War against Eastern Enemies
1After this, the Moabites and Ammonites, together with some of the Meunites,20:1 LXX; MT reads Ammonites; 2Ch 26:720:1 2Ch 26:7 came to fight against Jehoshaphat.
2People came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast number from beyond the Dead Sea and from Edom20:2 Some Hb mss, Old Lat; other Hb mss read Aram has come to fight against you; they are already in Hazazon-tamar”20:2 Gn 14:7 (that is, En-gedi).
3Jehoshaphat was afraid, and he resolved20:3 2Ch 19:3 to seek the Lord. Then he proclaimed a fast20:3 1Sm 7:6; Ezr 8:21 for all Judah,
4who gathered to seek the Lord. They even came from all the cities of Judah to seek him.
Jehoshaphat’s Prayer
5Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem in the Lord’s temple before the new courtyard.
6He said:
Lord, God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven,20:6 Dt 4:39 and do you not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations?20:6 1Ch 29:11 Power and might are in your hand, and no one can stand against you.
7Are you not our God who drove out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel20:7 Ps 135:10–12 and who gave it forever to the descendants of Abraham20:7 Is 41:8 your friend?
8They have lived in the land and have built you a sanctuary in it for your name and have said,
9“If disaster comes on us — sword or judgment, pestilence or famine20:9 2Ch 6:28–30 — we will stand before this temple and before you, for your name is in this temple.20:9 2Ch 6:20 We will cry out to you because of our distress, and you will hear and deliver.”
10Now here are the Ammonites, Moabites, and the inhabitants of Mount Seir.20:10 2Ch 20:1,22 You did not let Israel invade them when Israel came out of the land of Egypt, but Israel turned away from them and did not destroy them.20:10 Nm 20:14–21; Dt 2:4–9
11Look how they repay us by coming to drive us out of your possession that you gave us as an inheritance.
12Our God, will you not judge them?20:12 Jdg 11:27 For we are powerless before this vast number that comes to fight against us. We do not know what to do, but we look to you.20:12 Lit but on you our eyes20:12 Ps 25:15; 121:1–2
God’s Answer
13All Judah was standing before the Lord with their dependents, their wives, and their children.
14In the middle of the congregation, the Spirit of the Lord came on20:14 2Ch 15:1; 24:20 Jahaziel (son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite from Asaph’s descendants),
15and he said, “Listen carefully, all Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat. This is what the Lord says: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast number,20:15 Ex 14:13; 2Ch 32:7–8 for the battle is not yours, but God’s.20:15 1Sm 17:47; 2Ch 13:15; 14:12
16Tomorrow, go down against them. You will see them coming up the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley facing the Wilderness of Jeruel.
17You do not have to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.20:17 Ex 14:13–14 He is with you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged.20:17 Jos 1:9 Tomorrow, go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.’”20:17 2Ch 15:2
18Then Jehoshaphat knelt low with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord to worship him.20:18 2Ch 7:3
19Then the Levites from the sons of the Kohathites and the Korahites20:19 Ex 6:18; 1Ch 9:19 stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel shouting loudly.
Victory and Plunder
20In the morning they got up early and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa. As they were about to go out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem. Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established;20:20 Is 7:9 believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”
21Then he consulted with the people and appointed some to sing for the Lord and some to praise the splendor of his holiness.20:21 1Ch 16:29; Ps 29:2 When they went out in front of the armed forces, they kept singing:20:21 Lit saying
Give thanks to the Lord,
for his faithful love endures forever.20:21 1Ch 16:34; 2Ch 5:13; 7:3; Ps 118:1,29; 136:1
22The moment they began their shouts and praises, the Lord set an ambush20:22 2Ch 13:13 against the Ammonites, Moabites, and the inhabitants of Mount Seir who came to fight against Judah, and they were defeated.
23The Ammonites and Moabites turned against the inhabitants of Mount Seir and completely annihilated them.20:23 Ezk 38:21; Hg 2:22; Zch 14:13 When they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped destroy each other.20:23 Jdg 7:22; 1Sm 14:20
24When Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked for the large army, but there were only corpses lying on the ground; nobody had escaped.
25Then Jehoshaphat and his people went to gather the plunder. They found among them20:25 LXX reads found cattle an abundance of goods on the bodies20:25 Some Hb mss, Old Lat, Vg read goods, garments and valuable items. So they stripped them until nobody could carry any more. They were gathering the plunder for three days because there was so much.
26They assembled in the Valley of Beracah20:26 = Blessing on the fourth day, for there they blessed the Lord. Therefore, that place is still called the Valley of Beracah today.
27Then all the men of Judah and Jerusalem turned back with Jehoshaphat their leader, returning joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord enabled them to rejoice over their enemies.
28So they came into Jerusalem to the Lord’s temple with harps, lyres, and trumpets.
29The terror of God20:29 2Ch 14:14; 17:10 was on all the kingdoms of the lands when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel.
30Then Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was quiet, for his God gave him rest on every side.20:30 2Ch 14:6–7; 15:15
Summary of Jehoshaphat’s Reign
31Jehoshaphat became king over Judah.20:31–34 1Kg 22:41–45 He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi.
32He walked in the ways of Asa his father; he did not turn away from it but did what was right in the Lord’s sight.
33However, the high places were not taken away;20:33 2Ch 17:6 the people had not yet set their hearts on the God of their ancestors.20:33 2Ch 19:3
34The rest of the events of Jehoshaphat’s reign from beginning to end are written in the Events of Jehu20:34 2Ch 19:2 son of Hanani, which is recorded in the Book of Israel’s Kings.20:34 1Kg 16:1,7
Jehoshaphat’s Fleet of Ships
35After this,20:35–37 1Kg 22:48–49 Judah’s King Jehoshaphat made an alliance with Israel’s King Ahaziah, who was guilty of wrongdoing.
36Jehoshaphat formed an alliance with him to make ships to go to Tarshish,20:36 2Ch 9:21 and they made the ships in Ezion-geber.
37Then Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you formed an alliance with Ahaziah, the Lord has broken up what you have made.” So the ships were wrecked and were not able to go to Tarshish.