2 Chronicles 15:6
And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity.
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(6) And nation was destroyed of nation.And they were crushed, nation by nation and city by city. The verb khathath occurs Isaiah 2:4 (“to beat”); but in its (intensive) passive form only here. Some MSS. have the (intensive) active form, which is found elsewhere. So LXX. and Vulg.: “And nation shall fight against nation.” Nation is gôy, i.e., a community of kindred, such as a tribe or clan, rather than a merely political aggregate. The allusion is to the old feuds and contentions between rival tribes, e.g., between Ephraim and Gilead (Manasseh) (Judges 12), or between Benjamin and the other tribes (Judges 20). The verse vividly pourtrays an internecine strife, like that described in Isaiah 19:2 : “And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians, and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, kingdom against kingdom;” or like that depicted by the same prophet (Isaiah 9:18-21): “No man shall spare his brother . . . they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm [i.e., of his natural ally]: Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh; and they together shall be against Judah.”

Did vex them with all adversity.Had confounded (or, discomfited) them with every kind of distress. (Comp. Zechariah 14:13 : “A great confusion from the Lord.”)

2 Chronicles 15:6. Nation was destroyed of nation — One part of the people of Israel destroyed the other by civil wars; of which see instances, Jdg 9:23, &c., and 2 Chronicles 12:1, &c. As all Israel, so the several tribes of them are sometimes called nations.

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.The allusion is probably to the destructions recorded in Judges 9:45; Judges 20:33-48. 3-6. Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, &c.—Some think that Azariah was referring to the sad and disastrous condition to which superstition and idolatry had brought the neighboring kingdom of Israel. His words should rather be taken in a wider sense, for it seems manifest that the prophet had his eye upon many periods in the national history, when the people were in the state described—a state of spiritual destitution and ignorance—and exhibited its natural result as widespread anarchy, mutual dissension among the tribes, and general suffering (Jud 9:23; 12:4; 20:21; 2Ch 13:17). These calamities God permitted to befall them as the punishment of their apostasy. Azariah's object in these remarks was to establish the truth of his counsel (2Ch 15:2), threatening, in case of neglecting it by describing the uniform course of the divine procedure towards Israel, as shown in all periods of their history. Then after this appeal to national experience, he concluded with an earnest exhortation to the king to prosecute the work of reformation so well begun [2Ch 15:7]. Nation was destroyed of nation, i.e. one part of the people of Israel destroyed the other by civil wars; of which see instances, Judges 9:23, &c.; Judges 12:1, &c. As all the people of Israel are called a nation, so the several tribes and families of them are sometimes called nations, as Genesis 17:4 Ezekiel 2:3 Acts 4:27, compared with Psalm 2:1.

And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city,.... Or one tribe of another; as the Ephraimites by the Gileadites, and the tribe of Benjamin by the other tribes; and Shechem by Abimelech, Judges 9:45,

for God did vex them with all adversity; both with foreign enemies and civil wars; and now it is intimated that this would be their case again, should they not keep close to the Lord their God.

And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity.
6. nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city] R.V. they were broken in pieces, nation against nation, and city against city. Israel is meant. In the civil strife of the days of the Judges Israel appeared more than once as two nations destroying one another: cp. Jdg 8:13-17; Jdg 9:26 ff; Jdg 12:1 ff; Jdg 20:12 ff.

vex] Rather, afflict; see 2 Chronicles 15:5.

Verse 6. - Among other patent instances, not the least remarkable are found in Judges 20:35-45; Judges 9:44-47; these forecast and heralded that final rupture of Rehoboam and Jeroboam, which showed the "house divided against itself," and the sure consequences thereof. 2 Chronicles 15:6"And one people is dashed in pieces by the other, and one city by the other; for God confounds them by all manner of adversity." המם denotes confusion, which God brings about in order to destroy His enemies (Exodus 14:24; Joshua 10:10; Judges 4:15). Days when they were without the true God, without teaching prophets, and without law, Israel had already experienced in the times of defection after Joshua (cf. Judges 2:11.), but will experience them in the future still oftener and more enduringly under the idolatrous kings in the Assyrian and Babylonian exile, and still even now in its dispersion among all nations. That this saying refers to the future is also suggested by the fact that Hosea (Hosea 3:4) utters, with a manifest reference to 2 Chronicles 15:3 of our speech, a threat that the ten tribes will be brought into a similar condition (cf. Hosea 9:3-4); and even Moses proclaimed to the people that the punishment of defection from the Lord would be dispersion among the heathen, where Israel would be compelled to serve idols of wood and stone (Deuteronomy 4:27., Deuteronomy 28:36, Deuteronomy 28:64), i.e., would be without the true God. That Israel would, in such oppression, turn to its God, would seek Him, and that the Lord would be found of them, is a thought also expressed by Moses, the truth of which Israel had not only had repeated experience of during the time of the judges, but also would again often experience in the future (cf. Hosea 3:5; Jeremiah 31:1; Ezekiel 36:24.; Romans 11:25.). בּצּר־לו refers back to Deuteronomy 4:30; the expression in 2 Chronicles 15:4 is founded upon Deuteronomy 4:29 (cf. Isaiah 55:6). - Of the oppression in the times of defection portrayed in 2 Chronicles 15:5., Israel had also had in the time of the judges repeated experience (cf. Judges 5:6), most of all under the Midianite yoke (Judges 6:2); but such times often returned, as the employment of the very words of the first hemistich of 2 Chronicles 15:5 in Zechariah 8:10, in reference to the events of the post-exilic time, shows; and not only the prophet Amos (Amos 3:9) sees רבּות מהוּמות, great confusions, where all is in an indistinguishable whirl in the Samaria of his time, but they repeated themselves at all times when the defection prevailed, and godlessness degenerated into revolution and civil war. Azariah portrays the terrors of such times in strong colours (2 Chronicles 15:6): "Dashed to pieces is people by people, and city by city." The war of the tribes of Israel against Benjamin (Judges 20:.), and the struggle of the Gileadites under Jephthah with Ephraim (Judges 12:4.), were civil wars; but they were only mild preludes of the bellum omnium contra omnes depicted by Azariah, which only commenced with the dissolution of both kingdoms, and was announced by the later prophets as the beginning of the judgment upon rebellious Israel (e.g., Isaiah 9:17-20), and upon all peoples and kingdoms hostile to God (Zechariah 14:13; Matthew 24:7). With הממם אלהים כּי cf. רבּה יי מהוּמת, Zechariah 14:13. To this portrayal of the dread results of defection from the Lord, Azariah adds (2 Chronicles 15:7) the exhortation, "Be ye strong (vigorous), and show yourselves not slack, languid" (cf. Zephaniah 3:16; Nehemiah 6:9); i.e., in this connection, proceed courageously and vigorously to keep yourselves true to the Lord, to exterminate all idolatry; then you shall obtain a great reward: cf. on these words, Jeremiah 31:16.
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