Lectionary Calendar
Monday, June 17th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 19

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem.

Jehoshaphat ... returned to his house in peace - (see the note at 2 Chronicles 18:16.) Not long after he had resumed the ordinary functions of royalty Jerusalem, he was one day disturbed by an unexpected and ominous visit from a prophet of the Lord. This was Jehu, of whose father a notice occurred, 2 Chronicles 16:7. He himself had been called to discharge the prophetic office in Israel; but probably for his bold rebuke to Baasha (1 Kings 16:1) had been driven by that arbitrary monarch within the territory of Judah, where we now find him, with the privileged license of his order, taking the same religious supervision of Jehoshaphat's proceedings as he had formerly done of Baasha's.

At the interview here described, he condemned in the strongest terms the king of Judah's imprudent and incongruous league with Ahab, God's open enemy (1 Kings 22:2), as an unholy alliance that would be conducive neither to the honour and comfort of his house nor to the best interests of his kingdom; and he apprized Jehoshaphat that, on account of that grave offence, 'wrath was upon him from before the Lord'-a judgment that was inflicted soon after, (see the note at 2 Chronicles 20:1-37.) The prophet's rebuke, however, was administered in mingled strain of severity and mildness; because he interposed a "nevertheless" (2 Chronicles 19:3), which implied that the threatened storm would be averted, in token of the divine approval of his public efforts for the promotion of the true religion, as well as of the sincere piety of his personal character life.

Verses 2-3

And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 4

And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beersheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the LORD God of their fathers.

He went out again through the people. This means his re-appointing the commissioners of public instruction (2 Chronicles 17:7-9), perhaps with new powers and a larger staff of assistants, to overtake every part of the land. The complement of teachers required for that purpose would be easily obtained, from the whole tribe of Levites being now concentrated within the kingdom of Judah.

Verse 5

And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city,

He set judges in the land. There had been judicial courts established at an early period. But Jehoshaphat was the first king who modified these institutions according to the circumstances of the now fragmentary kingdom of Judah. He fixed local courts in each of the fortified cities, these being the provincial capitals of every district (see the note at Deuteronomy 16:18-20).

Verses 6-7

And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 8

Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and of the priests, and of the chief of the fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD, and for controversies, when they returned to Jerusalem.

Set of the Levites ... priests, and ... chief of the fathers of Israel. A certain number of these three classes constituted a supreme court, which sat in Jerusalem to review appellate cases from the inferior courts. It consisted of two divisions: the first of which had jurisdiction in ecclesiastical matters; the second, in civil, fiscal, and criminal cases. According to others, the two divisions of the supreme court adjudicated: the one according to the law contained in the sacred books; the other, to the law of custom and equity-as in Eastern countries at the present day the written and unwritten law are objects of separate jurisdiction. It would thus appear that in Jehoshaphat's time the old constitutional government by elders still continued in force, because they formed the basis of this council, which was only enlarged by the addition of priests and Levites, as a wholesome element for preserving the courts of justice pure and uncorrupt (cf. Ezekiel 8:1; Ezra 4:23; Ezra 8:1-15).

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/2-chronicles-19.html. 1871-8.
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