Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 22

Jehosaphat’s wars, and his respect for God

1 Kings 22:45-47

Jehoshaphat first taught his people to serve the true God, and then he increased the size of his army (2 Chronicles chapter 17). He was careful to make sure that his people understood God’s law. He opposed false and evil religions. In particular, he opposed the practice by which boys and young men offered themselves for sex with other men. They were doing that in honour of false gods, as part of an evil religion.

The effect was that people in the nations round Judah became afraid of Judah’s God. Although Judah’s army became very strong, it had to fight few wars. Instead, the nations round Judah wanted to make peace agreements with it. So, the people called Philistines, in the west of Judah, and Arabs, in the south, agreed to pay taxes to Jehoshaphat. Similarly, Jehoshaphat controlled Edom, where he appointed a ruler instead of a king.

The wars that we know about, happened in the later years of Jehoshaphat’s rule. There was the attack against Ramoth-Gilead, in which Ahab died (22:1-38). There was a situation when a vast army from Moab, Ammon and Edom tried to defeat Judah. Jehoshaphat prayed and trusted God, and he encouraged all his people to do the same. However, Judah’s army did not even need to fight. God caused the armies who were opposing him to attack and to kill each other (2 Chronicles 20:1-28). In the war against Moab in 2 Kings chapter 3, Jehoshaphat’s army was in a desperate situation without water. God provided water in an extraordinary way, and then he made it possible for them to defeat Moab’s army completely.

Next part: Jehoshaphat's boats sink at Ezion Geber (1 Kings 22:48-49)


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