|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:1-34 Jehoshaphat's alliance with Ahab. - This history we read in 1Ki 22. Abundant riches and honour give large opportunities of doing good, but they are attended with many snares and temptations. Men do not know much of the artifices of Satan and the deceitfulness of their own hearts, when they covet riches with the idea of being able to do good with them. What can hurt those whom God will protect? What can shelter those whom God will destroy? Jehoshaphat is safe in his robes, Ahab killed in his armour; for the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. We should be cautious of entangling ourselves in the worldly undertakings of evil men; and still more we should avoid engaging in their sinful projects. But, when they call upon him, God can and will bring his faithful people out of the difficulties and dangers into which they have sinfully run themselves. He has all hearts in his hand, so that he easily rescues them. Blessed is the man that putteth his trust in the Lord.
Verse 1. - The purport of the verse is to let us into the secret that the riches and honour in abundance of Jehoshaphat were, in fact, the snare by which he was led to entangle himself with one who, probably only on that account, was willing to be entangled by affinity with him (2 Chronicles 21:6; 2 Chronicles 22:2-4; 2 Kings 8:25-29). It is not hard to see how they would both lead him, if not always out of big and patronizing thoughts, to seek and also lay him open to be sought. When this verse says Jehoshaphat joined affinity, etc., it means that he had done so. to wit, not fewer than nine years before, in promoting or allowing, whichever it was, the marriage of his son Jehoram with Ahab's and Jezebel's daughter Athaliah. For the issue of this marriage, Ahaziah, took the throne at the age of twenty-two years, thirteen years hence from this seventeenth year of his grandfather Jehoshaphat's reign, the year of Ahab's death. But as we are told that Ahaziah was the youngest son of Jehoram and Athaliah (for explanation of which see 2 Chronicles 21:17), the "joining affinity" must have been something earlier than nine years, and very probably came yet nearer the prosperity of the earlier years of Jehoshaphat's reign, with which would agree well the keynote touched again significantly here from our 2 Chronicles 17:5. Comp. 2 Kings 8:17, 26; 2 Chronicles 21:20; 2 Chronicles 22:2 (which needs the correction of twenty-two to forty-two). Although it is certain that the act of Jehoshaphat was wrong in principle, disastrous in practice (2 Chronicles 19:2, 3), and threatened fatal consequences to himself (2 Chronicles 18:31, 32), yet it is not impossible to suppose his motives were for the most part good, and he may naturally have thought that the sunshine of his own peace and abundance might be the set time to win influence in and over Israel, rather than strengthen Israel in its ungodly independence. On the other hand, nothing could justify Jehoshaphat risking such intimacy of relationship with such a family, heedless of consequences, looking towards idolatry, which he should have known were overwhelmingly probable.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance,.... Still more and more, see 2 Chronicles 17:5, and which moved Ahab to desire friendship and affinity with him, to which Jehoshaphat agreed:
and joined affinity with Ahab; king of Israel, married his son Joram to Athaliah, a daughter of Ahab by Jezebel of Zidon; which marriage proved of bad consequence to Jehoshaphat and his family.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2Ch 18:1-34. Jehoshaphat and Ahab Go against Ramoth-gilead.
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