1When King Jehoshaphat was returning safely to his palace in Jerusalem,
2the prophet Jehu, the son of the prophet Hanani, went out of the city to meet the king, and said to him, “It was not right for you to help a wicked man and to love those who hate Yahweh. Because of what you have done, Yahweh is angry with you.
3But you have done some good things; you got rid of the poles in this country for worshiping the goddess Asherah, and you have strongly determined to do what pleases God.”
4Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem. But one time, like he had done once previously, he went out among all the people in the country, from Beersheba city in the far south to the hilly area of the tribe of Ephraim in the far north, and he convinced them to return to worshiping Yahweh, the God whom their ancestors worshiped.
5He appointed judges throughout Judah, in each of the cities that had walls around them.
6He told them, “Make your decisions carefully, because you are judging cases not in order to please people but to please Yahweh. And he will be watching you whenever you make a decision.
7So now revere Yahweh, and judge cases carefully, and do not forget that Yahweh our God never acts unjustly, and he never does what people want because of their offering him money; he never accepts bribes.”
8In Jerusalem also, Jehoshaphat appointed some priests and other descendants of Levi and some leaders of Israeli families to be judges. He told them to do what Yahweh's laws said was right when they settled disputes. Those men lived in Jerusalem.
9He told them this: “You must always do your work faithfully, revering Yahweh.
10In every dispute that your fellow Israelis who live in the cities want you to settle, you must warn them to not sin against Yahweh by telling lies during the trial. If you do not warn them, God will punish both you and your fellow Israelis. If you warn them, you will not be sinning. You must warn them whether someone has accused them of murdering someone, or of disobeying some other law or command or decree of Yahweh.
11Amariah the Supreme Priest will supervise you in any matter that Yahweh is concerned about, and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the leader of the tribe of Judah, will supervise you in any matter that I am responsible for. And the descendants of Levi will assist you. Act courageously, and I pray that Yahweh will help those who do their work well.”