13[1-5] In the 18th year of ruler Jeroboam, Abijah began to rule over Judah. He ruled three years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Micaiah, the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. Abijah joined battle with a troop of brave soldiers, 400,000 of the best soldiers; and Jeroboam got ready to fight against him with 800,000 soldiers, who were strong experienced soldiers. Abijah stood up on MountZemaraim, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, saying, “Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel! Ought you not to know that Yahweh, the God of Israel, gave the rule of Israel to David forever, even to him and his descendants by an agreement of salt?”
[6 -12] Still Jeroboam of Nebat, the worker of Solomon, son of David, went up, and rebelled against his leader. There were worthless men gathered to him, evil people, who strengthened themselves against Rehoboam, son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and immature, and couldn’t resist them. “Now you think to withstand the rule of Yahweh in the hand of the descendants of David; and you’re a great number, and there are with you the golden calves which Jeroboam made you for false gods. Haven’t you driven out the preachers of Yahweh, the descendants of Aaron, and the Levites, and made preachers like those of other lands? so that whoever comes to dedicate themself with a young bull and seven rams, the same may be a preacher of those who are no gods. But as for us, Yahweh is our God, and we haven’t left worshiping God; and we have preachers ministering to Yahweh, the descendants of Aaron, and the Levites in their work; and they burn to Yahweh every morning and evening burnt offerings and sweet incense; the showbread also they set in order on the pure table; and the lampstand of gold with its lamps, to burn every evening because we keep the charge of Yahweh our God; but you’ve left worshiping God. See, God is with us at our head, whose preachers horns will sound an alarm against you. People of Israel, don’t fight against Yahweh, the God of your ancestors because you won’t do well.”
[13-22 ] But Jeroboam sent an ambush to come up behind them; so they were in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them. When Judah looked back, the battle was in front and back of them; and they cried to Yahweh, and the preachers sounded the horns. Then the people of Judah gave a shout; and as the people of Judah shouted, God fought Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. The people of Israel ran before Judah; and God put them into their power. Abijah and his people killed them with a great slaughter; so 500,000 of the best soldiers of Israel died. So the people of Israel were brought under control at that time, and the people of Judah were strong, because they depended on Yahweh, the God of their ancestors. Abijah chased after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Bethel with its towns, Jeshanah with its towns, and Ephron with its towns. Jeroboam didn’t recover strength again in the days of Abijah; and Yahweh fought him, and he died. But Abijah grew strong, and took to himself 14 wives, and had 22 sons and 16 daughters. The rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways and sayings, are written in the Book of the preacher Iddo.
14[1-5] So Abijah died, and they buried him in the city of David; and Asa his son ruled in his place. In his days the land was peaceful ten years. Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of Yahweh his God because he took away the foreign altars, and the places of false worship, and broke down the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherim (fertility gods), and told Judah to worship Yahweh, the God of their ancestors, and to follow the law and the Word of God. Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the places of false worship and the sun gods; and his rule was peaceful.
[6-7] He built protected cities in Judah because the land was peaceful, and no war was fought in those years, because Yahweh had given him rest. Asa said to Judah, “Let us build these cities, and build walls around them, and towers, gates, and bars; the land is still before us, because we’ve served Yahweh our God; we’ve served God, who has given us rest on every side.” So they built the cities and did well. Asa had 300,000 armed troops out of Judah; and 280,000 out of Benjamin; all these were strong experienced soldiers.
[9-11] Then Zerah the Ethiopian came against them with a troop of a million soldiers, and 300 war vehicles; and he came to Mareshah. Then Asa went out to meet him, and they got ready for battle in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. Asa cried to Yahweh his God, saying, “Yahweh, there’s no one besides You to help, between the strong and those who have no strength; help us, Yahweh our God because we depend on You, and in Your Name do we fight against this great number. Yahweh, You’re our God; don’t let a human being triumph against You.”
[12-15] So Yahweh fought the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians ran. Asa and the people who were with him chased them to Gerar; and so many of the Ethiopians fell that they couldn’t recover and were destroyed before Yahweh, and before the people of God; and they carried away very many valuables. They fought all the cities around Gerar because the fear of Yahweh came on them; and they took all the cities because there was much stuff in them. They took also the holds of livestock, and carried away many sheep and camels, and went back to Jerusalem.
15[1-7] The Spirit of God came on Azariah, son of Oded; and he went out to meet Asa, saying to him, “Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; Yahweh is with you while you’re with God; and if you look for God,you’ll find God; but if you leave God, God will leave you. Now for a long season Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching preacher, and without law; But when, in their trouble, they turned to Yahweh, the God of Israel, and searched for God, they found God. In those times there was no peace to those who went out, nor to those who came in; but great troubles were on all the people of the lands. They were broken in pieces, nation against nation, and city against city because God troubled them with all kinds of disasters. But be strong, and don’t quit because your work will be rewarded.”
[8-10] When Asa heard these words, and the preaching of Oded the preacher, he took courage, and put away the horrible false gods out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from the hill country of Ephraim; and he rebuilt the altar of Yahweh, that was before the porch of Yahweh. He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who stayed with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon because many came to him out of Israel when they saw that Yahweh his God was with him. So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month (Sivan, May-June), in the 15th year of the rule of Asa.
[11-15] They sacrificed to Yahweh in that day, of the stuff which they had brought, 700 cows and 7,000 sheep. They made a promised agreement to worship Yahweh, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and with all their soul; and that whoever wouldn’t worship Yahweh, the God of Israel, would be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. They sealed the promise to Yahweh with a loud voice of shouting, and with horns and cornets. All Judah was happy with the promise because they had made the promise with all their heart, and searched for God with all their soul; who was found of them; and Yahweh gave them rest all around.
[16-19] Also Maacah, the mother of Asa the ruler, was removed from being queen, because she had made an Asherah (poles or trees used for the false worship of Astarte, Canaanite goddess of fortune and happiness, the supposed consort of Baal); and Asa cut down her false god, and made it ash, burning it at the Kidron River. But all the places of false worship weren’t taken out of Israel, though the heart of Asa was perfect all his days. He brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, gold, and pots. There was no more war until the 35th year of the rule of Asa.
16[1-5] In the 36th year of the rule of Asa, Baasha ruler of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, so that he wouldn’t let anyone go out or come in to Asa ruler of Judah. Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the Place of Worship of Yahweh and of the ruler’s house, and sent to Ben Hadad ruler of Syria, who lived at Damascus, saying, “We have an agreement between us, as there was between my father and your father. See, I’ve sent you silver and gold; go, break your agreement with Baasha ruler of Israel, so that he’ll go away from me. So Ben Hadad listened to ruler Asa, and sent the captains of his troops against the cities of Israel; and they fought Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali. When Baasha heard it, he stopped building Ramah, and let the work stop.
[6-9] Then Asa the ruler took all Judah; and they carried away the stones and wood of Ramah, with which Baasha had built; and he built Geba and Mizpah with it. At that time, Hanani, the preacher, came to Asa ruler of Judah, saying to him, “Because you’ve depended on the ruler of Syria, and haven’t depended on Yahweh your God, so the troops of the ruler of Syria will escape out of your power. Weren’t the Ethiopians and the Lubim a huge troop, with very many war vehicles and riders? Still, because you did depend on Yahweh, God handed them over to you. For Yahweh looks back and forth throughout the whole earth, to show up strong in behalf of those whose hearts completely trust in God. In this you’ve done wrong, so from here on out you’ll have wars.”
[10-14] Then Asa was angry with the preacher, and put him in prison because he was very angry with him because of this thing. Asa abused some of the people at the same time. See, the acts of Asa, from the first to the last, are all written in the book of the rulers of Judah and Israel. In the 39th year of his rule Asa was diseased in his feet; his foot disease was terrible, but he still didn’t trust in Yahweh, but only the doctors. Asa died in the 41st year of his rule. They buried him in his own grave, which he had cut out for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was full of perfumed oils mixed with various kinds of spices; and they made a very great burning for him.
17[1-6] Jehoshaphat, his son, ruled in his place, and strengthened himself against Israel. He placed troops in all the protected cities of Judah, and set fortresses in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa, his father, had taken. Yahweh was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the ways of his ancestor David, and didn’t worship the false gods of the Baals, but looked to the God of his father, and walked in his words, and not after the ways of Israel. So Yahweh set up his rule; and all Judah brought Jehoshaphat tax money; and he had great riches and honor. His heart was lifted up in the ways of Yahweh; and he also took away the places of false worship and the Asherim (fertility god) out of Judah.
[7-9] Also in the 3rd year of his rule he sent his leaders Ben Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah to teach in the cities of Judah; and with them Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tobadonijah, the Levites; and also with them Elishama and Jehoram, the preachers. They taught in Judah, having the Book of the law of Yahweh with them; and they went throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people.
[10-13] The fear of Yahweh fell on all the countries of the lands that were around Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat. Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents, and silver for tax money; the Arabians also brought him flocks, 7,700 rams, and 7,700 male goats. Jehoshaphat grew very powerful and built towers in Judah and storage cities. He had many buildings in the cities of Judah; and many strong experienced soldiers in Jerusalem.
[14 -19] This was their number according to their ancestors’ houses; Of Judah, the captains of thousands; Captain Adnah, and with him 300,000 strong experienced soldiers; next to him Captain Jehohanan, and with him 280,000; next to him Amasiah of Zichri, who willingly offered himself to Yahweh; and with him 200,000 strong experienced soldiers. Of Benjamin; Eliada, a brave soldier, and with him 200,000 armed soldiers; and next to him Jehozabad and with him 180,000 ready for war. These were those who served the ruler, besides those whom the ruler put in the protected cities throughout all Judah.
18[1-5] Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor; and he joined forces with Ahab. After certain years he went down to see Ahab in Samaria. Ahab slaughtered many sheep and cows for him, and for the people who were with him, and got him to go up with him to Ramoth Gilead. Ahab ruler of Israel said to Jehoshaphat ruler of Judah, “Will you go with me to Ramoth Gilead?” He answered him, “I’m as you are, and My people as your people; and we’ll go with you to war.” Jehoshaphat said to the ruler of Israel, “Please ask first for the word of Yahweh.” Then the ruler of Israel gathered 400 preachers together, saying to them, “Will we go to Ramoth Gilead to battle or not?” They said, “Go up because God will put it into the power of the ruler.”
[6-8] But Jehoshaphat said, “Isn’t there a preacher of Yahweh here besides them, that we may ask of him?” The ruler of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There’s still one more by whom we may ask of Yahweh; but I hate him because he never says anything good about me, but always foretells evil. He is Micaiah of Imla.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Don’t say that.” Then the ruler of Israel called an officer, saying, “Get Micaiah of Imla quickly.
[9-13] Now the ruler of Israel and Jehoshaphat the ruler of Judah sat each on his throne, clothed in their robes, and they were sitting in an open place at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the preachers were speaking before them. Zedekiah of Chenaanah made him horns of iron, saying, “Yahweh says, With these you’ll push the Syrians, until they’re all gone.” All the preachers said, “Go up to Ramoth Gilead, and you’ll do well because Yahweh will put it into the power of the ruler.” Then the messenger who went to call Micaiah said to him, “See, the words of the preachers foretell good to the ruler with one mouth; so let your words be like theirs, and say good things to him.” But Micaiah said, “As Yahweh lives, what my God says, that I’ll speak.”
[14 -22] When he had come to the ruler, the ruler said to him, “Micaiah, will we go to Ramoth Gilead to battle, or not?” He said, “Go up, and do well; and they’ll be given to you.” Then the ruler said to him, “How many times must I tell you to say to me nothing but the truth in the name of Yahweh?” So he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd; and Yahweh said, ‘These have no leader; let everyone go home in peace.’” The ruler of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he wouldn’t foretell anything good about me, but only evil?” Micaiah said, “So listen to the word of Yahweh; I saw Yahweh sitting on a throne, and all the troops of heaven standing on each side of God. Yahweh said, ‘Who will trick Ahab ruler of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ One said one thing, and another said something else. Then a spirit came, and stood before Yahweh, saying, ‘I’ll trick him.’ Yahweh said to him, ‘How?’ He said, ‘I’ll go and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his preachers.’ He said, ‘You’ll trick him, and triumph also; go, and do it.’ So now, Yahweh has put a lying spirit in the mouth of your preachers; and Yahweh has foretold evil for you.”
[23-29] Then Zedekiah of Chenaanah came and hit Micaiah on the cheek saying, “When did the Spirit of Yahweh go from me to speak to you?” Micaiah said, “See, you’ll see on the day when you go into an inner room to hide yourself.” The ruler of Israel said, “Take Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Joash, the ruler’s son; and say, “The ruler says, ‘Put this man in prison, and feed him with the bread and water of trouble, until I return in peace.” So Micaiah said, “If you return in peace, Yahweh hasn’t spoken by me. Hear, you people, all of you.” So the ruler of Israel and Jehoshaphat, the ruler of Judah, went up to Ramoth Gilead. The ruler of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, I’ll disguise myself, and go into the battle; but you put on your robes. So the ruler of Israel disguised himself; and they went into the battle.
[30-34] Now the ruler of Syria had told the captains of his war vehicles, Fight neither with small nor great, but only with the ruler of Israel. When the leaders of the war vehicles saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It’s the ruler of Israel. So they turned around to fight against him; but Jehoshaphat cried out, and Yahweh helped him; and God moved them to leave from him. When the leaders of the war vehicles saw that it wasn’t the ruler of Israel, they stopped chasing him. Then a certain man drew his weapon by chance, and hit the ruler of Israel between the joints of the armor. So he said to the driver of the war vehicle, “Turn around, and carry me out of the troops because I’m severely wounded. The battle grew harder that day; but the ruler of Israel stayed in his war vehicle fighting against the Syrians until evening; and about sundown, he died.