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2 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 17
Jehoshaphat is made king; reigneth well and prospereth, 2 Chronicles 17:1-6.
He sendeth Levites with the princes to teach Judah, 2 Chronicles 17:7-9.
He is feared by the nations round about, who bring him presents and tribute; his greatness, captains and armies, 2 Chronicles 17:10-19.
Against the king and people of Israel, who had molested the kingdom of Judah with wars all the days of Asa, after that sin of his mentioned 2 Chronicles 16:2, &c.
In the first ways, which David walked in before he fell into those horrid sins of murder and adultery. Or, in the ways of David, and his father’s first ways. For the beginning of Asa’s reign was laudable, as we have seen, though he declined at last. For it seems more probable that this passage is a reflection upon Asa, whose last ways were much his worst, and of whose repentance we have no evidence, than upon David, who, though he fell dreadfully in the matter of Uriah, yet did manifestly repent of it, and return to his first and holy course of life, in which also he continued until death; having this character given him by the Holy Ghost after his death, that he did right in all things, saving that of Uriah, 1 Kings 15:5.
i.e. Their worship of the calves, or other idols.
Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; as subjects in those times and places used to do to their kings, as a token of their respect and subjection to them. See 1 Samuel 10:27; 1 Kings 10:25; 2 Chronicles 32:23.
His heart was lifted up above all discouragements, and difficulties, and fears, by which men’s hearts use to be cast down: he was valiant and resolute for God and his ways.
He took away the high places and groves, to wit, such only wherein idols were worshipped, as appears by comparing this with 2 Chronicles 20:33. And though Asa had done this before, yet either he did not do it thoroughly, or the Jews (who were many of them mad upon their idols) had secretly made new ones, in the latter part of his reign, when he grew more infirm in body, and more remiss in God’s cause.
To teach in the cities of Judah; to inform the people of their duty, and of the king’s pleasure. As judges or justices of peace teach or instruct the people in the laws of the land, when they deliver their charges upon the bench; so did these princes in the king’s name admonish and require the people to observe and obey the laws of God, which were the prinicipal laws of that land; the particular explication and enforcement whereof they left to the Levites and priests here following, who were sent for this end, and accordingly taught the people, 2 Chronicles 17:9.
Justly concluding from this singular piety that God would eminently appear for him, and against all those who had ill will to him, which was their case. For even the heathens could not but observe that the kings of Judah were either prosperous or unhappy, accordingly as they served God or forsook him.
Some of the Philistines; who had been subjects to this kingdom ever since David’s time, but, it seems, had neglected this duty in the times of his predecessors, but now were moved by their own fears to perform it.
The Arabians brought him flocks; either because he had upon some just occasion waged war against them, and subdued them, though the particulars of it be not described in Scripture; or because they voluntarily put themselves under his protection, in recompence whereof they sent him those presents; or only as a free acknowledgment of their respects to him.
He had much business in the cities of Judah; partly to repair and fortify them, and furnish them with all necessary provisions; and partly to purge out all the relies and seeds of idolatry and injustice, which were more secretly and subtlely managed in the cities than in the country, and which were first and most in the cities, and thence spread their infection into the country about them. See Jeremiah 2:28.
Next to him; either,
1. After his death, as his successor in the same command. And the like is supposed concerning Jehozabad, 2 Chronicles 17:18. Or rather,
2. Next to him in place and authority; or, at least, in power and the numbers of his host.
As volunteers and auxiliaries, to be ready upon occasion, as the service of God and the king should require. Possibly these or most of them were the strangers which had come out of Israel into the kingdom of Judah in Asa’s days, and probably since that in his time.
These above mentioned were the trained bands or auxiliaries; whose chief officers waited upon the king to receive his commands, and to raise and bring in all or part of their forces to the service of the king and kingdom, as need required.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 17". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19