2 CHRONICLES LESSON 20
We will begin this lesson in II Chronicles 20:1 "It came to pass
after this also, [that] the children of Moab, and the children of
Ammon, and with them [other] beside the Ammonites, came against
Jehoshaphat to battle."
In the last lesson, we read of a peace that prevailed in Judah.
The Ammonites and the Moabites had come against Jehoshaphat at the
opening of this lesson.
II Chronicles 20:2 "Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat,
saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the
sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they [be] in Hazazon-tamar, which
Hazazon-tamar means the dividing of the palms. This was actually
a group of people attacking Judah from the area of the Dead Sea. This
was not Syria, however. It appears, that Jehoshaphat was facing a war
where he would, probably, be out-numbered.
II Chronicles 20:3 "And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to
seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah."
II Chronicles 20:4 "And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask
[help] of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to
seek the LORD."
Jehoshaphat had taught them well. They knew their strength was
not in the flesh of man, but in the power of Almighty God. God honors
a fast of this nature.
II Chronicles 20:5 "And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of
Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,"
It is very interesting, to me, that this prayer was sent
heavenward by Jehoshaphat. He was king, not high priest. He was
sincere in the prayer that follows.
II Chronicles 20:6 "And said, O LORD God of our fathers, [art]
not thou God in heaven? and rulest [not] thou over all the kingdoms of
the heathen? and in thine hand [is there not] power and might, so that
none is able to withstand thee?"
The answer to this is yes. God is over all the earth, the
heavens, under the earth, and above the earth. No army could destroy
them, except the LORD allowed it. God rules over everything.
II Chronicles 20:7 "[Art] not thou our God, [who] didst drive
out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest
it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?"
Again, the answer is yes. He is that God. He gave this land to
His family to inhabit forever, as long as they obeyed His
II Chronicles 20:8 "And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a
sanctuary therein for thy name, saying," II Chronicles 20:9 "If,
[when] evil cometh upon us, [as] the sword, judgment, or pestilence,
or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy
name [is] in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then
thou wilt hear and help."
Solomon, indeed, had built the temple in Jerusalem for the LORD
that his father David had wanted to build. When Solomon prayed at the
dedication of the temple, he asked for a promise from God, and God
granted the request to all generations. God loves to be reminded of
His Word. He had promised, if they prayed toward this temple, He would
hear and answer their prayer.
II Chronicles 20:10 "And now, behold, the children of Ammon and
Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when
they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and
destroyed them not;" II Chronicles 20:11 "Behold, [I say, how] they
reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast
given us to inherit."
God had stopped the children of Israel from destroying the very
people, that were trying to destroy Judah and Jerusalem now.
Jehoshaphat wanted to know if God stopped them then, so that these
people could cast them out of their possession now.
II Chronicles 20:12 "O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we
have no might against this great company that cometh against us;
neither know we what to do: but our eyes [are] upon thee."
Jehoshaphat knew that he would not be able to win this war with
so vast an army against him, unless the LORD, Himself, won the war for
them. He says, that he had placed himself and all of the people of
Judah into the hands of God. Whatever happened would be as a result of
God's action on their behalf.
II Chronicles 20:13 "And all Judah stood before the LORD, with
their little ones, their wives, and their children."
This was such a serious matter that even the wives and children
were in attendance. The entire families were praying before the LORD.
II Chronicles 20:14 "Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah,
the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite
of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the
This is an explanation that Jahaziel was of the Levitical
lineage. He was in the temple, and the Spirit of the LORD descended
upon him. The message was from God. The prayer was directly seeking an
answer from God. The beautiful thing was that God used one of His own
creation to bring the message through.
II Chronicles 20:15 "And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye
inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the
LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great
multitude; for the battle [is] not yours, but God's."
This had to be a tremendous relief to Jehoshaphat and to the
people in attendance. This battle was God's. This was not a fear not,
God will be with you. It was a statement that the battle was God's.
They must not fear, only trust God.
II Chronicles 20:16 "To morrow go ye down against them: behold,
they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of
the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel."
This was just explaining that they would not fight down in the
valley, but would, in fact, fight on an elevated area near the Dead
Sea. This was a totally desolate area with no trees to hide behind.
The army of Judah would be at a higher place, and they would look down
upon their enemy.
II Chronicles 20:17 "Ye shall not [need] to fight in this
[battle]: set yourselves, stand ye [still], and see the salvation of
the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed;
to morrow go out against them: for the LORD [will be] with you."
The following is a very similar statement that Moses said at the
Red Sea. Exodus 14:13 "And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not,
stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to
you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see
them again no more for ever." Both of these are beautiful statements
that the LORD would fight for them. They had nothing to fear.
II Chronicles 20:18 "And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with [his]
face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem
fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD."
They believed that God, Himself, would save them and fell before
Him in perfect adoration. This was an act of thanksgiving to God.
II Chronicles 20:19 "And the Levites, of the children of the
Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise
the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high."
In verse 18, we saw the king and his people adoring the LORD.
Now, we see those who ministered gave high praise to the LORD for His
answer to these people.
II Chronicles 20:20 "And they rose early in the morning, and went
forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth,
Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of
Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established;
believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper."
We could add to this, that they went out rejoicing knowing that
the victory was theirs. They were instructed once, again, by
Jehoshaphat to not fear, but believe in the LORD God.
II Chronicles 20:21 "And when he had consulted with the people,
he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty
of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the
LORD; for his mercy [endureth] for ever."
The singers wore their garments they wore when they sang worship
in the temple. This army was led by praise and worship. The singers
were the front lines. These were songs of high praise. They were
praising their God for His Holiness.
II Chronicles 20:22 "And when they began to sing and to praise,
the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and
mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten."
I believe these who ambushed were actually angels God had sent to
fight for Judah. I believe this army of God attacked these enemies of
Judah, and killed them.
II Chronicles 20:23 "For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up
against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy
[them]: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir,
every one helped to destroy another."
There was such confusion in these battles, that they turned
against each other. The Moabites and the Ammonites fought each other,
until no one was left.
II Chronicles 20:24 "And when Judah came toward the watch tower
in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they
[were] dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped."
The army of Judah had not even gotten to the battlefield. These
dead bodies were fallen, because of the angels the LORD. The ones the
angels killed, plus the ones that turned on each other and killed each
other were these dead bodies.
II Chronicles 20:25 "And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to
take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both
riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped
off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were
three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much."
Notice, the battle was already won, when Jehoshaphat and his men
got to the battlefront. All they had to do was gather up the riches
this defeated army had left. There was so much of it, that it took
three days to gather it up.
II Chronicles 20:26 "And on the fourth day they assembled
themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the LORD:
therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of
Berachah, unto this day."
"Berachah" means valley of blessing. The army of Judah gathered
in this valley, and prised God for His greatness.
II Chronicles 20:27 "Then they returned, every man of Judah and
Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to
Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their
This war, they had feared so much, had turned into a beautiful
blessing from God. Their joy was in the LORD.
II Chronicles 20:28 "And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries
and harps and trumpets unto the house of the LORD."
It appears, the singers and musicians led them in high praise all
the way back to Jerusalem. The trumpets were blowing in victory, so
all the land would know they had won.
II Chronicles 20:29 "And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms
of [those] countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against
the enemies of Israel." II Chronicles 20:30 "So the realm of
Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about."
All of the countries in the near vicinity had heard what the LORD
had done to the Ammonites and the Moabites. They now knew that the
LORD fought for Judah. They were not afraid of Jehoshaphat, but they
were afraid of his God. They would not dare attack him, for fear his
God would defeat them, as he had the Ammonites and the Moabites.
There was peace in the land, because the people depended upon God.
II Chronicles 20:31 "And Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah: [he
was] thirty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned
twenty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name [was] Azubah
the daughter of Shilhi."
We find that Jehoshaphat reigned from his 35th year, until he was
II Chronicles 20:32 "And he walked in the way of Asa his father,
and departed not from it, doing [that which was] right in the sight of
the LORD." II Chronicles 20:33 "Howbeit the high places were not taken
away: for as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God
of their fathers."
Jehoshaphat had been even more devoted to God than Asa had been.
They were both righteous kings in the sight of the LORD. Jehoshaphat's
only errors were the fact that he was friends with Ahab, and not
tearing down the high places. He sought the LORD with all his heart,
and the LORD blessed him mightily.
II Chronicles 20:34 "Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat,
first and last, behold, they [are] written in the book of Jehu the son
of Hanani, who [is] mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel."
This book of Jehu is not in the Bible. We may safely assume it
was a book of records that someone kept from a more civil standpoint.
Hanani was a seer of Judah during the time of Asa. Jehu was a prophet,
who first appeared to denounce Baasha. He, also, appeared to
Jehoshaphat to tell him of God's displeasure about his alliance with
II Chronicles 20:35 "And after this did Jehoshaphat king of
Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who did very
wickedly:" II Chronicles 20:36 "And he joined himself with him to make
ships to go to Tarshish: and they made the ships in Ezion-gaber."
Jehoshaphat went into a commercial venture with Ahaziah. God
showed his disapproval by sinking the ships they had made.
II Chronicles 20:37 "Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah
prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because thou hast joined
thyself with Ahaziah, the LORD hath broken thy works. And the ships
were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish."
God settled this alliance, before it got off the ground. The
prophet that brought the reason for the destruction of the ships is
not mentioned elsewhere. Jehoshaphat dissolved partnership
2 Chronicles 20 Questions
1. Who sent their armies against Jehoshaphat?
2. In verse 2, where had they come to?
3. When Jehoshaphat heard of the oncoming army, what did he do?
4. Jehoshaphat and his people believed their strength came from whom?
5. Who prayed to God for them?
6. How did his prayer begin?
7. What were some of the things that Jehoshaphat reminded God of that
were things done to honor Him?
8. What had God promised Solomon about the prayers of the people?
9. Why had Judah not already destroyed Ammon and Moab?
10. What plea did Jehoshaphat make to God in verse 12?
11. Who came to the temple to pray, besides the men?
12. Who did the Spirit come upon and he spoke?
13. What message did God have for His people?
14. Who did this battle belong to?
15. Where would Jehoshaphat find them?
16. Verse 17 is similar to what verse in Exodus?
17. What effect did this beautiful promise from God have on
18. Who stood up to praise in verse 19?
19. In verse 20, Jehoshaphat encouraged his people to do what?
20. The singers would sing of whom?
21. What happened, when they began to sing?
22. What happened to the enemies of Judah?
23. Who does the author believe actually were the ambushers?
24. What did the Ammonites and Moabites do, in the confusion?
25. What did the troops of Judah find, when they came to the watch
26. What was left for Jehoshaphat and his men to do?
27. Where did they assemble on the fourth day?
28. What does "Berachah" mean?
29. How did they return to Jerusalem?
30. Why was there no more war for Jehoshaphat?
31. How old was Jehoshaphat, when he stopped reigning?
32. How was Jehoshaphat like Asa?
33. What were the only errors mentioned of Jehoshaphat?