2 Chronicles 16:7
And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
HANANI THE SEER REBUKES ASA, AND IS IMPRISONED

(2Chronicles 16:7-10).

(7) Hanani the seer.—Ha-rô’eh. (See on 1Samuel 9:9.) The use of this term seems to point to an ancient source of this narrative which is peculiar to the chronicler. Nothing beyond what is here told is known of Hanani. He was perhaps the father of the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani, who prophesied against Baasha (1Kings 16:1 sqq.) and rebuked Jehoshaphat (2Chronicles 19:2).

Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria.—Hanani’s words are in perfect accord with the teachings of the greater prophets, a fact which favours their authenticity. (Comp. Isaiah 30:2; Isaiah 30:7; Isaiah 30:15 sqq., Isaiah 31:1; Isaiah 31:3; Jeremiah 17:5; Hosea 5:13; Hosea 7:11; Hosea 8:9; Hosea 12:1.)

Therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.—Asa had doubtless been afraid that Benhadad would co-operate with Baasha his ally in hostilities against Judah, and therefore bribed the Syrian king at the expense of the Temple treasury (2Chronicles 16:3). This politic act secured its object, but from the prophetic point of view such success was no better than loss and failure; for it had deprived Asa of an assured triumph over the combined forces of Israel and Syria. Not only the defeat of Baasha’s schemes, but victory over his formidable ally, would have been conceded to faith (comp. 2Kings 13:14-19). The Syriac renders, “Therefore shall the army of Adûm (Aram) fly from thee.” Then follows the curious addition: “And they shall go, and become strong, they and the Hindoos [Hendewoye], and the kings that are with them, and they shall become armies and chariots and horsemen, a great multitude; and when thou shalt ask of the Lord God, He will deliver them into thy hands.” It continues: “Because the eyes of the Lord see in all the earth. And show yourselves strong, and let your heart be devoted to his fear, and understand ye all his wonders, because the Lord your God maketh war for you. And Asa was wroth against the Seer, and put him in the prison, because he told what he saw not, and stirred the heart of the people.” So also the Arabic.

2 Chronicles 16:7. At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa, &c. — Here follows, in addition to what is recorded concerning Asa in the first book of Kings, a remarkable history, which relates his great weakness in his declining years, and God’s displeasure on account of it. Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not on the Lord thy God — It is a great weakness in our nature, which cannot be too much guarded against, to be ever prone to forego our confidence in God for human means; or to put a greater and more assured trust in them, than in the power, love, and faithfulness of God. Therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thy hand — And so reserved to be a scourge to thy kingdom and posterity: whereas, if the Syrians had continued their league with Baasha, and joined him against thee, thou shouldest have overthrown both them and Baasha, as thou didst the Ethiopians, and thereby have prevented all the mischiefs which the king of Syria will do to thy family.

16:1-14 Asa seeks the aid of the Syrians, His death. - A plain and faithful reproof was given to Asa by a prophet of the Lord, for making a league with Syria. God is displeased when he is distrusted, and when an arm of flesh is relied on, more than his power and goodness. It is foolish to lean on a broken reed, when we have the Rock of ages to rely upon. To convince Asa of his folly, the prophet shows that he, of all men, had no reason to distrust God, who had found him such a powerful Helper. The many experiences we have had of the goodness of God to us, aggravate our distrust of him. But see how deceitful our hearts are! we trust in God when we have nothing else to trust to, when need drives us to him; but when we have other things to stay on, we are apt to depend too much on them. Observe Asa's displeasure at this reproof. What is man, when God leaves him to himself! He that abused his power for persecuting God's prophet, was left to himself, to abuse it further for crushing his own subjects. Two years before he died, Asa was diseased in his feet. Making use of physicians was his duty; but trusting to them, and expecting that from them which was to be had from God only, were his sin and folly. In all conflicts and sufferings we need especially to look to our own hearts, that they may be perfect towards God, by faith, patience, and obedience.The rebuke of Hanani and his imprisonment by Asa, omitted by the writer of Kings, are among the most important of the additions to Asa's history for which we are indebted to the author of Chronicles.

2 Chronicles 16:7

Escaped out of thine hand - Hanani means, "Hadst thou been faithful, and opposed in arms the joint host of Israel and Syria, instead of bribing the Syrian king to desert to thy side, the entire host would have been delivered into thy hand, as was Zerah's. But now it is escaped from thee. Thou hast lost a glorious opportunity."

7-10. Hanani the seer came to Asa … and said—His object was to show the king his error in forming his recent league with Ben-hadad. The prophet represented the appropriation of the temple treasures to purchase the services of the Syrian mercenaries, as indicating a distrust in God most blameable with the king's experience. He added, that in consequence of this want of faith, Asa had lost the opportunity of gaining a victory over the united forces of Baasha and Ben-hadad, more splendid than that obtained over the Ethiopians. Such a victory, by destroying their armies, would have deprived them of all power to molest him in the future; whereas by his foolish and worldly policy, so unworthy of God's vicegerent, to misapply the temple treasures and corrupt the fidelity of an ally of the king of Israel, he had tempted the cupidity of the one, and increased the hostility of the other, and rendered himself liable to renewed troubles (1Ki 15:32). This rebuke was pungent and, from its truth and justness, ought to have penetrated and afflicted the heart of such a man as Asa. But his pride was offended at the freedom taken by the honest reprover of royalty, and in a burst of passionate resentment, he ordered Hanani to be thrown into prison. And so reserved to be a scourge to thy kingdom and posterity hereafter; whereas if he had joined with Baasha against thee, thou shouldst have overthrown them both, and prevented all that mischief which that monarch will do one day to thy family.

And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah,.... Being sent by the Lord to reprove him:

and said unto him, because thou hast relied on the king of Syria; on the covenant he made with him, on the promises the Syrian king made to him upon receiving his money, and so trusted to an arm of flesh, and even an Heathen king:

and not relied on the Lord thy God; his promises, power, and providence, which he had reason to believe would have been engaged on his behalf, had he placed his confidence in him as he ought to have done: the Targum is,"and not relied on the Word of the Lord thy God:"

therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand; which otherwise would have fallen into it, had he left him to continue in league with the king of Israel, and not solicited him to break it; for then he would have come with him against Asa, and the Lord would have delivered him to him.

And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. Hanani the seer] Hanani as a seer is known to us from this passage only; in 2 Chronicles 19:2 and 2 Chronicles 20:34 (also 1 Kings 16:1) however Jehu the prophet is called son of Hanani.

therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped] The prophet declares that if Asa had not detached Syria by his presents, he might have smitten Israel and Syria combined.

7–10 (not in 1 Kin.). The Intervention of Hanani

The Chronicler stands alone both in recording the condemnation of Asa in this passage and in himself condemning him in 2 Chronicles 16:12. In 1 Kin. no blame is passed on Asa.

Verses 7, 8. The very impressive episode of four verses begun by the seventh verse is not found in the parallel. The fact furnishes clear indication that our compiler was not indebted to the writer of Kings for material. And the moral aspects of the matter here preserved by the compiler of Chronicles show the paramount reasons why he would not miss bringing it to the front for the returned people's better religious education. Presumably Hanani the seer is the father of that other faithful seer and prophet Jehu, who appeared to Baasha (1 Kings 16:1, 7) and to Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 19:1, 2). Therefore is the host of the King of Syria escaped out of thy hand It is plain that, reading the lines only, this expression (remarkable considering its following close upon successful help given by Benhadad, and help unaccompanied, so far as we are told, by any infidelity or untoward circumstance), suggests option of explanation, and would engender the supposition that something very threatening was on the horizon, at any rate. But reading between the lines, and giving due weight to the significance of the illustration adduced of the combined Ethiopians and Lubim (2 Chronicles 14:9-15), we may warrantably judge that Hanani's inspired language went a cut deeper, and meant that if the alliance had been not broken between Benhadad and Baasha, both would surely have been taken in one net (Psalm 124:7), as they would have entered into the conflict in alliance. A decisive victory over the King of Syria would have been any way a grand day in the history of Judah; But such a victory over the Kings of Syria and of the northern schismatic kingdom would have been more than a doubly grand day; it would have been a tenfold demonstration of God's judgment, that "though hand join in hand, yet shall not the wicked go unpunished" (see particularly same Hebrew verb used of a bird escaped in Psalm 124:7). 2 Chronicles 16:7The rebuke of the prophet Hanani, and Asa's crime. - 2 Chronicles 16:7. The prophet Hanani is met with only here. Jehu, the son of Hanani, who announced to Baasha the ruin of his house (1 Kings 16:1), and who reappears under Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 19:2), was without doubt his son. Hanani said to King Asa, "Because thou hast relied on the king of Aram, and not upon Jahve thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Aram escaped out of thy hand." Berth. has correctly given the meaning thus: "that Asa, if he had relied upon God, would have conquered not only the host of Baasha, but also the host of the king of Damascus, if he had, as was to be feared, in accordance with his league with Baasha (2 Chronicles 16:3), in common with Israel, made an attack upon the kingdom of Judah." To confirm this statement, the prophet points to the victory over the great army of the Cushites, which Asa had won by his trust in God the Lord. With the Cushites Hanani names also פּרשׁים, Libyans (cf. 2 Chronicles 12:3), and besides רכב, the war-chariots, also פּרשׁים osla ,sto, horsemen, in order to portray the enemy rhetorically, while in the historical narrative only the immense number of warriors and the multitude of the chariots is spoken of.
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