2 Chronicles 14

Abijah dies

1 Then Abijah died and people buried him in David's city with his ancestors. His son Asa ruled instead. The country had peace for the first 10 years that Asa was king.

Asa obeys God's Law

2 Asa did good things that gave pleasure to the Lord his God. 3 He took away the altars for foreign gods and their high places for worship. And he broke down the tall pillars of stones and he cut down the models of Asherah. 4 Asa said that all the people in Judah must try to obey the Lord, the God of their ancestors. He said that they must obey God's rules and God's Law. 5 He took away the high places for worship. And he removed the altars where people burnt oils with sweet smells. He did that in every city in Judah. And his kingdom had peace while he ruled. 6 He built strong cities in Judah while there was peace for the country. Nobody fought him during that time because the Lord let him rest.

14:3The pillars of stones were from the time before the Israelites came to the country. Some people believed that gods lived in them.

7 Asa said to Judah's people, ‘We should make these towns stronger. We will put walls round them with tall buildings and gates and strong pieces of wood across the gates. The country is ours because we have obeyed the Lord our God. We asked him for help and he has given peace everywhere round us.’ So they built strong towns and everything was good.

Zerah attacks Asa

8 Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah. They carried big shields and spears. And he had 280,000 men from Benjamin's tribe who carried small shields and bows to shoot arrows with. All these were brave men who could fight well.

9 Zerah from Ethiopia marched out to fight them with a big army and 300 chariots. He had a million soldiers in his army. He reached Mareshah. 10 Asa went out to fight Zerah. They prepared for the fight in the valley called Zephathah near Mareshah.

Asa asks God for help

11 Then Asa asked the Lord his God to help him. He said, ‘There is nobody like you Lord. It is not difficult for you to help the weak against the strong. Help us, Lord our God, because we trust you. We have come to fight this large army because we want people to honour your name. Lord, you are our God. Do not let men win the fight against you.’

The Lord helps Asa to win the fight

12 So the Lord let Asa and the men from Judah knock down the men from Ethiopia. So the soldiers from Ethiopia ran away. 13 Then Asa and his soldiers ran after them until they reached Gerar. So many soldiers from Ethiopia died there that their army could not fight again. The Lord and his army beat them completely and they destroyed their army. And Judah's men carried away very many good things from them. 14 The people in the towns round Gerar had become very afraid of the Lord. So the Israelites destroyed those towns. There were many good things in those towns. So Judah's men took away all those good things. 15 They also attacked the tents of those people there who had animals. And they took very many sheep and camels from there. Then they returned to Jerusalem.