The army of Edom will attack. Jehoshaphat meets the enemy with a choir. Summary of the reign of Jehoshaphat.
VERSE 1. After this, the children of Moab, the children of Ammon, and with them some of the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
VERSE 2. Then some came who told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea from Syria. Behold, they are in Hazazon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi).
A great multitude is coming against you. A vast military threat is on its way. They are hopelessly out-numbered.
VERSE 3. Jehoshaphat was alarmed, and set himself to seek to the LORD. He proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
set himself to seek to the LORD. King Jehoshaphat seeks first God and his kingdom.
Seeking the kingdom of God is to be our number one priority. Yet for many of us, our use of time and money show that it is a low priority. Read more »
VERSE 4. Judah gathered themselves together to seek help from the LORD. They came out of all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD.
Judah gathered themselves together to seek help from the LORD. They sought the LORD God together as a nation.
VERSE 5. Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the LORD’s house, before the new court;
VERSE 6. and he said, “LORD, the God of our fathers, aren’t you God in heaven? Aren’t you ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in your hand, so that no one is able to withstand you.
VERSE 7. Didn’t you, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it to the offspring of Abraham your friend forever?
the offspring. Or “seed.”
VERSE 8. They lived in it, and have built you a sanctuary in it for your name, saying,
VERSE 9. ‘If evil comes on us—the sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this house, and before you (for your name is in this house), and cry to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.’
your name is in this house. What does this mean?
you will hear and save. Some people say things like this:
- The LORD God is a fantasy. A myth. He does not actually exist.
- People find it comforting to believe in an all-powerful being who watches over them.
- Because God doesn’t exist, he does not answer prayer.
Jehoshaphat would disagree. And so would his nation.
They bet their very lives on the reality of the LORD God. And his active involvement in their nation.
VERSE 10. Now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned away from them, and didn’t destroy them;
VERSE 11. behold, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit.
VERSE 12. Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no might against this great company that comes against us. We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
we have no might against this great company. King Jehoshaphat freely admits that his nation is powerless against this great enemy.
A bystander would say they were walking to their own execution.
In Jesus Christ, when we admit that we are weak, then we can become strong. Saint Paul writes:
2 Corinthians 12:9. He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me.
VERSE 13. All Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
VERSE 14. Then the LORD’s Spirit came on Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite, of the sons of Asaph, in the middle of the assembly;
VERSE 15. and he said, “Listen, all Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, king Jehoshaphat. The LORD says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, and don’t be dismayed because of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
Don’t be afraid, and don’t be dismayed. The LORD God commands them to not fear or loose hope.
the battle is not yours, but God’s. This reminds us of the brave words of young David when he faced Goliath:
1 Samuel 17:47. and that all this assembly may know that the LORD doesn’t save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.
VERSE 16. Tomorrow, go down against them. Behold, they are coming up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
VERSE 17. You will not need to fight this battle. Set yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Don’t be afraid, nor be dismayed. Go out against them tomorrow, for the LORD is with you.’ ”
You will not need to fight this battle. Their victory will be the LORD’s victory.
Set yourselves, stand still, and see. All they need to do is show up to the battlefield. And see.
VERSE 18. Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD.
Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground. Upon hearing this authentic message from the prophet, King Jehoshaphat worships the LORD God.
VERSE 19. The Levites, of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD, the God of Israel, with an exceedingly loud voice.
with an exceedingly loud voice. The Levites sing the praises of the LORD God.
In our day, many Christians are lukewarm about singing the praises of the LORD God.
VERSE 20. They rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. As they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, so you will be established! Believe his prophets, so you will prosper.”
Believe in the LORD your God. The “work” of a believer is simple. It is to believe.
VERSE 21. When he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and give praise in holy array as they go out before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the LORD, for his loving kindness endures forever.”
they go out before the army. They are hopelessly outnumbered, and this vicious enemy is about to attack.
So King Jehoshaphat has the choir lead the army into battle.
Jehoshaphat and his people have action-faith.
VERSE 22. When they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushers against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were struck.
VERSE 23. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. When they had finished the inhabitants of Seir, everyone helped to destroy each other.
VERSE 24. When Judah came to the place overlooking the wilderness, they looked at the multitude; and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and there were none who escaped.
dead bodies fallen to the earth, and there were none who escaped. As soon as they begin to sing the song of Moses, the LORD God completely annihilates the enemy!
VERSE 25. When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their plunder, they found among them in abundance both riches and dead bodies with precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away. They took plunder for three days, it was so much.
VERSE 26. On the fourth day, they assembled themselves in Beracah Valley, for there they blessed the LORD. Therefore the name of that place was called “Beracah Valley” to this day.
Beracah Valley. The word “Beracah” means “blessing.”
VERSE 27. Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat in front of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies.
the LORD had made them to rejoice. Jehoshaphat is a great hero of the faith.
We see this incident in the same category as:
- Abraham being declared righteous
- Moses splitting the Red Sea
- Joshua commanding the sun and moon to stop
- Judith singlehandedly conquering the entire Assyrian army
- Esther saving the life of every Jewish person alive
- Elijah defeating Ahab and the 400 false prophets at Mount Carmel
shofars. Or “trumpets.”
VERSE 29. The fear of God was on all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.
VERSE 30. So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around.
VERSE 32. He walked in the way of Asa his father, and didn’t turn away from it, doing that which was right in the LORD’s eyes.
doing that which was right in the LORD’s eyes. Jehoshaphat is an unusual king. He is not corrupt.
VERSE 33. However the high places were not taken away, and the people had still not set their hearts on the God of their fathers.
VERSE 34. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in the history of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is included in the book of the kings of Israel.
VERSE 35. After this, Jehoshaphat king of Judah joined himself with Ahaziah king of Israel. The same did very wickedly.
joined himself with Ahaziah king of Israel. Jehoshaphat had the mighty victory of annihilating the army of Edom. But then his reign did not end well.
In our day, many Christians start well. At the beginning, their faith is strong. But as they age, the fire of their faith grows dim. By the end of their lives, their faith is weak. Or nonexistent. They finished poorly.
Hebrews 12:1. Therefore let’s also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with perseverance the race that is set before us,
VERSE 36. He joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish. They made the ships in Ezion Geber.
VERSE 37. Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have joined yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works.” The ships were wrecked, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.