2 Chronicles 15:1
And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded:
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This section also is peculiar to the Chronicle.

(1) And the Spirit of God.—Literally, And Azariah son of Oded, there fell upon him spirit of God (i.e., a holy inspiration). The prophet is unknown, except from this chapter. The name Oded comprises the same radical letters as Iddo (2Chronicles 9:29; 2Chronicles 12:15); but whether the same prophet or another be meant, is beyond decision.

2 Chronicles 15:1-2. The Spirit of God came upon Azariah — Both to instruct him what to say, and to enable him to say it plainly and boldly. And he went out to meet Asa — Now returning victorious, with his army, from the war with the Ethiopians. And he said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa and all Judah, &c. — He does not come out to meet them in order to compliment them, or congratulate their success, but to excite them to their duty: which is the proper business of God’s ministers, even with princes and the greatest men. The Lord is with you — To defend you against all your enemies, as ye now have seen, and may hereafter expect; while ye be with him — While ye persist in that good course upon which you have entered. For the continuance of his presence with you depends upon your perseverance in the way of your duty. If you seek him he will be found of you — If you sincerely desire his favour, and seek it in the way he hath appointed, especially by prayer and supplication, and complying with his will in all things, you shall obtain it: but if you forsake him — And his commandments and ordinances of worship; he will forsake you — And then you will be undone, and will find that your present triumphs were no security to you. Let not this victory, then, make you presumptuous, or self- confident: for you are upon your good behaviour; and if you leave God, he will leave and destroy you, after he has done you all this good.

15:1-19 The people make a solemn covenant with God. - The work of complete reformation appeared so difficult, that Asa had not courage to attempt it, till assured of Divine assistance and acceptance. He and his people offered sacrifices to God; thanksgiving for the favours they had received, and supplication for further favours. Prayers and praises are now our spiritual sacrifices. The people, of their own will, covenanted to seek the Lord, each for himself, with earnestness. What is religion but seeking God, inquiring after him, applying to him upon all occasions? We make nothing of our religion, if we do not make heart-work of it; God will have all the heart, or none. Our devotedness to God our Saviour, should be avowed and shown in the most solemn and public manner. What is done in hypocrisy is a mere drudgery.Oded is by some identified with Iddo, the prophet and historian of the two preceding reigns. In the Hebrew the two names differ very slightly. CHAPTER 15

2Ch 15:1-15. Judah Makes a Solemn Covenant with God.

1. Azariah the son of Oded—This prophet, who is mentioned nowhere else, appears at this stage of the sacred story in the discharge of an interesting mission. He went to meet Asa, as he was returning from his victorious pursuit of the Ethiopians, and the congratulatory address here recorded was publicly made to the king in presence of his army.Asa, with Judah and many of Israel, moved by Azariah the prophet, renew a solemn covenant with God, 2 Chronicles 15:1-15. He removeth Maachah his mother for her idolatry; bringeth the hallowed things again into the temple; and enjoyeth a long peace, 2 Chronicles 15:16-19.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded,.... The same with Iddo, as Hillerus (h) thinks; and some suppose this to be the name of the son as well as the father, but called Azariah, to distinguish him from him, see 2 Chronicles 15:8 on whom came, as the Targum, the spirit of prophecy, instructing him what to say to Asa; and the Jews say (i) he is the same with Iddo, and he the same that was sent to Jeroboam, to reprove him for the altar he built.

(h) Onomastic, Sacr. p. 458. (i) In Hieron. Trad. Heb. in Paralipom. fol. 84. L. & 85. A.

And the Spirit of God came upon {a} Azariah the son of Oded:

(a) Who was called Obed as his father was, 2Ch 15:8.

Verse 1. - The Spirit of God came. For "came," read the literal Hebrew "was," as also in our 2 Chronicles 20:14, where instead of "God" (אְלֶהִים), we find "the Lord" (יְהוָה). In our 2 Chronicles 24:20, we have again "God," with the verb "clothed" (לָבְשָׁה). The grand original of the expression is, of course, found in Genesis 1:2, where the name is "God." Compare Pharaoh's question in Genesis 41:38; Exodus 31:3; Exodus 35:31; Numbers 24:2; Judges 3:1; Judges 6:34 (the verb "clothed" is used in this last); five other times in Judges we have the Spirit of the Lord; in Samuel six times, and "the Spirit of God" another six times; in Kings, three times "the Spirit of the Lord." These passages exhibit incontestably the function, and the manifold function, of the Spirit! Azariah the son of Oded. The Vulgate and Alexandrian Septuagint read here simply Oded; and Movers (p. 261) has suggested that "Oded the son of Azariah" is the correct reading for what now stands in the text; these are contrivances to meet the difficulty which the eighth verse occasions, and they are not so simple certainly as the proposal of Keil and Bertheau (following the Arabic Version) to omit altogether from ver. 8 the repetition of the name of the prophet, under the plea that the words, "of Oded the prophet," may so conceivably be owing to a copyist's meddlesome marginal reminiscence of ver. 1. It would have been, perhaps, a yet simpler method of overcoming the difficulty to account that the words, "Azariah the son of," had through a copy error slipped out of the text, except that the previous word, "the prophecy," is not in the construct state, and this favours Keil and Bertheau's suggestion (see our 2 Chronicles 9:29), or rather the suggestion of the Arabic Version, which before them omits the words, "of Oded the prophet." The Vatican Septuagint has the readings in beth verses as Englished in the Authorized Version. Some think Oded may be one with Iddo of 2 Chronicles 9:29; 2 Chronicles 12:15; 2 Chronicles 13:22; pointing out that the Hebrew characters would permit it, if we suppose a vau added to the name Oded. This conjectural attempt to give this Prophet Azariah for son to Iddo seems to gain no great point. Of this Azariah nothing else is known; he is described as "son of Oded" probably to distinguish him from Azariah the high priest, son of Johanan (see Dr. Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' 1:142, second column, 3). (For the rest on this subject, see note on ver. 8.) 2 Chronicles 15:1The prophet Azariah's exhortation to faithful cleaving to the Lord, and the solemn renewal of the covenant. - 2 Chronicles 15:1-7. The prophet's speech. The prophet Azariah, the son of Oded, is mentioned only here. The conjecture of some of the older theologians, that עודד was the same person as עדּו (2 Chronicles 12:15; 2 Chronicles 9:29), has no tenable foundation. Azariah went to meet the king and people returning from the war (לפני יצא, he went forth in the presence of Asa, i.e., coming before him; cf. 2 Chronicles 28:9; 1 Chronicles 12:17; 1 Chronicles 14:8). "Jahve was with you (has given you the victory), because ye were with Him (held to Him)." Hence the general lesson is drawn: If ye seek Him, He will be found of you (cf. Jeremiah 29:13); and if ye forsake Him, He will forsake you (cf. 2 Chronicles 24:20; 2 Chronicles 12:5). To impress the people deeply with this truth, Azariah draws a powerful picture of the times when a people is forsaken by God, when peace and security in social intercourse disappear, and the terrors of civil war prevail. Opinions as to the reference intended in this portrayal of the dreadful results of defection from God have been from antiquity very much divided. Tremell. and Grot., following the Targ., take the words to refer to the condition of the kingdom of the ten tribes at that time; others think they refer to the past, either to the immediately preceding period of the kingdom of Judah, to the times of the defection under Rehoboam and Abijah, before Asa had suppressed idolatry (Syr., Arab., Raschi), or to the more distant past, the anarchic period of the judges, from Joshua's death, and that of the high priest Phinehas, until Eli and Samuel's reformation (so especially Vitringa, de synag. vet. p. 335ff.). Finally, still others (Luther, Clericus, Budd., etc.) interpret the words as prophetic, as descriptive of the future, and make them refer either to the unquiet times under the later idolatrous kings, to the times of the Assyrian or Chaldean exile (Kimchi), or to the condition of the Jews since the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans up till the present day. Of these three views, the first, that which takes the reference to be to the present, i.e., the state of the kingdom of the ten tribes at that time, is decidedly erroneous; for during the first thirty years of the existence of that kingdom no such anarchic state of things existed as is portrayed in vv. 5 and 6, and still less could a return of the ten tribes to the Lord at that time be spoken of (2 Chronicles 15:4). It is more difficult to decide between the two other main views. The grounds which Vitr., Ramb., Berth. adduce in support of the reference to the times of the judges are not convincing; for the contents and form (2 Chronicles 15:4) do not prove that here something is asserted which has been confirmed by history, and still less is it manifest (2 Chronicles 15:5) that past times are pointed to. Whether the statement about the return to Jahve in the times of trouble (2 Chronicles 15:4) refers to the past or to the future, depends upon whether the past or future is spoken of in 2 Chronicles 15:3. But the unquiet condition of things portrayed in 2 Chronicles 15:5 corresponds partly to various times in the period of the judges; and if, with Vitr., we compare the general characteristics of the religious condition of the times of the judges (Judges 2:10.), we might certainly say that Israel in those times was without אמת אלהי, as it again and again forsook Jahve and served the Baals. And moreover, several examples of the oppression of Israel portrayed in 2 Chronicles 15:5 and 2 Chronicles 15:6 may be adduced from the time of the judges. Yet the words in 2 Chronicles 15:6, even when their rhetorical character is taken into account, are too strong for the anarchic state of things during the period of the judges, and the internal struggles of that time (Judges 12:1-6 and 2 Chronicles 20). And consequently, although Vitr. and Ramb. think that a reference to experiences already past, and oppressions already lived through, would have made a much deeper impression than pointing forward to future periods of oppression, yet Ramb. himself remarks, nihilominus tamen in saeculis Asae imperium antegressis vix ullum tempus post ingressum in terram Canaan et constitutam rempubl. Israel. posse ostendi, cui omnia criteria hujus orationis propheticae omni ex parte et secundum omnia pondera verbis insita conveniant. But, without doubt, the omission of any definite statement of the time in 2 Chronicles 15:3 is decisive against the exclusive reference of this speech to the past, and to the period of the judges. The verse contains no verb, so that the words may just as well refer to the past as to the future. The prophet has not stated the time definitely, because he was giving utterance to truths which have force at all times,

(Note: As Ramb. therefore rightly remarks, "Vatem videri consulto abstinuisse a determinatione temporis, ut vela sensui quam amplissime panderentur, verbaque omnibus temporum periodis adplicari possent, in quibus criteria hic recensita adpareant.")

and which Israel had had experience of already in the time of the judges, but would have much deeper experience of in the future.

We must take the words in this general sense, and supply neither a preterite nor a future in 2 Chronicles 15:3, neither fuerant nor erunt, but must express the first clause by the present in English: "Many days are for Israel (i.e., Israel lives many days) without the true God, and without teaching priests, and without law." רבּים ימים is not accus. of time (Berth.), but the subject of the sentence; and אלה ללא is not subject - "during many days there was to the people Israel no true God" (Berth.), - but predicate, while ל expresses the condition into which anything comes, and לא forms part of the following noun: Days for Israel for having not a true God. ללא differs from בּלא, "without," just as ל differs from בּ; the latter expressing the being in a condition, the former the coming into it. On אמת אלהי, cf. Jeremiah 10:10. אמת כּהן is not to be limited to the high priest, for it refers to the priests in general, whose office it was to teach the people law and justice (Leviticus 10:10; Deuteronomy 33:10). The accent is upon the predicates אמת and אמת. Israel had indeed Elohim, but not the true God, and also priests, but not priests who attended to their office, who watched over the fulfilment of the law; and so they had no תּורה, notwithstanding the book of the law composed by Moses.

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