The Second Book of the Chronicles

Chapter 20

Jehoshaphat, invaded by Moab, proclaims a fast, 1-4. His prayer, 5-13. The prophecy of Jahaziel, 14-19. Jehoshaphat exhorts the people and sets singers to praise the Lord, 20, 21. The great overthrow of his enemies, 22-25. The people, having blessed God at Berachah, return in triumph, 26-30. Jehoshaphat's reign, 31-34. His convoy of ships, according to the prophecy of Eliezer, unhappily perish, 35-37.

1 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab and the children of Ammon, and with them some of the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. 2 Then there came some who told Jehoshaphat, saying, "There comes a great multitude against you from beyond the sea on this side of Syria, and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar, which is En-gedi." 3 And Jehoshaphat feared, set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 And Judah assembled to ask help from the LORD. Even from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

5 And 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 you not 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 no one is able to withstand you? 7 Are you not our God who drove out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and gave it to the offspring of Abraham your friend forever? 8 And they dwelt in it and have built you a sanctuary in it for your name, saying, 9 'If, when evil comes upon us, as the sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine, 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 you would not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, but they turned from them 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 who 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 infants, their wives, and their children.

14 Then upon Jehaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, the Spirit of the LORD came in the midst of the congregation. 15 And he said, "Listen, all Judah, inhabitants of Jerusalem, and king Jehoshaphat, thus says the LORD to you: 'Do not be 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 come up by the cliff of Ziz, and you shall find them at the end of the brook before the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You shall not need to fight in this battle. Set yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not fear, nor be dismayed. Tomorrow, go out against them, for the LORD will be with you.'"

18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground. And all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. 19 And 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. And as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Hear me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Believe in the LORD your God and you shall be established. Believe his prophets and you shall prosper." 21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers to the LORD who should praise the beauty of his 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 ambushes against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir who had come against Judah, and they were smitten. 23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, everyone helped to destroy another.

24 And when Judah came toward the watch-tower in the wilderness, they looked to the multitude, and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth and no one escaped. 25 And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their plunder, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away. And they were three days in gathering the plunder because it was so much.

26 And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah, for there they blessed the LORD. Therefore, the name of the same place has been called The Valley of Berachah to this day. 27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the front of them, to go back to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies. 28 And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries, harps, and trumpets to the house of the LORD. 29 And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 Thus the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest on all sides.

31 And Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 32 And he walked in the way of Asa his father and did not depart from it, doing that which was right in the sight of the LORD. 33 But 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 And after this Jehoshaphat king of Judah joined himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very wickedly. 36 And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish. And they made the ships in Ezion-geber. 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.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 2nd Chronicles, Chapter 20[➚]