The invasion of Zerah the Ethiopian in the south (2 Chr 14:8-14:10)

“King Asa had an army of three hundred thousand from Judah, armed with large shields and spears. He also had two hundred and eighty thousand troops from Benjamin, who carried shields and drew bows. All these were mighty warriors. Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots. He came as far as Mareshah. King Asa went out to meet him. They drew up their lines of battle in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.”

Despite all this tranquility in Judah, King Asa had an army of over half a million mighty warriors from Judah and Benjamin, 300,000 from Judah and 280,000 from Benjamin.   Zerah, the Ethiopian had a million man army with 300 chariots that invaded the south of Judah at Mareshah. Wow! Did they have big armies? These numbers are mind boggling. This invasion is not found elsewhere in the biblical literature. However, there was a 9th century BCE ruler of Egypt called Osorkon I or II. He actually fought against Assyria and may have come through Judah. He might have been a Cushite or Ethiopian with a darker skin. King Rehoboam had fortified this city western Judah city of Mareshah. The battle was in the valley of Zephathah, which is only mentioned here and nowhere else in biblical literature.

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