17 Jehoshaphat, Asa’s son, became king of Judah in Asa’s place. Jehoshaphat made Judah strong so they could fight against Israel. 2 He put troops in all the strong, walled cities of Judah. And he put troops in Judah and in the towns of Ephraim his father Asa had captured.
3 The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he did good things. He lived as his father Asa did when he first became king. Jehoshaphat did not ask for help from the Baal idols. 4 He asked for help from the God his father had followed. He obeyed God’s commands. He did not live as the people of Israel lived. 5 The Lord made Jehoshaphat a strong king over Judah. All the people of Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat. So he had much wealth and honor. 6 He wanted very much to obey the Lord. He also removed the places for worshiping false gods and the Asherah idols from Judah.
7 Jehoshaphat sent his officers to teach in the towns of Judah. This happened in the third year of his rule. These officers were Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah. 8 Jehoshaphat sent with them these Levites: Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah. He also sent the priests Elishama and Jehoram. 9 These leaders, Levites and priests taught the people in Judah. They took the Book of the Teachings of the Lord with them. And they went through all the towns of Judah and taught the people.
10 The nations near Judah were afraid of the Lord. So they did not start a war against Jehoshaphat. 11 Some of the Philistines brought gifts and silver to Jehoshaphat as forced payments. Some Arabs brought him flocks. They brought him 7,700 male sheep and 7,700 goats.
12 Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful. He built strong, walled cities and storage towns in Judah. 13 He kept many supplies in the towns of Judah. And he kept trained soldiers in Jerusalem. 14 These soldiers were listed by families.
From the families of Judah, these were the commanders of groups of 1,000 men: Adnah was the commander of 300,000 soldiers. 15 Jehohanan was the commander of 280,000 soldiers. 16 And Amasiah was the commander of 200,000 soldiers. Amasiah son of Zicri had volunteered to serve the Lord.
17 These were the commanders from the families of Benjamin: Eliada had 200,000 soldiers who used bows and shields. Eliada was a brave soldier. 18 And Jehozabad had 180,000 men armed for war.
19 All these soldiers served King Jehoshaphat. The king also put other men in the strong, walled cities through all of Judah.
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