2 Chronicles 19


‘When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is on you. There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God.” 2 Chronicles 19:1-3

After returning to Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat was met by Jehu, the seer, 1 Kings 16:1 / 1 Kings 16:7, who asked him, ‘should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD?’ This tells us that his alliance with Ahab was wicked, 2 Chronicles 18:1-4 / 1 Kings 20:26-29.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The monarch was therefore rebuked at the earliest possible moment, and in the most effective way, as he was entering his capital at the head of his returning army. Jehu, 35 years previously, had worked in the northern kingdom, and prophesied against Baasha, 1 Kings 16:1-7, but had now come to Jerusalem, as prophet and historian, 2 Chronicles 20:34.’

Although Jehoshaphat’s intentions were good in trying to bring the two kingdoms together again, he made the mistake of trying to do this through Ahab, who was wicked.

He did a lot of good by getting rid of the Asherah poles within the land of Judah and his set was set on seeking God, Proverbs 16:1 / Philippians 2:13.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘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 Chronicles 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.’

Jehoshaphat Appoints Judges

‘Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and turned them back to the LORD, the God of their ancestors. He appointed judges in the land, in each of the fortified cities of Judah. He told them, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the LORD, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the LORD be on you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.” In Jerusalem also, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, priests and heads of Israelite families to administer the law of the LORD and to settle disputes. And they lived in Jerusalem. He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the LORD. In every case that comes before you from your people who live in the cities—whether bloodshed or other concerns of the law, commands, decrees or regulations—you are to warn them not to sin against the LORD; otherwise his wrath will come on you and your people. Do this, and you will not sin. “Amariah the chief priest will be over you in any matter concerning the LORD, and Zebadiah son of Ishmael, the leader of the tribe of Judah, will be over you in any matter concerning the king, and the Levites will serve as officials before you. Act with courage, and may the LORD be with those who do well.” 2 Chronicles 19:4-11

Jehoshaphat did really well in going to the hill country of Ephraim and bringing the people back to God. After doing so, he appointed judges in each of the fortified cities of Judah.

These judges were using God’s standards for their judgments and so, they were judging the people on God’s behalf, Deuteronomy 16:6-10 / Deuteronomy 16:18-20 / John 14:28.

Gill, in his commentary, says the following, concerning these judges.

‘Inferior judges in lesser courts of judicature than that at Jerusalem, and that in every city, that judgment and justice might be executed everywhere, such was appointed by David but had been neglected, and now restored, 1 Chronicles 26:29.’

To judge correctly, they had to practice justice but not be partial in their judgments or take bribes, Deuteronomy 16:19. In order that civil matters do not interfere with religious matters, Amariah was given put in charge of the judgments in reference to religious matters. Zebadiah was given authority over the king’s administration, which means there was a separation between the matters of faith and state.

Jehoshaphat tells them to ‘act with courage, and may the LORD be with those who do well’. It was the job of the judges to courageously do what was right and to trust that God will be with those who do what is right and good.

Go To 2 Chronicles 20


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