God's Truth

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The Chronicles of the Kings of Juda
The Second Book

(Part Three)



The 17th Chapter
     And Jehosaphat his son reigned in his stead and was mightier than Israel. And he put soldiers in all the strong cities of Juda, and set rulers both in the land of Juda and also in the cities of Ephraim which Asa his father had won. And the Lord was with Jehosaphat, because he walked in the old ways of his father David, and sought not Baals: But sought the Lord God of his father and walked in his commandments and not after the doings of Israel. Therefore the Lord stablished the kingdom in his hand and all Juda brought him presents, that he became exceeding rich and glorious. And his heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord, and he put down yet more of the hillaltars and groves out of Juda.
     And the third year of his reign he sent of his Lords: Benhail, Abdiah, Zachariah, Nathanael and Michaah to teach in the cities of Juda: and with them Semeiah, Nathaniah, Zabadiah, Asahel, Semiramoth, Jehonathan, Adoniah, Thobiah and Thobodoniah Levites: and with them Elisama and Joram priests. And they taught in Juda, and had the book of the law with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Juda and taught the people.
     And the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Juda, that they durst not war with Jehosaphat. And the Philistines brought Jehosaphat gifts and tribute silver. And thereto the Arabians brought him of sheep, seven thousand and seven hundred rams, and seven thousand and seven hundred he goats. And so Jehosaphat prospered and grew up on high. And he built in Juda, castles and store cities. And he had great substance in the cities of Juda, and fighting men and men of might in Jerusalem.
     And this is the order in the houses of their fathers, of the captains over thousands in Juda: Ednah the captain and with him of fighting men three hundred thousand. And next to him Jehohanan a captain and with him two hundred and eighty thousand. And by his side Amaziah the son of Zechri willing unto the Lord, and with him two hundred thousand mighty men. And of the children of Benjamin, Eliada was a man of might, and had with him armed with bows and shields two hundred thousand. And by his side Jehosabad with whom were an hundred and eighty thousand trimmed for war. These waited on the king, besides those which the king had put in strong cities throughout all Juda.

The 18th Chapter
     And Jehosaphat became very rich and glorious, and joined affinity with Ahab. And after certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab slew sheep and oxen plenteously for him and for the people that came with him, and entreated him to go up unto Ramoth in Galaad. And Ahab king of Israel said to Jehosaphat king of Juda: will you go with me to Ramoth in Galaad? And he answered him, I will be as you, and my people shall be as your and we will be with you in the war.
     But Jehosaphat said unto the king of Israel: ask I pray you the word of the Lord. And the king of Israel gathered together of the Prophets four hundred men, and said unto them: shall we go to Ramoth in Galaad to fight, or shall I cease? And they said, go: the Lord shall deliver it into the kings hand. And Jehosaphat said, is there yet here never a Prophet more of the Lords, that we might ask of him? And the king of Israel said to Jehosaphat, there is yet one, to ask the Lord by him: But I hate him, for he never prophecies me good, but always evil, one Micheah the son of Jemla. And Jehosaphat said: let not the king say so.
     Then the king of Israel called one of his chamberlains and said: fetch hither quickly Micheah the son of Jemla. And the king of Israel and Jehosaphat king of Juda sat either of them on his seat in their apparel, in a threshing floor beside the gate of Samaria, and all the Prophets prophesying before them. And one Zedekiah the son of Chananah made him horns of iron and said, thus says the Lord: with these you shall winnow Siria until you have brought them to nought. And all the Prophets prophesied even so saying: Go up to Ramoth in Galaad and prosper, for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.
     And the messenger that went to call Micheah, spoke to him saying: behold, the words of the Prophets are pleasant to the king with one assent, let your words I pray you, be like one of theirs, and speak that which is pleasant. And Micheah said: as truly as the Lord lives, even what my God says, that will I speak. And when he was come to the king, the king said to him: Micheah, shall we go to Ramoth in Galaad to fight, or shall I be in rest? And he answered: go you and prosper, for the Lord shall deliver it into your hands. But the king said to him: how often times shall I adjure you that you say nothing but truth to me, in the name of the Lord.
     Then he said: I see all Israel scattered in the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said: these have no master, let them return every man to his house in peace. Then said the king of Israel to Jehosaphat, did I not tell you, that he would not prophesy good unto me, but evil?
     And he answered: therefore hear you the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sit upon his seat, and all the company of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. And the Lord said: who shall deceive Ahab king of Israel, that he may go and be overthrown at Ramoth in Galaad. And while one said thus and another that, there came out a spirit and stood before the Lord and said: I will deceive him. And the Lord said to him, how? And he said: I will go out and will be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets. And the Lord said, you shall deceive him and shall prevail, go out and do even so. And now behold the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these your prophets, and yet the Lord has spoken evil against you. And Zedekiah the son of Chananah, went to and smote Micheah upon the cheek, and said: by what way went the spirit of the Lord from me, to speak in you? And Micheah said: you shall see the day when you shall run from chamber to chamber, for to hide yourself. Then said the king of Israel, take you Micheah and deliver him to Amon the governor of city, and to Joas the kings son and say, thus says the king: put this fellow in prison, and feed him with bread and water of tribulation, until I come again in peace. And Micheah said: if you come again in peace, then has not the Lord spoken in me. And Micheah said moreover, hearken to you people every one of you. And so the king of Israel and Jehosaphat went up to Ramoth in Galaad. Then said the king of Israel to Jehosaphat: change you and get you to battle, but see you have your own apparel upon you. And the king of Israel changed himself, and they went to battle. But the king of Siria commanded the captains of his chariots saying: see that you fight not against small or great, save against the king of Israel only.
     And when the captains of the chariots saw Jehosaphat, they had went (thought?) he had been the king of Israel, and therefore compassed about him, to fight. But Ichosaphat cried out, and the Lord help him, and God *tysed (enticed?) them away from him. For when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back again from him. And a certain man drew his bow ignorantly and smote the king of Israel between the Joints of his *habergeon. And he said to the chariot man, turn your hand and carry me out of the host, for I am hurt. And the battle arose that day. Howbeit the king of Israel continued standing in his chariot against the Sirians until evening. And about the *son going down he died. *habergeon: short sleeveless coat of chain mail armor. *son: sonne exactly as found in the text other places see sun spelled sunne.

The 19th Chapter
      And Jehosaphat king of Juda returned to his house safe and sound to Jerusalem. And Jehu the son of Hanani the sear, went out against him and said to king Jehosaphat: ought you to help the wicked, and to love them that hate the Lord. In this verify is the wrath of the Lord upon you. Neverthelater there are good things found in you, in that you have put away groves out of the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God. And as Jehosaphat dwelt at Jerusalem, he went to again and went among the people from Bersabe to mount Ephraim, and brought them again unto the Lord God of their fathers. And he set Judges in the land, throughout all the strong cities of Juda, city by city, and said to the Judges take heed what you do: for you be not Judges in the law of man, but of God, which is with you in the words of the law. Wherefore let the fear of the Lord be with you, and take heed and do it. For there is no unrighteousness in the Lord our God nor regarding of persons, nor taking of rewards.
     Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehosaphat set of the Levites and of the priests and of the ancient heads of Israel, over the customs of the Lord and causes of strife. And then they returned again to Jerusalem. And he charged them saying: do even so in the fear of the Lord with truth and pure heart. And whatsoever come to you of your brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, law, commandment, ordinances and customs: see that you warn them, that they trespass not against the Lord, least wrath come upon you and on your brethren. Thus do and you shall not offend. And see here Amariah the priest which is head over you in all matters of the Lord, and Zabadiah the son of Ismael a ruler in the house of Juda, he is over all causes concerning the king, with officers of the Levites before you. Take courage to you and go upon it, and the Lord shall be with the good.

The 20th Chapter
     After that came the children of Moab and the children of Ammon and with them the Ammonites against Jehosaphat to battle. And there came that told Jeshosaphat saying: there comes a great multitude against you from the other side the sea out of Siria. And see they be in Hasason Thamar which is Engadi. And Jehosaphat feared and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed fasting throughout all Juda. And Juda gathered themselves together to ask counsel of the Lord. And thereto there came out of all the cities of Juda to seek the Lord. And Jehosaphat stood in the congregation of Juda and Jerusalem in the house of the Lord before the new court and said: Lord God of our fathers, are not you God in heaven, and reign not you on all the kingdoms of the heathen? And in your hand is power and might, that no man can stand before you. are not you our God which did cast out the inhabiters of this land before your people Israel, and gave it to the seed of Abraham your lover for ever? And they dwelt therein and have built you a temple therein unto your name, and said: when evil comes upon us, as the sword of judgement, pestilence or hunger: then if we stand before this house and before you (for your name is in this house) and shall cry unto you in our tribulation, you shall hear and help.
     And now behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, by which you would not let Israel go, when they came out of Egypt: but they departed from them and destroyed them not. And see, how they reward us, to come for to cast us out of your possession which you have possessed us with all. O' our God, will you not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that comes against us. Neither know we what to do: but our eyes be unto you.
     And as all Juda stood before the Lord with their young ones, their wives and their children: the spirit of the Lord came upon Jahasiel the son of Zachariah the son of Banaiah the son of Jeiel the son of Mathaniah a Levite of the sons of Asaph, even as he was in the midst of the congregation. And he said: hearken all Juda and the inhabiters of Jerusalem, and also king Jehosaphat. Thus says the Lord unto you: be not afeard or faint hearted by reason of this great multitude. For the war is not yours, but Gods. And tomorrow you shall go down to them: see, they come up at Zis, and you shall meet them in the flags of the brook before the wilderness of Jeruel. Moreover it belongs not to you for to fight this quarrel: but step forth and stand and behold the help of the Lord which is with you: fear not, nor let your heart fail you, O you of Juda and of Jerusalem. Tomorrow go out to them: for the Lord is with you.
     And Jehosaphat bowed himself with his face to the city, and all Juda and the inhabiters of Jerusalem fell before the Lord, to bow themselves unto the Lord. And the Levites and the children of the Cahasites and of the Corahites stood up, to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high. And so they arose early in the morning and get them out unto the wilderness of Thekua. And as they went out Jehosaphat stood and said: hear me Juda and the inhabiters of Jerusalem. Believe in the Lord your God, and so shall you continue: and believe his prophets and so shall you prosper. And he gave the people counsel, and set the singers of the Lord and them that praised in holy apparel, to go out before the army and to say: praise the Lord for his mercy lasts ever. And what time they began to laud and praise, then the Lord set layers await against the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, to destroy them utterly and to wipe them out. And when they had made an end of the inhabiters of Seir, then they help to destroy each other.
     And when Juda came to Mazphah in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude. And behold, they were dead carcasses fallen to the earth, and none escaped. And Jehosaphat and his people went to rob away the spoil of them and found among them abundance of goods and raiment and of pleasant Jewels, and caught from them more than they could carry away: so that they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much. And the fourth day they assembled in the valley of blessing, for there they blessed the Lord. And therefore they called the name of the said place the valley of blessing unto this day. And so all the men of Juda and Jerusalem returned and Jehosaphat among the thickest of them, for to go again to Jerusalem with gladness: for the Lord had made them to rejoice of their enemies. And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets, even unto the house of the Lord. And the fear of God fell in the kingdoms of all lands, when they had heard that the Lord fought against the enemies of Israel. And so the realm of Jehosaphat was in tranquillity: for his God had given him rest on every side.
     And Jehosaphat reigned upon Juda, and was thirty five years old when he began to reign, and reigned twenty five years in Jerusalem. And his mothers name was Asuba the daughter of Silhi. And he walked in the way of Asa his father and bowed not therefrom, to do that was pleasant in the sight of the Lord. How be it they put not down the hillaltars, neither did the people yet prepare their hearts unto the God of their fathers. The rest of the acts of Jehosaphat first and last are written in the works of Jehu the son of Hanani, which noted them in the book of the kings of Israel.
     After this Jehosaphat king of Juda joined himself with Ohoziah king of Israel, which was a wicked doer. And he coupled himself with him, to make ships to go to Tharsis. And they made the ships in Azion Gaber. And Elieser the son of Dodanah of Maresa prophesied against Jehosaphat: saying: because you have joined yourself with Ohoziah the Lord has broken your works. And the ships were broken that they were not able to go to Tharsis.

The 21st Chapter
     Jehosaphat laid him to rest with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David and Jehoram his son reigned in his room: which Jehoram had other brethren, sons of Jehosaphat, Asariah, Jehiel, Zachariah, Asariah, Michael and Sephatia. All these were the sons of Jehosapaht king of Juda. And their father gave them many great gifts in silver, gold and other precious things with strong cities in Juda: but the kingdom he gave to Jehoram, because he was the eldest. And when Jehoram was up upon the kingdom of his father and settled, he slew all his other brethren with the sword, and diverse of the Lords of Israel thereto. Jehoram was thirty two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab (for a daughter of Ahab was his wife) and he wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord. How be it the Lord would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, as he promised to give a light to him and to his sons for ever.
     In his days the Edomites departed from under the hand of Juda and made them a king. And Jehoram went forth with his lords and all his chariots with him and rose by night and laid on the Edomites. Which compassed him in and the captains of his chariots. And so Edom departed from under the hand of Juda unto this day. That same time also did lobnah depart from under his power, because he left the Lord God of his fathers. Moreover he made hillaltars in the mountains of Juda, and cause the inhabiters of Jerusalem to commit adultery, and he thrust Juda out of the way.
     And there came a writing to him from Eliah the prophet of this tenor. Thus says the Lord God of David your father: because you walked not in the ways of Jehosaphat your father and in the ways of Asa king of Juda, but walked in the ways of Asa king of Israel and have made Juda and the dwellers of Jerusalem go awhoring, like to the whoring of the house of Ahab, and have thereto slain your brethren that were your fathers house, which were better than you: Therefore behold the Lord will smite you with a mighty plague in your folk, in your children, in your wives and in your goods. And you shall have much disease through infirmity in your bowels, until your bowels fall out by reason of your sickness, day by day.
     And the Lord stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabians that border on the black moors. Which came against Juda and all to tare the land, and carried away all the substance that was found in the kings house, and thereto his sons and his wives: so that there was never a son left him save Jehoahaz his youngest son. And after all that, the Lord smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. And in process of time, even about the end of two years, his guts fell out by reason of his sickness: and so he died of evil diseases. But they made him no bonfire, like the bonfires of his fathers. When he began to reign, he was twenty seven years old, and reigned in Jerusalem eight years. And he walked not pleasantly and they buried him in the city of David: but not in the sepulcher of the kings.

The 22nd Chapter
     And the inhabiters of Jerusalem made Ohoziah his youngest son king in his stead. For the men of war that came with the Arabians in the host, had slain all his elder sons. And so Ohoziah the son of Jehoram king of Juda, was made king. Two and forty years old was he when he began to reign, and reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mothers name was Athaliah the daughter of Amri. And he walked also in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his counsellor for to do evil. Wherefore he did that displeased the Lord like to the house of Ahab, for they were his counsellors after the death of his father, to his destruction. And he also walked after their counsel. And Jehoram son of Ahab king of Israel went to fight with Hazael king of Siria at Ramoth in Galaad: and they of Ramoth wounded him. Wherefore he returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which were given him at Ramoth, when he fought with Hazael king of Siria. And Ohoziah the son of Jeroam king of Juda went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab at Jezreel, because he was diseased. For it was thrust into Ohoziah of God to go to Jehoram, and that when he was come, he should go out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Namsi whom the Lord had anointed to destroy the house of Ahab.
     And as Jehu was executing justice upon the house of Ahab. He found the Lords of Juda and the sons of the brethren of Ohoziah that waited on Ohoziah, and he slew them. And he sought Ohoziah, and they caught him where he was hid in Samaria, and brought him to Jehu. And when they had slain him they buried him: because (said they) he was the son of Jehosaphat which sought the Lord with all his heart. And there was none of the house of Ohoziah that could obtain to be king.
     For Athaliah the mother of Ohoziah, when she saw her son was dead, arose and spoke with all the seed of the kingdom of the house of Juda. But Jehosabeath the daughter of the king took Jehoas the son of Ohoziah and stole him from among the kings sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a sleeping chamber. And so Jehosabeath the daughter of king Jehoram and wife of Jehoiada the priest (because she was the sister of Ohoziah) hid him from Athaliah that she slew him not. And he was with them hid in the house of God six years. And Athaliah reigned over the land.

The 23rd Chapter
     And in the seventh year Jehoiada took heart, and made a bond with the captains of hundreds: Azariah the son of Jehoram, Ismael the son of Johanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaciah the son of Adaiah and Elisaphat the son of Zechri. And they went about in Juda and gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Juda and the ancient heads of Israel: and they came to Jerusalem. And all the congregation made a bond with the king in the house of God. And Jehoiada said to them: behold, the kings son must reign over the children of David, as the Lord has said.
     This it is therefore that you shall do. The third part of you priests and Levites which come in the Sabbath day, shall keep the doors and another third part shall be in the kings house and another third part shall be in the gate of the foundation, and all the people shall be in the courts of the house of the Lord. And there shall none come into the house of the Lord, save the priests and the Levites that minister. They shall go in, for they are holy: and all the people shall keep the watch of the Lord. And the Levites shall compass the king round about, and every man his weapon in his hand: and whatsoever other man come into the house of the Lord, he shall die for it, and they shall be with the king, as he comes in and as he goes out.
     And the Levites and all Juda did in all things as Jehoiada the priest commanded, and took every man his men: both them that came in and them that went out the sabbath day: for Jehoiada the priest did let none of the companies depart. And Jehoiada the priest delivered to the captains of hundreds spears and shields and bucklers that pertained to king David and were in the house of God. And he set all the people and every man his weapon in his hand, from the right corner of the house to the left corner of the house, along by the altar and the house round about the king. And they brought out the kings son and put upon him the crown and the testimony, and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him and said: God save the king.
     When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she went among the people into the house of the Lord. And when she saw the king stand at his pillar in the entering, and the Lords and trumpets about the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing with trumpets, and the singers with instruments of music teaching to praise. Then she rent her clothes and cried: treason, treason. And Jehoiada the priest went out with the captains of hundreds that were appointed to govern the host and said to them: have her out without the arrays and whosoever follows her, let him be slain with the sword. For the priest said: slay her not in the house of the Lord. And they laid hands on her, and when she was come out to the entering of the horsegate in the kings house, they slew her there.
     And Jehoiada made a bond between him and all the people and the king, to be the Lords people. And all the people went to the house of Baal and destroyed it, and brake his altars and his images, and slew Mathan the priest of Baal before the altars. And Jehoiada put the offices of the house of the Lord in the hands of the priests the Levites, which David had divided in companies for the house of the Lord, to offer burntofferings unto the Lord, as it is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and singing, as it was ordained by David. And he set porters unto the gates of the house of the Lord, that none that was unclean in any point should enter in.
     And he took the captains of hundreds and the nobles, and the governors of the people and all the folk of the land, and brought the king down out of the house of the Lord, and they went through the high gate in the kings house, and set the king upon the seat of the kingdom. And all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was in tranquillity: but they slew Athaliah with the sword.

The 24th Chapter
     Jehoas was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mothers name was Zebiah of Bersabe. And Jehoas did that pleased the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. And Jehoiada gave him two wives, and he begat sons and daughters.
     It chanced after that, that Jehoas was minded to mend the house of the Lord. And upon that he gathered together the priests and the Levites and said to them: go out through the cities of Juda and gather of all Israel silver, to strength the house of your God, year by year, and see that you haste the thing: howbeit the Levites were slack. Then the king called Jehoiada that was the chiefest, and said to him: Why require you not of the Levites to bring in, out of Juda and Jerusalem the sum appointed by Moses the servant of the Lord, and by the congregation of Israel, for the tabernacle of witness. For wicked Athaliah and her children had broken the house of God, and had thereto bestowed all the dedicate gifts of the house of the Lord, about Baals.
     Wherefore at the kings commandment, they made a coffer, and set it at the gate of the house of the Lord: and made proclamation through Juda and Jerusalem to bring in to the Lord the taxation of Moses the servant of God, which he set upon Israel in the wilderness. And the Lords and all the people rejoiced and brought in and cast into the coffer until it was full. And when the time came that the chest should be brought in by the hands of the Levites at the appointment of the king, when they saw that there was much money: then came the kings scribe and one appointed by the high priest, and poured out that was in the coffer, and then took it and carried it to his place again, and thus they did day by day, and gathered much money.
     And the king and Jehoiada gave it to workmen that wrought upon the house of the Lord, and hired Masons and carpenters to redress the house of the Lord, and so did they artificers in iron and brass, to repair the house of the Lord. And the workmen wrought and the work mended through their hands: and they made the house of God as it ought to be, and strengthened it. And when they had finished it, they brought the rest of the money to the king and Jehoiada, and therewith were made vessels for the house of the Lord: even vessels to minister withal and to serve for burntofferings as ladies and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burntofferings in the house of the Lord continually all the days of Jehoiada. And Jehoiada waxed old and full of years and died. And hundred and thirty years old was he when he died. And they buried him in the city of David among the kings because he had done good in Israel, and on God and on his house. And after the death of Jehoiada, came the Lords of Juda and made obeisance to the king. And then he hearkened unto them. And so they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served groves and Images. And then came there wrath upon Juda and Jerusalem, for this their trespasses sake. Notwithstanding yet God sent Prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord. And they testified unto them. But they would not hear.
     And the spirit of God came upon Zachariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stepped up above the people and said to them. Thus says God: why transgress you the commandments of the Lord? you shall therefore not prosper, but as you have forsaken him, so shall he forsake you. Whereupon they conspired against him and stoned him with stones, at the commandment of the king: even in the court of the house of the Lord. And so Jehoas the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said: the Lord see and require a reckoning.
     And when the year was out, the host of the Sirians came against him: and they came to Juda and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the Lords of the people from among the people and sent all the spoil of them unto the king to Damasco. And though the army of Siria came with a small company of men, yet the Lord delivered a very great host into their hands, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers. And thereto they served Jehoas according.
     And as soon as they were departed from him, though they left him in great diseases: yet his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the children of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed. And when he was dead, they buried him in the city of David: but not in the sepulchers of the kings. And these are they that conspired against him: Zabad the son of Samaath an Ammonite and Jehosabad the son of Simrith a Moabite. And his sons and the sum of the tax that came to him, and the foundation of the house of God, are written in the story of the book of kings. And Amaziah his son reigned in his stead.

CONTINUE

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