2 Chronicles 14

1Abijah rested with his ancestors. The people buried him in David’s City. Then Abijah’s son, Asa, was the new king in Abijah’s place. There was peace in the country for ten years in Asa’s time. 2Asa did good and right things before the Lord his God. 3Asa took away the strange altars that were used to worship idols. Asa took away the high places, and smashed the memorial stones. And Asa broke down the Asherah poles. 4Asa commanded the people of Judah to follow the Lord God. He is the God their ancestors followed. And Asa commanded them to obey the Lord’s laws and commandments. 5Asa also took away the high places and the incense altars from all the towns in Judah. So the kingdom had peace when Asa was king. 6Asa built strong cities in Judah during the time when there was peace in Judah. Asa had no war in these years because the Lord gave him peace. 7Asa said to the people of Judah, “Let’s build these towns and make walls around them. Let’s make towers, gates, and bars in the gates. Let’s do this while we still live in this country. This country is ours because we have followed the Lord our God. He has given us peace all around us.” So they built and had success. 8Asa had an army of 300,000 men from the family group of Judah and 280,000 men from the family group of Benjamin. The men from Judah carried large shields and spears. The men from Benjamin carried small shields and shot arrows from bows. All those men were strong and brave soldiers. 9Then Zerah came out against Asa’s army. Zerah was from Ethiopia. Zerah had 1,000,000 men and 300 chariots in his army. Zerah’s army went as far as the town of Mareshah. 10Asa went out to fight against Zerah. Asa’s army got ready for battle in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11Asa called out to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, only you can help weak people against strong people! Help us, Lord our God! We depend on you. We fight against this large army in your name. Lord, you are our God! Don’t let anyone win against you!” 12Then the Lord used Asa’s army from Judah to defeat the Ethiopian army. And the Ethiopian army ran away. 13Asa’s army chased the Ethiopian army all the way to the town of Gerar. So many Ethiopians were killed that they could not get together as an army to fight again. They were crushed by the Lord and his army. Asa and his army carried many valuable things away from the enemy. 14Asa and his army defeated all the towns near Gerar. The people living in those towns were afraid of the Lord. Those towns had very many valuable things. Asa’s army took those valuable things away from those towns. 15Asa’s army also attacked the camps where the shepherds lived. They took many sheep and camels. Then Asa’s army went back to Jerusalem.

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