2 Chronicles 20:21
And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers to the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endures for ever.
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(21) And when he had consulted with.—Or, advised, given counsel to, warned. (Comp. 2Kings 6:8.) Vulg., “deditque consilium populo, et statuit cantores domini.”

And that should praise the beauty of holiness.—Rather, and men praising, in holy apparel. i.e., Levitical vestments (1Chronicles 16:29; Psalm 29:2).

And to say.And saying.

Praise the Lord.Give thanks unto Jehovah The refrain of the singers. (See on 1Chronicles 16:34; 1Chronicles 16:41; 2Chronicles 5:13; 2Chronicles 7:3.) The band of Levitical minstrels were to march before the army (halûq, the armed host; Joshua 6:7).

2 Chronicles 20:21. When he had consulted with the people — That is, with the elders and heads of the tribes, who represented the rest. He called a council of war, and it was resolved to appoint singers to go out before the army, who had nothing to do but to praise God, to praise his holiness, which is his beauty, to praise him as they did in the temple, that beauty of holiness, “with that good old doxology, which eternity itself,” as Henry says, “will not wear threadbare, Praise the Lord, for his mercy endureth for ever.” By this strange advance to the field of battle, Jehoshaphat showed his firm reliance on the word of God, which enabled him to triumph before the battle, to animate his own men, and confound the enemy.20:20-30 Jehoshaphat exhorted his troops to firm faith in God. Faith inspires a man with true courage; nor will any thing help more to the establishing of the heart in shaking times, than a firm belief of the power, and mercy, and promise of God. In all our trust in the Lord, and our praises of him, let us especially look at his everlasting mercy to sinners through Jesus Christ. Never was an army so destroyed as that of the enemy. Thus God often makes wicked people destroy one another. And never was a victory celebrated with more solemn thanksgivings.Praise the beauty of holiness - Some render, "in the beauty of holiness" - i. e. in rich apparel and ornaments suitable to a holy occasion. Compare Psalm 29:2. 21. he appointed singers … that they should praise … as they went out before the army—Having arranged the line of procession, he gave the signal to move forwards. The Levites led the van with their musical instruments; and singing the 136th Psalm, the people went on, not as an army marching against an enemy, but returning in joyful triumph after a victory. With the people, i.e. with the elders or chief of the people; partly to take their advice about the expediency of the thing; and partly that they might excite and prepare themselves, and the people under them, to this great work of praising God.

He appointed singers unto the Lord; to the honour and service of God.

The beauty of holiness, or, the glory, or magnificence, or majesty of holiness, i.e. (by a vulgar Hebraism,) the Holy Majesty; a periphrasis of God. Or, according to the beauty or magnificence of the sanctuary, i.e. in the same comely order and magnificent manner as they used to do it in the temple; where the following song was usually sung, as 2 Chronicles 5:13 7:3,6. And when he had consulted with the people,.... His principal officers, in what order they should march, and in what manner they should form themselves, when they met the enemy, and how they should conduct as if they were to engage:

he appointed singers unto the Lord; to sing his praise, and give him glory, as if the victory was already completed, it being so sure:

and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army; that is, praise God, who is glorious in holiness, whose beauty lies in his holiness, and who is holy in all his ways and works:

and to say, praise the Lord, for his mercy endureth for ever; with which they were to conclude their songs of praise, as David did, and whose songs they might sing; see Psalm 136:1.

And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, {n} Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.

(n) This was a psalm of thanksgiving which they used commonly to sing when they praised the Lord for his benefits, and was made by David, Ps 136:1-26.

21. consulted] R.V. taken counsel.

singers unto the Lord, and that should praise] R.V. them that should sing unto the LORD, and praise. Cp. the preliminaries of the Battle of the Standard fought between the Scots and English in 1138.

the beauty of holiness] Cp. 1 Chronicles 16:29 (note).

before the army] Contrast Joshua 6:7; Joshua 6:9 (the armed men precede the ark).

Praise] R.V. Give thanks; cp. 1 Chronicles 16:41.Verse 21. - And when he had consulted with the people; i.e. possibly simply "conferred with" those who were over the singers, as to who should be the most prominent in leading the service of praise, or as to what should be the words sung and other like matters of detail; or more probably, considering the exact form of language used, the reference is to what we are told Jehoshaphat had just done, to wit, counselled well the people and given good advice to them. Praise the beauty of holiness. The rendering should no doubt be in the beauty of holiness, i.e. in garments of beauty (1 Chronicles 16:29; Psalm 29:2; Revised Version margin," in holy army "). Praise the Lord; Revised Version, give thanks to the Lord (2 Chronicles 5:13; 2 Chronicles 7:3, 6; Psalm 106; Psalm 136.). Jehaziel announced to the king and people that they need not fear before the great multitude of their foes; "for the war is not yours, but Jahve's," i.e., you have not to make war upon them, for the Lord will do it; cf. 1 Samuel 17:47.
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