Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Of the Ammonites; people sprung from them. Those who explain the Psalm lxxxii. of this war, find many nations mentioned. Some of these, not daring to appear openly, assumed the name of Ammonites. Perhaps we should read (C.) Mannim. H. --- Sept. "the Mineans," who dwelt in Arabia Felix, upon the Red Sea, (Pliny, vi. 28.) or rather the Maonians, in the environs of Gaza. C. --- Some MSS. and Latin editions have "Idumeans," which is conformable to v. 11, 23, and S. Jerom Trad. Lyranus, &c. M.
Sea of Sodom, (H.) or the Red Sea. D. --- Syria, which comprised the country of Ammon. M. --- Perhaps Edom might rather have been in the text, as we find no Syrians in this war, but many of the Idumeans. C. --- Adom and Arom, (Syria. H.) have often been confounded, 4 K. xvi. 6. C. --- Asasonthamar, "the palm-tree cottage," (Bochart) between Jericho and the Dead Sea.
Juda. The whole kingdom was concerned. Sometimes a fast was proclaimed for one city, 3 K. xxi. 9., and Jonas iii. 7. C. --- They were accustomed to fast, not only to subdue the flesh, but also for other necessities. W.
2Ch 20:4 . "to ask help of." H. --- Cities. Here we have an example of a pilgrimage to a holy place, as God is more willing to hear the virtuous in one place than in another, C. vi. 7., &c. W.
New court of the priests. Why it is so called, does not appear. C. --- Some understand the court for the women; (Salien) others, that for Gentiles. Le Clerc --- Probably some of the courts had been found too spacious after the schism, and had been neglected; but now, as many had returned to serve the Lord in the dominions of Josaphat, he had made some repairs. T.
All, or the greatest part. Heb. "drive out the inhabitants." H.
Sword of. Prot. "as the sword, judgment, or," &c. Sept. "the sword, judgment, death, famine." All these are sent in punishment of sin. H. --- The sword of the enemy is a judgment of God. (M.
Judge and punish them, as they fight against thee? C. --- Enough. Yet we read that Josaphat had above a million soldiers; and he knew that his father had discomfited a greater army of Zara with half the forces. He thus puts us in mind that no power can stand against God's will; and he endeavours, by humility, to obtain the protection of heaven. The invading army must, however, have been very numerous, to extort these expressions from a potent king, and to have thrown his whole people into such consternation. It could hardly be less than that of Zara; and thus, in the space of a century, above two millions and a half of idolaters perished by the hand of God, without Juda losing a single man, v. 29., and C. xiii. 17. H.
Children. Even the little infants were deprived of the breasts, on such emergencies, that their cries might be more affecting. H. Joel ii. 16., and Judith iv. 8. --- The pagans of Ninive even made the cattle also fast, Jonas iii. 7. C. S. Ambrose, ser. 40. T.
Spirit of prophecy. M. --- Jahaziel is known only by this event. C.
Six. Some translate "flowry ascent." C. --- Prot. "the cliff of Ziz." H. --- If it had been Zin, we might understand the desert of stony Arabia, where Ptolemy places the town of Ziza. C. --- But we may recollect that the army was already advanced as far as Engaddi; (v. 2,) so that it seems to have lain nearer Jerusalem. H. --- Jeruel, "the fear of God," which name was given to the place, in consequence of the panic with which God struck the enemy. S. Jerom) M.
High. Rejoicing at the promised deliverance. C.
Thecua, two mile east of Bethlehem, on the road to Jeruel. Adrichomius) M. --- Believe. Faith is the foundation of all good works; (Hebrews xi.) but not alone sufficient, as here the people fasted and prayed, and would have fought, if God had not dispensed with them. See Josue xxiii. W. --- We may also translate Hebrew "trust."
Ever. This was usually sung in times of joy, C. v. 13. The army seemed thus to be returning victorious. C.
Ambushments, placed by the Moabites, (M.) and Ammonites, (H.) against Juda. Some detachments of Mount Seir, perhaps, coming suddenly on them, were taken for foes, and slaughtered. H.
Tower. Maspha, in the tribe of Benjamin, (C.) or some other (H.) eminence. M.
Insomuch. Heb. and Sept. "Three days passed, while they gathered the spoils, because it was great," (H.) "without weight," or estimation. C.
Blessing. Sts. Jerom and Epiphanius place Caphar-barucha, "the field of blessing," near Hebron, on the east. Hither Abraham attended the Lord, when he was going to destroy Sodom. Epist. Paulז.
Lands, in the vicinity. M. --- Israel, as he had lately treated Zara, C. xiv. 13. H.
Places, erected in honour of God, but displeasing to him, C. xvii. 6. H. --- The good king perhaps attempted to take these also away, but was obliged to desist by the rebellious people. M. --- Hence we find that they are here blamed. H. --- They would not conform exactly to the law, (Lev. xvii. 3.; T.) and the king was not able to bring all to perfection. W. --- "It is better to pass over....vices, than to shew which we cannot subdue." Tacitus, An. iii.
Which. Sept. "who wrote a book of the kings of Israel." H. --- Jehu rebuked Josaphat, C. xix. C. --- His book is not extant. M.
Things: the victory over Ammon, &c. H. --- Wicked. See C. xvi. 3.
Tharsis; probably Cilicia, (C.) or some part of the ocean. --- Asion-gaber was on the Red Sea; and ships would not have been built there, to trade on the Mediterranean, C. ix. 21. T.