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Wednesday, June 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 20

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-37

2 Chronicles 20:1-30 Jehoshaphat Defeats the Moabites with Praise to the Lord - Jehoshaphat was the king of Judah from c. 873 B.C. to 849 B.C.

In his book The Hallelujah Factor Jack Taylor uses the story of Jehoshaphat’s defeat of the Moabites when he teaches on ‘The Process of Praise” (chpt 3). [42]

[42] Jack Taylor, The Hallelujah Factor, revised edition (Mansfield, PA: Kingdom Publishing, c1983, 1999), 29-35.

Jehoshaphat’s prayer (2 Chronicles 20:6-12).

1. Reminder of God’s exalted position (vs.6)

2. Recounting of God’s efficient performance (vs.7)

3. A reliance upon God’ enabling power or promises (vs.8-9)

4. Honest description of the problem (vs.10-11)

5. Cease all trust in flesh (vs.12)

6. Completely concentrated on God (2 Chronicles 20:12)

Israel praised the Lord and obeyed His word (2 Chronicles 20:13-28)

7. They continued before God (vs.13)

8. They heard from God (vs.14-17)

9. They worshipped God (vs.18-19)

10.They obeyed God (vs.20-23)

11. They saw God’s miraculous deliverance (2 Chronicles 20:24)

12. They collected spoil of crisis (vs.25)

13. They praised God (vs.26-28)

The result was rest and peace and protection from God (2 Chronicles 20:29-30)

Note how praise continued throughout the problem in various forms. Praise overcame fear and resulted in rest and peace.

2 Chronicles 20:1 It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.

2 Chronicles 20:1 “with them other beside the Ammonites” - Comments - According to 2 Chronicles 20:10, these others who joined the Moabites and Ammonites were the inhabitants of Mount Seir.

2 Chronicles 20:10, “And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir , whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not;”

2 Chronicles 20:1 Word Study on “Jehoshaphat” Strong says the Hebrew name “Jehoshaphat” ( יְהוֹשָׁפָט ) (H3092) means, “Jehovah-judged.” PTW says it means, “Jehovah is judge.”

2 Chronicles 20:1 Comments - Moab and Ammon were descendants of Lot. PTW says the Hebrew name “Moab” means, “from my father.” PTW says the Hebrew name Ammon (Ben ammi) means, “son of my people.” (Genesis 19:37-38)

Genesis 19:37-38, “And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.”

2 Chronicles 20:2 Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi.

2 Chronicles 20:2 Comments - The news comes. Mary times in life when the news of a crisis comes, no words of faith or encouragement are given with the bad report. Note how the four servants came to Job in the first chapter of the book and gave him all the bad news and no hope.

2 Chronicles 20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

2 Chronicles 20:3 “And Jehoshaphat feared” Comments - The circumstances looked so bad that fear was the immediate response. Fear is normally the mind’s first response, but fear can be overcome (Matthew 10:28, Luke 8:50).

Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Luke 8:50, “But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.”

The result that we long for from God are “rest and peace,” which happened in 2 Chronicles 20:30.

2 Chronicles 20:30, “So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet : for his God gave him rest round about.”

“and set himself to seek the LORD” - Comments - The key to overcoming fear begins with us seeking God personally! Note Jehoshaphat’s prayer in 2 Chronicles 20:6-12:

1. 2 Chronicles 20:6-7 = Acknowledges who God is.

2. 2 Chronicles 20:8-9 = Recognising God’s promises.

3. 2 Chronicles 20:10-11 = Explaining the situation to God (God already knew).

4. 2 Chronicles 20:12 = Making the Request.

“and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah” Comments - Fasting humbles a man’s soul (Psalms 35:13). This was part of the requirement in 2 Chronicles 7:14. The whole man, spirit, body and soul can humble himself before God.

Psalms 35:13, “But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.”

2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 20:4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

2 Chronicles 20:4 Comments - There is much more power in a praying congregation; so it is in a church and family prayer group (Matthew 18:18-20).

Matthew 18:18-20, “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

2 Chronicles 20:5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,

2 Chronicles 20:5 Comments - They went to God according to Hebrews 4:16, based upon God’s grace and mercy.

Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

2 Chronicles 20:6 And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?

2 Chronicles 20:6 Comments - Jehoshaphat gives God a name for the occasion. This name fits the occasion. God rules and reigns.

2 Chronicles 20:9 If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.

2 Chronicles 20:9 Comments - What was Jehoshaphat’s sin? In chapter 18, he rejected God’s prophet Micaiah, along with Ahab, and chose to believe the prophets with a lying spirit.

Compare Solomon’s prayer in 1 Kings 8:33-34 and God’s reply in 1 Kings 9:1-9.

2 Chronicles 20:9 Scripture References - Note:

Exodus 20:24, “An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.”

2 Chronicles 20:10 And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not;

2 Chronicles 20:10 “And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir” Comments - Mount Seir was in Edom, east of the Jordan River. It is located in the mountain range that runs east of the valley of Aravah from the Dead Sea to the Elanitic Gulf. ( Smith)

2 Chronicles 20:12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.

2 Chronicles 20:12 “O our God, wilt thou not judge them” Comments - They prayed a specific prayer. So, God did judge them in answer to their prayer.

2 Chronicles 20:12 “but our eyes are upon thee” Comments - The eyes of faith are upon the Lord. Physical eyes only see physical surroundings. Spiritual insight perceives the ways of God.

2 Chronicles 20:13 And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.

2 Chronicles 20:13 Scripture Reference - Note:

Psalms 27:14, “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”

2 Chronicles 20:14 Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation;

2 Chronicles 20:14 Comments - Most likely this lengthy description of the identity of Jahaziel the son of Zechariah was given because he was not a well-known individual to the reader of the book of Chronicles. Although there were five individuals in the Old Testament that bore this same name, 2 Chronicles 20:14 is the only reference to this particular individual. He did not prophesy often, and perhaps only on this one occasion. Thus, he may or may not have walked in the office of a prophet.

However, for the nation of Judah at this time, the genealogy of Jahaziel reveals a long and faithful history as a Levite among the people. He was apparently well-known among his own people so that his words carried authority as a divine prophecy. Had he been virtually unknown among his own people, his words would carry little weight of authority. His strong Levitical heritage prepared him for this moment as his prophecy served as the point of faith to deliver his nation.

2 Chronicles 20:15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.

2 Chronicles 20:15 “for the battle is not yours, but God's” Scripture References - Note similar verses:

Exodus 14:14, “The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”

Joshua 23:10, “One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.”

1 Samuel 17:47, “And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S , and he will give you into our hands.”

Nehemiah 4:20, “In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us .”

Zechariah 4:6, “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts .”

2 Chronicles 20:15 “Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude” - Scripture References - Note similar verses:

Luke 8:50, “But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only , and she shall be made whole.”

Hebrews 13:5-6, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

2 Chronicles 20:16 To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.

2 Chronicles 20:16 Comments - The Ascent of Ziz is the pass running from the western shore of the Dead Sea north of Engedi to the wilderness of Judah. ( ISBE) [43]

[43] “Ziz, Ascent of,” in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., c1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v. 1.5.11 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

2 Chronicles 20:17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.

2 Chronicles 20:17 Scripture References - Note similar verses:

2 Corinthians 10:4-6, “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”

Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

2 Chronicles 20:17 Comments - Take your position on God’s Word and stand firm on it.

2 Chronicles 20:19 And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high.

2 Chronicles 20:15-19 Comments - Jehoshaphat’s Speech - Note a similar speech when Moses spoke to the children of Israel at the Red Sea (Exodus 14:13).

Exodus 14:13, “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.”

2 Chronicles 20:20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

2 Chronicles 20:20 “Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper” Word Study on “Believe… shall ye be established” Strong says the Hebrew word “believe” and “shall be established” “âman” ( אָמַן ) (H539) figuratively means, “to render (or be) firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quiet.”

Word Study on “so shall ye prosper” Strong says the Hebrew word “so shall ye prosper” ( צָלַח ) (H6743) means, “break out, come (mightily), go over, be good, be meet, be profitable, to prosper.”

Scripture References - Note:

John 6:29, “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

2 Chronicles 20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.

2 Chronicles 20:21 Comments - The front line consisted of praises (Psalms 8:2; Psalms 22:3).

Psalms 8:2, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.”

Psalms 22:3, “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”

2 Chronicles 20:21 Scripture References - Note:

Matthew 11:25, “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”

1 Corinthians 1:27-31, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

2 Chronicles 20:22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

2 Chronicles 20:22 “the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir” Comments - John Gill gives two views as to the meaning of these ambushments. Either they were ambushments that has been set up against Israel, but turned upon themselves, or they were angels. [44]

[44] John Gill, 2 Chronicles, in John Gill’s Expositor, in e-Sword, v. 7.7.7 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on 2 Chronicles 20:22.

2 Chronicles 20:22 “and they were smitten” Comments - Gesenius says the Hebrew word ( נָגַף ) (H5062) means, “to be smitten, defeated” in the Nifal.

2 Chronicles 20:22 Comments - God began to move when his people began to praise God.

2 Chronicles 20:26 And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the LORD: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day.

2 Chronicles 20:26 Word Study on “Berachah” PTW says the Hebrew name “Berachah” means, “blessing.”

2 Chronicles 20:27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies.

2 Chronicles 20:30 So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.

2 Chronicles 20:30 “quiet ... rest” Comments - This is the result of allowing God to handle our crises.

2 Chronicles 20:34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Jehu the son of Hanani, who is mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel.

2 Chronicles 20:34 “they are written in the book of Jehu the son of Hanani, who is mentioned in the book of the kings of Israel” Scripture References - Note:

1 Kings 16:1, “Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying,”

1 Kings 16:7, “And also by the hand of the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani came the word of the LORD against Baasha, and against his house, even for all the evil that he did in the sight of the LORD, in provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam; and because he killed him.”

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 20". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/2-chronicles-20.html. 2013.
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