2 Chronicles 17

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Read 2 Chronicles 17

Jehoshaphat King of Judah

17 Jehoshaphat his son succeeded him as king and strengthened himself against Israel. He stationed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah and put garrisons in Judah and in the towns of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.

The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the ways of his father David before him. He did not consult the Baals but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel.The Lord established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honor. His heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord; furthermore, he removed the high placesand the Asherah poles from Judah.

In the third year of his reign he sent his officials Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah to teach in the towns of Judah. With them were certain Levites—Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah—and the priests Elishama and Jehoram. They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of the Lord; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people.

10 The fear of the Lord fell on all the kingdoms of the lands surrounding Judah, so that they did not go to war against Jehoshaphat. 11 Some Philistines brought Jehoshaphat gifts and silver as tribute, and the Arabsbrought him flocks: seven thousand seven hundred rams and seven thousand seven hundred goats.

12 Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful; he built forts and store cities in Judah 13 and had large supplies in the towns of Judah. He also kept experienced fighting men in Jerusalem. 14 Their enrollment by families was as follows:

From Judah, commanders of units of 1,000:

Adnah the commander, with 300,000 fighting men;

15 next, Jehohanan the commander, with 280,000;

16 next, Amasiah son of Zikri, who volunteered himself for the service of the Lord, with 200,000.

17 From Benjamin:

Eliada, a valiant soldier, with 200,000 men armed with bows and shields;

18 next, Jehozabad, with 180,000 men armed for battle.

19 These were the men who served the king, besides those he stationed in the fortified cities throughout Judah.

Go Deeper

Despite the sad ending in the previous chapter for King Asa, we see potential and hope when his son succeeds him as King in 2 Chronicles 17. Whereas King Asa had a strong commitment to the Lord in the beginning, his dedication faltered in the end. Similar to his father, we see King Jehoshaphat coming out strong at the beginning with his dedication to God. This chapter shows us that he walked closely with the Lord, desired to obey His commandments, and endeavored to make His name known among the kingdom. As a result, God’s blessing is clearly over his reign. What an encouragement to see how even in the Old Testament, God actively leads and engages with His people. 

Right off the bat, we observe that King Jehoshaphat’s own personal relationship with the Lord was strong. Scripture says that he “sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel” (v. 4). Then we see what a difference this makes on his reign as King! Arguably, he leads the kingdom better and makes wise decisions because he chooses to seek God first. A close, personal relationship with the Lord is where it all begins. If we want guidance and wisdom concerning leading well, making decisions, etc., then we must “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). We can’t expect to lead well, serve well or teach others about God’s word like King Jehoshaphat does if we first don’t pursue an intimate relationship with the Lord. 

As a result of him walking with the Lord so closely, his kingdom was strengthened, other kingdoms feared Judah, and the city flourished. This just points to how God remains the ultimate giver, and He delights in giving good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11). We ultimately see in this chapter that not only does God provide, but he provides in abundance by strengthening and blessing a kingdom. Not only does God protect, but He protects in abundance by not even allowing other kingdoms to consider war against Judah. We serve a God of abundance! Let’s take time to meditate on that truth today and praise God for the ways He abundantly lavishes us with His grace.


  1.  What godly characteristics of King Jehoshaphat do you admire that you would like to emulate in your own life?
  2. What are some practical steps you can take to strengthen your personal relationship with the Lord today? 
  3. In what ways have you seen God’s abundance in your life this week?

Keep Digging

If you’d like to know more about King Jehoshaphat (and get a preview of the chapters to come), you should read this article from GotQuestions.org.

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3 thoughts on “2 Chronicles 17”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    Not only did Jehoshaphat know and follow God’s commands, he knew that his people should, too. He wisely instituted “traveling preachers” his officials who went from town to town teaching the Book of the Law. Jehoshaphat discerned that the success of his kingdom depended on the spiritual health of his people. I’ve noted his intentionality and am asking myself some questions:
    • How do you actively pursue knowing and obeying the Word of God? (Input)
    •Are you openly sharing the gospel with others? (Output)
    •Do you prayerfully reflect and take into account your life’s choices, seeking guidance and repenting of sin? (Confession)

  2. King Jehoshaphat followed God as did his father. What we teach our children has a big impact. Do they see us going to God for just big problems or ALL issues of life? Today God is speaking to me about surrending. I think, I have, and He says nope you haven’t. Open my eyes Lord. And there it is, an adult son, who lives with us and was raised in the Word (kinda) is still watching and seeing my life.
    Fear God, Wait for the Lord
    11 For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 12 “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. 13 But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
    King Jehoshaphat had freedom from fear he learned from his dad. I need to be living, breathing freedom from fear but with humility!!!

    God thank You that I want to, can and will surrender all to You. This is hard. Please help me guide me and hold my hand as I endeavor to try to give it to You. God I do not want to live in dread of what frightens me. I desire You the Lord of Heavens Armies to be first and holy in my life. I fear You God. I want to Your tremble with You for it is You that will keep me safe. Thank You for me to set aside people pleasing and only be after PLEASING You!!! in Jesus name amen

  3. Diane Frances Rogers

    The verse that I remember in reference to Jehoshaphat’s leadership as king that stands out to me is “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” James 1:22
    Jehosaphat did this by putting God first in the people’s minds and instilling in them a sense of commitment. Because of this action, the nation started following God.
    We should all live as God intended. When we don’t do this, spiritual dryness, shallowness and indifference are the results.
    To God be the glory!

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