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2 Chronicles 19


(LXX versing)
Jehu Rebukes Jehoshaphat Jehoshaphat, Having Been Rebuked by a Prophet, Rules Wisely A Prophet Reprimands Jehoshaphat Jehoshaphat is Rebuked by a Prophet
19:1-3 The Reforms of Jehoshaphat 19:1-3 19:1-3 19:1-3
19:4 19:4-7 19:4-7 19:4-7 19:4-7
Reforms Instituted
19:8-11 19:8-11 19:8-11 19:8-11 19:8-11

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Bible Interpretation Seminar")


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

  1. First paragraph
  2. Second paragraph
  3. Etc.


1Then Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem. 2Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord? 3But there is some good in you, for you have removed the Asheroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God."

19:1-11 This material is unique to Chronicles and, as usual, comes from a written prophetic source (i.e., 2 Chr. 21:34).

19:1 "returned" This VERB (BDB 996, KB 1427, Qal IMPERFECT with waw) is often used of repentance. One wonders if it functions both

  1. physically ‒ the king escaped the battle and came back to Jerusalem
  2. spiritually ‒ the king recognized his folly and came back to faith in YHWH/li>

This same VERB occurs in verse 4, "brought them back to the Lord."

19:2 "Jehu the son of Hanani" This prophet's father, Hanani, had addressed King Asa earlier in 2 Chr. 16:7. Jehu's written account of Jehoshaphat is the Chronicler's written source (cf. 2 Chr. 20:34).

Jehu asks the king a series of ironical questions.

  1. why help the wicked?
  2. why love those who hate the Lord?
  3. why bring YHWH's wrath on yourself?

There is some confusion between Kings and Chronicles on the name of the prophet.

  1. 1 Kgs. 16:1,7 ‒ Jehu son of Hanani
  2. 2 Chr. 16:7 ‒ Hanani the seer

Possibly both father and son addressed Baasha; if so, he had moved from the northern kingdom to Judah.

"the seer" This is one of several names for prophets.


"those who hate" This VERB (BDB 971, KB 1338, Qal ACTIVE PARTICIPLE) is used

  1. in the "Ten Commandments" (cf. Exod. 20:5; Deut. 5:9)
  2. of YHWH's enemies in Num. 10:35; Ps. 68:1; 139:21
  3. of false followers in Ps. 81:15; 83:2
  4. in the powerful comparison of love and hate in Deut. 7:9-11; love is obedience and hate is disobedience (usually idolatry)

19:3 The spiritual condition of Jehoshaphat is so different between 1 Kings 22 (i.e., 1 Kgs. 22:4b) and 2 Chronicles 17-20 (i.e., 2 Chr. 19:3a, "there is some good in you"). The Chronicler used Jehoshaphat as an example of a godly king, with some faults and mistakes. Jehoshaphat is used to highlight some of the Chronicler's theological themes directed to the post-exilic Judean community.

  1. faith in YHWH (seek Him with all your heart)
  2. obedience to His law
  3. need for repentance
  4. blessing for covenant obedience and cursing for disobedience (i.e., Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28)

YHWH will restore Jehoshaphat because

  1. he removed (or tried to remove) the local Ba'al sites called "high places"; those fertility worshipers sought a topologically high place (hill) or built a stone platform (cf. 2 Chr. 17:6)
  2. he set his heart to seek YHWH (cf. 2 Chr. 17:6, which is the opposite of 2 Chr. 12:14); for "seek" see note at 2 Chr. 7:14
NASB, NKJV, TEV, NJB, LXX  "removed"
NRSV  "destroyed"
REB  "swept away"
JPSOA  "purged"

BDB lists only "burn" and "consume" (BDB 128, KB 145 I, Piel PERFECT) as possible translations (NRSV), but KB suggests a Ugaritic root (KB 146 II) which means "to sweep away" or "remove" (NASB, REB, JPSOA).

4So Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem and went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and brought them back to the Lord, the God of their fathers.

19:4-6 These verses describe the religious activities of Jehoshaphat in his attempt to improve the spiritual sensitivity of Judah.

  1. he personally traveled his whole country promoting the worship of YHWH alone, 2 Chr. 19:4
  2. he appointed judges who would only consider the revealed covenant guidelines from YHWH, 2 Chr. 19:6-7; this may be what is mentioned in 2 Chr. 17:7-9 (see NIDOTTE, vol. 4, pp. 213-220)
  3. he instructed the judges to fear the Lord
    1. judge in righteousness
    2. do not show favoritism
    3. do not take a bribe (i.e., Deut. 1:17; Ps. 15:5)
    4. his final admonition is in 2 Chr. 19:11 ‒ "be strong and do" (two Qal IMPERATIVES)

These (i.e., a - d) reflect YHWH's character (cf. Deut. 10:17-18; 32:4).


19:4 "to the hill country of Ephraim" This implies that Judah had influence far north of their border.

5He appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city. 6He said to the judges, "Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the Lord who is with you when you render judgment. 7Now then let the fear of the Lord be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe."

19:7 "let the fear of the Lord be upon you" This is a JUSSIVE of the "to be" VERB (BDB 224, KB 243).

There is a theological distinction between

  1. the fear of YHWH's people for their God (i.e., "awe," "respect," cf. 2 Chr. 19:9)
  2. "the dread" (BDB 808) is a "holy" term
    1. the exodus ‒ Exod. 15:14-16; 23:27
    2. the wilderness wanderings ‒ Deut. 2:25
    3. the conquest ‒ Josh. 2:9
    4. David ‒ 1 Chr. 14:17
    5. Asa ‒ 2 Chr. 14:13
    6. Jehoshaphat ‒ 2 Chr. 17:10; 20:29

One wonders why Jehoshaphat instigated these judicial reforms.

  1. he saw the corruption in the north
  2. he recognized the corruption in areas of his kingdom
  3. he wanted to show the priority of YHWH's covenant and law
  4. it was a way to show his repentance


8In Jerusalem also Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and priests, and some of the heads of the fathers' households of Israel, for the judgment of the Lord and to judge disputes among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 9Then he charged them saying, "Thus you shall do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully and wholeheartedly. 10Whenever any dispute comes to you from your brethren who live in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and ordinances, you shall warn them so that they may not be guilty before the Lord, and wrath may not come on you and your brethren. Thus you shall do and you will not be guilty. 11Behold, Amariah the chief priest will be over you in all that pertains to the Lord, and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, in all that pertains to the king. Also the Levites shall be officers before you. Act resolutely, and the Lord be with the upright."

19:8-11 Jehoshaphat also appointed judges in Jerusalem.

  1. Levites
  2. priests
  3. heads of families

Some dealt with covenant issues, family issues (2 Chr. 19:10), and some more practical royal issues (v. 11).

As he gave guidelines for the judges throughout Judah, so too, for Jerusalem.

  1. judge in fear/awe of the Lord, v. 9
  2. judge faithfully (i.e., to the covenant guidelines), v. 9
  3. judge wholeheartedly (i.e., with complete devotion to YHWH and His covenant), v. 9

Jehoshaphat's action in appointing these "judges" may go back to Deut. 1:16-17; 16:18-20; 17:8-13 and set the precedent for the Sanhedrin in Ezra's day.

If there was a difficult case somewhere in the nation that could not be decided, it should be brought to the higher court in Jerusalem.


19:8 "Israel" In this context it refers to the descendants of Jacob who made up Judah.


19:10 "law and commandment, statutes and ordinances" See SPECIAL TOPIC: TERMS FOR GOD'S REVELATION.

Notice the two things YHWH promises if the judges are faithful.

  1. you will not be guilty (i.e., the "they" is ambiguous and could refer to the people or the judge, 2 Chr. 19:10)
  2. the Lord will be with the upright (JUSSIVE)
    1. individually (the judges and those who seek YHWH)
    2. collectively Judah will be blessed (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28)


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

  1. How long did Jehu prophesy and where?
  2. List the ways Jehoshaphat showed allegiance to Ahab.
  3. List the things Jehoshaphat did that were "good." (v. 3)
  4. Why did Jehoshaphat appoint "new" judges?
  5. List how they should judge.
  6. Was there a supreme court in Jerusalem or a court of appeals?

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