2 Chronicles 20: Jehoshaphat's Triumphs
Notes: In the concluding instalment about Jehoshaphat
we see an enemy force coming against him, him seeking the Lord
and praying, the Lord giving a prophecy of encouragement and triumph
following. The final eight verses of the chapter summarise the
final state of the nation and Jehoshaphat's mixed activities.
A mostly good reign, often turning the people back to the Lord
[although not completely cleaning up the country – v.33] but sadly
concluding with an unwise alliance, a rebuke from the Lord and
a financial loss.]
A Coming Conflict
Two enemies come against Israel
this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came
to wage war against Jehoshaphat.
people came and told Jehoshaphat, ‘A vast army is coming against
you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already
in Hazezon Tamar' (that is, En Gedi).
Jehoshaphat leads the people to seek the Lord for help
Jehoshaphat resolved to enquire of the Lord,
and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.
people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord;
indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.
He prays publicly
Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at
the temple of the Lord
in the front
of the new courtyard
He acknowledges the Lord's might and power
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.
He acknowledges they are what they are because of the Lord
God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before
your people Israel and give it for ever to the descendants of
Abraham your friend?
The covenant with God meant Israel could pray and call on the
Lord in the Temple
have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name,
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.”
In the presence of the people he draws God's attention to the
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.
how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession
you gave us as an inheritance.
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.
the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones,
stood there before the Lord
Prophecy & Triumph
Jahaziel prophesies encouraging instructions
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.
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.
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.
will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand
firm and see the deliverance the Lord
you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord
will be with
They worship the Lord and Jehoshaphat leads them out
bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of
Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord
some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised
the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
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
The king has musicians lead them and God acts
consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the
and to praise him for the splendour of his holiness as they went
out at the head of the army, saying:
thanks to the Lord,
for his love endures for ever.'
they began to sing and praise, the Lord
against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading
Judah, and they were defeated.
The enemy turn on each other
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.
They find just dead bodies and take the plunder
the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and
looked towards the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying
on the ground; no one had escaped.
Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they
found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and
also articles of value – more than they could take away.
There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it.
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 to this day.
They return to Jerusalem rejoicing
led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned
joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord
them cause to rejoice over their enemies.
entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord
and lyres and trumpets.
The fear of the Lord brings peace to the region
fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard
how the Lord
against the enemies of Israel.
the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given
him rest on every side.
The end of Jehoshaphat's reign
Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five
years old when he became king of Judah, and he reigned
in Jerusalem for twenty-five years. His mother's name
was Azubah daughter of Shilhi.
followed the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them;
he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.
high places, however, were not removed, and the people still had
not set their hearts on the God of their ancestors.
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.
A late mistake and rebuke and judgment
Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of
Israel, whose ways were wicked.
agreed with him to construct a fleet of trading ships. After these
were built at Ezion Geber,
son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying,
‘Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the Lord
what you have made.' The ships were wrecked and were not able
to set sail to trade.