Chapter 17

1And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and he strengthened himself over Israel.   אוַיִּמְלֹ֛ךְ יְהֽוֹשָׁפָ֥ט בְּנ֖וֹ תַּחְתָּ֑יו וַיִּתְחַזֵּ֖ק עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
2And he stationed an army in all the fortified cities of Judah, and he stationed garrisons in the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had seized.   בוַיִּ֨תֶּן־חַ֔יִל בְּכָל־עָרֵ֥י יְהוּדָ֖ה הַבְּצֻר֑וֹת וַיִּתֵּ֚ן נְצִיבִים֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ יְהוּדָ֔ה וּבְעָרֵ֣י אֶפְרַ֔יִם אֲשֶׁ֥ר לָכַ֖ד אָסָ֥א אָבִֽיו:
3And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he went in the first ways of David his father, and did not inquire of the baalim.   גוַיְהִ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה עִם־יְהֽוֹשָׁפָ֑ט כִּ֣י הָלַ֗ךְ בְּדַרְכֵ֞י דָּוִ֚יד אָבִיו֙ הָרִ֣אשׁוֹנִ֔ים וְלֹ֥א דָרַ֖שׁ לַבְּעָלִֽים:
in the first ways of David, his father: But not the last ways, when he sinned in the incident of Bathsheba, and when the Adversary enticed him to count Israel. This is the most accurate interpretation, but others explain “first” as meaning superior to Solomon and Rehoboam. Regarding Solomon, it is written (I Kings 11:4): “his wives turned away his heart” at the end of his days, and he built a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.“ Regarding Rehoboam, it is written (above 12:1): ” And when he became strong, he abandoned the Law of the Lord.“ [Jehoshaphat was also not] like Abijam, about whom it is written (I Kings 15: 2): ” and his heart was not complete with the Lord, his God," or like Asa, who did not rely on the Lord; [Jehoshaphat] resembled his father, David, who had only one heart for his Father in heaven.  
and did not inquire of the baalim: like the practice of Israel in his time, for Ahab, who was in his time, worshipped the baalim, as did Israel in his time.  
4But he inquired of the God of his father, and he went in His commandments, and not like Israel's deeds.   דכִּ֠י לֵֽאלֹהֵ֚י אָבִיו֙ דָּרָ֔שׁ וּבְמִצְו‍ֹתָ֖יו הָלָ֑ךְ וְלֹ֖א כְּמַֽעֲשֵׂ֥ה יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
5And the Lord established the kingdom in his hand, and all Judah gave a gift to Jehoshaphat, and he had abundant riches and glory.   הוַיָּ֨כֶן יְהֹוָ֚ה אֶת־הַמַּמְלָכָה֙ בְּיָד֔וֹ וַיִּתְּנ֧וּ כָל־יְהוּדָ֛ה מִנְחָ֖ה לִיהֽוֹשָׁפָ֑ט וַֽיְהִי־ל֛וֹ עֹשֶׁר־וְכָב֖וֹד לָרֹֽב:
6And his heart was uplifted in the ways of the Lord, and he further removed the high places and the asherim from Judah.   ווַיִּגְבַּ֥הּ לִבּ֖וֹ בְּדַרְכֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֑ה וְע֗וֹד הֵסִ֛יר אֶת־הַבָּמ֥וֹת וְאֶת־הָֽאֲשֵׁרִ֖ים מִֽיהוּדָֽה:
And his heart was uplifted in the ways of the Lord: His heart was lifted up in this matter, that he went only in the ways of the Lord. An example of this is (Exod. 35:26): “whose hearts had uplifted them in wisdom.”  
7And in the third year of his reign, he sent his officers, Ben Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah.   זוּבִשְׁנַ֨ת שָׁל֜וֹשׁ לְמָלְכ֗וֹ שָׁלַ֚ח לְשָׂרָיו֙ לְבֶן־חַ֙יִל֙ וּלְעֹֽבַדְיָ֣ה וְלִזְכַרְיָ֔ה וְלִנְתַנְאֵ֖ל וּלְמִֽיכָיָ֑הוּ לְלַמֵּ֖ד בְּעָרֵ֥י יְהוּדָֽה:
Ben Hail: That was his name. Others explain: he sent to his officers, every officer a valiant man. But I have difficulty with this interpretation because, if so, it should have only said, “Obadiah.” The fact that it says, “to Obadiah” proves that Ben Hail was a person’s name.  
to teach in the cities of Judah: [i.e., to teach] the Torah and to instruct the Children of Israel.  
8And with them were the Levites: Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adoniah, Tobiah, and Tob Adoniah, the Levites, and with them were Elishama and Jehoram, the priests.   חוְעִמָּהֶ֣ם הַלְוִיִּ֗ם שְֽׁמַֽעְיָ֡הוּ וּנְתַנְיָ֡הוּ וּזְבַדְיָ֡הוּ וַֽעֲשָׂהאֵ֡ל וּשְׁמִֽירָמ֡וֹת (כתיב וּשְׁמִֽרָימ֡וֹת) וִיהֽוֹנָתָן֩ וַֽאֲדֹֽ֨נִיָּ֧הוּ וְטֽוֹבִיָּ֛הוּ וְט֥וֹב אֲדֽוֹנִיָּ֖ה הַֽלְוִיִּ֑ם וְעִמָּהֶ֛ם אֱלִֽישָׁמָ֥ע וִֽיהוֹרָ֖ם הַכֹּֽהֲנִֽים:
And with them: of the Levites were Shemaiah, Nethaniah, etc.  
and with them were Elishama and Jehoram, the priests: because it is incumbent upon the priests and the Levites to teach and to instruct, as it is written (Deut. 24:8): “in accordance with everything the priests, the Levites teach you.” The officers went with them because they [the people] would not disobey their orders, and [the officers went] to coerce them [the people] to heed them [the priests] and to observe [and] to do in accordance with the order of the judges. An example (ibid. 15:18): “Judges and law- enforcing officials shall you appoint for yourself” : Judges to judge the people, and law-enforcing officials to coerce them to comply with the orders of the judges.  
9And they taught in Judah, and with them was the scroll of the Law of the Lord and they went around throughout all the cities of Judah, and they taught among the people.   טוַֽיְלַמְּדוּ֙ בִּֽיהוּדָ֔ה וְעִ֨מָּהֶ֔ם סֵ֖פֶר תּוֹרַ֣ת יְהֹוָ֑ה וַיָּסֹ֙בּוּ֙ בְּכָל־עָרֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֔ה וַֽיְלַמְּד֖וּ בָּעָֽם:
10And the fear of the Lord was upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, and they did not wage war with Jehoshaphat.   יוַיְהִ֣י| פַּ֣חַד יְהֹוָ֗ה עַל כָּל־מַמְלְכ֣וֹת הָֽאֲרָצ֔וֹת אֲשֶׁ֖ר סְבִיב֣וֹת יְהוּדָ֑ה וְלֹ֥א נִלְחֲמ֖וּ עִם־יְהֽוֹשָׁפָֽט:
And the fear of the Lord was upon all the kingdoms of the lands: in the merit of having studied Torah.  
11And some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat gifts and loads of silver; also the Arabs brought him flocks; rams-seven thousand and seven hundred, and goats-seven thousand and seven hundred.   יאוּמִן־פְּלִשְׁתִּ֗ים מְבִיאִ֧ים לִיהֽוֹשָׁפָ֛ט מִנְחָ֖ה וְכֶ֣סֶף מַשָּׂ֑א גַּ֣ם הָֽעַרְבִיאִ֗ים מְבִיאִ֥ים לוֹ֙ צֹ֔אן אֵילִ֗ים שִׁבְעַ֚ת אֲלָפִים֙ וּשְׁבַ֣ע מֵא֔וֹת וּתְיָשִׁ֕ים שִׁבְעַ֥ת אֲלָפִ֖ים וּשְׁבַ֥ע מֵאֽוֹת:
and loads of silver: Heb. וְכֶסֶף מַשָּׂא, loads of silver. An example (Isa. 46:1): “ נְשֻׂאתֵיכֶם עֲמוּסוֹת מַשָּׂא : the things that you carried are made a load.”  
12And Jehoshaphat was becoming greater to an unusual degree, and he built in Judah towers and store cities.   יבוַיְהִ֧י יְהֽוֹשָׁפָ֛ט הֹלֵ֥ךְ וְגָדֵ֖ל עַד־לְמָ֑עְלָה וַיִּ֧בֶן בִּֽיהוּדָ֛ה בִּירָֽנִיּ֖וֹת וְעָרֵ֥י מִסְכְּנֽוֹת:
was becoming greater: Heb. וְגָדֵל. Scripture uses] a similar expression in reference to three people: Isaac, Samuel, and Jehoshaphat, but concerning Moses, David, and Mordecai, it says וְגָדוֹל. Concerning Isaac, Samuel, and Jehoshaphat, it says, וְגָדֵל because it is not proper to say וְגָדוֹל, great [in the context in which the word appears in the verse]. In regards to Samuel, it says, (I Sam. 2:21): “And the lad Samuel grew up with the Lord.” God forbid that it should say, גָדוֹל עִם ה׳, he was great with the Lord. Here too, he [Jehoshaphat] became great to an unusual degree, גָדֵל עַד לְמָעְלָה. It is therefore improper to say וְגָדוֹל, great. The same applies to Isaac.  
towers: בִּירָנִיוֹת, derived from בִּירָה, huge towers for strength.  
and store cities: storage cities, to put in them wheat, wine and grain.  
13And he had much work in the cities of Judah, and men of war, mighty warriors, in Jerusalem.   יגוּמְלָאכָ֥ה רַבָּ֛ה הָ֥יָה ל֖וֹ בְּעָרֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֑ה וְאַנְשֵׁ֧י מִלְחָמָ֛ה גִּבּ֥וֹרֵי חַ֖יִל בִּירֽוּשָׁלִָֽם:
14And this was their number according to the house of their fathers: of Judah the officers over the thousands were Adnah the chief, and with him, mighty warriors-three hundred thousand.   ידוְאֵ֥לֶּה פְקֻדָּתָ֖ם לְבֵ֣ית אֲבֽוֹתֵיהֶ֑ם לִֽיהוּדָה֙ שָׂרֵ֣י אֲלָפִ֔ים עַדְנָ֣ה הַשָּׂ֔ר וְעִמּוֹ֙ גִּבּ֣וֹרֵי חַ֔יִל שְׁלֹ֥שׁ מֵא֖וֹת אָֽלֶף:
15And beside him was Jehohanan the chief, and with him two hundred eighty thousand.   טווְעַל־יָד֖וֹ יְהֽוֹחָנָ֣ן הַשָּׂ֑ר וְעִמּ֕וֹ מָאתַ֥יִם וּשְׁמוֹנִ֖ים אָֽלֶף:
And beside him: Heb. וְעַל יָדוֹ beside him; an example is (II Sam. 14:30): “Joab’s field is adjoining mine (אֶל יָדִי).”  
16And beside him was Amasiah the son of Zichri, who gave generously to the Lord, and with him were two hundred thousand mighty warriors.   טזוְעַל־יָדוֹ֙ עֲמַסְיָ֣ה בֶן־זִכְרִ֔י הַמִּתְנַדֵּ֖ב לַֽיהֹוָ֑ה וְעִמּ֛וֹ מָאתַ֥יִם אֶ֖לֶף גִּבּ֥וֹר חָֽיִל:
who gave generously to the Lord: Heb. הַמִּתְנַדֵּב. An example is (Jud. 5:2) “when the people offer themselves willingly (בְּהִתְנַדֵּב עַם) , bless the Lord”  
17And from Benjamin was a mighty warrior, Eljada, and with him, armed with bow and shield, were two hundred thousand.   יזוּמִ֨ן־בִּנְיָמִ֔ן גִּבּ֥וֹר חַ֖יִל אֶלְיָדָ֑ע וְעִמּ֛וֹ נֹֽשְׁקֵי־קֶ֥שֶׁת וּמָגֵ֖ן מָאתַ֥יִם אָֽלֶף:
18And beside him was Jehozabad and with him one hundred and eighty thousand advance guards.   יחוְעַל־יָד֖וֹ יְהֽוֹזָבָ֑ד וְעִמּ֛וֹ מֵאָֽה־וּשְׁמוֹנִ֥ים אֶ֖לֶף חֲלוּצֵ֥י צָבָֽא:
19These were the ministers of the king, in addition to those whom the king had stationed in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.   יטאֵ֖לֶּה הַֽמְשָֽׁרְתִ֣ים אֶת־הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ מִלְּבַ֞ד אֲשֶׁר־נָתַ֥ן הַמֶּ֛לֶךְ בְּעָרֵ֥י הַמִּבְצָ֖ר בְּכָל־יְהוּדָֽה: