17 Then Jehoshaphat, Asa’s son, became the next king. He strengthened Judah to stand against any attack from Israel.2 He stationed troops in all the fortified towns of Judah, and he assigned additional garrisons to the land of Judah and to the towns of Ephraim that his father, Asa, had captured.
3 The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father’s early years[a] and did not worship the images of Baal.4 He sought his father’s God and obeyed his commands instead of following the evil practices of the kingdom of Israel.5 So the Lord established Jehoshaphat’s control over the kingdom of Judah. All the people of Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so he became very wealthy and highly esteemed.6 He was deeply committed to[b] the ways of the Lord. He removed the pagan shrines and Asherah poles from Judah.
7 In the third year of his reign Jehoshaphat sent his officials to teach in all the towns of Judah. These officials included Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah.8 He sent Levites along with them, including Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-Adonijah. He also sent out the priests Elishama and Jehoram.9 They took copies of the Book of the Law of the Lord and traveled around through all the towns of Judah, teaching the people.
10 Then the fear of the Lord fell over all the surrounding kingdoms so that none of them wanted to declare war on Jehoshaphat.11 Some of the Philistines brought him gifts and silver as tribute, and the Arabs brought 7,700 rams and 7,700 male goats.
12 So Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful and built fortresses and storage cities throughout Judah.13 He stored numerous supplies in Judah’s towns and stationed an army of seasoned troops at Jerusalem.14 His army was enrolled according to ancestral clans.
From Judah there were 300,000 troops organized in units of 1,000, under the command of Adnah.15 Next in command was Jehohanan, who commanded 280,000 troops.16 Next was Amasiah son of Zicri, who volunteered for the Lord’s service, with 200,000 troops under his command.
17 From Benjamin there were 200,000 troops equipped with bows and shields. They were under the command of Eliada, a veteran soldier.18 Next in command was Jehozabad, who commanded 180,000 armed men.
19 These were the troops stationed in Jerusalem to serve the king, besides those Jehoshaphat stationed in the fortified towns throughout Judah.
17:3Some Hebrew manuscripts read the example of his father, David.
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