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2 Chronicles 17-18

Jehoshaphat rules Judah

17 Asa’s son Jehoshaphat succeeded him as king. Jehoshaphat strengthened his position against Israel by stationing troops in the fortified cities of Judah and placing soldiers throughout the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured. The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the earlier ways of his father[a] by not seeking Baal. Instead, he sought the God of his father, and unlike Israel, he followed God’s commandments. The Lord gave him firm control over the kingdom, and all Judah brought Jehoshaphat tribute, so that he had abundant riches and honor. Jehoshaphat took pride in the Lord’s ways and again removed the shrines and the sacred poles[b] from Judah.

In the third year of his rule, Jehoshaphat sent his officials Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah to teach in the cities of Judah. They were accompanied by the Levites Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-adonijah, and by the priests Elishama and Jehoram. They taught throughout Judah. They brought with them the Lord’s Instruction scroll as they made their rounds to all the cities of Judah, teaching the people.

10 All the kingdoms surrounding Judah were afraid of the Lord and didn’t wage war against Jehoshaphat. 11 Some of the Philistines brought a load of silver as tribute to Jehoshaphat. The Arabians also brought flocks to Jehoshaphat: seventy-seven hundred rams and seventy-seven hundred goats. 12 As Jehoshaphat grew increasingly powerful, he built fortresses and storage cities in Judah 13 and had many supplies in the cities of Judah. He also had an army of mighty warriors in Jerusalem, 14 registered by their clans as follows: Judah’s officers over units of a thousand included Commander Adnah with three hundred thousand soldiers; 15 next to him was Commander Jehohanan with two hundred eighty thousand soldiers; 16 at his side was Amasiah, Zichri’s son, who volunteered for the Lord with two hundred thousand soldiers. 17 From Benjamin came a valiant warrior: Eliada, together with two hundred thousand armed with bow and shield; 18 next to him was Jehozabad, together with one hundred eighty thousand soldiers. 19 These were the individuals who served the king in addition to those the king placed in the fortified cities throughout Judah.

Jehoshaphat and Ahab

18 Even though Jehoshaphat already had great wealth and honor, he allied himself with Ahab through marriage. A few years later, while Jehoshaphat was visiting Ahab in Samaria, Ahab slaughtered many sheep and oxen for Jehoshaphat and those who were with him in order to persuade him to attack Ramoth-gilead. “Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?” Israel’s King Ahab asked Judah’s King Jehoshaphat.

Jehoshaphat replied, “I and my people will be united with you and your people in battle. But,” Jehoshaphat said to Israel’s king, “first, let’s see what the Lord has to say.” So Israel’s king gathered four hundred prophets and asked them, “Should we go to war with Ramoth-gilead or not?”

“Attack!” the prophets answered. “God will hand it over to the king.”

But Jehoshaphat said, “Isn’t there any other prophet of the Lord around whom we could ask?”

“There’s one other man who could ask the Lord for us,” Israel’s king told Jehoshaphat, “but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, only bad. His name is Micaiah, Imlah’s son.”

“The king shouldn’t speak like that!” Jehoshaphat said.

So Israel’s king called an officer and ordered, “Bring Micaiah, Imlah’s son, right away.”

Now Israel’s king and Judah’s King Jehoshaphat were sitting on their thrones dressed in their royal robes at the threshing floor beside the entrance to the gate of Samaria. All the prophets were prophesying in front of them. 10 Zedekiah, Chenaanah’s son, made iron horns for himself and said, “This is what the Lord says: With these horns you will gore the Arameans until there’s nothing left of them!”

11 The other prophets agreed: “Attack Ramoth-gilead and win! The Lord will hand it over to the king!”

12 Meanwhile, the messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Listen, the prophets all agree that the king will succeed. You should say the same thing they say and prophesy success.”

13 But Micaiah answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, I will say only what God tells me to say.”[c]

14 When Micaiah arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we go to war with Ramoth-gilead or not?”

“Attack and win!” Micaiah answered. “The Lord will hand it over to the king.”

15 But the king said, “How many times must I demand that you tell me the truth when you speak in the Lord’s name?”

16 Then Micaiah replied, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd! And then the Lord said: ‘They have no master. Let them return safely to their own homes.’”

17 Then Israel’s king said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you? He never prophesies anything good about me, only bad.”

18 Then Micaiah said, “Listen now to the Lord’s word: I saw the Lord enthroned with all the heavenly forces stationed at his right and at his left. 19 The Lord said, ‘Who will persuade Israel’s King Ahab so that he attacks Ramoth-gilead and dies there?’ There were several suggestions, 20 until one particular spirit approached the Lord and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ ‘How?’ the Lord asked. 21 ‘I will be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. The Lord agreed: ‘You will succeed in persuading him! Go ahead!’ 22 So now, since the Lord placed a lying spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours, it is the Lord who has pronounced disaster against you!”

23 Zedekiah, Chenaanah’s son, approached Micaiah and slapped him on the cheek. “Just how did the Lord’s spirit leave me to speak to you?” he asked.

24 Micaiah answered, “You will find out on the day you try to hide in an inner room.”

25 “Arrest him,” ordered Israel’s king, “and turn him over to Amon the city governor and to Joash the king’s son. 26 Tell them, ‘The king says: Put this man in prison and feed him minimum rations of bread and water until I return safely.’”

27 “If you ever return safely,” Micaiah replied, “then the Lord wasn’t speaking through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, every last one of you!”

28 So Israel’s king and Judah’s King Jehoshaphat attacked Ramoth-gilead. 29 Israel’s king said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself when we go into battle, but you should wear your royal attire.” When the king of Israel had disguised himself, they entered the battle.

30 Meanwhile, Aram’s king had commanded his chariot officers, “Don’t bother with anyone big or small. Fight only with Israel’s king.” 31 When the chariot officers saw Jehoshaphat, they assumed that he must be Israel’s king, so they turned to attack him. But when Jehoshaphat cried out, the Lord helped him, and God lured them away from him. 32 When the chariot officers realized that he wasn’t Israel’s king, they stopped chasing him.

33 Someone, however, randomly shot an arrow that struck Israel’s king between the joints in his armor. “Turn around and get me out of the battle,” the king told his chariot driver. “I’ve been hit!” 34 While the battle raged all that day, Israel’s king stood propped up in his chariot facing the Arameans. But that evening he died, just as the sun was going down.


  1. 2 Chronicles 17:3 LXX; MT in the ways of his father David
  2. 2 Chronicles 17:6 Heb asherim, perhaps objects devoted to the goddess Asherah
  3. 2 Chronicles 18:13 LXX, 1 Kgs 22:14; MT omits me.
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Romans 9:25-10:13

25 As it says also in Hosea,

I will call “my people” those who aren’t my people,
and the one who isn’t well loved, I will call “loved one.”[a]

26 And in the place where it was said to them,

You aren’t my people,
there they will be called “the living God’s children.”[b]

27 But Isaiah cries out for Israel,

Though the number of Israel’s children will be like the sand of the sea,
only a remaining part will be saved,
28 because the Lord does what he says completely and quickly.[c]

29 As Isaiah prophesied,

If the Lord of the heavenly forces had not left descendants for us,
we would have been like Sodom,
and we would have become like Gomorrah.[d]

Israel and God’s righteousness

30 So what are we going to say? Gentiles who weren’t striving for righteousness achieved righteousness, the righteousness that comes from faith. 31 But though Israel was striving for a Law of righteousness, they didn’t arrive. 32 Why? It’s because they didn’t go for it by faith but they went for it as if it could be reached by doing something. They have tripped over a stumbling block. 33 As it is written:

Look! I’m putting a stumbling block in Zion,
which is a rock that offends people.
And the one who has faith in him will not be put to shame.[e]

10 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire is for Israel’s salvation. That’s my prayer to God for them. I can vouch for them: they are enthusiastic about God. However, it isn’t informed by knowledge. They don’t submit to God’s righteousness because they don’t understand his righteousness, and they try to establish their own righteousness. Christ is the goal of the Law, which leads to righteousness for all who have faith in God.

Moses writes about the righteousness that comes from the Law: The person who does these things will live by them.[f] But the righteousness that comes from faith talks like this: Don’t say in your heart, “Who will go up into heaven?[g] (that is, to bring Christ down) or “Who will go down into the region below?[h] (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart[i] (that is, the message of faith that we preach). Because if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and in your heart you have faith that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 Trusting with the heart leads to righteousness, and confessing with the mouth leads to salvation. 11 The scripture says, All who have faith in him won’t be put to shame.[j] 12 There is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord is Lord of all, who gives richly to all who call on him. 13 All who call on the Lord’s name will be saved.[k]

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Psalm 20

Psalm 20

For the music leader. A psalm of David.

20 I pray that the Lord answers you
whenever you are in trouble.
Let the name of Jacob’s God protect you.
Let God send help to you from the sanctuary
and support you from Zion.
Let God recall your many grain offerings;
let him savor your entirely burned offerings. Selah
Let God grant what is in your heart
and fulfill all your plans.
Then we will rejoice that you’ve been helped.
We will fly our flags in the name of our God.
Let the Lord fulfill all your requests!

Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed one;
God answers his anointed one
from his heavenly sanctuary,
answering with mighty acts of salvation
achieved by his strong hand.
Some people trust in chariots, others in horses;
but we praise the Lord’s name.
They will collapse and fall,
but we will stand up straight and strong.

Lord, save the king!
Let him answer us when we cry out!

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Proverbs 20:2-3

A king is as terrifying as a lion’s growl.
Those who anger him may lose their life.
It is honorable to back off from a fight,
but fools jump right in.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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