2 Chronicles 13-17 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Abijah Succeeds Rehoboam
13 In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah became king over Judah. 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.
And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam [of Israel]. 3 Abijah began the battle with an army of brave soldiers, 400,000 chosen men. Jeroboam drew up in battle formation against him with 800,000 chosen men, valiant men.
4 Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, “Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel: 5 Do you not know that the Lord God of Israel, gave rule over Israel forever to David and to his sons by a covenant of [a]salt [a permanent pact, extending to each generation of Israel]? 6 Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his lord [the king], 7 and worthless (unprincipled, unethical) men gathered around him, useless and wicked men, who proved too strong for Rehoboam the son of Solomon when Rehoboam was young and timid, and could not assert himself against them.
8 “And now you intend to assert yourselves against the kingdom of the Lord which is in the hands of the sons of David, since you are a great multitude and have with you the golden calves (idols) which Jeroboam made for you as gods. 9 Have you not driven out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron and the Levites, and made priests for yourselves like the peoples of other lands? So whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams, even he may become a priest of non-existent gods (idols). 10 But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not abandoned (turned away from) Him. The sons of Aaron are ministering to the Lord as priests, and the Levites attend to their service. 11 Every morning and every evening they offer the burnt offerings and the fragrant incense to the Lord; and the [b]showbread is set on the clean table [of pure gold], and the golden lampstand with its lamps is ready to light every evening; for we keep the charge of the Lord our God [that is, the obligation we have to Him], but you have abandoned (turned away from) Him. 12 Behold, God is with us at our head, and His priests [are here] with their signal trumpets to sound an alarm against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you cannot succeed.”
13 But Jeroboam had set an ambush to come from the rear, so that Israel was in front of Judah and the ambush was behind them. 14 When [the men of] Judah turned around, they were attacked from both front and rear; so they cried out to the Lord [for help], and the priests blew the trumpets. 15 Then the men of Judah raised a war cry; and as they shouted, God struck Jeroboam and all Israel [with defeat] before Abijah and Judah. 16 And the sons of Israel fled before Judah, and God handed over the sons of Israel to them. 17 Abijah and his people inflicted on them a great defeat, so that 500,000 chosen men of Israel fell slain. 18 Thus the sons of Israel were subdued (humbled) at that time, and the sons of Judah prevailed because they relied on the Lord, the God of their fathers. 19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and captured [several] cities from him: Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephraim (Ephron), with their villages.
Death of Jeroboam
20 Jeroboam did not recover strength again during the time of [the reign of] Abijah. And the Lord struck him and he died.
21 But Abijah became powerful. He took fourteen wives for himself and fathered twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. 22 Now the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways and his sayings, are written in the writing of the prophet Iddo.
Asa Succeeds Abijah in Judah
14 [c]So Abijah slept with his fathers [in death], and they buried him in the City of David; and Asa his son became king in his place. The land was at peace for ten years during his days.
2 [d]Asa did what was good and right in the sight of the Lord his God. 3 He removed the foreign altars and high places and tore down the [pagan] pillars (obelisks, memorial stones), and cut to pieces the Asherim [the symbols of the goddess Asherah]. 4 And he commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers [to inquire of and for Him and seek Him as a vital necessity], and to observe the law [given to Moses] and the commandment. 5 Asa also removed the [idolatrous] high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah. The kingdom was at rest and undisturbed under his reign. 6 He built fortified cities in Judah, since the land was at rest, and there was no one at war with him in those years, because the Lord had given him rest. 7 So he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls, towers, gates and bars [to secure the doors]. The land is still ours because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him [longing for Him with all our heart] and He has given us peace on every side.” So they built and prospered. 8 Now Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah, who carried large shields and spears, and 280,000 from Benjamin, who carried shields and drew bows, all courageous men.
9 Now Zerah the Ethiopian (Cushite) came out against Judah with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots, and he came as far as Mareshah. 10 Then Asa went out against him, and they drew up in battle formation in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 Asa called out to the Lord his God, saying, “O Lord, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and the weak; so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in and rely on You, and in Your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; let not man prevail against You.” 12 So the Lord struck the Ethiopians [with defeat] before Asa and Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as [e]Gerar; and so many Ethiopians fell that none of them were found alive; for they were destroyed before the Lord and His army. And they carried away a very large amount of spoil. 14 They attacked and destroyed all the cities around Gerar, for the dread of the Lord had fallen on them. They plundered all the cities, for there was a large amount of spoil in them. 15 They also struck down the people [living] in tents who had livestock, and took captive large numbers of sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.
The Prophet Azariah Warns Asa
15 Now the Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded, 2 and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him [inquiring for and of Him, as your soul’s first necessity], He will let you find Him; but if you abandon (turn away from) Him, He will abandon (turn away from) you. 3 Now for a long time Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest, and without [God’s] law. 4 But when they were in their trouble and distress they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and [in desperation earnestly] sought Him, and He let them find Him. 5 In those times there was no peace for him who went out or for him who came in, for great suffering came on all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 Nation was crushed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every kind of distress. 7 But as for you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.”
8 And when Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded the prophet, he took courage and removed the repulsive idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. Then he restored the altar [of burnt offering] of the Lord which was in front of the porch [of the temple] of the Lord. 9 He gathered all Judah and Benjamin and the strangers who were with them out of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon, for they came over to Asa from Israel in large numbers when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10 So they assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign. 11 They sacrificed to the Lord on that day from the spoil they had brought—700 oxen and 7,000 sheep. 12 They entered into a covenant (solemn agreement) to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and soul; 13 and that whoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. 14 They swore an oath to the Lord with a loud voice, with [jubilant] shouting, with trumpets, and with horns. 15 All Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought Him with their whole heart, and He let them find Him. So the Lord gave them rest on every side.
16 He also removed Maacah, King Asa’s mother, from the position of queen mother, because she had made a repulsive image for [the goddess] Asherah. Asa cut down her idol, crushed it, and burned it at the Brook Kidron. 17 But the high places [of pagan worship] were not removed from Israel. Nevertheless Asa’s heart was blameless all his days. 18 He brought the things that his father [Abijah] had dedicated and those things that he had dedicated into the house of God—silver and gold and utensils. 19 And there was no war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.
Asa Wars against Baasha
16 In the [f]thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to [meet with] Asa king of Judah. 2 Then Asa brought out silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of the Lord and from the king’s house, and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Aram (Syria), who lived in Damascus, saying, 3 “Let there be a treaty between you and me, as there was between my father and your father. Look, I am sending you silver and gold; go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, so that he will withdraw from me.” 4 Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they attacked and conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali. 5 When Baasha heard about it, he ceased fortifying Ramah and stopped his work. 6 Then King Asa brought all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber with which Baasha had been building, and with them he fortified Geba and Mizpah.
Asa Imprisons the Prophet
7 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you relied on the king of Aram (Syria) and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram (Syria) has escaped out of your hand. 8 Were not the Ethiopians and Lubim a huge army with a great number of chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, He placed them in your hand. 9 For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth so that He may support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this; therefore, from now on you will have wars.” 10 Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in prison [in the stocks], for he was enraged with him because of this. And at the same time Asa oppressed some of the people.
11 Now the acts of Asa, from the first to the last, are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the [g]thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa developed a disease in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his illness he did not seek the Lord, but [relied only on] the physicians. 13 So Asa slept with his fathers [in death], dying in the forty-first year of his reign. 14 They buried him in his own tomb which he had cut out for himself in the City of David, and they laid him on a bier which he had filled with various kinds of spices blended by the perfumers’ art; and they made a very great fire in his honor.
Jehoshaphat Succeeds Asa
17 Jehoshaphat his son then became king [of Judah] in Asa’s place, and strengthened his position over Israel. 2 He placed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim which his father Asa had captured.
His Good Reign
3 The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he [h]followed the example of his father (ancestor) David. He did not seek [to follow] the Baals [the false gods], 4 but sought the God of his father, and walked in (obeyed) His commandments, and did not act as Israel did. 5 Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great wealth and honor. 6 His heart was encouraged and he took great pride in the ways of the Lord; moreover, he again removed the high places [of pagan worship] and the Asherim from Judah.
7 Then in the third year of his reign he sent his officials, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah; 8 and with them were the Levites—Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tobadonijah; and with them the priests Elishama and Jehoram. 9 They taught in Judah having the Book of the Law of the Lord with them; they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.
10 Now the dread of the Lord was on all the kingdoms of the lands surrounding Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat. 11 Some of the Philistines brought gifts and silver as tribute to Jehoshaphat; the Arabians also brought him flocks: 7,700 rams and 7,700 male goats. 12 So Jehoshaphat became greater and greater. He built fortresses and storage cities in Judah. 13 He had large supplies in the cities of Judah, and soldiers, courageous men, in Jerusalem. 14 This was the number of them by their fathers’ (ancestors’) households: of Judah, the commanders of thousands, Adnah the commander, and with him 300,000 courageous men; 15 and next to him was Jehohanan the commander, and with him 280,000; 16 and next to him Amasiah the son of Zichri, who volunteered for the Lord, and with him 200,000 courageous men; 17 and of Benjamin: Eliada, a brave man, and with him 200,000 men armed with bow and shield; 18 and next to him was Jehozabad, and with him 180,000 armed and ready for military service. 19 These are the ones who were in the service of the king, besides those he had placed in fortified cities throughout Judah.
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