II - Chapter 14
Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:
1Asa did what was good and pleasing to Hashem his God.
אוַיַּעַשׂ אָסָא הַטּוֹב וְהַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָיו׃
2He abolished the alien altars and shrines; he smashed the pillars and cut down the sacred posts.
בוַיָּסַר אֶת־מִזְבְּחוֹת הַנֵּכָר וְהַבָּמוֹת וַיְשַׁבֵּר אֶת־הַמַּצֵּבוֹת וַיְגַדַּע אֶת־הָאֲשֵׁרִים׃
3He ordered Yehuda to turn to God of their fathers and to observe the Teaching and the Commandment.
גוַיֹּאמֶר לִיהוּדָה לִדְרוֹשׁ אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵיהֶם וְלַעֲשׂוֹת הַתּוֹרָה וְהַמִּצְוָה׃
4He abolished the shrines and the incense stands throughout the cities of Yehuda, and the kingdom was untroubled under him.
דוַיָּסַר מִכָּל־עָרֵי יְהוּדָה אֶת־הַבָּמוֹת וְאֶת־הַחַמָּנִים וַתִּשְׁקֹט הַמַּמְלָכָה לְפָנָיו׃
5He built fortified towns in Yehuda, since the land was untroubled and he was not engaged in warfare during those years, for Hashem had granted him respite.
הוַיִּבֶן עָרֵי מְצוּרָה בִּיהוּדָה כִּי־שָׁקְטָה הָאָרֶץ וְאֵין־עִמּוֹ מִלְחָמָה בַּשָּׁנִים הָאֵלֶּה כִּי־הֵנִיחַ יְהֹוָה לוֹ׃
6He said to Yehuda, “Let us build up these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars, while the land is at our disposal because we turned to Hashem our God—we turned [to Him] and He gave us respite on all sides.” They were successful in their building.
ווַיֹּאמֶר לִיהוּדָה נִבְנֶה אֶת־הֶעָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וְנָסֵב חוֹמָה וּמִגְדָּלִים דְּלָתַיִם וּבְרִיחִים עוֹדֶנּוּ הָאָרֶץ לְפָנֵינוּ כִּי דָרַשְׁנוּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ דָּרַשְׁנוּ וַיָּנַח לָנוּ מִסָּבִיב וַיִּבְנוּ וַיַּצְלִיחוּ׃
7Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Yehuda bearing shields and spears, and 280,000 from Binyamin bearing bucklers and drawing the bow; all these were valiant men.
זוַיְהִי לְאָסָא חַיִל נֹשֵׂא צִנָּה וָרֹמַח מִיהוּדָה שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת אֶלֶף וּמִבִּנְיָמִן נֹשְׂאֵי מָגֵן וְדֹרְכֵי קֶשֶׁת מָאתַיִם וּשְׁמוֹנִים אָלֶף כָּל־אֵלֶּה גִּבּוֹרֵי חָיִל׃
8Zerah the Cushite marched out against them with an army of a thousand thousand and 300 chariots. When he reached Mareshah
חוַיֵּצֵא אֲלֵיהֶם זֶרַח הַכּוּשִׁי בְּחַיִל אֶלֶף אֲלָפִים וּמַרְכָּבוֹת שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת וַיָּבֹא עַד־מָרֵשָׁה׃
9Asa confronted him, and the battle lines were drawn in the valley of Zephat by Mareshah.
טוַיֵּצֵא אָסָא לְפָנָיו וַיַּעַרְכוּ מִלְחָמָה בְּגֵיא צְפַתָה לְמָרֵשָׁה׃
10Asa called to Hashem his God, and said, “Hashem, it is all the same to You to help the numerous and the powerless. Help us, Hashem our God, for we rely on You, and in Your name we have come against this great multitude. You are Hashem our God. Let no mortal hinder You.”
va-yik-RA a-SA el a-do-NAI e-lo-HAV va-yo-MAR a-do-NAI ayn i-m'-KHA la-ZOR BAYN RAV l'-AYN KO-akh oz-RAY-nu a-do-NAI e-lo-HAY-nu kee a-LE-kha nish-A-nu uv-shim-KHA VA-nu al he-ha-MON ha-ZEH a-do-NAI e-lo-HAY-nu A-tah al ya-TZOR i-m'-KHA e-NOSH
יוַיִּקְרָא אָסָא אֶל־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהָיו וַיֹּאמַר יְהֹוָה אֵין־עִמְּךָ לַעְזוֹר בֵּין רַב לְאֵין כֹּחַ עָזְרֵנוּ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ כִּי־עָלֶיךָ נִשְׁעַנּוּ וּבְשִׁמְךָ בָאנוּ עַל־הֶהָמוֹן הַזֶּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ אַתָּה אַל־יַעְצֹר עִמְּךָ אֱנוֹשׁ׃
14:10 In Your name we have come against this great multitude
Since the kingdom of Yehuda is the “kingdom of Hashem” (13:8), when it is attacked by a foreign enemy, it is fighting for God and His holy name. If the enemy wins, then in the enemy’s mind, they have defeated not only the Nation of Israel but also Hashem. This is one reason why throughout Jewish history, so many empires sought to conquer the Land of Israel and the city of Yerushalayim. This is also why it was so important to foreign powers to destroy the Beit Hamikdash, as a sign that they had overpowered the God of Israel. Just as Asa fought to defend God’s honor, so should we all.
11So Hashem routed the Cushites before Asa and Yehuda, and the Cushites fled.
יאוַיִּגֹּף יְהֹוָה אֶת־הַכּוּשִׁים לִפְנֵי אָסָא וְלִפְנֵי יְהוּדָה וַיָּנֻסוּ הַכּוּשִׁים׃
12Asa and the army with him pursued them as far as Gerar. Many of the Cushites fell wounded beyond recovery, for they broke before Hashem and His camp. Very much spoil was taken.
יבוַיִּרְדְּפֵם אָסָא וְהָעָם אֲשֶׁר־עִמּוֹ עַד־לִגְרָר וַיִּפֹּל מִכּוּשִׁים לְאֵין לָהֶם מִחְיָה כִּי־נִשְׁבְּרוּ לִפְנֵי־יְהֹוָה וְלִפְנֵי מַחֲנֵהוּ וַיִּשְׂאוּ שָׁלָל הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד׃
13All the cities in the vicinity of Gerar were ravaged, for a terror of Hashem seized them. All the cities were plundered, and they yielded much booty.
יגוַיַּכּוּ אֵת כָּל־הֶעָרִים סְבִיבוֹת גְּרָר כִּי־הָיָה פַחַד־יְהֹוָה עֲלֵיהֶם וַיָּבֹזּוּ אֶת־כָּל־הֶעָרִים כִּי־בִזָּה רַבָּה הָיְתָה בָהֶם׃
14They also ravaged the encampment of herdsmen, capturing much sheep and camels. Then they returned to Yerushalayim.
ידוְגַם־אָהֳלֵי מִקְנֶה הִכּוּ וַיִּשְׁבּוּ צֹאן לָרֹב וּגְמַלִּים וַיָּשֻׁבוּ יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם׃