2 Chronicles 20
International Standard Version

Judah is Invaded Unexpectedly

1Sometime after these events, the Moabites and the Ammonites, accompanied by some other descendants of Ammon,a attacked Jehoshaphat and started a war. 2Jehoshaphat’s military advisorsb came and informed him, “We’ve been attacked by a vast invasion force from Aram,c beyond the Deadd Sea. Be advised—they’ve already reached Hazazon-tamar, also known as En-gedi.”

3In mounting fear, Jehoshaphat devoted himselfe to seek the LORD. He proclaimed a period off fasting throughout all of the territory ofg Judah, 4and the tribe ofh Judah assembled together to seek the LORD. Peoplei came from all of the cities of Judah to seek the LORD.

Jehoshaphat Prays and the People Wait

5Jehoshaphat stood among the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem in the LORD’s Temple in the vicinity of the new court 6and said:

“LORD God of our ancestors, you are the God who lives in heaven, are you not? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, don’t you? In your own hands you grasp both strength and power, don’t you? As a result, no one can oppose you, can they? 7You are our God, who expelled the former inhabitants of this land right in front of our people Israel, aren’t you? Then you gave it to your friend Abraham’s descendantj forever, didn’t you? 8They lived in it and have built there a sanctuary for your name, where they said, 9‘If evil comes upon us, such as wark as punishment, disease, or famine and we stand in your presence in this Temple (because your Name is in this Temple) and cry out to you in our distress, then you will hear and deliver.’ 10Now therefore look! The Ammonites, the Moabites, and the inhabitants ofl Mount Seir,m whom you would not permit Israel to attack when they arrived from the land of Egypt—since they turned away from them and did not eliminate them— 11Look how they’re rewarding us! They’re coming to drive us from your property that you gave us to be our inheritance. 12Our God, you are going to punish them, aren’t you? We have no strength to face this vast multitude that has come against us, nor do we know what to do, except that our eyes are on you.”

13All of Judah was standing in the LORD’s presence, along with their little babies, their wives, and their children.

The Prophetic Response of Jahaziel

14Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Zechariah’s son Jahaziel, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a descendant of Levi from the descendants of Asaph in the middle of the assembly, and he said:

15“Pay attention, everyone in Judah, in Jerusalem, and you, too, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Stop being afraid, and stop being discouraged because of this vast invasion force,n because the battle doesn’t belong to you, but to God. 16Tomorrow you are to go down to attack them. Pay attention, now—they’ll be coming up near the ascent of Ziz.o You’ll find them at the end of the valley that looks out over the Jeruel wilderness. 17You won’t be fighting in this battle. Take your stand, but stand still, and watch the LORD’s salvation on your behalf, Judah and Jerusalem! Never fear and never be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, since the LORD is with you.’”

18Jehoshaphat bowed down with his facep to the ground, and all the assembled inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem fell face down in the LORD’s presence and worshipped the LORD. 19Descendants of Levi from the descendants of Kohath and from the descendants of Korah stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel in a very loud voice that ascended to heaven.q

Jehoshaphat’s Instructions the Next Morning

20The armyr got up early the next morning and headed out into the wilderness of Tekoa. Jehoshaphat stood up and addressed them. “Listen to me, you inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem,” he said. “Have faith in the LORD your God and you’ll be established! Have faith in his prophets and you’ll succeed!” 21After he had consulted with the people, Jehoshaphats appointed some choir memberst to sing to the LORD and to praise him in sacred splendor as they marched out in front of the armed forces. They kept saying

“Give thanks to the LORD,

because his gracious love is eternal!”

22Right on time, as they began to sing and praise, the LORD ambushedu the Ammonites, Moabites, and the inhabitants ofv Mount Seirw who had attacked Judah, and they were defeated. 23The Ammonites and Moabites attacked the inhabitants of Mount Seir, destroying them, and after they had finished with the inhabitants of Mount Seir, they worked on destroying one another!x

24When the army ofy Judah arrived at the remotest watchtower in the wilderness, they looked around at the invasion force, and to their surprise, there were dead bodies lying all around on the ground—not one had escaped! 25Later on, when Jehoshaphat and his army arrived to collect the spoils of war, they discovered there were far more goods, garments, and other valuable items to collect than they could carry off in a single day.z There was so much material that it took three days to finish their collection efforts.

A Victory Celebration in Beracah Valley

26Three days later, they assembled together in the Beracah Valley, where they blessed the LORD, which is why the name of that place is called Beracahaa Valley to this day. 27Then they all returned with joy to Jerusalem, every soldier from Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat at the head of the procession, because the LORD had made them rejoice over their enemies. 28They proceeded directly to the LORD’s Temple, carrying lyres, harps, and trumpets. 29Fear of God seized all of the kingdoms in the surrounding territories when they heard that the LORD had battled Israel’s enemies. 30As a result, Jehoshaphat’s kingdom enjoyed peace, because his God had provided rest for him all around.

A Summary of Jehoshaphat’s Reign

(1 Kings 22:41-50)

31Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah, having become king at the age of 35. He reigned in Jerusalem for 25 years. His mother’s name was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi. 32He followed the example of his father Asa and never departed from it, practicing what the LORD considered to be right. 33However, the high places were not removed, since the people had not yet directed their hearts to the God of their ancestors. 34The rest of Jehoshaphat’s accomplishments, from first to last, are recorded in the annals of Hanani’s son Jehu, which appears in the Book of the Kings of Israel.

Jehoshaphat’s Evil Alliance with Ahaziah

35Sometime later, King Jehoshaphat of Judah entered into a military alliance with King Ahaziah of Israel, acting wickedly by doing so. 36He also agreed with King Ahaziahbb to build ships to sail toward Tarshish, which they built in Ezion-geber. 37But Dodavahu’s son Eliezer from Mareshah prophesied in opposition to Jehoshaphat, “Because you have entered into an alliance with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your efforts.” So the ships were destroyed and were never able to sail for Tarshish.


Footnotes:
a 20:1 Or some Meunites; cf. 2Chr 26:7
b 20:2 Lit. They
c 20:2 I.e., from Edom
d 20:2 The Heb. lacks Dead
e 20:3 Lit. devoted his face
f 20:3 The Heb. lacks a period of
g 20:3 The Heb. lacks of the territory of
h 20:4 The Heb. lacks the tribe of
i 20:4 Lit. They
j 20:7 Lit seed (sing.)
k 20:9 Lit. us the sword
l 20:10 The Heb. lacks inhabitants of
m 20:10 This mountain, the modern Jebel esh-sherá, is located in the mountain range that extends south of the Dead Sea toward the Gulf of Aqaba, and is bordered by the Arabah Valley to the west.
n 20:15 Lit. vast multitude
o 20:16 i.e. a mountain pass extending from the Dead Sea to the Judean wilderness near Tekoa
p 20:18 Lit. nostrils
q 20:19 Lit. ascended on high
r 20:20 Lit. They
s 20:21 Lit. he
t 20:21 The Heb. lacks choir members
u 20:22 Or surprised; i.e. attacked the invaders from concealment
v 20:22 The Heb. lacks inhabitants of
w 20:22 This mountain, the modern Jebel esh-sherá, is located in the mountain range that extends south of the Dead Sea toward the Gulf of Aqaba, and is bordered by the Arabah Valley to the west.
x 20:23 Lit. destroying each man his neighbor
y 20:24 The Heb. lacks the army of
z 20:25 The Heb. lacks in a single day
aa 20:26 The Heb. name Beracah means blessing
bb 20:36 Lit. with him



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