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2 Chronicles 19 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

19 Jehoshaphat returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem. But the prophet Jehu son of Hanani met him and said:

By helping that wicked Ahab, you have made friends with someone who hates the Lord. Now the Lord God is angry at you! But not everything about you is bad. You destroyed the sacred poles[a] used in worshiping the goddess Asherah—that shows you have tried to obey the Lord.

Jehoshaphat Appoints Judges To Settle Cases

Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, but he often traveled through his kingdom, from Beersheba in the south to the edge of the hill country of Ephraim in the north. He talked with the people and convinced them to turn back to the Lord God and worship him, just as their ancestors had done.

He assigned judges to each of the fortified cities in Judah and told them:

Be careful when you make your decisions in court, because these are the Lord’s people, and he will know what you decide. So do your work in honor of him and know that he won’t allow you to be unfair to anyone or to take bribes.

Jehoshaphat also chose some Levites, some priests, and some of the family leaders, and he appointed them to serve as judges in Jerusalem. He told them:

Faithfully serve the Lord! 10 The people of Judah will bring you legal cases that involve every type of crime, including murder. You must settle these cases and warn the people to stop sinning against the Lord, so that he won’t get angry and punish Judah. Remember, if you follow these instructions, you won’t be held responsible for anything that happens.

11 Amariah the high priest will have the final say in any religious case. And Zebadiah, the leader[b] of the Judah tribe, will have the final say in all other cases. The rest of the Levites will serve as your assistants. Be brave, and I pray that the Lord will help you do right.

Footnotes:

  1. 19.3 sacred poles: See the note at 14.3.
  2. 19.11 Zebadiah, the leader: Hebrew “Zebadiah son of Ishmael, who is the leader.”

2 Chronicles 19 New International Version (NIV)

19 When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, “Should you help the wicked and love[a] those who hate the Lord? Because of this, the wrath of the Lord is on you. There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God.

Jehoshaphat Appoints Judges

Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and turned them back to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. He appointed judges in the land, in each of the fortified cities of Judah. He told them, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.”

In Jerusalem also, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, priests and heads of Israelite families to administer the law of the Lord and to settle disputes. And they lived in Jerusalem. He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord. 10 In every case that comes before you from your people who live in the cities—whether bloodshed or other concerns of the law, commands, decrees or regulations—you are to warn them not to sin against the Lord; otherwise his wrath will come on you and your people. Do this, and you will not sin.

11 “Amariah the chief priest will be over you in any matter concerning the Lord, and Zebadiah son of Ishmael, the leader of the tribe of Judah, will be over you in any matter concerning the king, and the Levites will serve as officials before you. Act with courage, and may the Lord be with those who do well.”

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 19:2 Or and make alliances with
New International Version (NIV)

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