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2 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 13
Abijah warreth against Jeroboam king of Israel. 2 Chronicles 2:1-3;
declareth the right of his cause, 2 Chronicles 13:4-12;
trusteth in God; overcometh Jeroboam, 2 Chronicles 13:13-20.
His wives and children, 2 Chronicles 13:21,2 Chronicles 13:22.
Michaiah the daughter of Uriel, called Maachah the daughter of Absalom, 1 Kings 15:2. She might be daughter to one, and granddaughter to the other; or the proper and natural daughter of the, one, and the other’s by adoption, of which there are instances in Scripture; or the same person might be called Uriel and Absalom: see 1 Kings 15:2.
Abijah set the battle in array against Jeroboam. We need not scrupulously inquire into the lawfulness of this war, for this Abijah, though here he makes a fair flourish, and maintained the better cause, yet was indeed an ungodly man, 1 Kings 15:3, and therefore minded not the satisfaction of his conscience, but only the recovery of his parent’s ancient dominions.
Upon Mount Zemaraim; some commodious place whence his voice might be heard by Jeroboam, and some of his host, who possibly were pitched in the valley. Or the two armies being pitched near to one another, Abijah might desire a parley, before they fight; whereupon Jeroboam, and some of his commanders and soldiers, might draw near to him, and stand below him at the bottom of the hill, where they might hear his speech; which Jeroboam was the more willing to do, that in the mean time he might cause an ambushment to come behind Abijah and his army, as he did, 2 Chronicles 13:13, whilst he was quietly standing before them, and seemed to hearken to any terms of accommodation which might be offered.
i.e. By a perpetual covenant, which thy usurpation can not disannul. For the phrase, See Poole "Numbers 18:19".
The children of Belial; such as have cast off the yoke and obedience which they owed both to God and to their king.
When Rehoboam was young; not in age, for he was then forty-one years old, but in his kingdom, which he had but newly obtained, and in experience in politic, and especially in military, affairs, to which he was wholly a stranger, as having been born and bred up in a time of great peace and security.
Tender-hearted, i.e. cowardly and fearful, who durst not adventure to chastise the rebels as he should have done. But therein Abijah forgets his duty, both to his father, whom he falsely traduceth; and to God, by whose express command Rehoboam was restrained from the war against Israel, which otherwise he had both courage and resolution to prosecute, as appears from the history, 1 Kings 12:21.
The kingdom of the Lord in the land of the sons of David; that kingdom which was not set up by vain men in pursuance of their own ambition and discontent, as yours was, but ordained and established by God himself in the house of David.
And ye be a great multitude, or because (that Hebrew particle being oft so used) ye be, &c. This he mentions partly as the ground of their confidence, that they had more tribes and a greater host; and partly as a presage of their downfall, which trusting to the arm of flesh is.
And there are with you golden calves, or, but there are, &c. There is that among you which may damp your courage and confidence: you worship those images which God abhors and severely forbids.
For gods, or for God, as that plural word is most commonly used, i.e. instead of God, to give them the name of God, as Exodus 32:4, and that worship which is peculiar to him.
To consecrate himself, i. e. to make himself a priest. See Poole "Leviticus 7:37".
That are no gods; that have nothing of the nature or power, though you give them the name of gods.
The Lord, Heb. Jehovah, the only true and great God.
We have not forsaken him; we maintain his honour and worship, which you have ungratefully rejected.
The pure table; so called, because it was made of pure gold, Exodus 25:23,Exodus 25:24.
The candlestick; he saith table and candlestick, though there were ten of each, 2 Chronicles 4:7,2 Chronicles 4:8; either,
1. Because Shishak had carried away all but one. Or,
2. The singular number is put for the plural, as 1 Kings 7:48, and oft elsewhere. Or,
3. Because ordinarily there was but one of each used at a time for those uses.
To burn every evening; and from evening to morning continually, Leviticus 24:2,Leviticus 24:3; for which end one candlestick was sufficient, and it is very improbable that all the candlesticks were used every night.
We keep the charge of the Lord our God: this he saith, though he was an ungodly king; either because he flattered himself and fancied that his keeping up the external worship of God would make full satisfaction for the errors of his life; or that he might hereby encourage his own soldiers, and convince or terrify his enemies.
With sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you; upon the sounding whereof God hath solemnly promised to assist his people, Numbers 10:9.
Fight ye not against the Lord God of your fathers; you have not only us for your enemies, but God, even the God whom your fathers honoured and served, to their own great comfort and benefit.
Whilst Abijah was discoursing, Jeroboam takes the advantage of it to lay an ambush.
By strengthening the hearts and hands of the men of Judah, and taking away the spirits and power of their enemies; and, it may be, by some extraordinary assistance.
A vast number: but it hath been oft observed and recorded by sacred and profane historians, that in those ancient times there were very numerous armies, and ofttimes very great slaughters; and if this slaughter was more than ordinary, there is nothing strange nor incredible, because the Almighty God fought against the Israelites.
They put their trust in him, and confidently expected help from him; which is a disposition of heart that God prizeth and taketh kindly. See 2 Kings 18:5; 2 Chronicles 20:20; Psalms 22:4; Daniel 3:28.
Beth-el; which Jeroboam recovered afterwards, as appears by the course of the history, though it be not particularly mentioned, which is the case of many other considerable things. And in the mean time it is very probable, that when Jeroboam’s host was discomfited, and he expected that Abijah would pursue his victory, he removed the golden calf from Beth-el, which lay near Abijah’s kingdom, to some safer place.
Ephrain; a city so called, possibly the same which is mentioned John 11:54, or that which is called Ophrah, Judges 8:27.
The Lord struck him, i.e. Jeroboam, as appears from the contrary condition of Abijah described in the next verse. Him God might strike, either with vexation and horror of mind; or with some painful and lingering, but incurable, disease, like that of Jehoram, which tormented him two years together, and at last killed him, 2 Chronicles 21:19.
He died; not presently, but a year or two after this time.
Not now after this victory, for he died presently after it; but in the whole time of his life, before he was king and afterward.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 13". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
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