2 Chronicles 19:9
And he charged them, saying, Thus shall you do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.
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(9) Thus.—Viz., as 2Chronicles 19:10 explains.

Them.—The members of the Superior Court; just as the ordinary judges had been charged (2Chronicles 19:6-7).

Perfect heart.—i.e., integrity. (See 2Chronicles 15:17; 2Chronicles 16:9.)

2 Chronicles 19:9. Faithfully, and with a perfect heart — Passing such sentences with your lips, as your consciences, upon the hearing of the parties, shall judge to be just, and not acting against your consciences through carnal motives, as corrupt judges do.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.The "fathers of Israel" are the heads of families; the chief of the fathers" are the great patriarchal chiefs, the admitted heads of great houses or clans. They were now admitted to share in the judicial office which seems in David's time to have been confined to the Levites 1 Chronicles 23:4.

For the judgment of the Lord, and for controversies - By the former are meant disputed cases concerning the performance of religious obligations. In "controversies" are included all the ordinary causes, whether criminal or civil.

When they returned to Jerusalem - Rather, "and they returned to Jerusalem," a clause which if detached from the previous words and attached to 2 Chronicles 19:9, gives a satisfactory sense.

2Ch 19:8-11. To the Priests and Levites.

8. set of the Levites … priests, and of the chief of the fathers of Israel—A certain number of these three classes constituted a supreme court, which sat in Jerusalem to review appellate cases from the inferior courts. It consisted of two divisions: the first of which had jurisdiction in ecclesiastical matters; the second, in civil, fiscal, and criminal cases. According to others, the two divisions of the supreme court adjudicated: the one according to the law contained in the sacred books; the other according to the law of custom and equity. As in Eastern countries at the present day, the written and unwritten law are objects of separate jurisdiction.

Passing such sentences with your months, as your own minds and consciences, upon the hearing of the parties, shall judge to be just, and not acting against your own consciences for carnal motives, as corrupt judges do. And he charged them,.... The members of the court at Jerusalem:

saying, thus shall ye do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully, and with a perfect heart; judge righteously and impartially, as men fearing God, true to the trust reposed in them, and sincere and upright in heart and actions, having nothing else in view but the glory of God, and the good of men.

And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.
9. a perfect heart] i.e. a heart undivided in its allegiance; cp. 1 Chronicles 12:38. The judges were not to attempt to combine the service of God with the taking of bribes.The prophet Jehu's declaration as to Jehoshaphat's alliance with Ahab, and Jehoshaphat's further efforts to promote the fear of God and the administration of justice in Judah. - 2 Chronicles 19:1-3. Jehu's declaration. Jehoshaphat returned from the war in which Ahab had lost his life, בּשׁלום, i.e., safe, uninjured, to his house in Jerusalem; so that the promise of Micah in 2 Chronicles 18:16 was fulfilled also as regards him. But on his return, the seer Jehu, the son of Hanani, who had been thrown into the stocks by Asa (2 Chronicles 16:7.), met him with the reproving word, "Should one help the wicked, and lovest thou the haters of Jahve!" (the inf. with ל, as in 1 Chronicles 5:1; 1 Chronicles 9:25, etc.). Of these sins Jehoshaphat had been guilty. "And therefore is anger from Jahve upon thee" (על קצף as in 1 Chronicles 27:24). Jehoshaphat had already had experience of this wrath, when in the battle of Ramoth the enemy pressed upon him (2 Chronicles 18:31), and was at a later time to have still further experience of it, partly during his own life, when the enemy invaded his land (2 Chronicles 20), and when he attempted to re-establish the sea trade with Ophir (2 Chronicles 20:35.), partly after his death in his family (2 Chronicles 21 and 2 Chronicles 22:1-12). "But," continues Jehu, to console him, "yet there are good things found in thee (cf. 2 Chronicles 12:12), for thou hast destroyed the Asheroth..." אשׁרות equals אשׁרים, 2 Chronicles 17:6. On these last words, comp. 2 Chronicles 12:14 and 2 Chronicles 17:4.
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