"Jehoshaphat. [17:1 - 21:1]"
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
II Chronicles 17:1 "And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel."
As you read through the II Chronicles 17 study as written by Kenite scribes, this is the same Jehoshaphat that is talked about in I Kings 22:41-43.
I Kings 22:41-43 "And Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the forth year of Ahab king of Israel."  "Jehoshaphat 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."  "And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the Lord: nevertheless the high places were not taken away; for the People offered and burnt incense yet in the high places." 
Jehoshaphat was a very good king, only he had one bad problem; he was not disciplined to stay focused on God's ways. Jehoshaphat could be moved any time a person presented somthing that sounded reasonable to him. The keeping of his word was important to him, even if it had to be taken over the Word of God. Jehoshaphat made a promise to Ahab, and when the prophet Micaiah of God showed him that he was in error and that he and Judah was not to go to battle, Jehoshaphat went anyway to honor his word to Ahab. When Ahab, the king of Israel, talked down to the prophet of God, Jehoshaphat corrected Ahab on his manners, that it was not to be done. When Jehoshaphat sought to turn the hearts of his people to God's commandments and he failed. As the king, Jehoshaphat did not remove the high places of grove worship, and he allowed the people to burn their incense on those heathen altars.
I King 22:44 "And Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel."
The king of Israel stated here was Ahab. That peace stated here came through the marriages of Jehoshaphat's son and daughter into Ahab's family. Jehosphat's daughter the son of Ahab, making Jehoshaphat's the son in law the king of Israel. Then Jehoshaphat's son married Ahab's daughter. These relationships just about cost Jehoshaphat his life on the battle field. However there was one correction that Jehoshaphat did that Asa his father fail to do, and that was dealing with sodomites.
I Kings 22:46 "And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land."
Jehoshaphat would not allow the homosexuals; the sodomites to remain in the land, for if they stayed around, they were dead, stoned to death. That was God's way to deal with sodomy, however today many think that they can walk the Christian life, and turn their heads and close their minds to the sodomy filth that is going on around them. The tribe of Benjamin tried to do this, as we read in the book of Judges, chapters 19-21, and their tribe was almost eliminated. When sodomy runs wild in the land and you have the family unit broken down, that nation is one generation for complete failure.
II Chronicles 17:2 "And he placed forces in all the fenced cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken."
A nation pleasing to God is one that fortifies itself against it's enemies. By fortifying the cities under its control, it takes away the temptation of the enemy to attack you when you are not ready. Remember that when Asa had Benhadad attack the northern cities of Israel, he and Judah moved to take those cities of Ephraim near the border, and dismantle Ramah, and carry its stones away to build itself two fortress cities for the protection of Judah.
II Chronicles 17:3 "And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim;"
The Lord God was with Jehoshaphat because Jehoshaphat followed the ways of David his father. He followed the laws of Moses and did not allow the followers of Baalim to carry on their heathen form in the land. Thus approving his strengthening himself against idolaters and idolatry. Jehoshaphat knew the blessings and cursings of Moses, as given in Deuteronomy 28, and he wanted those lessons to be in the minds of his people. "The first ways of his father David", were that of faith, as David was a many of God, even in his youth, facing wild animals, and especially in his bringing down Goliath.
II Chronicles 17:4 "But sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in the commandments, and not after the doings of Israel."
When Jehoshaphat followed Ahab into battle and it almost cost him his life, he learned his lesson well, and never made that mistake again. This will be considered in the next chapter. Remember that Ahab married the daughter of the Kenite king Ethebaal, Jezebel, and when Ahab died, his son Ahaziah felt comfortable with all the things that his mother Jezebel taught him in the ways of Baal. She was a Kenite from the land of Hamath, and her son Ahaziah was the one that brought up and supported all sorts of wickedness, from calf worship to sex orgies of the groves. Baal worship is the worship of Satan, for Satan is Belial. The sons of Belial then are the sons of Satan from the garden of Eden, through Cain; that's what the word Kenite means. His mother Jezebel was a Zidonian of Hamath, which is the land of the Kenites. The daughter of Ahab, and sister to king Ahaziah then became the wife to Jehoshaphat. Yet Jehoshaphat continued to walk in the commandments of the Lord, with this heathen wife by his side.
II Chronicles 17:5 "Therefore the Lord stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches of honour in abundance."
II Chronicles 17:6 "And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah."
No, Jehoshaphat did not remove those high places and groves out of Judah, but he suggested that they be removed, as we read above in I Kings 22:43. His wife, son in law and daughter in law were all grove worshippers, Kenites of the seed of Satan through Cain.
Strong's Hebrew dictionary # 7017 "Qiyniy, (I Chron. 2:55), keenee; patron from 7014; a Kenite or member of the tribe of Kajin:-Kenite." Then in # 7014 we read; "Qayin, kah'-yin; Kajin, the name of the first child, also of a place in Palestine, and of an oriental tribe:-Cain, Kenite(s)."
Cain was the first child of Eve, a twin born with a different father than Abel his half brother, and the murderer of that brother. He took his wife from the land of Nod on the east of Eden, and those born to Cain's family were called Kenites. They are not of Abraham, nor are they of the seed line of Adam. If you were taught to believe this, they you will never have an understanding of the prophecies of Scripture until you do.
I Chronicles 2:55 "And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez [Jerusalem], the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab."
The house of Judah went into captivity some two hundred years after Jehoshaphat's time, and when they came out of that captivity, the Kenites had taken over the completely the duties of the scribes, and most of the priesthood from top to bottom. When Ezra returned to Jerusalem to set up the priesthood, he paused to see how many priests there were with him, for establishing the temple worship.
Ezra 8:15 "And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the People, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi."
Ezra was leading his wagon train, about the same distance from Saint Louis, Missouri, to Salt Lake City, Utah, and time that we Americans relate to, and after he was on the road for a while, he stopped for three days to take inventory as to who was with him, and the provisions that they brought for the journey. Here Ezra found out that of the over 280 priests making the journey, not one was of the tribe of Levi. How in the world were they going to do the offerings and sacrifice to God, when all they had were "Nethinims"; these "strangers given to service". These were the Kenites that Solomon brought in to build the Temple of God, and they and their families just stuck around and never left after the project. Solomon and king Hiram of the Kenites set up a business relationship, shipping business, and they built cities. Their families just mixed, and these Kenites in time took over the priesthood and the duties of the scribes, keeping of the sacred record and the records of the God's people.
As we read of the entering into marriage of the families of the kings of Hamath, Israel and then into Judah, we see how the Kenites will become so imbedded in God's people that most people of Israel and Judah just didn't care. They became accepted even to today. Are we to hunt them down and kick them out? Jesus addressed this in Matthew 13, when He gave the parables of the tares.
Matthew 13:34, 35 "And these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake He not unto them:"  "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, "I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world." 
There was a reason that Jesus would not fully explain His teachings to the multitude, for mixed into the crowd were many Kenites. This is why Jesus would take his disciples aside and tell only them what he meant in the parable that was just told. The tares in his parables were Kenities, offspring of these same people we are reading of here in the Chronicles, and the authors of these two books. Sure there will be a separation of the Kenites from God's people, the Israelites, but that will not come until the Millennium age of Christ's kingdom here on earth. That time has not arrived yet.
Matthew 13:37, 38, 39 "He answered and said unto them, "He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;"  "The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;"  "The enemy that sowed them is the devil; and the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels." 
Jesus is answering His disciple's questions here about the parables He gave of the tares. The field is the the world, this world age of flesh man, that started in Genesis 2 with the creation of flesh man, and ends at the seventh and last trump, with the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The "good seed" are the people that belong to God's kingdom, and at this time in the Old Testament they were called Israelites; at the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, "Christians". Many not of Israel become grafted into the vine of Israel by their faith in Jesus Christ, and through repentance placing their sins under the blood of Jesus Christ. That is why we pray "in Jesus Name".
Jesus tells us outright who our enemy is, "The devil", and the tares are the children or those of the lineage of the of Cain. Those offspring of Satan through Cain are called Kenites, as we read in the Hebrew dictionary. When a Kenite hears the Word of God and comes under the blood of Christ, he or she is no longer a Kenite, but grafted in to the Vine, which is Christ. That person become a Christian. The reason that I am going into this depth of who these Kenites are from the land of Hamath, is so that you will understand what is taking place through these marriages between the kings families of Israel and Judah, taking wives from Hamath. When you marry a heathen, then you bring that person's religious beliefs into your household, and all that goes on within that person's traditional thought.
When Ahab married his Zidonian wife Jezebel from the land of Hamath, she brought with her their way of life, her 400 ministering Baal priests, as well as those that would set of the groves and establish their sex orgies in their religious practices. Then when Jehoshaphat allowed his children to do the same, and marry their spouses, the same filth came into Judah. Remember that in the first part of Jehoshaphat's reign, he cleaned up Judah from all the filth, and not in his latter years, he allows it all back into the country, and even into his own household. We will see in later chapters how God will preserve one little baby, and allow the priests to hide this infant until the time he is trained and able to take over the nation or house of Judah.
II Chronicles 17:7 "Also in the third year of his reign he sent to his princes, even to Ben-hail, and to Obadiah, and to Zechariah, and to Nethaneel, and to Michaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah."
These princes organized the Levites and priests into a teaching mission. This was the first recorded form of a mission organized to convert the people to follow the Ways of the Lord. Teaching then was the special function of the priests. Deuteronomy 33:10 "They shall teach Jacob Thy judgments, and Israel Thy law: they shall put incense before Thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon Thine altar." All blood sacrifices and offerings on the Altar of God were fulfilled in the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. Christ's blood is the only price that could be accepted for the remission for sin, and that is why all of our prayers must be in Jesus name, acknowledging that fact before the Father in Heaven, and accepting His sacrifice for our sins personally.
II Chronicles 17:8 "And with them he sent Levites, even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tob-adonijah, Levites; and with the Elishama and Jehoram, priests."
II Chronicles 17:9 "And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the Lord with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the People."
There was three generations where the people had little training in the ways of the Lord and the Laws of God given through the book of Moses. These Prophets of God well versed in the law, are all brought together, and they will travel through all the cities of Judah to teach the people the Laws of God given to the people back in the wilderness. Much has happened in the past six hundred years since that time, and the people have drifted away from doing things God's way. This teaching is for the cities of Judah only, for the nation of Israel from Jeroboam to Ahab was centered in Baal worship and the worship of two golden calves.
II Chronicles 17:10 "And the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the land that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat."
When the people learned to fear the Lord and call on Him for protection, God placed his protective hand over that nation, and Judah had no problems with her neighbors. God hears the prayers of a righteous man, and Jehoshaphat was a righteous man in his earlier years as king.
II Chronicles 17:11 "Also some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents, and tribute silver; and the Arabians brought him flocks, seven thousand and seven hundred rams, and seven thousand and seven hundred he goats."
When the love of God enters into your soul, that love is spread to those around you. As a nation, the people of Judah were learning the ways and love of God, and that love spread to the Philistines and the Arabians. These heathen nation brought gifts and flocks to Jerusalem, and showed their appreciation for the kindness shown by Judah as a nation. We will see later, when Jehoshaphat lost sight of his relationship with God, that these two nation will turn on him, and they will be warring again.
II Chronicles 17:12 "And Jehoshaphat waxed great exceedingly; and he built ion Judah castles, and cities of store."
II Chronicles 17:13 "And he had much business in the cities of Judah: and the men of war, mighty men of valour, were in Jerusalem."
Jehoshaphat learned the lesson well, when you do business God's way, you and your business will be blessed, as well as those around you. During this time of teaching in Judah, the people feared the Lord and practiced what they were taught in the ways of the Lord. This brought on much business, and with it many people. When the wealth come, politics enter in, and so must the protection of that wealth, especially as a nation.
II Chronicles 17:14 "And these are the numbers of them according to the house of their fathers: Of Judah, the captains of thousands; Adnah the chief, and with him mighty men of valour three hundred thousand."
The numbers given in the books of Chronicles are exaggerated in most cases, for this three hundred thousand troops in the city of Jerusalem, isn't supported elsewhere in the Scriptures. However it is a sign of the token of Jehovah's grace given to Jehoshaphat for his commitment to his people and to God's Laws.
II Chronicles 17:15 "And next to him was Jehonanan the captain, and with him two hundred and fourscore thousand."
II Chronicles 17:16 "And next him was Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself unto the Lord; and with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valour."
"Next to him", means "under His direction".
II Chronicles 17:17 "And of Benjamin; Eliada a mighty man of valour, and with him armed men with bow and shield two hundred thousand."
II Chronicles 17:18 "And next to him was Jehozabad, and with him an hundred and fourscore thousand ready prepared for the war."
II Chronicles 17:19 "These waited on the king, beside those whom the king put in the fenced cities throughout all Judah."
We have seen in this chapter that Jehoshaphat was a good and righteous man that tried to do good to honor God, and bring his people back to the ways of the Lord. This he did, and God prospered him well in blessing and business. When the people learned from God's prophets, they learned to fear and respect the laws of God, and to walk in the ways of they were taught. Neighboring nations then learned to respect Judah, their king and the people, and with it came peace to the land.
In time Jehoshaphat lost sight of the good things that he had done in Judah, and the lessons from the teachers of God, and he went north to meet Ahab and Jezebel and the house of Israel, and to become friends of his brethren in Israel. The results of that relationship will turn his nation around from the peace and soundness that was established when the people feared [revered] the Lord. This is what will be discussed in the next chapter.
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