2 Chronicles 21:14
Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite your people, and your children, and your wives, and all your goods:
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(14) Behold, with a great plague will the Lord smite thy people.—Literally, Behold, Jehovah is about to smite a great smiting in thy people and in thy sons. The immediate object of the verb is not expressed. (Comp. 2Chronicles 21:18.) It was Jehoram himself who was smitten in his people, and in his sons, and in his wives, and in all his goods, as 2Chronicles 21:17 shows. The “smiting “—i.e., heaven-sent stroke, or Divine visitation—consisted in an invasion of Philistines and Arabs, who sacked Jerusalem and the royal palace.

2 Chronicles 21:14. Behold, with a great plague, &c. — There was no calamity that could be thought of which did not befall this wicked prince: whose kingdom was destroyed and depopulated by the fiercest nations; his treasures ransacked; his wives carried into captivity; his children slain; and he himself laboured under a sore disease for two years; and when he was dead, had not the honour of royal sepulchre, such as his ancestors had. All which calamities were threatened in the writing sent him, that he might not think they came by chance, but by the special direction of Almighty God, as a punishment for his wickedness. But why should his people suffer, who are here threatened to be plagued? 1st, Because their base fear made them comply with him in his idolatry: and, 2d, Because he suffered in his people’s destruction: for as the honour, and safety, and strength of a king lie in the multitude and prosperity of his people; so when they are diminished, and destroyed, the king is very much weakened and endangered by it. And thy children, and thy wives — Whose lives shall go for the lives of thy brethren.21:12-20 A warning from God was sent to Jehoram. The Spirit of prophecy might direct Elijah to prepare this writing in the foresight of Jehoram's crimes. He is plainly told that his sin should certainly ruin him. But no marvel that sinners are not frightened from sin, and to repentance, by the threatenings of misery in another world, when the certainty of misery in this world, the sinking of their estates, and the ruin of their health, will not restrain them from vicious courses. See Jehoram here stripped of all his comforts. Thus God plainly showed that the controversy was with him, and his house. He had slain all his brethren to strengthen himself; now, all his sons are slain but one. David's house must not be wholly destroyed, like those of Israel's kings, because a blessing was in it; that of the Messiah. Good men may be afflicted with diseases; but to them they are fatherly chastisements, and by the support of Divine consolations the soul may dwell at ease, even when the body lies in pain. To be sick and poor, sick and solitary, but especially to be sick and in sin, sick and under the curse of God, sick and without grace to bear it, is a most deplorable case. Wickedness and profaneness make men despicable, even in the eyes of those who have but little religion.The fulfillment of the threat is given in 2 Chronicles 21:16-17. 13-19. hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem … like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab—that is, introduced the superstitions and vices of Phœnician idolatry (see on [444]De 13:6-14). On this account, as well as for his unnatural cruelties, divine vengeance was denounced against him, which was soon after executed exactly as the prophet had foretold. A series of overwhelming calamities befell this wicked king; for in addition to the revolts already mentioned, two neighboring tribes (see 2Ch 17:11) made hostile incursions on the southern and western portions of his kingdom. His country was ravaged, his capital taken, his palace plundered, his wives carried off, and all his children slain except the youngest. He himself was seized with an incurable dysentery, which, after subjecting him to the most painful suffering for the unusual period of two years, carried him off, a monument of the divine judgment. To complete his degradation, his death was unlamented, his burial unhonored by his subjects. This custom, similar to what obtained in Egypt, seems to have crept in among the Hebrews, of giving funeral honors to their kings, or withholding them, according to the good or bad characters of their reign. The Lord will smite thy people.

Quest. Why the people for his sin?

Answ. 1. Because the generality of them sinned in complying with his wicked and idolatrous commands through fear, 2 Chronicles 21:11.

2. Because he suffered in his people’s destruction: for as the honour, and safety, and strength of a king lies in the multitude and prosperity of his people, Proverbs 14:28; so when they are diminished and destroyed, the king is very much weakened and endangered by it.

Thy children and thy wives; whose lives shall go for the lives of thy brethren, 2 Chronicles 21:4. Behold, with a great plague will the Lord smite thy people,.... They going into the same idolatry with himself willingly, at least great part of them, and therefore deserved to be smitten, and which would be a punishment to him:

and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods; which should be carried captive, as the event shows.

Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods:
14. with a great plague will the Lord smite] R.V. the LORD will smite with a great plague (“stroke,” mg.). For “plague” cp. 2 Chronicles 6:28-29. Jehoram’s “plague” is described in 2 Chronicles 21:16-17.

thy goods] R.V. thy substance (Genesis 12:5); the Heb. word includes both “goods” and “chattels” (i.e. live stock).Verse 14. - A great plague; Hebrew, מַגֵּפָה, Out of the twenty-six occurrences of this word, it is rendered (Authorized Version) twenty-three times by the word "plague," twice by the word "slaughter" (2 Samuel 17:9; 2 Samuel 18:7), and once "stroke" (Ezekiel 24:16). It is not the word (גֶגַע) which about sixty times (chiefly in Leviticus)describes the physical plague, but both of the words are applied to the plagues, e.g. of Pharaoh, and to the suffering that came of any severe smiting of the people. As no physical affliction in the shape of disease visited, so far as we know, the people, wives, and children of the king, and as his goods are reckoned in for the great plague, the general opinion is probably the correct one, that the invasions spoken of (vers. 16, 17) fulfilled the punishment now announced. Duration and spirit of Joram's reign. - These verses agree with 2 Kings 8:17-22, with the exception of some immaterial divergences, and have been commented upon in the remarks on that passage. - In 2 Chronicles 21:7 the thought is somewhat otherwise expressed than in 2 Kings 8:19 : "Jahve would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that He had made with David;" instead of, "He would not destroy Judah because of David His servant, as He had said." Instead of לבניו ניר לו לתת we have in the Chronicle וּלבניו ניר לו לתת, to give him a lamp, and that in respect of his sons, w being inserted before לבניו to bring the idea more prominently forward. In regard to שׂריו עם, 2 Chronicles 21:9, instead of צעירה, 2 Kings 8:21, see on 2 Kings c. cit. At the end of 2 Chronicles 21:9 the words, "and the people fled to their tents" (2 Kings 8:21), whereby the notice of Joram's attempt to bring Edom again under his sway, which is in itself obscure enough, becomes yet more obscure.
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