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The account of Jehoshaphat’s reign extends on to the beginning of chapter 21, being much more fully written here than in the Book of Kings. The kingdom of Judah prospered more under his reign than under that of any other king, and the chronicler seems to take delight in recording the numerous measures for the welfare of the realm which evince the caution, prudence, wisdom, enterprise, and piety of this distinguished son of Asa.
1. Strengthened himself against Israel Asa had shown a fear of Israel, and rather than venture war had hired the help of Ben-hadad, (2 Chronicles 16:1-3;) but his son Jehoshaphat prepared at the beginning of his reign to withstand opposition from his northern neighbour. Rawlinson also suggests that a reason for Jehoshaphat’s strengthening himself against Israel may have been the alliance which Ahab had then recently formed with the king of Zidon by marriage with his daughter Jezebel. 1 Kings 16:31.
2. Cities of Ephraim, which Asa… had taken Compare the note on 2 Chronicles 15:8.
3. The first ways of his father David The first or earlier ways of David are contrasted with his later ways “in the matter of Uriah,” and his sin in numbering the people. The Septuagint omits the word David, and some have therefore thought it an interpolation, and understand the earlier ways of Asa to be intended.
4. Not after the doings of Israel Such as the worship of the golden calves, and more particularly the Baal and Asherah worship, which was at that time gaining strength in the northern kingdom.
6. His heart was lifted up That is, exalted with holy faith and courage.
Took away the high places Yet, in spite of all his efforts and successes in this matter, the people had become so addicted to these practices that their destruction was not thoroughly secured. See note on 2 Chronicles 14:3, and compare 2 Chronicles 20:33.
7. He sent to his princes… to teach He committed the matter of teaching to their oversight and care, and the teaching was done by the Levites and priests, as stated in the next verse. He did well to put down idolatry, but he was wise enough to know that unless the people were instructed, they would soon apostatize again.
9. The book of the law Our Pentateuch, in substantially its present form. “Copies of the whole law were, no doubt, scarce; and therefore Jehoshaphat’s commission took care to carry a copy with them.” Rawlinson.
14. Three hundred thousand The numbers in this verse and the four verses following are generally regarded as corrupt. “They imply,” observes the writer last quoted, “a minimum population of 1480 to the square mile, which is more than three times greater than that of any country in the known world. It is probable that the original numbers have been lost, and the loss supplied by a scribe who took 2 Chronicles 14:8, as his basis.”
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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany