The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Paralipomena
After this the Moabites and the Ammonites, with certain tribesmen that lived in the Ammonite country, mustered their forces to levy war on Josaphat;
and messengers came to tell him that a great army was marching against him, from the country beyond the Dead Sea and from Syria; they were encamped even now at Asasonthamar (which is the same as Engaddi).
Most fervently, in his great dismay, Josaphat betook himself to prayer, proclaiming a fast for the whole of Juda;
whereupon all Juda gathered to offer the Lord their plea; from every city they assembled to prefer their common request.
There, then, Josaphat stood in the Lord’s house, at the entrance to the New Court, with all Jerusalem and Juda assembled round him.
Lord God of our fathers, he prayed, from thy throne in heaven thou rulest all earthly kingdoms, holding a sceptre of such majesty that none may resist thee.
Thou it was didst overthrow all the dwellers in this land to make room for thy people Israel; thy irrevocable gift it was to the sons of Abraham, thy friend.
Here, then, they dwelt, and built a temple in thy honour.
And if we come into thy presence, they said, here in the shrine of thy own name, crying out to thee in time of need, when disaster falls upon us, pestilence, or famine, or the avenging sword, then do thou hear, and save.
See now what need is here! We are attacked by Ammon, Moab and Edom, the very nations whose frontiers thou didst forbid Israel to cross, after the march out of Egypt. Our fathers turned aside, leaving them unharmed,
and this is our reward; we are to be driven out from the home thou hast given us.
It is for thee, our God, to grant redress; we have no strength of our own to meet such an onslaught as this; despairing hearts, that know not where else to turn, we look to thee!
All Juda stood about him, there in the Lord’s presence, even mothers with babes in their arms, children at their side.
And now, upon one man in all that throng, the Lord’s spirit fell; it was a Levite of Asaph’s clan, Jahaziel, come down from Mathanias through Zacharias, Banaias and Jehiel.
Listen, Juda, he cried, listen, citizens of Jerusalem, listen, king Josaphat, to a message from the Lord. Put an end to your fears, do not be dismayed at the sight of this great army; it is God’s battle, not yours.
Go down to-morrow and offer them battle, as they climb up the slope of Sis; it is there you will find them, at the head of the ravine which faces the Jeruel desert.
Not yours the battle, you have but to stand firm, Juda and Jerusalem, and watch the Lord coming to your aid. No flinching, no faint hearts; go down to-morrow, and the Lord will be at your side.
At this, Josaphat and Juda and all the citizens of Jerusalem fell down face to earth, there in the Lord’s presence;
and the Levites, sons of Caath and Core, cried aloud till the heavens rang, in praise of the Lord God of Israel.
Dawn came, and they began their march across the desert of Thecue; Josaphat, as they set out, came forward to speak. Listen to me, he said, men of Juda; listen, citizens of Jerusalem. Trust in the Lord your God, and you have nothing to fear; trust his prophets, and all shall go well with you.
Thus he encouraged them, and would have the Lord’s minstrels praise him in chorus, marching before the army and singing, Praise the Lord, the Lord is gracious; his mercy endures for ever.
As the chant rose, the Lord turned the stealthy approach of Juda’s enemies, Ammon and Moab and Edom, to their own discomfiture.
First Ammon and Moab fell on the Edomites, cutting them down till there was nothing left of them; and when this was done, the two armies turned against one another, till their feud brought destruction on both.
And when the men of Juda reached the vantage-ground that overlooks the desert, nothing was to be seen, look where they would, but the corpses of the slain; not a man was left there alive.
So Josaphat and his men went down to strip them of their spoil, and found there, among the dead, such plunder of harness and clothes and precious ornaments as they could not carry with them; it was three days before all the booty was taken away.
Then, on the fourth day, they mustered in the Valley of Blessing, which still bears the name they gave it when they returned thanks to the Lord there;
and so went back to Jerusalem, men of Jerusalem and men of Juda alike, with Josaphat at their head, full of joy at the triumph the Lord had given them over their enemies;
into Jerusalem they came, and into the Lord’s house, with harp and zither and trumpets playing.
So the Lord struck terror into the hearts of the heathen, with the news that he himself had fought against Israel’s enemies;
Josaphat reigned in security, and on every frontier God gave him peace.
This reign of his over Juda began when he was thirty-five years old, and for twenty-five years it lasted, there in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azuba, daughter of Selahi.
He followed the example of his father Asa, and never swerved aside from the Lord’s will;
though indeed he did not abolish the hill-shrines; not yet had his people turned their whole minds to worshipping the Lord, the God of their fathers.
What else Josaphat did, first and last, is told in the record preserved by Jehu son of Hanani, among the Annals of the kings of Israel.
At the end of his life, Josaphat made an alliance between Juda and Israel, under king Ochozias, that reigned very evilly.
Together they would build a fleet that should sail for Tharsis; and build it they did, in Asiongaber;
but Eliezer, son of Dodau from Maresa, prophesied to king Josaphat, The Lord has shattered those hopes of thine, because of thy alliance with Ochozias; and the ships were wrecked before ever they reached Tharsis.✻
The Holy Bible