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2 Chronicles 20 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Moab and Ammon Are Defeated

20 Some time later, the armies of Moab and Ammon, together with the Meunites,[a] went to war against Jehoshaphat. Messengers told Jehoshaphat, “A large army from Edom[b] east of the Dead Sea has invaded our country. They have already reached En-Gedi.”[c]

Jehoshaphat was afraid, so he asked the Lord what to do. He then told the people of Judah to go without eating to show their sorrow. They immediately left for Jerusalem to ask for the Lord’s help.

After everyone from Judah and Jerusalem had come together at the Lord’s temple, Jehoshaphat stood in front of the new courtyard and prayed:

You, Lord, are the God our ancestors worshiped, and from heaven you rule every nation in the world. You are so powerful that no one can defeat you. Our God, you forced out the nations who lived in this land before your people Israel came here, and you gave it to the descendants of your friend Abraham forever. Our ancestors lived in this land and built a temple to honor you. They believed that whenever this land is struck by war or disease or famine, your people can pray to you at the temple, and you will hear their prayer and save them.

10 You can see that the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Edom are attacking us! Those are the nations you would not let our ancestors invade on their way from Egypt, so these nations were not destroyed. 11 Now they are coming to take back the land you gave us. 12 Aren’t you going to punish them? We won’t stand a chance when this army attacks. We don’t know what to do—we are begging for your help.

13 While every man, woman, and child of Judah was standing there at the temple, 14 the Lord’s Spirit suddenly spoke to Jahaziel, a Levite from the Asaph clan.[d] 15 Then Jahaziel said:

Your Majesty and everyone from Judah and Jerusalem, the Lord says that you don’t need to be afraid or let this powerful army discourage you. God will fight on your side! 16 So here’s what you must do. Tomorrow the enemy armies will march through the desert around the town of Jeruel. March down and meet them at the town of Ziz as they come up the valley. 17 You won’t even have to fight. Just take your positions and watch the Lord rescue you from your enemy. Don’t be afraid. Just do as you’re told. And as you march out tomorrow, the Lord will be there with you.

18 Jehoshaphat bowed low to the ground and everyone worshiped the Lord. 19 Then some Levites from the Kohath and Korah clans stood up and shouted praises to the Lord God of Israel.

20 Early the next morning, as everyone got ready to leave for the desert near Tekoa, Jehoshaphat stood up and said, “Listen my friends, if we trust the Lord God and believe what these prophets have told us, the Lord will help us, and we will be successful.” 21 Then he explained his plan and appointed men to march in front of the army and praise the Lord for his holy power by singing:[e]

“Praise the Lord!
    His love never ends.”

22 As soon as they began singing, the Lord confused the enemy camp, 23 so that the Ammonite and Moabite troops attacked and completely destroyed those from Edom. Then they turned against each other and fought until the entire camp was wiped out!

24 When Judah’s army reached the tower that overlooked the desert, they saw that every soldier in the enemy’s army was lying dead on the ground. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his troops went into the camp to carry away everything of value. They found a large herd of livestock,[f] a lot of equipment, clothes,[g] and other valuable things. It took them three days to carry it all away, and there was still some left over.

26 Then on the fourth day, everyone came together in Beracah Valley and sang praises to the Lord. That’s why that place was called Praise Valley.[h]

27-28 Jehoshaphat led the crowd back to Jerusalem. And as they marched, they played harps and blew trumpets. They were very happy because the Lord had given them victory over their enemies, so when they reached the city, they went straight to the temple.

29 When the other nations heard how the Lord had fought against Judah’s enemies, they were too afraid 30 to invade Judah. The Lord let Jehoshaphat’s kingdom be at peace.

Jehoshaphat Dies

31 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled from Jerusalem for twenty-five years. His mother was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. 32 Jehoshaphat obeyed the Lord, just as his father Asa had done, 33 but he did not destroy the local shrines.[i] So the people still worshiped foreign gods, instead of faithfully serving the God their ancestors had worshiped.

34 Everything else Jehoshaphat did while he was king is written in the records of Jehu son of Hanani that are included in The History of the Kings of Israel.

35 While Jehoshaphat was king, he signed a peace treaty with Ahaziah the wicked king of Israel. 36 They agreed to build several seagoing ships[j] at Ezion-Geber. 37 But the prophet Eliezer[k] warned Jehoshaphat, “The Lord will destroy these ships because you have supported Ahaziah.” The ships were wrecked and never sailed.

Footnotes:

  1. 20.1 Meunites: One ancient translation (see also 26.7); Hebrew “Ammonites.”
  2. 20.2 Edom: The Hebrew text has “Syria”; in Hebrew there is only one letter difference between “Edom” and “Aram,” which is the usual Hebrew name for Syria in the Bible.
  3. 20.2 En-Gedi: The Hebrew text has “Hazazon-Tamar, also known as En-Gedi,” a city on the west shore of the Dead Sea, about twenty-five miles southeast of Jerusalem.
  4. 20.14 Jahaziel, a Levite from the Asaph clan: Hebrew “Jahaziel son of Zechariah son of Benaiah son of Jeiel son of Mattaniah, who was a Levite from the Asaph clan.”
  5. 20.21 to march in front. . . singing: Or “to put on their sacred robes, lead the army into battle, and praise the Lord by singing.”
  6. 20.25 a large herd of livestock: One ancient translation; Hebrew “among the bodies a large herd of.”
  7. 20.25 clothes: One ancient translation; Hebrew “dead bodies.”
  8. 20.26 Beracah Valley. . . sang praises. . . Praise Valley: In Hebrew the name “Beracah” means “praise.”
  9. 20.33 local shrines: See the note at 11.15.
  10. 20.36 seagoing ships: See the note at 9.21.
  11. 20.37 Eliezer: Hebrew “Eliezer son of Dodavahu from Mareshah.”

2 Chronicles 20 New International Version (NIV)

Jehoshaphat Defeats Moab and Ammon

20 After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites[a] came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.

Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom,[b] from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.

Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard and said:

Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’

10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.

14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.

15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”

18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. 19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.

20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful. 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his[c] holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:

“Give thanks to the Lord,
    for his love endures forever.”

22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing[d] and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah[e] to this day.

27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lyres and trumpets.

29 The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

The End of Jehoshaphat’s Reign

31 So Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. 32 He followed the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. 33 The high places, however, were not removed, and the people still had not set their hearts on the God of their ancestors.

34 The other events of Jehoshaphat’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the annals of Jehu son of Hanani, which are recorded in the book of the kings of Israel.

35 Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, whose ways were wicked. 36 He agreed with him to construct a fleet of trading ships.[f] After these were built at Ezion Geber, 37 Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy what you have made.” The ships were wrecked and were not able to set sail to trade.[g]

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 20:1 Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew Ammonites
  2. 2 Chronicles 20:2 One Hebrew manuscript; most Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Vulgate Aram
  3. 2 Chronicles 20:21 Or him with the splendor of
  4. 2 Chronicles 20:25 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts corpses
  5. 2 Chronicles 20:26 Berakah means praise.
  6. 2 Chronicles 20:36 Hebrew of ships that could go to Tarshish
  7. 2 Chronicles 20:37 Hebrew sail for Tarshish
New International Version (NIV)

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