2 Chronicles 13:12
And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight you not against the LORD God of your fathers; for you shall not prosper.
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(12) God himself.The (true) God. So in 2Chronicles 13:15. Literally, and behold there are with us at the head the God and his priests, and the trumpets of alarm to sound alarm against you. (See Numbers 10:9; Numbers 31:6.) The trumpets were “the divinely appointed pledges that God would remember them in war.” The Syriac gives this verse thus: “But ye have forsaken him, and gone after dead gods, and worshipped and bowed down to them, and forsaken the Lord God of your fathers; and also ye shall not prosper in the world.” Then there is a lacuna extending to 2Chronicles 13:15.

2 Chronicles 13:12. Behold, God himself is with us for our captain — Here in our camp. We may be sure he is with us, because we are with him. And as a token of his presence we have here with us his priests, sounding his trumpets — According to the law, as a testimony against you, and an assurance to us, that in the day of battle we shall be remembered before the Lord our God, and saved from our enemies. See Numbers 10:9, where this sacred signal is thus explained. Nothing is so effectual to imbolden men, and give them courage and fortitude in the day of battle, as to have an assurance that God is with them, and fighteth for them. Fight ye not against the God of your fathers — It is folly to fight against the God of almighty power; but it is treachery, and base ingratitude, to fight against your fathers’ God, and you cannot expect to prosper. Thus he concludes with giving them fair warning.13:1-22 Abijah overcomes Jeroboam. - Jeroboam and his people, by apostacy and idolatry, merited the severe punishment Abijah was permitted to execute upon them. It appears from the character of Abijah, 1Ki 15:3, that he was not himself truly religious, yet he encouraged himself from the religion of his people. It is common for those that deny the power of godliness, to boast of the form of it. Many that have little religion themselves, value it in others. But it was true that there were numbers of pious worshippers in Judah, and that theirs was the more righteous cause. In their distress, when danger was on every side, which way should they look for deliverance unless upward? It is an unspeakable comfort, that our way thither is always open. They cried unto the Lord. Earnest prayer is crying. To the cry of prayer they added the shout of faith, and became more than conquerors. Jeroboam escaped the sword of Abijah, but God struck him; there is no escaping his sword.Seven rams - "A bullock and two rams" was the offering which God had required at the original consecration of the sons of Aaron Exodus 29:1; Leviticus 8:2. Jeroboam, for reasons of his own, enlarged the sacrifice, and required it at the consecration of every priest. 4-12. Abijah stood up upon Mount Zemaraim—He had entered the enemy's territory and was encamped on an eminence near Beth-el (Jos 18:22). Jeroboam's army lay at the foot of the hill, and as a pitched battle was expected, Abijah, according to the singular usage of ancient times, harangued the enemy. The speakers in such circumstances, while always extolling their own merits, poured out torrents of invective and virulent abuse upon the adversary. So did Abijah. He dwelt on the divine right of the house of David to the throne; and sinking all reference to the heaven-condemned offenses of Solomon and the divine appointment of Jeroboam, as well as the divine sanction of the separation, he upbraided Jeroboam as a usurper, and his subjects as rebels, who took advantage of the youth and inexperience of Rehoboam. Then contrasting the religious state of the two kingdoms, he drew a black picture of the impious innovations and gross idolatry introduced by Jeroboam, with his expulsion and impoverishment (2Ch 11:14) of the Levites. He dwelt with reasonable pride on the pure and regular observance of the ancient institutions of Moses in his own dominion [2Ch 13:11] and concluded with this emphatic appeal: "O children of Israel, fight ye not against Jehovah, the God of your fathers, for ye shall not prosper." With sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you; upon the sounding whereof God hath solemnly promised to assist his people, Numbers 10:9.

Fight ye not against the Lord God of your fathers; you have not only us for your enemies, but God, even the God whom your fathers honoured and served, to their own great comfort and benefit. And, behold, God himself is with us for our Captain,.... To go before our armies, and fight our battles for us:

and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you; which was one use of the trumpets, that the people might be remembered by the Lord, and saved from their enemies, Numbers 10:9, so that this circumstance was against Jeroboam and his army, and for Abijah and his:

O children of Israel, fight ye not against the Lord God of your fathers; for fighting against his people, that retained the pure worship of him, was fighting against him:

for you shall not prosper; he seems to be assured of victory.

And, behold, God himself is {l} with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the LORD God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper.

(l) Because their cause was good and approved by the Lord, they did not doubt the success and victory.

12. God himself is with us for our captain] R.V. God is with us at our head.

with sounding trumpets] R.V. with the trumpets of alarm (Numbers 10:9). Abijah here threatens his opponents with a jihâd or holy war.Verse 12. - The concluding utterances of Abijah certainly did not fall below what had preceded or the occasion in itself; and the echoes of them, while they died on the ear, must have lived, indeed, and stirred life in the hearts of many (Joshua 5:14; Numbers 10:9; Numbers 31:6; our ver. 14, and ch. 5:12, 13). "Is it not to you to know?" i.e., can it be unknown to you? מלח בּרית, accus. of nearer definition: after the fashion of a covenant of salt, i.e., of an irrevocable covenant; cf. on Leviticus 2:13 and Numbers 18:19. "And Jeroboam, the servant of Solomon the son of David (cf. 1 Kings 11:11), rebelled against his lord," with the help of frivolous, worthless men (רקים as in Judges 9:4; Judges 11:3; בליּעל בּני as in 1 Kings 21:10, 1 Kings 21:13 -not recurring elsewhere in the Chronicle), who gathered around him, and rose against Rehoboam with power. על התאמּץ, to show oneself powerful, to show power against any one. Against this rising Rehoboam showed himself not strong enough, because he was an inexperienced man and soft of heart. נער denotes not "a boy," for Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he entered upon his reign, but "an inexperienced young man," as in 1 Chronicles 29:1. לבב רך, soft of heart, i.e., faint-hearted, inclined to give way, without energy to make a stand against those rising insolently against him. lp' התחזק ולא, and showed himself not strong before them, proved to be too weak in opposition to them. This representation does not conform to the state of the case as narrated in 2 Chronicles 10. Rehoboam did not appear soft-hearted and compliant in the negotiation with the rebellious tribes at Sichem; on the contrary, he was hard and defiant, and showed himself youthfully inconsiderate only in throwing to the winds the wise advice of the older men, and in pursuance of the rash counsel of the young men who had grown up with him, brought about the rupture by his domineering manner. But Abijah wishes to justify his father as much as possible in his speech, and shifts all the guilt of the rebellion of the ten tribes from the house of David on to Jeroboam and his worthless following.
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