2 Chronicles 17:13
And he had much business in the cities of Judah: and the men of war, mighty men of valor, were in Jerusalem.
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(13) Business.—Rather, much goods, or stores; literally, work (mĕlākāh) and then produce. The Hebrew word is so used in Exodus 22:7; Exodus 22:10 (“His neighbour’s goods”). Stores of provisions and war material seem to be intended. (Comp. 2Chronicles 11:11.)

And the man of war . . . were in Jerusalem.—Rather, and (he had) men of war . . . in Jerusalem.

In Jerusalem.—Not the entire army corps whose numbers are given in 2Chronicles 17:14-18, but simply their chiefs.

2 Chronicles 17:13. He had much business in the cities of Judah — To repair and fortify them, and furnish them with provisions; and to purge out all the relics of idolatry and injustice, which were more secretly and craftily managed in the cities than in the country, and which were first and most prevalent in the cities, and thence spread their infection into the country around them.17:1-19 Jehoshaphat promotes religion in Judah, His prosperity. - Jehoshaphat found his people generally very ignorant, and therefore endeavoured to have them well taught. The public teaching of the word of God forms, in all ages, the great method of promoting the power of godliness. Thereby the understanding is informed, the conscience is awakened and directed. We have a particular account of Jehoshaphat's prosperity. But it was not his formidable army that restrained the neighbouring nations from attempting any thing against Israel, but the fear of God which fell upon them, when Jehoshaphat reformed his country, and set up a preaching ministry in it. The ordinances of God are more the strength and safety of a kingdom, than soldiers and weapons of war. The Bible requires use to notice the hand of God in every event, yet this is little regarded. But let all employ the talents they have: be faithful, even in that which is little. Set up the worship of God in your houses. The charge of a family is important. Why should you not instruct them as Jehoshaphat did his subjects, in the book of the law of the Lord. But be consistent. Do not recommend one thing, and practise another. Begin with yourselves. Seek to the Lord God of Israel, then call upon children and servants to follow your example.Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents - i. e. "some of the Philistines were among his tributaries." Compare 2 Samuel 8:2; 1 Kings 4:21.

Tribute silver - Or, "much silver" - literally "silver of burthen."

The Arabians - The Arab tribes who bordered Judaea to the south and the southeast paid Jehoshaphat a fixed tribute in kind. Compare 2 Kings 3:4 note.

2Ch 17:12-19. His Greatness, Captains, and Armies. He had much business in the cities of Judah; partly to repair and fortify them, and furnish them with all necessary provisions; and partly to purge out all the relies and seeds of idolatry and injustice, which were more secretly and subtlely managed in the cities than in the country, and which were first and most in the cities, and thence spread their infection into the country about them. See Jeremiah 2:28. And he had much business in the cities of Judah,.... Partly in fortifying them, and partly in reforming the inhabitants of them:

and the men of war, mighty men of valour, were in Jerusalem; or by or near unto it, so the particle is rendered, Joshua 5:13, they encamped in places adjacent to it; for such a number of men as follows, even 1,160,000, could never be contained in Jerusalem, but must be disposed of in the territories of it; nor did they wait on the king together; but in course, see 2 Chronicles 17:19, by which it appears there is no need to suppose any mistake of the transcriber, in any or all of the following sums, as has been suggested (q).

(q) See Maitland's History of London, B. 3. ch. 2. p. 543.

And he had much business in the cities of Judah: and the men of war, mighty men of valor, were in Jerusalem.
13. much business] R.V. many works.Verse 13. - Much business; Hebrew, מְלָאכָה. The meaning of the word is "service?' "labour bestowed;" and the verse reads, "And there was to him much labour in the cities of Judah, and men of war, mighty men of valour, in Jerusalem;" i.e. He bestoweth much pains on the cities of Judah, and had, etc. The word "were," Authorized Version italics, is incorrectly inserted. The former half of this verse would better constitute the end of ver. 12. Keil, however, maintains the rendering "substance;" "property," for מְלָאכָה: (Exodus 22:7, 10). In the third year of his reign he sent five princes, i.e., laymen of high position, with nine Levites and two priests, into the cities of Judah, with the book of the law, to teach the law everywhere to the people. בּן־חיל is nom. prop., like בּן־חסד, 1 Kings 4:10, בּן־דּקר, 1 Kings 4:9, and is not to be translated as an adjective, as in lxx and Syr., partly on account of the ל praef., and still more on account of the singular, for the plural חיל בּני must be used when it is in apposition to לשׂרי. Nothing further is known of the men named; the designation of them as שׂרים suggests the idea that they were heads of families or fathers'-houses. אדוניּה טוב, too (2 Chronicles 17:8), is one name. The "book of the law of Jahve" is the Pentateuch, not merely a collection of Mosaic laws, since in Jehoshaphat's time the Mosaic book of the law (the Pentateuch) had been long in existence. יהוּדה בּערי סבב signifies to go through the cities of Judah in different directions; baa`aam limeed, to teach among the people (not the people). The mission of these men is called by the older theologians a solemn ecclesiarum visitatio, quam Josaphat laudabili exemplo per universum regnum suum instituit, and they differ in opinion only as to the part played by the princes in it. Vitringa, de synagoga vet. p. 389, in agreement with Rashi, thinks that only the Levites and priests were deputed ut docerent; the princes, ut auctoritate imperioque suo populum erudiendum in officio continerent eumque de seria regis voluntate certiorem facerent; while others, e.g., Buddaeus, refer to 2 Chronicles 17:9, ubi principes pariter ac Levitae populum docuisse dicuntur, or believe with Grotius, docere et explicare legem non tantum sacerdotum erat et Levitarum, sed omnium eruditorum. Both views contain elements of truth, and do not mutually exclude each other, but may be harmonized. We can hardly confine למּד to religious teaching. The Mosaic law contains a number of merely civil precepts, as to which laymen learned in the law might impart instruction; and consequently the teaching probably consisted not merely in making the people acquainted with the contents of the law, but at the same time of direction and guidance in keeping the law, and generally in restoring and confirming the authority of the law among the people. In connection with this there were many abuses and illegalities which had to be broken down and removed; so that in this respect the task of the commission sent round the country by Jehoshaphat may be compared to a church inspection, if only we understand thereby not an inspection of churches in the Christian sense of the words, but an inspection of the religious and moral life of the communities of Israel under the old covenant.
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