2 Chronicles 17:18
And next him was Jehozabad, and with him an hundred and fourscore thousand ready prepared for the war.
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(18) Ready prepared for the war.Equipped for service. (See on 1Chronicles 12:23-24; Numbers 31:5; Numbers 32:29.) The hoplites or heavy-armed infantry are probably meant.

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.The captains of thousands; Adnah the chief - literally, "princes of thousands, Adnah the prince." The writer does not mean that Adnah (or Johohanan, 2 Chronicles 17:15) was in any way superior to the other "princes," but only that he was one of them.

Three hundred thousand - This number. and those which follow in 2 Chronicles 17:15-18, have been with good reason regarded as corrupt by most critics. For:

(1) They imply a minimum population of 1,480 to the square mile, which is more than three times greater than that of any country in the known world (circa 1880's).

(2) they produce a total just double that of the next largest estimate of the military force of Judah, the 580, 000 of 2 Chronicles 14:8.

(3) they are professedly a statement, not of the whole military force, but of the force maintained at Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 17:13; compare 2 Chronicles 17:19).

It is probable that the original numbers have been lost, and that the loss was suppplied by a scribe, who took 2 Chronicles 14:8 as his basis.

14. these are the numbers—The warriors were arranged in the army according to their fathers houses. The army of Jehoshaphat, commanded by five great generals and consisting of five unequal divisions, comprised one million one hundred and sixty thousand men, without including those who garrisoned the fortresses. No monarch, since the time of Solomon, equalled Jehoshaphat in the extent of his revenue, in the strength of his fortifications, and in the number of his troops. No text from Poole on this verse. And next to him, was Jehozabad,.... According to the Targum he encamped next him:

and with him one hundred and fourscore thousand ready prepared for war; being able bodied men, well disciplined, valiant, and well armed; these numbers of Judah and Benjamin put together amount to 1,160,000 men, whereas Asa only brought into the field 580,000; but it should be considered there had been a long time of peace, many had come off from the ten tribes to Judah, and the promise of multiplying the seed of Abraham was eminently fulfilled.

And next him was Jehozabad, and with him an hundred and fourscore thousand ready prepared for the war.
18. ready prepared for the war] R.V. ready prepared for war. The same phrase is translated armed for war in 1 Chronicles 12:24.Verse 18. - While Eliada of last verse was for Benjamin, Professor Dr. Murphy supposes that Jehozabad was for the annexed part of Ephraim. But no suppositions of this kind can avail to explain the numbers in the text, which is no doubt corrupt. Description of Jehoshaphat's power. - 2 Chronicles 17:12. And Jehoshaphat became ever greater, sc. in power. The partic. הולך expresses the continuous advance in greatness, cf. Ew. 280, b, as the infin. absol. does elsewhere, e.g., Genesis 8:3. למעלה עד as in 2 Chronicles 16:12. - He built castles in Judah. בּירניּות, only here and in 2 Chronicles 27:4, from בּירנית, derivative formed from בּירה by the Syriac termination נית-, fem. of ן-: castle, fortress. On מסכּנות ערי cf. 2 Chronicles 8:4.
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