2 Chronicles 19; 2 Chronicles 20; 2 Chronicles 21; 2 Chronicles 22; 2 Chronicles 23

1 Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem. 2 The prophet Jehu went out to meet him. He was the son of Hanani. Jehu said to the king, "You shouldn't help evil people. You shouldn't love those who hate the Lord. The LORD is angry with you. 3 But there's some good in you. You have gotten rid of all of the poles in the land that are used to worship the goddess Asherah. And you have worshiped God with all your heart." 4 Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem. He went out again among the people. He went from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim. He turned the people back to the Lord, the God of Israel. 5 Jehoshaphat appointed judges in the land. He put them in all of the cities of Judah that had high walls around them. 6 He told the judges, "Think carefully about what you do. After all, you aren't judging for mere men. You are judging for the Lord. He's with you every time you make a decision. 7 Have respect for the Lord. Judge carefully. He is always right. He treats everyone the same. He doesn't want his judges to take money from people who want special favors." 8 In Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat chose some Levites and priests. He also chose some leaders of Israelite families. He appointed all of them to apply the law of the LORD fairly. He wanted them to decide cases. He wanted them to settle matters between people. All of those judges lived in Jerusalem. 9 Here are the orders Jehoshaphat gave them. He said, "Have respect for the Lord. Serve him faithfully. Do it with all your heart. 10 Cases will come to you from your fellow judges who live in the other cities. The cases might be about murder or other matters that the law, commands, directions and rules deal with. Warn the judges not to sin against the Lord. If you don't warn them, he will be angry with you and your fellow judges. Do what I say. Then you won't sin. 11 "The chief priest Amariah will be over you in any matter that concerns the Lord. Zebadiah is the leader of the tribe of Judah. He is the son of Ishmael. Zebadiah will be over you in any matter that concerns the king. The Levites will serve as your officials. Be brave. And may the LORD be with those of you who do well."
1 After that, the Moabites, Ammonites and some Meunites went to war against Jehoshaphat. 2 Some people came and told him, "A huge army is coming from Edom to fight against you. They have come across the Dead Sea. They are already in Hazazon Tamar." Hazazon Tamar is also called En Gedi. 3 Jehoshaphat was alarmed. So he decided to ask the LORD for advice. He told all of the people of Judah to go without eating. 4 The people came together to ask the LORD for help. In fact, they came from every town in Judah to pray to him. 5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up among the people of Judah and Jerusalem. He was in front of the new courtyard at the LORD's temple. 6 He said, "Lord, you are the God of our people. You are the God who is in heaven. You rule over all of the kingdoms of the nations. Your hands are strong and powerful. No one can fight against you and win. 7 "Our God, you drove out the people who lived in this land. You drove them out to make room for your people Israel. You gave this land forever to those who belong to the family line of your friend Abraham. 8 "They have lived in this land. They've built a temple here for your Name. They have said, 9 'Suppose trouble comes on us. It doesn't matter whether it's a punishing sword, plague or hunger. We'll serve you. We'll stand in front of this temple where your Name is. We'll cry out to you when we're in trouble. Then you will hear us. You will save us.' 10 "But here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir. You wouldn't allow Israel to march in and attack their territory when the Israelites came from Egypt. So Israel turned away from them. They didn't destroy them. 11 See how they are paying us back. They are coming to drive us out. They want to take over the land you gave us as our share. 12 "Our God, won't you please judge them? We don't have the power to face this huge army that's attacking us. We don't know what to do. But we're looking to you to help us." 13 All of the men of Judah stood there in front of the Lord. Their wives, children and little ones were with them. 14 Then the Spirit of the LORD came on Jahaziel. He was standing among the people of Israel. He was the son of Zechariah. Zechariah was the son of Benaiah. Benaiah was the son of Jeiel. Jeiel was the son of Mattaniah. Jahaziel was a Levite. He was from the family line of Asaph. 15 Jahaziel said, "King Jehoshaphat, listen! All you who live in Judah and Jerusalem, listen! The LORD says to you, 'Do not be afraid. Do not lose hope because of this huge army. The battle is not yours. It is mine. 16 " 'Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take your positions. Stand firm. You will see how I will save you. Judah and Jerusalem, do not be afraid. Do not lose hope. Go out and face them tomorrow. I will be with you.' " 18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face toward the ground. All of the people of Judah and Jerusalem also bowed down. They worshiped the Lord. 19 Then some Levites from the families of Kohath and Korah stood up. They praised the Lord, the God of Israel. They praised him with very loud voices. 20 Early in the morning all of the people left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they started out, Jehoshaphat stood up. He said, "Judah, listen to me! People of Jerusalem, listen to me! Have faith in the LORD your God. He'll take good care of you. Have faith in his prophets. Then you will have success." 21 Jehoshaphat asked the people for advice. Then he appointed men to sing to the Lord. He wanted them to praise him because of his glory and holiness. They marched out in front of the army. They said, "Give thanks to the Lord. His faithful love continues forever." 22 They began to sing and praise him. Then the LORD hid some men and told them to wait. He wanted them to attack the people of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir. They had gone into Judah and attacked it. But they lost the battle. 23 The men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the men from Mount Seir. They destroyed them. They put an end to them. When they finished killing the men from Seir, they destroyed each other. 24 The men of Judah came to the place that looks out over the desert. They turned to look down at the huge army. But all they saw was dead bodies lying there on the ground. No one had escaped. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went down there to carry off anything of value. Among the dead bodies they found a lot of supplies, clothes and articles of value. There was more than they could take away. There was so much it took three days to collect all of it. 26 On the fourth day they gathered together in the Valley of Beracah. There they praised the Lord. That's why it's called the Valley of Beracah to this very day. 27 Then all of the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned to Jerusalem. They were filled with joy. Jehoshaphat led them. The LORD had made them happy because all of their enemies were dead. 28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the LORD's temple. They were playing harps, lutes and trumpets. 29 All of the kingdoms of the surrounding countries began to have respect for God. They had heard how the LORD had fought against Israel's enemies. 30 The kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace. His God had given him peace and rest on every side. 31 So Jehoshaphat ruled over Judah. He was 35 years old when he became Judah's king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 25 years. His mother's name was Azubah. She was the daughter of Shilhi. 32 Jehoshaphat followed the ways of his father Asa. He didn't wander away from them. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. 33 But the high places weren't removed. The people still hadn't worshiped the God of Israel with all their hearts. 34 The other events of Jehoshaphat's rule from beginning to end are written down. They are written in the official records of Jehu, the son of Hanani. They are written in the records of the kings of Israel. 35 Jehoshaphat king of Judah and Ahaziah king of Israel agreed to be friends. Ahaziah was guilty of doing what was evil. 36 Jehoshaphat agreed with him to build a lot of ships. They were built at Ezion Geber. They carried goods that were traded for other goods. 37 Eliezer was the son of Dodavahu from Mareshah. Eliezer prophesied against Jehoshaphat. He said, "You have joined forces with Ahaziah. So the LORD will destroy what you have made." The ships were wrecked. They were never able to sail or trade goods.
1 Jehoshaphat joined the members of his family who had already died. His body was buried in the family tomb in the City of David. His son Jehoram became the next king after him. 2 Jehoram's brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat, were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah. All of them were sons of Jehoshaphat, the king of Israel. 3 Their father had given them many gifts. He had given them silver, gold and articles of value. He had also given them cities in Judah that had high walls around them. But he had made Jehoram king. That's because Jehoram was his oldest son. 4 Jehoram made his position secure over his father's kingdom. Then he killed all of his brothers with his sword. He also killed some of the princes of Israel. 5 Jehoram was 32 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for eight years. 6 He followed the ways of the kings of Israel, just as the royal family of Ahab had done. In fact, he got married to a daughter of Ahab. Jehoram did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 7 But the LORD didn't want to destroy the royal family of David. That's because the LORD had made a covenant with him. He had promised to keep the lamp of David's kingdom burning brightly for him and his children after him forever. 8 When Jehoram was king over Judah, Edom refused to remain under Judah's control. They set up their own king. 9 So Jehoram went to Edom. He took his officers and all of his chariots with him. The men of Edom surrounded him and his chariot commanders. But he got up at night and fought his way out. 10 To this very day Edom has refused to remain under Judah's control. At that same time, Libnah also refused to remain under the control of Judah. That's because Jehoram had deserted the Lord, the God of his people. 11 He had also built high places on the hills of Judah. He had caused the people of Jerusalem to worship other gods. They weren't faithful to the Lord. Jehoram had led Judah down the wrong path. 12 Jehoram received a letter from the prophet Elijah. It said, "The LORD is the God of your father David. The LORD says, 'You have not followed the ways of your own father Jehoshaphat or of Asa, the king of Judah. 13 Instead, you have followed the ways of the kings of Israel. You have led Judah and the people of Jerusalem to worship other gods, just as the royal family of Ahab did. Also, you have murdered your own brothers. They were members of your own family. They were better men than you are. 14 " 'So now I am about to strike your people down with a heavy blow. I will strike down your sons, your wives and everything that belongs to you. 15 And you yourself will be very sick for a long time. The sickness will finally cause your insides to come out.' " 16 The LORD stirred up the anger of the Philistines against Jehoram. He also stirred up the anger of the Arabs. They lived near the people of Cush. 17 The Philistines and Arabs attacked Judah. They went in and carried off all of the goods they found in the king's palace. They also took his sons and wives. The only son he had left was Ahaziah. He was the youngest son. 18 After all of that, the LORD made Jehoram very sick. He couldn't be healed. 19 After he had been sick for two years, the sickness caused his insides to come out. He died in great pain. His people didn't make a fire in his honor, as they had done for the kings who ruled before him. 20 Jehoram was 32 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for eight years. No one was sorry when he passed away. His body was buried in the City of David. But it wasn't placed in the tombs of the kings.
1 The people of Jerusalem made Ahaziah king in place of Jehoram. Ahaziah was Jehoram's youngest son. Robbers had come with the Arabs into Jehoram's camp. The robbers had killed all of his older sons. So Ahaziah, the king of Judah, began to rule. He was the son of Jehoram. 2 Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for one year. His mother's name was Athaliah. She was a granddaughter of Omri. 3 Ahaziah also followed the ways of the royal family of Ahab. That's because Ahaziah's mother gave him bad advice. She told him to do what was wrong. 4 So he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, just as the family of Ahab had done. After Ahaziah's father died, the members of Ahab's family became his advisers. That's what destroyed him. 5 He also followed their advice when he joined forces with Joram, the king of Israel. They went to war against Hazael at Ramoth Gilead. Joram was the son of Ahab. Hazael was king of Aram. The soldiers of Aram wounded Joram. 6 So he returned to Jezreel to give his wounds time to heal. His enemies had wounded him at Ramoth in his battle against Hazael, the king of Aram. Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram, went down to Jezreel. He went there to see Joram. That's because Joram had been wounded. Ahaziah was king of Judah. Joram was the son of Ahab. 7 Through Ahaziah's visit to Joram, God caused Ahaziah to fall from power. When Ahaziah arrived, he rode out with Joram to meet Jehu, the son of Nimshi. The LORD had anointed Jehu to destroy the royal family of Ahab. 8 So Jehu punished Ahab's family, just as the LORD had told him to. While he was doing it, he found the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah's relatives. They had been serving Ahaziah. So Jehu killed them. 9 Then he went to look for Ahaziah. Jehu's men captured him while he was hiding in Samaria. Ahaziah was brought to Jehu and put to death. People buried his body, because they said, "He was a grandson of Jehoshaphat, who followed the LORD with all his heart." So no one in the royal family of Ahaziah was powerful enough to keep the kingdom. 10 Athaliah was Ahaziah's mother. She saw that her son was dead. So she began to wipe out the whole royal house of Judah. 11 But Jehosheba went and got Joash, the son of Ahaziah. She was the daughter of King Jehoram. She stole Joash away from among the royal princes. All of them were about to be murdered. She put Joash and his nurse in a bedroom. Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, was the wife of the priest Jehoiada. She was also Ahaziah's sister. So Jehosheba hid the child from Athaliah. That's why Athaliah couldn't kill him. 12 The child remained hidden with the priest and his wife at God's temple for six years. Athaliah ruled over the land during that time.
1 When Joash was seven years old, Jehoiada showed how strong he was. He made a covenant with the commanders of companies of 100 men. The commanders were Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zicri. 2 They went all through Judah. They gathered together the Levites and the leaders of Israelite families from all of the towns. They came to Jerusalem. 3 The whole community made a covenant with the new king at God's temple. Jehoiada said to them, "Ahaziah's son will rule over Judah. That's what the LORD promised concerning the family line of David. 4 Here's what I want you to do. A third of you priests and Levites who are going on duty on the Sabbath day must guard the doors 5 A third of you must guard the royal palace. And a third of you must guard the Foundation Gate. All of the other men must guard the courtyards of the LORD's temple. 6 "Don't let anyone enter the temple except the priests and Levites who are on duty. They can enter because they are set apart to the Lord. But all of the other men must guard the places where the LORD has sent them. 7 "The Levites must station themselves around the new king. Each man must have his weapons in his hand. Anyone else who enters the temple must be put to death. Stay close to the king no matter where he goes." 8 The Levites did just as the priest Jehoiada ordered. So did all of the men of Judah. Each commander got his men. Some of the men were going on duty on the Sabbath day. Others were going off duty. Jehoiada didn't let any of the groups go. 9 Then he gave weapons to the commanders of the companies. He gave them spears, large shields and small shields. The weapons had belonged to King David. They had been in God's temple. 10 Jehoiada stationed all of the men around the new king. Each man had his weapon in his hand. They were standing near the altar and the temple. They stood from the south side of the temple to its north side. Their line formed half of a circle. 11 Jehoiada and his sons brought Ahaziah's son out. They put the crown on him. They gave him a copy of the covenant. And they announced that he was king. They anointed him. Then they shouted, "May the king live a long time!" 12 Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and cheering the new king. So she went to them at the LORD's temple. 13 She looked. And there was the king! He was standing next to his pillar at the entrance. The officers and trumpet players were standing beside the king. All of the people of the land were filled with joy. They were blowing trumpets. Singers with their musical instruments were leading the songs of praise. Then Athaliah tore her royal robes. She shouted, "Treason! It's treason!" 14 The priest Jehoiada sent out the commanders of the companies of 100 men. They were in charge of the troops. He said to them, "Bring her away from the temple between the line of guards. Use your swords to kill anyone who follows her." The priest had said, "Don't put her to death at the LORD's temple. 15 So they grabbed hold of her as she reached the entrance of the Horse Gate on the palace grounds. There they put her to death. 16 Then Jehoiada made a covenant. He promised that he, the people and the king would be the LORD's people. 17 All of the people went to Baal's temple. They tore it down. They smashed the altars and the statues of gods. They killed Mattan in front of the altars. He was the priest of Baal. 18 Then Jehoiada put the priests, who were Levites, in charge of the LORD's temple. David had given them their duties in the temple. He had appointed them to sacrifice burnt offerings to the Lord. He wanted them to do it in keeping with what was written in the Law of Moses. David wanted them to sing and be full of joy. 19 Jehoiada stationed guards at the gates of the LORD's temple. No one who was "unclean" in any way could enter 20 Jehoiada took with him the commanders of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people, and all of the people of the land. He brought the new king down from the LORD's temple. They went into the palace through the Upper Gate. Then they seated the king on the royal throne. 21 All of the people of the land were filled with joy. And the city was quiet. That's because Athaliah had been killed with a sword
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