2 Chronicles 17:8
And with them he sent Levites, even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tobadonijah, Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, priests.
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(8) And with them he sent Levites.—Rather, And with them were the Levites. The construction being changed. So LXX. and the Syriac. (Comp. 1Chronicles 16:41-42; 1Chronicles 15:18, for the same mode of enumeration, which is characteristic of the style of the chronicler.

Zebadiah.—Some MSS. and Syriac and Arabic read Zechariah.

Shemiramoth.—So LXX. and Vulg. (see 1Chronicles 16:5; 1Chronicles 15:18). The Heb. text is probably incorrect. Syriac and Arabic read instead Natûra.

Tob-adonijah.—This curious name occurs only here, and is perhaps a mere mistake arising out of the preceding Adonijah and Tobijah. The Syriac and Arabic omit it.

Priests.The priests.

The commission was a mixed one of civil and ecclesiastical persons (comp. 1Chronicles 13:1-2; 1Chronicles 23:2; 1Chronicles 24:6.)

And had the book of the law of the Lord.And with them was the book of the law (teaching) of Jehovah. For the construction, compare 1Chronicles 16:42. The writer evidently means the Pentateuch; and if this notice was derived by him from a contemporary source, e.g., the “words of Jehu the son of Hanani,” to which he refers as an authority for the reign (2Chronicles 20:34), it would constitute an important testimony to the existence, if not of the five books, at least of an ancient collection of laws at this early date (circ. 850 B.C. ).

And taught the people.Taught among the people.

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 princes were not sent as teachers themselves, but had the duty committed to them of seeing that the people were taught. The actual teachers were the priests and Levites of 2 Chronicles 17:8. 2Ch 17:7-11. He Sends Levites to Teach in Judah.

7-11. Also in the third year of his reign he sent to his princes, … to teach in the cities of Judah—The ordinary work of teaching devolved on the priests. But extraordinary commissioners were appointed, probably to ascertain whether the work had been done or neglected. This deputation of five princes, assisted by two priests and nine Levites, was to make a circuit of the towns in Judah. It is the first practical measure we read of as being adopted by any of the kings for the religious instruction of the people. Time and unbroken opportunities were afforded for carrying out fully this excellent plan of home education, for the kingdom enjoyed internal tranquillity as well as freedom for foreign wars. It is conformable to the pious style of the sacred historian to trace this profound peace to the "fear of the Lord having fallen on all kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah."

No text from Poole on this verse.

And with them he sent Levites,.... With the five princes he sent nine Levites:

even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tobadonijah, Levites; of whom we nowhere else read; no doubt they were principal persons, and fit for the work they were sent about:

and with them Elishama and Jehoram, priests; whose lips were to keep knowledge, and at whose mouth the law was to be sought, Malachi 2:7.

And with them he sent Levites, even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tobadonijah, Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, priests.
2 Chronicles 17:8In 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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