2 Chronicles 20

The Book of 2 Chronicles
Chapter 20

Chapter Overview:

The land being invaded, Jehoshaphat and all the people seek God by fasting and prayer, ver. 1 - 13.
They thankfully receive the promise of victory given by a prophet, ver. 14 - 19.
Their enemies are overthrown, ver. 20 - 25.
Their thanksgiving, ver. 25 - 30.
The conclusion of his reign, ver. 31 - 37.


20:2The sea - The dead sea, beyond which mount Seir lay.Syria - Largely so called, and so it includes the Moabites and Ammonites. And it may be thus expressed, to intimate that they came by the instigation of the Syrians, to revenge themselves of Jehoshaphat for joining with Ahab against them.
20:5The house - Largely so called, in the court of the people, upon that brazen scaffold which Solomon had erected. New court - Before the priests court: which is called the new court, because it had lately been renewed when the altar was renewed.
20:7Abraham - To whom thou hast engaged thyself by covenant to be his friend, and the friend of his seed for ever.
20:9The sword - Or rather, the sword of judgement or of vengeance, that is, war, whereby thou punisheth thy people for their sins.
20:12Wilt thou not judge - Wilt thou not give sentence against them, and execute it upon them? The justice of God is the refuge of those that are wronged. No might - Though he had great armies, yet he seems to have been surprized by these men, before his forces were in readiness to oppose them.
20:13Little ones - Whom they used to present before the Lord in times of great distress, to stir up themselves to more fervent prayers, their eyes being upon their harmless and tender children, and to move God to compassion, because God hath declared, that he will be prevailed with, by such methods as these.
20:15But God's - God will fight for you, and he alone will do the work, you need not strike a stroke.
20:16Go down - From Jerusalem, where he and his army now were; which stood upon high ground.
20:19Stood up - By Jehoshaphat's appointment. On high - With heart and voice lifted up: whereby they shewed their full assurance of the victory.
20:20Believe - God's promise delivered to us by this prophet, and consequently all other predictions of the prophet.
20:21Consulted - Jehoshaphat called a counsel of war, and it was resolved, to appoint singers to go out before the army, who had nothing to do, but to praise God, to praise his holiness, which is his beauty, to praise him as they did in the temple, that beauty of holiness. By this strange advance to the field of battle, Jehoshaphat shewed his firm reliance on the word of God, which enabled him to triumph before the battle, to animate his own men and confound the enemy.
20:22To sing - So acceptable are the fervent prayers of God's people to God, and so terrible to their enemies. Ambushments - Or, liers in wait, either
  1. the holy angels, who appeared in the shape of men, and possibly put on the appearances and visages of the Moabites or Ammonites, and in that shape slew the rest, who supposing this slaughter to be done by a part of their own army, fell upon them, and so broke forth into mutual slaughters. Or,
  2. God raised jealousies and animosities among themselves, which broke forth, first into secret ambushments, which one party laid for another, and then into open hostilities to their utter destruction.
So vain are all mens attempts against God, who needs none to destroy hisenemies but themselves, and their own mistakes, and passions, which he can, when he pleaseth, arm against them.
20:24The watch tower - Which stood upon the cliff of Ziz, mentioned ver. 16 , and looked toward the wilderness, where their enemies lay encamped, whose numbers, and order, and condition, they could descry from thence.
20:25Jewels - Which they brought with them to corrupt any of Jehoshaphat's officers as they saw occasion: to procure necessaries for their vast army from time to time: and because they came as to triumph rather than to fight, being confident of the victory because of their numbers, and especially because they thought to surprize Jehoshaphat ere he could make any considerable preparations against them; God also permitting them to be puffed up to their own destruction.
20:26Berachah - Heb. of blessing; so called from their solemn blessings and praises given to God in it upon this occasion.
20:28To the house - To renew their praises in the court of the temple, the proper and usual place for it. Praising God must not be the work of a day only, but our praises when we have received mercy, must be often repeated, as our prayers were, when we where in pursuit of it. Every day we must bless God: as long as we live, and while we have any being, we must praise him, spending our time in that work, in which we hope to spend our eternity.
20:33Not taken - Not universally; the fault was not in Jehoshaphat, but in the people, who, though they did worship the true God, yet would not be confined to the temple, but for their own conveniency, or from their affection to their ancient custom chose to worship him in the high - places.
20:35After this - This is mentioned as an aggravation of his sin, after so great an obligation laid upon him by God; and after he had been so singularly reproved by a prophet yet he relapsed into the same sin which proceeded partly from that near relation which was contracted between the two families, and partly from the easiness of Jehoshaphat's temper, which could not resist the solicitations of others, in such things as might seem indifferent. For he did not join with him in war, as he did with Ahab, but in a peaceable way only, in a matter of trade and commerce. And yet God reproves and punisheth him for it, ver. 37 , to shew his great dislike of all familiar conversation of his servants and people with professed enemies of God and of religion, as Ahaziah was.Very wickedly - Or who did industriously, and maliciously, and constantly work wickedness, as the Hebrew phrase implies, giving himself up to idolatry and all wickedness.