2 Chronicles 20:9
If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.
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(9) If when evil cometh upon us.—A summary of part of Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication (2Chronicles 6:24-30). The reference to this prayer implies a confidence that it had been accepted in heaven, as the sign that followed it indicated (2Chronicles 7:1-3). Syriac, “When the sanctuary is amongst us, there will not come upon us evil, nor sword, nor judgment, &c., and we will come and stand before this house, and before Thee, because Thy name is invoked in this house; and we will come and pray before Thee in this house and thou wilt hearken to the voice of our prayer, and deliver us.” The Hebrew seems to say, “If there come upon us evil—sword (judgment), and pestilence and famine—we will stand (i.e., come forward) before this house, and before Thee, for Thy name is in this house, and we will cry unto Thee out of our distress, and Thou shalt (or that Thou mayest) hear and save.” The word rendered “judgment” (shĕphōt) is not used as a noun anywhere else; and, lacking a conjunction, it spoils the symmetry of the sentence. It is probably an ancient gloss. All the versions have it; and the Vulg. renders, “sword of judgment.” (Comp. the Syriac in 2Chronicles 20:12, infra.)

20:1-13 In all dangers, public or personal, our first business should be to seek help from God. Hence the advantage of days for national fasting and prayer. From the first to the last of our seeking the Lord, we must approach him with humiliation for our sins, trusting only in his mercy and power. Jehoshaphat acknowledges the sovereign dominion of the Divine Providence. Lord, exert it on our behalf. Whom should we seek to, whom should we trust to for relief, but the God we have chosen and served. Those that use what they have for God, may comfortably hope he will secure it to them. Every true believer is a son of Abraham, a friend of God; with such the everlasting covenant is established, to such every promise belongs. We are assured of God's love, by his dwelling in human nature in the person of the Saviour. Jehoshaphat mentions the temple, as a token of God's favourable presence. He pleads the injustice of his enemies. We may well appeal to God against those that render us evil for good. Though he had a great army, he said, We have no might without thee; we rely upon thee.Abraham thy friend - Historically, this is the first use of this remarkable expression, afterward repeated (marginal references). The ground of the expression is to be found principally in Genesis 18:23-33, where Abraham spoke with God as a man with his friend (compare Exodus 33:11).

2 Chronicles 20:8, 2 Chronicles 20:9

The appeal recalls Solomon's prayer (marginal references), which God had formally accepted by sending down fire from heaven to consume the accompanying offering.

6-12. And said, O Lord God of our fathers—This earnest and impressive prayer embraces every topic and argument which, as king and representative of the chosen people, he could urge. Then it concludes with an earnest appeal to the justice of God to protect those who, without provocation, were attacked and who were unable to defend themselves against overwhelming numbers. The sword, judgment, or rather, the sword of judgment, or of vengeance, i.e. war, whereby thou judgest and punishest thy people for their sins. Compare Leviticus 26:25.

If when evil cometh upon us,.... Any calamity:

as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, God's four sore judgments, if by "judgment" is meant wild beasts:

we stand before this house; in the court before the holy place, and holy of holies:

and in thy presence, for thy name is in this house; called upon in it, and it was called by his name, and in which he dwelt:

and cry unto thee in our affliction; as Solomon prayed at the dedication of it:

then thou wilt hear and help; as the Lord promised, see 1 Kings 8:33.

If, when evil cometh upon us, as the {e} sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name {f} is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.

(e) Meaning war which comes by God's just judgments for our sins.

(f) That is, it is here called on and you declared your presence and favour.

9. If, when evil cometh] R.V. If evil come.

as the sword, judgment] Omit as and render with R.V. mg. the sword of judgement (cp. Ezekiel 14:17).

we stand before this house, and in thy presence] R.V. we will stand before this house, and before thee.

then thou wilt hear and help] R.V. and thou wilt hear and save.

2 Chronicles 20:9In this land they dwelt, and built Thee therein a sanctuary for Thy name; cf. 2 Chronicles 6:5, 2 Chronicles 6:8. לאמר, saying, i.e., at the consecration of this house, having expressed the confident hope contained in the following words (2 Chronicles 20:9). In this verse, the cases enumerated in Solomon's dedicatory prayer, in which supplication is made that God would hear in the temple, are briefly summed up. By referring to that prayer, Jehoshaphat presupposes that Jahve had promised that He would answer prayer offered there, since He had filled the temple with His glory; see 2 Chronicles 7:1-3. The name שׁפות, which occurs only here, between דּבר and חרב, denotes in this connection a punitive judgment.
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