Abstract: The New Rulers (1 K 22:41-50)
41 Now Jehoshaphat the son of Asa became king over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 43 He walked in all the way of Asa his father; he did not turn aside from it, doing right in the sight of the LORD. However, the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burnt incense on the high places. 44 Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel. 45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might which he showed and how he warred, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 46 The remnant of the sodomites who remained in the days of his father Asa, he expelled from the land. 47 Now there was no king in Edom; a deputy was king. 48 Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold, but they did not go for the ships were broken at Ezion-geber. 49 Then Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Let my servants go with your servants in the ships.” But Jehoshaphat was not willing. 50 And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of his father David, and Jehoram his son became king in his place.
Jehoshaphat Succeeds Asa (2 Chr 17; 19-21:3)
1 Jehoshaphat his son then became king in his place, and made his position over Israel firm. 2 He placed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim which Asa his father had captured.
His Good Reign
3 The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father David’s earlier days and did not seek the Baals, 4 but sought the God of his father, followed His commandments, and did not act as Israel did. 5 So the LORD established the kingdom in his control, and all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. 6 He took great pride in the ways of the LORD and again removed the high places and the Asherim from Judah. 7 Then 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 and with them the Levites, Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tobadonijah, the Levites ; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, the priests. 9 They taught in Judah, having the book of the law of the LORD with them; and they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught among the people. 10 Now the dread of the LORD was on all the kingdoms of the lands which were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat. 11 Some of the Philistines brought gifts and silver as tribute to Jehoshaphat; the Arabians also brought him flocks, 7,700 rams and 7,700 male goats. 12 So Jehoshaphat grew greater and greater, and he built fortresses and store cities in Judah. 13 He had large supplies in the cities of Judah, and warriors, valiant men, in Jerusalem. 14 This was their muster according to their fathers’ households : of Judah, commanders of thousands, Adnah was the commander, and with him 300,000 valiant warriors ; 15 and next to him was Johanan the commander, and with him 280,000 ; 16 and next to him Amasiah the son of Zichri, who volunteered for the LORD, and with him 200,000 valiant warriors ; 17 and of Benjamin, Eliada a valiant warrior, and with him 200,000 armed with bow and shield ; 18 and next to him Jehozabad, and with him 180,000 equipped for war. 19 These are they who served the king, apart from those whom the king put in the fortified cities through all Judah.
Jehu Rebukes Jehoshaphat
1 Then Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem. 2 Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD and so bring wrath on yourself from the LORD? 3 “But there is some good in you, for you have removed the Asheroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God.” 4 So Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem and 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 He said to the judges, “Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the LORD who is with you when you render judgment. 7 “Now then let the fear of the LORD be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the LORD our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.” 8 In Jerusalem also Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and priests, and some of the heads of the fathers’ households of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD and to judge disputes among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 9 Then he charged them saying, “Thus you shall do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully and wholeheartedly. 10 “Whenever any dispute comes to you from your brethren who live in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and ordinances, you shall warn them so that they may not be guilty before the LORD, and wrath may not come on you and your brethren. Thus you shall do and you will not be guilty. 11 “Behold, Amariah the chief priest will be over you in all that pertains to the LORD, and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, in all that pertains to the king. Also the Levites shall be officers before you. Act resolutely, and the LORD be with the upright.”
1 Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. 2 Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar (that is Engedi).” 3 Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So Judah gathered together to seek help from the LORD; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD.
5 Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD before the new court, 6 and he said, “O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. 7 “Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? 8 “They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying, 9 ‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You, for Your name is in this house, and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.’ 10 “Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You did not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt (they turned aside from them and did not destroy them), 11 see how they are rewarding us by coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance. 12 “O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” 13 All Judah was standing 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, the Levite of the sons of Asaph; 15 and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat : thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 16 ‘Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 ‘You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you.” 18 Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. 19 The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
Enemies Destroy Themselves
20 They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your 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 holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” 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 routed. 23 For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. 24 When Judah came to the lookout of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude, and behold, they were corpses 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 goods, garments and valuable things which they took for themselves, more than they could carry. And they were three days taking the spoil because there was so much.
Triumphant Return to Jerusalem
26 Then on the fourth day they assembled in the valley of Beracah, for there they blessed the LORD. Therefore they have named that place “The Valley of Beracah ” until today. 27 Every man of Judah and Jerusalem returned with Jehoshaphat at their head, returning to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They came to Jerusalem with harps, lyres and trumpets to the house of the LORD. 29 And the dread of God was on all the kingdoms of the lands when they heard that the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, 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 twenty-five years. And 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 right in the sight of the LORD. 33 The high places, however, were not removed; the people had not yet directed their hearts to the God of their fathers. 34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first to last, behold, they are written in the annals of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel.
Alliance Displeases God
35 After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel. He acted wickedly in so doing. 36 So he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships 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 destroyed your works.” So the ships were broken and could not go to Tarshish.
Jehoram Succeeds Jehoshaphat in Judah
1 Then Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Jehoram his son became king in his place. 2 He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azaryahu, Michael and Shephatiah. All these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. 3 Their father gave them many gifts of silver, gold and precious things, with fortified cities in Judah, but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram because he was the firstborn.
Scripture taken or blended from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (R), Copyright (C) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.