2 Chronicles 26:6
And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
UZZIAH’S CAMPAIGNS, PUBLIC WORKS, AND MILITARY STRENGTH

(2Chronicles 26:6-15).

This section is peculiar to the Chronicles. Although the book of Kings passes over the facts recorded here, they are essential to forming a right conception of the strength and importance of the southern kingdom during the age of Uzziah and Jotham; and they are fully corroborated, not only by comparison with the data of Isaiah (Isaiah 2-4) upon the same subject, but also by the independent testimony of the cuneiform inscriptions of the period. (See Note on 2Kings 14:28.) Thus we find that the warlike Assyrian Tiglath-pileser II. chastised Hamath for its alliance with Judah during this reign, but abstained from molesting Uzziah himself—“a telling proof,” as Schrader says, for the accuracy of the Biblical account of Uzziah’s well-founded power.” The name of Uzziah is conspicuously absent from the list of western princes who, in B.C. 738, sent tribute to Tiglath: Hystaspes (Kushtashpi), king of Commagene (Kummuhâ’a), Rezin, king of the country of the Damascenes, Menahem of the city of the Samaritans, Hiram of the city of the Tyrians, Sibitti-bi’li of the city of the Giblites or Byblos, Urikki of Kui, Pisiris of Carchemish, Eniel of Hamath, Panammu of Sam’al, and nine other sovereigns, including those of Tabal and Arabia. The list thus comprises Hittites and Arameans, princes of Hither Asia, Phoenicia, and Arabia. The omission of Uzziah argues that the king of Judah felt himself strong enough to sustain the shock of collision with Assyria in case of need. He must have reckoned on the support of the surrounding states (also not mentioned in the above list), viz., Ashdod, Ascalon, Gaza, Edom, Ammon, Moab, &c. (Schrader, Keilinschr., p. 252, seq.).

(6) And he went forth and warred against the Philistines.—At the outset of his reign this able prince had given promise of his future by seizing and fortifying the port of Elath, and thus probably completing the subjugation of Edom, which his father had more than begun. Afterwards he assumed the offensive against the Philistines, Arabs, and Maonites, who had invaded the country under his predecessors (2Chronicles 21:16; 2Chronicles 20:1).

Brake down the wall of Gath.—After taking the city. (As to Gath, see 1Chronicles 18:1; 2Chronicles 11:8.)

Jabneh.—The Jamnia of Maccabees and Josephus; now the village of Jebnah, about twelve miles south of Joppa (the same as Jabneel, Joshua 15:11).

Ashdod.Esdûd. (Comp. Joshua 13:3.) Like Gath, one of the five sovereign states of the Philistines. It commanded the great road to Egypt; hence its possession was of first-rate importance to the contending military powers of Egypt and Assyria. Sargon captured it B.C. 719. (Comp. Isaiah 20:1.)

About Ashdod.In Ashdod, i.e., in the canton so called.

And among the Philistines.—That is, elsewhere in their territory. Uzziah appears to have reduced the Philistines to a state of complete vassalage. They were not, however, annexed to Judah, but ruled by their own kings.

2 Chronicles 26:6. And brake down the wall of Gath — Which had been taken by Hazael, in the days of Joash his grand-father, chap. 2 Kings 12:17; but was either relinquished by him, because it lay so far from his other dominions; or retaken by the Philistines, who had now repaired its fortifications and kept it.

26:1-15 As long as Uzziah sought the Lord, and minded religion, God made him to prosper. Those only prosper whom God makes to prosper; for prosperity is his gift. Many have owned, that as long as they sought the Lord, and kept close to their duty, they prospered; but when they forsook God, every thing went cross. God never continues either to bless the indolent or to withhold his blessing from the diligent. He will never suffer any to seek his face in vain. Uzziah's name was famed throughout all the neighbouring countries. A name with God and good people makes truly honourable. He did not delight in war, nor addict himself to sports, but delighted in husbandry.Uzziah's expedition was the natural sequel to the Edomite war of Amaziah 2 Chronicles 25:11, which crushed the most formidable of all the tribes of the south. On Jabneh see Joshua 15:11 note; and on Ashdod see Joshua 13:3 note. 6, 7. he went forth and warred against the Philistines—He overcame them in many engagements—dismantled their towns, and erected fortified cities in various parts of the country, to keep them in subjection.

Jabneh—the same as Jabneel (Jos 15:11).

Gath had been taken by Hazael in the days of Joash his grandfather, 2 Kings 12:17, but was either relinquished by him, because it lay so far from his other dominions; or retaken by the Philistines, who had now repaired its fortifications, and kept it.

And he went forth, and warred against the Philistines,.... Who in the times of Jehoram broke in upon Judah, and distressed them, 2 Chronicles 21:16.

and brake down the wall of Gath; which was one of the five principalities of the Philistines:

and the wall of Jabneh; nowhere else mentioned in Scripture, but frequent in the Jewish writings; where the sanhedrim sometimes sat, and where was a famous university, and from whence sprung many of the Jewish rabbins; it is the same which in some writers is called Jamnia, and was a port near to Joppa; and belonged to the tribe of Dan, as Josephus (m) writes:

and the wall of Ashdod: another of the principalities of the Philistines, the same with the Azotus of the New Testament; he dismantled all these places:

and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines; where he placed garrisons to keep them in awe; see Amos 1:8.

(m) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 9. sect. 22.

And he went forth and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the Philistines.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. the Philistines] Cp. 2 Chronicles 21:16; 2 Chronicles 28:18; 2 Kings 18:8; 1Ma 5:66-68; 1Ma 14:34. Wars against the Philistines continned almost down to Roman times.

brake down the wall of Gath] See note on 2 Chronicles 25:23.

Jabneh] Mentioned here only in the O.T., but probably to be Identified with “Jabneel” (Joshua 15:11). At a later date It was called “Jamnia” (2Ma 12:8). Its ruins are to be seen about 10 miles south of Jaffa (Joppa) on the coast. The modern Yebna is a few miles inland. Bädeker, p. 159.

Ashdod] Cp. 1 Samuel 5:1 ff.; Isaiah 20:1; Zephaniah 2:4; Nehemiah 4:7; Nehemiah 13:23; Acts 8:40 (Ἄζωτος). Now Esdud. Bädeker, 159.

about Ashdod] R.V. in the country of Ashdod (lit. “in Ashdod”). Perhaps the name has been repeated through an early scribal error and we should read simply “and built cities among the Philistines.”

Verse 6. - The Philistines. It has been seen how the Philistines, humbled to tribute under Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17:10-13), had lifted up their heads repeatedly since, as on one occasion in alliance with Arabians (2 Chronicles 21:16, 17) against Jehoram. Brake down the wall (see 2 Chronicles 25:23, the first occasion of this exact expression). Gath (see the parallel to our 2 Chronicles 24:23, 24 in 2 Kings 12:17). Jabneh. A city on the coast, northwest of Judah, now Jebna (see Joshua 15:10-12). Ashdod. Also on the coast, about eight miles south of Jabneh (Joshua 15:47). It is now a large village in Philistia, called Esdud, answering to the Azotus of Acts 8:40 (see Topographical Index to Conder's 'Handbook to the Bible;' and Dr. Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' sub voc., 1:119). Built cities about Ashdod; Revised Version supplies in italic type" in the country of Ashdod." However, the force of the preposition בְּ before "Ashdod" in this case speaks for itself; on account of the great importance of the place, in respect of its situation, on the road to Egypt, the strength of its position and perhaps the memory of the fact that, allotted to Judah, it had never really been appropriated by her, and incorporated with her, Uzziah saw it expedient to surround it with other fortified cities, or strong forts, which should be a watch upon it. 2 Chronicles 26:6Wars, buildings, and army of Uzziah. - Of the successful undertakings by which Uzziah raised the kingdom of Judah to greater worldly power and prosperity, nothing is said in the book of Kings; but the fact itself is placed beyond all doubt, for it is confirmed by the portrayal of the might and greatness of Judah in the prophecies of Isaiah (Isaiah 2-4), which date from the times of Uzziah and Jotham.

2 Chronicles 26:6

After Uzziah had, in the very beginning of his reign, completed the subjection of the Edomites commenced by his father by the capture and fortification of the seaport Elath (2 Chronicles 26:2), he took the field to chastise the Philistines and Arabians, who had under Joram made an inroad upon Judah and plundered Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 21:16.). In the war against the Philistines he broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod (i.e., after capturing these cities), and built cities in Ashdod, i.e., in the domain of Ashdod, and בּפּלשׁתּים, i.e., in other domains of the Philistines, whence we gather that he had wholly subdued Philistia. The city of Gath had been already taken from the Philistines by David; see 1 Chronicles 18:1; and as to situation, see on 1 Chronicles 11:8. Jabneh, here named for the first time, but probably occurring in Joshua 15:11 under the name Jabneel, is often mentioned under the name Jamnia in the books of the Maccabees and in Josephus. It is now a considerable village, Jebnah, four hours south of Joppa, and one and a half hours from the sea; see on Joshua 15:11. Ashdod is now a village called Esdud; see on Joshua 13:3.

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