The monotheistic worship of Yahweh (2 Chr 15:8-15:15)

“When King Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded, he took courage. He put away the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns that he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of Yahweh that was in front of the vestibule of the house of Yahweh. He gathered all Judah and Benjamin. He also gathered those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were residing as aliens with them. Great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that Yahweh his God was with him. They were gathered at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of King Asa. They sacrificed to Yahweh on that day, from the booty that they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep. They entered into a covenant to seek Yahweh, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul. Whoever would not seek Yahweh, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. They took an oath to Yahweh with a loud voice. They were shouting with trumpets and horns. All Judah rejoiced over the oath. For they had sworn with all their heart. They had sought him with their whole desire. He was found by them. Yahweh gave them rest all around.”

King Asa reacted right away to this prophecy in the 15th year of his reign as king of Judah. He got rid of all the false idols from Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim. He repaired the altar at the vestibule to the Temple. Interesting enough there were people from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon that lived in Judah as aliens. These people who had deserted Israel to be in Judah and Jerusalem were not good enough to be considered Judahites. They held a great sacrifice offering where most of the animals came from the booty that they got from the Ethiopians. They sacrificed 700 oxen and 7,000 sheep for this great feast day to Yahweh with great rejoicing and music. They entered into a new covenant with Yahweh, the God of Israel. Here comes the kicker in this theocratic state. Anyone who would not seek Yahweh would be put to death. It did not matter their age or gender. Only Yahweh worship was tolerated here. Your other choice was death. Now they finally figured out a way to be monotheistic.

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