2 Chronicles 15

CHAPTER XV

Azariah's prophecy concerning Israel, and his exhortation to

Asa, 1-7.

Asa completes the reformation which he had begun, his kingdom

is greatly strengthened, and all to people make a solemn

covenant with the Lord, 8-15.

His treatment of his mother Maachah, 16.

He brings into the house of God the things that has father had

dedicated, 17, 18.

And he has no war till the thirty-fifth year of his reign, 19.

NOTES ON CHAP. XV

Verse 1. Azariah the son of Oded] We know nothing of this

prophet but what is related of him here.

Verse 2. The Lord is with you, while ye be with him] This is the

settled and eternal purpose of God; to them who seek him he will

ever be found propitious, and them alone will he abandon who

forsake him. In this verse the unconditional perseverance of the

saints has no place: a doctrine which was first the ruin of the

human race, Ye shall not die; and ever since the fall, has been

the plague and disgrace of the Church of Christ. The Targum is

curious: "Hearken to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The WORD

of the Lord shall be your helper, while ye walk in his ways. If ye

seek doctrine from his presence he will be found of you in times

of trouble; but if you cast away his fear, he will abandon you."

Verse 3. Now for a long season Israel] "Israel hath followed

Jeroboam, and they have not worshipped the true God. They have

burnt incense to their golden calves; their priestlings [

cumeraiya, their black, sooty sacrificers] have burnt perfumes

with a strange worship, and have not exercised themselves in the

law."-Targum. These priests could not teach, because they had not

learnt; and as they had abandoned the law of the Lord,

consequently they had no proper matter for instruction.

There is a great diversity of opinions concerning the meaning of

this text. Some consider it a prophecy relative to the future

state of this people, and the final destruction of the Jews as to

their political existence: others consider it as referring to the

state of the people under the reigns of Rehoboam and Abijah, which

were happily changed under that of Asa; and this appears to me to

be the most natural sense of the words.

Verse 5. But great vexations] Does not our Lord allude to this

and the following verse in Mt 24:6, 7, 9, 13?

Verse 8. Renewed the altar] Dedicated it afresh, or perhaps

enlarged it, that more sacrifices might be offered on it than

ever before; for it cannot be supposed that this altar had no

victims offered on it till the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa,

who had previously been so zealous in restoring the Divine

worship.

Verse 9. And the strangers] Many out of the different tribes,

particularly out of Simeon, Ephraim, and Manasseh, having

reflected that the Divine blessing was promised to the house of

David, and finding the government of Jeroboam founded in idolatry,

would naturally, through a spirit of piety, leave their own

country, and go where they might enjoy the worship of the true

God.

Verse 10. The third month] At the feast of pentecost which was

held on the third month.

Verse 11. The spoil which they had brought] The spoil which they

had taken from Zerah and his auxiliaries, 2Ch 14:14, 15.

Verse 12. They entered into a covenant] The covenant consisted

of two parts: 1. We will seek the God of our fathers with all our

heart, and with all our soul. 2. Whosoever, great or small, man or

woman, will not worship the true God, and serve him alone, shall

be put to death. Thus no toleration was given to idolatry, so that

it must be rooted out: and that this covenant might be properly

binding, they confirmed it with an oath; and God accepted them

and their services.

Verse 16. Concerning Maachah] See the matter fully explained in

Clarke's note on "1Ki 15:13".

The Jews imagine that Maachah repented, and her name became

changed into Michaiah, daughter of Uriel of Gibeah; and that this

was done that there might be no mention of her former name, lest

it should be a reproach to her: but we have already seen another

gloss on this name. See on 2Ch 11:20.

Verse 17. The high places were not taken away] He had totally

suppressed or destroyed the idolatry; but some of the places,

buildings, or altars, he permitted to remain.

Verse 18. The things that his father had dedicated] As it was a

custom to dedicate a part of the spoils taken from an enemy to the

service and honour of God, it is natural to suppose that Abijah,

having so signally overthrown Jeroboam, (2Ch 13:15-19,) had

dedicated a part of the spoils to the Lord; but they had not been

brought into the temple till this time.

Silver, and gold, and vessels.] The word kelim, which we

translate vessels, signifies instruments, utensils, ornaments, &c.

Verse 19. The five and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa]

Archbishop Usher thinks that this should be counted from the

separation of the kingdom, and that this fell on the fifteenth

year of Asa's reign. To settle in every respect these chronologies

is a most difficult undertaking; and the difficulty does not

belong to the sacred books alone, all other chronological tables

of all the nations in the world, are in the same predicament. With

those of our own history I have often been puzzled, even while I

had access to all the archives of the nation. Probably we should

read here the five and twentieth year. See the margin, and

See Clarke on 1Ki 15:16.

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