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Icons of the Bible: King Jehoshaphat - "Jehovah Judged"

Updated: Sep 3, 2023

Icons of the Bible: King Jehoshaphat - "Jehovah Judged"
Icons of the Bible: King Jehoshaphat - "Jehovah Judged"

Icons of the Bible

Who was King Jehoshaphat in the Bible?

"King Jehoshaphat was the fourth king of Judah under the divided monarchy, the son of Asa. We are first introduced to him in 1 Kings 15:24 but are told nothing more than that he succeeded Asa. Later, 1 Kings 22:42 tells us that he was 35 years old when he began his reign and that he reigned 25 years (from 873 to 848 BC). First Kings 22 gives a brief account of his reign with 2 Chronicles 17–22 giving a more comprehensive account.

Spiritually, Jehoshaphat began his reign in a positive way. Second Chronicles 17:3–6 gives this commendation: “The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the ways of his father David before him. He did not consult the Baals but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel. The Lord established the kingdom under his control; and all Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so that he had great wealth and honor. His heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord; furthermore, he removed the high places and the Asherah poles from Judah.” In addition, Jehoshaphat sent men throughout the kingdom to teach the people the Law of God (2 Chronicles 17:7–9).

Militarily, Jehoshaphat fortified his defenses, primarily against the northern kingdom of Israel (2 Chronicles 17:1–3). The surrounding nations feared Judah and brought tribute (2 Chronicles 17:10–19).

After making peace with Israel, Jehoshaphat apparently tried to reach out to Ahab, the king of Israel. Ahab was one of the wickedest kings of Israel, and Jehoshaphat could not have been ignorant of his character. First Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 18 relate the following account: Ahab asks Jehoshaphat to help him attack Syria. Jehoshaphat wisely requests that they consult the LORD on the matter. Ahab gathers 400 of his prophets who encourage the attack. Jehoshaphat recognizes that these are not genuine prophets of the LORD, and the exchange that follows between Jehoshaphat and Ahab is almost comical: “But Jehoshaphat asked, ‘Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?’ The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, ‘There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.’”.. from the article: Who was King Jehoshaphat in the Bible?

Lessons From the Bible Story of King Jehoshaphat

We know of many good kings of Israel because we name our children after them: David, Josiah, Jedidiah (Solomon). But what about King Jehoshaphat? This king did great things in the name of the Lord, and yet, we don’t christen any children after this king from the kingdom of Judah.

King Jehoshaphat, son of Asa, reigned for 25 years once he took the throne at the age of 35. He attempts to make peace with the northern kingdom of Israel but ends up getting tangled in some bad friendships along the way. In this article, we’ll explore the life of Jehoshaphat (the good and the bad), we’ll lightly touch on a place known as “the valley of Jehoshaphat,” and discuss what lessons we can learn from the fourth monarch from the kingdom of Judah.

Jehoshaphat Name Meaning

Jehoshaphat’s name means “Jehovah judged.” This is similar to Daniel’s name of “may God be my judge.” Both were very godly men. What may come as a surprise to readers is we run into Jehoshaphat’s name more than once in the Bible, and the instances don’t always refer to the king of Judah. Let’s explore some of these verses.

1 Chronicles 11:43: “Hanan son of Maakah, Joshaphat the Mithnite.”

This chapter lists King David’s bodyguards, a variant form of the name Jehoshaphat within the mix.

1 Chronicles 15:24 “Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah and Eliezer the priests were to blow trumpets before the ark of God. Obed-Edom and Jehiah were also to be doorkeepers for the ark.”

A number of priests move the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, including another Jehoshaphat. He blew a trumpet as they carried the ark of God toward the city.. " from the article: Lessons From the Bible Story of King Jehoshaphat

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