14:2 (14:1) Asa did what the Lord his God desired and approved. 5 14:3 He removed the pagan altars 6 and the high places, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. 7 14:4 He ordered Judah to seek the Lord God of their ancestors 8 and to observe his law and commands. 9 14:5 He removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah. The kingdom had rest under his rule. 10
14:6 He built fortified cities throughout Judah, for the land was at rest and there was no war during those years; the Lord gave him peace.
2 Chronicles 17:1--18:34Context
17:1 His son Jehoshaphat replaced him as king and solidified his rule over Israel. 11 17:2 He placed troops in all of Judah’s fortified cities and posted garrisons 12 throughout the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim that his father Asa had seized.
17:3 The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed in his ancestor 13 David’s footsteps at the beginning of his reign. 14 He did not seek the Baals, 17:4 but instead sought the God of his ancestors 15 and obeyed 16 his commands, unlike the Israelites. 17 17:5 The Lord made his kingdom secure; 18 all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he became very wealthy and greatly respected. 19 17:6 He was committed to following the Lord; 20 he even removed the high places and Asherah poles from Judah.
17:7 In the third year of his reign he sent his officials Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah to teach in the cities of Judah. 17:8 They were accompanied by the Levites Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-Adonijah, and by the priests Elishama and Jehoram. 17:9 They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the scroll of the law of the Lord. They traveled to all the cities of Judah and taught the people.
17:10 The Lord put fear into all the kingdoms surrounding Judah; 21 they did not make war with Jehoshaphat. 17:11 Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat tribute, including a load of silver. The Arabs brought him 7,700 rams and 7,700 goats from their flocks.
17:12 Jehoshaphat’s power kept increasing. He built fortresses and storage cities throughout Judah. 17:13 He had many supplies stored in the cities of Judah and an army of skilled warriors stationed in Jerusalem. 22 17:14 These were their divisions by families:
There were a thousand officers from Judah. 23 Adnah the commander led 300,000 skilled warriors, 17:15 Jehochanan the commander led 280,000, 17:16 and Amasiah son of Zikri, who volunteered to serve the Lord, led 200,000 skilled warriors.
17:19 These were the ones who served the king, besides those whom the king placed in the fortified cities throughout Judah.
18:1 Jehoshaphat was very wealthy and greatly respected. He made an alliance by marriage with Ahab, 18:2 and after several years 24 went down to visit 25 Ahab in Samaria. 26 Ahab slaughtered many sheep and cattle to honor Jehoshaphat and those who came with him. 27 He persuaded him to join in an attack 28 against Ramoth Gilead. 18:3 King Ahab of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to attack Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I will support you; my army is at your disposal and will support you in battle.” 29 18:4 Then Jehoshaphat added, 30 “First seek an oracle from the Lord.” 31 18:5 So the king of Israel assembled 400 prophets and asked them, “Should we attack Ramoth Gilead or not?” 32 They said, “Attack! God 33 will hand it over to the king.” 18:6 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet of the Lord still here, that we may ask him?” 18:7 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man through whom we can seek the Lord’s will. 34 But I despise 35 him because he does not prophesy prosperity for me, but always 36 disaster. His name is Micaiah son of Imlah. 37 Jehoshaphat said, “The king should not say such things!” 18:8 The king of Israel summoned an officer and said, “Quickly bring Micaiah son of Imlah.”
18:9 Now the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were sitting on their respective thrones, dressed in their royal robes, at the threshing floor at 38 the entrance of the gate of Samaria. All the prophets were prophesying before them. 18:10 Zedekiah son of Kenaanah made iron horns and said, “This is what the Lord says, ‘With these you will gore Syria until they are destroyed!’” 18:11 All the prophets were prophesying the same, saying, “Attack Ramoth Gilead! You will succeed; the Lord will hand it over to the king!” 18:12 Now the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the prophets are in complete agreement that the king will succeed. 39 Your words must agree with theirs; you must predict success!” 40 18:13 But Micaiah said, “As certainly as the Lord lives, I will say what my God tells me to say!”
18:14 Micaiah 41 came before the king and the king asked him, “Micaiah, should we attack Ramoth Gilead or not?” He answered him, “Attack! You will succeed; they will be handed over to you.” 42 18:15 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you solemnly promise in 43 the name of the Lord to tell me only the truth?” 18:16 Micaiah 44 replied, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep that have no shepherd. Then the Lord said, ‘They have no master. They should go home in peace.’” 18:17 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you he does not prophesy prosperity for me, but disaster?” 18:18 Micaiah 45 said, “That being the case, hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, with all the heavenly assembly standing on his right and on his left. 18:19 The Lord said, ‘Who will deceive King Ahab of Israel, so he will attack Ramoth Gilead and die there?’ One said this and another that. 18:20 Then a spirit 46 stepped forward and stood before the Lord. He said, ‘I will deceive him.’ The Lord asked him, ‘How?’ 18:21 He replied, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.’ The Lord 47 said, ‘Deceive and overpower him. 48 Go out and do as you have proposed.’ 18:22 So now, look, the Lord has placed a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours; but the Lord has decreed disaster for you.” 18:23 Zedekiah son of Kenaanah approached, hit Micaiah on the jaw, and said, “Which way did the Lord’s spirit go when he went from me to speak to you?” 18:24 Micaiah replied, “Look, you will see in the day when you go into an inner room to hide.” 18:25 Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the city official and Joash the king’s son. 18:26 Say, ‘This is what the king says: “Put this man in prison. Give him only a little bread and water 49 until I return safely.”’” 18:27 Micaiah said, “If you really do return safely, then the Lord has not spoken through me!” Then he added, “Take note, 50 all you people.”
18:28 The king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah attacked Ramoth Gilead. 18:29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and then enter 51 the battle; but you wear your royal attire.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and they entered the battle. 18:30 Now the king of Syria had ordered his chariot commanders, “Do not fight common soldiers or high ranking officers; 52 fight only the king of Israel!” 18:31 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “He must be the king of Israel!” So they turned and attacked him, but Jehoshaphat cried out. The Lord helped him; God lured them away from him. 18:32 When the chariot commanders realized he was not the king of Israel, they turned away from him. 18:33 Now an archer shot an arrow at random 53 and it struck the king of Israel between the plates of his armor. The king 54 ordered his charioteer, “Turn around and take me from the battle line, 55 for I am wounded.” 18:34 While the battle raged throughout the day, the king stood propped up in his chariot opposite the Syrians. He died in the evening as the sun was setting.
1 sn Beginning with 14:1, the verse numbers through 14:15 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 14:1 ET = 13:23 HT, 14:2 ET = 14:1 HT, 14:3 ET = 14:2 HT, etc., through 14:15 ET = 14:14 HT. Beginning with 15:1 the verse numbers in the ET and HT are again the same.
2 tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”
4 tn Heb “in his days.”
5 tn Heb “and Asa did the good and the right in the eyes of the
6 tn Heb “the altars of the foreigner.”
7 sn Asherah poles. A leading deity of the Canaanite pantheon was Asherah, wife/sister of El and goddess of fertility. She was commonly worshiped at shrines in or near groves of evergreen trees, or, failing that, at places marked by wooden poles (Hebrew אֲשֵׁרִים [’asherim], as here). They were to be burned or cut down (Deut 7:5; 12:3; 16:21; Judg 6:25, 28, 30; 2 Kgs 18:4).
8 tn Heb “fathers.”
9 tn Heb “the law and the command.”
10 tn Heb “before him.”
11 tn Heb “and strengthened himself over Israel.”
12 tn Or perhaps, “governors.”
13 tn Heb “father.”
14 tn Heb “for he walked in the ways of David his father [in] the beginning [times].”
15 tn Heb “fathers.”
16 tn Heb “walked in.”
17 tn Heb “and not like the behavior of Israel.”
18 tn Heb “established the kingdom in his hand.”
19 tn Heb “and he had wealth and honor in abundance.”
21 tn Heb “and the terror of the
22 tn Heb “and many supplies were his in the cities of Judah, and men of war, warriors of skill in Jerusalem.”
23 tn Or perhaps “from Judah, commanders of the thousands.”
24 tn Heb “at the end of years.”
25 tn The word “visit” is supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
27 tn Heb “and Ahab slaughtered for him sheep and cattle in abundance, and for the people who were with him.”
28 tn Heb “to go up.”
29 tn Heb “Like me, like you; and like your people, my people; and with you in battle.”
30 tn Heb “and Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel.”
31 tn Heb “the word of the
32 tn Heb “Should we go against Ramoth Gilead for war or should I refrain?”
33 tn Though Jehoshaphat had requested an oracle from “the
34 tn Heb “to seek the
35 tn Or “hate.”
36 tn Heb “all his days.”
37 tn The words “his name is” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
38 tn Heb “at,” which in this case probably means “near.”
39 tn Heb “the words of the prophets are [with] one mouth good for the king.”
40 tn Heb “let your words be like one of them and speak good.”
41 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Micaiah) has been specified in the translation both for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
42 sn One does not expect Micaiah, having just vowed to speak only what the
43 tn Or “swear an oath by.”
44 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Micaiah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
45 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Micaiah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
46 tn Heb “the spirit.” The significance of the article prefixed to רוּחַ (ruakh) is uncertain, but it could contain a clue as to this spirit’s identity, especially when interpreted in light of verse 23. It is certainly possible, and probably even likely, that the article is used in a generic or dramatic sense and should be translated, “a spirit.” In the latter case it would show that this spirit was vivid and definite in the mind of Micaiah the storyteller. However, if one insists that the article indicates a well-known or universally known spirit, the following context provides a likely referent. Verse 23 tells how Zedekiah slapped Micaiah in the face and then asked sarcastically, “Which way did the spirit from the
47 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the
48 tn The Hebrew text has two imperfects connected by וְגַם (vÿgam). These verbs could be translated as specific futures, “you will deceive and also you will prevail,” in which case the
49 tn Heb “the bread of affliction and the water of affliction.”
50 tn Heb “Listen.”
51 tn The Hebrew verbal forms could be imperatives (“Disguise yourself and enter”), but this would make no sense in light of the immediately following context. The forms are better interpreted as infinitives absolute functioning as cohortatives (see IBHS 594 §35.5.2a). Some prefer to emend the forms to imperfects.
52 tn Heb “small or great.”
53 tn Heb “now a man drew a bow in his innocence” (i.e., with no specific target in mind, or at least without realizing his target was the king of Israel).
54 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
55 tn Heb “camp.”