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1Then Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem.2Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD and so bring wrath on yourself from the LORD?3“But there is some good in you, for you have removed the Asheroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God.”
4So Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem and went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and brought them back to the LORD, the God of their fathers.
5He appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city.6He said to the judges, “Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the LORD who is with you when you render judgment.7“Now then let the fear of the LORD be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the LORD our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.”
8In Jerusalem also Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and priests, and some of the heads of the fathers’ households of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD and to judge disputes among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.9Then he charged them saying, “Thus you shall do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully and wholeheartedly.10“Whenever any dispute comes to you from your brethren who live in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and ordinances, you shall warn them so that they may not be guilty before the LORD, and wrath may not come on you and your brethren. Thus you shall do and you will not be guilty.11“Behold, Amariah the chief priest will be over you in all that pertains to the LORD, and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, in all that pertains to the king. Also the Levites shall be officers before you. Act resolutely, and the LORD be with the upright.”
1Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat.2Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar (that is Engedi).”3Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.4So Judah gathered together to seek help from the LORD; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD.
5Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD before the new court,6and he said, “O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You.7“Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?8“They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying,9‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.’10“Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You did not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt (they turned aside from them and did not destroy them),11see how they are rewarding us by coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance.12“O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
13All Judah was standing before the LORD, with their infants, their wives and their children.
14Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph;15and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because 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 ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel.17‘You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you.”
18Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD.19The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
20They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.”21When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.”22When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed.23For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
24When Judah came to the lookout of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude, and behold, they were corpses lying on the ground, and no one had escaped.25When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found much among them, including goods, garments and valuable things which they took for themselves, more than they could carry. And they were three days taking the spoil because there was so much.
26Then on the fourth day they assembled in the valley of Beracah, for there they blessed the LORD. Therefore they have named that place “The Valley of Beracah” until today.27Every man of Judah and Jerusalem returned with Jehoshaphat at their head, returning to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies.28They came to Jerusalem with harps, lyres and trumpets to the house of the LORD.29And the dread of God was on all the kingdoms of the lands when they heard that the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel.30So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God gave him rest on all sides.
31Now Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. And his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.32He walked in the way of his father Asa and did not depart from it, doing right in the sight of the LORD.33The high places, however, were not removed; the people had not yet directed their hearts to the God of their fathers.
34Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first to last, behold, they are written in the annals of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel.
35After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel. He acted wickedly in so doing.36So he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion-geber.37Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works.” So the ships were broken and could not go to Tarshish.
14How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?15How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”
16However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?”17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
18But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have;
“THEIR VOICE HAS GONE OUT INTO ALL THE EARTH,
AND THEIR WORDS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD.”
19But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says,
“I WILLMAKE YOU JEALOUS BY THAT WHICH IS NOT A NATION,
BY A NATION WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING WILL I ANGER YOU.”
20And Isaiah is very bold and says,
“I WAS FOUND BY THOSE WHO DID NOT SEEK ME,
I BECAME MANIFEST TO THOSE WHO DID NOT ASK FOR ME.”
21But as for Israel He says, “ALL THE DAY LONG I HAVE STRETCHED OUT MY HANDS TO A DISOBEDIENT AND OBSTINATE PEOPLE.”
1I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.2God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?3“Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.”4But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.”5In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.6But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
7What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;8just as it is written,
“GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR,
EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT,
DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY.”
9And David says,
“LET THEIR TABLE BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP,
AND A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A RETRIBUTION TO THEM.
10“LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT,
AND BEND THEIR BACKS FOREVER.”
11I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.12Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!
4The sluggard does not plow after the autumn,
So he begs during the harvest and has nothing.
5A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding draws it out.
6Many a man proclaims his own loyalty,
But who can find a trustworthy man?