Jehoshaphat Rules in Judah
1Then Jehoshaphat, Asa’s son, became the next king. He strengthened Judah to stand against any attack from Israel. 2He stationed troops in all the fortified towns of Judah, and he assigned additional garrisons to the land of Judah and to the towns of Ephraim that his father, Asa, had captured.
3The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father’s early years*17:3 Some Hebrew manuscripts read the example of his father, David. and did not worship the images of Baal. 4He sought his father’s God and obeyed his commands instead of following the evil practices of the kingdom of Israel. 5So the Lord established Jehoshaphat’s control over the kingdom of Judah. All the people of Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so he became very wealthy and highly esteemed. 6He was deeply committed to*17:6 Hebrew His heart was courageous in. the ways of the Lord. He removed the pagan shrines and Asherah poles from Judah.
7In the third year of his reign Jehoshaphat sent his officials to teach in all the towns of Judah. These officials included Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah. 8He sent Levites along with them, including Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-adonijah. He also sent out the priests Elishama and Jehoram. 9They took copies of the Book of the Law of the Lord and traveled around through all the towns of Judah, teaching the people.
10Then the fear of the Lord fell over all the surrounding kingdoms so that none of them wanted to declare war on Jehoshaphat. 11Some of the Philistines brought him gifts and silver as tribute, and the Arabs brought 7,700 rams and 7,700 male goats.
12So Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful and built fortresses and storage cities throughout Judah. 13He stored numerous supplies in Judah’s towns and stationed an army of seasoned troops at Jerusalem. 14His army was enrolled according to ancestral clans.
From Judah there were 300,000 troops organized in units of 1,000, under the command of Adnah. 15Next in command was Jehohanan, who commanded 280,000 troops. 16Next was Amasiah son of Zicri, who volunteered for the Lord’s service, with 200,000 troops under his command.
17From Benjamin there were 200,000 troops equipped with bows and shields. They were under the command of Eliada, a veteran soldier. 18Next in command was Jehozabad, who commanded 180,000 armed men.
19These were the troops stationed in Jerusalem to serve the king, besides those Jehoshaphat stationed in the fortified towns throughout Judah.