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Song of Solomon
2 Chronicles 25 COMMENTARY (Pulpit)
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2 Chronicles 25
2 Chronicles 25:1
twenty and five years old
he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name
Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.
Twenty and five years old...
reigned twenty and nine years.
Glance at notes on vers. 1, 15, 17 of foregoing chapter, from which it appears that, as Joash died
forty-seven, and Amaziah was now twenty-five, he must have been born when his father was twenty-two years old, and
correspondingly likely to have been one of the two wives Jehoiada selected for Joash, at the age, on
data, of twenty-one years.
. This affix to the mother's name may perhaps carry credit to the memory of Jehoiada, for having been careful to select a woman of the honoured city rather than of any provincial or even less worthy city.
2 Chronicles 25:2
And he did
that which was
right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.
Not with a perfect heart
. This is illustrated by his coming "to set up the gods of Edom" (vers. 14-16, 20); also by what the parallel supplies, that he resembled Joash rather than David, and did not suppress "the high places, sacrifices, and in-cense-burning" (
2 Kings 14:3, 4
). In almost all cases, the
heart speaks of that which
well, but did not "endure unto the end."
2 Chronicles 25:3
Now it came to pass, when the kingdom was established to him, that he slew his servants that had killed the king his father.
Was established to him
. This is kal conjugation of the verb, which we found in piel in ver. 5 of foregoing chapter, and there rendered "repair." The kal force of the word is simply to "be strong" (
2 Kings 14:5
). The hiph., to "make strong," or "confirm," as it is rendered here, is found in
2 Kings 15:19
. Again and again the disorders of the kingdom and the violent deaths of prophets and kings must have greatly contributed to nervous apprehensions, in fact only too just, when a new king ascended the throne. In the parallel and in passage last quoted the words, "in his hand," follow the verb. Amaziah both needed to get his own hand in, according to modern phrase, and to get things well into his hand.
. It may be held surprising that they should have been found "in the
," or should now be
at all. The explanation may be either that their guilt had not yet been known, or, if
, had not been fixed upon them.
2 Chronicles 25:4
But he slew not their children, but
written in the law in the book of Moses, where the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin.
Slew not their children
. Emphasis (the emphasis of
, at any rate) is laid upon this, perhaps partly to show that Amaziah did in some measure walk by "the Law of the Lord," and partly because of numerous cases that had grown up to the opposite (
2 Kings 9:8, 26
Joshua 7:24, 25
where, however, very possibly all were more or less aiders and abettors of the wickedness
). For Moses' clearly written rehearsal of "the commandment of the Lord," on this subject, see the marginal references,
Jeremiah 31:29, 30
Ezekiel 18:4, 19, 20
2 Chronicles 25:5
Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and made them captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, according to the houses of
fathers, throughout all Judah and Benjamin: and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found them three hundred thousand choice
to go forth to war, that could handle spear and shield.
- This and the following five verses are entirely omitted in the parallel, which contents itself with giving in its ver. 7, in fewer words, but with the supplement of other matter, what is contained in our ver. 11.
Found them three hundred thousand
. Compare Asa's "five hundred and eighty thousand" (
2 Chronicles 14:8
), and Jehoshaphat's "eleven hundred and sixty thousand" (
2 Chronicles 17:14-19
note, however, on these verses, and the improbability of numbers so high
). The Hebrew text of the second clause of this verse simply says, "he set them" (
), or placed them
according to... fathers' houses
, under captains, etc., glancing most naturally at
. Twenty years old and above (comp.
1 Chronicles 27:23
2 Chronicles 25:6
He hired also an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver.
Out of Israel
. The next verse tells us that "all the children of Ephraim" (which was strictly the northern Israel's chief tribe) are hereby designated. It is not quite clear that this Israel is exactly conterminous with the Israel of
2 Chronicles 13:3
, the identity of which, however, with Joab's Israel (
2 Samuel 24:9
) is very probable. The boundaries of the strict tribe of Ephraim, whose ancestor was Joseph's younger son, are described in
. The tribe were located as nearly as possible in the centre of the land. Ephraim, however, is here, as in many other places, as the name of the royal tribe, so named upon the whole of the northern kingdom (
several times in almost every chapter of Hosea, and for a typical instance
2 Chronicles 25:7
But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the LORD
not with Israel,
to wit, with
all the children of Ephraim.
- (See foregoing chapter, ver. 19.) The name of this
man of God
does not transpire. To
These three words, all in italic type, if entirely omitted, and not even the preposition adopted, as in the Revised Version, into the ordinary type, will leave the intention of the writer clearer rather than less clear.
2 Chronicles 25:8
But if thou wilt go, do
, be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down.
- It is hard to feel satisfied as to the correct rendering of this verse. The drift of the
verse, which shows Amaziah a convert to the strong exhortation of the man of God, makes either alternative allowable under the present text very untimely. and not very much in accord with what we should look for at the lips of the man of God. The very conceivable way out of the difficulty is to read
, hyphened to
(all the rather that no
is present in
, as the present text is), and proceed to supply
, crediting some copyist with confusion of eye through these having come close together in his manuscript. The rendering will then be straightforward, and prepare the way for Amaziah's yielding conformably with the tenor of the next verse. "But if not" (
if thou wilt not be guided by my remonstrance as to Ephraim), "go thou, be on the alert, exert all the strength possible for the battle, and yet nevertheless God will cause thee to stumble." And the remaining sentence may bear this significance, "For God hath power to help thee though alone, or to cast thee down though supported by an extra hundred thousand." If such alteration or conjectural restoration of the text be not accepted, we may harmonize the facts of the case with the most utter faithfulness of lip on the part of the prophet, by translating, "For in very truth, if thou go at all, and though thou make the best preparations, God shall make it go ill with thee." And Amaziah is persuaded to
point, that he will neither risk the lives of them of Ephraim vainly, nor risk the likelier displeasure of God on himself. He yields only partly, and therefore is nothing benefited. The difficulty is left untouched, that the prophet did not simply
forbid Amaziah to go, and that, saving them of Ephraim, he saves them to be a second scourge for the back of Amaziah, though he took his prophet's advice so far, and
own money. A careful and devout observer of human life and perverseness, when once these commit themselves to the vain struggle with God, and equally vain attempt to haggle with his providence as to how much to yield and how much to resist and with. hold, cannot but be struck with the photograph here thrown off, and that it is a faithful one, of hard facts that have met together disastrously times without number in men's lives. The sum, then, of the matter of our vers. 7, 8 may amount to this: "Under no circumstances take Israel, and if thou go thyself with all best preparations, yet know that God shall destroy thee."
2 Chronicles 25:9
And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The LORD is able to give thee much more than this.
- This verse is consummate in the two touches by which it sets forth the phase of earth's calculatingness respecting the perishable, and Heaven's swift disposal of any such trifling difficulty.
2 Chronicles 25:10
Then Amaziah separated them,
, the army that was come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again: wherefore their anger was greatly kindled against Judah, and they returned home in great anger.
- It appears that, though this contingent from Israel's land was a hired force, yet for some reason their heart was in their calling, perhaps in anticipation of plunder. It may well be that they asked why they were discharged; and whether the right answer were given them, that the Lord dwelt not among them, or some wrong answer, it evidently did not improve matters, but rankled in their hearts till it found relief (vers. 13, 22), as they concluded that either their ability or fidelity, or both, were called in question. The 'Speaker's Commentary' very aptly cites the keen resentment and mortification that the Athenians are recorded to have felt in similar circumstances as told in Plutarch's 'Lives:' "Cimon," §17.
This is the verb occurring several times in the first verses of
); there it is always followed by the preposition
, when speaking of the separating of two things
one another. Though this be meant here, it is not what is exactly said, and the prefix preposition
before the substantive (
) may, as Keil says, be regarded as designating the appositional accusative to that affixed in the shape of the pronoun "them" to the verb.
2 Chronicles 25:11
And Amaziah strengthened himself, and led forth his people, and went to the valley of salt, and smote of the children of Seir ten thousand.
. The hithp, conjugation of our already familiar verb
; it was not a healthy strengthening, and this may be considered denoted in the fact that the work was all his own, and that he wrought himself up.
The valley of
Commonly supposed to be the
south of the Salt Sea, but according to Stanley ('Sinai and Palestine,' Appendix. § 2. 5, pp. 482, 483), more probably a "ravine near Petra" (
1 Chronicles 18:12
2 Samuel 8:13
). (For the association of Seir with Edom, see
2 Chronicles 20:10
2 Chronicles 25:12
alive did the children of Judah carry away captive, and brought them unto the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, that they all were broken in pieces.
The top of the rock
. The parallel uses the Hebrew word without translation,
). There is little doubt that this is
(Conder's 'Handbook to the Bible,' 305; Stanley's 'Sinai and Palestine,' 87-92). The parallel tells us the interesting fact that Amaziah, perhaps under the influence of a spasmodic touch of devout-hess or gratitude, changed the name of Selah, or rather endeavoured to change it, to Joktheel, which Gesenius translates "subjugated of God." This name had already occurred in
. The new name, however, did not last, as the Edomites recovered soon the country of (
2 Chronicles 28:17
Isaiah 16:1, 2
) Arabia Petraea, of which Selah or Petra was the capital. Left alive. The Revised Version correctly renders,
carry away alive.
The cruelty of the Edomites receives many illustrations (see last references, and
2 Chronicles 25:13
But the soldiers of the army which Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, fell upon the cities of Judah, from Samaria even unto Bethhoron, and smote three thousand of them, and took much spoil.
The soldiers... sent back...
fell upon the cities of Judah, from Samaria to Beth-horon.
There is probably something to read between the lines here, to wit, that the soldiers returned to their master add king (Joash of Israel), and were by him remitted to this work. The mention of Samaria before Beth-horon (see map) indicates it, and the words "sent back" may be held to imply, at least, that they first
back - that the disappointment of spoil was the chief part of their aggravations, so that now the rather they got their much spoil, and note made thereof, and that - since not so much the instructive and so far forth more excusable revenge on the part of the disappointed soldiers, but the deliberate plan and order of their king had brought about this devastation of Amaziah's domains, in
fact we have the key of what we read in our vers. 17, 18, etc., and of the very cool manner in which Amaziah challenged Joash. The cities of Judah attacked were apparently those that once had belonged to Ephraim.
Smote three thousand of them
of the people of them.
2 Chronicles 25:14
Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up
his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them.
Brought the gods of the children
of Seir... to be his gods.
Amaziah's devout gratitude to God, and acknowledgment of him in the name Joktheel, was soon gone, and at the very last, grown confident, he loses all, and realizes the fulfilment of the "man of God's" prophetic denunciations.
2 Chronicles 25:15
Wherefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent unto him a prophet, which said unto him, Why hast thou sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand?
He sent unto him a prophet.
We are again not told
. The tone of the prophet, and the words given us as his in the latter half of ver. 16, would lead us to think it was the same "man of God;" but we cannot assert it, and had it been the same, it would more probably have transpired. The history now often reminds us of
2 Chronicles 24:16
2 Chronicles 25:16
And it came to pass, as he talked with him, that
said unto him, Art thou made of the king's counsel? forbear; why shouldest thou be smitten? Then the prophet forbare, and said, I know that God hath determined to destroy thee, because thou hast done this, and hast not hearkened unto my counsel.
- The chapter well keeps up in this verse its graphic character, though the culminating instances of it are yet to come.
. The faithful prophet is "wise as the serpent, harmless as the dove." He
forbear, but not till the application of his speech, and all that was needful is most outspokenly (more so than before he had heard the usual coward fashion of the tyrant's threat) pronounced.
forbearing, therefore, is open to no charge of moral cowardice and unprophet-like infidelity.
2 Chronicles 25:17
Then Amaziah king of Judah took advice, and sent to Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us see one another in the face.
; as in foregoing verse, "Art thou made king's counsellor?" and as in same verse, "counselled" should read instead of "determined," The verb (
), in kal, niph., and once only in hithp., occurs just eighty times, always in this sense, and almost always so rendered in the Authorized Version,
see one another in the face.
A refined analogy to this expression, with all its speaking significance, occurs in
2 Samuel 2:13
; and, perhaps yet more remarkably, a strange some balance between vers. 14, 15, 17 of that chapter and our vers. 21, 22 may be noticed.
2 Chronicles 25:18
And Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that
in Lebanon sent to the cedar that
in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that
in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle.
The thistle... sent to the cedar
. While other history shows frequently the abounding Eastern delight in this exact kind of composition, it will be remembered that it is not absent from Scripture, and that this is not the first recorded instance of it by three hundred and fifty years, for see
. The word occurs, beside the four times here and in the parallel, eight other times:
1 Samuel 13:6
2 Chronicles 33:11
Song of Solomon 2:2
. Although, then, the word we have here is not the "bramble" (
, which also is brought before us in its contrast with Lebanon's cedar, yet the bramble bush, chiefly in virtue of its characteristic
, best answers to the average suggestions of all the twelve instances of the use of our word.
2 Chronicles 25:19
Thou sayest, Lo, thou hast smitten the Edomites; and thine heart lifteth thee up to boast: abide now at home; why shouldest thou meddle to
hurt, that thou shouldest fall,
thou, and Judah with thee?
- If the contents of this verse do not fail to impress with a persuasion of the keen mental gift of Joash, they do not fall far short of warranting some persuasion of a certain moral sense and goodness about him also. He knows human nature well, and Amaziah's particular variety therein perfectly well. And many would have snapped at the opportunity of humbling such a man. But not so Joash; he enjoys, indeed, the opportunity of satisfying his own sarcasm and patronizingness, but would still spare Amaziah's people and save him from himself. This does not resemble, at any rote, the commonest, poorest, hungriest style of soul.
. Our text gives us here hiph. infinitive construct, where the parallel has niph. imperative. This lends the more effective shaft to the invective of Joash, though without material difference to the sense.
2 Chronicles 25:20
But Amaziah would not hear; for it
of God, that he might deliver them into the hand
of their enemies
, because they sought after the gods of Edom.
- The whole of the religious reflection, with its special post-Captivity significance of this verse, is wanting in the parallel, and finds no suggestion either thence or from common authorities. The parallel shows the statement,
But Amaziah would not hear
, followed up immediately by "Therefore Jehoash... went up." Our own verse, in the use of the plural pronoun them, and again
, takes some slight amount of the weight of guilt in the matter of the idolatry from the shoulders of the king, that it may be shared by the people, and no doubt chiefly again by the "princes" (
2 Chronicles 24:17
2 Chronicles 25:21
So Joash the king of Israel went up; and they saw one another in the face,
he and Amaziah king of Judah, at Bethshemesh, which
. The Beth-shomesh of Judah, on the borders of Judah, Dan, and the Philistines, is to be distinguished from that on the boundary of Issachar (
), and "the fenced city of Naphtali" (
2 Chronicles 25:22
And Judah was put to the worse before Israel, and they fled every man to his tent.
2 Chronicles 25:23
And Joash the king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, at Bethshemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits.
, "seized" (as
), or "caught up" (as
), or "capture" (as
The gate of Ephraim
(see Conder's 'Handbook to the Bible,' p. 343). It led out on the north or north-west side of the city. There is very little to identify it with the high gate of Benjamin (see ditto, p. 346). The corner gate. This is not the translation of our Hebrew text (
, which, see margin, means "that looketh"), but of the Hebrew text of the parallel (
); see pp. 343-346 of Conder's 'Handbook to the Bible,' and map facing p. 334, 2nd edit. Four hundred cubits. Probably about a hundred and eighty yards.
2 Chronicles 25:24
all the gold and the silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God with Obededom, and the treasures of the king's house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria.
- No mention is made in the parallel of that custodian of treasures in the house of God, here called Obed-Edom, and who possibly was a descendant of the Obed-Edom of David's time (
2 Samuel 6:10
1 Chronicles 13:13
); or an Obed-Edom "a porter" (
1 Chronicles 15:18
1 Chronicles 16:38
1 Chronicles 26:4
, S). The present verse is an interesting one for pointing out the exact differences, even to the minutest of them, in what the two writers (of Kings and Chronicles) respectively took from a common original;
the writer of Kings has "he took;" leaves out "
;" has not the preposition "
before "the house;" has "Jehovah" instead of "God;" has the preposition "
;" and has "Samaria
to Samaria) instead of only "Samaria;" the writer of Chronicles differing in each of these respects.
All the gold... in the house of God.
2 Kings 12:17, 18
, from which we must conclude that Hazael had already had the pick both for quantity and for quality. The hostages also; the phrase runs in the Hebrew text, "and sons [or, 'the sons'] of the hostages" (
הַתַּעֲרֻבות יְאֵת בְּנַי
); the literal rendering of which is "children or
The word (and indeed the practice
prevalent elsewhere) is found only here and in the parallel.
2 Chronicles 25:25
And Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years.
Amaziah... lived after the death of Joash
. The composition of the previous two verses dismisses delicately the fact that Joash, ignominiously bringing "Amaziah to Jerusalem" (ver. 23), contemptuously left him there, with a present of his life, though less his honour and much wealth.
2 Chronicles 25:26
Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, first and last, behold,
they not written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel?
The book of the kings of Judah and Israel
. The parallel has "the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah." Considering the amount and the character of the resemblance that we have noticed between the narratives in Kings and in our own text, and assuming that the work to which each compiler calls attention for the fuller elucidation of his subject of biography is the work which he has himself most largely laid under 'contribution, then we should justly feel in this instance that we had no feeble argument for the identity of the two works, called by rather different titles - by the writer of the pre-Captivity, "the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah," and by him of the post-Captivity, "the book of the kings of Judah and Israel."
2 Chronicles 25:27
Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the LORD they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent to Lachish after him, and slew him there.
Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the Lord.
Let it be particularly noted that the entire of this sentence (which is a strong anachronism
) is wanting in the parallel. It is, of course, in its matter intrinsically true, but none the less misleading in its
The object of the writer cannot be doubted, as so many a cross-light is thrown upon it, in other places, viz. to connect the rise and the operativeness of the conspiracy with the
that (though not the exact date at which) the king had turned aside from Jehovah to idols.
They made a conspiracy.
When every deduction is made, it may be that the conspiracy was one that was long hatching, and one which began in embryo from the date of Amaziah's ignominious return to Jerusalem. Very certain it is that this would be historic certainty with the Paris of the past century or more. The French would have required a deadly explanation of such an affront, if brought upon them by any ruler of theirs.
He fled to Lachish
. In the Shefelah of Judah, and a strongly fortified place (
2 Chronicles 11:9
Joshua 10:3, 32
2 Kings 14:19
2 Kings 18:14
2 Kings 19:8
). Eusebius places it seven Roman miles south of Eleutheropolis.
2 Chronicles 25:28
And they brought him upon horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.
They brought him upon horses;
Hebrew text, "upon the horses,"
those same royal horses presumably with which he had fled to Lachish. This seems the most natural suggestion arising from the memorandum made here, and may indicate that they visited him with no additional gratuitous disrespect. In the city of Judah. Probably an incorrect text for that of
2 Kings 14:20
, "the city of David," which is found in some of the manuscripts.
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