Solomon’s Activities and Accomplishments

(A)Now it came about at the end of the twenty years in which Solomon had built the house of the Lord and his own house, that he built the cities which Huram had given [a]him, and settled the sons of Israel there.

Then Solomon went to Hamath-zobah and captured it. He built Tadmor in the wilderness and all the storage cities which he had built in Hamath. He also built upper (B)Beth-horon and lower Beth-horon, which were (C)fortified cities with walls, gates, and bars; and Baalath and all the storage cities that Solomon had, and all the cities for [b]his chariots and cities for [c]his horsemen, and everything that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and all the land [d]under his rule.

(D)All of the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel, that is, from their descendants who were left after them in the land, whom the sons of Israel had not destroyed, (E)Solomon raised them as forced laborers to this day. But Solomon did not make slaves from the sons of Israel for his work; for they were men of war, his chief captains and commanders of his chariots and his horsemen. 10 These were the chief [e]officers of King Solomon, 250 who ruled over the people.

11 (F)Then Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the city of David to the house which he had built for her, for he said, “My wife shall not live in the house of David king of Israel, because [f]the places where the ark of the Lord has entered are holy.”

12 Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to the Lord on (G)the altar of the Lord which he had built in front of the porch; 13 and (H)he did so according to the daily rule, offering them up (I)according to the commandment of Moses, for (J)the Sabbaths, (K)the new moons, and the (L)three annual feasts—the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Booths.

14 Now according to the ordinance of his father David, he appointed (M)the divisions of the priests for their service, and (N)the Levites for their duties of praise and ministering before the priests according to the daily rule, and (O)the gatekeepers by their divisions at every gate; for this is what (P)David, the man of God, had commanded. 15 And they did not deviate from the commandment of the king to the priests and Levites in any matter or regarding the storehouses.

16 So all the work of Solomon was carried out [g]from the day of the foundation of the house of the Lord, until it was finished. So the house of the Lord was completed.

17 Then Solomon went to (Q)Ezion-geber and to (R)Eloth on the seashore in the land of Edom. 18 And by his servants Huram sent him ships and servants who knew the sea; and they went with Solomon’s servants to Ophir and (S)took from there [h]450 talents of gold, and brought it to King Solomon.

Visit of the Queen of Sheba

(T)Now when the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon, she came to Jerusalem to test Solomon with riddles. She had a very large entourage, with camels carrying balsam oil and a large amount of gold and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about everything that was on her heart. Solomon [i]answered all her questions; nothing was hidden from Solomon which he did not [j]explain to her. When the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, the house which he had built, the food at his table, the seating of his servants, the attendance of his ministers and their attire, his cupbearers and their attire, and [k]his stairway by which he went up to the house of the Lord, she was breathless. Then she said to the king, “It was a true [l]story that I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. But I did not believe their [m]stories until I came and my own eyes saw it all. And behold, not even half of the greatness of your wisdom was reported to me. You have surpassed the report that I heard. How [n]blessed are your men, how [o]blessed are these servants of yours, who stand before you continually and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God who delighted in you, (U)setting you on His throne as king for the Lord your God; (V)because your God loved Israel, establishing them forever, He made you king over them, to carry out justice and righteousness.” Then she gave the king [p]120 talents of gold and a very great amount of balsam oil and precious stones; there had never been balsam oil like that which the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon.

10 The servants of Huram and the servants of Solomon (W)who brought gold from Ophir, also brought algum trees and precious stones. 11 From the algum trees the king made steps to the house of the Lord and for the king’s palace, and lyres and harps for the singers; and nothing like them was seen before in the land of Judah.

12 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba her every desire, whatever she requested, besides gifts equal to what she had brought to the king. Then she turned and went to her own land with her servants.

Solomon’s Wealth and Power

13 (X)Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was [q]666 talents of gold, 14 besides what the traders and merchants brought; and all (Y)the kings of Arabia and the governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon. 15 King Solomon made two hundred large shields of beaten gold, [r]using six hundred shekels of beaten gold on each large shield. 16 He made three hundred shields of beaten gold, [s]using three hundred shekels of gold on each shield; and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.

17 Moreover, the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold. 18 There were six steps to the throne and a footstool in gold attached to the throne, and [t]arms [u]on each side of the seat, and two lions standing beside the [v]arms. 19 Twelve lions were standing there on the six steps on the one side and on the other; nothing like it was made for any other kingdom. 20 All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; silver was not considered [w]valuable in the days of Solomon. 21 (Z)For the king had ships which went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram; once every three years the ships of Tarshish came bringing gold and silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.

22 (AA)So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in wealth and wisdom. 23 And all the kings of the earth were seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart. 24 (AB)They were bringing, each of them his gift: articles of silver and gold, garments, weapons, balsam oil, horses, and mules, so much year by year.

25 Now Solomon had (AC)four thousand stalls for horses and chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, and he stationed them in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 26 (AD)He was ruler over all the kings from the Euphrates River to the land of the Philistines, and as far as the border of Egypt. 27 (AE)And the king made silver as common as stones in Jerusalem, and he made cedars as plentiful as sycamore trees that are in the [x]lowland. 28 (AF)And they were bringing horses for Solomon from Egypt and from all countries.

29 (AG)Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, from the first to the last, (AH)are they not written in the [y]records of Nathan the prophet, in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of [z]Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat? 30 (AI)Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel for forty years.

Death of Solomon

31 And Solomon [aa]lay down with his fathers and was buried in (AJ)the city of his father David; and his son Rehoboam reigned in his place.

Rehoboam’s Reign of Foolishness

10 (AK)Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, because all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. When Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard about it ((AL)he was in Egypt where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon), Jeroboam returned from Egypt. So they sent word and summoned him. When Jeroboam and all Israel came, they spoke to Rehoboam, saying, “Your father made our (AM)yoke hard; but now, lighten the hard labor imposed by your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” He said to them, “Return to me again in three days.” So the people departed.

And then King Rehoboam (AN)consulted with the elders who had [ab]served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” They spoke to him, saying, “If you are kind to this people and please them and (AO)speak pleasant words to them, then they will be your servants always.” But he (AP)ignored the advice of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who had grown up with him [ac]and served him. He said to them, “What advice do you give, so that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?” 10 The young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, “This is what you should say to the people who spoke to you, saying: ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you make it lighter for us!’ You should speak this way to them: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! 11 Now then, my father loaded you with a heavy yoke; yet I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with [ad]scorpions!’”

12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had [ae]directed, saying, “Return to me on the third day.” 13 The king answered them harshly, and King Rehoboam ignored the advice of the elders. 14 He spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “[af]My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with [ag]scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people, (AQ)because it was a turn of events from God (AR)so that the Lord might establish His word, which He spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

16 When all Israel saw that the king had not listened to them, the people replied to the king, saying,

(AS)What share do we have in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
Everyone to your tents, Israel!
Now look after your own house, David!”

(AT)So all Israel went away to their tents. 17 But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18 Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was in (AU)charge of the forced labor, and the sons of Israel stoned him [ah]to death. And King Rehoboam hurried to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So (AV)Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

Rehoboam Reigns over Judah and Builds Cities

11 (AW)Now when Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 chosen warriors, to fight against Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam. But the word of the Lord came to (AX)Shemaiah the man of God, saying, “Tell Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, ‘This is what the Lord says: “You shall not go up nor fight against (AY)your relatives; return, every man, to his house, (AZ)for this [ai]event is from Me.”’” So they listened to the words of the Lord and returned from going against Jeroboam.

Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and (BA)built cities for defense in Judah. He built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, 10 Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron, which are fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin. 11 He also strengthened the fortresses and put officers in them and supplies of food, oil, and wine. 12 He put shields and spears in every city and strengthened them greatly. So he held Judah and Benjamin.

13 Moreover, the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel also stood with him from all their districts.

Jeroboam Appoints False Priests

14 For (BB)the Levites left their pasture lands and their property and went to Judah and Jerusalem, because (BC)Jeroboam and his sons had excluded them from serving as priests to the Lord. 15 (BD)He set up priests of his own for the high places, for the satyrs and the calves which he had made. 16 (BE)Those from all the tribes of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the Lord God of Israel [aj]followed them to Jerusalem, to sacrifice to the Lord God of their fathers. 17 (BF)They strengthened the kingdom of Judah and supported Rehoboam the son of Solomon for three years, for they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.

Rehoboam’s Family

18 Then Rehoboam married Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David and of Abihail the daughter of (BG)Eliab the son of Jesse, 19 and she bore to him sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 After her he married (BH)Maacah the daughter of [ak]Absalom, and she bore to him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom more than all his other wives and concubines. For (BI)he had taken eighteen wives and sixty concubines, and fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. 22 (BJ)Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah as head and leader among his brothers, for he intended to make him king. 23 He acted wisely and distributed [al]some of his sons through all the territories of Judah and Benjamin to all the fortified cities, and he gave them plenty of provisions. And he sought many wives for them.

Shishak of Egypt Invades Judah

12 (BK)When the kingdom of Rehoboam was established and strong, (BL)he and all Israel with him abandoned the Law of the Lord. (BM)And it came about in King Rehoboam’s fifth year, because they had been unfaithful to the Lord, that (BN)Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem with 1,200 chariots and sixty thousand horsemen. And the people who came with him from Egypt were innumerable: (BO)the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the Ethiopians. And he captured (BP)the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. Then (BQ)Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the princes of Judah who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and he said to them, “This is what the Lord says: ‘(BR)You have abandoned Me, so I also have abandoned you [am]to Shishak.’” So the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The (BS)Lord is righteous.”

When the Lord saw that they had humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, “(BT)They have humbled themselves, so I will not destroy them; and I will grant them a little deliverance, and (BU)My wrath will not be poured out on Jerusalem by means of Shishak. But they will become his slaves, so (BV)that they may learn the difference between My service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”

Plunder Impoverishes Judah

(BW)So Shishak king of Egypt went up against Jerusalem, and he took the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s palace. He took everything; (BX)he even took the gold shields which Solomon had made. 10 Then King Rehoboam made shields of bronze in their place and committed them to the [an]care of the commanders of the [ao]guards who guarded the entrance of the king’s house. 11 As often as the king entered the house of the Lord, the [ap]guards came and carried them and then brought them back into the [aq]guards’ room. 12 And (BY)when he humbled himself, the anger of the Lord turned away from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and conditions (BZ)were also good in Judah.

13 (CA)So King Rehoboam became powerful in Jerusalem and reigned there. For Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen from all the tribes of Israel, to put His name there. And his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. 14 But he did evil (CB)because he did not set his heart to seek the Lord.

15 (CC)Now the acts of Rehoboam, from the first to the last, are they not written in the [ar]records of (CD)Shemaiah the prophet and of (CE)Iddo the seer, according to genealogical enrollment? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 16 And Rehoboam [as]lay down with his fathers and was buried in the city of David; and his son (CF)Abijah became king in his place.

Abijah Succeeds Rehoboam

13 (CG)In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah became king over Judah. He reigned in Jerusalem for three years; and his mother’s name was [at]Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.

(CH)Now there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. Abijah began the battle with an army of warriors, four hundred thousand chosen men, while Jeroboam drew up in battle formation against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men who were valiant warriors.

Civil War

Then Abijah stood on Mount (CI)Zemaraim, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, “Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel: Do you not know that (CJ)the Lord God of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David [au]and his sons by (CK)a covenant of salt? Yet (CL)Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his [av]master, and worthless men gathered to him, wicked men, who proved too strong for Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, when [aw](CM)he was young and timid and could not hold his own against them.

“So now you intend to assert yourselves against the kingdom of the Lord [ax]through the sons of David, [ay]being a great multitude and having with you (CN)the golden calves which Jeroboam made for you as gods. (CO)Have you not driven out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron and the Levites, and made for yourselves priests like the peoples of other lands? Whoever comes (CP)to consecrate himself with a bull and seven rams, even he may become a priest of things that are (CQ)not gods. 10 But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not abandoned Him; and the sons of Aaron are ministering to the Lord as priests, and the Levites [az]attend to their work. 11 Every morning and evening (CR)they [ba]burn to the Lord burnt offerings and fragrant incense, and (CS)the showbread is set on the clean table, and the golden lampstand with its lamps is ready to light every evening; for we perform our duty to the Lord our God, but you have abandoned Him. 12 Now behold, God is with us at our head, and (CT)His priests with the signal trumpets to sound the war cry against you. Sons of Israel, do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you will not succeed.”

13 But Jeroboam (CU)had set an ambush to come from behind, so that Israel was in front of Judah and the ambush was behind them. 14 When Judah turned around, behold, [bb]they were attacked both from front and rear; so (CV)they cried out to the Lord, and the priests blew the trumpets. 15 Then the men of Judah raised a war cry, and when the men of Judah raised the war cry, God [bc](CW)defeated Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16 When the sons of Israel fled from Judah, (CX)God handed them over to them. 17 Abijah and his people defeated them with a great slaughter, so that five hundred thousand chosen men of Israel fell slain. 18 The sons of Israel were subdued at that time, and the sons of Judah [bd]conquered (CY)because they trusted in the Lord, the God of their fathers. 19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and captured from him several cities, Bethel with its villages, Jeshanah with its villages, and [be]Ephron with its villages.

Death of Jeroboam

20 Jeroboam did not again recover strength in the days of Abijah; and the (CZ)Lord struck him and (DA)he died.

21 But Abijah became powerful, and he took fourteen wives for himself, and fathered twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. 22 Now the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways and his words are written in (DB)the [bf]treatise of (DC)Iddo the prophet.

Asa Succeeds Abijah in Judah

14 [bg](DD)So Abijah [bh]lay down with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David, and his son Asa became king in his place. The land was undisturbed for ten years during his days.

[bi]And Asa did what was good and right in the sight of the Lord his God, for he removed (DE)the foreign altars and (DF)high places, tore down the memorial stones, cut down the [bj](DG)Asherim, and commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers and to [bk]comply with the Law and the commandment. He also removed the high places and the (DH)incense altars from all the cities of Judah. And the kingdom was undisturbed under him. (DI)He built fortified cities in Judah, since the land was undisturbed, and [bl]there was no one at war with him during those years, (DJ)because the Lord had given him rest. For he said to Judah, “(DK)Let’s build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still [bm]ours because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered. Now Asa had an army of (DL)three hundred thousand from Judah, carrying large shields and spears, and 280,000 from Benjamin, carrying shields and wielding bows; all of them were valiant warriors.

Now Zerah the Ethiopian (DM)went out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots, and he came to (DN)Mareshah. 10 So Asa went out [bn]to meet him, and they drew up in battle formation in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 Then Asa (DO)called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; help us, Lord our God, (DP)for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You.” 12 So (DQ)the Lord [bo]routed the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as (DR)Gerar; and so many Ethiopians fell that [bp]they could not recover, for they were shattered before the Lord and before His army. And they carried away a very large amount of plunder. 14 They [bq]destroyed all the cities around Gerar, (DS)for the dread of the Lord had fallen on them; and they pillaged all the cities, for there was much plunder in them. 15 They also fatally struck [br]those who owned livestock, and they led away large numbers of sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.

Azariah the Prophet Warns Asa

15 Now (DT)the Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out [bs]to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: (DU)the Lord is with you when you are with Him. And (DV)if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you abandon Him, He will abandon you. (DW)For many days Israel was without the true God and without (DX)a teaching priest and without the Law. But (DY)in their distress they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and they sought Him, and He let them find Him. (DZ)In those times there was no peace for him who went out or him who came in, because many disturbances [bt]afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. (EA)Nation was crushed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every kind of distress. But you, (EB)be strong and do not [bu]lose courage, for there is a (EC)reward for your work.”

Asa’s Reforms

Now when Asa heard these words and the [bv]prophecy which Azariah the son of Oded the prophet spoke, he took courage and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and from (ED)the cities which he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. (EE)He then restored the altar of the Lord which was in front of the porch of the Lord. And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon (EF)who resided with them, for many defected to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10 So they assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign. 11 (EG)They sacrificed to the Lord on that day seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep from the spoils they had brought. 12 (EH)They entered into the covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and soul; 13 and whoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel (EI)was to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. 14 Moreover, they made an oath to the Lord with a loud voice, with shouting, trumpets, and with horns. 15 All Judah rejoiced concerning the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought Him [bw]earnestly, and He let them find Him. So (EJ)the Lord gave them rest on every side.

16 (EK)He also removed Maacah, the mother of King Asa, from the position of queen mother, because she had made an abominable image [bx]as (EL)an Asherah, and (EM)Asa cut down her abominable image, crushed it, and burned it at the brook Kidron. 17 But the high places were not removed from Israel; nevertheless Asa’s heart was blameless all his days. 18 He brought into the house of God the dedicated things of his father and his own dedicated things: silver, gold, and utensils. 19 And there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.

Asa Wars against Baasha

16 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, (EN)Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and [by]fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to Asa king of Judah. Then Asa brought out silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of the Lord and the king’s house, and sent it to Ben-hadad king of Aram, who lived in Damascus, saying, “A treaty must be made between [bz]you and me, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you silver and gold; go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so that he will withdraw from me.” And Ben-hadad listened to King Asa, and he sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and they [ca]conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all (EO)the [cb]storage cities of Naphtali. When Baasha heard about it, he stopped [cc]fortifying Ramah and put an end to his work. Then King Asa brought all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber with which Baasha had been building, and with it he [cd]fortified Geba and Mizpah.

Asa Imprisons the Prophet

At that time (EP)Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “(EQ)Because you have relied on the king of Aram and have not relied on the Lord your God, for that reason the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not (ER)the Ethiopians and the Lubim (ES)an immense army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet (ET)because you relied on the Lord, He handed them over to you. For (EU)the eyes of the Lord roam throughout the earth, so that He may strongly support those (EV)whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will have wars.” 10 Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in [ce]prison, for he was enraged at him for this. And Asa mistreated some of the people at the same time.

11 (EW)Now, the acts of Asa from the first to the last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he (EX)did not seek the Lord, but the physicians. 13 So Asa [cf]lay down with his fathers, and died in the forty-first year of his reign. 14 They buried him in his own tomb which he had cut out for himself in the city of David, and they laid him in the resting place which he had filled (EY)with spices of various kinds blended by the perfumers’ art; and (EZ)they made a very great fire for him.

Jehoshaphat Succeeds Asa

17 His son (FA)Jehoshaphat then became king in his place, and he proved himself strong over Israel. He placed troops in all (FB)the fortified cities of Judah, and placed garrisons in the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim (FC)which his father Asa had captured.

His Good Reign

And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he [cg]followed the example of his father David’s earlier days and did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father, [ch]followed His commandments, (FD)and did not act as Israel did. So the Lord established the kingdom in his [ci]control, and all Judah gave tribute to Jehoshaphat, and (FE)he had great riches and honor. [cj]He took great pride in the ways of the Lord, and again (FF)removed the high places and the [ck]Asherim from Judah.

Then in the third year of his reign he sent his officials, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah, (FG)to teach in the cities of Judah; and with them (FH)the Levites, Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tobadonijah, the Levites; and with them the priests Elishama and Jehoram. They taught in Judah, having (FI)the Book of the Law of the Lord with them; and they went throughout the cities of Judah and taught among the people.

10 Now (FJ)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 (FK)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 storage cities in Judah. 13 He had large supplies in the cities of Judah, and warriors, valiant mighty 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 three hundred thousand 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, (FL)who volunteered for the Lord, and with him two hundred thousand valiant warriors; 17 and of Benjamin, Eliada, a valiant warrior, and with him two hundred thousand armed with bow and shield; 18 and next to him Jehozabad, and with him 180,000 equipped for war. 19 These are the ones who served the king, apart from (FM)those whom the king put in the fortified cities throughout Judah.

Jehoshaphat Allies with Ahab

18 Now (FN)Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor; and he allied himself by marriage to Ahab. (FO)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 he incited him to go up against Ramoth-gilead. 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.”

However, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please request the word of the Lord [cl]first.” So the king of Israel assembled the [cm]prophets, four hundred men, and said to them, “Should we go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or should I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for God will hand it over to the king.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of him?” And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, but I hate him, for he never prophesies anything good regarding me, but always bad. He is Micaiah the son of Imlah.” But Jehoshaphat said, “May the king not say so.”

Ahab’s False Prophets Assure Victory

Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah quickly.” Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting, each on his throne, dressed in their robes, and they were sitting (FP)at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 10 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed!’” 11 All the prophets were prophesying this as well, saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and be successful, for the Lord will hand it over to 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 [cn]unanimously 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, (FQ)whatever my God says, I will speak it.”

14 When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, should we go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or should I refrain?” He said, “Go up and succeed, for they will be handed over to you!” 15 Then the king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear that you will tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 16 So he said,

“I saw all Israel
Scattered on the mountains,
(FR)Like sheep that have no shepherd.
And the Lord said,
‘These people have no master.
Each of them is to return to his house in peace.’”

17 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy anything good regarding me, but only bad?”

18 And Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord. (FS)I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the [co]angels of heaven standing on His right and on His left. 19 And the Lord said, ‘Who will [cp]entice Ahab king of Israel to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one spirit said this, while another said that. 20 Then a (FT)spirit came forward and stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will [cq]entice him.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘How?’ 21 He said, ‘I will go out and be (FU)a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You shall [cr]entice him, and you will also prevail. Go out and do so.’ 22 Now therefore, behold, (FV)the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours, for the Lord has declared disaster against you.”

23 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah approached and (FW)struck Micaiah on the cheek; and he said, “[cs]How did the Spirit of the Lord pass from me to speak to you?” 24 And Micaiah said, “Behold, you are going to see how on that day when you go from one inner room to [ct]another trying to hide yourself.” 25 Then the king of Israel said, “(FX)Take Micaiah and return him to Amon (FY)the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son; 26 and say, ‘This is what the king says: “(FZ)Put this man in prison, and feed him enough bread and water to survive until I [cu]return safely.”’” 27 But Micaiah said, “If you actually return [cv]safely, the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he said, “[cw](GA)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 And 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 commanders of his chariots, saying, “Do not fight with the small or great, but only with the king of Israel.” 31 So when the commanders of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “He is the king of Israel!” And they turned aside to fight against him. But Jehoshaphat (GB)cried out, and the Lord helped him, and God diverted them from him. 32 When the commanders of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 33 Now one man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel [cx]in a joint of the armor. So he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn [cy]around and take me out of the battle, for I am severely wounded.” 34 The battle raged on 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. (GC)And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “(GD)Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord, and [cz](GE)by doing so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord? But [da](GF)there is some good in you, for (GG)you have removed the [db]Asheroth from the land and you (GH)have set your heart to seek God.”

So Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem and went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and (GI)brought them back to the Lord, the God of their fathers.

Reforms Instituted

He appointed (GJ)judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city. He said to the judges, “Consider what you are doing, for (GK)you do not judge for mankind but for the Lord who is with you [dc]when you render judgment. Now then, let the fear of the Lord be upon you; be careful [dd]about what you do, for [de]the Lord our God will (GL)have no part in injustice (GM)or partiality, or in the taking of a bribe.”

In Jerusalem Jehoshaphat also appointed some (GN)of the Levites and priests, and some of the heads of the fathers’ households of Israel, for the judgment of the Lord, and [df]to judge disputes among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Then he commanded them, saying, “This is what you shall do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully and wholeheartedly. 10 (GO)Whenever any dispute comes to you from your countrymen who live in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and ordinances, you shall warn them so that they will not be guilty before the Lord, and (GP)wrath will not come on you and your countrymen. This you shall do and you will not be guilty. 11 Behold, Amariah the chief priest will be over you in (GQ)every matter [dg]that pertains to the Lord, and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, in all that pertains to the king. Also the Levites shall be officers before you. [dh](GR)Act resolutely, and may the Lord be with the upright.”

Judah Invaded

20 Now it came about after this, that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the [di](GS)Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from [dj]Aram; and behold, they are in (GT)Hazazon-tamar (that is Engedi).” Jehoshaphat was afraid and [dk](GU)turned his attention to seek the Lord; and he (GV)proclaimed a period of fasting throughout Judah. So Judah gathered together to (GW)seek help from the Lord; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the Lord.

Jehoshaphat’s Prayer

Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord in front of the new courtyard; and he said, “Lord, God of our fathers, (GX)are You not God in the heavens? And (GY)are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. Did You not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land from Your people Israel, and (GZ)give it to the descendants of (HA)Your friend Abraham forever? They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, (HB)If disaster comes upon us, the sword, or judgment, or plague, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for (HC)Your name is in this house), and cry out to You in our distress, and You will hear and save us.’ 10 Now behold, (HD)the sons of Ammon, Moab, and [dl]Mount Seir, (HE)whom You did not allow Israel to invade when they came out of the land of Egypt (for they turned aside from them and did not destroy them), 11 see how they are rewarding us by (HF)coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance. 12 Our God, (HG)will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but (HH)our eyes are on You.”

13 All Judah was standing before the Lord, with their infants, their wives, and their children.

Jahaziel Answers the Prayer

14 Then in the midst of the assembly (HI)the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph; 15 and he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat: This is what the Lord says to you: ‘(HJ)Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for (HK)the battle is not yours but God’s. 16 Tomorrow, go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You need not fight in this battle; take your position, (HL)stand and watch the salvation of the Lord in your behalf, Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow, go out to face them, (HM)for the Lord is with you.”

18 Jehoshaphat (HN)bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. 19 The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and from the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel, with a very loud voice.

Enemies Destroy Themselves

20 They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: (HO)Put your trust in the Lord your God and you will endure. Put your trust in His prophets, and succeed.” 21 When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the Lord and those who (HP)praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “(HQ)Give thanks to the Lord, for His faithfulness is everlasting.” 22 When they began singing and praising, the Lord (HR)set ambushes against the sons of (HS)Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were struck down. 23 For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, completely destroying them; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, (HT)they helped to destroy one another.

24 When Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they turned toward the multitude, and behold, they were corpses lying on the ground, and there was no survivor. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoils, they found much among them, including goods, [dm]garments, and valuable things which they took for themselves, more than they could carry. And they were taking the spoils for three days because there was so much.

Triumphant Return to Jerusalem

26 Then on the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, for they blessed the Lord there. Therefore they have named that place “The Valley of [dn]Beracah” until today. 27 Every man of Judah and Jerusalem returned, with Jehoshaphat at their head, returning to Jerusalem with joy, (HU)for the Lord had helped them to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They came to Jerusalem with harps, lyres, and trumpets, to the house of the Lord. 29 And (HV)the dread of God was on all the kingdoms of the lands when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, (HW)for his God gave him rest on all sides.

31 (HX)Now Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for twenty-five years. And his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 32 He walked in the way of his father Asa and did not deviate from it, doing right in the sight of the Lord. 33 (HY)The high places, however, were not removed; (HZ)the people had not yet directed their hearts to the God of their fathers.

34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first [do]to last, behold, they are written in the annals of (IA)Jehu the son of Hanani, which is [dp]recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel.

Alliance Displeases God

35 (IB)After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel. He acted wickedly [dq]in so doing. 36 So he allied himself with him to make ships to go (IC)to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion-geber. 37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the Lord has destroyed your works.” So the ships were wrecked and could not go to Tarshish.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 8:2 Lit Solomon
  2. 2 Chronicles 8:6 Lit the
  3. 2 Chronicles 8:6 Lit the
  4. 2 Chronicles 8:6 Lit of
  5. 2 Chronicles 8:10 Or deputies
  6. 2 Chronicles 8:11 Lit they are
  7. 2 Chronicles 8:16 As in ancient versions; MT as far as
  8. 2 Chronicles 8:18 About 17 tons or 15 metric tons
  9. 2 Chronicles 9:2 Lit told her all her words
  10. 2 Chronicles 9:2 Lit tell
  11. 2 Chronicles 9:4 Or his burnt offering which he offered
  12. 2 Chronicles 9:5 Lit word
  13. 2 Chronicles 9:6 Lit words
  14. 2 Chronicles 9:7 Or happy
  15. 2 Chronicles 9:7 Or happy
  16. 2 Chronicles 9:9 About 4.5 tons or 4 metric tons
  17. 2 Chronicles 9:13 About 25 tons or 23 metric tons
  18. 2 Chronicles 9:15 Lit he brought up
  19. 2 Chronicles 9:16 Lit he brought up
  20. 2 Chronicles 9:18 Lit hands
  21. 2 Chronicles 9:18 Lit from this and from this at the place of the seat
  22. 2 Chronicles 9:18 Lit hands
  23. 2 Chronicles 9:20 Lit anything
  24. 2 Chronicles 9:27 Heb shephelah
  25. 2 Chronicles 9:29 Lit words
  26. 2 Chronicles 9:29 Heb Jedo
  27. 2 Chronicles 9:31 I.e., died
  28. 2 Chronicles 10:6 Lit stood before
  29. 2 Chronicles 10:8 Lit who stood before
  30. 2 Chronicles 10:11 Prob. a brutal type of whip
  31. 2 Chronicles 10:12 Lit spoken
  32. 2 Chronicles 10:14 Many mss I have made
  33. 2 Chronicles 10:14 Prob. a brutal type of whip
  34. 2 Chronicles 10:18 Lit with stones that he died
  35. 2 Chronicles 11:4 Lit thing
  36. 2 Chronicles 11:16 Lit came after
  37. 2 Chronicles 11:20 In 1 Kin 15:2, Abishalom
  38. 2 Chronicles 11:23 Lit from all
  39. 2 Chronicles 12:5 Lit in the hand of
  40. 2 Chronicles 12:10 Lit hands
  41. 2 Chronicles 12:10 Lit runners
  42. 2 Chronicles 12:11 Lit runners
  43. 2 Chronicles 12:11 Lit runners
  44. 2 Chronicles 12:15 Lit words
  45. 2 Chronicles 12:16 I.e., died
  46. 2 Chronicles 13:2 In 1 Kin 15:2, Maacah the daughter of Abishalom
  47. 2 Chronicles 13:5 Lit to him and to his sons
  48. 2 Chronicles 13:6 Or lord
  49. 2 Chronicles 13:7 Lit Rehoboam
  50. 2 Chronicles 13:8 Lit by the hand of
  51. 2 Chronicles 13:8 Lit and you are a
  52. 2 Chronicles 13:10 Lit in the work
  53. 2 Chronicles 13:11 Lit offer up in smoke
  54. 2 Chronicles 13:14 Lit the battle was in front and behind them
  55. 2 Chronicles 13:15 Lit struck
  56. 2 Chronicles 13:18 Lit were strong
  57. 2 Chronicles 13:19 Another reading is Ephrain
  58. 2 Chronicles 13:22 Heb midrash
  59. 2 Chronicles 14:1 Ch 13:23 in Heb
  60. 2 Chronicles 14:1 I.e., died
  61. 2 Chronicles 14:2 Ch 14:1 in Heb
  62. 2 Chronicles 14:3 I.e., wooden symbols of a female deity (Asherah)
  63. 2 Chronicles 14:4 Lit do the
  64. 2 Chronicles 14:6 Lit no war was with him
  65. 2 Chronicles 14:7 Lit before us
  66. 2 Chronicles 14:10 Lit before him
  67. 2 Chronicles 14:12 Lit struck
  68. 2 Chronicles 14:13 Or there was none left alive
  69. 2 Chronicles 14:14 Lit struck
  70. 2 Chronicles 14:15 Lit tents of livestock
  71. 2 Chronicles 15:2 Lit before Asa
  72. 2 Chronicles 15:5 Lit were on
  73. 2 Chronicles 15:7 Lit let your hands drop
  74. 2 Chronicles 15:8 With several ancient versions; MT the prophecy, Oded the prophet
  75. 2 Chronicles 15:15 Lit with all their whole desire
  76. 2 Chronicles 15:16 Or for Asherah; i.e., a wooden symbol of a female deity
  77. 2 Chronicles 16:1 Lit built
  78. 2 Chronicles 16:3 Lit me and you
  79. 2 Chronicles 16:4 Lit struck
  80. 2 Chronicles 16:4 Lit storage places of the cities
  81. 2 Chronicles 16:5 Lit building
  82. 2 Chronicles 16:6 Lit built
  83. 2 Chronicles 16:10 Lit the house of the stocks
  84. 2 Chronicles 16:13 I.e., died
  85. 2 Chronicles 17:3 Lit walked in the earlier ways of his father
  86. 2 Chronicles 17:4 Lit walked in
  87. 2 Chronicles 17:5 Lit hand
  88. 2 Chronicles 17:6 Lit his heart was high
  89. 2 Chronicles 17:6 I.e., wooden symbols of a female deity (Asherah)
  90. 2 Chronicles 18:4 Lit today
  91. 2 Chronicles 18:5 I.e., official prophets who at that time were false
  92. 2 Chronicles 18:12 Lit of one mouth
  93. 2 Chronicles 18:18 Lit host
  94. 2 Chronicles 18:19 Or persuade
  95. 2 Chronicles 18:20 Or persuade
  96. 2 Chronicles 18:21 Or persuade
  97. 2 Chronicles 18:23 Lit Which way
  98. 2 Chronicles 18:24 Lit inner room
  99. 2 Chronicles 18:26 Lit come in peace
  100. 2 Chronicles 18:27 Lit in peace
  101. 2 Chronicles 18:27 Heb shema
  102. 2 Chronicles 18:33 Lit between the scales and the scale armor
  103. 2 Chronicles 18:33 Lit your hand
  104. 2 Chronicles 19:2 Lit by this
  105. 2 Chronicles 19:3 Lit good things are found
  106. 2 Chronicles 19:3 I.e., wooden symbols of a female deity
  107. 2 Chronicles 19:6 Lit in the word of judgment
  108. 2 Chronicles 19:7 Lit and do
  109. 2 Chronicles 19:7 Lit it is not with the Lord our God
  110. 2 Chronicles 19:8 As in ancient versions; MT for the dispute. And they returned to Jerusalem; or And they lived in Jerusalem
  111. 2 Chronicles 19:11 Lit of
  112. 2 Chronicles 19:11 Lit Be strong and do
  113. 2 Chronicles 20:1 As in LXX; MT Ammonites
  114. 2 Chronicles 20:2 Another reading is Edom
  115. 2 Chronicles 20:3 Lit set his face
  116. 2 Chronicles 20:10 I.e., Edom
  117. 2 Chronicles 20:25 As in several ancient mss; others corpses
  118. 2 Chronicles 20:26 I.e., blessing
  119. 2 Chronicles 20:34 Lit and
  120. 2 Chronicles 20:34 Lit taken up
  121. 2 Chronicles 20:35 Lit to do

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