20 Later the Moabites and Ammonites, along with some of the Meunites, 1 attacked Jehoshaphat. 2 Messengers 2 arrived and reported to Jehoshaphat, “A huge army is attacking you from the other side of the Dead Sea, 3 from the direction of Edom. 4 Look, they are in Hazezon Tamar (that is, En Gedi).” 3 Jehoshaphat was afraid, so he decided to seek the Lord’s advice. 5 He decreed that all Judah should observe a fast. 4 The people of Judah 6 assembled to ask for the Lord’s help; 7 they came from all the cities of Judah to ask for the Lord’s help. 8
5 Jehoshaphat stood before the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem 9 at the Lord’s temple, in front of the new courtyard. 6 He prayed: “O Lord God of our ancestors, 10 you are the God who lives in heaven 11 and rules over all the kingdoms of the nations. You possess strength and power; no one can stand against you. 7 Our God, you drove out 12 the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and gave it as a permanent possession 13 to the descendants of your friend 14 Abraham. 8 They settled down in it and built in it a temple 15 to honor you, 16 saying, 9 ‘If disaster comes on us in the form of military attack, 17 judgment, plague, or famine, we will stand in front of this temple before you, for you are present in this temple. 18 We will cry out to you for help in our distress, so that you will 19 hear and deliver us.’ 10 Now the Ammonites, Moabites, and men from Mount Seir are coming! 20 When Israel came from the land of Egypt, you did not allow them to invade these lands. 21 They bypassed them and did not destroy them. 11 Look how they are repaying us! They come to drive us out of our allotted land which you assigned to us! 12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we are powerless against this huge army that attacks us! We don’t know what we should do; we look to you for help.” 22
13 All the men of Judah 23 were standing before the Lord, along with their infants, wives, and children. 14 Then in the midst of the assembly, the Lord’s Spirit came upon Jachaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph. 15 He said: “Pay attention, all you people of Judah, 24 residents of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Don’t be afraid and don’t panic 25 because of this huge army! For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them as 26 they come up the Ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the ravine in front of the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not fight in this battle. Take your positions, stand, and watch the Lord deliver you, 27 O Judah and Jerusalem. Don’t be afraid and don’t panic! 28 Tomorrow march out toward them; the Lord is with you!’”
18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face toward the ground, and all the people of Judah 29 and the residents of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord and worshiped him. 30 19 Then some Levites, from the Kohathites and Korahites, got up and loudly praised the Lord God of Israel. 31
20 Early the next morning they marched out to the Desert of Tekoa. When they were ready to march, Jehoshaphat stood up and said: “Listen to me, you people of Judah 32 and residents of Jerusalem! Trust in the Lord your God and you will be safe! 33 Trust in the message of his prophets and you will win.” 21 He met 34 with the people and appointed musicians to play before the Lord and praise his majestic splendor. As they marched ahead of the warriors they said: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his loyal love endures.” 35
22 When they began to shout and praise, the Lord suddenly attacked 36 the Ammonites, Moabites, and men from Mount Seir 37 who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites attacked the men from Mount Seir 38 and annihilated them. 39 When they had finished off the men 40 of Seir, they attacked and destroyed one another. 41 24 When the men of Judah 42 arrived at the observation post overlooking the desert and looked at 43 the huge army, they saw dead bodies on the ground; there were no survivors! 25 Jehoshaphat and his men 44 went to gather the plunder; they found a huge amount of supplies, clothing 45 and valuable items. They carried away everything they could. 46 There was so much plunder, it took them three days to haul it off. 47
26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berachah, where 48 they praised the Lord. So that place is called the Valley of Berachah 49 to this very day. 27 Then all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem with Jehoshaphat leading them; the Lord had given them reason to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They entered Jerusalem to the sound of stringed instruments and trumpets and proceeded to the temple of the Lord. 29 All the kingdoms of the surrounding lands were afraid of God 50 when they heard how the Lord had fought against Israel’s enemies. 30 Jehoshaphat’s kingdom enjoyed peace; his God made him secure on every side. 51
31 Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king and he reigned for twenty-five years in Jerusalem. 52 His mother was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi. 32 He followed in his father Asa’s footsteps and was careful to do what the Lord approved. 53 33 However, the high places were not eliminated; the people were still not devoted to the God of their ancestors. 54
34 The rest of the events of Jehoshaphat’s reign, from start to finish, are recorded in the Annals of Jehu son of Hanani which are included in Scroll of the Kings of Israel. 55
35 Later King Jehoshaphat of Judah made an alliance with King Ahaziah of Israel, who 56 did evil. 36 They agreed 57 to make large seagoing merchant ships; 58 they built the ships in Ezion Geber. 37 Eliezer son of Dodavahu from Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, “Because 59 you made an alliance with Ahaziah, the Lord will shatter what you have made.” The ships were wrecked and unable to go to sea. 60
21 Jehoshaphat passed away 1 and was buried with his ancestors 2 in the City of David. 3 His son Jehoram 4 replaced him as king.
2 His brothers, Jehoshaphat’s sons, were Azariah, Jechiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael, and Shephatiah. All of these were sons of King Jehoshaphat of Israel. 5 3 Their father gave them many presents, including silver, gold, and other precious items, along with fortified cities in Judah. But he gave the kingdom to Jehoram because he was the firstborn.
4 Jehoram took control of his father’s kingdom and became powerful. 6 Then he killed all his brothers, 7 as well as some of the officials of Israel. 5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king and he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem. 8 6 He followed in the footsteps of the kings of Israel, just as Ahab’s dynasty had done, for he married Ahab’s daughter. 9 He did evil in the sight of 10 the Lord. 7 But the Lord was unwilling to destroy David’s dynasty 11 because of the promise 12 he had made to give David a perpetual dynasty. 13
8 During Jehoram’s 14 reign Edom freed themselves from Judah’s control and set up their own king. 15 9 Jehoram crossed over to Zair with his officers and all his chariots. The Edomites, who had surrounded him, attacked at night and defeated him and his chariot officers. 16 10 So Edom has remained free from Judah’s control to this very day. 17 At that same time Libnah also rebelled and freed themselves from Judah’s control 18 because Jehoram 19 rejected the Lord God of his ancestors. 11 He also built high places on the hills of Judah; he encouraged the residents of Jerusalem to be unfaithful to the Lord 20 and led Judah away from the Lord. 21
12 Jehoram 22 received this letter from Elijah the prophet: “This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: ‘You 23 have not followed in the footsteps 24 of your father Jehoshaphat and of 25 King Asa of Judah, 13 but have instead followed in the footsteps of the kings of Israel. You encouraged the people of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem to be unfaithful to the Lord, just as the family of Ahab does in Israel. 26 You also killed your brothers, members of your father’s family, 27 who were better than you. 14 So look, the Lord is about to severely afflict 28 your people, your sons, your wives, and all you own. 15 And you will get a serious, chronic intestinal disease which will cause your intestines to come out.” 29
16 The Lord stirred up against Jehoram the Philistines 30 and the Arabs who lived beside the Cushites. 17 They attacked Judah and swept through it. 31 They carried off everything they found in the royal palace, 32 including his sons and wives. None of his sons was left, except for his youngest, Ahaziah. 18 After all this happened, the Lord afflicted him with an incurable intestinal disease. 33 19 After about two years his intestines came out because of the disease, so that he died a very painful death. 34 His people did not make a bonfire to honor him, as they had done for his ancestors. 35
20 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. No one regretted his death; 36 he was buried in the City of David, 37 but not in the royal tombs.
22 The residents of Jerusalem 1 made his youngest son Ahaziah king in his place, for the raiding party that invaded the city with the Arabs had killed all the older sons. 2 So Ahaziah son of Jehoram became king of Judah. 2 Ahaziah was twenty-two 3 years old when he became king and he reigned for one year in Jerusalem. His mother was Athaliah, the granddaughter 4 of Omri. 3 He followed in the footsteps of Ahab’s dynasty, 5 for his mother gave him evil advice. 6 4 He did evil in the sight of 7 the Lord like Ahab’s dynasty because, after his father’s death, they 8 gave him advice that led to his destruction. 5 He followed their advice and joined Ahab’s son King Joram 9 of Israel in a battle against King Hazael of Syria 10 at Ramoth Gilead in which the Syrians defeated Joram. 6 Joram 11 returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he received from the Syrians 12 in Ramah when he fought against King Hazael of Syria. Ahaziah 13 son of King Jehoram of Judah went down to visit Joram son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he had been wounded. 14
7 God brought about Ahaziah’s downfall through his visit to Joram. 15 When Ahaziah 16 arrived, he went out with Joram to meet Jehu son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had commissioned 17 to wipe out Ahab’s family. 18 8 While Jehu was dishing out punishment to Ahab’s family, he discovered the officials of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s relatives who were serving Ahaziah and killed them. 9 He looked for Ahaziah, who was captured while hiding in Samaria. 19 They brought him to Jehu and then executed him. They did give him a burial, for they reasoned, 20 “He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with his whole heart.” There was no one in Ahaziah’s family strong enough to rule in his place. 21
10 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she was determined to destroy the entire royal line 22 of Judah. 23 11 So Jehoshabeath, 24 the daughter of King Jehoram, 25 took Ahaziah’s son Joash and sneaked him away 26 from the rest of the royal descendants who were to be executed. She hid him and his nurse in the room where the bed covers were stored. So Jehoshabeath the daughter of King Jehoram, wife of Jehoiada the priest and sister of Ahaziah, hid him from Athaliah so she could not execute him. 12 He remained in hiding in God’s temple 27 for six years, while Athaliah was ruling over the land.