2 CHRONICLES 17
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Jehoshaphat Succeeds Asa 17:1 Jehoshaphat his son then became king in his place, and made his position over Israel firm.
2 He placed troops 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 captured.
His Good Reign3 The LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father David’s earlier days and did not seek the Baals,
4 but sought the God of his father, followed His commandments, and did not act as Israel did.
5 So the LORD established the kingdom in his control, and all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor.
6 He took great pride in the ways of the LORD and again removed the high places and the Asherim from Judah.
7 Then in the third year of his reign he sent his officials, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah;
8 and with them the Levites, Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tobadonijah, the Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, the priests.
9 They taught in Judah, having the book of the law of the LORD with them; and they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.
10 Now the dread of the LORD was on all the kingdoms of the lands which were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat.
11 Some of the Philistines brought gifts and silver as tribute to Jehoshaphat; the Arabians also brought him flocks, 7,700 rams and 7,700 male goats.
12 So Jehoshaphat grew greater and greater, and he built fortresses and store cities in Judah.
13 He had large supplies in the cities of Judah, and warriors, valiant men, in Jerusalem.
14 This was their muster according to their fathers’ households: of Judah, commanders of thousands, Adnah was the commander, and with him 300,000 valiant warriors;
15 and next to him was Johanan the commander, and with him 280,000;
16 and next to him Amasiah the son of Zichri, who volunteered for the LORD, and with him 200,000 valiant warriors;
17 and of Benjamin, Eliada a valiant warrior, and with him 200,000 armed with bow and shield;
18 and next to him Jehozabad, and with him 180,000 equipped for war.
19 These are they who served the king, apart from those whom the king put in the fortified cities through all Judah.
2 CHRONICLES 18
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Jehoshaphat Allies with Ahab 18:1 Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor; and he allied himself by marriage with Ahab.
2 Some years later he went down to visit Ahab at Samaria. And Ahab slaughtered many sheep and oxen for him and the people who were with him, and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead.
3 Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth-gilead?” And he said to him, “I am as you are, and my people as your people, and we will be with you in the battle.”
4 Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire first for the word of the LORD.”
5 Then the king of Israel assembled the prophets, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for God will give it into the hand of the king.”
6 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?”
7 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me but always evil. He is Micaiah, son of Imla.” But Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.”
Ahab’s False Prophets Assure Victory8 Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah, Imla’s son.”
9 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, and they were sitting at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them.
10 Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘With these you shall gore the Arameans until they are consumed.’”
11 All the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and succeed, for the LORD will give it into the hand of the king.”
Micaiah Brings Word from God 12 Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, “Behold, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. So please let your word be like one of them and speak favorably.”
13 But Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, what my God says, that I will speak.”
14 When he came to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” He said, “Go up and succeed, for they will be given into your hand.”
15 Then the king said to him, “How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?”
16 So he said, “I saw all Israel Scattered on the mountains, Like sheep which have no shepherd; And the LORD said, ‘These have no master. Let each of them return to his house in peace.’”
17 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”
18 Micaiah said, “Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing on His right and on His left.
19 The LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said this while another said that.
20 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’ And the LORD said to him, ‘How?’
21 He said, ‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You are to entice him and prevail also. Go and do so.’
22 Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of these your prophets, for the LORD has proclaimed disaster against you.”
23 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “How did the Spirit of the LORD pass from me to speak to you?”
24 Micaiah said, “Behold, you will see on that day when you enter an inner room to hide yourself.”
25 Then the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son;
26 and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this man in prison and feed him sparingly with bread and water until I return safely.”’”
27 Micaiah said, “If you indeed return safely, the LORD has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Listen, all you people.”
Ahab’s Defeat and Death 28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up against Ramoth-gilead.
29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you put on your robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle.
30 Now the king of Aram had commanded the captains of his chariots, saying, “Do not fight with small or great, but with the king of Israel alone.”
31 So when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is the king of Israel,” and they turned aside to fight against him. But Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him, and God diverted them from him.
32 When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.
33 A certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel in a joint of the armor. So he said to the driver of the chariot, “Turn around and take me out of the fight, for I am severely wounded.”
34 The battle raged that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot in front of the Arameans until the evening; and at sunset he died.
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The Commendation of Wisdom8:1 Does not wisdom call, And understanding lift up her voice?
2 On top of the heights beside the way, Where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
3 Beside the gates, at the opening to the city, At the entrance of the doors, she cries out:
4 “To you, O men, I call, And my voice is to the sons of men.
5 “O naive ones, understand prudence; And, O fools, understand wisdom.
6 “Listen, for I will speak noble things; And the opening of my lips will reveal right things.
7 “For my mouth will utter truth; And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 “All the utterances of my mouth are in righteousness; There is nothing crooked or perverted in them.
9 “They are all straightforward to him who understands, And right to those who find knowledge.
10 “Take my instruction and not silver, And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
11 “For wisdom is better than jewels; And all desirable things cannot compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And I find knowledge and discretion.
13 “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.
14 “Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine.
15 “By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice.
16 “By me princes rule, and nobles, All who judge rightly.
17 “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.
18 “Riches and honor are with me, Enduring wealth and righteousness.
19 “My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold, And my yield better than choicest silver.
20 “I walk in the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice,
21 To endow those who love me with wealth, That I may fill their treasuries.
22 “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.
23 “From everlasting I was established, From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.
24 “When there were no depths I was brought forth, When there were no springs abounding with water.
25 “Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills I was brought forth;
26 While He had not yet made the earth and the fields, Nor the first dust of the world.
27 “When He established the heavens, I was there, When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,
28 When He made firm the skies above, When the springs of the deep became fixed,
29 When He set for the sea its boundary So that the water would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth;
30 Then I was beside Him, as a master workman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him,
31 Rejoicing in the world, His earth, And having my delight in the sons of men.
32 “Now therefore, O sons, listen to me, For blessed are they who keep my ways.
33 “Heed instruction and be wise, And do not neglect it.
34 “Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at my doorposts.
35 “For he who finds me finds life And obtains favor from the LORD.
36 “But he who sins against me injures himself; All those who hate me love death.”
1 THESSALONIANS 1
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Thanksgiving for These Believers 1:1 Paul and Silvanus and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;
3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father,
4 knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you;
5 for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.
8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.
9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,
10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
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