Asa’s Reforms Bring Adonai’s Rest
1Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of Adonai his God.
2He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the pillars and cut down the Asherah poles.
3He commanded Judah to seek Adonai, the God of their fathers, and to obey the Torah and the mitzvah.
4He also removed the high places and the incense stands out of all the cities of Judah. So the kingdom remained untroubled under him.
5He built up fortified cities in Judah, for the land was untroubled and he was not engaged in warfare during those years because Adonai had given him rest.
6Then he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars, while the land is still ours because we have sought Adonai Eloheinu. We sought Him and He has given us rest all around.” So they built and were successful.
Appeal to Defeat the Cushites
7Now Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah who bore shields and spears and 280,000 from Benjamin who bore shields and drew bows. All of these were valiant warriors.
8Then Zerah the Cushite marched against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots. When he arrived at Mareshah,
9Asa went out to meet him and they arrayed for battle in the valley of Zephath at Mareshah.
10Then Asa cried to Adonai his God and said, “Adonai, there is no one like You to help in battle between the mighty and the powerless. Help us, Adonai Eloheinu, for we rely on You and in Your Name we have come against this multitude. You are Adonai Eloheinu! Let no man prevail against You.”
11So Adonai struck down the Cushites before Asa and before Judah. The Cushites fled
12and Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar. So many of the Cushites fell that they could not recover because they were shattered before Adonai and before His army. They carried away very much spoil.
13They destroyed all the cities around Gerar, for the terror from Adonai came on them. They plundered all the cities, for there was much spoil in them.
14They also attacked the tents of herdsmen and carried off many sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.