Jehoshaphat’s Zeal for the Law. 1His son Jehoshaphat succeeded him as king and strengthened his position against Israel.a 2He placed armed forces in all the fortified cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim which Asa his father had taken. 3The LORD was with Jehoshaphat,* for he walked in the earlier ways of David his father, and did not seek the Baals. 4Rather, he sought the God of his father and walked in his commands, and not the practices of Israel. 5Through him, the LORD made the kingdom secure, and all Judah gave Jehoshaphat gifts, so that great wealth and glory was his. 6Thus he was encouraged* to follow the LORD’s ways, and once again he removed the high places and the asherahs from Judah.b
7In the third year of his reign he sent his officials, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah. 8With them he sent the Levites Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, and Tobijah, together with Elishama and Jehoram the priests.c 9They taught in Judah, having with them the book of the law of the LORD; they traveled through all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.d
His Power. 10Now the fear of the LORD was upon all the kingdoms of the countries surrounding Judah, so that they did not war against Jehoshaphat. 11Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat gifts and a tribute of silver; the Arabians also brought him a flock of seven thousand seven hundred rams and seven thousand seven hundred he-goats.
12Jehoshaphat grew ever greater. He built strongholds and store cities in Judah. 13He carried out many works in the cities of Judah, and he had soldiers, valiant warriors, in Jerusalem. 14This was their mustering according to their ancestral houses. From Judah, the commanders of thousands: Adnah the commander, and with him three hundred thousand valiant warriors. 15Next to him, Jehohanan the commander, and with him two hundred eighty thousand. 16Next to him, Amasiah, son of Zichri, who offered himself to the LORD, and with him two hundred thousand valiant warriors. 17From Benjamin: Eliada, a valiant warrior, and with him two hundred thousand armed with bow and buckler. 18Next to him, Jehozabad, and with him one hundred and eighty thousand equipped for war. 19These attended the king; in addition to those whom the king had stationed in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.
* [17:3] The LORD was with Jehoshaphat: along with his successors Hezekiah and Josiah, Jehoshaphat is one of the Chronicler’s exemplary kings.
* [17:6] Thus he was encouraged: lit., “his heart was high,” a phrase that ordinarily describes arrogance and rebelliousness; in this case, however, it introduces a notice of Jehoshaphat’s fidelity to the Lord.