King Jehoshaphat of Judah 17 1Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king and strengthened his defenses against Israel. 2He assigned troops to the fortified cities in Judah, as well as to other towns in Judah and to those towns in Ephraim that his father Asa had captured. 343-4When Jehoshaphat's father had first become king of Judah, he was faithful to the LORD and refused to worship the god Baal as the kings of Israel did. Jehoshaphat followed his father's example and obeyed and worshiped the LORD. And so the LORD blessed Jehoshaphat 5and helped him keep firm control of his kingdom. The people of Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, but even after he became very rich and respected, 6he remained completely faithful to the LORD. He destroyed all the local shrines[X] in Judah, including the places where the goddess Asherah was worshiped. 7In the third year of Jehoshaphat's rule, he chose five officials and gave them orders to teach the LORD's Law in every city and town in Judah. They were Benhail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah. 8Their assistants were the following nine Levites: Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-Adonijah. Two priests, Elishama and Jehoram, also went along. 9They carried with them a copy of the LORD's Law wherever they went and taught the people from it. 10The nations around Judah were afraid of the LORD's power, so none of them attacked Jehoshaphat. 11Philistines brought him silver and other gifts to keep peace. Some of the Arab people brought him 7,700 rams and the same number of goats. 12As Jehoshaphat became more powerful, he built fortresses and cities 13where he stored supplies. He also kept in Jerusalem some experienced soldiers 14from the Judah and Benjamin tribes. These soldiers were grouped according to their clans. Adnah was the commander of the troops from Judah, and he had 300,000 soldiers under his command. 15Jehohanan was second in command, with 280,000 soldiers under him. 16Amasiah son of Zichri, who had volunteered to serve the LORD, was third in command, with 200,000 soldiers under him. 17Eliada was a brave warrior who commanded the troops from Benjamin. He had 200,000 soldiers under his command, all of them armed with bows and shields. 18Jehozabad was second in command, with 180,000 soldiers under him. 19These were the troops who protected the king in Jerusalem, not counting those he had assigned to the fortified cities throughout the country.
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