2 Chronicles 28:12
Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war,
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(12) Children of Ephraim.—The ten tribes, as a political whole, are often designated as “Ephraim” by the prophets of that age, e.g., Hosea and Isaiah.

Stood up against.—The Hebrew phrase usually means opposed; here confronted or came before those who were coming from the host.

28:1-27 The wicked reign of Ahaz in Judah. - Israel gained this victory because God was wroth with Judah, and made them the rod of his indignation. He reminds them of their own sins. It ill becomes sinners to be cruel. Could they hope for the mercy of God, if they neither showed mercy nor justice to their brethren? Let it be remembered, that every man is our neighbour, our brother, our fellow man, if not our fellow Christian. And no man who is acquainted with the word of God, need fear to maintain that slavery is against the law of love and the gospel of grace. Who can hold his brother in bondage, without breaking the rule of doing to others as he would they should do unto him? But when sinners are left to their own heart's lusts, they grow more desperate in wickedness. God commands them to release the prisoners, and they obeyed. The Lord brought Judah low. Those who will not humble themselves under the word of God, will justly be humbled by his judgments. It is often found, that wicked men themselves have no real affection for those that revolt to them, nor do they care to do them a kindness. This is that king Ahaz! that wretched man! Those are wicked and vile indeed, that are made worse by their afflictions, instead of being made better by them; who, in their distress, trespass yet more, and have their hearts more fully set in them to do evil. But no marvel that men's affections and devotions are misplaced, when they mistake the author of their trouble and of their help. The progress of wickedness and misery is often rapid; and it is awful to reflect upon a sinner's being driven away in his wickedness into the eternal world."Ephraim" is used herein the generic sense so common in the prophets, as synonymous with the ten tribes. 8-14. the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand—These captives included a great number of women, boys, and girls, a circumstance which creates a presumption that the Hebrews, like other Orientals, were accompanied in the war by multitudes of non-combatants (see on [460]Jud 4:8). The report of these "brethren," being brought as captives to Samaria, excited general indignation among the better-disposed inhabitants; and Oded, a prophet, accompanied by the princes (2Ch 28:12 compared with 2Ch 28:14), went out, as the escort was approaching, to prevent the disgraceful outrage of introducing such prisoners into the city. The officers of the squadron were, of course, not to blame; they were simply doing their military duty in conducting those prisoners of war to their destination. But Oded clearly showed that the Israelitish army had gained the victory—not by the superiority of their arms, but in consequence of the divine judgment against Judah. He forcibly exposed the enormity of the offense of keeping "their brethren" as slaves got in war. He protested earnestly against adding this great offense of unnatural and sinful cruelty (Le 25:43, 44; Mic 2:8, 9) to the already overwhelming amount of their own national sins. Such was the effect of his spirited remonstrance and the opposing tide of popular feeling, that "the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation." No text from Poole on this verse. Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim,.... Of the principal men of the ten tribes, whose names follow:

Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war; who were bringing the captives and spoils to Samaria; but these princes, being influenced by what the prophet said, hindered their proceeding any further.

Then certain of the heads of the children of {g} Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war,

(g) Which tribe was now greatest and had most authority.

Verse 12. - Oded's appeal, and forcible but most temperate and pertinent argument of the previous verses, was addressed to those who led the returning army, flushed with victory and haughty with their captives led in triumph, and, as ver. 15 shows, cruelly, and with every deprivation of clothes and of shoes, etc. It now, however, fortunately meets with most welcome practical support from those (certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim) who had not had a hand in what had been done, and now stood by, in some measure like umpires. They, at any rate, are convinced, partly perhaps in that their blood was not hot with the battles that had been. We do not know particulars of these four worthier men, whose names, with their fathers', are here "expressed" (ver. 15). They were evidently conscious of their past sins, had fear toward God, were not of those who, sinning, hastened to sin yet more; but they wished to flee from the wrath to come, the "fierce wrath," already impending. Ephraim (see note on 2 Chronicles 25:7). The war with the Kings Rezin of Syria and Pekah of Israel. - On the events of this war, so far as they can be ascertained by uniting the statements of our chapter with the summary account in 2 Kings 16, see the commentary on 2 Kings 16:5. The author of the Chronicle brings the two main battles prominently forward as illustrations of the way in which Jahve gave Ahaz into the power of his enemies because of his defection from Him. Into the power of the king of Aram. They (ויּכּוּ, and they, the Arameans) smote בו, in him, i.e., they inflicted on his army a great defeat. Just so also ממּנוּ signifies of his army. גּדולה שׁביה, a great imprisonment, i.e., a great number of prisoners. And into the power of the king of Israel, Pekah, who inflicted on him a still greater defeat. He slew in (among) Judah 120,000 men "in one day," i.e., in a great decisive battle. Judah suffered these defeats because they (the men of Judah) had forsaken Jahve the God of their fathers. Judah's defection from the Lord is not, indeed, expressly mentioned in the first verses of the chapter, but may be inferred as a matter of course from the remark as to the people under Jotham, 2 Chronicles 27:2. If under that king, who did that which was right in the eyes of Jahve, and stedfastly walked before the Lord (2 Chronicles 27:6), they did corruptly, they must naturally have departed much further from the God of the fathers, and been sunk much deeper in the worship of idols, and the worship on high places, under Ahaz, who served the Baals and other idols.
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