20 After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites[a] declared war on Jehoshaphat.2 Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom[b] is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea.[c] They are already at Hazazon-tamar.” (This was another name for En-gedi.)
3 Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting.4 So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help.
5 Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the Lord.6 He prayed, “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!7 O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham?8 Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name.9 They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war,[d] plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.’
10 “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing. You would not let our ancestors invade those nations when Israel left Egypt, so they went around them and did not destroy them.11 Now see how they reward us! For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance.12 O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”
13 As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children,14 the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.
20:1As in some Greek manuscripts (see also 26:7); Hebrew repeats Ammonites.
20:2aAs in one Hebrew manuscript; most Hebrew manuscripts and ancient versions read Aram.
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