Asa Reigns in Judah
(1 Kings 15:9–15)
1 Then Abijah rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David. And his son Asa reigned in his place, and in his days the land was at peace for ten years.
2 And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God. 3 He removed the foreign altars and high places, shattered the sacred pillars, and chopped down the Asherah poles. 4 He commanded the people of Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, and to observe the law and the commandments. 5 He also removed the high places and incense altars from all the cities of Judah, and under him the kingdom was at peace.
6 Because the land was at peace, Asa built fortified cities in Judah. In those days no one made war with him, because the LORD had given him rest. 7 So he said to the people of Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, with doors and bars. The land is still ours because we have sought the LORD our God. We have sought Him and He has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered.
8 Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah bearing large shields and spears, and 280,000 men from Benjamin bearing small shields and drawing the bow. All these were mighty men of valor.
9 Then Zerah the Cushite came against them with an army of 1,000,000 men a and 300 chariots, and they advanced as far as Mareshah. 10 So Asa marched out against him and lined up in battle formation in the Valley of Zephathah near Mareshah. b
11 Then Asa cried out to the LORD his God: “O LORD, there is no one besides You to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on You, and in Your name we have come against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God. Do not let a mere mortal prevail against You.”
12 So the LORD struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah, and the Cushites fled. 13 Then Asa and his army pursued them as far as Gerar. The Cushites fell and could not recover, for they were crushed before the LORD and His army. So the people of Judah carried off a great amount of plunder 14 and attacked all the cities around Gerar, because the terror of the LORD had fallen upon them. They plundered all the cities, since there was much plunder there. 15 They also attacked the tents of the herdsmen and carried off many sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.
9 a Or an army of thousands and thousands ; Hebrew an army of a thousand thousands
10 b Or the valley north of Mareshah