Asa Succeeds Abijah in Judah
1 So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the City of David; and Asa his son reigned in his stead. In his days the land was at rest for ten years.
2 And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. 3 He took away the foreign altars and high places and broke down the idol pillars or obelisks and cut down the Asherim [symbols of the goddess Asherah] 4 And commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers [to inquire of and for Him and crave Him as a vital necessity], and to obey the law and the commandment. 5 Also Asa took out of all the cities of Judah the idolatrous high places and the incense altars. And the kingdom had rest under his reign. 6 And he built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest. He had no war in those years, for the Lord gave him peace. 7 Therefore he said to Judah, Let us build these cities and surround them with walls, towers, gates, and bars. The land is still ours, because we sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him [yearning for Him with all our desire] and He has given us rest and peace on every side. So they built and prospered. 8 Asa had an army of 300,000 men out of Judah, who bore bucklers and spears, and 280,000 out of Benjamin, who bore shields and drew bows, all mighty men of courage.
9 There came out against Judah Zerah the Ethiopian with a host of a million [that is, too many to be numbered] and 300 chariots, and came as far as Mareshah. 10 Then Asa went out against him, and they set up their lines of battle in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 Asa cried to the Lord his God, O Lord, there is none besides You to help, and it makes no difference to You whether the one You help is mighty or powerless. Help us, O Lord our God! For we rely on You, and we go against this multitude in Your name. O Lord, You are our God; let no man prevail against You! 12 So the Lord smote the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people with him pursued them to Gerar; and the Ethiopians were overthrown, so that none remained alive; for they were destroyed before the Lord and His host, who carried away very much booty. 14 And they smote all the cities round about Gerar, for the fear of the Lord came upon them. They plundered all the cities, for there was much plunder in them. 15 They smote also the cattle encampments and carried away sheep in abundance and camels; and they returned to Jerusalem.