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Jehoshaphat Faces War

20 Later the Moabites, Ammonites, and some Meunites came to start a war with Jehoshaphat. Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A ·large army [vast horde; T great multitude] is coming against you from ·Edom [L beyond the sea; C the Dead Sea]. They are already in Hazazon Tamar (that is, En Gedi)!” Jehoshaphat was ·afraid [alarmed], so he decided to ·ask the Lord what to do [seek the Lord]. He announced that everyone in Judah should fast. The people of Judah ·came together [assembled] to ·ask the Lord for help [seek the Lord]; they came from every town in Judah.

The ·people [assembly] of Judah and Jerusalem met in front of the new courtyard in the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. Then Jehoshaphat stood up, and he said, “Lord, God of our ·ancestors [fathers], ·you are the [L are you not…?] God in heaven. ·You [L Do you not…?] rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. You have power and strength in your hand, so no one can ·stand against [withstand; resist] you. Our God, ·you forced [L did you not drive…?] out the people who lived in this land ·as your people Israel moved in [before your people Israel]. And you gave this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham. They lived in this land and built a ·Temple [sanctuary here] for ·you [L your name]. They said, ‘If ·trouble [disaster; evil] comes upon us, or ·war [L the sword], ·punishment [judgment; C this term should perhaps be combined with the previous one to read “the sword of judgment”], ·sickness [plague; pestilence], or ·hunger [famine], we will stand before you and before this ·Temple [L house] ·where you have chosen to be worshiped [for your name is in this house]. We will cry out to you ·when we are in trouble [in our distress]. Then you will hear and ·save [rescue; T deliver] us.’

10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab, and ·Edom [L Mount Seir]. You wouldn’t let the Israelites ·enter [invade] their lands when the Israelites came from Egypt. So the Israelites ·turned away [bypassed/went around them] and did not destroy them. 11 But see how they repay us! They have come to force us out of your ·land [possession], which you gave us as our ·own [inheritance]. 12 Our God, ·punish those people [will you not judge them?]. We have no power against this ·large army [vast horde; T great multitude] that is attacking us. We don’t know what to do, so ·we look to you for help [L our eyes are on you].”

13 All the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their babies, wives, and children. 14 Then the Spirit of the Lord ·entered [came on] Jahaziel. (Jahaziel was Zechariah’s son. Zechariah was Benaiah’s son. Benaiah was Jeiel’s son, and Jeiel was Mattaniah’s son.) Jahaziel, a Levite and a descendant of Asaph, stood up in the ·meeting [assembly]. 15 He said, “Listen to me, King Jehoshaphat and all you people living in Judah and Jerusalem. ·The Lord says this [T Thus says the Lord] to you: ‘Don’t be afraid or ·discouraged [dismayed] because of this ·large army [vast horde; T great multitude]. The battle is not your battle, it is God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down ·there and fight those people [L against them]. They will come up through the ·Pass [ascent] of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the ·ravine [valley] that ·leads [opens] to the ·Desert [wilderness] of Jeruel. 17 You won’t need to fight in this battle. Just ·stand strong in your places [take your positions], and you will see the ·Lord save you [salvation/deliverance/rescue of the Lord]. Judah and Jerusalem, don’t be afraid or ·discouraged [dismayed], because the Lord is with you. So go out ·against those people [to face them] tomorrow.’”

18 Jehoshaphat bowed facedown on the ground. All the people of Judah and Jerusalem bowed down before the Lord and worshiped him. 19 Then some Levites from the Kohathite and Korahite people stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with very loud ·voices [shouts].

20 Jehoshaphat’s army went out into the ·Desert [wilderness] of Tekoa early in the morning. As they were starting out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, people of Judah and Jerusalem. ·Have faith [Trust; Believe] in the Lord your God, and you will ·stand strong [be secure/safe/T established]. ·Have faith [Trust; Believe] in his prophets, and you will succeed.” 21 Jehoshaphat ·listened to the advice of [consulted/conferred with] the people. Then he ·chose [appointed] men to be singers to the Lord, to praise him ·because he is holy and wonderful [for his holy splendor; or in their holy/sacred vestments/robes]. As they ·marched in front [went ahead] of the army, they said,

“·Thank [Give thanks to; Praise] the Lord,
    because his ·love [unfailing love; lovingkindness; loyalty] ·continues [endures] forever [Ps. 136].”

22 As they began to sing and praise God, the Lord set ambushes for the people of Ammon, Moab, and ·Edom [L Mount Seir] who had come to attack Judah. And they were ·defeated [routed]. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites attacked ·the Edomites [L those from Mount Seir], ·destroying [annihilating] them completely. After they had ·killed [finished off] the Edomites, they killed each other.

24 When the men from Judah came to ·a place where they could see [the lookout point in] the ·desert [wilderness], they looked ·at the enemy’s large army [toward the vast horde; T great multitude]. But they only saw ·dead bodies [corpses] lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his army came to ·take [gather; carry off] their ·valuables [plunder; spoil; booty], they found many supplies, much clothing, and other valuable things. There was more than they could carry away; there was so much it took three days to gather it all. 26 On the fourth day Jehoshaphat and his army met in the Valley of Beracah [C “blessing”] and ·praised [blessed] the Lord. That is why that place has been called the Valley of Beracah [C “blessing”] to this day.

27 Then Jehoshaphat led all the men from Judah and Jerusalem back to Jerusalem. The Lord had ·made them happy because their enemies were defeated [given them cause to rejoice over their enemies]. 28 They entered Jerusalem with harps, lyres, and trumpets and went to the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord.

29 When all the kingdoms of the lands around them heard how the Lord had fought Israel’s enemies, ·they feared God [L the terror/dread of God came upon them]. 30 So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at ·peace [rest]. His God gave him ·peace from all the countries around him [L rest on every side].

Jehoshaphat’s Rule Ends(A)

31 Jehoshaphat ·ruled [reigned] over the country of Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he ·ruled [reigned] in Jerusalem for twenty-five years. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. 32 Jehoshaphat ·was good like [L walked in the way of] his father Asa, and he did what ·the Lord said was right [L was right/pleasing in the eyes/sight of the Lord]. 33 But the ·places where gods were worshiped [L high places; 11:15] were not removed, and the people ·did not really want to follow [had not committed/devoted themselves to; had not set their hearts on] the God of their ·ancestors [fathers].

34 The other things Jehoshaphat did as king, from ·the beginning to the end [first to last], ·are [are they not…?] written in the records of Jehu son of Hanani, which are in the ·book [scroll] of the kings of Israel.

35 Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made a ·treaty [alliance] with Ahaziah king of Israel, which was a ·wrong [wicked; evil] thing to do. 36 Jehoshaphat agreed with Ahaziah to build ·trading ships [L ships to go to Tarshish; C in present-day Spain, hence a large, seagoing trading ship], which they built in the town of Ezion Geber. 37 Then Eliezer son of Dodavahu from the town of Mareshah ·spoke [prophesied] against Jehoshaphat. He said, “Jehoshaphat, because you ·joined [allied] with Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy what you have made.” The ships were wrecked so they could not sail out to trade.