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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

2 Chronicles 19

Verses 1-3

2 Chronicles 19:1

Second Chronicles - Chapter 19

Author’s Note: The events recorded by Jehoshaphat’s reign ,in Judah as related here in Second Chronicles, chapter 10 and 20, are not found in the Kings account. They are discussed here [in the 1st edition Hardbound Commentary] in their chronologically consecutive position.

Jehoshaphat Rebuked - Verses 1-3

As Jehoshaphat was returning from his defeat in battle, along with Ahab, king of Israel, at Ramoth-gilead, God was sending His rebuke by His prophet. Several things may be concluded from the account: 1) Jehoshaphat was returning in peace, the Syrian king did not follow up his victory by an attack on Judah; 2) the Lord was displeased with Jehoshaphat’s participation in the affair; 3) Jehoshaphat seems to have demonstrated that David-like quality of repentance when he was shown to be in the wrong.

The prophet had evidently been around for a long time, bearing the Lord’s message. !t was Jehu who some twenty years earlier had denounced Baasha, the wicked successor of Jeroboam (1 Kings 16:1; 1 Kings 16:7). His message to Jehoshaphat began with a question calculated to make the king do some serious soul-searching. The moral question of Jehoshaphat’s involvement with Ahab has already been examined in this commentary. The Lord emphasized the impropriety of helping the ungodly and loving those who hate the Lord. For this the Lord was angry with Jehoshaphat. However, He would continue His blessing on the king of Judah because of his moral reformation in his kingdom, and because it was the intent of his heart to serve God.

Verses 4-11

2 Chronicles 19:4

Judges Instructed - Verses 4-11

Putting his mistake behind him Jehoshaphat now resumed his moral regeneration of the land. His program reached every part of the kingdom, from Beer-sheba in the far south to Mount Ephraim, north of Benjamin, the areas taken from the northern kingdom in the successful wars of Abijah and Asa. In every city of consequence he set judges, with the reminder that the judgment they passed was to be God’s judgment, not their own. They were to judge with the fear of God in their hearts, in which case He would be with them in their sentence. They were to show no respect of person in their judgment nor take any gift, or bribe, from those arraigned.

In the city of Jerusalem Jehoshaphat established what seems to have been a system of appellate courts. It was composed of judges from among the Levites, priests, and chief men of Israel. Theirs was a court of final appeal, the ultimate judgment of the Lord, in which they were to reach their decisions with a perfect heart. The cases they hear were to be of both criminal (blood) and civil (law and commandment, etc.) nature.

The judges were also to act as a forceful deterrent to crime and violation. Included in their duties was the sounding of warning to the people concerning the penalties which would fall upon them for disobedience to the law of the Lord. It was a grave responsibility, for the Lord would judge the guilty in any event and the judge also who failed in his duties. The chief judges, next to the king himself, were the chief priest Amariah and the prince of Judah, Zebadiah. In keeping with their official obligations from the time of Moses, all the Levites were to be teachers, and from among them the judges would select their officers to serve on their staff. They were promised, "Deal courageously, and the Lord shall be with the good."

Some lessons: 1) God’s rebuke awaits those who promiscuously act contrary to His known will; 2) the goodness of the Lord is evident toward all who repent of their wrong and seek Him again; 3) though one may fail the Lord once he should renew his efforts to please Him thereafter; 4) judges are for the good and welfare of a land, which is godly and right; therefore they are instruments for the Lord, performing a very serious obligation.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 19". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/2-chronicles-19.html. 1985.