Jehoshaphat Reigns in Judah
17 Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place and strengthened himself against Israel. 2 He placed forces in all the nfortified cities of Judah and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim othat Asa his father had captured. 3 The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, 4 but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, pand not according to the practices of Israel. 5 Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand. And all Judah qbrought tribute to Jehoshaphat, rand he had great riches and honor. 6 His heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord. And furthermore, she took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah.
7 In the third year of his reign he sent his officials, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah, tto teach in the cities of Judah; 8 uand with them the Levites, Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tobadonijah; and with these Levites, the priests Elishama and Jehoram. 9 And tthey taught in Judah, having the Book of the Law of the Lord with them. They went about through all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.
10 vAnd the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, and they made no war against Jehoshaphat. 11 Some of the Philistines wbrought Jehoshaphat presents and silver for tribute, and the Arabians also brought him 7,700 rams and 7,700 goats. 12 And Jehoshaphat grew steadily greater. He built in Judah fortresses and store cities, 13 and he had large supplies in the cities of Judah. He had soldiers, mighty men of valor, in Jerusalem. 14 This was the muster of them by fathers' houses: Of Judah, the commanders of thousands: Adnah the commander, with 300,000 mighty men of valor; 15 and next to him Jehohanan the commander, with 280,000; 16 and next to him Amasiah the son of Zichri, xa volunteer for the service of the Lord, with 200,000 mighty men of valor. 17 Of Benjamin: Eliada, a mighty man of valor, with 200,000 men yarmed with bow and shield; 18 and next to him Jehozabad with 180,000 armed for war. 19 These were in the service of the king, besides zthose whom the king had placed in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.
Jehoshaphat Allies with Ahab
18 Now Jehoshaphat ahad great riches and honor, band he made a marriage alliance with Ahab. 2 cAfter some years he went down to Ahab in Samaria. And Ahab killed an abundance of sheep and oxen for him and for the people who were with him, and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead. 3 Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?” He answered him, “I am as you are, my people as your people. We will be with you in the war.”
4 And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Inquire first for the word of the Lord.” 5 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for God will give it into the hand of the king.” 6 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the Lord of whom we may inquire?” 7 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micaiah the son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil.” And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.” 8 Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, “Bring quickly Micaiah the son of Imlah.” 9 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting on their thrones, arrayed in their robes. And they were sitting at the threshing floor dat the entrance of the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 10 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made for himself horns of iron and said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘With these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.’” 11 And all the prophets prophesied so and said, “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and triumph. The Lord will give it into the hand of the king.”
12 And the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, “Behold, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king. Let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.” 13 But Micaiah said, e“As the Lord lives, fwhat my God says, that I will speak.” 14 And when he had come to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?” And he answered, “Go up and triumph; they will be given into your hand.” 15 But the king said to him, “How many times shall I make you swear that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” 16 And he said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, gas sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These have no master; let each return to his home in peace.’” 17 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?” 18 And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: hI saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. 19 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab the king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another. 20 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ 21 And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be ia lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ 22 Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets. The Lord has declared disaster concerning you.”
23 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near jand struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, “Which way did the Spirit of the Lord go from me to speak to you?” 24 And Micaiah said, “Behold, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself.” 25 And the king of Israel said, “Seize Micaiah and take him back to Amon kthe governor of the city and to Joash the king's son, 26 and say, ‘Thus says the king, lPut this fellow in prison and feed him with meager rations of bread and water until I return in peace.’” 27 And Micaiah said, “If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me.” And he said, m“Hear, all you peoples!”
The Defeat and Death of Ahab
28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 29 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.” And the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle. 30 Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of his chariots, “Fight with neither small nor great, but only with the king of Israel.” 31 As soon as the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him. And Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him; God drew them away from him. 32 For as soon as the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 33 But a certain man drew his bow at random1 and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” 34 And the battle continued that day, and the king of Israel was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians until evening. Then at sunset he died.
Women Accompanying Jesus
8 Soon afterward he went on nthrough cities and villages, proclaiming and obringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, 2 and also psome women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: qMary, called Magdalene, rfrom whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and sJoanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them1 out of their means.
The Parable of the Sower
4 tAnd when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, 5 u“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, vit withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 And some fell among wthorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded xa hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, y“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The Purpose of the Parables
9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, 10 he said, z“To you it has been given to know athe secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so bthat ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ 11 cNow the parable is this: The seed is dthe word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not ebelieve and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it fwith joy. But these have no root; they gbelieve for a while, and in time of testing hfall away. 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but ias they go on their way they are choked by the jcares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and kbear fruit lwith patience.
A Lamp Under a Jar
16 mn“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 17 oFor nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. 18 pTake care then how you hear, qfor to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”
Jesus' Mother and Brothers
19 rThen his mother and shis brothers2 came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. 20 And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.” 21 But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those twho hear the word of God and do it.”
Jesus Calms a Storm
22 uOne day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of vthe lake.” So they set out, 23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on vthe lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and wrebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, xand there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they ywere afraid, and they zmarveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that ahe commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”