2 Chronicles 19:1-20:37 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Jehoshaphat King
Comments for Study 7

2 Chronicles 19:1-20:37
Memory Verse: 20:20-23

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I. Jehoshaphat, King of Judah Appoints Judges (19:1-11)

10th Century Middle East

* The map to the right is 10th century Middle East. Israel is shown as one nation in the map. Use the link above to see a map of the kingdom divided.

>1. Who greated Jehoshaphat upon his return from the battle with Ramoth Gilead? (1-3)

* 2 Chronicles 19:1-3 "When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, 2 Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you. 3 There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God."

* 1 Kings 22:1-53 records Jehoshaphat's reign in Judah and the battle with Israel as an ally against Ramoth Gilead. 1 Kings 15:23-24 records the beginning of Jehoshaphat's reign in Judah at the death of Asa before him this way, "As for all the other events of Asa's reign, all his achievements, all he did and the cities he built, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? In his old age, however, his feet became diseased. Then Asa rested with his fathers and was buried with them in the city of his father David. And Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king." 1 Kings 22:41-50 are the only verses dedicated solely to him in that book."

* The events concerning Jehoshaphat's reign recorded in 2 Chronicles are not recorded in 1 Kings except for the battle he fought with Ahab, king of Israel as his ally.

* "Jehoshaphat king of Judah" -Jehoshaphat reigned from 872 to 869 B.C. with his father Asa. 848 B.C. was the beginning of his sole reight. Jehoram, his son was regent from 853 to 848 B.C.

* "Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani" -Little is known of the prophet. Jehu's father Hananni had earlier given Jehoshaphat's father asa the same warning. (16:7-9)

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* Israel did not calculated a king's ascension and reign as other nations. After Israel and Judah split Judah kept calculating to "old way" and Israel switched and started calculating the way other nations did around them. Read "The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings" by Edwin Richard Thiele for more understanding on how Israel and Judah calculated the dates of their king's ascension and reign.

>What question did he ask the king?

* "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD?"

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>What does it mean the wrath of the LORD was upon him?

* "Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you"

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>What good thing did he have to say to the king?

* "you have rid the land of the Asherah poles"

* "have set your heart on seeking God"

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>2. How was Jehoshaphat's faith in God shown in his actions as king? (4-7)

* 2 Chronicles 19:4-7 "Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and turned them back to the LORD, the God of their fathers. 5 He appointed judges in the land, in each of the fortified cities of Judah. 6 He told them, "Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for man but for the LORD, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. 7 Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery."

* "lived in Jerusalem"

* "went out again among the people"

* "Beersheba"

* "the hill country of Ephraim"

* "turned them back to the LORD, the God of their fathers"

>What did he tell the men he put in charge to administer the law of the LORD and to settle disputes? (8-11)

* 2 Chronicles 19:8-11 "In Jerusalem also, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, priests and heads of Israelite families to administer the law of the LORD and to settle disputes. And they lived in Jerusalem. 9 He gave them these orders: "You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the LORD. 10 In every case that comes before you from your fellow countrymen who live in the cities-whether bloodshed or other concerns of the law, commands, decrees or ordinances-you are to warn them not to sin against the LORD; otherwise his wrath will come on you and your brothers. Do this, and you will not sin. 11 "Amariah the chief priest will be over you in any matter concerning the LORD, and Zebadiah son of Ishmael, the leader of the tribe of Judah, will be over you in any matter concerning the king, and the Levites will serve as officials before you. Act with courage, and may the LORD be with those who do well."

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>What does it mean to act in the fear of the Lord?

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>Does that mean we shouldn't have courage as we serve the Lord?

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II. Jehoshaphat Defeats Moab and Ammon (20:1-30)

The Destruction of the Armies of the Ammonites and Moabites

* See a wood engraving by Gustave Dore (1832-1883) to the right depicting the Lord destruction of the armies of the Ammonites and the Moabites. Dore's drawings were in Bibles that are now in public domain. This one was scanned in by creationism.org.

>3. What did Jehoshaphat do when a great threat of an army was coming to Jerusalem? (1-4)

* 2 Chronicles 20:1-4 "After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to make war on Jehoshaphat. 2 Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, "A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Sea. It is already in Hazazon Tamar" (that is, En Gedi). 3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him."

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>What truth's of the Lord did the king state in his prayer? (5-9)

* 2 Chronicles 20:5-9 "Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD in the front of the new courtyard 6 and said: "O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 7 O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 9 'If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.'"

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>What historical event did he remind the Lord and why did he remind him of that? (10-12; Deut. 2:16-19)

* 2 Chronicles 20:10-12 "But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you."

* Deuteronomy 2:16-19 "Now when the last of these fighting men among the people had died, the LORD said to me, "Today you are to pass by the region of Moab at Ar. When you come to the Ammonites, do not harass them or provoke them to war, for I will not give you possession of any land belonging to the Ammonites. I have given it as a possession to the descendants of Lot."

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>4. What did the Lord do when Jehoshaphat finished praying? (13-14)

* 2 Chronicles 20:13-14 "All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD. 14 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly."

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>Who fights our battles when we pray? (15-17)

* 2 Chronicles 20:15-17 "He said: "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.'"

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>What is a proper way to respond when the Lord answers our prayers and fights our battles? (18-19)

* 2 Chronicles 20:18-19 "Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. 19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with very loud voice."

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>5. What did Jehoshaphat say they would do to see victory? (20-21)

* 2 Chronicles 20:20-21 "Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful." 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: "Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever."

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>What is faith? (Hebrews 1:1-2)

* Hebrews 11:1-2 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for."

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>What did Jesus do when he saw someone have faith in him? (Matthew 9:1-8)

* Matthew 9:1-8 "Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven." 3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, "This fellow is blaspheming!" 4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? 6 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." Then he said to the paralytic, "Get up, take your mat and go home." 7 And the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men."

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>6. What did the Lord do as his people sang and praised the Lord? (22-23)

* 2 Chronicles 20:22-23 "As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another."

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>What can be learned on how we should behave when troubles come?

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>7. What did the men of Judah discover even though they had not engaged in battle? (24-26)

* 2 Chronicles 20:24-26 "When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value-more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, where they praised the LORD. This is why it is called the Valley of Beracah to this day."

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>Even though they were willing to go into battle what did they end up doing for three days instead?

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>8. How did music continue to be a part of their faith? (27-28)

* 2 Chronciles 20:27-28 "Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the LORD with harps and lutes and trumpets."

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>How did the Lord's response to their faith have repercussions for the rest of their life? (29-30)

* 2 Chronciles 20:29-30 "The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side."

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III. Jehoshaphat Dies (20:31-37)

>9. What is important about Jehoshaphat life in God's eyes? (31-33, 17:3-6; 1 Kings 22:43)

* 2 Chronicles 20:31-33 "So Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother's name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. 32 He walked in the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD. 33 The high places, however, were not removed, and the people still had not set their hearts on the God of their fathers."

* 1 Kings 22:41-50 are parallel verses.

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>How was his faith displayed in his actions as king? (32, 17:7-9; 1 Kings 22:45-46)

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>Why was it wrong to offer sacrifices on the high places? (33; 1 Kings 22:43b)

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>Why might he not remove them?

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>10. How did his relationship with God effect the kingdom Jehoshaphat ruled? (34-37, 17:10-11, 20:29-30; 1 Kings:22:44, 47)

* 2 Chronicles 20:34-37 "The other events of Jehoshaphat's reign, from beginning to end, are written in the annals of Jehu son of Hanani, which are recorded in the book of the kings of Israel. 35 Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, who was guilty of wickedness. 36 He agreed with him to construct a fleet of trading ships. After these were built at Ezion Geber, 37 Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, "Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the LORD will destroy what you have made." The ships were wrecked and were not able to set sail to trade."

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>Why might the sunken fleet be mentioned? (35-37; 1 Kings 22:48-50)

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