|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:1-11 Jehoshaphat visits his kingdom. - Whenever we return in peace to our houses, we ought to acknowledge God's providence in preserving our going out and coming in. And if we have been kept through more than common dangers, we are, in a special manner, bound to be thankful. Distinguishing mercies lay us under strong obligations. The prophet tells Jehoshaphat he had done very ill in joining Ahab. He took the reproof well. See the effect the reproof had upon him. He strictly searched his own kingdom. By what the prophet said, Jehoshaphat perceived that his former attempts for reformation were well-pleasing to God; therefore he did what was then left undone. It is good when commendations quicken us to our duty. There are diversities of gifts and operations, but all from the same Spirit, and for the public good; and as every one has received the gift, so let him minister the same. Blessed be God for magistrates and ministers, scribes and statesmen, men of books, and men of business. Observe the charge the king gave. They must do all in the fear of the Lord, with a perfect, upright heart. And they must make it their constant care to prevent sin, as an offence to God, and what would bring wrath on the people.
Verse 5. - Judges... fenced cities. Jehoshaphat proceeds from direct religious reforms to that which is of importance only second in the life of a nation - reform in the matter of civil administration of justice. The skeleton here given of what should be the character of a judge, and why, harmonizes well with the uniform stress laid in Scripture upon "justice and judgment." It is hard indeed to see, rather impossible, upon what foundation a sure structure of civil growth and stability can be laid, except on that of positive religion. Note the positions and the succinct arguments of vers. 6, 7; and how unequivocally they are based upon faith in a personal God, and upon his revealed character. It can scarcely be that this was the first time of judges being set in the cities of Judah but possibly the meaning intended to be conveyed with emphasis is, that now, looking well round his kingdom, he took care that all the cities should be properly provided with the necessary judges, while of late some had been, and some had not, and some, though they had been officered with judges, had found them not what judges ought to be. The immense majority of the "six thousand" Levite "officers and judges" of David's regulation (1 Chronicles 23:4; 36:29) had, with their superiors, kings and prophets, gone astray. With our present passage may be compared Deuteronomy 16:18-20, where the original enactment of judges and officers is narrated. Fenced cities. Hebrew for "fenced," בְּצֻרות; kal passive part. plur. The word occurs twenty-six times from the Book of Numbers to the Book of the Prophet Zechariah, and is rendered in the Authorized Version "fenced" or "defenced" twenty-two times, "walled" twice, "strong" once, and "mighty" once. The "gates" of the original institution in Deuteronomy are now (probably still the gates of) fenced cities.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city,.... Inferior judges in lesser courts of judicature than that at Jerusalem, and that in every city, that judgment and justice might be executed everywhere; such were appointed by David, but had been neglected, and now restored, see 1 Chronicles 26:29.
2 Chronicles 19:5 Parallel Commentaries
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible