In the thirty-sixth year of Asa, Israel's King Baasha went to war against Judah. He built Ramah in order to deny anyone's access-- going or coming-- to Judah's King Asa.
So Asa brought out the silver and gold from the treasuries of the LORD's temple and the royal palace and sent it to Aram's King Ben-hadad, who lived in Damascus, saying,
"There's a treaty between me and you, between my father and your father. Look, I have sent you silver and gold. Go break your treaty with Israel's King Baasha so that he will withdraw from me."
Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies to the cities of Israel. They attacked Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali.
When Baasha heard [about it], he quit building Ramah and stopped his work.
Then King Asa brought all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and the timbers Baasha had built it with. Then he built Geba and Mizpah with them.
At that time, Hanani the seer came to King Asa of Judah and said to him, "Because you depended on the king of Aram and have not depended on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand.
Were not the Cushites and Libyans a vast army with very many chariots and horsemen? When you depended on the LORD, He handed them over to you.
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His. You have been foolish in this matter, for from now on, you will have wars."
Asa was angry with the seer and put him in prison because of his anger over this. And Asa mistreated some of the people at that time.
Note that the events of Asa's [reign], from beginning to end, are written about in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa developed a disease in his feet, and his disease became increasingly severe. Yet even in his disease he didn't seek the LORD but the physicians.
Asa died in the forty-first year of his reign and rested with his fathers.
He was buried in his own tomb that he had hewn out for himself in the city of David. They laid him out in a coffin that was full of spices and various mixtures of prepared ointments; then they made a great fire in his honor.
His son Jehoshaphat became king in his place and strengthened himself against Israel.
He stationed troops in every fortified city of Judah and set garrisons in the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.
Now the LORD was with Jehoshaphat because he walked in the former ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals
but sought the God of his father and walked by His commands, not according to the practices of Israel.
So the LORD established the kingdom in his hand. Then all Judah brought him tribute, and he had riches and honor in abundance.
His mind rejoiced in the LORD's ways, and he again removed the high places and Asherah poles from Judah.
In the third year of his reign, Jehoshaphat sent his officials-- Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah-- to teach in the cities of Judah.
The Levites with them were Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-adonijah; the priests, Elishama and Jehoram, were with these Levites.
They taught throughout Judah, [having] the book of the LORD's instruction with them. They went throughout the towns of Judah and taught the people.
The terror of the LORD was on all the kingdoms of the lands that surrounded Judah, so they didn't fight against Jehoshaphat.
Some of the Philistines also brought gifts and silver as tribute to Jehoshaphat, and the Arabs brought him flocks: 7,700 rams and 7,700 male goats.
Jehoshaphat grew stronger and stronger. He built fortresses and storage cities in Judah
and carried out great works in the towns of Judah. He had fighting men, brave warriors, in Jerusalem.
These are their numbers according to their ancestral families. For Judah, the commanders of thousands: Adnah the commander and 300,000 brave warriors with him;
next to him, Jehohanan the commander and 280,000 with him;
next to him, Amasiah son of Zichri, the volunteer of the LORD, and 200,000 brave warriors with him;
from Benjamin, Eliada, a brave warrior, and 200,000 with him armed with bow and shield;
next to him, Jehozabad and 180,000 with him equipped for war.
These were the ones who served the king, besides those he stationed in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.
Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance, and he made an alliance with Ahab through marriage.
Then after some years, he went down to visit Ahab in Samaria. Ahab sacrificed many sheep and cattle for him and for the people who were with him. Then he persuaded him to march up to Ramoth-gilead,
for Israel's King Ahab asked Judah's King Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?" He replied to him, "I am as you are, my people as your people; [we will be] with you in the battle."
But Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, "First, please ask what the LORD's will is."
So the king of Israel gathered the prophets, 400 men, and asked them, "Should we go to Ramoth-gilead for war or should I refrain?" They replied, "March up, and God will hand it over to the king."
But Jehoshaphat asked, "Isn't there a prophet of Yahweh here any more? Let's ask him."
The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "There is still one man who can ask the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies good about me, but only disaster. He is Micaiah son of Imlah." "The king shouldn't say that," Jehoshaphat replied.
So the king of Israel called an officer and said, "Hurry [and get] Micaiah son of Imlah!"
Now the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah, clothed in royal attire, were each sitting on his own throne. They were sitting on the threshing floor at the entrance to Samaria's gate, and all the prophets were prophesying in front of them.
Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah made iron horns and said, "This is what the LORD says: 'You will gore the Arameans with these until they are finished off.'"
And all the prophets were prophesying the same, saying, "March up to Ramoth-gilead and succeed, for the LORD will hand it over to the king."
The messenger who went to call Micaiah instructed him, "Look, the words of the prophets are unanimously favorable for the king. So let your words be like theirs, and speak favorably."
But Micaiah said, "As the LORD lives, I will say whatever my God says."
So he went to the king, and the king asked him, "Micaiah, should we go to Ramoth-gilead for war, or should I refrain?" Micaiah said, "March up and succeed, for they will be handed over to you."
But the king said to him, "How many times must I make you swear not to tell me anything but the truth in the name of the LORD?"
So Micaiah said: I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd. And the LORD said, 'They have no master; let each return home in peace.'
So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "Didn't I tell you he never prophesies good about me, but only disaster?"
Then Micaiah said, "Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and the whole heavenly host was standing at His right hand and at His left hand.
And the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab king of Israel to march up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?' So one was saying this and another was saying that.
"Then a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD, and said, 'I will entice him.' "The LORD asked him, 'How?'
"So he said, 'I will go and become a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' "Then He said, 'You will entice him and also prevail. Go and do that.'
"Now, you see, the LORD has put a lying spirit into the mouth of these prophets of yours, and the LORD has pronounced disaster against you."
Then Zedekiah son of Chenaanah came up, hit Micaiah in the face, and demanded, "Did the Spirit of the LORD leave me to speak to you?"
Micaiah replied, "You will soon see when you go to hide yourself in an inner chamber on that day."
Then the king of Israel ordered, "Take Micaiah and return him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Joash, the king's son,
and say, 'This is what the king says: Put this guy in prison and feed him only bread and water until I come back safely.'"
But Micaiah said, "If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken through me." Then he said, "Listen, all you people!"
Then the king of Israel and Judah's King Jehoshaphat went up to Ramoth-gilead.
But the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your royal attire." So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle.
Now the king of Aram had ordered his chariot commanders, "Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel."
When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they shouted, "He must be the king of Israel!" So they turned to attack him, but Jehoshaphat cried out and the LORD helped him. God drew them away from him.
When the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.
But a man drew his bow without taking special aim and struck the king of Israel through the joints of his armor. So he said to the charioteer, "Turn around and take me out of the battle, for I am badly wounded!"
The battle raged throughout that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Arameans until evening. Then he died at sunset.