1 Now later on, God spoke to Azariah

The son of Oded. 2 At once, Azariah

Hurried to Asa and said: “Hear me out,

King Asa and all you people of Judah and

Benjamin. God will be with you and will

Help you, as long as you obey and worship

Him, but if you should disobey him, he’ll

Desert you. 3 For a long time, Israelites

Refused to worship the true God or listen

To priests who could teach them about God; they  

Would not obey God’s Law, 4 but whenever some trouble

Came, Israel would turn back to the Lord

Their God and worship him. 5 There was so much

Confusion in those days, it wasn’t safe

To travel anywhere in Israel.

6 Nations were ruining each other, and

Cities were wiping out the other cities,

For God was making trouble and rebellion

Everywhere, 7 so you must be brave. Don’t give

Up: God will honor you because you have

Obeyed him,” 8 and as soon as Asa heard

What prophet Azariah said, he gave

Orders for all the idols inside Judah

And Benjamin to be destroyed, including

Those in the towns that he had captured in

Ephraim’s territory. Also, he

Repaired God’s altar that was in front of

The temple porch, 9 and Asa called together

Judeans and the Benjamites, as well

As people from the territories of

Ephraim, West Manasseh, as well as

Simeon, all of whom dwelled in Judah,

And many of these people were now loyal to Asa,

Because they had seen that God was with him.

10 In the third month and in the fifteenth year

Of Asa’s rule, they all assembled in

Jerusalem, 11 and on that same day, they

Took seven hundred bulls and seven thousand

Sheep and goats from what they had brought

back from

Gerar and sacrificed them to the Lord

As offerings. 12 They made a solemn oath

The Lord God whom their ancestors had worshiped,

13 To take the life of anybody who

               Would not obey him, 14 and the gathering

Agreed to keep their promise to the Lord,

Then had a party, shouting, blowing horns

And trumpets. 15 Everyone was happy, for

They’d promised solemnly, and in return,

The Lord blessed them with peace from all their foes.

16 Asa’s grandmother Maacah had made

An idol of the goddess Asherah,

So he cut it down, crushed it, and burned it

In Kidron Valley, then he took Maacah

From her position as queen mother, 17 and

Asa was faithful to the Lord as long

As he lived, even though he did not take

Down local shrines in Israel. 18 He placed

Inside the temple all the silver and

Gold objects that he and his father had

Dedicated to the Lord, set apart

As holy, 19 and they had no war-caused pain

               Until year thirty-five of Asa’s reign.