19 Jehoshaphat king of Judah came back safely to his ·palace [L house] in Jerusalem. 2 Jehu son of Hanani, a ·seer [prophet], went out to meet him and said to the king, “·Why did [Should] you help evil people? ·Why do [Should] you love those who hate the Lord[C a reference to his ill-advised alliance with Ahab]? That is the reason the ·Lord is angry with [wrath of the Lord is on] you. 3 But there is some good in you. You took the Asherah ·idols [poles; 14:3] out of this ·country [land], and you have ·tried to obey [L your heart set on seeking] God.”
Jehoshaphat Chooses Judges
4 Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem. He went out again ·to be with [among] the people, from Beersheba to the mountains of Ephraim, and he ·turned [brought] them back to the Lord, the God of their ·ancestors [fathers]. 5 Jehoshaphat appointed judges in all the land, in each of the ·strong, walled [fortified] cities of Judah. 6 Jehoshaphat said to them, “·Watch [Consider; Think carefully about] what you do, because you are not judging ·for [for the sake of] people but for the Lord. He will be with you when you ·make a decision [give a verdict; pronounce judgment]. 7 Now let each of you ·fear [respect] the Lord[Prov. 1:7] ·Watch what you do [Judge/Decide carefully/with integrity], because the Lord our God ·wants people to be fair [does not tolerate injustice/unrighteousness…]. ·He wants all people to be treated the same […or partiality], ·and he doesn’t want decisions influenced by money […or taking of bribes].”
8 And in Jerusalem Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, priests, and ·leaders [heads] of Israelite ·families [clans] to be judges. They were to ·decide [judge] cases about the law of the Lord and settle ·problems [disputes] between the people who lived in Jerusalem. 9 Jehoshaphat ·commanded [instructed; charged] them, “You must ·always serve the Lord completely [act faithfully and wholeheartedly], and you must fear him. 10 Your ·people [kinsmen; brothers] living in the cities will bring you cases about ·killing [murder; violent crime; L between blood pertaining to blood], about the ·teachings [laws], commands, rules, or some other ·law [regulation]. In all these cases you must warn the people not to sin against the Lord. If you don’t, ·he will be angry with [wrath will come on] you and your ·people [kinsmen; brothers]. But if you warn them, you won’t ·be guilty [sin].
11 “Amariah, the ·leading [chief; high] priest, will be over you in all cases about the Lord[C in matters of God’s law]. Zebadiah son of Ishmael, a leader in the ·tribe [L house] of Judah, will be over you in all cases about the king [C civil cases]. Also, the Levites will serve as ·officers [officials; C of the court] for you. Have ·courage [confidence]. May the Lord be with those who do what is right.”
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