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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
2 Chronicles 12

 

 

Verse 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.

When Rehoboam ... had strengthened himself - (see the note at 2 Chronicles 11:17.) During the first three years of his reign his royal influence was exerted in the encouragement of the true religion, but the faithful observance of the divine law was not permanent even in Judah. Security and ease led to religious decline, which in the fourth year, ended in open apostasy. The example of the court was speedily followed by his subjects, because 'all Israel was with him' - i:e., the people in his own kingdom. The very next year-namely, the fifth of his reign-punishment was inflicted by the in vasion of Shishak.


Verse 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,

Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He was the first king of the 22nd or Bubastic dynasty, which, after the of Thebes from the proud position of capital of Egypt, 990 BC, succeeded to the sovereignty the whole country. What was the immediate cause of this invasion? Whether it was in resentment for some prevention from the king of Judah, or in pursuance of ambitious views of conquest, not said. But the invading army was a vast horde, because Shishak brought along with his native Egyptians an immense number of foreign auxiliaries.


Verse 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.

The Lubims - the Libyans of northeastern Africa.

The Sukkiims. Some think these were the Scenite Arabs, dwellers in tents, but others maintain more justly that these were Arab-Troglodytes, who inhabited the caverns of a mountain range on the western coast of the Red Sea.

The Ethiopians - from the regions south of Egypt. By the overwhelming force of numbers they took the fortresses of Judah which had been recently put in a state of defense, and marched to lay siege to the capital. While Shishak and his army were before Jerusalem, the prophet Shemaiah addressed Rehoboam and the princes, tracing this calamity to the national apostasy, and threatening them with utter destruction, in consequence of having forsaken God (2 Chronicles 12:6).


Verse 4-5

And he took the fenced cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 6

Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The LORD is righteous.

The princes of Israel - (cf. 2 Chronicles 12:5, "the princes of Judah.")


Verse 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.

When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves. Their repentance and contrition were followed by the best effects; because Shemaiah was commissioned to announce that the vial of divine judgment would not be fully poured out on them-that the entire overthrow of the kingdom of Judah would not take place at that time, nor through the agency of Shishak; at yet, although it should enjoy a respite from total subversion, it should become a tributary province of Egypt, in order that the people might learn how much lighter and better is the service of God than that of idolatrous foreign despots.


Verse 8

Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 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.

So Shishak ... came up against Jerusalem. After the parenthetical clause (2 Chronicles 12:5-8) describing the feelings and state of the beleaguered court, the historian resumes his narrative of the attack upon Jerusalem, and the consequent pillage both of the temple and the palace.

He took all - i:e., everything valuable he found. The cost of the targets and shields has been estimated at about, 239,000 British pounds sterling (Napier's 'Ancient Workers in Metal,' p. 114.)

The shields of gold - made by Solomon, were kept in the house of the forest of Lebanon (2 Chronicles 12:9-16). They seem to have been borne, like maces, by the owners or guard of the palace, when, they attended the king to the temple or on other public processions. Those splendid insignia having been plundered by the Egyptian conqueror, others were made of inferior metal, and kept in the guard-room of the palace, to be ready for use, as, notwithstanding the tarnished glory of the court, the old state etiquette was kept up on public and solemn occasions. An account of this conquest of Judah, with the name of 'king of Judah' in the cartouche of the principal captive, according to the interpreters, is carved and written in hieroglyphics on the walls of the temple of Karnak, where it may be seen at the present day, by the side of the records of the great Rameses' conquests (see 'Egyptian Court at Sydenham Palace,' p. 62). This sculpture is about 2,700 years old, and is of special interest, as a striking testimony from Egypt to the truth of Scripture history.


Verse 10-11

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.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 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.

When he humbled himself, the wrath of the Lord turned from him. The promise contained in 2 Chronicles 12:7 was verified. Divine Providence preserved the kingdom in existence, as reformation was made in the court, while true religion and piety warn diffused throughout the land.


Verse 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.

Rehoboam strengthened himself ... and reigned. The Egyptian invasion had been a mere predatory expedition, not extending beyond the limits of Judah and probably, ere long, repelled by the invaded. Rehoboam's government acquired new life and vigour by the general revival of true religion, and his rein continued many years after the departure of Shishak. But "he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord" - i:e., he did not adhere firmly to the good course of reformation he had begun.


Verse 14

And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.

And he did evil - for through the unhappy influence of his mother, a pagan foreigner, he had received in his youth a strong bias toward idolatry (see the notes at 1 Kings 14:21-24).

 


Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 12:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-chronicles-12.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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