|2 Chronicles 20 |
1 After this it also came to pass that the children of Moab, the children of Ammon, and others with the Ammonites came against Jehoshaphat to war against Judah.
2 Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, "There comes a great multitude against you from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they are in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi."
3 Jehoshaphat became fearful and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
4 Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD.
5 Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,
6 And said, "O LORD God of our fathers, are not you God in heaven? And do you not rule over all the kingdoms of the heathen? And in your hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to stand against you?
7 Are not you our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and gave it to the seed of Abraham, your friend forever?
8 And they dwelled in it, and have built you a sanctuary in it for your name, saying,
9 'If, when evil comes upon us, as the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, and we stand before this house, and in your presence, (for your name is in this house), and cry to you in our affliction; then you will hear and help.'
10 And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom, when Israel came out of the land of Egypt, you would not let Israel invade, and from whom Israel turned away and did not destroy them;
11 Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit.
12 O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no might against this great company that comes against us; neither do we know what to do; but our eyes are upon you."
13 And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
14 Then the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation came upon Jahaziel, the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph;
15 And he said, "Listen all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, king Jehoshaphat, Thus says the Lord to you, 'Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.
16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the cliff of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Take your positions, stand you still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them for the LORD will be with you.'"
18 Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.
19 The Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high.
20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa. As they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Hear me, O Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem. Believe in the LORD your God, so shall you be established; believe his prophets, so shall you prosper."
21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers to the LORD, who would sing and praise in the beauty of their holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, "Praise the LORD for his mercy endures forever."
22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set his plans against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were slaughtered.
23 Suspecting the inhabitants of Mount Seir of betrayal, the children of Ammon and Moab rose against them to utterly to slay and destroy them; and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, everyone begin to fight and destroy each other.1
24 When Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked out at the invading multitude; and, behold, they were all dead, their bodies lying on the earth, and none had escaped.
25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of the dead men, they found among them in abundance both riches and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves. The plunder was more than they could carry away, and there was so much of it, they took three days to gather it all.
26 On the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah, where they blessed the LORD. Therefore the name that same place was called, The valley of Berachah, and still is to this day.
27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat leading them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies' defeat.
28 They came to Jerusalem with psalteries, harps, and trumpets to the house of the LORD.
29 The fear of God went over all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.
30 So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet for his God gave him rest round about.
31 In Jehoshaphat's reign over Judah, he was thirty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty five years in Jerusalem; is mother's name was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi.
32 He walked in the way of his father Asa, and he did not depart from it, doing what was right in the sight of the LORD.
33 However, the high places were not taken away for as yet the people had not prepared their hearts to the God of their fathers.
34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Jehu the son of Hanani, who is mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel.
35 After this Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, joined in alliance with Ahaziah, king of Israel, who did very wickedly.
36 He joined himself with him to build ships to go to Tarshish, and they built the ships in Eziongaber.
37 Then Eliezer, the son of Dodavah of Mareshah, prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, "Because you have joined yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has broken your works." And the ships were broken so that they were not able to go to Tarshish.
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1 everyone begin to fight and destroy each other. This is a very common occurrence in many Old Testament battles and in God's afflictions of Israel too; there is little explanation as to how it occurred. Apparently, God afflicted the subject peoples with a spirit of fear, severe enough to cause everyone to lose all reason, distrusting their neighbor, and then engaging in a battle to the death with them. God also used angels to directly destroy the enemy; and he used the sounds of approaching armies to frighten Israel's enemies away. When punishing Israel, he said men would slay and eat each other. We, in the 21st Century, should fear the approaching of God's wrath against the evil in the world, which is foretold in Revelation, though grossly misunderstood as to who is going to suffer his wrath — which is all who continue to sin.
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