Add parallel Print Page Options

14 King Abijah was buried in Jerusalem. Then his son Asa became the new king of Judah, and there was peace in the land for the first ten years of his reign, for Asa was careful to obey the Lord his God. He demolished the heathen altars on the hills, and broke down the obelisks, and chopped down the shameful Asherim idols, and demanded that the entire nation obey the commandments of the Lord God of their ancestors. Also, he removed the sun images from the hills and the incense altars from every one of Judah’s cities. That is why God gave his kingdom peace. This made it possible for him to build walled cities throughout Judah.

“Now is the time to do it, while the Lord is blessing us with peace because of our obedience to him,” he told his people. “Let us build and fortify cities now, with walls, towers, gates, and bars.” So they went ahead with these projects very successfully.

King Asa’s Judean army was 300,000 strong, equipped with light shields and spears. His army of Benjaminites numbered 280,000, armed with large shields and bows. Both armies were composed of well-trained, brave men.

9-10 But now he was attacked by an army of 1,000,000 troops from Ethiopia with 300 chariots, under the leadership of General Zerah. They advanced to the city of Mareshah, in the valley of Zephathah, and King Asa sent his troops to battle with them there.

11 “O Lord,” he cried out to God, “no one else can help us! Here we are, powerless against this mighty army. Oh, help us, Lord our God! For we trust in you alone to rescue us, and in your name we attack this vast horde. Don’t let mere men defeat you!”

12 Then the Lord defeated the Ethiopians, and Asa and the army of Judah triumphed as the Ethiopians fled. 13 They chased them as far as Gerar, and the entire Ethiopian army was wiped out so that not one man remained; for the Lord and his army destroyed them all. Then the army of Judah carried off vast quantities of plunder. 14 While they were at Gerar they attacked all the cities in that area, and terror from the Lord came upon the residents. As a result, additional vast quantities of plunder were collected from these cities too. 15 They not only plundered the cities but destroyed the cattle tents and captured great herds of sheep and camels before finally returning to Jerusalem.

Bible Gateway Recommends