Who is Jehoshaphat in the Bible?
Jehoshaphat was the fourth king of Judah. He was the son of Asa and Azubah. He was followed in the throne by his son Jehoram. Jehoshaphat’s name is associated with the Valley of Josaphat.
God showed Jehoshaphat grace when he stumbled by marrying the daughter of a wicked king. He also attempted to lure Jehoshaphat into a war that God did not approve of. However, God rescued Jehoshaphat from this calamity by allowing him to continue on with his government ways.
As the king of Judah, Jehoshaphat enacted a series of reforms in the nation. He removed idolatry and prostitution and ordained judges in each major city. He also instituted efficient courts of justice that followed God’s Law. In addition to these reforms, Jehoshaphat was successful in reforming the nation and bringing security to both the military and the internal situation.
Jehoshaphat was also an excellent diplomat. His love for the Lord was evident in his actions and his heart. This love for God greatly benefited his kingdom. He also dispelled the idol worship of the surrounding nations. This strengthened Judah and prevented many invasions. He also built fortifications along the border with Israel.
During his 25-year reign, King Jehoshaphat never deviated from the commandments of the LORD. He was a man of principle and never fell victim to pagan religion. The story of Jehoshaphat in the Bible contains many examples of religious reforms that were instituted during his reign.
Kingdom of Judah
When Jehoshaphat ruled over the Kingdom of Judah, he began by taking defensive measures against Israel. This included building cities and forts in Judah. He also began campaigning against idolatry and brought back worship of the One True God. Jehoshaphat’s reign lasted 25 years.
The Bible portrays Jehoshaphat as a good ruler. He sought peace with the northern kingdom, but he also sought alliances with stronger and more powerful nations. He allied himself with Israel against Moab and Ammon, but he was weaker than his alliance partner and was not well-equipped to deal with them.
In another instance, Jehoshaphat obeyed God in a crisis. A large army of Moabites had gathered near the Dead Sea. When the kingdom was threatened by this army, Jehoshaphat prayed to God. His prophet, Jahaziel, was filled with the Spirit of the Lord, and he prophesied that the battle would be won by God. Jehoshaphat then ordered his men to sing praises to the holiness of God. This victory came after three days of fighting.
Jehoshaphat’s reign was blessed by God. He instituted legal reforms, fortified his cities, and improved the Temple of Jerusalem. Jehoshaphat was also an excellent military leader, and consulted prophets before making important decisions. Although he was a very successful military leader, his decisions were not always the best for the kingdom. Moreover, he failed to recognize the long-term consequences of his decisions.
Relationship with Israel
Jehoshaphat’s choices affected the entire nation for 14 years. He allied himself with the idolatrous Ahab, which led to disaster for his kingdom. As a result, he fled to Ramoth-Gilead. After rebuke by the prophet Jehu, he reverted to his original course of action. The people were influenced by his example, so they opted for idolatry instead of God.
During Jehoshaphat’s reign, he made several reforms to the Judah judicial system. Many of these reforms have New Testament applications. One important reform was to mandate that judges and Levites fear God and judge faithfully and with a pure heart.
In addition to making major reforms to the Judah government, Jehoshaphat allied with other evil men. King Ahab’s sons Ahaziah and Jehoram, who ruled Israel, also made alliances with Jehoshaphat. In the process, Jehoshaphat strengthened the administrative apparatus of the state, while also maintaining peace with the northern Kingdom of Israel. In addition, he helped Israel defeat its eastern enemies, and maintained its dominance over the neighboring nation of Edom. However, his support for the dynasty of Israel’s king Ahab incurred the condemnation of a prophet. Because of this, his immediate descendants were often regarded as the worst of the kings of Judah.
Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king. He reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem, following the ways of his father Asa. He kept the traditions of his father David, and he did what was right in the sight of the LORD. He also maintained the worship of God by not removing the high places. This was a sign of the times when people had not yet turned their hearts to the God of their fathers. In addition to preserving the Temple, Jehoshaphat also established a missionary movement. He preached sermons to the people.
Jehoshaphat’s religious reforms are based on the idea of restoring the people’s faith in God. To do this, he made changes to the structure of leadership. He appointed judges in all the cities, and developed the leadership qualities of people who were influential under his rule.
His religious reforms included abolition of the Baal cult and a return to the law. Jehoshaphat also consolidated Judah’s administrative apparatus and greatly enriched the treasury. He also governed over the Philistines, who became his vassalage.
Jehoshaphat sought God through his religious reforms and a national teaching campaign. The king also maintained strong defenses and maintained a good relationship with the people surrounding him. He was known as a pious king. Despite the difficulties of his religious reforms, his military conquests were peaceful.
Jehoshaphat also sent priests, prophets, and Levites throughout his country, and this strengthened his kingdom. In addition, his power earned him allegiance from neighboring kings who owed tribute to him. Jehoshaphat also allied himself with the Jews by marrying Ahab’s daughter Athaliah. However, he escaped a disastrous battle against King Ahab.
King Jehoshaphat’s reign was prosperous, as he implemented legal reforms, strengthened the state’s administrative apparatus, and pursued a policy of peace with the northern Kingdom of Israel. He also retained the former territories of Israel captured by his father Asa. He also helped Israel defeat its eastern enemies, and maintained dominance over the neighboring nation of Edom. In addition, he supported the ruling dynasty of Israel’s king Ahab, and this resulted in condemnation from at least one prophet. He also left his immediate descendants among the worst kings of Judah.
Marriage to princess Athaliah
The marriage of Jehoshaphat and princess Athaliah is not mentioned in the Bible. However, there are a few references to Athaliah, including the book of 2 Kings. In this book, we read of Athaliah as a wicked woman. She was a Benjamite who dwelt in Jerusalem. Her husband was Jehoshaphat’s brother Jeshaiah. She also had a son named Naboth.
Athaliah and Jehoram were from opposite sides of the racial divide in Israel. They were also followers of Baal and God, and thus, the marriage between them was forbidden by Old Testament law. Such marriages were considered impious by the God of Israel and would create an evil line. Nevertheless, Jehoshaphat arranged the marriage for political reasons. Although the marriage had no adverse effect on Jehoshaphat himself, it weakened the kingdom.
The story of Athaliah’s marriage is fascinating. She was the daughter of King Ahab and was doubtless the daughter of Jezebel. She was also the daughter of the great priest Jehoiada, who was also a leader of Judah’s priestly order during the reigns of Ahaziah and Jehoram.
Jehoram, the son of King Jehoshaphat and heir to the throne, is the next recorded monarch in Israel’s history. Jehoram, a descendant of Ahab, married Athaliah’s daughter and walked in Ahab’s ways. Athaliah died of treason in 837 B.C., and Jehoram’s youngest son reigned for a year, but he was also killed in treason.
War against confederated enemies of Israel
The War against confederated enemies of Israel is God’s plan to destroy these enemies and deliver His people from their oppression. The Jewish people have been saved throughout history through God’s providence. The Jewish people are God’s chosen people. This covenant provides rest and security. But, if this covenant is violated, the Antichrist may gain world dominion.
This war may occur during the Tribulation, but scholars disagree on the timing of the battle. Some believe that the war will occur during the first half of the Tribulation, after Israel and the Antichrist come to an agreement and Israel lowers its defenses because of Antichrist’s promises. When Gog is defeated, the Antichrist will rise and fill the power vacuum. He will ascend to world dominion.
In the first half of the Old Testament, Israel was plagued by war. The people fought against neighboring kingdoms and tribes, as well as with each other. This was also the first time the Jewish people fought a war against outsiders. Israel was under siege, and fought many confederated enemies.