2 Chronicles 15:1 And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded:
Ver. 1. The son of Oded.] Alias Iddo the seer.
2 Chronicles 15:2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD [is] with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.
Ver. 2. And he went out to meet Asa.] To admonish him and his army of their duty after so great a victory, it requiring as much skill to use it well as to get it.
The Lord is with you.] In mercy, while you be with him in duty. God’s ordinances are the heavenly exchange, saith one, betwixt God and his people: they present duty, he confers mercy. God’s Spirit is a delicate thing, saith another: ita nos tractat, sicut tractatur. God’s visitation, saith a third, is like checker work, black and white, "Those that honour me, I will honour; but those that despise me shall be lightly esteemed."
If ye seek him, he will be found of you.] So that you seek him "with all your heart, and with all your soul." [Jeremiah 29:13 2 Chronicles 15:12]
But if ye forsake him.] As our King John confessed that he did, when he resigned up his kingdom to the Pope, and that he never prospered after it. God, as a father, doth alter the set of his looks toward his own children, when they grow wanton upon his love, and let down the diligence of their just observance and duty.
2 Chronicles 15:3 Now for a long season Israel [hath been] without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law.
Ver. 3. Now for a long season.] For about thirty years.
Israel.] The ten revolted tribes.
Hath been without the true God.] So were our ancestors the old Britons, whose idols were portenta diabolica, saith Gildas, pene numero Aegyptiaca vincentia, monstrous idols.
And without a teaching priest.] No wonder, therefore, that they were "without God in the world," stark atheists, sine lege, sine rege, sine fide, "without law, king or fidelity" as the Brazilians are said to be.
2 Chronicles 15:4 But when they in their trouble did turn unto the LORD God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.
Ver. 4. But when they in their trouble,] i.e., Their ancestors before the revolt, as in the days of the Judges. Some understand it of the Babylonish captivity, and read thus,
But when they in their trouble shall return, &c., as many of the ten tribes also then did, and came back with the rest to their own country.
2 Chronicles 15:5 And in those times [there was] no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations [were] upon all the inhabitants of the countries.
Ver. 5. And in those times there was no peace,] i.e., After their apostasy from God, and their revolt from the house of David, they have had an ill time of it, being harrowed with continual wars and oppressions. And were not we in as bad condition recently here in England? Blessed be God for better times!
2 Chronicles 15:6 And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity.
Ver. 6. And nation was destroyed.] Heb., Beaten to pieces: such is the woe of war, that no words, however so wide, are sufficient to set it forth.
2 Chronicles 15:7 Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.
Ver. 7. Be ye strong therefore.] Since God hath dealt better with you, and brought you back with victory and much spoil, set lustily and vigorously to work, be active for God, in reforming things amiss amongst us: your labour cannot be in vain in the Lord. Those viperous gunpowder traitors had, while they were digging in their vault of villainy, a psalter composed by some of their padres, and secretly passed from hand to hand, whereof this was a part, "Confirm your hearts with hope, for your redemption is not far off. The year of visitation draweth to an end, and jubilation is at hand. The memory of novelties shall perish with a crack, as a ruinous house falling to the ground: he will come as a flame that bursteth out beyond the furnace." &c.
2 Chronicles 15:8 And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that [was] before the porch of the LORD.
Ver. 8. And when Asa heard these words.] He was zealous for God before, but now his heart, was all on a light flame for God. "Did not our hearts burn within us, whilst he opened unto us the Scriptures?" said those two disciples travelling to Emmaus. [Luke 24:32] Together with Christ’s words there went forth a power. [Luke 5:15]
And the prophecy of Oded.] That is, Of Azariah, son of Oded.
He put away the abominable idols.] St Peter speaketh of "abominable idolatry." [1 Peter 4:3] Some Papists would hence infer that there is some idolatry not abominable, so loath are idolaters that their asses’ ears should be seen. Some think that Asa now purged out this abomination, quaestione domesticatim habita, (a) by narrow search made from house to house.
And out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim.] Where the Ethiopians haply had left some of their spawn, as toads and other vermin leave their slime and filth congealed behind them.
And renewed the altar of the Lord,] i.e., Repaired it, being decayed, and offered on it very many sacrifices.
2 Chronicles 15:9 And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God [was] with him.
Ver. 9. And the strangers with them, &c.] Strangers they had made themselves by their revolt with the rest, but now they repented and returned, being looked upon by their "brethren in iniquity" as apostates, like as was Luther by the Papists. An apostate he confessed himself, sed beatum et sanctum, "but happy and holy," but such a one as had not kept touch with the devil.
2 Chronicles 15:10 So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa.
Ver. 10. In. the third month.] At the feast of Pentecost, at which time of the year Constantinople was taken by the Turks, because the Greek Church denied the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son, as Estius (a) hath observed, Pentecost being a feast anciently dedicated to the memorial of the same Holy Spirit.
2 Chronicles 15:11 And they offered unto the LORD the same time, of the spoil [which] they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep.
Ver. 11. And they offered of the spoil.] Heathens also did so, ascribing thereby the victory to their gods.
2 Chronicles 15:12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul;
Ver. 12. And they entered into a covenant.] As well knowing the fickleness of their own hearts, they do hereby think good to bind them to the good abearance; a commendable practice, by holy vows to bind ourselves to the performance of bounden duties.
2 Chronicles 15:13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.
Ver. 13. That whosoever would not seek the Lord,] i.e., Be subject to the Lord, but seek to other gods.
Should be put to death.] According to the law. [Deuteronomy 13:9] Say not, This is Old Testament, we find no such thing in gospel. See Zechariah 13:3; Zechariah 12:10; Romans 13:4;, 1 Peter 2:13-14; and distinguish not where the Scripture doth not distingnish. See 2 Chronicles 34:33, Ezra 7:26, Daniel 3:29. Heathen magistrates are commended for interesting themselves in matters of religion. Good kings, as here, and 2 Chronicles 34:33, are commended for putting upon their people wholesome laws and strait, binding them to the purity of religion and power of godliness. Neither is this any impeachment to their Christian liberty, - as Anabaptists hold, and the Donatists afore them, asking malapertly, Quid imperatori cum ecclesia? What hath the civil magistrate to do with the Church? - it is rather an ornament to their beauty, &c.
2 Chronicles 15:14 And they sware unto the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets.
Ver. 14. And they sware unto the Lord.] For better assurance. An oath is a curb to conscience; ορκος just as ερκος.
With a loud voice.] Verbis non tantum desertis, sed et exertis, audibly and boldly.
2 Chronicles 15:15 And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the LORD gave them rest round about.
Ver. 15. For they had sworn with all their heart.] Not as she in the tragedy, who said, Iuravi lingua, mentem iniuratam gero, (a) I have sworn with my tongue, but my heart is unsworn; nor as equivocating Jesuits, who teach mental reservations in taking an oath - Pascenius scoffeth King James for the invention of his oath of allegiance; - but absque dolo malo, et ex animi sententia; truly and uprightly.
2 Chronicles 15:16 And also [concerning] Maachah the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from [being] queen, because she had made an idol in a grove: and Asa cut down her idol, and stamped [it], and burnt [it] at the brook Kidron.
Ver. 16. And also concerning Maachah.] See on 1 Kings 15:13.
He removed her from being queen.] Or, From being chief priest, in sacris meplezethi, to that abominable grove idol, which had its name from trembling or terrifying, or from the horrible villainies committed at those roguish rites of Priapus; not unlike those other of Anubis, where Decius Mundus abused that noble Roman matron Paulina, whom he could not bring to his lure by any money. (a)
2 Chronicles 15:17 But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days.
Ver. 17. But the high places.] See on 1 Kings 15:14.
2 Chronicles 15:18 And he brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, and vessels.
Ver. 18. And he brought.] See 1 Kings 15:15. Hypocrites may, for self-respects, be liberal; as was Herod in beautifying the temple.
2 Chronicles 15:19 And there was no [more] war unto the five and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa.
Ver. 19. Unto the five and thirtieth year,] sc., From the revolt of the ten tribes. See 2 Chronicles 16:8. The Septuagint corruptly here render, Unto the thirtieth year.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 15". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
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