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King Jehoshaphat Defeats Judah’s Enemies

20 Later the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites[a] came to wage war against Jehoshaphat. Some men reported to Jehoshaphat, “A large crowd is coming against you from the other side of the Dead Sea, from Edom.[b] The crowd is already in Hazazon Tamar” (also called En Gedi).

Frightened, Jehoshaphat decided to ask for Yahweh’s help. He announced a fast throughout Judah. The people of Judah gathered to seek Yahweh’s help. They came from every city in Judah.

In the new courtyard at Yahweh’s temple, Jehoshaphat stood in front of the people. He said, “Yahweh Elohim of our ancestors, aren’t you the Elohim in heaven? You rule all the kingdoms of the nations. You possess power and might, and no one can oppose you. Didn’t you, our Elohim, force those who were living in this country out of Israel’s way? Didn’t you give this country to the descendants of your friend Abraham to have permanently? His descendants have lived in it and built a holy temple for your name in it. They said, ‘If evil comes in the form of war, flood,[c] plague, or famine, we will stand in front of this temple and in front of you because your name is in this temple. We will cry out to you in our troubles, and you will hear us and save us.’

10 “The Ammonites, Moabites, and the people of Mount Seir have come here. However, you didn’t let Israel invade them when they came out of Egypt. The Israelites turned away from them and didn’t destroy them. 11 They are now paying us back by coming to force us out of your land that you gave to us. 12 You’re our Elohim. Won’t you judge them? We don’t have the strength to face this large crowd that is attacking us. We don’t know what to do, so we’re looking to you.”

13 All the people from Judah, their infants, wives, and children were standing in front of Yahweh. 14 Then the Ruach Yahweh came to Jahaziel. (He was the son of Zechariah, grandson of Benaiah, great-grandson of Jeiel, whose father was Mattaniah, a Levite descended from Asaph.) 15 Jahaziel said, “Pay attention to me, everyone from Judah, everyone living in Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat. This is what Yahweh says to you: Don’t be frightened or terrified by this large crowd. The battle isn’t yours. It’s Elohim’s. 16 Tomorrow go into battle against them. They will be coming up the Ziz Pass. You will find them at the end of the valley in front of the Jeruel Desert. 17 You won’t fight this battle. Instead, take your position, stand still, and see the victory of Yahweh for you, Judah and Jerusalem. Don’t be frightened or terrified. Tomorrow go out to face them. Yahweh is with you.”

18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face touching the ground. Everyone from Judah and the people who lived in Jerusalem immediately bowed down in front of Yahweh. 19 The Levites, descendants of Kohath and Korah, stood up to praise Yahweh Elohim of Israel with very loud songs.

20 They got up early in the morning and went to the desert of Tekoa. As they were leaving, Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem. Trust Yahweh your Elohim, and believe. Believe his prophets, and you will succeed.”

21 After he had advised the people, he appointed people to sing to Yahweh and praise him for the beauty of his holiness. As they went in front of the troops, they sang, “Thank Yahweh because his mercy endures forever!” 22 As they started to sing praises, Yahweh set ambushes against the Ammonites, Moabites, and the people of Mount Seir who had come into Judah. They were defeated. 23 Then the Ammonites and Moabites attacked the people from Mount Seir and annihilated them. After they had finished off the people of Seir, they helped destroy one another.

24 The people of Judah went to the watchtower in the desert and looked for the crowd. Corpses were lying on the ground. No one had escaped. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his troops came to take the loot, they found among them a lot of goods, clothes,[d] and valuables. They found more than they could carry. They spent three days collecting the loot. 26 On the fourth day they gathered in the valley of Beracah. Because they thanked Yahweh there, that place is still called the valley of Beracah [Thanks] today.

27 All the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned to Jerusalem. They rejoiced while Jehoshaphat led them. Yahweh gave them a reason to rejoice about what had happened to their enemies. 28 So they brought harps, lyres, and trumpets to Yahweh’s temple in Jerusalem.

29 The fear of Elohim came over the kingdoms in that area when they heard how Yahweh waged war against Israel’s enemies. 30 Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was peaceful, since his Elohim surrounded him with peace.

Summary of Jehoshaphat’s Reign(A)

31 Jehoshaphat ruled as king of Judah. He was 35 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 25 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah, daughter of Shilhi. 32 Jehoshaphat carefully followed the example his father Asa had set and did what Yahweh considered right. 33 But the illegal worship sites on the hills were not torn down. The people still didn’t have their hearts set on the Elohim of their ancestors.

34 Everything else about Jehoshaphat from first to last is written in the records of Jehu, son of Hanani, which is included in the Book of the Kings of Israel.

35 After this, King Jehoshaphat of Judah allied himself with King Ahaziah of Israel, who led him to do evil. 36 Jehoshaphat joined him in making ships to go to Tarshish. They made the ships in Ezion Geber. 37 Then Eliezer, son of Dodavahu from Mareshah, prophesied against Jehoshaphat. He said, “Yahweh will destroy your work because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah.” So the ships were wrecked and couldn’t go to Tarshish.


  1. 2 Chronicles 20:1 Greek; Masoretic Text “and some of the Ammonites.”
  2. 2 Chronicles 20:2 One Hebrew manuscript, Latin; other Hebrew manuscripts “Aram.”
  3. 2 Chronicles 20:9 Greek; Masoretic Text “judgment.”
  4. 2 Chronicles 20:25 Latin; Masoretic Text “corpses.”