New English Translation
1 (13:23) Abijah passed away and was buried in the City of David. His son Asa replaced him as king. During his reign the land had rest for ten years.
Asa's Religious and Military Accomplishments
2 (14:1) Asa did what the LORD his God desired and approved. 3 He removed the pagan altars and the high places, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. 4 He ordered Judah to seek the LORD God of their ancestors and to observe his law and commands. 5 He removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah. The kingdom had rest under his rule.
6 He built fortified cities throughout Judah, for the land was at rest and there was no war during those years; the LORD gave him peace. 7 He said to the people of Judah: "Let's build these cities and fortify them with walls, towers, and barred gates. The land remains ours because we have followed the LORD our God and he has made us secure on all sides." So they built the cities and prospered.
8 Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah, equipped with large shields and spears. He also had 280,000 men from Benjamin who carried small shields and were adept archers; they were all skilled warriors. 9 Zerah the Cushite marched against them with an army of 1,000,000 men and 300 chariots. He arrived at Mareshah, 10 and Asa went out to oppose him. They deployed for battle in the Valley of Zephathah near Mareshah.
11 Asa prayed to the LORD his God: "O LORD, there is no one but you who can help the weak when they are vastly outnumbered. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you and have marched on your behalf against this huge army. O LORD our God, don't let men prevail against you!" 12 The LORD struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah. The Cushites fled, 13 and Asa and his army chased them as far as Gerar. The Cushites were wiped out; they were shattered before the LORD and his army. The men of Judah carried off a huge amount of plunder. 14 They defeated all the cities surrounding Gerar, for the LORD caused them to panic. The men of Judah looted all the cities, for they contained a huge amount of goods. 15 They also attacked the tents of the herdsmen in charge of the livestock. They carried off many sheep and camels and then returned to Jerusalem.
King James Version
1 So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead. In his days the land was quiet ten years.
2 And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God:
3 For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves:
4 And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment.
5 Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him.
6 And he built fenced cities in Judah: for the land had rest, and he had no war in those years; because the LORD had given him rest.
7 Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us; because we have sought the LORD our God, we have sought him, and he hath given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered.
8 And Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and fourscore thousand: all these were mighty men of valour.
9 ¶ And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots; and came unto Mareshah.
10 Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.
11 And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.
12 So the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled.
13 And Asa and the people that were with him pursued them unto Gerar: and the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before the LORD, and before his host; and they carried away very much spoil.
14 And they smote all the cities round about Gerar; for the fear of the LORD came upon them: and they spoiled all the cities; for there was exceeding much spoil in them.
15 They smote also the tents of cattle, and carried away sheep and camels in abundance, and returned to Jerusalem.