The Daily Audio Bible
Jehoshaphat Becomes King
17 His son Jehoshaphat replaced him as king and solidified his rule over Israel.[a] 2 He placed troops in all Judah’s fortified cities and posted garrisons[b] throughout the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim that his father Asa had seized.
3 The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed in his ancestor[c] David’s footsteps at the beginning of his reign.[d] He did not seek the Baals, 4 but instead sought the God of his ancestors[e] and obeyed[f] his commands, unlike the Israelites.[g] 5 The Lord made his kingdom secure;[h] all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he became very wealthy and greatly respected.[i] 6 He was committed to following the Lord;[j] he even removed the high places and Asherah poles from Judah.
7 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 They were accompanied by the Levites Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-Adonijah, and by the priests Elishama and Jehoram. 9 They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the scroll of the law of the Lord. They traveled to all the cities of Judah and taught the people.
10 The Lord put fear into all the kingdoms surrounding Judah;[k] they did not make war with Jehoshaphat. 11 Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat tribute, including a load of silver. The Arabs brought him 7,700 rams and 7,700 goats from their flocks.
12 Jehoshaphat’s power kept increasing. He built fortresses and storage cities throughout Judah. 13 He had many supplies stored in the cities of Judah and an army of skilled warriors stationed in Jerusalem.[l] 14 These were their divisions by families:
There were 1,000 officers from Judah.[m] Adnah the commander led 300,000 skilled warriors, 15 Jehochanan the commander led 280,000, 16 and Amasiah son of Zikri, who volunteered to serve the Lord, led 200,000 skilled warriors.
17 From Benjamin, Eliada, a skilled warrior, led 200,000 men who were equipped with bows and shields, 18 and Jehozabad led 180,000 trained warriors.
19 These were the ones who served the king, besides those whom the king placed in the fortified cities throughout Judah.
Jehoshaphat Allies with Ahab
18 Jehoshaphat was very wealthy and greatly respected. He made an alliance by marriage with Ahab, 2 and after several years[n] went down to visit[o] Ahab in Samaria. Ahab slaughtered many sheep and cattle to honor Jehoshaphat and those who came with him.[p] He persuaded him to join in an attack[q] against Ramoth Gilead. 3 King Ahab of Israel said to King Jehoshaphat of Judah, “Will you go with me to attack Ramoth Gilead?” He replied, “I will support you; my army is at your disposal and will support you in battle.”[r] 4 Then Jehoshaphat said further to the king of Israel,[s] “First,[t] please seek an oracle from the Lord.”[u] 5 So the king of Israel assembled 400 prophets and asked them, “Should we attack Ramoth Gilead or not?”[v] They said, “Attack! God[w] will hand it over to the king.” 6 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet of the Lord still here, that we may ask him?” 7 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man through whom we can seek the Lord’s will,[x] but I despise[y] him because he does not prophesy prosperity for me, but always[z] disaster—Micaiah son of Imlah.” Jehoshaphat said, “The king should not say such things!” 8 The king of Israel summoned an officer and said, “Quickly bring Micaiah son of Imlah.”
9 Now the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were sitting on their respective thrones, dressed in their royal robes, at the threshing floor at[aa] the entrance of the gate of Samaria. All the prophets were prophesying before them. 10 Zedekiah son of Kenaanah made iron horns and said, “This is what the Lord says, ‘With these you will gore Syria until they are destroyed.’” 11 All the prophets were prophesying the same, saying, “Attack Ramoth Gilead! You will succeed; the Lord will hand it over to the king.” 12 Now the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the prophets are in complete agreement that the king will succeed.[ab] Your words must agree with theirs; you must predict success!”[ac] 13 But Micaiah said, “As certainly as the Lord lives, I will say what my God tells me to say!”
14 Micaiah[ad] came before the king and the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we attack Ramoth Gilead or not?” He answered him, “Attack! You will succeed; they will be handed over to you.”[ae] 15 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you solemnly promise in[af] the name of the Lord to tell me only the truth?” 16 Micaiah[ag] replied, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep that have no shepherd. Then the Lord said, ‘They have no master. They should go home in peace.’” 17 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you he does not prophesy prosperity for me, but disaster?” 18 Micaiah[ah] said, “That being the case, listen to the Lord’s message. I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, with all the heavenly assembly standing on his right and on his left. 19 The Lord said, ‘Who will deceive King Ahab of Israel, so he will attack Ramoth Gilead and die there?’ One said this and another that. 20 Then a spirit[ai] stepped forward and stood before the Lord. He said, ‘I will deceive him.’ The Lord asked him, ‘How?’ 21 He replied, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.’ The Lord[aj] said, ‘Deceive and overpower him.[ak] Go out and do as you have proposed.’ 22 So now, look, the Lord has placed a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours, but the Lord has decreed disaster for you.” 23 Zedekiah son of Kenaanah approached, hit Micaiah on the jaw, and said, “Which way did the Lord’s Spirit go when he went from me to speak to you?” 24 Micaiah replied, “Look, you will see in the day when you go into an inner room to hide.” 25 Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the city official and Joash the king’s son. 26 Say, ‘This is what the king says: “Put this man in prison. Give him only a little bread and water[al] until I return safely.”’” 27 Micaiah said, “If you really do return safely, then the Lord has not spoken through me!” Then he added, “Take note,[am] all you people.”
28 The king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah attacked Ramoth Gilead. 29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and then enter[an] the battle, but you wear your royal attire.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and they entered the battle. 30 Now the king of Syria had ordered his chariot commanders, “Do not fight common soldiers or high ranking officers;[ao] fight only the king of Israel!” 31 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “He must be the king of Israel!” So they turned and attacked him, but Jehoshaphat cried out. The Lord helped him; God lured them away from him. 32 When the chariot commanders realized he was not the king of Israel, they turned away from him. 33 Now an archer shot an arrow at random,[ap] and it struck the king of Israel between the plates of his armor. The king[aq] ordered his charioteer, “Turn around and take me from the battle line,[ar] for I am wounded.” 34 While the battle raged throughout the day, the king of Israel stood propped up in his chariot opposite the Syrians. He died in the evening as the sun was setting.
25 As he also says in Hosea:
“I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people,’ and I will call her who was unloved,[a] ‘My beloved.’”[b]
26 “And in the very place[c] where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”[d]
27 And Isaiah cries out on behalf of Israel, “Though the number of the children[e] of Israel are as the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved, 28 for the Lord will execute his sentence on the earth completely and quickly.”[f] 29 Just[g] as Isaiah predicted,
Israel’s Rejection Culpable
30 What shall we say then?—that the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness obtained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith, 31 but Israel even though pursuing[j] a law of righteousness[k] did not attain it.[l] 32 Why not? Because they pursued[m] it not by faith but (as if it were possible) by works.[n] They stumbled over the stumbling stone,[o] 33 just as it is written,
10 Brothers and sisters,[r] my heart’s desire and prayer to God on behalf of my fellow Israelites[s] is for their salvation. 2 For I can testify that they are zealous for God,[t] but their zeal is not in line with the truth.[u] 3 For ignoring the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking instead to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law, with the result that there is righteousness for everyone who believes.
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is by the law: “The one who does these things will live by them.”[v] 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart,[w] ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’”[x] (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 or “Who will descend into the abyss?”[y] (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”[z] (that is, the word of faith that we preach), 9 because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord[aa] and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness[ab] and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation.[ac] 11 For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”[ad] 12 For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.[ae]
For the music director, a psalm of David.
20 May the Lord answer[b] you[c] when you are in trouble;[d]
may the God of Jacob[e] make you secure.
2 May he send you help from his temple;[f]
from Zion may he give you support.
3 May he take notice of[g] all your offerings;
may he accept[h] your burnt sacrifice. (Selah)
4 May he grant your heart’s desire;[i]
may he bring all your plans to pass.[j]
5 Then we will shout for joy over your[k] victory;
we will rejoice[l] in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
6 Now I am sure[m] that the Lord will deliver[n] his chosen king;[o]
he will intervene for him[p] from his holy, heavenly temple,[q]
and display his mighty ability to deliver.[r]
7 Some trust in chariots and others in horses,[s]
but we[t] depend on[u] the Lord our God.
8 They will fall down,[v]
but we[w] will stand firm.[x]
9 The Lord will deliver the king;[y]
he will answer us[z] when we call to him for help![aa]