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Jehosaphat Restores Judah to Torah

17 Jehoshaphat his son became king in his place and took firm hold of his position against Israel. He stationed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah and set garrisons throughout the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.

Adonai was with Jehoshaphat because he walked in the first ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baalim but sought the God of his father, and walked in His mitzvot rather than the deeds of Israel. So Adonai established the kingdom in his hand, and all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat so that he had great riches and honor. His heart was devoted to the ways of Adonai. Furthermore he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah.

Then in the third year of his reign he sent his officials—Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah—to teach in the towns of Judah. With them were the Levites Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-adonijah and with them Elishama and Jehoram the kohanim. They taught throughout Judah, having with them a Torah scroll of Adonai. They went throughout all the towns of Judah and taught the people.

10 Now the fear of Adonai fell on all the kingdoms of the lands around Judah, so that they did not make war with Jehoshaphat. 11 Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents and silver for tribute. The Arabs also brought him flocks—7,700 rams and 7,700 he-goats.

12 So Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful. He built forts and storage cities in Judah 13 and carried out extensive work in the cities of Judah. He had men of war, valiant warriors, in Jerusalem.

14 These were their appointees according to their clans. From Judah, captains of thousands: Adnah the commander with 300,000 valiant warriors; 15 and next to him Jehohanan the commander with 280,000; 16 and next to him, Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself to Adonai with 200,000 valiant warriors.

17 From Benjamin: Eliada a valiant warrior with 200,000 men armed with bow and shield; 18 and next to him Jehozabad with 180,000 equipped for war.

19 These were the men who served the king besides those whom the king stationed in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.

Prophecy of the Deceiving Spirit

18 Now Jehoshaphat had wealth and honor in abundance but he allied himself with Ahab by marriage. Some years later he went down to visit Ahab in Samaria. Ahab slaughtered many sheep and bulls for him and the people with him, and urged him to march with him against Ramoth-gilead.

King Ahab of Israel asked King Jehoshaphat of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth-gilead?”

He replied, “I am as you are and my people as your people, and we will be with you in battle.”

Jehoshaphat then said to the king of Israel, “Please, let us seek, today, the word of Adonai.”

So the king of Israel assembled the prophets—400 men—and asked them, “Should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I hold off?”

They answered, “Go up, for God will give it into the king’s hand!”

But Jehoshaphat asked, “Isn’t there another prophet of Adonai here of whom we should inquire?”

The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man through whom we can inquire of Adonai—but I hate him, because he has never prophesied anything good about me but always evil. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”

But Jehoshaphat said, “May the king never say such a thing.”

So the king of Israel called an official and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah quickly!”

Now the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah, wearing their robes, were sitting on their thrones on the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria with all the prophets prophesying before them. 10 Zedekiah son of Henaanah made for himself iron horns and declared, “Thus says Adonai, ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are exterminated!’”

11 All the other prophets were prophesying similarly, saying “March against Ramoth-gilead and succeed, for Adonai will give it into the hand of the king.”

12 Now the messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Look, the words of the prophets are unanimously favorable to the king. So please let your word be like one of them and speak favorably.”

13 But Micaiah replied, “As Adonai lives, what my God says that is what I will say.”

14 When he came to the king, the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I hold off?”

He replied, “March and be victorious! They will be given into your hand!”

15 But the king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the Name of Adonai?”

16 So he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd,[a] and Adonai said, ‘These have no master—let each man return home in shalom.”

17 So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies good about me, only evil?”

18 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of Adonai. I saw Adonai sitting on His throne with the whole host of heaven standing on His right and on His left. 19 And Adonai said: ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’

Then one said this and another said that, 20 until a spirit came forward and stood before Adonai and said, ‘I will entice him.’

So Adonai said to him, ‘How?’

21 He answered, ‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’

Then He said, ‘You will entice him and you will also succeed. Go and do so.’

22 So now, behold, Adonai has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these prophets of yours and Adonai has decreed disaster against you.”

23 Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah approached Micaiah, slapped him on the cheek and said, “How did the spirit of Adonai pass over me to speak to you?”

24 Micaiah replied, “Behold, you will see on the day that you go to hide in an inner room.”

25 Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and turn him over to Amon, governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son, 26 and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this fellow in prison and make him eat the bread and water of affliction—until I return in shalom.”’”

27 Then Micaiah said, “If you ever return in shalom, Adonai has not spoken through me.” He added: “Listen, all you people!”

Ahab Dies in Battle

28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah marched against Ramoth-gilead. 29 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into the battle, but you put on your robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and they went into the battle.

30 Now the king of Aram had already ordered his chariot commanders saying: “Don’t attack anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel alone.”

31 So when the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat they thought, “This is the king of Israel.” So they turned to attack him but Jehoshaphat cried out. Adonai helped him and God diverted them from him. 32 When the chariot commanders realized that he was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.

33 But a man drew his bow aimlessly and struck the king of Israel between the lower armor and the breastplate. The king said to the charioteer, “Turn around and take me out of the battle, for I am wounded.”

34 The battle raged that day and the king of Israel remained propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans until dusk. Then at sunset he died.

Jehoshaphat’s Judicial Reforms

19 Then King Jehoshaphat of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem. Jehu son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate Adonai? Because of this, wrath from before Adonai is against you. Nevertheless, good things are found in you, for you have removed the Asherah poles out of the land and have set your heart to seek God.”

Jehoshaphat dwelt in Jerusalem and he went out again among the people from Beer-sheba over to the hill country of Ephraim and brought them back to Adonai, the God of their fathers. He also appointed judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city. He said to the judges. “Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for Adonai who is with you when you pass judgment. Now then, let the fear of Adonai be upon you. Be very careful what you do, for there is no injustice or favoritism or bribe-taking with Adonai Eloheinu.”

In Jerusalem also, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, kohanim and the leading patriarchs of Israel to render the judgment of Adonai and to settle disputes among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

He charged them saying, “This is how you shall act: in the fear of Adonai, faithfully and wholeheartedly. 10 When any dispute comes to you from your kinsmen who live in their cities, whether bloodshed, or concerning Torah, mitzvot, statutes or ordinances, you must warn them so that they will not be guilty before Adonai. Otherwise wrath will come upon you and your kinsmen. Act accordingly and you will not be guilty.

11 “Behold, Amariah the chief kohen will be over you in all matters pertaining to Adonai, and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the House of Judah, in all the matters pertaining to the king. Also the Levites will serve as officials before you. Act courageously and may Adonai be with the good.”

Jehoshaphat’s Prayer and the Valley of Bracha

20 Now it happened after this that the Moabites and the Ammonites together with other Ammonites came to make war against Jehoshaphat. Some came and reported to Jehoshaphat saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Aram, and are already in Hazazon-Tamar” (that is En-Gedi).

Jehoshaphat was afraid so he resolved to seek Adonai, and he proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. Judah assembled to seek help from Adonai; indeed, they came from all the cities of Judah to seek Adonai.

Then Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem in the House of Adonai in front of the new courtyard and said:

Adonai, God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in Your hand and no one can stand against You. Are You not our God who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and gave it to the descendants of Your friend Abraham forever? They settled in it and built You a Temple there for Your Name saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us—the sword of judgment, pestilence or famine—we will stand before this House and before You—for Your Name is in this House—and cry to You in our distress and You will hear and deliver us.’

10 “Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir—whose land You did not allow Israel to invade when they came from the land of Egypt, instead they turned aside from them and did not destroy them— 11 now behold, how they repay us by coming to drive us out of Your possession that You gave us as an inheritance. 12 Our God, will You not execute judgment on them? For we have no power to face this great multitude that is attacking us. We do not know what to do—but our eyes are on You.”

13 All Judah was standing before Adonai with their infants, their wives and their children.

14 Then in the midst of the congregation, the Ruach Adonai came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah the Levite, of the sons of Asaph, 15 and he said:

“Listen all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat. Thus Adonai says to you, ‘Do not be afraid or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them as they come up the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not fight in this battle. Take your positions, stand and see the salvation of Adonai with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or be dismayed. Tomorrow go out to face them, for Adonai is with you.’”

18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before Adonai to worship Adonai. 19 Levites, from the sons of Kohath and the sons of Korah, stood up to praise Adonai, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.

20 Early in the morning they arose and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. As they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in Adonai your God and you will be confirmed. Trust in His prophets and you will succeed.” 21 After consulting with the people, he appointed singers to Adonai praising the splendor of His holiness, as they went out before the army saying,

“Praise Adonai,

`for His mercy endures forever.”

22 As they began singing and praising, Adonai set ambushes against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir who had come against Judah, and they were defeated. 23 For the Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to exterminate and annihilate them. When they had exterminated the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

24 When Judah came to the lookout in the wilderness and looked for the multitude, behold, only corpses were lying on the ground—no one had escaped. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his people went to take the plunder, they found an abundance of goods, clothing and precious articles, which they pillaged, more than they could carry away. For three days they were taking the plunder because there was so much. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the valley of Bracha[b] where they blessed Adonai. That is why the name of that place is called the Valley of Bracha to this day.

27 Then every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat at their head, returned joyfully to Jerusalem for Adonai had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They came to Jerusalem to the House of Adonai with harps, lyres and trumpets. 29 So the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of the region because they heard that Adonai had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was untroubled for his God gave him rest all around.

Jehoshaphat’s Last Days

31 Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was 35 years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for 25 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shlihi. 32 He walked in the way of his father Asa and did not stray from it, doing what was right in the eyes of Adonai. 33 However, the high places were not removed, nor did the people direct their hearts to the God of their fathers.

34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, from beginning to end, behold, they are written in the annals of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is included in the book of the kings of Israel.

35 Afterward, King Jehoshaphat of Judah allied himself with King Ahaziah of Israel, thereby acting wickedly. 36 He joined with him to construct ships to go to Tarshish, and they constructed the ships in Ezion-geber.

37 Then Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, Adonai will break up your works.” So the ships were wrecked and were not able to go to Tarshish.

Jehoram Slays His Brothers

21 Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. Jehoram his son became king in his place. His brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat, were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah—all these were the sons of King Jehoshaphat of Israel. Their father had given them great gifts of silver, gold and precious things, along with fortified cities in Judah, but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram because he was the firstborn.

Now when Jehoram had risen over his father’s kingdom and made himself strong, he slew all his brothers with the sword, along with some of the officers of Israel. Jehoram was 32 years old when he became king and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab did (for Ahab’s daughter was his wife), and he did evil in the eyes of Adonai. However, Adonai was not willing to destroy the house of David because of the covenant He had made with David, and since He had spoken a word to give a lamp to him and his sons always.

In his days Edom rebelled against Judah’s rule and set up a king over themselves. So Jehoram crossed over with his officers and all his chariots with him. He rose up by night and struck the Edomites who were surrounding him and the chariot commanders. 10 Thus Edom has been in rebellion against Judah to this day. Then Libnah also revolted from under his hand at that time—because he had forsaken Adonai, the God of his fathers. 11 Moreover, he built high places on the mountains of Judah and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot and led Judah astray.

Elijah’s Letter of Judgment

12 A letter from Elijah the prophet came to him saying:

“Thus says Adonai, the God of your father David: Since you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, leading Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem into prostitution just as the house of Ahab committed prostitution and you have also slain your brothers—your own family, who were better than you— 14 behold, Adonai is going to strike your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions with a monumental catastrophe. 15 You yourself will be striken by multiple illnesses of your intestines, day after day, until your intestines drop out because of the illness.”

16 Then Adonai stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabs that neighbored the Cushites. 17 They rose up against Judah, invaded it and carried away all the possessions found in the royal palace, as well as his sons and his wives. No son was left to him except Jehoahaz, his youngest.

18 After all this, Adonai smote his intestines with an incurable disease, 19 and it continued day after day for two years, so that at the end his bowels fell out because of his sickness and he died in great agonies. His people made no fire in his honor like the fire of his fathers. 20 He was 32 years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years and he passed away, to no one’s regret. He was buried in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

Ahaziah Falls with Ahab

22 Then the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, king in his place for the troops that invaded the camp with the Arabians had slain all the older ones. Thus Ahaziah the son of Jehoram became king over Judah. Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king and he reigned in Jerusalem one year. His mother’s name was Athaliah the daughter of Omri. He too walked in the ways of the house of Ahab for his mother counseled him to do evil. He did evil in the sight of Adonai, like the house of Ahab, for they were his counselors after his father’s death—to his destruction. He also followed their counsel when he went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to wage war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth-gilead. The Arameans wounded Joram, so he returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds inflicted on him at Ramah when he fought Hazael king of Aram. Then Azariah, the son of Jehoram king of Judah, went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he had been wounded.

Now through his coming to Joram, God brought about Ahaziah’s downfall. Upon his arrival, Ahaziah went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom Adonai had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab. So it came to pass that when Jehu was executing judgment upon the house of Ahab, he came upon the officers of Judah and Azaiah’s relatives, who had been attending Azaiah, and slew them. He then searched for Azaiah who was caught hiding in Samaria. Then they brought him to Jehu, put him to death and buried him, for they said, “He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought Adonai with all his heart.” Then there was no one in the house of Azaiah to hold power over the kingdom.

Athaliah and Joash

10 Now when Athaliah, Azaiah’s mother, saw that her son had died, she arose and destroyed all the royal offspring of the house of Judah. 11 But Jehoshebeath, the king’s daughter, took Joash the son of Azaiah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being slain, and put him and his nurse in the bedroom. Because Jehoshebaeath, daughter of King Jehoram and wife of Jehoiada the kohen, was the sister of Azaiah, she could hide him from Athaliah so she could not kill him. 12 He remained hidden with them in the House of God for six years while Athaliah reigned over the land.

23 Now in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself and brought the officers of hundreds—Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri—into a covenant with him. They went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah and the leading patriarchs of Israel. They came to Jerusalem and the entire congregation made a covenant with the king in the House of God. Then he said to them:

“Behold, the king’s son! He must reign as Adonai promised concerning David’s sons. This is what you should do: a third of you, kohanim and Levites coming on duty on Shabbat will keep watch at the gates, a third of you shall be in the royal palace, and a third at the Foundation Gate, and all the people shall be in the courtyard, and all the people should be in the courtyard of the House of Adonai. But let no one enter into the House of Adonai except the kohanim and the ministering Levites. They may come in, for they are kadosh, and let all the people observe the service of Adonai. The Levites will surround the king on all sides, every man with his weapons in his hand, and whoever enters the House, let him be killed. Stay close to the king in his comings and goings.”

So the Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the kohen commanded. Each took his men, those that were on duty on Shabbat and those who went off duty on Shabbat, for Jehoiada the kohen had not dismissed any of the divisions. And Jehoiada the kohen delivered to the officers of hundreds King David’s spears, shields and bucklers that were in the House of God. 10 Then he stationed all the people, each man with his weapon in his hand around the king—from the south side of the House to the north side of the House by the altar and by the House.

11 Then they brought out the king’s son and placed upon him the crown and the insignia. They proclaimed him king, and Jehoiada and his sons anointed him and declared, “Long live the king!”

12 When Athaliah heard the shouting of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people to the House of Adonai. 13 She looked, and behold, the king was standing by his pillar at the entrance and the officers and the trumpeters were beside the king. All the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing the trumpets, and the singers with their musical instruments were leading the praise. So Athaliah tore her clothes and said, “Treason, treason!”

14 Jehoiada the kohen brought out the officers of hundreds who were set over the army, and said to them, “Bring her out from between the ranks and put to the sword anyone who follows her.”

For the kohanim said, “Do not put her to death in the House of Adonai.”

15 So they seized her as she arrived at the entrance of the Horse Gate of the royal palace and killed her there. 16 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, all the people and the king to be the people of Adonai. 17 All the people went to the house of Baal and tore it down, smashed its altars and images into pieces, and slew Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars.

18 Then Jehoiada placed the oversight of the House of Adonai under the authority of the Levitical kohanim, whom David had assigned over the House of Adonai to offer the burnt offerings of Adonai, as it is written in the Torah of Moses, accompanied by rejoicing and singing as ordered by David. 19 He also stationed gatekeepers at the gates of the House of Adonai so that no one who was ritually impure for any reason could enter. 20 He took the officers of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people and all the people of the land, and brought the king down from the House of Adonai. They came through the upper gate of the royal house and seated the king upon the royal throne, 21 and all the people of the land rejoiced. The city was quiet for Athaliah had been slain with the sword.

Joash Repairs the Temple

24 Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem 40 years. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beer-sheba. Joash did what was right in the eyes of Adonai all the days of Jehoiada the kohen.

Jehoiada took two wives by whom he fathered sons and daughters. It came to pass after this that Joash had a heart to renovate the House of Adonai. He assembled the kohanim and the Levites and told them, “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect money from all Israel year by year to repair the House of your God. Do this quickly!”

However, the Levites did not act quickly. So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief and asked him, “Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and from Jerusalem the tax of Moses the servant of Adonai on the congregation of Israel for the Tent of the Testimony?”

For the sons of wicked Athaliah had broken into the House of God, and had even used all the sacred things of the House of Adonai for the Baalim[c]. So the king commanded that a box be made and placed outside the gate of the House of Adonai. A proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to bring in to Adonai the tax of Moses, God’s servant, upon Israel in the wilderness. 10 All the officers and all the people rejoiced, and brought in and cast into the chest until it was full. 11 Whenever the chest was brought by the Levites to the king’s officers and when they saw that it was full of money, the royal scribe and the officer of the kohen gadol would come and empty the box and take it back to its place. Thus they did daily and gathered much money. 12 The king and Jehoiada gave it to workmen who carried out the work for the House of Adonai. They hired masons and carpenters to renovate the House of Adonai, as well as craftsmen in iron and bronze to repair the House of Adonai. 13 So the workmen labored and the renovation work progressed in their hands. They restored the House of God to its original design, and strengthened it. 14 When they had finished, they brought the remainder of the money before the king and Jehoiada and they made it into vessels for the House of Adonai—vessels for avodah and for burnt offering, pans and utensils of gold and silver. Then they offered burnt offerings in the House of Adonai continually all the days of Jehoiada.

15 When Jehoiada reached a ripe old age, he died. He was 130 years old when he died. 16 So he was buried in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good things in Israel and toward God and His House.

Joash Betrays the Righeous Kohen

17 Now after the death of Jehoiada, the chiefs of Judah came and bowed down to the king. Then the king listened to them. 18 They forsook the House of Adonai, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherah poles and the idols. Wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for their guilt. 19 Adonai sent prophets to them to bring them back to Him and although they admonished them, they would not listen.

20 Then the Ruach Elohim came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the kohen.[d] He stood above the people and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you transgress the mitzvot of Adonai? You will not succeed. Because you have forsaken Adonai, He has also forsaken you.’”

21 But they conspired against him, and by order of the king, they stoned him to death in the courtyard of the House of Adonai. 22 Thus King Joash disregarded the loyalty which his father Jehoiada had shown to him—and slew Jehoiada’s son. As he was dying, he said: “May Adonai see and avenge!”

Judgment on Joash and His Chieftains

23 It came to pass that at the turn of the year, the Aramean army came up against him. They invaded Judah and Jerusalem and massacred all the chieftains of the people, and sent all their plunder to the king of Damascus. 24 Although the Aramean army came with only a small number of men, Adonai gave over a much larger army into their hands, because they had forsaken Adonai, God of their fathers. So they executed judgment upon Joash. 25 When they withdrew from him—for they left him very sick—his own servants plotted against him because of the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the kohen, and assassinated him on his bed. He died and was buried in the city of David—but not in the tombs of the kings. 26 These men conspired against him: Zabad son of Shimiath the Ammonitess and Jehozabad son of Shimrith the Moabitess.

27 Now concerning his sons and the many prophesies against him and the rebuilding of the House of God, behold, they are written in the commentary of the book of the kings. And Amaziah his son became king in his place.

Amaziah Begins Well

25 Amaziah was 25 years old when he became king and reigned 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan from Jerusalem. Now he did what was right in the eyes of Adonai, but not wholeheartedly. Once he had the kingdom firmly secured under him, he executed his courtiers who had assassinated his father the king. He did not put their children to death, but acted according to what is written in the Torah, in the book of Moses, which Adonai commanded saying,

“Parents should not die for the children, neither should the children die for the parents, but every person should die for his own sin.”

Amaziah gathered together the people of Judah and assigned them according to their clans to officers of thousands and officers of hundreds for all Judah and Benjamin. He mustered those from 20 years old and upward, and found 300,000 chosen men, able to go to war, able to handle spear and shield. He also hired 100,000 valiant warriors from Israel for a hundred talents of silver.

But a man of God came to him saying, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for Adonai is not with Israel—not with any of the children of Ephraim. For if you go and fight courageously in battle, God will overthrow you before the enemy, for God has power to help and to bring down.”

But Amaziah said to the man of God, “And what is to be done about the 100 talents that I have given to the Israelite troops?”

The man of God answered, “Adonai is able to give you much more than that.”

10 So, Amaziah dismissed the troops who had come to him from Ephraim to go back to their homes. Their anger burned greatly against Judah and they returned home in a rage.

11 Amaziah then took courage and leading his army, marched to the Valley of Salt. He struck down 10,000 men of Seir. 12 The army of Judah also captured 10,000 alive, and brought them to the top of the cliff. They threw them down from the top of the cliff and everyone fell to their death.

13 Meanwhile the troops that Amaziah had sent back and not allowed to go with him to battle raided the cities of Judah from Samaria to Beth-Horon. They struck down 3,000 of them and took considerable spoils.

Idolatry and Defiance

14 Now after Amaziah returned from slaughtering the Edomites, he had the gods of the men of Seir brought and installed as his gods. He prostrated himself before them and burned incense to them. 15 The anger of Adonai burned against Amaziah, and He sent a prophet to him, who said to him, “Why have you sought after the gods of the people who could not deliver their own people from your hand?”

16 But while he was still speaking to him, the king said to him, “Have we appointed you a counselor to the king? Stop! Why should you be struck down?”

So the prophet stopped after he said, “Now I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have acted this way and have not listened to my counsel.”

17 Then Amaziah king of Judah took counsel and sent this message to Joash son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel saying, “Come, let us meet face to face.”

18 Joash king of Israel replied to Amaziah king of Judah saying: “The thorn bush in Lebanon sent a message to the cedar in Lebanon saying, ‘Give your daughter to my son in marriage.’ Then a wild beast of Lebanon passed by and trambled the thorn bush. 19 You say, ‘Behold, I have defeated Edom.’ So now your heart has become arrogant and proud. Stay home! Why ask for trouble and cause your own downfall and that of Judah with you?”

20 However, Amaziah would not listen, for it was from God in order that He might deliver them into the hand of Joash because they had sought the gods of Edom. 21 So King Joash of Israel attacked. He and King Amaziah of Judah confronted one another at Beth-shemesh, which belonged to Judah. 22 Then Judah was routed before Israel, and every man fled to his tent. 23 King Joash of Israel captured King Amaziah of Judah—son of Joash, son of Jehoahaz—in Beth-shemesh. Then Joash brought him to Jerusalem and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Ephraim gate to the Corner Gate, 400 cubits. 24 He took all the gold and silver and all the vessels that were found in the House of God with Obed-edom, together with the treasuries of the king’s palace and the hostages, and returned to Samaria.

25 Amaziah the son of King Joash of Judah lived 15 years after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel. 26 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, the first and the last, behold, are they not written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel? 27 From the time that Amaziah turned away from following Adonai, they conspired against him in Jerusalem, so he fled to Lachish. But they sent men after him to Lachish and put him to death there. 28 Then they brought him back on horses and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.

Uzziah Strengthens Judah’s Defenses

26 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was 16 years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. He built Eloth and restored it to Judah after the king slept with his fathers. Uzziah was 16 years old when he became king, and he reigned 52 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah from Jerusalem. He did what was right in the eyes of Adonai just as his father Amaziah had done. He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the visions of God. As long as he sought Adonai, God made him prosper.

He went out and fought the Philistines and breached the wall of Gath, the wall of Jabneh and the wall of Ashdod. He built cities in Ashdod and among the Philistines. God helped him against the Philistines, against the Arabs who dwelt in Gur-Baal, and against the Meunites. The Ammonites paid tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread abroad even to the border of Egypt, for he became exceedingly strong.

Moreover, Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, the Valley Gate and at the Angle, and fortified them. 10 He also built towers in the wilderness and dug out many cisterns because he had much livestock, and he had farmers in the foothills and in the plain and vinedressers in the mountains and in the fertile fields—for he loved the soil.

11 Uzziah also had a well-trained army ready to go out to battle by divisions, according to the numbers mustered by the hand of Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the official, under Hananiah, one of the king’s chieftains. 12 The total number of family leaders over the fighting men was 2,600, 13 and under their command was an army of 307,500 trained for war with mighty power to support the king against the enemy. 14 Uzziah provided shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows and slingstones for the entire army. 15 In Jerusalem he made machines designed by skillful men to be used on the towers and on the corners to shoot arrows and hurl large stones. So his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped until he became strong.

Uzziah Usurps the Kohanim

16 But when he became strong, his heart grew so haughty that he acted corruptly. For he trespassed against Adonai his God by entering into the Temple of Adonai to burn incense upon the altar of incense. 17 Then Azariah the kohen with 80 valiant kohanim of Adonai followed him in. 18 They opposed Uzziah the king and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to Adonai, but for the kohanim, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the Sanctuary, for you have acted unfaithfully. You will have no honor from Adonai Elohim.”

19 Then Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the kohanim tza’arat broke out on his forehead right in front of the kohanim in the House of Adonai, beside the incense altar. 20 When Azariah the chief kohen and all the other kohanim stared at him, behold, his forehead had tza’arat! So they rushed him out of there. Indeed, he himself hurried to get out because Adonai had smitten him.

21 King Uzziah had tza’arat until the day of his death. He lived in a separate house with tza’arat, for he was cut off from the House of Adonai. Jotham his son was in charge of the king’s house and governed the people of the land.

22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, from beginning to end, were recorded by the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz. 23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers and they buried him with his fathers in the field of burial that belonged to the kings, for they said: “He had tza’arat.” Then Jotham his son became king in his place.


  1. 2 Chronicles 18:16 cf. Matt. 9:36; Mark 6:34.
  2. 2 Chronicles 20:26 i.e., blessing.
  3. 2 Chronicles 24:7 Plurah for Baal; meaning gods.
  4. 2 Chronicles 24:20 cf. Luke 4:29; Acts 7:58; 10:44; 11:15.