2 Kings 13:5
(And the LORD gave Israel a savior, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians: and the children of Israel dwelled in their tents, as beforetime.
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(5) A saviour.—Jeroboam II., the grandson of Jehoahaz, a vigorous and successful sovereign, of whom it is said that Jehovah “saved” Israel by his hand (2Kings 14:27).

They went out from under the hand.—Referring to the oppressive supremacy of Syria. From these words, and from those of 2Kings 13:22, it would appear that Israel was tributary to Syria during some part of this period.

Dwelt in their tentsi.e., in the open country. In time of war they were obliged to take refuge in strongholds and fortified cities.

As before time.—See Note on 1Chronicles 11:2; Genesis 31:2.

2 Kings 13:5. The Lord gave Israel a saviour — Either Elisha, below, (2 Kings 13:14,) or rather, Jehoash the son of this Jehoahaz, (2 Kings 13:25,) and Jeroboam his son, 2 Kings 14:25. Both of these were instrumental in working out great deliverances for Israel, although they were wicked men, who still kept up the idolatry of the calves. Israel dwelt in their tents as before time — In peace and security: not only in their strong cities, but even in their tents in the fields.13:1-9 It was the ancient honour of Israel that they were a praying people. Jehoahaz, their king, in his distress, besought the Lord; applied himself for help, but not to the calves; what help could they give him? He sought the Lord. See how swift God is to show mercy; how ready to hear prayer; how willing to find a reason to be gracious; else he would not look so far back as the ancient covenant Israel had so often broken, and forfeited. Let this invite and engage us for ever to him; and encourage even those who have forsaken him, to return and repent; for there is forgiveness with him, that he may be feared. And if the Lord answer the mere cry of distress for temporal relief, much more will he regard the prayer of faith for spiritual blessings.The Lord gave Israel a saviour - Not immediately on the repentance of Jehoahaz but after his death (see 2 Kings 13:25).

They went out from under the hand of the Syrians - i. e. they ceased to be oppressed by the Syrians; they shook off their yoke, and became once more perfectly independent.

Tents - See 1 Kings 8:66 note.

5. a saviour—This refers neither to some patriotic defender nor some signal victory, but to the deliverance obtained for Israel by the two successors of Jehoahaz, namely, Joash, who regained all the cities which the Syrians had taken from his father (2Ki 13:25); and Jeroboam, who restored the former boundaries of Israel (2Ki 14:25). A saviour; either Elisha, below, 2 Kings 13:14; or rather, Jehoash, the son of this Jehoahaz, below, 2 Kings 13:25, and Jeroboam his son, 2 Kings 14:25.

In their tents, as beforetime; in peace and security, not only in their strong cities, but even in their tents in the fields. And the Lord gave Israel a saviour,.... Not an angel sent by him, nor a captain raised up among them, nor the prophet Elisha, who predicted their deliverance, nor Jehoahaz himself, but his son Joash, 2 Kings 13:25.

so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians; were not in subjection to them, nor harassed by them, nor in fear of them:

and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents, as before time; in peace and safety.

(And the LORD gave Israel a {c} saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians: and the children of Israel {d} dwelt in their tents, as beforetime.

(c) That is, Joash the son of Jehoahaz.

(d) Safely and without danger.

5. And the Lord gave Israel a saviour] The LXX, has σωτηρίαν ‘salvation’, ‘deliverance’. The two verses 5 and 6 are a parenthesis, and interrupt the connexion. The ‘saviour’ alludes to what is said of Jeroboam 2. (2 Kings 14:27). ‘The Lord saved Israel by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash’. This was the time when the prayer of Jehoahaz was truly answered, in the reign of his grandson. That passage is connected with this also by the language of the preceding verse (26) ‘The Lord saw the affliction of Israel, that it was bitter’.

so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians] Language like this must refer to some very great change in the relative positions of Syria and Israel. We have some indication of it in the statement (2 Kings 14:28) that Jeroboam recovered Damascus for Israel. By such a reverse the power of Syria must have been severely broken. We learn from the cuneiform inscriptions (1 Rawl. 35) that Damascus was about this time made subject to Assyria (Schrader p. 110; Eng. Trans. vol. 1. 203). It may be therefore that by the help of Assyria (which we have seen that Israel sometimes gained at the expense of liberty) the kings of Israel were able to shake off the thraldom of their nearer, and therefore more galling, oppressor, at first partially, then completely, so as to come from under his hand.

the children of Israel dwelt in their tents] The expression may refer to the peaceful state when the dwellers in the country could live safely out amid their flocks and crops, and not be constrained by the pressure of war to seek refuge in the towns. But it has been noted (see on 1 Kings 8:66) that ‘tents’ is used for ‘homes’. Hence the words of this verse may mean only that the people lived quietly at home, and were not constantly called forth to resist the inroads of the Syrians.Verse 5. - And the Lord gave Israel a savior, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians. A "savior'" means a deliverer from the hand of the Syrians (comp. Judges 3:9, 15; Nehemiah 9:27, where in the Hebrew the word used is the same). The special "deliverer" was probably in the mind of the writer, Jeroboam II., by whom he says, in ch. 14:27, that God "saved" Israel; but Joash, who began the deliverance (ver. 25), may also be glanced at, And the children of Israel dwelt in their tents. Here, as so often elsewhere (1 Kings 8:66; 1 Kings 12:16; 2 Kings 14:12; Zechariah 12:7), the word "tents" is a mere archaism for "abodes, houses." Israel had dwelt in tents until the going down into Egypt, and again from the time of quitting Egypt to the entrance into Canaan; and thus the word ohel had acquired a secondary meaning of "abode," "dwelling-place." In the time which followed on the deliverance from the Syrian yoke, the Israelites of the ten tribes were no longer engaged in marches and countermarches, in battles, skirmishes, or sieges, but quietly abode in their several houses. As beforetime; i.e. as in the peaceful time before the attacks of Hazael began. Conspiracy against Joash. - Not long after the departure of the Syrians, who had left Joash, according to 2 Chronicles 24:25, with many wounds, his servants formed a conspiracy against him and slew him upon his bed in the house Millo, which goeth down to Silla. This description of the locality is perfectly obscure for us. The conjecture that בּית־מלּא was the house in the castle of Millo which is so frequently mentioned (see at 1 Kings 9:15 and 2 Samuel 5:9), is precluded by the fact that this castle is always called המּלּא (with the article). סלּא is regarded by many as an abbreviation of מסלּה, "which goes down by the road;" and Thenius supposes that the reference is to the road which ran diagonally through the city from the Joppa gate to the Haram-area, corresponding to the present David's road. Others regard סלּא as the proper name of a place in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem. It is impossible to get any certain meaning out of it, unless we alter the text according to arbitrary assumptions, as Thenius has done. The conspirators were Jozachar the son of Shimeath, and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, according to 2 Kings 12:21; but according to the Chronicles (v. 26), they were Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess. The identity of the first names is perfectly obvious. זבד is a copyist's error for זכר, and this is the contracted form of יוזכר. The difference in the second: son of Shomer according to our text, and son of the Shimrith according to the Chronicles, has probably also arisen from a slip of the pen, since שׁמר might easily be occasioned by the dropping out of the ת from the defectively written שׁמרת, although it is also possible that Shomer may be the name of the grandfather. Joash was buried with his father sin the city of David; but according to v. 25 of the Chronicles he was not buried in the graves of the kings. The two statements are not irreconcilable; and there may be good historical ground for the account in the Chronicles, as Bertheau acknowledges with perfect justice, in spite of the suspicion which has been cast upon it by Thenius.
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