1Jehoshaphat king of Judah came back safely to his palace in Jerusalem. 2Jehu son of Hanani, a seer, went out to meet him and said to the king, “Why did you help evil people? Why do you love those who hate the Lord? That is the reason the Lord is angry with you. 3But there is some good in you. You took the Asherah idols out of this country, and you have tried to obey God.”
Jehoshaphat Chooses Judges
4Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem. He went out again to be with the people, from Beersheba to the mountains of Ephraim, and he turned them back to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 5Jehoshaphat appointed judges in all the land, in each of the strong, walled cities of Judah. 6Jehoshaphat said to them, “Watch what you do, because you are not judging for people but for the Lord. He will be with you when you make a decision. 7Now let each of you fear the Lord. Watch what you do, because the Lord our God wants people to be fair. He wants all people to be treated the same, and he doesn’t want decisions influenced by money.”
8And in Jerusalem Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, priests, and leaders of Israelite families to be judges. They were to decide cases about the law of the Lord and settle problems between the people who lived in Jerusalem. 9Jehoshaphat commanded them, “You must always serve the Lord completely, and you must fear him. 10Your people living in the cities will bring you cases about killing, about the teachings, commands, rules, or some other law. In all these cases you must warn the people not to sin against the Lord. If you don’t, he will be angry with you and your people. But if you warn them, you won’t be guilty.
11“Amariah, the leading priest, will be over you in all cases about the Lord. Zebadiah son of Ishmael, a leader in the tribe of Judah, will be over you in all cases about the king. Also, the Levites will serve as officers for you. Have courage. May the Lord be with those who do what is right.”