Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Also Judah kept not . . .—Judah was no real or permanent exception to the sins and punishment of Israel; she imitated the apostasy of her sister-kingdom, and was visited with a similar penalty.
The statutes of Israel which they made.—See Note on 2Kings 17:8 supra, and comp. Micah 6:16, “the statutes of Omri.” According to 2Kings 8:27; 2Kings 16:3, Ahaziah and Ahaz especially favoured the idolatry practised in the northern kingdom. The example of her more powerful neighbour exercised a fatally powerful spell upon Judah.2 Kings 17:19. Also Judah kept not, &c., but walked in the statutes of Israel — Followed the idolatrous devices of the ten tribes, which they did most notoriously in the reign of Ahaz. And though his son Hezekiah made a noble reformation, it lasted no longer than his time, so extremely corrupted was the nation. Judah’s idolatry and wickedness are here remembered as an aggravation of the sin of the Israelites, which was not only evil in itself, but mischievous to their neighbours, who by their examples were instructed in their wicked arts, and provoked to an imitation of them: see Hosea 4:15; Matthew 18:7. Those that bring sin into a country or family bring a plague into it, and will have to answer for all the mischief that follows. 2 Kings 17:13, the writer is led on from his account of the sins and punishment of the Israelites to glance at the similar sins and similar punishment of the Jews.
It was the worst reproach which could be urged against any Jewish king, that he "walked in the way of the kings of Israel" 2 Kings 8:18; 2 Kings 16:3; 2 Chronicles 21:6; 2 Chronicles 28:2. The Baal worship is generally the special sin at which the phrase is leveled; but the meaning here seems to be wider. Compare Micah 6:16.
7. For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned—There is here given a very full and impressive vindication of the divine procedure in punishing His highly privileged, but rebellious and apostate, people. No wonder that amid so gross a perversion of the worship of the true God, and the national propensity to do reverence to idols, the divine patience was exhausted; and that the God whom they had forsaken permitted them to go into captivity, that they might learn the difference between His service and that of their despotic conquerors.Hosea 4:15, and compare Matthew 18:7. Jeremiah 3:7,
but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made; worshipping the calves as they did, particularly in the times of Ahaz, he setting the example, see 2 Kings 16:3.Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)19. walked in the statutes of Israel] Which were not of God’s ordinance but of Israel’s own devising. This was specially the case when the son of Jehoshaphat intermarried with a daughter of Ahab, and so brought in Baal-worship and its attendant abominations. The calf-worship however seems never to have come across the border, but to have remained in Israel.Verse 19. - Also Judah kept not the commandments of the Lord their God. The sharp contrast which the writer has drawn between Israel and Judah in ver. 18 reminds him that the difference was only for a time. Judah followed in Israel's sins, and ultimately shared in her punishment. This verso and the next are parenthetic. But walked in the statutes of Israel which they made; i.e. followed Israel in all her evil courses, first in her Baal-worship, under Jehoram, Ahaziah, and Athaliah; then in her other malpractices under Ahaz (2 Kings 16:3, 4), Manasseh (2 Kings 21:2-9), and Amen (2 Kings 21:20-22). Of course, the calf-worship is excepted, Judah having no temptation to follow Israel in that. 2 Kings 17:19, 2 Kings 17:20; not, as Thenius supposes, because he is speaking here of that which took place before the division of the kingdom. The Chethb כל־חזה כּל־נביאו is not to be read וכל־חזה כּל־נביא (Houbig., Then., Ew. 156, e.), but after the lxx כּל־חזה כּל־נביאו, "through all His prophets, every seer," so that כּל־חזה is in apposition to כּל־נביאו, and serves to bring out the meaning with greater force, so as to express the idea, "prophets of every kind, that the Lord had sent." This reading is more rhetorical than the other, and is recommended by the fact that in what follows the copula ו is omitted before חקּותי also on rhetorical grounds. וגו שׁלחתּי ואשׁר: "and according to what I demanded of you through my servants the prophets." To the law of Moses there was added the divine warning through the prophets. את־ערפּם יקשׁוּ has sprung from Deuteronomy 10:16. The stiff-necked fathers are the Israelites in the time of Moses.
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