Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

The First Four Kings of Judah.

Now we turn from the story of the kingdom of Israel in the north to the story of the kingdom of Judah in the south. You read in Story One of Part Fourth how the Yen Tribes broke away from the rule of King Rehoboam and set up a kingdom of their own under Jeroboam. This division left the kingdom of Judah very small and weak. It reached from the Dead Sea westward to the land of the Philistines on the shore of the Great Sea, and from Beersheba on the south not quite to Bethel on the north; but it held some control over the land of Edom on the south of the Dead Sea. Its chief city was Jerusalem, where stood the Temple of the Land and the palace of the king.

After Rehoboam found that he could no more rule over the Ten Tribes, he tried to make his own little kingdom strong by building cities and raising an army of soldiers. But he did not look to the Lord as his grandfather David had looked; he allowed his people to worship idols, so that soon on almost every hill and in almost every grove of trees there was an image of stone or wood. God was not pleased with Rehoboam and his people, because they had forsaken him for idols. He brought upon the land of Judah a great army from Egypt, led by Shishak, the king of Egypt. They marched over all the land of Judah, they took the city of Jerusalem, and they robbed the Temple of all the great treasure in gold and silver which Solomon had stored up. This evil came upon Judah because its king and its people had turn away from the Lord their God.

After Rehoboam had reigned seventeen years he died, and his son Abijah, became king of Judah. When Jeroboam, the king of Israel, made war upon him, Abijah led his army into the land of Israel. But Jeroboam's army was twice as large as Abijah's, and his men stood not only in front of the men of Judah but also behind them, so that the army of Judah was in great danger of being destroyed. But Abijah told his men to trust in the Lord, and to fight bravely in the Lord's name. And God helped the men of Judah against Israel, and they won a great victory; so that Jeroboam never again came against Judah.

Abijah's reign was short, only three years; and after him came Asa, his son, who was a great warrior, a great builder of cities, and a wise ruler. Against Asa a great army of enemies came up from Ethiopia, which was south of Egypt. Asa drew out his little army against the Ethiopians at a place called Mareshah, in the south of Judah, near the desert. He had no hope of success in his soldiers, because they were so few and the enemies were no many. But Asa called upon the Lord, and said:

"O Lord, it makes no difference to three whether there are few or many. Help us, O Lord, for we trust in thee; and in thy name we fight this vast multitude. O Lord, thou art our God; let not man succeed against thee."

The Lord heard Asa's prayer, and gave him a great victory over the Ethiopians. Asa took against the cities in the south which had gone over to the side of the Ethiopians, and he brought to Jerusalem great riches, and flocks of sheep, and heads of cattle, and camels, which he had taken from his enemies.

Then the Lord sent to Asa a prophet named Azariah. He said, "Hear me, King Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him you shall find him; but if you forsake the Lord he will forsake you. Now be strong, and put away the wickedness out of the land, and the Lord shall reward your work."

Then Asa rebuilt the altar of the Lord which had fallen into decay, and he called upon his people to worship. He went through the land, and broke down the idols, and burned them. He found that his own mother, the queen, had made an idol, and he cut it down and broke it in pieces; and he would not allow her to be queen any longer, because she had worshipped idols.

Until Asa was old he served the Lord; but in his old age he became sick, and in his sickness he did not seek the Lord. He turned to men who called themselves physicians or doctors, but they were men who tried to cure by the power of idols. This led many of Asa's people to worship images, so that when he died there were again idols throughout the land.

Asa's son, Jehoshaphat, was the next king, and he was the wisest and strongest of all the kings of Judah, and ruled over the largest realm of any. When he became king, Ahab was king of Israel, of whom we read in Part Fourth. Jehoshaphat made peace with Israel, and united with the Israelites against the kingdom of Syria. He fought against the Syrians in the battle at Ramath-gilead, where King Ahab was slain (see Part Fourth, Story Eight), and afterward with Ahab's son, Jehoram, he fought against the Moabites. (See Part Fourth, Story Ten.)

Jehoshaphat served the Lord with all his heart. He took away the idols that had again arisen in the land; he called upon his people to worship the Lord, and he sent princes and priests throughout all Judah to read to the people the law of the Lord, and to teach the people how to serve the Lord.

The Lord gave to Jehoshaphat great power. He ruled over the land of Edom, over the wilderness on the south, and over the cities of the Philistines upon the coast. And Jehoshaphat chose judges for the cities in all the land, and he said to them:

"Remember that you are not judging for men, but for the Lord; and the Lord as with you, and sees all your acts. Therefore fear the Lord, and do his will. Do not allow men to make you presents, so that you will favor them; but be just toward all, and be strong in doing right."

At one time news came to King Jehoshaphat that some of the nations on the east and south and north, Moabites, Ammonites, and Syrians, had banded together against him, and were encamped with a great army at En-gedi, near the Dead Sea. Jehoshaphat called forth his soldiers, but before they went to battle he led them to the Temple to worship the Lord. And Jehoshaphat called upon the Lord for help, saying:

"O Lord, the God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? Dost thou not rule over the nations of earth? Is not power thine, so that none can stand against thee? Now, Lord, look upon these hosts who have come against thy people. We have no might against this great company, and we know not what to do; but our eyes look toward thee for help."

Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the Levites, a man named Jahaziel, and he said:

"Hear, ye men of Jerusalem and Judah, and hear, O King Jehoshaphat. Thus saith the Lord, 'Fear not this great host of your enemies, for the battle is not yours, but the Lord's. go out against them; but you will not need to fight. You shall stand still, and see how the Lord will save you. Do not fear, for the Lord is with you!'"

The priests teach the people


Then Jehoshaphat and all his people worshipped the Lord, bowing with the faces on the ground. And the next day, when they marched against the enemies, the Levites walked in front, singing and praising the Lord, while all the people answered.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy endureth forever."

When the men of Judah came to the camp of their enemies, they found that a quarrel had risen up among them. The Ammonites and the Moabites began to fight with the rest of the bands, and soon all the host were fighting and killing each other. And when the men of Judah came part of the host were lying dead, and the rest had fled away into the desert, leaving behind them great treasure. So it came to pass as the prophet Azariah had said, they did not fight, but the Lord fought for them, and saved them from their foes.

The place where this strange battle had taken place they named "the valley of Berachah," which means "blessing," because there they blessed the Lord for the help that he had given them. And afterward they came back to Jerusalem with songs, and praises, and the great riches which they had taken. And God gave to King Jehoshaphat peace and rest from his enemies, and great power as long as he lived.

The valley of Jehoshaphat at Jerusalem as seen to-