1The spirit of God was upon Azariah the son of Oded,
2and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin! Yahweh is with you while you are with him, and if you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you abandon him, he will abandon you.
3For a long time Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law.
4But when in their distress they turned to Yahweh the God of Israel and sought him, he was found by them.
5In those times there was no peace for the one who went out, nor for the one who came in, but great troubles were on all the inhabitants of the lands.
6They were crushed, nation against nation and city against city, for God troubled them with every kind of adversity.
7But as for you, be strong and do not let your hands be slack, because your work will be rewarded.”
8When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he strengthened himself and removed the abominations from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities that he had taken from the hill country of Ephraim, and he renewed the altar of Yahweh that was in front of the vestibule of the house of Yahweh.
9He gathered all Judah and Benjamin and those who lived with them from Ephraim and Manasseh and from Simeon, for a great number of them defected to him from Israel when they saw that Yahweh his God was with him.
10So they gathered at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa.
11They sacrificed to Yahweh on that day some of the spoil. They brought 700 head of cattle and 7,000 sheep.
12They entered into a covenant to seek Yahweh the God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul,
13and that whoever would not seek Yahweh the God of Israel would be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.
14They swore to Yahweh with a loud voice and with shouting and with trumpets and with shophars.
15All Judah rejoiced at the oath, because they had sworn with all their heart and with all their desire they sought him, and he was found by them. And Yahweh gave them rest all around.
16Also Maacah, the grandmother of Asa the king, he removed from being queen mother, because she had made an abominable image for an Asherah; and Asa cut down her image and smashed and burned it in the brook Kidron.
17But the local shrines were not taken away out of Israel even though the heart of Asa was wholly devoted all his days.
18He brought into God’s house the things that his father had dedicated and that he himself had dedicated, silver and gold and other articles.