+ King of Judah, son of Asa, succeeded to the throne B.C. 914, when he was 35 years old, and reigned 25 years. His history is to be found among the events recorded in (1 Kings 15:24; 2 Kings 8:16) or in a continuous narrative in (2 Chronicles 17:1; 2 Chronicles 21:3) He was contemporary with Ahab, Ahaziah and Jehoram. He was one of the best, most pious and prosperous kings of Judah, the greatest since Solomon. At first he strengthened himself against Israel; but soon afterward the two Hebrew kings formed an alliance. In his own kingdom Jehoshaphat ever showed himself a zealous follower of the commandments of God: he tried to put down the high places and groves in which the people of Judah burnt incense, and sent the wisest Levites through the cities and towns to instruct the people in true morality and religion. Riches and honors increased around him. He received tribute from the Philistines and Arabians, and kept up a large standing army in Jerusalem. It was probably about the 16th year of his reign, B.C. 898, when he became Ahab's ally in the great battle of Ramoth-gilead, for which he was severely reproved by Jehu. (2 Chronicles 19:2) He built at Ezion-geber, with the help of Ahaziah, a navy designed to go to Tarshish; but it was wrecked at Ezion-geber. Before the close of his reign he was engaged in two additional wars. He was miraculously delivered from a threatened attack of the people of Ammon, Moab and Seir. After this, perhaps, must be dated the war which Jehoshaphat, in conjunction with Jehoram king of Israel and the king of Edom, carried on against the rebellious king of Moab. (2 Kings 3:1) ... In his declining years the administration of affairs was placed, probably B.C. 891, in the hands of his son Jehoram.
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