2 Chronicles 15-18 Amplified Bible (AMP)
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 [a]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 [b]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 [c]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.
Jehoshaphat Allies with Ahab
18 Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and was allied by [d]marriage with Ahab. 2 Some years later he went down to [visit] Ahab in Samaria. And Ahab slaughtered many sheep and oxen for him and the people who were with him, and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead. 3 Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me to [fight against] Ramoth-gilead?” He answered, “I am as you are, and my people as your people [your hopes and concerns are ours]; we will be with you in the battle.”
4 Further, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire [e]first for the word of the Lord.” 5 Then the king of Israel assembled the prophets, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for God will hand it over to the king.” 6 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there no prophet of the Lord still here by whom we may inquire?” 7 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, but I hate him, for he never prophesies [anything] good for me, but always evil. He is Micaiah the son of Imla” And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so [perhaps this time it will be different].”
Ahab’s False Prophets Assure Victory
8 Then the king of Israel called for an officer and said, “Bring Micaiah the son of Imla quickly.” 9 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting, each on his throne, arrayed in their robes; they were sitting at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 10 Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made horns of iron for himself; and said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘With these you shall gore the Arameans (Syrians) until they are destroyed.’” 11 All the prophets prophesied this, saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and succeed; the Lord will hand it over to the king.”
Micaiah Brings Word from God
12 The messenger who went to call Micaiah said to him, “Listen, the words of the prophets are of one accord, foretelling a favorable outcome for the king. So just let your word be like one of them and speak favorably.” 13 But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, I will [only] speak what my God says.”
14 When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” And he said, “Go up and succeed, for they will be handed over to you.” 15 Then the king said to him, “How many times must I warn you (make you swear an oath) to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 16 Then Micaiah said,
“I saw all [the people of] Israel
17 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good in regard to me, but [only] evil?”
18 So Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host (army) of heaven standing on His right and on His left. 19 Then the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel to go up and fall [defeated] at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this and another said that. 20 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ The Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ 21 He said, ‘I will go out and be a deceptive spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then the Lord said, ‘You are to entice him and also succeed. Go and do so.’ 22 Now, you see, the Lord put a deceptive spirit in the mouth of these prophets of yours; and the Lord has [actually] proclaimed disaster against you.”
23 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came up and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “Which way did the Spirit of the Lord go [when he departed] from me to speak to you?” 24 Micaiah said, “Behold, you will see on that day when you go into an inner room [desperately trying] to hide yourself.” 25 Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son, 26 and say, ‘Thus says the king: “Put this man in prison and feed him just enough bread and water to survive until I return in peace (safely).”’” 27 But Micaiah said, “If you actually return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he added, “Listen [to what I have said], you people, all of you.”
Ahab’s Defeat and Death
28 So [Ahab] the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up against Ramoth-gilead. 29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “[f]I will disguise myself and will go into battle, but you put on your [royal] robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into the battle. 30 Now the king of [g]Aram (Syria) had commanded the captains of his chariots, saying, “Do not fight with the small or the great, but only with the king of Israel.” 31 So when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat [of Judah], they said, “It is the king of Israel!” So they turned to fight against him, but Jehoshaphat called out [for God’s help], and the Lord helped him; and God diverted them away from him. 32 When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 33 Then a certain man drew his bow at random and struck [Ahab] the king of Israel between the scales of his armor. So Ahab said to his chariot driver, “Turn around and take me out of the battle, because I am seriously wounded.” 34 The battle raged that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot in front of the Arameans (Syrians) until the evening, and at sunset he died.
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