View 2nd Chronicles 20 in the note window.
The land being invaded, Jehoshaphat and all the people seek God
by fasting and prayer, ver. 1 - 13.
They thankfully receive the promise of victory given by a prophet,
ver. 14 - 19.
Their enemies are overthrown, ver. 20 - 25.
Their thanksgiving, ver. 25 - 30.
The conclusion of his reign, ver. 31 - 37.
2: The sea - The dead sea, beyond which mount Seir lay.
Syria - Largely so called, and so it includes the Moabites and
Ammonites. And it may be thus expressed, to intimate that they
came by the instigation of the Syrians, to revenge themselves of
Jehoshaphat for joining with Ahab against them.
5: The house - Largely so called, in the court of the people, upon
that brazen scaffold which Solomon had erected. New court - Before
the priests court: which is called the new court, because it had lately
been renewed when the altar was renewed.
7: Abraham - To whom thou hast engaged thyself by covenant to be his
friend, and the friend of his seed for ever.
9: The sword - Or rather, the sword of judgement or of
vengeance, that is, war, whereby thou punisheth thy people
for their sins.
12: Wilt thou not judge - Wilt thou not give sentence against them,
and execute it upon them? The justice of God is the refuge of those
that are wronged. No might - Though he had great armies, yet he seems
to have been surprized by these men, before his forces were in readiness
to oppose them.
13: Little ones - Whom they used to present before the Lord in times
of great distress, to stir up themselves to more fervent prayers, their
eyes being upon their harmless and tender children, and to move God to
compassion, because God hath declared, that he will be prevailed with,
by such methods as these.
15: But God's - God will fight for you, and he alone will do the
work, you need not strike a stroke.
16: Go down - From Jerusalem, where he and his army now were;
which stood upon high ground.
19: Stood up - By Jehoshaphat's appointment. On high - With
heart and voice lifted up: whereby they shewed their full assurance
of the victory.
20: Believe - God's promise delivered to us by this prophet, and
consequently all other predictions of the prophet.
21: Consulted - Jehoshaphat called a counsel of war, and it was
resolved, to appoint singers to go out before the army, who had nothing
to do, but to praise God, to praise his holiness, which is his beauty,
to praise him as they did in the temple, that beauty of holiness. By
this strange advance to the field of battle, Jehoshaphat shewed his
firm reliance on the word of God, which enabled him to triumph before
the battle, to animate his own men and confound the enemy.
22: To sing - So acceptable are the fervent prayers of God's people
to God, and so terrible to their enemies. Ambushments - Or, liers in
So vain are all mens attempts against God, who needs none to destroy his
enemies but themselves, and their own mistakes, and passions, which he can,
when he pleaseth, arm against them.
- the holy angels, who appeared in the shape of men, and possibly put
on the appearances and visages of the Moabites or Ammonites,
and in that shape slew the rest, who supposing this slaughter to be
done by a part of their own army, fell upon them, and so broke forth
into mutual slaughters. Or,
- God raised jealousies and animosities among themselves, which broke
forth, first into secret ambushments, which one party laid for
another, and then into open hostilities to their utter destruction.
24: The watch tower - Which stood upon the cliff of Ziz,
mentioned ver.(16), and looked toward the wilderness, where their
enemies lay encamped, whose numbers, and order, and condition, they
could descry from thence.
25: Jewels - Which they brought with them to corrupt any of
Jehoshaphat's officers as they saw occasion: to procure necessaries
for their vast army from time to time: and because they came as to
triumph rather than to fight, being confident of the victory because
of their numbers, and especially because they thought to surprize
Jehoshaphat ere he could make any considerable preparations against
them; God also permitting them to be puffed up to their own destruction.
26: Berachah - Heb. of blessing; so called from their solemn
blessings and praises given to God in it upon this occasion.
28: To the house - To renew their praises in the court of the temple,
the proper and usual place for it. Praising God must not be the work of
a day only, but our praises when we have received mercy, must be often
repeated, as our prayers were, when we where in pursuit of it. Every
day we must bless God: as long as we live, and while we have any being,
we must praise him, spending our time in that work, in which we hope to
spend our eternity.
33: Not taken - Not universally; the fault was not in Jehoshaphat,
but in the people, who, though they did worship the true God, yet would
not be confined to the temple, but for their own conveniency, or from
their affection to their ancient custom chose to worship him in the
high - places.
35: After this - This is mentioned as an aggravation of his sin,
after so great an obligation laid upon him by God; and after he had been
so singularly reproved by a prophet yet he relapsed into the same sin
which proceeded partly from that near relation which was contracted
between the two families, and partly from the easiness of Jehoshaphat's
temper, which could not resist the solicitations of others, in such things
as might seem indifferent. For he did not join with him in war, as he
did with Ahab, but in a peaceable way only, in a matter of trade and
commerce. And yet God reproves and punisheth him for it, ver.(37), to
shew his great dislike of all familiar conversation of his servants and
people with professed enemies of God and of religion, as Ahaziah was.
Very wickedly - Or who did industriously, and maliciously, and
constantly work wickedness, as the Hebrew phrase implies, giving
himself up to idolatry and all wickedness.