Ver. 1. Israel. In consequence of the civil broils, which ensued after the death of Baasa. The two kingdoms had been nearly equal.
Ver. 2. Numbers, who were kept on foot; probably as in the days of David.
Ver. 3. First. Before his fall: some copies add, "and last," (La Haye) as the Gothic MS. used by Mariana does, agreeably to the Scripture style. D.
--- David began and ended well. H.
Ver. 5. Presents, as was customary, (1 K. x. 27,) or tribute. C.
Ver. 6. When. Heb. "And his heart was elevated in the ways of the Lord." He was endued with courage to undertake the great work of banishing all abuses out of his dominions, seeing that the people were well affected, and the Lord urged him forward. H.
--- He trusted no so much to his great army or riches, as to a good conscience, (T.) which made him fear no difficulties; (1 Jo. iii. 21,) doubting not but God would grant him success, as he endeavoured to keep his laws. C.
--- Groves of idols, (M.) though he tolerated the high places, which had been consecrated to God. C. xx. 33. and 3 K. xxii. 43. H.
--- Good works, rewarded by God, encouraged people to proceed in virtue. W.
Ver. 7. Princes. Political, (T.) to see that all paid attention to the proper teachers; (Mal. ii. 7. C.) and thus to partake in that good work. M.
--- The princes might also give instruction by word (C.) and example. H.
Ver. 9. Book. The Pentateuch, or its abridgment, the book of Deuteronomy, (M.) which they read and explained. C.
--- People. It was not sufficient to destroy idolatry, (M.) unless the people were taught how to serve the true God. H.
Ver. 10. War. They had witnessed the fruitless attempt of Zara. C. xiv. 15. H.
Ver. 11. Philistines. Though they had been reduced by David, they had sometimes proved remiss in the payment of tribute.
--- Arabians, who lived near the Ethiopians, and the Dead Sea. C. xxi. 19. They had been subdued by Solomon, (3 K. x. 15.) and were rich in cattle. Ezec. xxvii. 21. The name is not so comprehensive as we generally make it. C.
Ver. 12. Houses. Prot. "castles." Heb. biraniyoth. Birah is properly a Chal. word, and is added after susan, to imply that it was a royal castle, (C.) or palace. (H.) 2 Esd. i. 1.
--- Sept. often use baris in the same sense. C.
--- It became a provincial word in Palestine, for a place shut up on all sides and built like a tower. S. Jer. ad Princep.
--- David calls the temple a palace (habbirah) for God. 1 Par. xxix. 1. C.
--- Josaphat employed his immense riches in beautifying the country, and erecting storehouses, v. 5.
--- Walled. Prot. "cities of store." H. See C. xv. 4.
Ver. 14. Ednas was the chief of the five generals, who had under their command 1,160,000, (C.) besides the garrison soldiers, v. 19. H.
--- So great power and riches had not been seen in Juda since the days of Solomon. C.
--- They were not all on duty at the same time, but were able to bear arms (M.) when called out.
Ver. 16. Consecrated. Heb. "a volunteer of the Lord," (H.) serving at his own expence, (T.) or with remarkable zeal. C.
--- Perhaps he was of the tribe of Levi, (M.) or had taken the vows of the Nazarites, &c.
Ver. 17. After. Heb. and Sept. "And of Benjamin, Eliada, a valiant man of the army." H.
--- It seems all were not chosen from Juda. M.
Ver. 19. King, at different times. Sept. "waiting upon" him, (H.) like the companies which David had appointed, (C.) but far more numerous. H.
--- The dominions of Juda were now pretty extensive, and well cultivated. The population must have amounted to near six millions, for whose support recourse must have been had to commerce. Rome had once almost four million inhabitants, and Cairo is said to contain seven millions, while China has two hundred millions. C.
--- We must reflect that many from the other tribes had taken refuge in the kingdom of Juda. T.
--- It would be too bold to suppose, with Kennicott, that so many numbers have been corrupted. H. C. xiii. 3.