are written in the story of the prophet Iddo; who might write the history of his own times; see 1 Kings 15:7.
INTRODUCTION TO 2 Chronicles 14
This chapter relates the death of Abijah, and the succession of Asa in his stead, 2 Chronicles 14:1, gives a good character of the latter for his reformation in religion, and for the care he took for the safety and protection of his subjects, 2 Chronicles 14:2, and an account is given of a large army of Ethiopians that came against him, over whom he crying to the Lord, and trusting in him, by his help obtained a complete victory, 2 Chronicles 14:9.
and Asa his son reigned in his stead; in his days the land was quiet ten years; the Targum is, the land of Israel; but much better the Septuagint, the land of Judah; these ten years, in which it had rest from war, were the first three years of Asa's reign, and the first seven of Baasha's, according to Jarchi, and which seems right; after which there was war between them all their days, see 1 Kings 15:32.
and the high places; built for idols; for as for those on which the true God was worshipped, they were not removed in his days, 1 Kings 15:14.
and brake down the images: or statues, or pillars, erected to the honour of idols, and on which the images of them were placed:
and cut down the groves; in the midst of which they stood.
and to do the law and the commandment: to observe all the laws of God, moral, ceremonial, and civil.
and the kingdom was quiet before him; he had no foreign enemy to molest him, and so took that opportunity to reform divine worship, and in that he met with no opposition from his people.
for the land had rest; according to the Targum, the land of Israel rested, and gave no disturbance to the kingdom of Judah, not having recovered the blow given them by Abijah; but it is rather to be understood of the land of Judah, which, as it did not attempt the reduction of the ten tribes, so it was neither attacked by them, nor any other enemy: and he had no war in those years; in the ten years mentioned, 2 Chronicles 14:1, neither with Israel nor any other nation: because the Lord had given him rest; that he might be at leisure to do the above things; all rest is from the Lord, civil, spiritual, and eternal.
let us build these cities; which he, no doubt, particularly mentioned by name, and pointed at; that is, repair and fortify them, and put them into a better condition of defence:
and make about them walls and towers, gates and bars; which are always made to fortified places, to protect the inhabitants, and keep out an enemy:
while the land is yet before us; in our power, no enemy in it, nor any to hinder or molest:
because we have sought the Lord our God, we have sought him, and he hath given us rest on every side; had set up his pure worship, reformed abuses in it, and removed idolatry from it, and closely attended to the service of the sanctuary, which was well pleasing to God; the happy effect of which they experienced, rest from all their enemies round about them:
so that they built, and prospered; they began, and went on, and finished, there being nothing to hinder them.
and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and fourscore thousand; these had also a lesser sort of shields, to defend their bodies, and bows and arrows, to annoy an enemy at a distance:
all these were mighty men of valour; able bodied men, valiant and courageous; perhaps Asa gathered these together, on hearing that the Ethiopians were preparing to attack him, as follows.
and came unto Mareshah; a city in the tribe of Judah, on the borders of it, 2 Chronicles 11:8.
(b) Antiqu. l. 8. c. 12. sect. 1.((c) Odyss. 1. ver. 23, 24. (d) Polymnia, sive, l. 7. c. 69, 70. (e) Ethiopic. l. 9. c. 6. (f) Laonic. Chalcocond. de rebus Turc. l. 3. p. 98, 102.
and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah; where the Ethiopians were; he did not stay till they got further into his country, but marched against them when on the frontiers of it, and chose the valley to pitch in, as being more to the advantage of his smaller army; see Judges 1:17.
and said, Lord, it is nothing with thee to help; nothing can hinder from helping, his power being superior to all others, and even infinite, and none besides him could:
whether with many, or with them that have no power; numbers make no difference with him, nor the condition they are in; whether numerous and mighty, or few and feeble; he can as easily help the one as the other, see 1 Samuel 14:6,
help us, O Lord our God; who are few and weak in comparison of the enemy:
for we rest on thee; trust in thee, and rely upon thee for help; the Targum is,"on thy Word we lean:"
and in thy name we go against this multitude; expressing faith in him, expecting help from him, encouraging and strengthening themselves in him, going forth not in their own name and strength, but in his; the Targum is,"in the name of the Word of the Lord:"
O Lord, thou art our God: and thou only we know, and serve no other, and we are thy people, called by thy name:
let not man prevail against thee; for should this enemy prevail against them, it would be interpreted prevailing against their God.
and the Ethiopians fled; before them, just as Jeroboam and Israel had, as related in the preceding chapter, 2 Chronicles 13:15.
and the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves; they were thrown into such a fright, and into so much confusion, that they could not put themselves in order, and rally again; or there fell such a vast number of them, that there were scarce any remaining alive, which seems to be the sense of the words used:
for they were destroyed before the Lord, and before his host; the army of Israel, which the Lord was, as it were, the Commander of, fought for, and led them in the pursuit, and gave them victory; or it may mean an host of angels, employed in destroying this great army; and so the Syriac and Arabic versions of 2 Chronicles 14:12 read,"the angel of the Lord smote the Ethiopians:"
and they carried away very much spoil; which they found in their camp, and with their slain; even much gold and silver, as Josephus (g) says.
(g) Ut supra, (Antiq. l. 8. c. 12.) sect. 2.
for the fear of the Lord came upon them; so that they had no power to defend themselves, and oppose the men of Judah:
and they spoiled all the cities; of the goods and substance that were in them:
for there was exceeding much spoil in them; great wealth and riches of one kind or another.