Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, July 13th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 19

Coke's Commentary on the Holy BibleCoke's Commentary

Verse 2

2 Chronicles 19:2. Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord Therefore was the wrath of the Lord upon thee; i.e. in the late battle, from which he had fled. Houbigant.

Verse 6

2 Chronicles 19:6. Who is with you in the judgment And the judgment shall be determined by your words. Houbigant. The Targum renders the verse thus: "Take heed what you do; for you do not judge before the sons of men, but before the word of the Lord; and his glorious presence presides among you in the act of judgment." It is a remarkable saying of Cicero, That judges, being sworn to do justice, should remember, when they come to pass sentence, Deum habere testem, id est, ut ego arbitror, mentem suam, qua nihil homini dedit ipse Deus divinius. De Offic. l. iii. c. 13., where he has left us this excellent instruction, that a man must lay aside the person of a friend, when he puts on the person of a judge. See also Hesiod de Oper. et Diebus, line 246.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, Imminent was the danger that Jehoshaphat had escaped; yet, through mercy, he arrives at his house in peace, while Ahab was left dead at Samaria. Note; Providential escapes from danger deserve to be deeply and gratefully remembered. But, though God suffered him not to fall in the battle, he goes not without a just rebuke for his folly.

1. Jehu the son of Hanani is sent, nor fears to deliver his message, though his father's sufferings, chap. 2Ch 16:10 admonished him of his danger. He expostulates with him on the evil of his conduct: ought such a man as he to help an idolater and persecutor, or join in affinity and friendship with such a hater of God as Ahab? He threatens him, therefore, with the displeasure of God. War was his choice, and war he should have; and that Jehoram, whom he matched so wickedly, should prove a deadly scourge to his family. But, as there were good things found in him, and his heart was sound with God, he is not finally cast off, or rejected. Note; (1.) We must never make those our friends who are the enemies of God. (2.) Every disobedient sinner is, at bottom, a hater of God. (3.) God's wrath respecting the eternal consequences of sin may be removed, when, for our correction, our present sufferings may be grievous. (4.) God is not unrighteous, to forget the works of faith, and labours of love.

2. The rebuke was received with silence, and the effect of it gracious. He no more visited his idolatrous neighbours, but stayed at home to mind his own concerns: and, as he had been told by the prophet, that God approved of what he had done for the reformation of the people, he sought to carry it on still by a progress through his dominions, to engage them to seek the God of their fathers, and to bring back those who had departed from him, perhaps emboldened by seeing his connection with Ahab. Note; (1.) A good man esteems rebuke the most friendly office. (2.) When we have, though undesignedly, encouraged others to do evil, we cannot but be solicitous to recover them from the error of their ways. (3.) The commendations of good men should quicken us to greater zeal and diligence in the cause of God.

2nd, To continue the people in the careful observance of the divine ordinances, and to provide for the equitable administration of justice,
1. Jehoshaphat placed judges in every city, with a solemn injunction to take heed to the diligent discharge of their office, with all circumspection and impartiality; and especially to have the fear of God upon their minds, the great preservative from all injustice. And this he urges, because they acted as God's vicegerents; and would be directed by him, if they looked up to him, or be detected if they judged iniquitously: and, as no bribe, or respect of persons, found place before him, they must shew no favour, nor receive gifts. Note; The impartial distribution of justice is among the greatest blessings that a nation can enjoy.

2. He established a supreme court of judicature at Jerusalem, on his return from the progress that he had made. It consisted of priests and Levites, as most skilled in the law; and the chief fathers, that is, those most distinguished for their station, men of age and experience; with inferior officers, who saw the sentence executed, under the high-priest, as president in ecclesiastical causes, and Zebadiah in the matters of civil government. To this court all cases of murder and manslaughter were referred, and appeals made from the inferior judges in difficult cases of controversy, where the law seemed dubious. Jehoshaphat enjoins them to act faithfully and conscientiously, as men fearing God, and judging righteously. They must warn the people of the great evil of sin in general; of the danger of false witness, and of stubborn disobedience against the law; and, undismayed by any man's greatness, impartially administer justice; that so they might deliver their own souls, and not trespass against God: the issue of which upright conduct would be, God's blessing upon them. Note; (1.) Ability and integrity are essential qualities of a good judge. (2.) Magistrates are chargeable with the crimes which they either connive at, or neglect to punish. (3.) They who have courage to act for God, will find his support and blessing carrying them through every danger.

Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 19". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/2-chronicles-19.html. 1801-1803.
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