And Benhadad listened to king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abelmaim, and all the store cities of Naphtali.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Abel-maim.—Kings, “Abel - beth - maachah” (comp. 2Samuel 20:14-15, and 2Kings 15:29). This city is nowhere else called Abel-maim, which is, per haps, an early mistake. The Syriac reads Abel-beth- maachah.
And all the store-cities (miskĕnôth, 2Chronicles 8:4).—Literally, And all the stores (magazines) of the cities of Naphtali. Kings: “And all Cinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali.” Cinneroth is mentioned (Joshua 19:35) as a town of Naphtali, and the Sea of Galilee was called the Sea of Cinneroth (Joshua 12:3). Probably the fertile district west of the lake was also called Cinneroth, and this was the country which Benhadad’s army laid waste. The present reading of Chronicles may be either a mere textual corruption, or a paraphrase of that of Kings. Some critics assume its originality, which is less likely. We prefer to regard it as a paraphrase or explanation.1 Kings 15:20. It was one of the towns most exposed to attack when an invader entered Israel from the north, and was taken from Pekah by Tiglath-pileser 2 Kings 15:29.
Store cities - See 1 Kings 9:19 note.1 Kings 15:17 where, and in the following verses, are the same things related as here, to the end of the sixth verse; the explanation of which the reader is referred to. And Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abelmaim, and all the store cities of Naphtali.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. and they smote] The places smitten were all in the extreme north of Israel.
Ijon] The city cannot be identified, but the name is preserved in Merj ‘Iyûn, a table-land north of the Jordan valley. Bädeker, pp. 296, 7.
Abel-maim] In 1 Kin., “Abel-beth-maacah”; cp. 2 Samuel 20:14-15. No doubt the two names designate one place.
all the store cities] In 1 Kin., “all Cinneroth” (i.e. the district west of the Sea of Galilee). As this was a very fruitful district, the “store cities,” of the Chronicler may be only another name for it.Verse 4. - Benhadad was apparently not very long in making up either his mind or his method. The bribe that tempted him, drawn from "the treasures" described, well replenished (2 Chronicles 15:18; and parallel, 1 Kings 15:15), was probably large. His method was to create a diversion in favour of his new ally, by "smiting" certain picked and highly important cities of Israel, mostly in northern Galilee, by name "Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all the store-cities of Naphtalli." Ijon. In Naphtali, mentioned only now, in the parallel, and when a second time taken (2 Kings 15:29) by Tiglath-Pileser. Dan. The colonizing of this city is given in Judges 18:1, 2, 29-31; it was originally called Laish, and became the northern landmark of the whole country, as in the expression, "from Dan even to Beersheba" (Judges 17:29; 20:1). Abel-maim. This place was situate at the foot of the Lebanon; in the parallel (1 Kings 15:20) it is called Abel-beth-maachah. It is again mentioned as attacked by Tiglath-Pileser, who wrested it from Pekah (2 Kings 15:29). In 2 Samuel 20:18, 14, 15 it is called Abel by itself, but in the last two of these verses Beth-maachah is mentioned in close connection with it. After this name the parallel gives also "all Cinneroth" (Septuagint, "all the land of Cinnereth"). The name is the original of the New Testament Gennesaret. It was a city (Joshua 19:35) that gave its name to the sea and western region of the lake, sometimes called so (Numbers 34:11; Joshua 11:2; Joshua 12:3). If there were a little more external evidence of it, we should incline to the opinion of Movers, that the "all Cinneroth" of the parallel is the כָּל־מִּסְכְּנות ("all the store-cities") of our present verse. But at present we may take it that the two records supplement one another. All the store-cities of Naphtali (see 2 Chronicles 32:28; 2 Chronicles 8:6 and its parallel, 1 Kings 9:19). 2 Chronicles 15:16-18, in conclusion, everything which still remained to be said of Asa's efforts to promote the Jahve-worship is gathered up. Even the queen-mother Maachah was deposed by him from the dignity of ruler because she had made herself an image of Asherah; yet he did not succeed in wholly removing the altars on the high places from the land, etc. These statements are also to be found in 1 Kings 15:13-16, and are commented upon at that place. Only in the Chronicle we have אסא אם instead of אמּו (Kings), because there Maachah had just been named (2 Chronicles 15:10); and to the statement as to the abolition of idolatry, ירק, crushed, is added, and in 2 Chronicles 15:17 מיּשׂראל; while, on the other hand, after שׁלם, יהוה עם is omitted, as not being necessary to the expression of the meaning.
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