2 Chronicles 17-19New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Jehoshaphat Succeeds Asa
17 Jehoshaphat his son then became king in his place, and made his position over Israel firm. 2 He placed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim which Asa his father had captured.
His Good Reign
3 The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he [a]followed the example of his father David’s earlier days and did not seek the Baals, 4 but sought the God of his father, [b]followed His commandments, and did not act as Israel did. 5 So the Lord established the kingdom in his [c]control, and all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. 6 [d]He took great pride in the ways of the Lord and again removed the high places and the Asherim from Judah.
7 Then in the third year of his reign he sent his officials, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah; 8 and with them the Levites, Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tobadonijah, the Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, the priests. 9 They taught in Judah, having the book of the law of the Lord with them; and they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.
10 Now the dread of the Lord was on all the kingdoms of the lands which were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat. 11 Some of the Philistines brought gifts and silver as tribute to Jehoshaphat; the Arabians also brought him flocks, 7,700 rams and 7,700 male goats. 12 So Jehoshaphat grew greater and greater, and he built fortresses and store cities in Judah. 13 He had large supplies in the cities of Judah, and warriors, valiant men, in Jerusalem. 14 This was their muster according to their fathers’ households: of Judah, commanders of thousands, Adnah was the commander, and with him 300,000 valiant warriors; 15 and next to him was Johanan the commander, and with him 280,000; 16 and next to him Amasiah the son of Zichri, who volunteered for the Lord, and with him 200,000 valiant warriors; 17 and of Benjamin, Eliada a valiant warrior, and with him 200,000 armed with bow and shield; 18 and next to him Jehozabad, and with him 180,000 equipped for war. 19 These are they who served the king, apart from those whom the king put in the fortified cities through all Judah.
Jehoshaphat Allies with Ahab
18 Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor; and he allied himself by marriage with Ahab. 2 Some years later he went down to visit Ahab at Samaria. And Ahab slaughtered many sheep and oxen for him and the people who were with him, and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead. 3 Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth-gilead?” And he said to him, “I am as you are, and my people as your people, and we will be with you in the battle.”
4 Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire [e]first for the word of the Lord.” 5 Then the king of Israel assembled the prophets, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for God will give it into the hand of the king.” 6 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not yet a prophet of the Lord here that we may inquire of him?” 7 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me but always evil. He is Micaiah, son of Imla.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.”
Ahab’s False Prophets Assure Victory
8 Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, “[f]Bring quickly Micaiah, Imla’s son.” 9 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, and they were sitting at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 10 Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘With these you shall gore the Arameans until they are consumed.’” 11 All the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and succeed, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.”
Micaiah Brings Word from God
12 Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Behold, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. So please let your word be like one of them and speak favorably.” 13 But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, what my God says, that I will speak.”
14 When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” He said, “Go up and succeed, for they will be given into your hand.” 15 Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 16 So he said,
“I saw all Israel
17 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”
18 Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing on His right and on His left. 19 The Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that. 20 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘How?’ 21 He said, ‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You are to entice him and prevail also. Go and do so.’ 22 Now therefore, behold, the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of these your prophets, for the Lord has proclaimed disaster against you.”
23 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “[g]How did the Spirit of the Lord pass from me to speak to you?” 24 Micaiah said, “Behold, you will see on that day when you enter an inner room to hide yourself.” 25 Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son; 26 and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this man in prison and feed him [h]sparingly with bread and water until I return safely.”’” 27 Micaiah said, “If you indeed return safely, the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Listen, all you people.”
Ahab’s Defeat and Death
28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up against Ramoth-gilead. 29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you put on your robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle. 30 Now the king of Aram had commanded the captains of his chariots, saying, “Do not fight with small or great, but with the king of Israel alone.” 31 So when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is the king of Israel,” and they turned aside to fight against him. But Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him, and God diverted them from him. 32 When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 33 A certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel [i]in a joint of the armor. So he said to the driver of the chariot, “Turn [j]around and take me out of the [k]fight, for I am severely wounded.” 34 The battle raged that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot in front of the Arameans until the evening; and at sunset he died.
Jehu Rebukes Jehoshaphat
19 Then Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem. 2 Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and [l]so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord? 3 But [m]there is some good in you, for you have removed the [n]Asheroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God.”
4 So Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem and went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and brought them back to the Lord, the God of their fathers.
5 He appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city. 6 He said to the judges, “Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the Lord who is with you [o]when you render judgment. 7 Now then let the fear of the Lord be upon you; [p]be very careful what you do, for [q]the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.”
8 In Jerusalem also Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and priests, and some of the heads of the fathers’ households of Israel, for the judgment of the Lord and to judge [r]disputes among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 9 Then he charged them saying, “Thus you shall do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully and wholeheartedly. 10 Whenever any dispute comes to you from your brethren who live in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and ordinances, you shall warn them so that they may not be guilty before the Lord, and wrath may not come on you and your brethren. Thus you shall do and you will not be guilty. 11 Behold, Amariah the chief priest will be over you in [s]all that pertains to the Lord, and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, in [t]all that pertains to the king. Also the Levites shall be officers before you. [u]Act resolutely, and the Lord be with the upright.”
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