14:7 He said to the people of Judah: 1 “Let’s build these cities and fortify them with walls, towers, and barred gates. 2 The land remains ours because we have followed 3 the Lord our God and he has made us secure on all sides.” 4 So they built the cities 5 and prospered.
14:8 Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah, equipped with large shields and spears. He also had 280,000 men from Benjamin who carried small shields and were adept archers; they were all skilled warriors. 14:9 Zerah the Cushite marched against them with an army of 1,000,000 6 men and 300 chariots. He arrived at Mareshah,
2 Chronicles 19:1--22:12Context
19:1 When King Jehoshaphat of Judah returned home safely to Jerusalem, 7 19:2 the prophet 8 Jehu son of Hanani confronted him; 9 he said to King Jehoshaphat, “Is it right to help the wicked and be an ally of those who oppose the Lord? 10 Because you have done this the Lord is angry with you! 11 19:3 Nevertheless you have done some good things; 12 you removed 13 the Asherah poles from the land and you were determined to follow the Lord.” 14
19:4 Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem. 15 He went out among the people from Beer Sheba to the hill country of Ephraim and encouraged them to follow 16 the Lord God of their ancestors. 17 19:5 He appointed judges throughout the land and in each of the fortified cities of Judah. 18 19:6 He told the judges, “Be careful what you do, 19 for you are not judging for men, but for the Lord, who will be with you when you make judicial decisions. 19:7 Respect the Lord and make careful decisions, for the Lord our God disapproves of injustice, partiality, and bribery.” 20
19:8 In Jerusalem Jehoshaphat appointed some Levites, priests, and Israelite family leaders to judge on behalf of the Lord 21 and to settle disputes among the residents of Jerusalem. 22 19:9 He commanded them: “Carry out your duties with respect for the Lord, with honesty, and with pure motives. 23 19:10 Whenever your countrymen who live in the cities bring a case before you 24 (whether it involves a violent crime 25 or other matters related to the law, commandments, rules, and regulations), warn them that they must not sin against the Lord. If you fail to do so, God will be angry with you and your colleagues; but if you obey, you will be free of guilt. 26 19:11 You will report to Amariah the chief priest in all matters pertaining to the Lord’s law, and to Zebadiah son of Ishmael, the leader of the family of Judah, in all matters pertaining to the king. 27 The Levites will serve as officials before you. Confidently carry out your duties! 28 May the Lord be with those who do well!”
20:1 Later the Moabites and Ammonites, along with some of the Meunites, 29 attacked Jehoshaphat. 20:2 Messengers 30 arrived and reported to Jehoshaphat, “A huge army is attacking you from the other side of the Dead Sea, 31 from the direction of Edom. 32 Look, they are in Hazezon Tamar (that is, En Gedi).” 20:3 Jehoshaphat was afraid, so he decided to seek the Lord’s advice. 33 He decreed that all Judah should observe a fast. 20:4 The people of Judah 34 assembled to ask for the Lord’s help; 35 they came from all the cities of Judah to ask for the Lord’s help. 36
20:5 Jehoshaphat stood before the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem 37 at the Lord’s temple, in front of the new courtyard. 20:6 He prayed: “O Lord God of our ancestors, 38 you are the God who lives in heaven 39 and rules over all the kingdoms of the nations. You possess strength and power; no one can stand against you. 20:7 Our God, you drove out 40 the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and gave it as a permanent possession 41 to the descendants of your friend 42 Abraham. 20:8 They settled down in it and built in it a temple 43 to honor you, 44 saying, 20:9 ‘If disaster comes on us in the form of military attack, 45 judgment, plague, or famine, we will stand in front of this temple before you, for you are present in this temple. 46 We will cry out to you for help in our distress, so that you will 47 hear and deliver us.’ 20:10 Now the Ammonites, Moabites, and men from Mount Seir are coming! 48 When Israel came from the land of Egypt, you did not allow them to invade these lands. 49 They bypassed them and did not destroy them. 20:11 Look how they are repaying us! They come to drive us out of our allotted land which you assigned to us! 20:12 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.” 50
20:13 All the men of Judah 51 were standing before the Lord, along with their infants, wives, and children. 20:14 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. 20:15 He said: “Pay attention, all you people of Judah, 52 residents of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Don’t be afraid and don’t panic 53 because of this huge army! For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 20:16 Tomorrow march down against them as 54 they come up the Ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the ravine in front of the Desert of Jeruel. 20:17 You will not fight in this battle. Take your positions, stand, and watch the Lord deliver you, 55 O Judah and Jerusalem. Don’t be afraid and don’t panic! 56 Tomorrow march out toward them; the Lord is with you!’”
20:18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face toward the ground, and all the people of Judah 57 and the residents of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord and worshiped him. 58 20:19 Then some Levites, from the Kohathites and Korahites, got up and loudly praised the Lord God of Israel. 59
20:20 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 60 and residents of Jerusalem! Trust in the Lord your God and you will be safe! 61 Trust in the message of his prophets and you will win.” 20:21 He met 62 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.” 63
20:22 When they began to shout and praise, the Lord suddenly attacked 64 the Ammonites, Moabites, and men from Mount Seir 65 who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 20:23 The Ammonites and Moabites attacked the men from Mount Seir 66 and annihilated them. 67 When they had finished off the men 68 of Seir, they attacked and destroyed one another. 69 20:24 When the men of Judah 70 arrived at the observation post overlooking the desert and looked at 71 the huge army, they saw dead bodies on the ground; there were no survivors! 20:25 Jehoshaphat and his men 72 went to gather the plunder; they found a huge amount of supplies, clothing 73 and valuable items. They carried away everything they could. 74 There was so much plunder, it took them three days to haul it off. 75
20:26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berachah, where 76 they praised the Lord. So that place is called the Valley of Berachah 77 to this very day. 20:27 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. 20:28 They entered Jerusalem to the sound of stringed instruments and trumpets and proceeded to the temple of the Lord. 20:29 All the kingdoms of the surrounding lands were afraid of God 78 when they heard how the Lord had fought against Israel’s enemies. 20:30 Jehoshaphat’s kingdom enjoyed peace; his God made him secure on every side. 79
20:31 Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king and he reigned for twenty-five years in Jerusalem. 80 His mother was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi. 20:32 He followed in his father Asa’s footsteps and was careful to do what the Lord approved. 81 20:33 However, the high places were not eliminated; the people were still not devoted to the God of their ancestors. 82
20:35 Later King Jehoshaphat of Judah made an alliance with King Ahaziah of Israel, who 84 did evil. 20:36 They agreed 85 to make large seagoing merchant ships; 86 they built the ships in Ezion Geber. 20:37 Eliezer son of Dodavahu from Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, “Because 87 you made an alliance with Ahaziah, the Lord will shatter what you have made.” The ships were wrecked and unable to go to sea. 88
21:2 His brothers, Jehoshaphat’s sons, were Azariah, Jechiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael, and Shephatiah. All of these were sons of King Jehoshaphat of Israel. 93 21:3 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.
21:4 Jehoram took control of his father’s kingdom and became powerful. 94 Then he killed all his brothers, 95 as well as some of the officials of Israel. 21:5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king and he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem. 96 21:6 He followed in the footsteps of the kings of Israel, just as Ahab’s dynasty had done, for he married Ahab’s daughter. 97 He did evil in the sight of 98 the Lord. 21:7 But the Lord was unwilling to destroy David’s dynasty 99 because of the promise 100 he had made to give David a perpetual dynasty. 101
21:8 During Jehoram’s 102 reign Edom freed themselves from Judah’s control and set up their own king. 103 21:9 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. 104 21:10 So Edom has remained free from Judah’s control to this very day. 105 At that same time Libnah also rebelled and freed themselves from Judah’s control 106 because Jehoram 107 rejected the Lord God of his ancestors. 21:11 He also built high places on the hills of Judah; he encouraged the residents of Jerusalem to be unfaithful to the Lord 108 and led Judah away from the Lord. 109
21:12 Jehoram 110 received this letter from Elijah the prophet: “This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: ‘You 111 have not followed in the footsteps 112 of your father Jehoshaphat and of 113 King Asa of Judah, 21:13 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. 114 You also killed your brothers, members of your father’s family, 115 who were better than you. 21:14 So look, the Lord is about to severely afflict 116 your people, your sons, your wives, and all you own. 21:15 And you will get a serious, chronic intestinal disease which will cause your intestines to come out.” 117
21:16 The Lord stirred up against Jehoram the Philistines 118 and the Arabs who lived beside the Cushites. 21:17 They attacked Judah and swept through it. 119 They carried off everything they found in the royal palace, 120 including his sons and wives. None of his sons was left, except for his youngest, Ahaziah. 21:18 After all this happened, the Lord afflicted him with an incurable intestinal disease. 121 21:19 After about two years his intestines came out because of the disease, so that he died a very painful death. 122 His people did not make a bonfire to honor him, as they had done for his ancestors. 123
22:1 The residents of Jerusalem 126 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. 127 So Ahaziah son of Jehoram became king of Judah. 22:2 Ahaziah was twenty-two 128 years old when he became king and he reigned for one year in Jerusalem. His mother was Athaliah, the granddaughter 129 of Omri. 22:3 He followed in the footsteps of Ahab’s dynasty, 130 for his mother gave him evil advice. 131 22:4 He did evil in the sight of 132 the Lord like Ahab’s dynasty because, after his father’s death, they 133 gave him advice that led to his destruction. 22:5 He followed their advice and joined Ahab’s son King Joram 134 of Israel in a battle against King Hazael of Syria 135 at Ramoth Gilead in which the Syrians defeated Joram. 22:6 Joram 136 returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he received from the Syrians 137 in Ramah when he fought against King Hazael of Syria. Ahaziah 138 son of King Jehoram of Judah went down to visit Joram son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he had been wounded. 139
22:7 God brought about Ahaziah’s downfall through his visit to Joram. 140 When Ahaziah 141 arrived, he went out with Joram to meet Jehu son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had commissioned 142 to wipe out Ahab’s family. 143 22:8 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. 22:9 He looked for Ahaziah, who was captured while hiding in Samaria. 144 They brought him to Jehu and then executed him. They did give him a burial, for they reasoned, 145 “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. 146
22:10 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she was determined to destroy the entire royal line 147 of Judah. 148 22:11 So Jehoshabeath, 149 the daughter of King Jehoram, 150 took Ahaziah’s son Joash and sneaked him away 151 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. 22:12 He remained in hiding in God’s temple 152 for six years, while Athaliah was ruling over the land.
1 tn The words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The Hebrew text uses the name “Judah” by metonymy for the people of Judah.
2 tn Heb “and we will surround [them] with wall[s] and towers, doors, and bars.”
3 tn Heb “sought.”
4 tn Heb “and he has given us rest all around.”
5 tn The words “the cities” are supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.
6 tn Heb “a thousand thousands.”
8 tn Or “seer.”
9 tn Heb “went out to his face.”
10 tn Heb “and love those who hate the
11 tn Heb “and because of this upon you is anger from before the
12 tn Heb “nevertheless good things are found with you.”
13 tn Here בָּעַר (ba’ar) is not the well attested verb “burn,” but the less common homonym meaning “devastate, sweep away, remove.” See HALOT 146 s.v. II בער.
14 tn Heb “and you set your heart to seek the
16 tn Heb “and turned them back to.”
17 tn Heb “fathers.”
18 tn Heb “in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city.”
19 tn Heb “see what you are doing.”
20 tn Heb “and now let the terror of the
21 tn Heb “for the judgment of the
22 tc Heb “and to conduct a case [or “for controversy”], and they returned [to] Jerusalem.” Some emend וַיָּשֻׁבוּ (vayyashuvu, “and they returned”) to וַיֵּשְׁבוּ (vayyeshÿvu, “and they lived [in]”). The present translation assumes an emendation to יֹשְׁבֵי (yoshÿvey, “residents of”).
23 tn Heb “This you must do with the fear of the
24 tn Heb “and every case which comes to you from your brothers who live in their cities.”
25 tn Heb “between blood pertaining to blood.”
26 tn Heb “and anger will be upon you and your brothers; do this and you will not be guilty.”
27 tn Heb “and look, Amariah the chief priest is over you with respect to every matter of the
28 tn Heb “Be strong and act!”
30 tn Heb “they”; the implied referent (messengers) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
31 tn Heb “the Sea”; in context (“from the direction of Edom”) this must refer to the Dead Sea, which has been specified in the translation for clarity (cf. NEB, NLT).
32 tc Most Hebrew
33 tn Heb “and he set his face to seek the
34 tn The words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the name “Judah” by metonymy for the people of Judah.
39 tn Heb “are you not God in heaven?” The rhetorical question expects the answer “yes,” resulting in the positive statement “you are the God who lives in heaven” employed in the translation.
40 tn Heb “did you not drive out?” This is another rhetorical question which expects a positive response; see the note on the word “heaven” in the previous verse.
41 tn Heb “permanently.”
43 tn Or “sanctuary.”
44 tn Heb “for your name.” The word “name” sometimes refers to one’s reputation or honor (thus the translation here, “to honor you
45 tn Heb “sword.”
46 tn Heb “for your name is in this house.” The “name” of the
47 tn Or “so that you may.”
48 tn Heb “now, look, the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir.”
49 tn Heb “whom you did not allow Israel to enter when they came from the land of Egypt.”
50 tn Heb “for [or “indeed”] upon you are our eyes.”
51 tn Heb “Judah.” The words “the men of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the name “Judah” by metonymy for the men of Judah.
52 tn Heb “all Judah.” The words “you people of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the name “Judah” by metonymy for the people of Judah. Unlike the previous instance in v. 13 where infants, wives, and children are mentioned separately, this reference appears to include them all.
53 tn Or perhaps “don’t get discouraged.”
54 tn Heb “look.”
55 tn Heb “the deliverance of the
56 tn Or perhaps “don’t get discouraged.”
58 tn Heb “to worship the
59 tn Heb “arose to praise the
61 tn There is a wordplay in the Hebrew text. The Hiphil verb form הַאֲמִינוּ (ha’aminu, “trust”) and the Niphal form תֵאָמֵנוּ (te’amenu, “you will be safe”) come from the same verbal root (אָמַן, ’aman).
62 tn Or “consulted.”
63 tn Or “is eternal.”
64 tn Heb “set ambushers against.” This is probably idiomatic here for launching a surprise attack.
65 tn Heb “the sons of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir.”
66 tn Heb “the sons of Ammon and Moab stood against the residents of Mount Seir.”
67 tn Heb “to annihilate and to destroy.”
68 tn Heb “residents.”
69 tn Heb “they helped, each one his fellow, for destruction.” The verb עָזַר (’azar), traditionally understood as the well-attested verb meaning “to help,” is an odd fit in this context. It is possible that it is from a homonymic root, perhaps meaning to “attack.” This root is attested in Ugaritic in a nominal form meaning “young man, warrior, hero.” For a discussion of the proposed root, see HALOT 811 s.v. II עזר.
70 tn Heb “Judah.” The words “the men of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the name “Judah” by metonymy for the men of Judah.
71 tn Heb “turned toward.”
72 tn Or “army.”
73 tc The MT reads פְגָרִים (fÿgarim, “corpses”), but this seems odd among a list of plunder. A few medieval Hebrew
74 tn Heb “and they snatched away for themselves so that there was no carrying away.”
75 tn Heb “and they were three days looting the plunder for it was great.”
76 tn Heb “for there.”
77 sn The name Berachah, which means “blessing” in Hebrew, is derived from the verbal root “to praise [or “to bless”],” which appears earlier in the verse.
78 tn Heb “and the terror of God [or “a great terror”] was upon all the kingdoms of the lands.” It is uncertain if אֱלֹהִים (’elohim) should be understood as a proper name here (“God”), or taken in an idiomatic superlative sense.
79 tn Heb “and his God gave him rest all around.”
81 tn Heb “he walked in the way of his father Asa and did not turn from it, doing what is right in the eyes of the
82 tn Heb “and still the people did not set their heart[s] on the God of their fathers.”
83 tn Heb “the rest of the events of Jehoshaphat, the former and the latter, look, they are written in the records of Jehu son of Hanani, which are taken up in the scroll of the kings of Israel.”
84 tn Heb “he.” The pronoun has been translated as a relative pronoun for stylistic reasons.
85 tn Heb “he made an alliance with him.”
86 tn Heb “make ships to go to Tarshish.” This probably refers to large ships either made in or capable of traveling to the distant western port of Tarshish; a “Tarshish-ship” was essentially a large seagoing merchant ship.
87 tn Heb “when.”
88 tn Heb “to go to Tarshish.”
89 tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”
93 sn A number of times in 2 Chronicles “Israel” is used instead of the more specific “Judah”; see 2 Chr 12:6; 23:2). In the interest of consistency some translations (e.g., NAB, NRSV) substitute “Judah” for “Israel” here.
94 tn Heb “and Jehoram arose over the kingdom of his father and strengthened himself.”
95 tn Heb “and he killed all his brothers with the sword.”
97 tn Heb “he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab did, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife.”
98 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
99 tn Heb “house.”
100 tn Or “covenant.”
101 tn Heb “which he made to David, just as he had promised to give him and his sons a lamp all the days.” Here “lamp” is metaphorical, symbolizing the Davidic dynasty.
102 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Jehoram) has been specified in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
103 tn Heb “in his days Edom rebelled from under the hand of Judah and enthroned a king over them.”
104 tc Heb “and he arose at night and defeated Edom, who had surrounded him, and the chariot officers.” The Hebrew text as it stands gives the impression that Jehoram was surrounded and launched a victorious nighttime counterattack. Yet v. 10 goes on to state that the Edomite revolt was successful. The translation above assumes an emendation of the Hebrew text. Adding a third masculine singular pronominal suffix to the accusative sign before Edom (reading אֹתוֹ [’oto, “him”] instead of just אֶת [’et]) and taking Edom as the subject of verbs allows one to translate the verse in a way that is more consistent with the context, which depicts an Israelite defeat, not victory. See also 2 Kgs 8:21.
105 tn Heb “and Edom rebelled from under the hand of Judah until this day.”
106 tn Or “from Jehoram’s control”; Heb “from under his hand.” The pronominal suffix may refer to Judah in general or, more specifically, to Jehoram.
108 tn Heb “and he caused the residents of Jerusalem to commit adultery.” In this context spiritual unfaithfulness to the
109 tn Heb “and drove Judah away.”
110 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jehoram) has been specified in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
111 tn Heb “Because you…” In the Hebrew text this lengthy sentence is completed in vv. 14-15. Because of its length and complexity (and the tendency of contemporary English to use shorter sentences), the translation has divided it up into several English sentences.
112 tn Heb “walked in the ways.”
113 tn Heb “in the ways of.”
114 tn Heb “and you walked in the way of the kings of Israel and caused Judah and the residents of Jerusalem to commit adultery, like the house of Ahab causes to commit adultery.”
115 tn Heb “the house of your father.”
116 tn Heb “to strike with a great striking.”
117 tn Heb “and you [will have] a serious illness, an illness of the intestines until your intestines come out because of the illness days upon days.”
118 tn Heb “the spirit of the Philistines.”
119 tn Heb “broke it up.”
120 tn Heb “all the property which was found in the house of the king.”
121 tn Heb “in his intestines with an illness [for which] there was no healer.”
122 tn Heb “and it was to days from days, and about the time of the going out of the end for the days, two, his intestines came out with his illness and he died in severe illness.”
123 tn Heb “and his people did not make for him a fire, like the fire of his fathers.”
124 tn Heb “and he went without desire.”
127 tn Heb “for all the older [ones] the raiding party that came with the Arabs to the camp had killed.”
129 tn The Hebrew term בַּת (bat, “daughter”) can refer, as here, to a granddaughter. See HALOT 165-66 s.v. I בַּת 1.
130 tn Heb “and also he walked in the ways of the house of Ahab.”
131 tn Heb “for his mother was his adviser to do evil.”
132 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
133 tn That is, the members of Ahab’s royal house.
134 sn Jehoram and Joram are alternate spellings of the Israelite king’s name (also in vv. 6-7). The shorter form is used in these verse to avoid confusion with King Jehoram of Judah, father of Azariah.
136 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Joram) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
137 tn Heb “which the Syrians inflicted [on] him.”
139 tn Heb “because he was sick,” presumably referring to the wounds he received in the battle with the Syrians.
140 tn Heb “From God was the downfall of Ahaziah by going to Joram.”
141 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Ahaziah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
142 tn Heb “anointed.”
143 tn Heb “to cut off the house of Ahab.”
145 tn Heb “they said.”
146 tn Heb “and there was no one belonging to the house of Ahaziah to retain strength for kingship.”
147 tn Heb “she arose and she destroyed all the royal offspring.” The verb קוּם (qum, “arise”) is here used in an auxiliary sense to indicate that she embarked on a campaign to destroy the royal offspring. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 125.
148 tn Heb “house of Judah.”
150 tn Heb “the king”; the referent (King Jehoram, see later in this verse) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
151 tn Heb “stole.”
152 tn Heb “and he was with them in the house of God hiding.”