2 Chronicles 20 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of 2 Chronicles 20)
20:1 It came to pass after this also, [that] the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them [other] beside the a Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.

(a) That is, who copied the Ammonites in language and apparel. The Hebrews thought that they were the Amalekites, but as it appeared by (2 Chronicles 20:10) they were the Idumeans of mount Seir.

20:2 Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the b sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they [be] in Hazazontamar, which [is] Engedi.

(b) Called the Dead sea, where God destroyed the five cities because of their sin.

20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself c to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

(c) This declares what the fear of the godly is, which is the prick to stir them to prayer and to depend on the Lord, while it moves the wicked either to seek after worldly means and policies or else to fall into despair.

20:7 [Art] not thou our God, [who] didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and d gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?

(d) He grounds his prayer on God's power, by which he is able to help and also on his mercy, which he will continue toward his, as he has once chosen them and began to show his graces toward them.

20:9 If, [when] evil cometh upon us, [as] the e sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name f [is] in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.

(e) Meaning war which comes by God's just judgments for our sins.
(f) That is, it is here called on and you declared your presence and favour.

20:12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes g [are] upon thee.

(g) We only put our trust in you, and wait for our deliverance from heaven.

20:13 And all Judah stood h before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.

(h) That is, before the ark of the covenant.

20:14 Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came i the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation;

(i) Who was moved by the Spirit of God to prophecy.

20:15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the k battle [is] not yours, but God's.

(k) They fight against God and not against you, therefore he will fight for you.

20:18 And Jehoshaphat l bowed his head with [his] face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.

(l) Declaring his faith and obedience to the word of the Lord, and giving thanks for the deliverance promised.

20:20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his m prophets, so shall ye prosper.

(m) Give credit to their words and doctrine.

20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, n Praise the LORD; for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

(n) This was a psalm of thanksgiving which they used commonly to sing when they praised the Lord for his benefits, and was made by David, (
Psalms 136:1-26).

20:22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and o mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

(o) Meaning, the Idumeans who dwelt in mount Seir.

20:23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy [them]: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to p destroy another.

(p) Thus the Lord according to Jehoshaphat's prayer declared his power, when he delivered his by causing their enemies to kill one another.

20:26 And on the fourth day they q assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the LORD: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day.

(q) To give thanks to the Lord for the victory: and therefore the valley was called Berachah, that is, blessing or thanksgiving, which was also called the valley of Jehoshaphat, (
Joel 3:2,12) because the Lord judged the enemies according to Jehoshaphat's prayer.

20:29 And the r fear of God was on all the kingdoms of [those] countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.

(r) He declares by this that the works of God always bring comfort or deliverance to his, and fear or destruction to his enemies.

20:32 And he walked in the way of s Asa his father, and departed not from it, doing [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD.

(s) Meaning, in his virtues, and those ways in which he followed God.

20:33 Howbeit the high places were t not taken away: for as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers.

(t) If the great care and diligence of this good king was not able to utterly abolish all the superstition of this people, but they still retained it, how much less are they able to reform evil, who either have little zeal, or not as he had: though here he was not to be excused?

20:37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because thou hast u joined thyself with Ahaziah, the LORD hath broken thy works. And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish.

(u) Thus God would not have his join in company with idolaters and wicked men.