2 Chronicles 14

Abijah dies

1 Abijah died and they buried him beside his ancestors in the City of David. Abijah's son Asa became king after him. The country had peace for ten years while Asa was king.

Asa rules Judah as king

2 Asa did things that pleased the Lord his God. 3 He removed the altars and other places where people worshipped foreign gods. He broke the stone pillars and he cut down the Asherah poles. 4 Asa commanded the people of Judah to worship the Lord, the God of their ancestors. He told them to obey God's law and his commands. 5 He removed the altars on the hills. He also removed the altars in all Judah's cities where people burned incense. There was peace in his kingdom while he ruled.

14:3The stone pillars were from the time before the Israelites came to the land of Canaan. They were places where people worshipped false gods.

6 While there was peace in the land, Asa made the cities of Judah strong and safe. No enemies fought wars against Judah during that time. The Lord gave Asa rest from any trouble.

7 Asa said to Judah's people, ‘We should build these towns and make them stronger. We must put walls around them, with towers and strong gates. Judah still belongs to us because we have obeyed the Lord our God. He has made us safe from our enemies all around us.’

So the people made these towns strong. Everything went well for them.

Zerah attacks Asa

8 Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah. They carried big shields and spears. He also had 280,000 men from Benjamin's tribe. Those men carried small shields and they could shoot arrows with their bows. They were all brave soldiers who could fight well.

9 A man from Ethiopia called Zerah marched out to attack Judah. He had a very big army of a million soldiers and 300 chariots. When he reached Mareshah, 10 Asa went out to fight against him. The two armies prepared to fight a battle in Zephathah valley, near Mareshah.

11 Then Asa called out to the Lord his God to help him. He prayed, ‘There is nobody like you Lord. You have power to help a few weak people against many strong people. Help us, Lord our God, because we trust you. We want people to give honour to your name. That is why we have come to fight against this large army. Lord, you are our God. You cannot let these men win against you.’

12 So the Lord knocked down Zerah's soldiers as Asa and Judah's army attacked them. The Ethiopian soldiers ran away. 13 Asa and his soldiers chased after them until they reached Gerar. So many Ethiopian soldiers died there that their army could not fight any more. The Lord and his army completely destroyed them. Judah's soldiers carried away lots of their enemies' things for themselves.

14 The Lord caused the people in the towns near Gerar to become very afraid. So Judah's soldiers were able to attack those towns. There were many valuable things in all those towns and Judah's men took them away for themselves. 15 They also attacked the tents of the people who took care of animals. They took away many sheep and camels from there. Then they returned to Jerusalem.