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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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.2 Chronicles 21:16-17. 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, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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. 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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