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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 19

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

Second Chronicles Chapter 19

2 Chronicles 19:1 "And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem."

This is speaking of the fact that Jehoshaphat did not continue the battle with the Syrians. He came back home, after the death of Ahab. It was, probably, an encouragement to the people to know that Jehoshaphat was not killed with Ahab.

2 Chronicles 19:2 "And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore [is] wrath upon thee from before the LORD."

God’s anger is not at what Jehoshaphat had done personally, but that he would help someone as wicked as Ahab. God did not like Jehoshaphat fellowshipping with Ahab. The Bible warns about fellowshipping with those of unbelief. This, as far as God was concerned, was telling the world that he was opposed to God, because his friend Ahab opposed God. Jehu was a seer of God, the son of Hanani.

2 Chronicles 19:3 "Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God."

God had greatly blessed Jehoshaphat, because he had destroyed the idols in his own land, and tried to get people back into the study of the law of God. He was a man after God’s own heart. He had just made a very bad choice of friends.

2 Chronicles 19:4 "And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beer-sheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the LORD God of their fathers."

It appears, that Jehoshaphat saw the error in what he had done. He went back out into his land from city to city trying to get the people back into fellowship with God. He was doing everything he could to cause his land to conform to the ways of God. He did not have anything bad to say to Jehu, because he knew it was true. He took the advice of the seer and began his change immediately.

2 Chronicles 19:5 "And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city,"

These judges were to judge within the law of God. It was not just in Jerusalem, but throughout the entire land that he set the judges.

2 Chronicles 19:6 "And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who [is] with you in the judgment."

This is a reminder to the judges that there judgment had better be just, because there was a Judge who would, also, judge them righteously in the end. They shpuld keep in mind the wishes of God, as they judged.

2 Chronicles 19:7 "Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do [it]: for [there is] no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts."

We see that Jehoshaphat was trying to see that his kingdom was ruled by the law of God. He did not want anyone who took bribes or was persuaded because of a person. The judgment of the land should be just and fair. God is not a respecter of persons, and neither should these judges be. They should judge as a servant of the LORD in truth and righteousness.

2 Chronicles 19:8 "Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and [of] the priests, and of the chief of the fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD, and for controversies, when they returned to Jerusalem."

The tribunal was re-established with the Levites as the head of it. What we would call the supreme court was in Jerusalem, and was judged by this group of men, who were called of God for this job. This was comprised of several men like a jury in a court today would be. There were elders of the various families that sat on these juries, but the Levite in charge was like the judge. The Levites interpreted the law of the LORD in these cases.

2 Chronicles 19:9 "And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart."

They were in the service of the LORD, as well as being in service to their community. God warned over and over in His Word that these men must be fair and just in all of their decisions. They must be guided by the law of God. They would have to answer to God for the decisions they made.

2 Chronicles 19:10 "And what cause soever shall come to you of your brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and judgments, ye shall even warn them that they trespass not against the LORD, and [so] wrath come upon you, and upon your brethren: this do, and ye shall not trespass."

These judges had a grave responsibility to be fair in their judgments. In the 17th chapter of Deuteronomy, we read of this very thing. Deuteronomy 17:8 "If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, [being] matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the LORD thy God shall choose;" Deuteronomy 17:9 "And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and inquire; and they shall show thee the sentence of judgment:" Deuteronomy 17:10 "And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee:" Deuteronomy 17:11 "According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, [to] the right hand, nor [to] the left."

2 Chronicles 19:11 "And, behold, Amariah the chief priest [is] over you in all matters of the LORD; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, for all the king’s matters: also the Levites [shall be] officers before you. Deal courageously, and the LORD shall be with the good."

This leaves no doubt at all who had the final word. The chief priest, Amariah, was the last and final say on a matter. The others, here, are under his command. Whoever was judged had to comply with whatever judgment they brought down. It was the law of the land, but it was taken from God’s law.

2 Chronicles 19 Questions

1. Where did Jehoshaphat go after, the death of Ahab?

2. What is meant by the peace in 2 Chronicles 19:1?

3. What was an encouragement to the people?

4. Who came to meet him?

5. What question did he ask Jehoshaphat?

6. Why was God angry with Jehoshaphat?

7. The Bible warns about _________________ with those of unbelief.

8. In 2 Chronicles 19:3, what nice things did the seer say to Jehoshaphat?

9. What had he done that was good, that was not mentioned in 2 Chronicles 19:3?

10. Why did he go throughout the land?

11. What did Jehoshaphat do to the seer?

12. Where did he set up judges?

13. How were they to judge?

14. Who do the judges judge for?

15. Why was it so important for them to be just in their judgment?

16. In 2 Chronicles 19:7, what did he caution them to do?

17. They must judge as servants of the LORD in __________ and _____________.

18. In 2 Chronicles 19:8, we read of the ___________ being reestablished?

19. Who was the head of it?

20. What is this tribunal like today?

21. They were in the service of the _________.

22. Where do we read more instructions on how they are to judge?

23. Who was the chief priest at this time?

24. Who were the officers?

25. Who was the final say in the judgments?

Verses 1-3

2Ch 19:1-3

2 Chronicles 19:1-3

REBUKED BY THE PROPHET; JEHOSHAPHAT DOES BETTER;

JEHU THE SEER REBUKES JEHOSHAPHAT

"And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace in Jerusalem. And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the wicked, and love them that hate Jehovah? for this thing wrath is upon thee from before Jehovah. Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast put away the Asheroth out of the land, and hast set thy heart to seek God."

In the appraisal of Jehoshaphat’s reign, it was, in a general sense, approved, despite the serious, even sinful, mistakes, one of which was that marriage with the daughter of Ahab which he arranged for his heir and successor to the throne.

Also, note that nothing is said here about the removal of the high places, despite the fact that 2 Chronicles 17:6 states that he took away the high places, indicating that the citizens had, in the meanwhile, rebuilt them. This was done many times in the history of Judah.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 19:1. Ahab was a wicked man and deserved being defeated in the battle with the Syrians. Jehoshaphat was unwise to become an ally of such a sinful person, yet he was a good man and the Lord favored him. After the conflict with the Syrians he was permitted to return in peace to hi: own capital in Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 19:2. Wrath is from a word other-wise translated anger or rage. There was no special action threatened against Jehoshaphat, neither wilt anything of the kind come to him. The prophet Jehu was sent to him to give him a "scolding" for his folly in associating with such a wicked man as Ahab, a man who hated the Lord. However, since the alliance had not actually injured the cause of God in Judah, this rebuke was the worst that was done to him.

2 Chronicles 19:3. The good traits of Jehoshaphat were acknowledged, and he was given credit for having a right kind of heart.

Verses 4-7

2Ch 19:4-7

2 Chronicles 19:4-7

JEHOSHAPHAT AGAIN STRESSES THE LAW OF GOD

"And Jehoshaphat dwelt in Jerusalem: and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill-country of Ephraim, and brought them back unto Jehovah, the God of their fathers. And he set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, Consider what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for Jehovah; and he is with you in the judgment. Now therefore let the fear of Jehovah be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with Jehovah our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of bribes."

By his placement of this paragraph, the Chronicler intends for us to understand that Jehoshaphat had been sternly warned by the Lord at Ramoth-gilead, and that, for the time present at least, he did an about-face, attempting to bring all the people back to the proper worship and obedience of God. It is highly commendable that the king himself set a good example in this.

It must have come as a severe shock to him that his evil friend Ahab had received a mortal blow from the God he despised, and that only the intervention of God had saved Jehoshaphat himself from a similar fate.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 19:4. Jerusalem was the dwelling place of this righteous king. But he was not content to sit down idly and see the people drift away from God. He brought them back means he turned their interests and conduct toward the Lord. It was similar in principle to the work of John the Baptist as predicted in Malachi 4:6.

2 Chronicles 19:5. City by city is another way of saying that Jehoshaphat located a judge in each of the fenced or walled cities throughout the territory previously named.

2 Chronicles 19:6. God was blessing the reign of Jehoshaphat. The institutions, therefore, that he put into force would receive the divine favor. That is why he told these men that they would be judging for the Lord.

2 Chronicles 19:7. The kind of fear the judges were to have was respect or regard for the Lord. He would not be partial nor selfish in his judgments, neither would he tolerate such work if performed by the men whom he had appointed (through Jehoshaphat) to handle the causes of the people.

Verses 8-11

2Ch 19:8-11

2 Chronicles 19:8-11

HIS RIGHTEOUS INSTRUCTIONS FOR PRIESTS; LEVITES

"Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites and the priests, and of the heads of the fathers’ houses of Israel, for the judgment of Jehovah, and for controversies. And they returned to Jerusalem. And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of Jehovah, faithfully, and with a perfect heart. And whensoever any controversy shall come to you from your brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes, and ordinances, ye shall warn them that they be not guilty toward Jehovah, and so wrath come upon you and upon your brethren: this do, and ye shall not be guilty. And, behold, Amariah the chief priest in all matters of Jehovah; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, in all the king’s matters: also the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and Jehovah be with the good."

This chapter makes it clear that too close association with evil people is a fearful danger to Christian people. It is not that we should not love "all men," even as our Father in heaven; but cooperative alliances with wicked partners can easily prove to be an unqualified disaster, as was Jehoshaphat’s alliance with Ahab. The danger comes from all directions. The evil partner himself is a threat, as when Ahab disguised himself, almost causing the death of Jehoshaphat; furthermore, the wrath of God can be incurred through our cooperative aid of wicked men.

This careful reorganization of the judiciary and the discrimination between religious matters and the king’s matters was an evident improvement over previous practices in Jerusalem.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 19:8. Set is used in the sense of appoint, and these Levitical men were to advise the people. Judgment of the Lord pertained to the judgment they were to render regarding the Lord’s matters. See Leviticus 10:11, Deuteronomy 17:9, Malachi 2:7. Controversies would refer to subjects under the law where personal interests between men were in dispute. When they returned to Jerusalem is said with reference to the time following the experience with the Syrians. See the first verse of this chapter.

2 Chronicles 19:9. Many of the words in this verse are for emphasis mainly. The significant one is fear, which means the respect due unto the Lord.

2 Chronicles 19:10. Almost every word used regarding the institutions of God could be used interchangeably, because the difference in meaning is slight or technical. Yet there is a distinction to be observed or else they would not be grouped as they are. Blood and blood refers to the items where the shedding of blood was in dispute. That is, where the question of murder was under examination, or where capital punishment would be the penalty were the person being investigated found guilty of the sin charged against him. Statutes are the formal or set enactments of God, and judgments are the divine conclusions on emergencies that would come up .in the dealings between man and man. This do and ye shall not trespass means that if these judges would do the things just required of them, they would not be guilty of trespass.

2 Chronicles 19:11. Amariah was chief priest which was the same as high priest. He was the most dignified official in the Mosaic system, hence it is said here that he was over the people in matters of the Lord. It might be asked whether all matters were not a concern of the Lord; they are, in a general sense. But the matters in which the high priest officiated were specifically such because they took him into the most holy place in the temple. Zebadiah was ruler, or had charge of the things in the palace of the king. That is, what the high priest was to the house of the Lord, Zebadiah was to the house of the king. The Levites refers to the work of that tribe as a whole, and they were to operate in connection with these other men. Deal courageously was an exhortation for them to be brave and firm in their service to the Lord, and they had the promise that they would be blessed for it.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Chronicles 19". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/2-chronicles-19.html.
 
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