2 Chronicles 17

Jehoshaphat becomes king and strengthens defenses against Israel  1
God was with him in early years because he was faithful  3
The book of the law taught to the people  7
Nations around became fearful  10
He became more powerful 12
 1 ¶ And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel.
 2  And he placed forces in all the fenced cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken.
  Reigned in Judah, the Southern kingdom. God's professed people were thus hostile toward each other. 
  His son- The father was Asa who refused to seek help from the Lord in his final illness 2ch1612.
  Ephriam One of the twelve tribes. Here it would be the Northern kingdom or part of it.
.3  And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim;
 4  But sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.
.5  Therefore the LORD stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance.
.6  And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah.
  3 - First ways David's first ways were better and so were the first ways of Jehoshaphat. In the next chapter we see that Jehoshaphat made an alliance with Ahab.
  3 - Baalim This is the plural form of Baal. These were versions of male fertility gods. See 1ki1631.
  4 - Not after the doings of Israel This was during the early, good years while Ahab and Jezebel were practicing all the ways of wickedness in Israel (the northern division).
  5 - Therefore ... stablished As God had promised de2809.
  6 - Heart was lifted up Usually hearts are lifted up in vanity. de0814, 2ch2616, ez2802,17. True exaltation is in righteousness without pride ja0410, ps04008.
.7  Also in the third year of his reign he sent to his princes, even to Benhail, and to Obadiah, and to Zechariah, and to Nethaneel, and to Michaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah.
 8  And with them he sent Levites, even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tobadonijah, Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, priests.
 9  And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people.
  7 - Third year ... sent to princes "The ordinary work of teaching devolved on the priests. But extraordinary commissioners were appointed, probably to ascertain whether the work had been done or neglected. This deputation of five princes, assisted by two priests and nine Levites, was to make a circuit of the towns in Judah. It is the first practical measure we read of as being adopted by any of the kings for the religious instruction of the people. Time and unbroken opportunities were afforded for carrying out fully this excellent plan of home education, for the kingdom enjoyed internal tranquillity as well as freedom for foreign wars. It is conformable to the pious style of the sacred historian to trace this profound peace to the "fear of the Lord having fallen on all kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah." (JFB)
.10 ¶ And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat.
 11  Also some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents, and tribute silver; and the Arabians brought him flocks, seven thousand and seven hundred rams, and seven thousand and seven hundred he goats.
  10 - Fear of the Lord Compare 2ch1414. This is following the divine plan.
  11 - Philistines brought These may have been required payments.
.12  And Jehoshaphat waxed great exceedingly; and he built in Judah castles, and cities of store.
 13  And he had much business in the cities of Judah: and the men of war, mighty men of valour, were in Jerusalem.
 14  And these are the numbers of them according to the house of their fathers: Of Judah, the captains of thousands; Adnah the chief, and with him mighty men of valour three hundred thousand.
 15  And next to him was Jehohanan the captain, and with him two hundred and fourscore thousand.
 16  And next him was Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself unto the LORD; and with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valour.
 17  And of Benjamin; Eliada a mighty man of valour, and with him armed men with bow and shield two hundred thousand.
 18  And next him was Jehozabad, and with him an hundred and fourscore thousand ready prepared for the war.
 19  These waited on the king, beside those whom the king put in the fenced cities throughout all Judah.
  12 - Waxed great Jehoshaphat was blessed as a faithful follower of the Lord God.
  12 - Castles That is, "fortresses." Jeshoshaphat was still prepared. He had "men of war."
  14 - Three hundred thousand The word translated "thousand" ceph does not always mean that number.
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