2 Chronicles 25:8
But if you will go, do it; be strong for the battle: God shall make you fall before the enemy: for God has power to help, and to cast down.
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(8) But if thou wilt go.—Rather, But go thyself; in contrast with the prohibition, “Let not the army of Israel go.”

Do it, be strong for the battle.—Compare 1Chronicles 22:16 : “Arise! act!”

God shall make thee fall.—Before these words, the expression wĕlō’, “and not,” must have dropped out of the text. “Venture on the expedition by thyself. with a good courage,” says the prophet, “and God will not let thee stumble before the foe.”

For God hath power.For there is strength in God, to help and to make to stumble. (Comp. 2Chronicles 20:6; 1Chronicles 29:12; Psalm 9:3.) The ancient versions were evidently embarrassed by the passage. The LXX. render: “Because if thou think to prevail through them, then will the Lord rout thee before thy foes; because it is from the Lord both to be strong and to rout.” Vulg.: “But if thou thinkest that wars depend on the strength of an army, God will make thee to be overcome by the enemy.” Syriac: “Because thou art going to make war, the Lord will cast thee down before thy foes; because thou hast not praised the Lord, who is the helper and uplifter.” It is noticeable that no version inserts the required negative; the omission, therefore, is ancient.

25:1-13 Amaziah was no enemy to religion, but cool and indifferent friend. Many do what is good, but not with a perfect heart. Rashness makes work for repentance. But Amaziah's obedience to the command of God was to his honour. A firm belief of God's all-sufficiency to bear us out in our duty, and to make up all the loss and damage was sustain in his service, will make his yoke very easy, and his burden very light. When we are called to part with any thing for God and our religion, it should satisfy us, that God is able to give us much more than this. Convinced sinners, who have not true faith, always object to self-denying obedience. They are like Amaziah; they say, But what shall we do for the hundred talents? What shall we do if by keeping the sabbath holy we lose so many good customers? What shall we do without this gain? What shall we do if we lose the friendship of the world? Many endeavour to quiet their consciences by the pretence that forbidden practices are necessary. The answer is, as here, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this. He makes up, even in this world, for all that is given up for his sake.If the present text is regarded as sound, this passage must be taken ironically. But most recent commentators supply a second negative, and render it: "But go thou alone, act, be strong for the battle - God shall then not make thee to fall." 7, 8. there came a man of God—sent to dissuade Amaziah from the course he was following, on the ground that "the Lord is not with Israel." This statement was perfectly intelligible to the king. But the historian, writing long after, thought it might require explanation, and therefore added the comment, "with all the children of Ephraim." Idolatry had long been the prevailing religion in that kingdom, and Ephraim its headquarters. As to the other part of the prophet's advice (2Ch 25:8), considerable obscurity hangs over it, as the text stands; and hence some able critics have suggested the insertion of "not" in the middle clause, so that the verse will be thus: "But if thou wilt go [alone], do, be strong for the battle; God shall not make thee fall before the enemy." Be strong for the battle; take courage, and strengthen thyself as much as thou canst. It is an ironical concession, like that, Go, and prosper. But if thou wilt go, do it, be strong for the battle,.... An ironical expression; if thou wilt not be advised, take them with thee, and try what thou canst do; exert all thy courage, and use thy military skill, and mark the issue:

God shall make thee fall before the enemy; notwithstanding the number of thy troops, and those of thy auxiliaries; though some take them to be spoken seriously, and read the words, "but go thou"; that is, alone, without the hired troops, and fight boldly and courageously; or otherwise "God shall make thee fall", &c.

for God hath power to help and to cast down; to help with a few, and to cast down with many; to help without the hired Israelites, and to cast down with them.

But {f} if thou wilt go, do it, be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down.

(f) If you will not give credit to my words.

8. do it] R.V. do valiantly (spoken ironically).

shall make thee fall] R.V. shall cast thee down.Verse 8. - It is hard to feel satisfied as to the correct rendering of this verse. The drift of the next verse, which shows Amaziah a convert to the strong exhortation of the man of God, makes either alternative allowable under the present text very untimely. and not very much in accord with what we should look for at the lips of the man of God. The very conceivable way out of the difficulty is to read לא, hyphened to אם (all the rather that no vau is present in בּלֺא, as the present text is), and proceed to supply בּא or בּוא again before אַתָּה, crediting some copyist with confusion of eye through these having come close together in his manuscript. The rendering will then be straightforward, and prepare the way for Amaziah's yielding conformably with the tenor of the next verse. "But if not" (i.e. if thou wilt not be guided by my remonstrance as to Ephraim), "go thou, be on the alert, exert all the strength possible for the battle, and yet nevertheless God will cause thee to stumble." And the remaining sentence may bear this significance, "For God hath power to help thee though alone, or to cast thee down though supported by an extra hundred thousand." If such alteration or conjectural restoration of the text be not accepted, we may harmonize the facts of the case with the most utter faithfulness of lip on the part of the prophet, by translating, "For in very truth, if thou go at all, and though thou make the best preparations, God shall make it go ill with thee." And Amaziah is persuaded to this point, that he will neither risk the lives of them of Ephraim vainly, nor risk the likelier displeasure of God on himself. He yields only partly, and therefore is nothing benefited. The difficulty is left untouched, that the prophet did not simply in toto forbid Amaziah to go, and that, saving them of Ephraim, he saves them to be a second scourge for the back of Amaziah, though he took his prophet's advice so far, and lost his own money. A careful and devout observer of human life and perverseness, when once these commit themselves to the vain struggle with God, and equally vain attempt to haggle with his providence as to how much to yield and how much to resist and with. hold, cannot but be struck with the photograph here thrown off, and that it is a faithful one, of hard facts that have met together disastrously times without number in men's lives. The sum, then, of the matter of our vers. 7, 8 may amount to this: "Under no circumstances take Israel, and if thou go thyself with all best preparations, yet know that God shall destroy thee." The statement as to the duration and spirit of the reign agrees with 2 Kings 14:1-6, except that in 2 Chronicles 25:2 the estimation of the spirit of the reign according to the standard of David, "only not as his ancestor David, but altogether as his father Joash did," which we find in the book of Kings, is replaced by "only not with a perfect heart;" and the standing formula, "only the high places were not removed," etc., is omitted.
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