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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 12

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

Second Chronicles Chapter 12

2 Chronicles 12:1 "And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him."

We find that it did not take Rehoboam long to turn his back on the LORD. We saw a little of this, in the beginning of the last lesson. He was a really evil man down deep in his heart. It appears that it was not just the king involved in this sin, but all of the people, as well. Sodomy was one of the sins they were involved in. The grove worship they had gotten into was a religion of sensuousness.

2 Chronicles 12:2 "And it came to pass, [that] in the fifth year of king Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against the LORD,"

One of the ways the LORD punished people, was by sending an army to war against them. Shishak was the son of the Assyrian king, Nimrod. He had befriended Jeroboam in Egypt, when he was hiding from Solomon. This does not mean that Shishak was a righteous man. It means that God allowed him to come against Rehoboam and the people of Judah, because of their sins.

2 Chronicles 12:3 "With twelve hundred chariots, and threescore thousand horsemen: and the people [were] without number that came with him out of Egypt; the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and the Ethiopians."

This was a tremendous host of chariots and horsemen. Sixty thousand horsemen was an unusually large number, but could easily be correct. Solomon had that many, and more, when he was in power. The Lubims are the Libyians. Sukkiims were Arabs. And the Ethiopians are still a country of Africa today. They were descendents of Cush, the eldest son of Ham.

2 Chronicles 12:4 "And he took the fenced cities which [pertained] to Judah, and came to Jerusalem."

These fenced cities were the fifteen that we read of in the previous lesson. They had been well-fortified, but were not strong enough to ward off this type of attack. They came to Jerusalem, but not into Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 12:5 "Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and [to] the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak."

The princes were the leaders just under Rehoboam. They were not necessarily his sons. The LORD had sent them the prophet, Shemaiah, to tell them why they were losing the battle with Shishak. It was not the strength of Shishak, it is the fact that the LORD is angry with Judah and Rehoboam.

2 Chronicles 12:6 "Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD [is] righteous."

The princes and Rehoboam knew that what the prophet said was true. They had sinned and deserved to be destroyed. They repented of their sins, and spoke of the righteousness of God

2 Chronicles 12:7 "And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; [therefore] I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak."

This was a reprieve for the moment. God would not let this king destroy Jerusalem. If they had truly repented, and would turn to Him again in sincerity, He would bless them mightily. If they go back into their evil the minute their trouble is over, then another king would come and destroy them. Their deliverance was for as long as they were faithful to the LORD.

2 Chronicles 12:8 "Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries."

They would have their lives spared, but would suffer great monetary loss. Judah would pay taxes to Shishak, as the countries around had paid tribute to Solomon in the past. They would be working for Shishak.

2 Chronicles 12:9 "So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house; he took all: he carried away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made."

The tremendous value in gold that had been in the temple in Solomon’s time would be in the hands of these invaders. This amounted to billions of dollars worth of gold. The temple and the house of the king was stripped of all of the gold.

2 Chronicles 12:10 "Instead of which king Rehoboam made shields of brass, and committed [them] to the hands of the chief of the guard, that kept the entrance of the king’s house."

We remember, there was so much brass that it could not even be weighed. This would still be plentiful, and would be as strong as the gold shields they had. "Brass" means judgment. We find that the people of Judah had been judged and found guilty of sin. God did spare their lives, however.

2 Chronicles 12:11 "And when the king entered into the house of the LORD, the guard came and fetched them, and brought them again into the guard chamber."

It appears, the guards accompanied Rehoboam to the temple. They stayed outside, and Rehoboam went in and humbled himself before God.

2 Chronicles 12:12 "And when he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him, that he would not destroy [him] altogether: and also in Judah things went well."

God forgave Rehoboam and the people of Judah. They were without their great wealth, but their lives had been spared. They had much to be thankful for. When God’s wrath was stopped, blessings came in.

2 Chronicles 12:13 "So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam [was] one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother’s name [was] Naamah an Ammonitess."

Finally it appears, that Rehoboam had grown up and made a decision on his own. He repented, and it helped him and the whole country. The marauders had gone, and left Jerusalem in tact. He reigned, until he was 58 years old. God’s wishes were that all of Israel would worship in Jerusalem, where He had put His name. They would not. They sought false gods. The ten tribes of Israel would fall first, because they went into idolatry stronger and quicker than did Judah.

2 Chronicles 12:14 "And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD."

This is a summation of his reign. He was an evil man and did not seek God, as David and Solomon had done.

2 Chronicles 12:15 "Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, [are] they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies? And [there were] wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually."

These wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam were more like disputes. They fought a little, but never got into an all-out war. The books mentioned, above, are not in the Bible, and are of a more historical nature.

2 Chronicles 12:16 "And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his stead."

We read earlier that this was Rehoboam’s favorite son by his favorite wife. He had planned from early on that Abijah would take his place as king. He was buried in Jerusalem with David and Solomon.

2 Chronicles 12 Questions

1. When did Rehoboam forsake the LORD?

2. What was one of the sins he was involved in?

3. _________ king of Egypt came against Jerusalem.

4. Why had this happened to Judah?

5. Who was Shishak’s father?

6. When had he befriended Jeroboam?

7. How many chariots did he bring with him?

8. How many horsemen did he bring against Judah?

9. Who were the Lubims?

10. Sukkiims were __________.

11. The Ethiopians were descended from whom?

12. This is speaking of which fenced cities?

13. Who was the prophet that brought the message from God?

14. What was the message?

15. Why did God decide not to kill them?

16. What punishment did he allow to come on them?

17. What did Shishak take out of the temple and the king’s house?

18. Rehoboam made the new shields out of ________.

19. When did the wrath of God turn from him?

20. How old was Rehoboam when he began to reign?

21. How long did he reign?

22. Why did Rehoboam do evil?

23. What world books contain more on Rehoboam’s life?

24. The wars were really what?

25. Where was he buried?

Verses 1-8

2Ch 12:1-8

2 Chronicles 12:1-8

REHOBOAM’S APOSTASY;

THE INVASION OF SHISHAK;

THE DEATH OF REHOBOAM;

GOD’S PUNISHMENT OF ISRAEL BY SHISHAK

"And it came to pass when the kingdom of Rehoboam was established, and he was strong, that he forsook the law of Jehovah, and all Israel with him. And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had trespassed against Jehovah, with twelve hundred chariots and threescore thousand horsemen. And the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt: the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the Ethiopians. And he took the fortified cities that pertained to Judah, and came unto Jerusalem.

Now Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith Jehovah, Ye have forsaken me, therefore have I also left you in the hands of Shishak. Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, Jehovah is righteous. And when Jehovah saw that they humbled themselves, the word of Jehovah came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves; I will not destroy them; but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless they shall be his servants, that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries."

"Because they had trespassed against Jehovah" (2 Chronicles 12:2). The aggressive war of Shishak against Jerusalem is here stated to have been brought about by God Himself because of Israel’s rebellion against God’s law. It is the conviction of this writer that God still rules in the kingdoms of men, and that no nation that turns its back upon God’s teachings can escape the eventual and certain judgment against them by Almighty God.

We live in a generation that appears no longer to believe this, despite the fact that all of the great leaders of America’s past believed it, as attested by George Washington’s kneeling in the snows at Valley Forge, a fact beautifully memorialized by Ward’s famous bronze plaque attached to the old Sub Treasury building of the United States across from the New York Stock Exchange building. Nevertheless, it still stands in the Eternal Word, "God rules in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever he will" (Daniel 4:25). In the words of Rudyard Kipling,

"LORD GOD OF HOSTS; BE WITH US YET,

LEST WE FORGET; LEST WE FORGET."

"That they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries" (2 Chronicles 12:8). This meant that Israel might find out the difference between serving God and serving Shishak! These verses are not parallel to Kings, but Shishak’s invasion is mentioned in 1 Kings 14:25-26.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 12:1. The period of Rehoboam’s strength as a righteous king was described in 2 Chronicles 11:17. It is again referred to in this verse, and the indications are that his greatness was misused. Instead of showing gratitude to God for his good fortune, he became vain and forsook the Lord.

2 Chronicles 12:2-4. It was a usual practice of God to punish his people by bringing some foreign nations against them. In the case of Rehoboam, the king of Egypt was suffered to come against Jerusalem with a large force of charioteers and other people. He took over the walled cities scattered over the territory of Judah, then went up even to the capital at Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 12:5. Again the Lord used a prophet to communicate to the people. Shemaiah came to Jerusalem to explain to Rehoboam and his leading men why they were suffering the humiliation of the Egyptian invasion. They were told plainly it was because they had forsaken God, therefore they were left in the hands of Shishak.

2 Chronicles 12:6. The message of the prophet was received with respect. The people became penitent and acknowledged the righteousness of God’s dealings with them.

2 Chronicles 12:7. The penitence of man is never overlooked by the Lord. However, he will not go to the other extreme and release the disobedient entirely from just punishment. In this case he promised not to be as severe as he had intended.

2 Chronicles 12:8. Experience is a good teacher, and in many cases will rivet the lesson on the mind more closely than theory. By being in subjection to the king of Egypt for a while, the people of Judah were to learn the difference between serving God, and serving the foreign countries.

Verses 9-12

2Ch 12:9-12

2 Chronicles 12:9-12

SHISHAK ROBS THE SACRED TREASURES OF ISRAEL

"So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of Jehovah, and the treasures of the king’s house; he took all away; he took away also the shields of gold that Solomon had made. And king Rehoboam made in their stead shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the captain of the guard, that kept the door of the king’s house. And it was so, that as off as the king entered into the house of Jehovah, the guard came and bare them, and brought them back into the guard-chamber. And when he humbled himself the wrath of Jehovah turned from him, so as not to destroy him altogether: moreover there was in Judah good things found."

Much of 1 Kings 14 is parallel with what we have here. Oddly enough, neither in Kings nor in Chronicles is it stated that Shishak captured Jerusalem; but either he actually did this, or Rehoboam was able to buy him off with all the treasures both of the temple and of the king’s house.

"And king Rehoboam made in their stead shields of brass" (2 Chronicles 12:10). (See 1 Kings commentary).

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 12:9-11. See the comments on 1 Kings 14:25-28 for explanation of this paragraph.

2 Chronicles 12:12. There were two facts that caused the Lord to become lenient at this time: one was humility of Rehoboam; the other was the existence of some good In Judah. In Judah things went well means that there was some good still left in Judah. So all in all, there was reason not to be too hard on the nation.

Verses 13-16

2Ch 12:13-16

2 Chronicles 12:13-16

CONCLUSION OF REHOBOAM’S EVIL REIGN

"So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which Jehovah had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there: and his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. And he did that which was evil, because he set not his heart to seek Jehovah.’

"Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the histories of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer, after the manner of genealogies? And there were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his stead."

"And he did that which was evil" (2 Chronicles 12:14). The Chronicler did not dwell unnecessarily upon the details of Rehoboam’s wickedness, but it was very great indeed. His wickedness exceeded anything that his fathers had done before him. The sodomites were brought into the land; the high places were built; and Israel even sinned beyond that of the ancient Canaanites who preceded Israel in Palestine. A fuller account of all this is in 1 Kings 14:21-24.

God had forbidden the Israelites to intermarry with foreigners; but Rehoboam’s mother was an Ammonitess.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 12:13-14. This is a general summing up of the life of Rehoboam, covering the short period of his good rule, and the rest of the period when he forsook God.

2 Chronicles 12:15. There were books written by various persons that are not included in our Bible. They were not inspired in all cases, but were good histories. Those who wished more details than were given in the Biblical account could consult the said books. Rehoboam and Jeroboam started their reigns at the same time, and as long as both lived they were in a state of war with each other.

2 Chronicles 12:16. Slept with his fathers is explained at 1 Kings 2:10.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Chronicles 12". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/2-chronicles-12.html.
 
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