2 Kings 14:26
For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter: for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel.
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(26) Affliction.—Better, oppression.

Bitter.—So the LXX., Syriac, and Vulg. Better, stubborn, and so, inveterate, unyielding, enduring. (Comp. Deuteronomy 21:18-20.) Targum, “hard;” Arabic, “strong” or “violent.”

For there was . . . left.—Comp. Note on 1Kings 14:10.

2 Kings 14:26-27. The Lord saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter — Whereby he was moved to pity and help them, though they were an unworthy people. They that lived in those parts of their country, of which their enemies were masters, were miserably oppressed and enslaved, and could call nothing their own: the rest, we may suppose, were much empoverished by the frequent incursions which their enemies made upon them, to plunder them; and were continually frightened with their alarms; so that there was none shut up or left, but both towns and country were laid waste and stripped of their wealth, and no helper appeared. To this extremity they were reduced in many parts of the country in the beginning of Jeroboam’s reign, when God, in mere pity to them, heard the cry of their affliction, (for no mention is here made of the cry of their prayers,) and wrought this deliverance for them by the hand of Jeroboam. Reader, is thy case piteous? Then take comfort from the divine pity. He has bowels of mercy, and is full of compassion! For the Lord said not that he would blot out the name, &c. — That is, not yet: he had not yet declared this, as afterward he did by the succeeding prophets, though not in these very words, Hosea 1:5-9. The decree was not yet gone forth for their utter destruction. If it be understood of the dispersion of the ten tribes, he did both say it and do it not long after: reprieves are not pardons. If of the utter extirpation of the name of Israel, he never said it, nor will ever do it: for that name still remains under heaven in the spiritual Israel, and will to the end of time.

14:23-29 God raised up the prophet Jonah, and by him declared the purposes of his favour to Israel. It is a sign that God has not cast off his people, if he continues faithful ministers among them. Two reasons are given why God blessed them with those victories: 1. Because the distress was very great, which made them objects of his compassion. 2. Because the decree was not yet gone forth for their destruction. Many prophets there had been in Israel, but none left prophecies in writing till this age, and their prophecies are part of the Bible. Hosea began to prophesy in the reign of this Jeroboam. At the same time Amos prophesied; soon after Micah, then Isaiah, in the days of Ahaz and Hezekiah. Thus God, in the darkest and most degenerate ages of the church, raised up some to be burning and shining lights in it; to their own age, by their preaching and living, and a few by their writings, to reflect light upon us in the last times.The affliction of Israel - That which the Israelites had suffered for two reigns at the hands of the Syrians 2 Kings 10:32-33; 2 Kings 13:3, 2 Kings 13:7,2 Kings 13:22.

There was not any shut up, nor any left - A phrase implying complete depopulation (see the marginal reference note; 1 Kings 14:10), but here meaning no more than extreme depression and weakness.

2Ki 14:23-29. Jeroboam's Wicked Reign over Israel.

23. Jeroboam, the son of Joash king of Israel—This was Jeroboam II who, on regaining the lost territory, raised the kingdom to great political power (2Ki 14:25), but adhered to the favorite religious policy of the Israelitish sovereigns (2Ki 14:24). While God granted him so great a measure of national prosperity and eminence, the reason is expressly stated (2Ki 14:26, 27) to be that the purposes of the divine covenant forbade as yet the overthrow of the kingdom of the ten tribes (see 2Ki 13:23).

It was very bitter; whereby he was moved to pity and help them, though they were an unworthy people.

There was not any shut up, nor any left: See Poole "Deu 32:36"; See Poole "1 Kings 14:10"; See Poole "1 Kings 21:21".

For the Lord saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter,.... Being sorely oppressed by their enemies, especially the Syrians; and he was moved to have compassion upon them, and show mercy to them: for, there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel: they were in the most forlorn and helpless condition; See Gill on Deuteronomy 32:36. For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter: for there was not any {m} shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel.

(m) Read 1Ki 14:10.

26. the affliction of Israel] Occasioned by the inroads of the Syrians, who had not only conquered the lands on the east side, but also at one time some considerable portions on the west of the Jordan. (Cf. above 2 Kings 13:3; 2 Kings 13:7.)

for there was not any shut up, nor any left [R.V. adds at large] nor [R.V. neither was there] any helper] For the change cf. 1 Kings 14:10 note. The expression means that there was no one, great or small, young or old, to whom they could look for aid.

Verse 26. - For the Lord saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter (comp. 2 Kings 13:4, 23). The repetition is perhaps to be accounted for by the desire of the writer to explain how it came to pass that so great a deliverance was granted to Israel under a king who maintained the worship of the calves. He views it as the consequence of God's infinite compassion, and of the extreme bitterness of Israel's sufferings under the Syrians (comp. 2 Kings 13:7 and Amos 1:3). For there was not any shut up, nor any left (see the comment on 1 Kings 14:10), nor any helper for Israel. Apart from Jehovah, Israel had no one to come to her aid. Judah would not help her, for Judah had just suffered at her hands (vers. 11-14); still less would Philistia, or Moab, or Ammon, who were her constant enemies. Her isolation rendered her all the more an object for the Divine compassion. 2 Kings 14:26The higher ground for this strengthening of Israel in the time of Jeroboam was to be found in the compassion of God. The Lord saw the great oppression and helpless condition of Israel, and had not yet pronounced the decree of rejection. He therefore sent help through Jeroboam. מאד מרה without the article, and governed by ישׂ אני (see Ewald, 293, a.), signifies very bitter, מרה having taken the meaning of מרר. This is the explanation adopted in all the ancient versions, and also by Dietrich in Ges. Lex. וגו עצוּר ואפס, verbatim from Deuteronomy 32:36, to show that the kingdom of Israel had been brought to the utmost extremity of distress predicted there by Moses, and it was necessary that the Lord should interpose with His help, if His people were not utterly to perish. דבּר לא: He had not yet spoken, i.e., had not yet uttered the decree of rejection through the mouth of a prophet. To blot out the name under the heavens is an abbreviated expression for: among the nations who dwelt under the heavens.
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