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Judah's Border With Israel

Jehoshaphat was a king of Judah, the successor of his father Asa. He reigned at a time when "Israel" (see The Northern Kingdom) and "Judah" ("Jew" is an abbreviation of Judah; see The Southern Kingdom) were two politically independent kingdoms after The Division Of Israel (i.e. while all Jews are Israelites, not all Israelites are Jews). Jehoshaphat's reign actually began with fortification of his kingdom against Israel because the northern kingdom was already much more corrupt and lawless than Judah (although within a century, Judah became just as unfaithful to the LORD, the reason that both eventually fell - see The Galilee Captivity and Nebuzaradan).

"17:1 And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel. 17:2 And he placed forces in all the fenced cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken [see also Kings of Israel and Judah].

17:3 And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; 17:4 But sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. 17:5 Therefore the LORD stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance. 17:6 And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah." (2 Chronicles 17:1-6 KJV)

"Jehoshaphat ... strengthened himself against Israel"

After reinforcing his kingdom against Israel, Jehoshaphat began to rid Judah of the idolatry that existed there. For that, the LORD blessed him (until Jehoshaphat began making alliances with kings of Israel, Ahab and Ahaziah, a mistake that brought disaster upon him; Israel's destructive "patriotic" propaganda machine was very strong - Jehoshaphat was lured to his doom by it).

King David leading The Ark

"19:1 And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem. 19:2 And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD. 19:3 Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the Groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God." (2 Chronicles 19:1-3 KJV)

Although a "political" leader, Jehoshaphat became a religious leader for his people when he "brought them back unto the LORD God of their fathers."

"19:4 And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beersheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the LORD God of their fathers. 19:5 And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, 19:6 And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. 19:7 Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts." (2 Chronicles 19:4-7 KJV)

Jehoshaphat then restored the Levites to their Christ-given duties (see 'The God Of The Old Testament and 'Before Abraham Was, I AM').

"19:8 Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and of the priests, and of the chief of the fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD, and for controversies, when they returned to Jerusalem. 19:9 And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart. 19:10 And what cause soever shall come to you of your brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and judgments, ye shall even warn them that they trespass not against the LORD, and so wrath come upon you, and upon your brethren: this do, and ye shall not trespass." (2 Chronicles 19:8-10 KJV)

"19:11 And, behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the LORD; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, for all the king's matters: also the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and the LORD shall be with the good." (2 Chronicles 19:8-11 KJV)

Fact Finder: From which royal line of Israelites was the Messiah born?
See Israelite Dynasties and Israelite Monarchy - The Messiah

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