Asa’s Last Years(A)(B)

16 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha(C) king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.

Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus.(D) “Let there be a treaty(E) between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.”

Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. They conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim[a] and all the store cities of Naphtali.(F) When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and abandoned his work. Then King Asa brought all the men of Judah, and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using. With them he built up Geba and Mizpah.(G)

At that time Hanani(H) the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied(I) on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushites[b](J) and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers(K) of chariots and horsemen[c]? Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered(L) them into your hand. For the eyes(M) of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish(N) thing, and from now on you will be at war.(O)

10 Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison.(P) At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.

11 The events of Asa’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted(Q) with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek(R) help from the Lord,(S) but only from the physicians. 13 Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his ancestors. 14 They buried him in the tomb that he had cut out for himself(T) in the City of David. They laid him on a bier covered with spices and various blended perfumes,(U) and they made a huge fire(V) in his honor.

Jehoshaphat King of Judah

17 Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king and strengthened(W) himself against Israel. He stationed troops in all the fortified cities(X) of Judah and put garrisons in Judah and in the towns of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.(Y)

The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the ways of his father David(Z) before him. He did not consult the Baals but sought(AA) the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel. The Lord established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts(AB) to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honor.(AC) His heart was devoted(AD) to the ways of the Lord; furthermore, he removed the high places(AE) and the Asherah poles(AF) from Judah.(AG)

In the third year of his reign he sent his officials Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah to teach(AH) in the towns of Judah. With them were certain Levites(AI)—Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah—and the priests Elishama and Jehoram. They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law(AJ) of the Lord; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people.

10 The fear(AK) of the Lord fell on all the kingdoms of the lands surrounding Judah, so that they did not go to war against Jehoshaphat. 11 Some Philistines brought Jehoshaphat gifts and silver as tribute, and the Arabs(AL) brought him flocks:(AM) seven thousand seven hundred rams and seven thousand seven hundred goats.

12 Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful; he built forts and store cities in Judah 13 and had large supplies in the towns of Judah. He also kept experienced fighting men in Jerusalem. 14 Their enrollment(AN) by families was as follows:

From Judah, commanders of units of 1,000:

Adnah the commander, with 300,000 fighting men;

15 next, Jehohanan the commander, with 280,000;

16 next, Amasiah son of Zikri, who volunteered(AO) himself for the service of the Lord, with 200,000.

17 From Benjamin:(AP)

Eliada, a valiant soldier, with 200,000 men armed with bows and shields;

18 next, Jehozabad, with 180,000 men armed for battle.

19 These were the men who served the king, besides those he stationed in the fortified cities(AQ) throughout Judah.(AR)

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 16:4 Also known as Abel Beth Maakah
  2. 2 Chronicles 16:8 That is, people from the upper Nile region
  3. 2 Chronicles 16:8 Or charioteers