2 Chronicles 20

Jehoshaphat fights against Moab and Ammon

1 After that, armies from Moab and Ammon, as well as some Meunites, attacked Jehoshaphat.

20:1The Meunites came from Edom.

2 Some men brought this news to Jehoshaphat: ‘A large army is coming from the other side of the Dead Sea to attack you. They came from Edom and they are already in Hazezon Tamar.’ (That is another name for En Gedi.)

3 Jehoshaphat was afraid. So he decided to ask the Lord what he should do. He commanded all the people in Judah that they must fast. 4 Judah's people came together to ask the Lord for his help. They came from every town in Judah to pray to the Lord.

Jehoshaphat's prayer

5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in front of the people of Jerusalem and the other places in Judah. He was standing in front of the new yard of the Lord's temple. 6 He prayed, ‘Lord, you are the God of our ancestors. You are the God who is in heaven and you rule over all kingdoms and nations. You are strong and powerful. Nobody can fight against you and win. 7 Our God, you chased out the people who were living in this land, so that your people, the Israelites, could move in. You have given this land to the descendants of your friend Abraham. It belongs to them for ever. 8 Your people made their homes here and they built a temple to give honour to your name. When they built it, they said, 9 “In the future, we may have trouble. There might be war, disease, famine or some other punishment. If that happens, we will come to you and we will stand in front of this temple. You have chosen this place to be your home. We will call out to you to help us when we are in trouble. Then you will hear us and you will rescue us.”

10 But now soldiers from Ammon, Moab and Edom are coming to attack us. When the Israelites were escaping from Egypt, you would not allow them to attack those lands. So our people turned away and they did not destroy those people. 11 But now those people want to destroy us! They are coming to chase us out of the land that you gave to us as our home. 12 So, our God, please punish these people! We are not strong enough to fight against this large army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do. But we are asking you to help us.’

The Lord speaks to Jahaziel

13 As King Jehoshaphat prayed, all the men of Judah were standing there at the temple. They had their babies, their wives and their children with them.

14 Then the Lord's Spirit came with power to Jahaziel as he stood among the people. Jahaziel was a Levite, a descendant of Asaph. He was the son of Zechariah, who was the son of Benaiah, who was the son of Jeiel, who was the son of Mattaniah.

15 Jahaziel said, ‘Listen to me all you people of Judah. That includes you people who live in Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat too. The Lord says to you, “Do not be afraid because this large army is coming to attack you. You must be brave! This is God's battle, not your battle. 16 Tomorrow, you must march out of here to attack them. They will be coming up the road through the hills at Ziz. You will meet them at the end of the narrow valley that is on the east side of the Jeruel desert. 17 You will not have to fight in this battle. Go to your places and stand still. Then you will see the Lord rescue you. People of Judah and Jerusalem, do not be afraid. Be brave! Tomorrow you must march out of here towards the enemy army. The Lord is with you!” ’

18 Then Jehoshaphat bent down with his face towards the ground. All the people of Judah and the people who lived in Jerusalem also bent down to worship the Lord. 19 Then some Levites stood up. They praised the Lord, Israel's God, with loud voices. They belonged to the clans of Kohath and Korah.

The Lord fights against Judah's enemies

20 Early the next morning, Jehoshaphat prepared to leave with his army. They started to march to the Tekoa desert. When they were ready to leave, Jehoshaphat stood up and he said, ‘Listen to me, people of Judah and people who live in Jerusalem! Trust in the Lord your God. Then you will be safe. Believe the message that his prophets have spoken. Then you will win the battle.’

21 Jehoshaphat spoke with the people. He chose some musicians to march in front of his army. They sang songs to worship the Lord and to praise him for his holy power. As they marched, they sang, ‘We thank the Lord! His faithful love continues for ever!’

22 As the musicians began to sing, the Lord suddenly made the soldiers of Judah's enemies confused. 23 The soldiers from Ammon and Moab started to attack the soldiers from Edom. They destroyed Edom's army. When they had done that, they started to fight against each other. So they all destroyed one another. 24 Judah's soldiers came to a tower from where they could see the desert. They looked at the large army of their enemies. But they could not see any soldier who was still alive! They only saw dead bodies that were lying on the ground.

25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to take things from the dead soldiers. They found a lot of weapons, clothes and other valuable things. They took as many things as they could carry. There were so many things that it took them three days to take them all away. 26 On the fourth day they all met together in Berakah valley. There they praised the Lord. That is why that place is still called Berakah valley.

20:26Berakah means ‘Praise’ or ‘Blessing’.

Judah's people return to Jerusalem

27 Then all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned to Jerusalem. Jehoshaphat marched in front of them. They were very happy because the Lord had helped them. He had caused them to win the fight against their enemies. 28 As they went into Jerusalem, they made music with harps, lyres and trumpets. They went to the Lord's temple.

29 People in all the kingdoms around Judah heard that the Lord had fought against Israel's enemies. So they became afraid of God's power. 30 There was a time of peace in Jehoshaphat's kingdom. God kept them safe from the nations all around.

Jehoshaphat continues to rule Judah

31 So Jehoshaphat continued to rule Judah as king. He was 35 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 25 years. His mother's name was Azubah. She was the daughter of Shilhi. 32 Jehoshaphat lived in the good way that his father Asa had lived. He only did things that the Lord says are right. 33 But he did not remove all the altars that were on the hills. The people still did not want to be completely faithful to the God of their ancestors.

34 The other things that happened while Jehoshaphat was king are written in a book. Hanani's son Jehu recorded all of them in his book, which is part of ‘The history of Israel's kings’.

35 While Jehoshaphat was king, he became a friend of King Ahaziah of Israel, who did evil things. 36 They agreed to build big ships that would bring things from countries that were far away. They built the ships in Ezion-Geber. 37 Dodavahu's son Eliezer from Mareshah warned Jehoshaphat with a message from the Lord. He said, ‘You should not have become a friend of Ahaziah. Because of that, the Lord will destroy the things that you have made.’

A storm destroyed the ships and they never went anywhere.