2 Chronicles 15:9
And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) The strangersi.e., the non-Judæans; members of the northern kingdom. A similar accession to the southern kingdom had taken place under Rehoboam (2Chronicles 11:16); and another yet is related in the reign of Hezekiah (2Chronicles 30:11; 2Chronicles 30:18).

And out of Simeon.—This tribe is again mentioned along with Ephraim and Manasseh in 2Chronicles 34:6, although its territory lay “within the inheritance of the children of Judah” (Joshua 19:1). Perhaps a portion of the tribe had migrated northward (comp. Judges 18), and some of these now settled again in Judah. Genesis 49:7 speaks of Simeon as “divided in Jacob, and scattered in Israel.”

Another solution is, that although politically one with Judah, the tribe of Simeon was religiously isolated by its illegal worship established at Beersheba, similar to that at Bethel and Dan (Amos 4:4; Amos 5:5; Amos 8:14). But this hardly agrees with the next clause: “They fell to him out of Israel.”

They fell to him.—(1Chronicles 12:19; 2Kings 7:4.)

When they saw that the Lord.—They had heard of his great deliverance from Zerah.

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa.—This seems to indicate that the Cushite invasion took place not long before, perhaps in the spring of the same year (see Note on 1Chronicles 20:1).

2 Chronicles 15:9. And out of Simeon — For the generality of this tribe, though they had their inheritance out of the portion of Judah, revolted to Jeroboam with the other tribes, as appears from many passages of Scripture. This they might conveniently do, because, as their portion bordered, on one side, on the tribe of Judah, so, on the other, it touched on that of Dan, and therefore could easily join with the one or the other. For they fell to him out of Israel in abundance — Namely, from the king of Israel.

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.Strangers ... - i. e. "Israelites of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh." The separation of the two kingdoms had made their Israelite brethren "strangers," or "foreigners," to Judah. 9-15. he gathered all Judah and Benjamin—Not satisfied with these minor measures of purification and improvement, Asa meditated a grand scheme which was to pledge his whole kingdom to complete the work of reformation, and with this in view he waited for a general assembly of the people.

and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh—The population of Asa's kingdom had been vastly increased by the continued influx of strangers, who, prompted by motives either of interest or of piety, sought in his dominions that security and freedom which they could not enjoy amid the complicated troubles which distracted Israel.

and out of Simeon—Although a portion of that tribe, located within the territory of Judah, were already subjects of the southern kingdom, the general body of the Simeonites had joined in forming the northern kingdom of Israel. But many of them now returned of their own accord.

Out of Simeon; which tribe, though they had their inheritance out of the portion of Judah, did for the generality of them revolt to Jeroboam with the other tribes, as appears from many passages of Scripture; which they might conveniently do, because their portion bordered, as on one side upon that of Judah, so on the other side upon that of Dan; and therefore might indifferently join with the one or other, as they saw fit.

They fell to him, to wit, from the king of Israel.

And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them,.... The proselytes of the gate:

out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: out of all the places in those tribes that had come off to him, or had been taken by him; for otherwise these belonged to the ten tribes under the government of Jeroboam, and his successors, and the next clause explains it:

for they fell to him out of Israel abundance, when they saw that the Lord his God was with him; as was clear by the victory he gave him over the Ethiopians; after that time many in the above tribes came over to him; the Targum is,"when they saw the Word of the Lord his God was his help.''

And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. the strangers with them] R.V. them that sojourned with them; cp. 2 Chronicles 10:17; 2 Chronicles 11:16-17; 2 Chronicles 16:1.

Simeon] The territory of this tribe lay in the South and it is natural to think that at the disruption Simeon followed Judah in allegiance to the house of David. It may be however that Simeon at first held aloof.

Verse 9. - He gathered. As the following verses go on to show, Ass wisely gathered all beneath his sway, with a view to sacrifice and to record anew hallowed resolve as a nation. The strangers. It is a significant comment on the estranging effect of religious schism (for the schism was religious even beyond what it was national) that so comparatively soon these of the tribes of Israel should have become called "strangers" by the side of Judah and Benjamin. They fell to him... in abundance. Another significant comment on the sameness of human nature in all time; the weak and the multitude will see, learn, do duty, less under pure conviction of right, than under the strong commanding influence of observation of where and with whom success goes, even if that success necessitate the owning of the Divine blessing as its cause (2 Chronicles 11:16 and 1 Chronicles 12:19). It should be noted, not for the sake of satire of human nature, but for the inculcation of the infinite importance of godly influence and example. Out of Simeon (see also 2 Chronicles 34:6). The "lines" of the Simeonites fell to them originally (Joshua 19:1) within Judah. The difficulty suggested by their being called, apparently, "strangers," and being certainly classed with the comers from "Ephraim and Manasseh," may be variously overcome, either by supposing that they had become more estranged from Judah in religious position than it was possible to them to have become in merely geographical; or that they had in some degree outgrown their own proper habitat, and had to some extent colonized a more northerly region (Genesis 49:7); or that, though, indeed, our compiler's composition undoubtedly places the Simeonites summoned, among the strangers, through mentioning them after Ephraim and Manasseh, yet this location of their name be held accidental, rather than due to special design. 2 Chronicles 15:9Completion of the reform in worship, and the renewal of the covenant. - 2 Chronicles 15:8. The speech and prophecy of the prophet strengthened the king to carry out the work he had begun, viz., the extirpation of idolatry from the whole land. In 2 Chronicles 15:8 the words הנּניא עדד are surprising, not only because the prophet is called in 2 Chronicles 15:1, not Oded, but Azariah the son of Oded, but also on account of the preceding הנּבוּאה in the absolute state, which cannot stand, without more ado, for the stat. constr. נבוּאת (cf. 2 Chronicles 9:29). The view of Cler. and Ew., that by an orthographical error בּן עזריהוּ has been dropped out, does not remove the difficulty, for it leaves the stat. absol. הנּבוּאה .lo unexplained. This is also the case with the attempt to explain the name Oded in 2 Chronicles 15:8 by transposing the words Azariah ben Oded, 2 Chronicles 15:1, so as to obtain Oded ben Azariah (Movers); and there seems to be no other solution of the difficulty than to strike out the words Oded the prophet from the text as a gloss which has crept into it (Berth.), or to suppose that there is a considerable hiatus in the text caused by the dropping out of the words בּן עזריהוּ דּבּר אשׁר.

(Note: C. P. Caspari, der Syrisch-ephraimitische Krieg, Christian. 1849, S. 51, explains the absol. הנּבוּאה by an ellipse, as in Isaiah 3:14; Isaiah 8:11, "the prophecy (that) of Oded," but answers the question why Oded is used in 2 Chronicles 15:8 instead of Azarjahu ben Oded by various conjectures, none of which can be looked upon as probable.)

התחזק corresponds to חזקוּ. Asa complied with the exhortation, and removed (ויּעבר, as in 1 Kings 15:12) all abominations (idols) from the whole land, and from the cities which he had taken from Mount Ephraim: these are the cities which Asa's father Abijah had conquered, 2 Chronicles 13:19. "And he renewed the altar before the porch," i.e., the altar of burnt-offering, which might stand in need of repairs sixty years after the building of the temple. The Vulg. is incorrect in translating dedicavit, and Berth. in supposing that the renovation refers only to a purification of it from defilement by idolatry. חדּשׁ is everywhere to renew, repair, restaurare; cf. 2 Chronicles 24:4. - But in order to give internal stability to the reform he had begun, Asa prepared a great sacrificial festival, to which he invited the people out of all the kingdom, and induced them to renew the covenant with the Lord. 2 Chronicles 15:9. He gathered together the whole of Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers out of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon, who dwelt among them. Strangers, i.e., Israelites from the ten tribes, had come over as early as Rehoboam's reign to the kingdom of Judah (2 Chronicles 11:16); these immigrations increased under Asa when it was seen that Jahve was with him, and had given him a great victory over the Cushites. It is surprising that Simeon should be mentioned among the tribes from which Israelites went over to the kingdom of Judah, since Simeon had received his heritage in the southern district of the tribal domain of Judah, so that at the division of the kingdom it would not well separate itself from Judah, and join with the tribes who had revolted from the house of David. The grouping together of Simeon, Ephraim, and Manasseh, both in our verse and in 2 Chronicles 34:6, can consequently scarcely be otherwise explained than by the supposition, either from the cities assigned to them under Joshua into districts in the northern kingdom (Berth.), or that the Simeonites, though politically united with Judah, yet in religious matters were not so, but abstained from taking part in the Jahve-worship in Jerusalem, and had set up in Beersheba a worship of their own similar to that in Bethel and Dan. In such a case, the more earnest and thoughtful people from Simeon, as well as from Ephraim and Manasseh, may have gone to Jerusalem to the sacrificial festival prepared by Asa. In favour of this last supposition we may adduce the fact that the prophet Amos, Amos 5:5; Amos 4:4; Amos 8:14, mentions Beersheba, along with Bethel and Gilgal, as a place to which pilgrimages were made by the idolatrous Israelites.

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