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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

2 Chronicles 17

Verses 1-6

1. Summary of Jehoshaphat’s reign 17:1-6

Jehoshaphat did right because he followed David’s example (2 Chronicles 17:3). He remained faithful to Yahweh by obeying His Law rather than worshipping Baal (2 Chronicles 17:3-4). Consequently God blessed his reign by giving him riches and honor (2 Chronicles 17:5). The king took pride in obeying God, and he weeded out the high places that kept sprouting up around Judah (2 Chronicles 17:6).

The Baals (2 Chronicles 17:3) ". . . were almost numberless, each individual field being treated as if it had its own guiding ba’al (’master, owner’) i.e., fertility spirit." [Note: Payne, p. 496.]

Verses 1-37

D. Jehoshaphat chs. 17-20

This account of Jehoshaphat’s rule reveals that God was then actively leading His people. These were the years of alliance with Israel, and Ahab was on the throne of the Northern Kingdom.

The Chronicler deliberately presented Jehoshaphat’s record very similarly to the way he recounted Asa’s experiences. In chapters 17-20, as in 14-16, we have a series of contrasts that teach the same lessons. These lessons are the importance of depending on Yahweh and being loyal to Him by obeying His Word and seeking His help.

Both Asa and Jehoshaphat followed similar patterns of reform, experienced victory in battle, and transgressed. Both of them suppressed and failed to suppress the high places (cf. 2 Chronicles 14:2-5; 2 Chronicles 17:6). Both enjoyed prosperity, conducted great building programs, and experienced victory in battle because of their obedience. Both made foreign alliances, and both are mentioned together as the standard of piety to which Jehoram failed to attain. [Note: Raymond B. Dillard, "The Chronicler’s Jehoshaphat," Trinity Journal 7NS:1 (Spring 1986):17-22.]

Verses 7-19

2. The strength of Jehoshaphat’s kingdom 17:7-19

This survey of the king’s administrative accomplishments is not in Kings. Jehoshaphat sent teachers of the Mosaic Law throughout Judah to enable the people to know God’s will (2 Chronicles 17:7-9). Thus he fortified his nation spiritually as well as physically. God blessed this effort to glorify Him by putting the fear of the Lord in Judah’s enemies (2 Chronicles 17:11). Again we see Gentiles bringing gifts to the Davidic king who walked in the ways of the Lord, as in Solomon’s day (cf. 2 Chronicles 9:14; 2 Chronicles 26:8).

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 17". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". 2012.