And they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)2Kings 17:6-18.
(25) They transgressed against the God of their fathers.—Rather, were faithless or untrue to Him (Joshua 7:1, “committed a trespass”).
Went a whoring after the gods of the people (peoples).—Jehovah was the true Lord (Ba’al) and Husband (Ish) of Israel. Apostasy from Him is, in the prophetic language, whoredom. (See Hos. 1 Chronicles 1, 2, especially 2:16, and 1 Chronicles 3) According to Kings 50100 the fatal sin of Israel evinced itself: (1) in the worship of the high places; (2) in adoration of the heavenly bodies, and the productive powers of nature; (3) in the practice of magic and divination.
The people of the land, whom God had destroyed before them.—Comp. Numbers 21:21-35, and Joshua 12:6; Psalm 135:10-12. The reduction of the Canaanites was, to the mind of the chronicler, a Divine work. He is not thinking only of such extraordinary events as were told of the battle of Beth-boron (Joshua 10:11-14). All the incidents of the conquest were the Lord’s doing, whether He acted through the agency of sun and moon, or storm and tempest, or the good swords of Joshua and his warriors. From the same standpoint, he ascribes the Assyrian invasions to a direct impulse from the God of Israel (1Chronicles 5:26). The Assyrian kings themselves were wont to regard their campaigns as a fulfilment of the bidding of their Divine protectors, Istar, Bel, and other imaginary beings. It was not given to them to attain to the higher vision of the Hebrew prophets and priests, who saw but one guiding and controlling power at the summit of the world. (Comp. Isaiah 10:5-15.)1 Chronicles 5:25. They transgressed against the God of their fathers — Had they kept close to God and their duty, they would have continued to enjoy both their ancient lot and their new conquests; but lying upon the borders, and conversing with the neighbouring nations, they learned their idolatrous usages, and transmitted the infection to the other tribes: and for this God had a controversy with them. Deuteronomy 3:9, and "Mount Hermon," are here not so much three names of the one great snow-clad eminence in which the Anti-Lebanon terminates toward the south, as three parts of the mountain - perhaps the "three summits" in which it terminates.
Jetur—His descendants were called Itureans, and the country Auranitis, from Hauran, its chief city. These, who were skilled in archery, were invaded in the time of Joshua by a confederate army of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh, who, probably incensed by the frequent raids of those marauding neighbors, took reprisals in men and cattle, dispossessed almost all of the original inhabitants, and colonized the district themselves. Divine Providence favoured, in a remarkable manner, the Hebrew army in this just war.
and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them; that is, committed idolatry, which is spiritual fornication or whoredom; worshipped the idols either of the Amorites, who were destroyed by the Lord to make way for their first settlement; or of the Ishmaelites, whom they conquered, and whose land they dwelt in to the captivity.And they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. they transgressed] R.V. they trespassed. The Hebrew verb has a special reference to unlawful or idolatrous worship and also to the violation of a consecrated thing; cp. Joshua 22:16; Joshua 22:20; Joshua 22:31.
the people of the land] R.V. the peoples of the land. Cp. R.V. Preface, pp. vi, vii.Verses 25, 26. - The "transgressors" here described include manifestly not this half-tribe Manasseh alone, but the other tribes of Israel of whom this chapter has treated. Verse 25. - And they went a-whoring (וַיַּזְנוּ); so 2 Chronicles 21:11, 13. This verb, in one form of its root or another, occurs as many as ninety-seven times in the Pentateuch, Judges, Joshua, Psalms, Proverbs; and prophets, for only twice in Kings and four times in Chronicles, in all the rest of the Old Testament writings. 1 Chronicles 5:10); but the war here mentioned was certainly at a later time, and has no further connection with that in 1 Chronicles 5:10 except that both arose from similar causes. The time of the second is not given, and all we know from 1 Chronicles 5:22 is that it had broken out before the trans-Jordanic Israelites were led captive by the Assyrians. הגריאים, in Psalm 83:7 contracted into הגרים, are the Ἀγραῖοι, whom Strabo, xvi. p. 767, introduces, on the authority of Eratosthenes, as leading a nomadic life in the great Arabico-Syrian desert, along with the Nabataeans and Chaulotaeans. Jetur, from whom the Itureans are descended, and Nephish, are Ishmaelites; cf. on Genesis 25:15. Nodab, mentioned only here, is a Bedouin tribe of whom nothing more is known.
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