2 Chronicles 18-20 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Jehoshaphat Allies with Ahab
18 Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and was allied by [a]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 [b]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, “[c]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 [d]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.
Jehu Rebukes Jehoshaphat
19 Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned safely to his house (palace) in Jerusalem. 2 Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the ungodly and love those who hate the Lord and in doing so bring wrath from the Lord on yourself? 3 But there are some good things found in you, for you have removed the Asherim (idols) from the land and you have set your heart to seek God [with all your soul’s desire].”
4 So Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and brought them back to the Lord, the God of their fathers.
5 He appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, 6 and he said to the judges, “Be careful what you do, for you do not judge for man, but for the Lord who is with you in the matter of judgment. 7 So now let the fear (reverent awe) of the Lord be on you [to keep you from making unjust decisions]; be careful in what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality, or acceptance of a bribe.”
8 In Jerusalem also Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, priests, and heads of the fathers’ households of Israel to render the judgment of the Lord and to judge disputes among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 9 Then the king commanded them, “Do this in the fear of the Lord, faithfully and wholeheartedly. 10 Whenever any dispute comes to you from your brothers (relatives) who live in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, or between statutes and judgments, you are to warn [and instruct] them so that they may not be guilty before the Lord; otherwise [God’s] wrath will come on you and your brothers. Do this and you will not be guilty. 11 Behold, Amariah the chief priest will be over you in all matters of the Lord, and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the governor of the house of Judah, in all the king’s matters; and the Levites will serve you as officers. Deal courageously, and may the Lord be with the upright.”
20 Now it happened after this that the Moabites and the Ammonites, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. 2 Then it was reported to Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude has come against you from beyond the [Dead] Sea, out of [e]Aram (Syria); and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar (that is, Engedi).” 3 Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set himself [determinedly, as his vital need] to seek the Lord; and he proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So [the people of] Judah gathered together to seek help from the Lord; indeed they came from all the cities of Judah to seek the Lord [longing for Him with all their heart].
5 Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord in front of the new courtyard, 6 and said, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven? And do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand, there is no one able to take a stand against You. 7 O our God, did You not drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Your friend Abraham? 8 They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your Name, saying, 9 ‘If evil comes on us, or the sword of judgment, or plague, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your Name and Your Presence is in this house) and we will cry out to You in our distress, and You will hear and save us.’ 10 Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You would not allow Israel to invade when they came from the land of Egypt (for they turned away from them and did not destroy them), 11 here they are, rewarding us by coming to drive us out of Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance. 12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless against this great multitude which is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
13 So all Judah stood before the Lord, with their infants, their wives, and their children.
Jahaziel Answers the Prayer
14 Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph. 15 He said, “Listen carefully, all [you people of] Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat. The Lord says this to you: ‘Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Go down against them tomorrow. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the river valley, in front of the Wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You need not fight in this battle; take your positions, stand and witness the salvation of the Lord who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.’”
18 Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping Him. 19 The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
Enemies Destroy Themselves
20 So they got up early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe and trust in the Lord your God and you will be established (secure). Believe and trust in His prophets and succeed.” 21 When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the Lord and those who praised Him in their holy (priestly) attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Praise and give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy and lovingkindness endure forever.” 22 When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were struck down [in defeat]. 23 For the sons of Ammon and Moab [suspecting betrayal] rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, completely destroying them; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
24 When [the men of] Judah came to the lookout tower of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude, and behold, they were dead bodies lying on the ground, and no one had escaped. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found much among them, including equipment, garments, and valuable things which they took for themselves, more than they could carry away; so much that they spent three days gathering the spoil.
Triumphant Return to Jerusalem
26 Then on the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, for it was there that they blessed the Lord. For that reason they named that place “The Valley of Beracah (blessing)” until today. 27 Then they returned to Jerusalem with joy, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, led by Jehoshaphat, for the Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies. 28 They came to Jerusalem with harps, lyres, and trumpets to the house (temple) of the Lord. 29 And the fear of God came on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest on all sides.
31 Now Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for twenty-five years. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 32 He walked in the way of his father Asa and did not depart from it, doing what was right in the sight of the Lord. 33 Only the high places [for pagan sacrifices] were not removed, for the people had not yet set their hearts firmly on the God of their fathers.
34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, from the first to the last, behold, they are written in the records of Jehu the son of Hanani, which are recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel.
Alliance Displeases God
35 After [all] this Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, and he acted wickedly in doing so. 36 He joined him in building ships to go to Tarshish [for trade], and they built them in Ezion-geber. 37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the Lord has broken down what you have built.” So the ships were wrecked and were unable to go to Tarshish.
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