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Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament

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Chapter 20
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Verses 1-3
And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem. And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the wicked, and love them that hate Jehovah? for this thing wrath is upon thee from before Jehovah. Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast put away the Asheroth out of the land, and hast set thy heart to seek God.

In the appraisal of Jehoshaphat's reign, it was, in a general sense, approved, despite the serious, even sinful, mistakes, one of which was that marriage with the daughter of Ahab which he arranged for his heir and successor to the throne.

Also, note that nothing is said here about the removal of the high places, despite the fact that 2 Chr. 17:6 states that he took away the high places, indicating that the citizens had, in the meanwhile, rebuilt them. This was done many times in the history of Judah.


Verses 4-7
And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again among the people from Beer-sheba to the hill-country of Ephraim, and brought them back unto Jehovah, the God of their fathers. And he set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, Consider what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for Jehovah; and [he is] with you in the judgment. Now therefore let the fear of Jehovah be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with Jehovah our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of bribes.

By his placement of this paragraph, the Chronicler intends for us to understand that Jehoshaphat had been sternly warned by the Lord at Ramoth-gilead, and that, for the time present at least, he did an about-face, attempting to bring all the people back to the proper worship and obedience of God. It is highly commendable that the king himself set a good example in this.

It must have come as a severe shock to him that his evil friend Ahab had received a mortal blow from the God he despised, and that only the intervention of God had saved Jehoshaphat himself from a similar fate.


Verses 8-11
Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites and the priests, and of the heads of the fathers' [houses] of Israel, for the judgment of Jehovah, and for controversies. And they returned to Jerusalem. And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear of Jehovah, faithfully, and with a perfect heart. And whensoever any controversy shall come to you from your brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and ordinances, ye shall warn them, that they be not guilty towards Jehovah, and so wrath come upon you and upon your brethren: this do, and ye shall not be guilty. And, behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of Jehovah; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, in all the king's matters: also the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and Jehovah be with the good.

This chapter makes it clear that too close association with evil people is a fearful danger to Christian people. It is not that we should not love "all men," even as our Father in heaven; but cooperative alliances with wicked partners can easily prove to be an unqualified disaster, as was Jehoshaphat's alliance with Ahab. The danger comes from all directions. The evil partner himself is a threat, as when Ahab disguised himself, almost causing the death of Jehoshaphat; furthermore, the wrath of God can be incurred through our cooperative aid of wicked men.

This careful reorganization of the judiciary and the discrimination between religious matters and the king's matters was an evident improvement over previous practices in Jerusalem.

Footnotes for 2 Chronicles 19
(There are no notes in 2 Chr. 19.)

Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 19". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". <>. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.  


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