2 Chronicles 19:6
And said to the judges, Take heed what you do: for you judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Ye judge not for man, but for the Lord.—’Tis not for man that ye will judge, but for Jehovah, as His vicegerents, and ministers of His will. (Comp. Romans 13:1-4.)

Who is with you in the judgment.—This rightly gives the sense of the brief words: “and with you in word of doom.” i.e., Jehovah will be present with you at the time of your giving sentence. (See on 2Chronicles 20:17, and comp. Psalm 82:1-4 : “God standeth in God’s Assembly; in the midst of gods (i.e., judges) He judgeth.”) The LXX. and Vulgate misunderstand the passage; but the Syriac renders: “Be strong, and judge true judgment, and the Lord will be with you for ever.” (Comp. also Deuteronomy 1:17 : “The decision belongeth to God”; and Exodus 21:6.) The name “Jehoshaphat” denotes Jehovah judgeth.

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.What exact change Jehoshaphat made in the judicial system of Judah Deuteronomy 16:18; 1 Chronicles 23:4, it is impossible to determine. Probably he found corruption widely spread 2 Chronicles 19:7, and the magistrates in some places tainted with the prevailing idolatry. He therefore made a fresh appointment of judges throughout the whole country; concentrating judicial authority in the hands of a few, or creating superior courts in the chief towns ("fenced cities"), with a right of appeal to such courts from the village judge. 2Ch 19:5-7. His Instructions to the Judges.

5-7. he set judges in the land—There had been judicial courts established at an early period. But Jehoshaphat was the first king who modified these institutions according to the circumstances of the now fragmentary kingdom of Judah. He fixed local courts in each of the fortified cities, these being the provincial capitals of every district (see on [443]De 16:18).

You represent God’s person, to whom judgement belongeth, and you have your commission and power from God, and not from man only; and your administration of justice is not only for man’s good, but also for God’s honour and service.

Who is with you; both to observe your carriage, and to defend you against all those enemies whom the impartial exercise of justice may provoke. And said to the judges, take heed what you do,.... In judgment, that they judged righteous judgment according to the law of God, without partiality and respect of persons:

for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord; not for man only, but for the Lord; and not so much for man as for the Lord, whom they represented in judgment; whose law was the rule of their judgment, and whose glory their end, and to whom they were accountable:

who is with you in the judgment: as to guide and direct you, so to observe how they behaved, and be a witness for or against them; the Targum is,"ye judge not before men, but before the Word of the Lord, whose Shechinah dwells with you in the affair of judgment.''

And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is {c} with you in the judgment.

(c) Both to preserve you if you do justly or to punish you, if you do the contrary.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. Take heed] R.V. Consider.

who is with you in the judgment] Render, and He is with you in giving judgment (cp. R.V. and mg.). The judges in deciding cases against the rich and powerful were to strengthen themselves with the thought “God is with us” (“Immanuel”).Verses 6, 7. - The statement of the Divine principles laid down in these verses for the foundations of the "kingdom of heaven" on earth, and the doing of God's "will on earth, even as it is in heaven," stretch from Moses and Job (Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17; Deuteronomy 10:17; Deuteronomy 16:19; Job 34:19) to SS. Paul and Peter (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; 1 Peter 1:17). The campaign undertaken along with Ahab against the Syrians at Ramoth in Gilead, with its origin, course, and results for Ahab, is narrated in 1 Kings in the history of Ahab) in agreement with our narrative, only the introduction to the war being different here. In 1 Kings 22:1-3 it is remarked, in connection with the preceding wars of Ahab with the Syrians, that after there had been no war for three years between Aram and Israel, in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah came up to the king of Israel; and the latter, when he and his servants had determined to snatch away from the Syrians the city Ramoth in Gilead, which belonged to Israel, called upon Jehoshaphat to march with him to the war against Ramoth. In the Chronicle the more exact statement, "in the third year," which is intelligible only in connection with the earlier history of Ahab, is exchanged for the indefinite שׁנים לקץ, "at the end of years;" and mention is made of the festal entertainment which Ahab bestowed upon his guest and his train (עמּו אשׁר העם), to show the pains which Ahab took to induce King Jehoshaphat to take part in the proposed campaign. He killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, ויסיתהוּ ,ecnadn, and enticed, seduced him to go up with him to Ramoth. הסית, to incite, entice to anything (Judges 1:14), frequently to evil; cf. Deuteronomy 13:7, etc. עלה, to advance upon a land or a city in a warlike sense. The account which follows of the preparations for the campaign by inquiring of prophets, and of the war itself, vv. 4-34, is in almost verbal agreement with 1 Kings 22:5-35. Referring to 1 Kings or the commentary on the substance of the narrative, we will here only group together briefly the divergences. Instead of 400 men who were prophets, 2 Chronicles 18:5, in 1 Kings 22:5 we have about 400 men. It is a statement in round numbers, founded not upon exact enumeration, but upon an approximate estimate. Instead of אהדּל אם...הנלך, 2 Chronicles 18:5, in Kings, 1 Kings 22:6, we have אהדּל אם...האלך, both verbs being in the same number; and so too in 2 Chronicles 18:14, where in Kings. 1 Kings 22:15, both verbs stand in the plural, notwithstanding that the answer which follows, והצלח עלה, is addressed to Ahab alone, not to both the kings, while in the Chronicle the answer is given in the plural to both the kings, והצליחוּ עלוּ. in 2 Chronicles 18:7, "he prophesies me nothing good, but all his days (i.e., so long as he has been a prophet) evil," the meaning is intensified by the כּל־ימיו, which is not found in 1 Kings 22:8. In 2 Chronicles 18:9, the ויושׁבים, which is introduced before the בּגרן, "and sitting upon the threshing-floor," is due to difference of style, for it is quite superfluous for the signification. In 2 Chronicles 18:15, the ambiguous words of Micah,' and Jahve will give into the hand of the king" (1 Kings 22:15), are given in a more definite form: "and they (the enemy) shall be given into your hand." In 2 Chronicles 18:19, in the first כּכה אמר זה, the אמר after the preceding ויּאמר is not only superfluous, but improper, and has probably come into the text by a copyist's error. We should therefore read only בּכה זה, corresponding to the כּכה זה of 1 Kings 22:20 : "Then spake one after this manner, and the other spake after another manner." In 2 Chronicles 18:23, the indefinite אי־זה of 1 Kings 22:24, is elucidated by הדּרך זה אי, "is that the manner" (cf. 1 Kings 13:12; 2 Kings 3:8)., and the verb. עבר follows without the relative pronoun, as in the passages cited. In 2 Chronicles 18:30, only הרכב שׂרי of the king are mentioned, without any statement of the number, which is given in 1 Kings 22:31, with a backward reference to the former war (1 Kings 20:24). In 2 Chronicles 18:31, after the words, "and Jehoshaphat cried out," the higher cause of Jehoshaphat's rescue is pointed out in the words, "and Jahve helped him, and God drove them from him," which are not found in 1 Kings 22:32; but by this religious reflection the actual course of the event is in no way altered. Bertheau's remark, therefore, that "the words disturb the clear connection of the events," is quite unwarrantable. Finally, in 2 Chronicles 18:34, מעמיד היה, he was holding his position, i.e., he held himself standing upright, the Hiph. is more expressive than the Hoph. מעמד (1 Kings 22:35), since it expresses more definitely the fact that he held himself upright by his own strength. With Ahab's death, which took place in the evening at the time of the going down of the sun, the author of the Chronicle concludes his account of this war, and proceeds in 2 Chronicles 19:1-11 to narrate the further course of Jehoshaphat's reign. In 1 Kings 22:36-39, the return of the defeated army, and the details as to Ahab's death and burial, are recorded; but these did not fit into the plan of the Chronicle.
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