2 Chronicles 18:1 Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab.
Ver. 1. Now Jehoshaphat had riches in abundance.] Stultitiam patiuntur opes. He was the worse for his wealth - as most men also are, - else he had not been so fond of this new affinity with Ahab. [2 Kings 8:18]
2 Chronicles 18:2 And after [certain] years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that [he had] with him, and persuaded him to go up [with him] to Ramothgilead.
Ver. 2. He went down to Ahab to Samaria.] See 1 Kings 22:2, in which chapter we have the same history related as here, not abridged - as is usual with this author - but at large; this much commendeth it unto us as necessary and profitable, since the Holy Ghost doth nothing in vain.
And Ahab killed sheep and oxen.] As to feast him and his retinue, so, haply, to sacrifice to the gods, as idolaters used to do when great strangers came unto them. Dido did so when Æneas came to her court.
“ Simul Aeneam in regia ducit
Tecta, simul divum templis indicit honorem. ” - Aeneid, lib. i.
Now Jezebel was Dido’s countrywoman, and had a great influence upon her husband Ahab.
2 Chronicles 18:3 And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramothgilead? And he answered him, I [am] as thou [art], and my people as thy people; and [we will be] with thee in the war.
Ver. 3. I am as thou art.] See 1 Kings 22:4. Jehoshaphat was too facile. It was noted as a fault in Henry IV of France that he was aeque male ac bono reconciliabilis, of too good a nature, as we say of some.
2 Chronicles 18:4 And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day.
Ver. 4. Inquire, I pray thee, of the Lord today.] Yea, but this should have been done before he had engaged to go. Good Jehoshaphat is oft taxed for being smart too late. Few consider that it is better to stop or step back than to run on out of the way.
2 Chronicles 18:5 Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver [it] into the king’s hand.
Ver. 5. Four hundred prophets.] An ecumenical council. See on 1 Kings 2:6.
2 Chronicles 18:9 And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah sat either of them on his throne, clothed in [their] robes, and they sat in a void place at the entering in of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.
Ver. 9. Clothed in their robes.] And as the Septuagint have it, ενοπλοι, in their arms, that they might provoke the people to take up arms.
2 Chronicles 18:11 And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver [it] into the hand of the king.
Ver. 11. And all the prophets prophesied.] See 1 Kings 22:12. With as much confidence as Jesuits offer to pawn their souls for the truth of their assertions, and tell us, that if we be not damned, they will be damned for us. Event, the master of fools, confuted these bold affirmers.
2 Chronicles 18:13 And Micaiah said, [As] the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak.
Ver. 13. Even what my God saith.] His God he calleth him, though he had suffered for God, and was like to suffer more for his veracity. He would not budge - as Ecebolius and other timeservers did - for any man’s pleasure or displeasure.
2 Chronicles 18:20 Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith?
Ver. 20. And there came out a spirit.] The Rabbis fable that this was Naboth’s ghost, who to be revenged on Ahab, thus offereth his service. In times of Popery, devils came saying that they were the souls of such and such dead persons; and desired to be set free from the pains of purgatory, &c.
2 Chronicles 18:23 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and smote Micaiah upon the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee?
Ver. 23. And smote Micaiah.] To do this in open court, and in such a presence, was great impudency; besides the violence, which yet is usually offered to Christ’s servants, when other arguments are wanting. Argumenta sua formant in Barbara et Ferio, as one saith wittily. If Micaiah should have smitten Zedekiah, there would have been somewhat to do. But some may better steal a horse, than others look over the hedge.
2 Chronicles 18:29 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and will go to the battle; but put thou on thy robes. So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle.
Ver. 29. But put thou on thy robes.] As if you were the general of both armies. Ahab pretended herein to honour Jehoshaphat, but intended to save himself, and to elude Micaiah’s prophecy.
2 Chronicles 18:31 And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It [is] the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them [to depart] from him.
Ver. 31. Therefore they compassed about him.] This great strait Jehoshaphat cast himseff into; as likewise the valiant Hunniades did, at the battle of Varna, where he was worsted, and afterwards taken prisoner by Dracula, for joining with that perjured Popish king of Hungary.
And the Lord helped him.] See 1 Kings 22:32, where yet this precious passage is not; but is here added by the penman of this book, who relateth things formerly set down, but oft with usury.
2 Chronicles 18:33 And a [certain] man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: therefore he said to his chariot man, Turn thine hand, that thou mayest carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.
Ver. 33. Between the joints of the harness.] The hand of Heaven carrying the arrow to that very place. As when God will save a man, a book in his bosom, the money in his purse, the buckle of his girdle shall preserve him from the deadly thrust, or shot.
For I am wounded.] Heb., I am sick, or weary. Perhaps he would have concealed his deadly wound from his chariot man; but
“ Eυρε Fεος τον αλιτρον.”
His "sin had now found him out"; and, as stout hearted as he was, death seized him. For,
2 Chronicles 18:34 And the battle increased that day: howbeit the king of Israel stayed [himself] up in [his] chariot against the Syrians until the even: and about the time of the sun going down he died.
Ver. 34. About the time of the sun going down he died.] And so proved that a whole council - of false prophets especially - may err. Ahab might now have sent for Zedekiah, with his fellows, as Rodulphus Suevus did for the Popish bishops, who had put him on to take up arms against his master, the emperor, complaining of them at his death, that they had deceived him to his destruction, with the Popes,
"Petra dedit Petro, Petrus diadems Rodulpho."
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 18". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany