·He wanted very much to obey [L His heart was devoted/committed to the ways of] the Lord. He also removed the ·places for worshiping gods [L high places; 11:15] and the Asherah ·idols [poles; 14:3] from Judah.
Asa’s son Jehoshaphat was the next king; he started out by working on his defense system against Israel. He put troops in all the fortress cities of Judah and deployed garrisons throughout Judah and in the towns of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured. God was on Jehoshaphat’s side because he stuck to the ways of his father Asa’s early years. He didn’t fool around with the popular Baal religion—he was a seeker and follower of the God of his father and was obedient to him; he wasn’t like Israel. And God secured the kingdom under his rule, gave him a firm grip on it. And everyone in Judah showed their appreciation by bringing gifts. Jehoshaphat ended up very rich and much honored. He was single-minded in following God; and he got rid of the local sex-and-religion shrines.
And when his heart had taken hardiness for the ways of the Lord, he took away also (the) high places and [maumet] woods from Judah. (And he took pride in following the ways of the Lord, and he also did away the hill shrines and the idol groves, or the sacred poles, in Judah.)
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