2 Chronicles 18:31
And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
18:1-34 Jehoshaphat's alliance with Ahab. - This history we read in 1Ki 22. Abundant riches and honour give large opportunities of doing good, but they are attended with many snares and temptations. Men do not know much of the artifices of Satan and the deceitfulness of their own hearts, when they covet riches with the idea of being able to do good with them. What can hurt those whom God will protect? What can shelter those whom God will destroy? Jehoshaphat is safe in his robes, Ahab killed in his armour; for the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. We should be cautious of entangling ourselves in the worldly undertakings of evil men; and still more we should avoid engaging in their sinful projects. But, when they call upon him, God can and will bring his faithful people out of the difficulties and dangers into which they have sinfully run themselves. He has all hearts in his hand, so that he easily rescues them. Blessed is the man that putteth his trust in the Lord.And the Lord helped him ... - There is nothing correspondent to this passage in Kings. It is a pious reflection on the part of the author, who traces all deliverance to its real divine source. 2. after certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria—This is word for word, the same as 1Ki 22:1-53. (See [441]commentary on that chapter). No text from Poole on this verse. And after certain years,.... Two years, according to the Syriac and Arabic versions, or in the third year after the affinity was contracted, see 1 Kings 22:2,

he went down to Ahab to Samaria; to pay him a visit upon the alliance, civil and matrimonial, contracted between them:

and Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him; entertained him and his retinue in a very grand and liberal manner:

and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramothgilead; from hence, to the end of the chapter, it is the same with 1 Kings 22:4.

And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat {t} cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him.

(t) He cried to the Lord by acknowledging his fault in going with this wicked king to war against the word of the Lord by his prophet and also by desiring mercy for the same.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
31. saw Jehoshaphat … to fight] Render, saw Jehoshaphat, (now they said, It is the king of Israel!) that they turned about against him to fight. The captains of the chariots obeying the orders given them made a circuit in order to reach the rear of the Israelite army where Jehoshaphat was stationed. The same fact is described in 1 Kin. by the phrase, they turned aside. The A.V. of Chronicles they compassed about him (i.e. “surrounded him”; cp. 2 Chronicles 21:9) is a possible, but less probable, interpretation.

and God moved them to depart from him] These words anticipate 2 Chronicles 18:32 and are not found in 1 Kin. Probably a panic fell on the Syrian charioteers when they found themselves far from the rest of the Syrian army and yet not near the king of Israel.Verse 31. - Comparing this and following verse minutely with the parallel (1 Kings 22:32, 33), the exact correspondence of the latter of each pair of verses only the more clearly points the significance belonging to the two clauses of foreign matter interposed so characteristically by the writer of Chronicles for his own unvarying special objects, viz. the Lord helped him; and God moved them. What the cry of Jehoshaphat was remains uncertain; whether a cry to his own bodyguard and soldiers, or a cry to those who were beginning "to compass him about as bees," to let them know at any rate that he was not the king they sought, or whether most improbably, a cry to the Lord is meant. The cry fulfilled its purpose, and if Jehoshaphat had a sneaking love for Ahab (see the significant "love them," etc., of Jehu in second verse of next chapter), he evidently had not any idea of needlessly dying for him. The happy distinction of perceiving in next verse, as compared with seeing in this verse, is not warranted by the Hebrew text (in both cases כִּרְאות), though it is by the gist of the connection and English idiom, The campaign undertaken along with Ahab against the Syrians at Ramoth in Gilead, with its origin, course, and results for Ahab, is narrated in 1 Kings in the history of Ahab) in agreement with our narrative, only the introduction to the war being different here. In 1 Kings 22:1-3 it is remarked, in connection with the preceding wars of Ahab with the Syrians, that after there had been no war for three years between Aram and Israel, in the third year Jehoshaphat king of Judah came up to the king of Israel; and the latter, when he and his servants had determined to snatch away from the Syrians the city Ramoth in Gilead, which belonged to Israel, called upon Jehoshaphat to march with him to the war against Ramoth. In the Chronicle the more exact statement, "in the third year," which is intelligible only in connection with the earlier history of Ahab, is exchanged for the indefinite שׁנים לקץ, "at the end of years;" and mention is made of the festal entertainment which Ahab bestowed upon his guest and his train (עמּו אשׁר העם), to show the pains which Ahab took to induce King Jehoshaphat to take part in the proposed campaign. He killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, ויסיתהוּ ,ecnadn, and enticed, seduced him to go up with him to Ramoth. הסית, to incite, entice to anything (Judges 1:14), frequently to evil; cf. Deuteronomy 13:7, etc. עלה, to advance upon a land or a city in a warlike sense. The account which follows of the preparations for the campaign by inquiring of prophets, and of the war itself, vv. 4-34, is in almost verbal agreement with 1 Kings 22:5-35. Referring to 1 Kings or the commentary on the substance of the narrative, we will here only group together briefly the divergences. Instead of 400 men who were prophets, 2 Chronicles 18:5, in 1 Kings 22:5 we have about 400 men. It is a statement in round numbers, founded not upon exact enumeration, but upon an approximate estimate. Instead of אהדּל אם...הנלך, 2 Chronicles 18:5, in Kings, 1 Kings 22:6, we have אהדּל אם...האלך, both verbs being in the same number; and so too in 2 Chronicles 18:14, where in Kings. 1 Kings 22:15, both verbs stand in the plural, notwithstanding that the answer which follows, והצלח עלה, is addressed to Ahab alone, not to both the kings, while in the Chronicle the answer is given in the plural to both the kings, והצליחוּ עלוּ. in 2 Chronicles 18:7, "he prophesies me nothing good, but all his days (i.e., so long as he has been a prophet) evil," the meaning is intensified by the כּל־ימיו, which is not found in 1 Kings 22:8. In 2 Chronicles 18:9, the ויושׁבים, which is introduced before the בּגרן, "and sitting upon the threshing-floor," is due to difference of style, for it is quite superfluous for the signification. In 2 Chronicles 18:15, the ambiguous words of Micah,' and Jahve will give into the hand of the king" (1 Kings 22:15), are given in a more definite form: "and they (the enemy) shall be given into your hand." In 2 Chronicles 18:19, in the first כּכה אמר זה, the אמר after the preceding ויּאמר is not only superfluous, but improper, and has probably come into the text by a copyist's error. We should therefore read only בּכה זה, corresponding to the כּכה זה of 1 Kings 22:20 : "Then spake one after this manner, and the other spake after another manner." In 2 Chronicles 18:23, the indefinite אי־זה of 1 Kings 22:24, is elucidated by הדּרך זה אי, "is that the manner" (cf. 1 Kings 13:12; 2 Kings 3:8)., and the verb. עבר follows without the relative pronoun, as in the passages cited. In 2 Chronicles 18:30, only הרכב שׂרי of the king are mentioned, without any statement of the number, which is given in 1 Kings 22:31, with a backward reference to the former war (1 Kings 20:24). In 2 Chronicles 18:31, after the words, "and Jehoshaphat cried out," the higher cause of Jehoshaphat's rescue is pointed out in the words, "and Jahve helped him, and God drove them from him," which are not found in 1 Kings 22:32; but by this religious reflection the actual course of the event is in no way altered. Bertheau's remark, therefore, that "the words disturb the clear connection of the events," is quite unwarrantable. Finally, in 2 Chronicles 18:34, מעמיד היה, he was holding his position, i.e., he held himself standing upright, the Hiph. is more expressive than the Hoph. מעמד (1 Kings 22:35), since it expresses more definitely the fact that he held himself upright by his own strength. With Ahab's death, which took place in the evening at the time of the going down of the sun, the author of the Chronicle concludes his account of this war, and proceeds in 2 Chronicles 19:1-11 to narrate the further course of Jehoshaphat's reign. In 1 Kings 22:36-39, the return of the defeated army, and the details as to Ahab's death and burial, are recorded; but these did not fit into the plan of the Chronicle.
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