Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Moreover.—Literally, and cities built he in the hill region of Judah. (Comp. 2Chronicles 26:10.)
Castles.—Bîrânîyôth; a term explained at 2Chronicles 17:12. The contemporary prophets denounced the popular confidence in “fenced cities” as a kind of treason against Jehovah, who was Himself the shield and fortress of His people (Psalm 18:1; Isaiah 12:2). “Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth palaces; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof” (Hosea 8:14. Comp. Isaiah 2:15; Isaiah 17:3-4).2 Kings 15:37 note). The faithless trust put in fortifications was rebuked by the prophets of the time Hosea 8:14; Isaiah 2:15. Luke 1:65,
and in the forests he built castles and towers; for the safety of travellers, and of shepherds and their flocks, see 2 Chronicles 26:10.Moreover he built cities in the mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. in the mountains] R.V. in the hill country; cp. Luke 1:39 (ἡ ὀρινή).
castles] Cp. 2 Chronicles 17:12 (note).Verse 4. - The mountains of Judah; Hebrew, בְּהַר; Revised Version, hill country of Judah, the Hebrew text being in the singular number (compare particularly Joshua 9:1, where the Har is evidently placed in contrast with the Shefelah). Castles; Hebrew, בִּירָנִיּות (so 2 Chronicles 17:12). The meaning is that he built forts (Isaiah 2:15; Hosea 8:14). 2 Kings 15:5 (cf. for החפשׁית בּית the commentary on that passage). The reason of the separation of the king from intercourse with others, by his dwelling in the hospital, is given in the Chronicle in the words: "for he was cut off (shut out) from the house of Jahve." This reason can only mean, that because he, as a leper, was shut out from the house of the Lord, he could not live in fellowship with the people of God, but must dwell in a separate house. For the rest, we cannot exactly say how long Uzziah continued to live under the leprosy; but from the fact that his son Jotham, who at Uzziah's death was twenty-five years old, conducted the government for him, so much is clear, viz., that it can only have lasted a year or two.
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