|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:31-37 Jehoshaphat kept close to the worship of God, and did what he could to keep his people close to it. But after God had done such great things for him, given him not only victory, but wealth; after this, to go and join himself with a wicked king, was very ungrateful. What could he expect but that God would be angry with him? Yet it seems, he took the warning; for when Ahaziah afterward pressed him to join him, he would not, 1Ki 22:49. Thus the alliance was broken, and the Divine rebuke had its effect, at least for a season. Let us be thankful for any losses which may have prevented the loss of our immortal souls. Let us praise the Lord, who sought after us, and left us not to perish in our sins.
Verse 35. - And after this. The historical episode of these three verses (35-37) is evidently misplaced. As Ahaziah succeeded his father Ahab in Jehoshaphat's seventeenth year, we of course are at no loss to fix the time of Jehoshaphat's "joining himself with Ahaziah." He had "joined himself" with Ahab, and had smarted for it, and yet "after" that, he "joined himself" with his son Ahaziah. We do not doubt that the "who" of this verse refers to Ahaziah, not, as some think, to Jehoshaphat.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And after this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel,.... Meaning, not after the invasion of the Moabites, &c. and the slaughter of them, but after Jehoshaphat returned from Ramothgilead, when he was reproved by a prophet for helping the ungodly, 2 Chronicles 19:1 so that it was a great aggravation of his folly and weakness, that after that, and quickly after that, he should join himself to a wicked prince, though not in war, but in trade; for so it must be, since Ahaziah reigned but two years, and those not complete, see 1 Kings 22:51, but is here related, that Jehoshaphat's weaknesses and blemishes might be laid together:
who did very wickedly; that is, Ahaziah, who walked in the ways of Ahab his father, and of Jezebel his mother, and of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, 1 Kings 22:52.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
35-37. after this did Jehoshaphat … join himself with Ahaziah … to make ships—A combined fleet was built at Ezion-geber, the destination of which was to voyage to Tartessus, but it was wrecked. Jehoshaphat's motive for entering into this partnership was to secure a free passage through Israel, for the vessels were to be conveyed across the Isthmus of Suez, and to sail to the west of Europe from one of the ports of Palestine on the Mediterranean. Eliezer, a prophet, denounced this unholy alliance, and foretold, as divine judgment, the total wreck of the whole fleet. The consequence was, that although Jehoshaphat broke off—in obedience to the divine will—his league with Ahaziah, he formed a new scheme of a merchant fleet, and Ahaziah wished to be admitted a partner [1Ki 22:48]. The proposal of the Israelitish king was respectfully declined [1Ki 22:49]. The destination of this new fleet was to Ophir, because the Israelitish seaports were not accessible to him for the Tartessus trade; but the ships, when just off the docks, were wrecked in the rocky creek of Ezion-geber.
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