2 Chronicles 19:3
Nevertheless there are good things found in you, in that you have taken away the groves out of the land, and have prepared your heart to seek God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Nevertheless.—Yet the Divine wrath will not pursue thee to destruction, for there are good things found in thee. (So 2Chronicles 12:12; comp. also 1Kings 14:13.)

Thou hast taken away the groves.Thou hast consumed (or exterminated ) the Ashērahs. (Deuteronomy 13:6; 2Kings 23:24.) So Asa had done (2Chronicles 17:4). (Ashērôth, as equivalent to Ashērîm, recurs in 2Chronicles 33:3 and in Judges 3:7 only.)

And hast prepared.—Or, directed. The contrary was said of Rehoboam (2Chronicles 12:14.)

19:1-11 Jehoshaphat visits his kingdom. - Whenever we return in peace to our houses, we ought to acknowledge God's providence in preserving our going out and coming in. And if we have been kept through more than common dangers, we are, in a special manner, bound to be thankful. Distinguishing mercies lay us under strong obligations. The prophet tells Jehoshaphat he had done very ill in joining Ahab. He took the reproof well. See the effect the reproof had upon him. He strictly searched his own kingdom. By what the prophet said, Jehoshaphat perceived that his former attempts for reformation were well-pleasing to God; therefore he did what was then left undone. It is good when commendations quicken us to our duty. There are diversities of gifts and operations, but all from the same Spirit, and for the public good; and as every one has received the gift, so let him minister the same. Blessed be God for magistrates and ministers, scribes and statesmen, men of books, and men of business. Observe the charge the king gave. They must do all in the fear of the Lord, with a perfect, upright heart. And they must make it their constant care to prevent sin, as an offence to God, and what would bring wrath on the people.Jehu ... went out to meet him - Compare 2 Chronicles 15:2. The monarch was therefore rebuked at the earliest possible moment, and in the most effective way, as he was entering his capital at the head of his returning army. Jehu, 35 years previously, had worked in the northern kingdom, and prophesied against Baasha 1 Kings 16:1-7, but had now come to Jerusalem, as prophet and historian (compare 2 Chronicles 20:34).

Shouldest thou help ... - As a matter of mere human policy, the conduct of Jehoshaphat in joining Ahab against the Syrians was not only justifiable but wise and prudent. And the reasonings upon which such a policy was founded would have been unexceptionable but for one circumstance. Ahab was an idolater, and had introduced into his kingdom a false religion of a new and most degraded type. This should have led Jehoshaphat to reject his alliance. Military success could only come from the blessing and protection of Yahweh, which such an alliance, if persisted in, was sure to forfeit.

CHAPTER 19

2Ch 19:1-4. Jehoshaphat Visits His Kingdom.

1-4. Jehoshaphat … returned to his house in peace—(See 2Ch 18:16). Not long after he had resumed the ordinary functions of royalty in Jerusalem, he was one day disturbed by an unexpected and ominous visit from a prophet of the Lord [2Ch 19:2]. This was Jehu, of whose father we read in 2Ch 16:7. He himself had been called to discharge the prophetic office in Israel. But probably for his bold rebuke to Baasha (1Ki 16:1), he had been driven by that arbitrary monarch within the territory of Judah, where we now find him with the privileged license of his order, taking the same religious supervision of Jehoshaphat's proceedings as he had formerly done of Baasha's. At the interview here described, he condemned, in the strongest terms, the king of Judah's imprudent and incongruous league with Ahab—God's open enemy (1Ki 22:2)—as an unholy alliance that would be conducive neither to the honor and comfort of his house nor to the best interests of his kingdom. He apprised Jehoshaphat that, on account of that grave offense, "wrath was upon him from before the Lord," a judgment that was inflicted soon after (see on [442]2Ch 20:1-37). The prophet's rebuke, however, was administered in a mingled strain of severity and mildness; for he interposed "a nevertheless" (2Ch 19:3), which implied that the threatened storm would be averted, in token of the divine approval of his public efforts for the promotion of the true religion, as well as of the sincere piety of his personal character and life.

There are good things found in thee, i.e. good works proceeding from an honest heart; which God more regards than this particular error; and therefore though he will chasten thee, yet he will not utterly destroy thee. Or, directed or set thy heart, i.e. thou hast sought and served God with all thy heart, and not feignedly, as many others do. And this work of preparing or directing his heart is here ascribed to Jehoshaphat, as elsewhere it is attributed to God, Proverbs 16:1 Philippians 2:13, because it is man’s action, but performed by God’s grace, preventing, enabling, and inclining him to it. Nevertheless, there are good things found in thee,.... Principles of grace, righteousness, and holiness, faith, love, zeal, and other graces, true and genuine, from whence sprung many good works done by him:

in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land; cut down the groves of trees, and destroyed the idols and images in them:

and hast prepared thine heart to seek God; through the grace of God his heart was disposed to serve and worship the Lord, and to seek his honour and glory.

Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. good things] Cp. 2 Chronicles 12:12 (note).

taken away the groves] R.V. put away the Asheroth (plur. of “Asherah”); cp. 2 Chronicles 17:6 (note).Verse 3. - Nevertheless; Hebrew, אֲכָל one of the few particles that were affirmative in the earlier Hebrew (Genesis 42:21), but adversative in the later (2 Chronicles 1:4; Daniel 10:7, 21). It may be well rendered, "on the other hand." The expression here recalls the less favourable "notwithstanding" of Revelation 2:20. There are good things found in thee (see 2 Chronicles 17:1-9). 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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