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, 1 residents of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Don’t be afraid and don’t panic 2 because of this huge army! For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 20:16 Tomorrow march down against them as 3 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, 4 O Judah and Jerusalem. Don’t be afraid and don’t panic! 5 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 6 and the residents of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord and worshiped him. 7 20:19 Then some Levites, from the Kohathites and Korahites, got up and loudly praised the Lord God of Israel. 8
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 9 and residents of Jerusalem! Trust in the Lord your God and you will be safe! 10 Trust in the message of his prophets and you will win.” 20:21 He met 11 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.” 12
20:22 When they began to shout and praise, the Lord suddenly attacked 13 the Ammonites, Moabites, and men from Mount Seir 14 who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 20:23 The Ammonites and Moabites attacked the men from Mount Seir 15 and annihilated them. 16 When they had finished off the men 17 of Seir, they attacked and destroyed one another. 18 20:24 When the men of Judah 19 arrived at the observation post overlooking the desert and looked at 20 the huge army, they saw dead bodies on the ground; there were no survivors! 20:25 Jehoshaphat and his men 21 went to gather the plunder; they found a huge amount of supplies, clothing 22 and valuable items. They carried away everything they could. 23 There was so much plunder, it took them three days to haul it off. 24
20:26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berachah, where 25 they praised the Lord. So that place is called the Valley of Berachah 26 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 27 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. 28
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. 29 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. 30 20:33 However, the high places were not eliminated; the people were still not devoted to the God of their ancestors. 31
20:35 Later King Jehoshaphat of Judah made an alliance with King Ahaziah of Israel, who 33 did evil. 20:36 They agreed 34 to make large seagoing merchant ships; 35 they built the ships in Ezion Geber. 20:37 Eliezer son of Dodavahu from Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, “Because 36 you made an alliance with Ahaziah, the Lord will shatter what you have made.” The ships were wrecked and unable to go to sea. 37
1 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.
2 tn Or perhaps “don’t get discouraged.”
3 tn Heb “look.”
4 tn Heb “the deliverance of the
5 tn Or perhaps “don’t get discouraged.”
7 tn Heb “to worship the
8 tn Heb “arose to praise the
10 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).
11 tn Or “consulted.”
12 tn Or “is eternal.”
13 tn Heb “set ambushers against.” This is probably idiomatic here for launching a surprise attack.
14 tn Heb “the sons of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir.”
15 tn Heb “the sons of Ammon and Moab stood against the residents of Mount Seir.”
16 tn Heb “to annihilate and to destroy.”
17 tn Heb “residents.”
18 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.
19 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.
20 tn Heb “turned toward.”
21 tn Or “army.”
22 tc The MT reads פְגָרִים (fÿgarim, “corpses”), but this seems odd among a list of plunder. A few medieval Hebrew
23 tn Heb “and they snatched away for themselves so that there was no carrying away.”
24 tn Heb “and they were three days looting the plunder for it was great.”
25 tn Heb “for there.”
26 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.
27 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.
28 tn Heb “and his God gave him rest all around.”
30 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
31 tn Heb “and still the people did not set their heart[s] on the God of their fathers.”
32 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.”
33 tn Heb “he.” The pronoun has been translated as a relative pronoun for stylistic reasons.
34 tn Heb “he made an alliance with him.”
35 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.
36 tn Heb “when.”
37 tn Heb “to go to Tarshish.”