2 Chronicles 20

Soldiers from Moab and Ammon attack Jehoshaphat

1 After that, men from Moab, men from Ammon and some other people called Meunites came to fight Jehoshaphat.

20:1The Meunites were from Edom.

2 Some men came and they said to Jehoshaphat, ‘A large army is coming from this side of Syria. It has come across the Dead Sea to attack you. They are already in Hazezon-Tamar.’ (That is another name for En-Gedi.)

Jehoshaphat asks the Lord to help his people

3 Jehoshaphat was afraid. So, he decided to ask the Lord what he should do. And he told all the people in Judah that they should not eat for some time. 4 All Judah's people came together to ask the Lord for his help. They came from every town in Judah to meet with the Lord.

5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in front of the people from Judah and from Jerusalem. He was standing in front of the new yard of the Lord's house. 6 He said, ‘Lord, you were the God of our ancestors. You are the God who is in heaven. You rule over all kings and their nations. You are strong and powerful and nobody can stand against you. 7 Our God, you pushed out the people who were living in this country. You caused your people, the Israelites to push them out. And you have given this country for all time to the descendants of your friend Abraham. 8 Your people have lived here and they have built a house here to give honour to your name. When they built it, they said, 9 “Perhaps we will have troubles. The trouble might be war, punishment, illness or we might have no food. Then we will come and we will stand in front of you. We will stand in front of this temple because your name is in this temple. Then we will ask you for help when we are in trouble. Then you will hear us and you will save us.”

Israel has never hurt Ammon or Edom

10 But now men from Ammon, Moab and the mountain called Seir are here. You would not let the Israelites attack them when the Israelites came out of Egypt. So our people turned away and they did not kill those people. 11 Now see how these people are paying us for that. They are coming to push us out of your country that you gave to us to keep. 12 So, our God, please punish these people. We are not strong. So we cannot fight this very large army that is attacking us. We are too weak to fight them. We do not know what to do. But we hope that you will help us.’

13 All the men from Judah were standing there in front of the Lord. They were standing there with their babies, their wives and their children.

The Lord speaks to Jahaziel

14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came down on Jahaziel. He was the son of Zechariah. Zechariah was the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, Mattaniah's son. He was a descendant of Asaph and he was a Levite. He was standing among the people.

The Lord's reply

15 He said, ‘Listen to me all you people who live in Judah and in Jerusalem. And listen to me King Jehoshaphat. The Lord says to you, “This is God's fight, not yours. So do not be afraid. And do not think that this large army will certainly beat you. 16 March down against them tomorrow. They will be climbing up the narrow valley called Ziz. People go to the desert called Jeruel through a valley. You will find the enemy at the end of that valley. 17 You will not have to fight this time. Go to your places. Stand there. And see how the Lord will save you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid. And do not think that this army will certainly beat you. Go out to stand in front of them tomorrow. When you do that, the Lord will be with you.” ’

The people worship the Lord and the Levites praise him

18 Jehoshaphat put his nose to the ground. And all the people from Judah and from Jerusalem fell down in front of the Lord to worship him. 19 Then some Levites stood up to praise the Lord Israel's God with very loud voices. They were from the clans of Kohath and Korah.

The Lord fights for Judah

20 Jehoshaphat and his men got up early the next morning. And they started to go to the Desert of Tekoa. When they were leaving, Jehoshaphat stood up. And he said, ‘Listen to me, people from Judah and people who live in Jerusalem! Trust the Lord your God. If you do that, you will be safe. Believe his prophets. If you believe them, you will win the fight.’ 21 And Jehoshaphat talked with the people. Then he chose men to sing and to praise the Lord. They had to wear holy clothes. They went in front of the army and they sang, ‘The Lord always does what he has promised to do. And his kind love has no end. So give thanks to him.’

22 The soldiers from Ammon, Moab and from the mountain called Seir were coming to attack Judah. God's people started to sing and to praise the Lord. Then the Lord caused the enemy to have trouble. So Judah's soldiers completely beat the enemy. 23 The men from Ammon and Moab started to attack the men from Seir. They destroyed their army. When they had done that, they started to fight each other. And they were killing each other. 24 The men from Judah came to the place where they could see the desert. They looked for the very large army. But they saw only dead bodies where the enemies had been. All their dead bodies were on the ground. Nobody was still alive. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his people went to take away everything that was valuable. They found a lot of clothes and other valuable things on the dead bodies. They took the things from the dead bodies. But there were more things than they could carry away. There was so much that it took them three days to carry all the things away. 26 On the fourth day they came together in the Valley of Beracah. There they praised the Lord. That is why it is still called the Valley of Beracah.

20:26Beracah means ‘praise’.

Judah's people return to Jerusalem

27 Then Jehoshaphat and all the men from Judah and Jerusalem returned to Jerusalem. Jehoshaphat was walking in front of them. They were very happy because the Lord had made them happy. He had caused them to beat their enemies. 28 They went into Jerusalem with harps, lyres and trumpets. They went to the Lord's house there.

29 The people in all the kingdoms round Judah became afraid of God when they knew about this. They knew that the Lord had fought against Israel's enemies. 30 Then Jehoshaphat's kingdom had peace. His God stopped all the people who lived round them attacking him.

Jehoshaphat continues to rule Judah

31 So Jehoshaphat was still the king of Judah. He was 35 years old when he started to rule over Judah. And he ruled in Jerusalem for 25 years. His mother's name was Azubah. She was Shilhi's daughter. 32 He lived as his father Asa had done. And he always followed his father's ways. He always did what the Lord wanted him to do. 33 But he did not remove the high places where some people worshipped idols. And the people still did not really want to be the servants of the God of their ancestors.

34 Other things happened while Jehoshaphat was king. Hanani's son Jehu recorded all those things from the first thing to the last thing. He recorded them in the Book about the Kings of Israel.

Jehoshaphat and Ahaziah build ships together

35 After that, Jehoshaphat became a friend of Ahaziah the king of Israel who did very wrong things. 36 They agreed to build ships that would sail to Tarshish. And they built the ships in the town called Ezion-Geber. 37 Dodavahu's son Eliezer from the town called Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat. He said, ‘You have become a friend of Ahaziah. So the Lord will destroy the things that you have made.’ The ships broke in the sea. So, they could not sail to Tarshish.