Jehoshaphat Becomes King of Judah
17 Jehoshaphat was the son of Asa. Jehoshaphat became the next king after him. He made his kingdom strong in case Israel would attack him. 2He placed troops in all of the cities of Judah that had high walls around them. He stationed some soldiers in Judah. He also put some in the towns of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.
3The Lord was with Jehoshaphat. That’s because in his early years he lived the way King David had lived. He didn’t ask for advice from the gods that were named after Baal. 4Instead, he looked to the God of his father. He followed the Lord’s commands instead of the practices of Israel.
5The Lord made the kingdom secure under Jehoshaphat’s control. All of the people of Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat. So he had great wealth and honor. 6His heart was committed to living the way the Lord wanted him to. He removed the high places from Judah. He also removed the poles that were used to worship the goddess Asherah.
7In the third year of his rule, he sent his officials to teach in the towns of Judah. The officials were Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah. 8Some Levites were with them. Their names were Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah. The priests Elishama and Jehoram were also with them. 9They taught people all through Judah. They took the Scroll of the Law of the Lord with them. They went around to all of the towns of Judah. And they taught the people.
10All of the kingdoms of the lands around Judah became afraid of the Lord. So they didn’t go to war against Jehoshaphat. 11Some Philistines brought to Jehoshaphat the gifts and silver he required of them. The Arabs brought him their flocks. They brought him 7,700 rams and 7,700 goats.
12Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful. He built forts in Judah. He also built cities in Judah where he could store things. 13He had large supplies in the towns of Judah. In Jerusalem he kept men who knew how to fight well. 14Here is a list of them, family by family.
From Judah there were commanders of companies of 1,000.
One of them was Adnah. He commanded 300,000 fighting men.
15 Another was Jehohanan. He commanded 280,000.
16 Another was Amasiah, the son of Zicri. Amasiah commanded 200,000. He had offered to serve the Lord.
17 From Benjamin there were also commanders.
One of them was Eliada. He was a brave soldier. He commanded 200,000 men. They were armed with bows and shields.
18 Another was Jehozabad. He commanded 180,000 men. They were prepared for battle.
19Those were the men who served the king. He stationed some other men in the cities all through Judah. The cities had high walls around them.
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