And Asa and the people that were with him pursued them to Gerar: and the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before the LORD, and before his host; and they carried away very much spoil.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Pursued them unto Gerar.—(Genesis 20:1.) Kirbet-el-Gerar, in the Wady Gerar, about eight miles S.S.E. of Gaza, on the route to Egypt (LXX. Gedor).
And the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves.—Literally, And there fell of Kushites until they had no revival, or survival (Ezra 9:8-9). The latter seems preferable, as a vivid hyperbole, like 2Kings 19:35, “When men arose in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.” So Vulg., “usque ad internecionem.”
Before his host.—Or camp. Asa’s army is the Lord’s army.2 Chronicles 35:20-24. Now, however, under Asa, they appear to have gained a complete victory over Egypt. The results which followed were nicest striking. The Southern power could not rally from the blow, and, for above three centuries made no further effort in this direction. Assyria, growing in strength, finally, under Sargon and Sennacherib, penetrated to Egypt itself. All fear of Egypt as an aggressive power ceased; and the Israelites learned instead to lean upon the Pharaohs for support (2 Kings 17:4; 2 Kings 18:21; Isaiah 30:2-4, etc.). Friendly ties alone connected the two countries: and it was not until 609 B.C. that an Egyptian force again entered Palestine with a hostile intention. Gerar; a city of the Philistines, who probably were confederate with them in this design. Genesis 20:1,
and the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves; they were thrown into such a fright, and into so much confusion, that they could not put themselves in order, and rally again; or there fell such a vast number of them, that there were scarce any remaining alive, which seems to be the sense of the words used:
for they were destroyed before the Lord, and before his host; the army of Israel, which the Lord was, as it were, the Commander of, fought for, and led them in the pursuit, and gave them victory; or it may mean an host of angels, employed in destroying this great army; and so the Syriac and Arabic versions of 2 Chronicles 14:12 read,"the angel of the Lord smote the Ethiopians:"
and they carried away very much spoil; which they found in their camp, and with their slain; even much gold and silver, as Josephus (g) says.And Asa and the people that were with him pursued them unto Gerar: and the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before the LORD, and before his host; and they carried away very much spoil.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. Gerar] Identified with Jerâr, ruins three hours south of Gaza; cp. 1 Chronicles 4:39 (read “Gerar,” LXX. Γέραρα).
the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves] R.V. there fell of the Ethiopians (read “the Cushites”) so many that they could not recover themselves.
very much spoil] R.V. very much booty. The phrase used belongs to a style earlier than that of the Chronicler. Cp. note on 2 Chronicles 14:9 (against them).Verse 13. - And the Ethiopians... before his host. It is evident that these words, with the clauses they include, should be placed in brackets, and so leave "they," the subject of the verb "carried" in the last clause, to refer to its proper noun-subject, Asa and the people. Gerar. This place is mentioned as defining a full distant spot as the limit of the pursuit of the flying army. While it was nearly four hours south of Gaza, on the road to Egypt, it is calculated that it was more than twenty miles distant from Mareshah. 1 Chronicles 12:24), the Benjamites with a small shield and bow (cf. 1 Chronicles 8:40). The numbers are great; of Judah 300,000, of Benjamin 280,000 men. Since in these numbers the whole population capable of bearing arms is included, 300,000 men does not appear too large for Judah, but 280,000 is a very large number for Benjamin, and is founded probably on an overestimate.
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