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AND Josaphat king of Juda returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem.

2 And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer met him, and said to him: Thou helpest the ungodly, and thou art joined in friendship with them that hate the Lord, and therefore thou didst deserve indeed the wrath of the Lord:

Ver. 2.  Thou.  Sept. "O king Josaphat, if thou helpest the sinner; or, wilt thou befriend one hated by the Lord?"  Prot. "shouldst them that hate the Lord?"  H.


--- The Donatists hence inferred, that it was not lawful to converse with sinners.  But S. Aug. (c. ep. Par. ii. 18.) replied, that Josaphat was blamed for aiding Achab in the contempt of the true prophet, and for going to battle conformably to the predictions of impostors.  Both kings offended, but in a different degree.  W.


--- We must also keep at as great a distance as possible from the notorious enemies of God, as their conversation is dangerous.  T.


--- Evil communications corrupt the best of manners.  See Ps. cxxxviii. &c.

3 But good works are found in thee, because thou hast taken away the groves out of the land of Juda, and hast prepared thy heart to seek the Lord the God of thy fathers.

Ver. 3.  Works.  Sept. "words."  Prot. "things."  H.


--- The merit of Josaphat screened him from punishment.  T.


--- Prepared.  Sept. "directed."  M.


--- Syr. "disposed."  Faith teaches that we can do no good of ourselves, but that we have free will to choose either good or evil.

4 And Josaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again to the people from Bersabee to mount Ephraim, and brought them back to the Lord the God of their fathers.

Ver. 4.  Ephraim.  This was the northern boundary, as Dan or Emath had been under David and Solomon.  C.

5 And he set judges of the land in all the fenced cities of Juda, in every place.

6 And charging the judges, he said: Take heed what you do: for you exercise not the judgment of man, but of the Lord: and whatsoever you judge, it shall redound to you.

Ver. 6.  And whatsoever.  Heb. "who is with you in the judgment."  The Lord will confirm you just decisions, and punish your injustice.  H.


--- God stood in the synagogue of gods, or judges.  Ps. lxxxi. 1.  Judges ought not so much to regard man as God, when they pass sentence.  C.


--- How then will the Anabaptists deny that a man may sit in judgment?  T.

7 Let the fear of the Lord be with you, and do all things with diligence: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor desire of gifts.

Ver. 7.  Gifts.  The contrary is the source of so much corruption.  H.


--- It would be proper to inscribe this sentence on the walls of all courts of judicature, or rather on the hearts of all in office.  T.


--- None but the true religion can produce such maxims.  C.


8 In Jerusalem also Josaphat appointed Levites, and priests and chiefs of the families of Israel, to judge the judgment and the cause of the Lord for the inhabitants thereof.

Ver. 8.  And the.  Heb. "of the Lord, and for disputes among the people among themselves, (H.) and they returned, (v. 4) or dwelt at Jerusalem."  C.


--- Sept. "to judge the inhabitants of," &c.  Josephus (ix. 1.) says, "he returned."  Syr. "And being returned....he exhorted."


9 And he charged them, saying: Thus shall you do in the fear of the Lord faithfully, and with a perfect heart. 10 Every cause that shall come to you of your brethren, that dwell in their cities, between kindred and kindred, wheresoever there is question concerning the law, the commandment, the ceremonies, the justifications: shew it them, that they may not sin against the Lord, and that wrath may not come upon you and your brethren: and so doing you shall not sin.

Ver. 10.  Cities.  He addressed the judges of the capital, to whom appeals might be made.  C.  M.


--- Kindred, with respect to inheritances and matrimonial cases.  Heb. "blood," or murder, whither casual or wilful.

11 And Amarias the priest your high priest shall be chief in the things which regard God: and Zabadias the son of Ismahel, who is ruler in the house of Juda, shall be over those matters which belong to the king's office: and you have before you the Levites for masters, take courage and do diligently, and the Lord will be with you in good things.

Ver. 11.  Amarias, (1 Par. vi. 11.) or rather Azarias, the father of Johanan. ib. v. 9.


--- Office, in civil matters.  C.


--- Here is a plain distinction between the spiritual and temporal authority, instituted by God.  Deut. xvii.  Num. xxvii.  W.  T.


--- Masters.  Heb. shoterim, to execute the sentence; (D.) or "officers."


--- You.  Prot. "with the good."  H.

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Holy Spirit