A pious king of Judah, the son and successor of Asa. He began to reign at the age of thirty-five, about the year 914 B. C., and reigned twenty-five years. His history is found in 1Ki 15:24; 22; 2Ch 17-20. He was distinguished by his zeal for true religion, and his firm trust in God. He thoroughly cleansed the land from idolatry, restored the divine ordinances, and provided for the religious instruction of the people. His government was highly prospered at home and abroad. The great error of his life was an entangling alliance with the wicked Ahab, whose infamous daughter Athaliah early began to afflict the kingdom of Judah, of which she was afterwards the queen. Jehoshaphat was beguiled by Ahab into an unsuccessful war with the Syrians, but soon resumed his labors in behalf of religion and justice. Having failed in a commercial enterprise with Ahaziah, he declined a second trial, 1Ki 22:48-49 but united with Joram, his successor, in a war with Moab. This seems to have led to his being assailed by a vast host of Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, and Syrians; but again he was victorious through his faith in God. He died at the age of sixty years.
Jehovah-judged. (1.) One of David's body-guard (1Ch 11:43).
(2.) One of the priests who accompanied the removal of the ark to Jerusalem (1Ch 15:24).
(3.) Son of Ahilud, "recorder" or annalist under David and Solomon (2Sa 8:16), a state officer of high rank, chancellor or vizier of the kingdom.
(4.) Solomon's purveyor in Issachar (1Ki 4:17).
(5.) The son and successor of Asa, king of Judah. After fortifying his kingdom against Israel (2Ch 17:1-2), he set himself to cleanse the land of idolatry (1Ki 22:43). In the third year of his reign he sent out priests and Levites over the land to instruct the people in the law (2Ch 17:7-9). He enjoyed a great measure of peace and prosperity, the blessing of God resting on the people "in their basket and their store."
The great mistake of his reign was his entering into an alliance with Ahab, the king of Israel, which involved him in much disgrace, and brought disaster on his kingdom (1Ki 22:1-33). Escaping from the bloody battle of Ramoth-gilead, the prophet Jehu (2Ch 19:1-3) reproached him for the course he had been pursuing, whereupon he entered with rigour on his former course of opposition to all idolatry, and of deepening interest in the worship of God and in the righteous government of the people (2Ch 19:4-11).
Again he entered into an alliance with Ahaziah, the king of Israel, for the purpose of carrying on maritime commerce with Ophir. But the fleet that was then equipped at Ezion-gaber was speedily wrecked. A new fleet was fitted out without the co-operation of the king of Israel, and although it was successful, the trade was not prosecuted (2Ch 20:35-37; 1Ki 22:48-49).
He subsequently joined Jehoram, king of Israel, in a war against the Moabites, who were under tribute to Israel. This war was successful. The Moabites were subdued; but the dreadful act of Mesha in offering his own son a sacrifice on the walls of Kir-haresheth in the sight of the armies of Israel filled him with horror, and he withdrew and returned to his own land (2Ki 3:4-27).
The last most notable event of his reign was that recorded in 2Ch 20. The Moabites formed a great and powerful confederacy with the surrounding nations, and came against Jehoshaphat. The allied forces were encamped at Engedi. The king and his people were filled with alarm, and betook themselves to God in prayer. The king prayed in the court of the temple, "O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us." Amid the silence that followed, the voice of Jahaziel the Levite was heard announcing that on the morrow all this great host would be overthrown. So it was, for they quarrelled among themselves, and slew one another, leaving to the people of Judah only to gather the rich spoils of the slain. This was recognized as a great deliverance wrought for them by God (B.C. 890). Soon after this Jehoshaphat died, after a reign of twenty-five years, being sixty years of age, and was succeeded by his son Jehoram (1Ki 22:50). He had this testimony, that "he sought the Lord with all his heart" (2Ch 22:9). The kingdom of Judah was never more prosperous than under his reign.
("he whom Jehovah judges".)
2. A priest. Blew the trumpet before the ark in its passage from Obed Edom's house to Jerusalem (1Ch 15:24).
3. Son of Paruah. One of Solomon's twelve purveyors, in Issachar (1Ki 4:17).
4. Son of Asa and Azubah. At 35 began to reign, the first three years during his father's incapacity through disease in the feet, then 22 alone, beginning at 914 B.C., 25 years in all (1Ki 15:24; 22:41-50; 2Ki 8:16; 2Ch 17. 2Ch 17:3). "He walked in the first ways of his father David (before his sin with Bathsheba), and sought not unto Baalim (whether Baal or other false god, or worshipping Jehovah by an image which degrades Him to the level of Baal, Jg 2:11), but to the Lord God of his fathers, and not after the doings of Israel (worshipping Jehovah through the golden calves). Therefore, the Lord established the kingdom in his hand .... And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord; moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah" (2Ch 17:3-6; 19:3).
But "the high places (of Jehovah) were not taken away, for as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers." All that depended on him he did, but the people could not yet rise up to his spirituality so as to worship Jehovah without any visible altar save the one at Jerusalem (2Ch 20:32-33). He utterly abolished the idol high places and, as far as he could, the unlawful Jehovah high places, but was unable thoroughly to get rid of the latter (1Ki 15:14; 22:43). To remedy the people's ignorance of the book of the law, in the third year of his reign he sent a commission of five princes, nine Levites, and two priests to go through the cities of Judah, teaching them in it; a model for rulers as to national education (De 11:19-21). Jehoshaphat at first fortified the cities of Judah and those of Ephraim taken by Asa (2Ch 17:2) to secure himself against Israel.
Afterward he changed his policy to one of alliance with Israel against, the common foe Syria and the eastern tribes, Ammon, Moab, etc.; and his son Jehoram married Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (2Ch 22:2-3,7-8,10). (See JEHORAM; ATHALIAH.) A fatal union (1Co 15:33)! Many facts attest the intimacy between the two dynasties; (See ELIJAH 'S avoiding Judah when fleeing from Ahab; the same names given in the two families; Jehovah's name compounded in names of Ahab's idolatrous children; Jehoshaphat's readiness to go with (See AHAB to battle at Ramoth Gilead. Ahab's demonstrative hospitality was the bait to entice him (2Ch 18:1-3). There he would have paid with life for his dangerous alliance with cowardly Ahab, who sought to save his own life by exposing his magnanimous ally, but for God's interposition.
On his return in peace, in the 16th year of his reign probably, Jehu the son of Hanani reproved him," Shouldest thou help the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord? (compare 1Sa 15:35; 16:1). Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord." But God is ever ready to discern any good in His servants; "nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God" (compare 2Ch 27:6, "ways"; contrast Rehoboam, 2Ch 12:14). Jehoshaphat then again, besides the former commission (2Ch 17:9) in the third year of his reign, took up the work of reformation and went out in person through the people from Beersheba in the S. to mount Ephraim in the N. to bring them back unto the Lord God of their fathers. He also set judges in the several cities, and a supreme court for references and appeals ("controversies") in Jerusalem, made up of Levites, priests, and chief fathers of Israel (the judges in the cities were probably of the same classes).
The judges chosen from the elders by Moses at Jethro's suggestion were the foundation of the judicial body (Ex 18:21, etc.; De 1:15, etc.), David added for the expanding wants of the kingdom 6,000 Levites. "The judgment of the Lord" (2Ch 19:8) corresponds to "matters of the Lord" (verse 11), i.e. religious questions. "Controversies" answer to "the king's matters," civil causes. Jehoshaphat's directions are a rule for judges in all ages: "take heed what ye do, for ye judge not for man but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment; wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you ... for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts." Amariah the chief priest presided in religious questions; Zebadiah, "ruler of the house of Judah" (tribal prince of Judah), in civil questions. The Levites were to be shoterim, "officers" literally, scribes, keeping written accounts; assistants to the judges, transmitting their orders to the people, and superintending the execution of them.
Five divisions comprised his soldiery, comprising 780,000 men in Judah and 380,000 in Benjamin. But it was "the fear of the Lord failing upon all the kingdoms ... round about Judah" (so Ge 35:5), that was his main defense, "so that they made no war on Jehoshaphat." Nay, the Philistines and Arabians brought presents and tribute. Edom had a "deputy king," a vassal to Judah; "there was (then) no (real, independent) king" (1Ki 22:47). This remark is introduced to show how Jehoshaphat was able to make ships of Tarshish (i.e. ships such as go to Tarshish, i.e. long voyaging ships; 2Ch 20:36 changes this into "to make ships to go to Tarshish," a copyist's misunderstanding) to go to Ophir from the maritime coast of Edom. Jehoshaphat allied himself with the wicked Ahaziah in this enterprise. The ships were built in Ezion Geber on the Red Sea. (See EZION GEBER.)
Then Eliezer, son of Dodavah, prophesied," because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the Lord shall break (the perfect is prophetical, not hath broken) thy works." (See ELIEZER.) They were accordingly wrecked at Ezion Geber by a storm (2Ch 20:35-37). Ahaziah in vain tried to induce Jehoshaphat to repeat the attempt. One chastisement from the Lord sufficed a docile child (1Co 11:32; contrast Isa 9:13; Jer 5:3). This was subsequent to the Edomite, Ammonite, and Moabite invasion of Judah by way of Engedi. (See ENGEDI.) Edom joined with Ammon and other desert tribes enumerated in Ps 83:3-7 ("other beside the Ammonites," KJV 2Ch 20:1; Hiller proposes to read Maonites from Maan a city near Petra on mount Seir, tribes from all parts of mount Seir: Keil; 26:7, Mehunims), to not only throw off Judah's supremacy but root the Jews out of their divinely given inheritance; but in vain. (See JAHAZIEL; BERACHAH.)
Jehoshaphat's piety shone brightly on this occasion. "He feared, set himself to seek Jehovah, and proclaimed a fast throughout Judah," so that "out of all the cities they came to ask help of Jehovah." His prayer in the congregation in the Lord's house is a model "O Lord God of our fathers (therefore we the children have a covenanted claim on Thee), art not Thou God in heaven (therefore hast rule thence over all)? Rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the pagan (therefore the pagan invaders of Thine elect nation cannot escape Thee)? And in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand Thee (therefore this horde cannot)? 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? (Thy covenant forever with 'Thy friend,' and Thine honour at stake, require Thy interposition).
And they have built Thee a sanctuary, saying (1Ki 8:33,37, covenanting for God's help to be rendered in all future times in answer to the nation's prayer, which covenant God accepted), If when evil cometh upon us... we stand before Thy house in Thy presence ... and cry unto Thee ... then Thou wilt hear and help. And now behold ... Ammon, Moab ... whom Thou wouldest not let Israel invade ... they reward us (evil for good) to come to east us out of Thy possession (in undesigned coincidence with '/Psalm/83/12'>Ps 83:12, 'let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession'). O our God, wilt Thou not judge (do us justice on) them? For w
1. The 'recorder' in the reigns of David and Solomon (2Sa 8:16 etc., 1Ki 4:3). 2. One of Solomon's commissariat officers (1Ki 4:17). 3. Father of king Jehu (2Ki 9:2,14). 4. The son of Asa, king of Judah. He receives a good name from the compiler of the Book of Kings (1Ki 22:43). This is chiefly because he carried out the religious reforms of his father. The important thing in his reign was the alliance of Judah with Israel (1Ki 22:44), which put an end to their long hostility. Some suppose the smaller kingdom to have been tributary to the larger, but on this point our sources are silent. The alliance was cemented by the marriage of the crown prince Jehoram to Ahab's daughter Athaliah (2Ki 8:18). Jehoshaphat appears as the ally of Ahab against Syria, and himself went into the battle of Ramoth-gilead (1Ki 22). He also assisted Ahab's son against the Moabites (2Ki 3). He seems to have had trouble with his own vassals in Edom, and his attempt to renew Solomon's commercial ventures on the Red Sea was unsuccessful (1Ki 22:48).
H. P. Smith.
1. Son and successor of Asa king of Judah, B.C. 914 to 891. He sought God, walked in the 'first' ways of David, and took away the high places and groves out of Judah. God established the kingdom in his hand, and the fear of the Lord fell upon the kingdoms around. God gave him peace, and the Philistines and the Arabians brought him presents. He increased in riches, and was strengthened greatly. He not only feared the Lord himself, but he sent Levites and priests throughout all Judah, to teach the people. 2Ch 17:1-12. He erred, however, in making alliance with idolatrous Israel, and in allowing his son to marry Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. He went with Ahab to war against Ramoth-gilead, and nearly lost his life, but God delivered him. 22'>1 Kings 22; 2 Chr. 18. He was rebuked by Jehu the seer, who said, "Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord." Then he sought the Lord, and set his heart to bring all his people to fear the Lord. 2 Chr. 19.
After this, the men of Moab and of Ammon, a great multitude, came against Jehoshaphat. He turned to the Lord, proclaimed a fast, and prayed for help in the house of the Lord, where the Lord had set His name, pleading that He was their God, who had given the land to the seed of Abraham His friend, pleading also His response to the prayer of Solomon. He was at once assured by a prophet that the battle was not theirs, but God's, whose name they had invoked: they should see the salvation of the Lord. Jehoshaphat and all the people fell down and worshipped the Lord, and the next morning they marched toward the enemy singing. They had no need to fight, for the enemy destroyed one another, and there was much spoil. Praise was given to Jehovah. Subsequently the king, forgetting what was due to the name of the Lord, associated himself with the wicked Ahaziah king of Israel in sending ships to Tarshish. This action was condemned by the prophet Eliezer, and his ships were wrecked. 2 Chr. 20. He is called JOSAPHAT in Mt 1:8.
In Jehoshaphat there was a heart true to Jehovah, and a desire to bring his subjects to the true worship of God, but his history was marred by his inconsistently allying himself with the ungodly and idolatrous kings of Israel. The faithfulness of the Lord in chastening Jehoshaphat is very marked, and in not allowing him to be in a false position which practically denied the name of the Lord.
3. Son of Paruah, and a commissariat officer of Solomon. 1 Kings 4:17.
5. Priest who assisted in bringing up the ark. 1Ch 15:24.
Jehoshaphat, Jehosh'aphat Valley of.
This is mentioned only in Joe 3:2,12, as a place where the nations will be judged for their treatment of God's people, when Judah is being brought into blessing. The name signifies 'Jehovah is judge,' and some think that it is used symbolically for the place where God will judge. In Joe 3:14 occurs 'the valley of decision,' which is also connected with God's judgements.
Others however associate the above with the valley lying between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives, now called the Valley of Jehoshaphat; but no trace of this name as attached to that particular valley can be found earlier than the fourth century. It was and is otherwise known as the Valley of the KIDRON, q.v.
(whom Jehovah judges.)
1. King of Judah, son of Asa, succeeded to the throne B.C. 914, when he was 35 years old, and reigned 25 years. His history is to be found among the events recorded in
or in a continuous narrative in
He was contemporary with Ahab, Ahaziah and Jehoram. He was one of the best, most pious and prosperous kings of Judah, the greatest since Solomon. At first he strengthened himself against Israel; but soon afterward the two Hebrew kings formed an alliance. In his own kingdom Jehoshaphat ever showed himself a zealous follower of the commandments of God: he tried to put down the high places and groves in which the people of Judah burnt incense, and sent the wisest Levites through the cities and towns to instruct the people in true morality and religion. Riches and honors increased around him. He received tribute from the Philistines and Arabians, and kept up a large standing army in Jerusalem. It was probably about the 16th year of his reign, B.C. 898, when he became Ahab's ally in the great battle of Ramoth-gilead, for which he was severely reproved by Jehu.
He built at Ezion-geber, with the help of Ahaziah, a navy designed to go to Tarshish; but it was wrecked at Ezion-geber. Before the close of his reign he was engaged in two additional wars. He was miraculously delivered from a threatened attack of the people of Ammon, Moab and Seir. After this, perhaps, must be dated the war which Jehoshaphat, in conjunction with Jehoram king of Israel and the king of Edom, carried on against the rebellious king of Moab.
... In his declining years the administration of affairs was placed, probably B.C. 891, in the hands of his son Jehoram.
2. Son of Ahilud, who filled the office of recorder of annalist in the courts of David,
etc., and Solomon.
3. One of the priests in David's time.
4. Son of Paruah; one of the twelve purveyors of King Solomon.
5. Son of Nimshi and father of King Jehu.
JEHOSHAPHAT, king of Judah, son of Asa, king of Judah, and Azabah, daughter of Shilhi, ascended the throne at the age of thirty-five, and reigned twenty-five years. He had the advantage over Baasha, king of Israel; and he placed good garrisons in the cities of Judah and of Ephraim, which had been conquered by his father. God was with him, because he was faithful. He demolished the high places and groves. In the third year of his reign he sent some of his officers, with priests and Levites, through all the parts of Judah, with the book of the law, to instruct the people. God blessed the zeal of this prince, who was feared by all his neighbours. The Philistines and Arabians were tributaries to him. He built several houses in Judah in the form of towers, and fortified several cities. He generally kept an army of eleven hundred thousand men, without reckoning the troops in his strong holds. This number seems prodigious for so small a state as that of Judah; but, probably, these troops were only an enrolled militia.
The Scripture reproaches Jehoshaphat for his alliance with Ahab, king of Israel, 1Ki 20; 2Ch 18. Some time after, he went to visit Ahab in Samaria; and Ahab invited him to march with him against Ramoth- Gilead. Jehoshaphat consented, but first asked for an opinion from a prophet of the Lord. Afterward, he went into the battle in his robe, and the enemy supposed him to be Ahab; but he crying out, they discovered their mistake, and Jehoshaphat returned in peace to Jerusalem. The Prophet Jehu reproved him for assisting Ahab, 2Ch 19:1-3. &c. Jehoshaphat repaired this fault by the good regulations, and the good order, which he established in his dominions, both as to civil and religious affairs, by appointing honest and able judges, by regulating the discipline of the priests and Levites, and by enjoining them to perform their duty with punctuality. After this, in the year 3108, the Moabites, Ammonites, and other nations of Arabia Petraea, declared war against Jehoshaphat, 2Ch 20:1-3, &c. They advanced to Hazaron-Tamar, otherwise Engedi. Jehoshaphat went with his people to the temple, and put up prayers to God. Jahaziel, the son of Zechariah, by the Spirit of the Lord, encouraged the king, and promised that the next day he should obtain a victory without fighting. Accordingly, these people being assembled the next day against Judah, quarrelled, and killed one another; and Jehoshaphat and his army had only to gather their spoils. This prince continued to walk in the ways of the Lord; yet he did not destroy the high places, and the hearts of the people were not entirely directed to the God of their fathers. Jehoshaphat died after a reign of twenty-five years, and was buried in the royal sepulchre; and his son, Jehoram, reigned in his stead.
2. JEHOSAPHAT, VALLEY OF. This valley is a deep and narrow glen, which runs from north to south, between the Mount of Olives and Mount Moriah; the brook Cedron flowing through the middle of it, which is dry the greatest part of the year, but has a current of a red colour, after storms, or in rainy seasons. The Prophet Joe 3:2,12, says, "The Lord will gather all nations in the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there." Abenezra is of opinion, that this valley is the place where King Jehoshaphat obtained a signal victory over the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meonians of Arabia Petraea, 2Ch 20:1, &c, toward the Dead Sea, beyond the wilderness of Tekoah, which after that event was called the valley of blessing, verse 26. Others think it lies between the walls of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. Cyril, of Alexandria, on Joel 3, says that this valley is but a few furlongs distant from Jerusalem. Lastly, some maintain that the ancient Hebrews had named no particular place the valley of Jehoshaphat; but that Joel intended generally the place where God would judge the nations, and will appear at the last judgment in the brightness of his majesty. Jehoshaphat, in Hebrew, signifies "the judgment of God." It is very probable that the valley of Jehoshaphat, that is, of God's judgment, is symbolical, as well as the valley of slaughter, in the same chapter. From this passage, however, the Jews and many Christians have been of opinion, that the last judgment will be solemnized in the valley of Jehoshaphat.