2 Chronicles 19

CHAPTER XIX

Jehoshaphat, on his return from Ramoth-gilead, is met by the

prophet Jehu, and reproved, 1-3.

He makes a farther reformation in the land, establishing courts

of justice, and giving solemn and pertinent directions to the

judges, Levites, &c., to do judgement and justice among the

people, in the fear of God, 4-11.

NOTES ON CHAP. XIX

Verse 1. Returned to his house in peace] That is, in safety,

notwithstanding he had been exposed to a danger so imminent, from

which only the especial mercy of God could have saved him.

Verse 2. Jehu the son of Hanani] We have met with this prophet

before; See Clarke on 1Ki 16:7.

Therefore is wrath upon thee] That is, Thou deservest to be

punished. And who can doubt this, who knows that he did help the

ungodly, and did love them that hated Jehovah? And is not the

wrath of God upon all those alliances which his people form with

the ungodly, whether they be social, matrimonial, commercial, or

political?

Verse 4. From Beer-sheba to Mount Ephraim] Before the separation

of the ten tribes, in speaking of the extent of the land it was

said, From Dan to Beer-sheba; but since that event, the kingdom of

Judah was bounded on the south by Beer-sheba, and on the north by

the mountains of Ephraim. This shows that Jehoshaphat had gone

through all his territories to examine every thing himself, to see

that judgment and justice were properly administered among the

people.

Verse 6. Take heed what ye do] A very solemn and very necessary

caution; judges should feel themselves in the place of God, and

judge as those who know they shall be judged for their judgments.

Verse 8. And for controversies, when they returned to

Jerusalem.] Who were they that returned to Jerusalem? Some

suppose that it means Jehoshaphat and his courtiers, who returned

to Jerusalem after the expedition mentioned 2Ch 19:4: but if this

were so, or if the text spoke of any person returning to

Jerusalem, would not lirushalem, TO Jerusalem, and not

the simple word Yerushalem, without the preposition, be

used?

Learned men have supposed, with great plausibility, that the

word vaiyashubu, "and they returned," should be written

yoshebey, "the inhabitants," and that the words should be

read, And for the controversies of the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

That this was the original reading is very probable from its

vestiges in the Vulgate, habitatoribus ejus, "its INHABITANTS;"

and in the Septuagint it is found totidem verbis, καικρινειντους

κατοικουνταςενιερουσαλημ, And to judge the inhabitants of

Jerusalem.

There is a clause in 2Ch 34:9 where we have a similar mistake

in our version: And they returned to Jerusalem, where

the false keri, or marginal note, directs it, in opposition to

common sense and ALL the versions, to be read and they

returned, which our translation has unhappily followed.

Verse 10. Between blood and blood] Cases of man-slaughter or

accidental murder, or cases of consanguinity, the settlement of

inheritance, family claims, &c.

Between law and commandment] Whatsoever concerns the moral

precepts, rites, and ceremonies, of the law, or whatsoever belongs

to civil affairs.

Verse 11. Behold, Amariah] Here was a two-fold jurisdiction,

ecclesiastical and civil: in the ecclesiastical court, Amariah

the high-priest was supreme judge, in the civil court, Zebadiah

was supreme. To assist both the Levites were a sort of

counsellors.

WITHOUT good and wholesome laws, no nation can be prosperous:

and vain are the best laws if they be not judiciously and

conscientiously administered. The things of GOD and the things

of the KING should never be confounded in the administration of

justice. Amariah the priest, and Zebadiah the ruler, should ever

have their distinct places of jurisdiction.

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