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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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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).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.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.
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.
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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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.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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