2 Chronicles 19


Jehu’s Rebuke of Jehoshaphat

      • When Judah’s King Jehoshaphat returned home safely from Jerusalem, Jehu the seer, Hanani’s son, went out to confront him and said to him, “Should you help the wicked and be an ally of those who oppose Yahweh? Yahweh’s wrath is on you because of what you’ve done. Nevertheless, there is some good in you- you removed the Asherah poles from the land and have set your heart to seek God.”

        • NLT Illustrated Study Bible notes, “Jehu was the son of Hanani, the prophet who had rebuked Asa for his reliance on the Arameans (16:7-9). Jehu now chastised Jehoshaphat for his alliance with Ahab.”

        • ESV Study Bible writes, “This is the Chronicler’s own addition to 1 Kings 22. Jehu the son of Hanani had ministered in the days of Baasha, king of Israel (1 Kings 16:1-3). His denunciation of Jehoshaphat for his alliance with the ungodly Ahab echoes his criticism of the wicked Baasha (1 Kings 16:7). Love here denotes not emotion but the commitment to support a treaty. God’s wrath is a matter of immense seriousness, yet may be averted or mitigated by repentance (see 2 Chron 12:7; 32:25-26). Jehu’s acknowledgment that some good is found in Jehoshaphat recognizes his basic commitment to seek God and looks forward to his subsequent actions of repentance and reform (19:4-11).”

Jehoshaphat’s Reforms

      • Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem. He went out among the people, traveling from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and turned them back to Yahweh, the God of their ancestors. He appointed judges throughout the land and in each of the fortified cities of Judah. He told the judges, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for men but for Yahweh. He is with you in giving judgment. Now, may the fear of Yahweh be on you. Be careful what you do because there is no injustice, partiality, or taking bribes with Yahweh our God.”

        • ESV Study Bible writes, “Jehoshaphat (whose name means ‘Yahweh judges’) institutes a judicial reform that embraces both religious and civil matters. Jehoshaphat’s primary concern is to appoint judges of integrity and impartiality, who are exhorted to perform their office in the fear of the Lord. [Jehoshaphat’s travels are] a continuation of the religious teaching mission described in 17:7-9, this time involving the king himself. From Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim describes the limits of Judah from south to north. Jehoshaphat’s action in appointing judges in the fortified cities of Judah and his words of admonition to them are inspirted by the instructions in Deut 16:18-17:13. Israel’s judges must act out of a sense of sacred duty (you judge not for man but for the Lord) and must reflect Yahweh’s concern for justice and impartiality.”

      • In Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, priests, and heads of the Israelite families for rendering Yahweh’s judgments and for settling disputes among the residents of Jerusalem. He gave them these orders: “Carry out your duties in the fear of Yahweh, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart. Whenever your countrymen who live in the cities bring a dispute before you- whether it involves bloodshed, law, commandment, statutes, or judgments- you must warn them not to sin against Yahweh. Otherwise, His wrath will come on you and your people. Do this, and you will not sin. Note that Amariah, the chief priest, will oversee you in any matter concerning Yahweh, and Ishmael’s son Zebadiah, the leader of the tribe of Judah, will oversee you in any matter concerning the king. The Levites will serve before you as officials. Deal courageously and may Yahweh be with those who do what is good.”

        • ESV Study Bible writes, “These are legal reforms for Jerusalem involving certain priests, Levites, and heads of families as judges. The Jerusalem court would have supplemented the existing local courts in the land and probably dealt with the more difficult disputed cases. The presiding justices Amariah the chief priest and Zebadiah…the governor are responsible for the interests of the temple and the crown, respectively. The Chronicler is careful to show through Jehoshaphat’s reforms that, along with inculcating personal faith and obedience to Yahweh…the judicial system has a vital role in ensuring the nation’s life is righteous and just, so that the people do not incur guilt and wrath.”

        • On Jehoshaphat’s final sentence of exhortation to the judges, Guzik remarks, “This was a high and appropriate charge to the judges of Judah. We can understand the interest the Chronicler had in including this material not recorded in 1 or 2 Kings, using the example of Jehoshaphat as an encouragement to the leaders of the rebuilding community of Jerusalem and Judah after the exile.”

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