORD struck down the men of Cush for Asa and Judah. The Cushites ran away.13Asa and his army chased them all the way to Gerar. A large number of Cushites fell down wounded or dead. So they couldn't fight back. The LORD and his army crushed them. The men of Judah carried off a large amount of goods.14They attacked all of the villages around Gerar. The LORD had made the people in those villages afraid of him. The men of Judah took everything from all of the villages.15They also attacked the camps of those who took care of the herds. They carried off large numbers of sheep, goats and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.
1The Spirit of God came on Azariah. He was the son of Oded.2Azariah went out to meet Asa. He said to him, "Asa and all you people of Judah and Benjamin, listen to me. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you really look for him, you will find him. But if you desert him, he will desert you.3"For a long time Israel didn't worship the true God. They didn't have a priest who taught them. So they didn't know God's law.4But when they were in trouble, they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel. When they did, they found him.5"In those days it wasn't safe to travel around. The people who lived in all of the areas of the land were having a lot of trouble.6One nation was crushing another. One city was crushing another. That's because God was causing them to suffer terribly.7"But be strong. Don't give up. God will reward you for your work."8Asa heard that prophecy. He paid attention to the words of the prophet Azariah, the son of Oded. So Asa became bolder than ever. He removed the statues of gods from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin. He also removed them from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He did it because he hated those gods. He repaired the altar of the Lord. It was in front of the porch of the LORD's temple.9Then he gathered all of the people of Judah and Benjamin together. He also gathered together the people from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who had settled among them. Large numbers of people had come over to him from Israel. They came because they saw that the LORD his God was with him.10They gathered in Jerusalem. It was the third month of the 15th year of Asa's rule.11At that time they sacrificed to the LORD 700 head of cattle and 7,000 sheep and goats. The animals were among the things they had taken after the battle.12They made a covenant to look to the Lord, the God of their people. They looked to him with all their heart and soul.13All those who wouldn't look to the Lord, the God of Israel, would be killed. It wouldn't matter how important they were. It wouldn't matter whether they were men or women.14They took an oath and made a promise to the Lord. They praised him out loud. They shouted. They blew trumpets and horns.15All of the people of Judah were happy about the promise they had made. They turned to God with all their heart. When they did, they found him. So the LORD gave them peace and rest on every side.16King Asa also removed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother. That's because she had made a pole that was used to worship the goddess Asherah. The LORD hated it. So Asa cut it down. He broke it up. He burned it in the Kidron Valley.17Asa didn't remove the high places from Israel. But he committed his whole life completely to the Lord.18He and his father had set apart silver, gold and other articles to the Lord. He brought them into God's temple.19There weren't any more wars until the 35th year of Asa's rule.
1Baasha was king of Israel. He marched out against Judah. It was in the 36th year of Asa's rule over Judah. Baasha built up the walls of Ramah. He did it to keep people from leaving or entering the territory of Asa, the king of Judah.2Asa took the silver and gold from among the treasures of the LORD's temple and his own palace. He sent it to Ben-Hadad. Ben-Hadad was king of Aram. He was ruling in Damascus.3"Let's make a peace treaty between us," Asa said. "My father and your father had made a peace treaty between them. Now I'm sending you silver and gold. So break your treaty with Baasha, the king of Israel. Then he'll go back home."4Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa. He sent his army commanders against the towns of Israel. They attacked Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim and all of the cities in Naphtali where Baasha stored things.5Baasha heard about it. So he stopped building up Ramah. He stopped working there.6Then King Asa brought all of the men of Judah to Ramah. They carried away the stones and wood Baasha had been using. Asa used them to build up Geba and Mizpah.7At that time the prophet Hanani came to Asa, the king of Judah. He said to him, "You trusted the king of Aram. You didn't trust in the LORD your God. So the army of the king of Aram has escaped from you.8The people of Cush and Libya had a strong army. They had large numbers of chariots and horsemen. But you trusted in the Lord. So he handed them over to you.9The LORD looks out over the whole earth. He gives strength to those who commit their lives completely to him. You have done a foolish thing. From now on you will be at war."10Asa was angry with the prophet because of what he had said. In fact, he was so angry he put him in prison. At the same time, Asa treated some of his own people very badly.11The events of Asa's rule from beginning to end are written down. They are written in the records of the kings of Judah and Israel.12In the 39th year of Asa's rule his feet began to hurt. The pain was terrible. But even though he was suffering, he didn't look to the LORD for help. All he did was go to the doctors.13In the 41st year of Asa's rule he joined the members of his family who had already died.14His body was buried in a tomb. He had cut it out for himself in the City of David. His body was laid on a wooden frame. It was covered with spices and different mixes of perfume. A huge fire was made in his honor.
1Jehoshaphat was the son of Asa. Jehoshaphat became the next king after him. He made his kingdom strong in case Israel would attack him.2He placed troops in all of the cities of Judah that had high walls around them. He stationed some soldiers in Judah. He also put some in the towns of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.3The LORD was with Jehoshaphat. That's because in his early years he lived the way King David had lived. He didn't ask for advice from the gods that were named after Baal.4Instead, he looked to the God of his father. He followed the LORD's commands instead of the practices of Israel.5The LORD made the kingdom secure under Jehoshaphat's control. All of the people of Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat. So he had great wealth and honor.6His heart was committed to living the way the LORD wanted him to. He removed the high places from Judah. He also removed the poles that were used to worship the goddess Asherah.7In the third year of his rule, he sent his officials to teach in the towns of Judah. The officials were Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah.8Some Levites were with them. Their names were Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah. The priests Elishama and Jehoram were also with them.9They taught people all through Judah. They took the Scroll of the Law of the LORD with them. They went around to all of the towns of Judah. And they taught the people.10All of the kingdoms of the lands around Judah became afraid of the Lord. So they didn't go to war against Jehoshaphat.11Some Philistines brought to Jehoshaphat the gifts and silver he required of them. The Arabs brought him their flocks. They brought him 7,700 rams and 7,700 goats.12Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful. He built forts in Judah. He also built cities in Judah where he could store things.13He had large supplies in the towns of Judah. In Jerusalem he kept men who knew how to fight well.14Here is a list of them, family by family. From Judah there were commanders of companies of 1,000. One of them was Adnah. He commanded 300,000 fighting men.15Another was Jehohanan. He commanded 280,000.16Another was Amasiah, the son of Zicri. Amasiah commanded 200,000. He had offered to serve the Lord.17From Benjamin there were also commanders. One of them was Eliada. He was a brave soldier. He commanded 200,000 men. They were armed with bows and shields.18Another was Jehozabad. He commanded 180,000 men. They were prepared for battle.19Those were the men who served the king. He stationed some other men in the cities all through Judah. The cities had high walls around them.