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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

2 Chronicles 17

Verses 1-19

Reign of Jehoshaphat

An account of a mission of Levites to teach the Law, and of the king’s army.

The particulars of Jehoshaphat’s reign here given are additional to those contained in 1 Kings 22:41-50.

1. Strengthened himself against Israel] Jehoshaphat came to the throne in the fourth year of Ahab, and it is probable that some interval elapsed before he made peace with him, as recorded in 1 Kings 22:44.

2. Which Asa.. taken] see 2 Chronicles 15:8, and note.

3. His father David] LXX omits ’David,’ so that his father means Asa, whose early actions (2 Chronicles 14:2) are here contrasted with the oppressiveness and want of faith that he displayed in his later years (2 Chronicles 16:7-10). Baalim] RV ’the Baalim’ (and so elsewhere), i.e. the various false gods to each of whom the title ’Baal’ (=Lord), was applied.

4. The doings of Israel] an allusion either to the worship of the calves (2 Chronicles 13:8-9) or to that of the Zidonian Baal, introduced into Israel by Jezebel, the wife of Jehoshaphat’s contemporary, Ahab.

7. He sent to his princes] The princes were to organise the teaching which was carried out by the Levites named in the next v.

9. Went about] This is the only record in the historical books of the diffusion of a knowledge of the Law by means of a mission. In the reign of Josiah (2 Kings 23:2) and after the return from the exile (Nehemiah 8:3-18) the Law was merely read before assemblies of the people at Jerusalem.

13. Much business] i.e. was busily employed on works of defence. And the men of war.. were] better, ’and he had men of war.. in Jerusalem.’

14-18. It is generally agreed that there must be some error in these enormous numbers.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 17". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.