And for controversies, when they returned to Jerusalem - Who were they that returned to Jerusalem? Some suppose that it means Jehoshaphat and his courtiers, who returned to Jerusalem after the expedition mentioned 2 Chronicles 19:4; : but if this were so, or if the text spoke of any person returning to Jerusalem, would not לירושלם lirushalem, To Jerusalem, and not the simple word ירושלם Yerushalem, without the preposition, be used?
Learned men have supposed, with great plausibility, that the word וישבו vaiyashubu, "and they returned," should be written יושבי yoshebey, "the inhabitants," and that the words should be read, And for the controversies of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. That this was the original reading is very probable from its vestiges in the Vulgate, habitatoribus ejus, "its Inhabitants;" and in the Septuagint it is found totidem verbis, Και κρινειν τους κατοικουντας εν Ἱερουσαλημ, And to judge the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
There is a clause in 2 Chronicles 34:9; where we have a similar mistake in our version: And they returned to Jerusalem, ירושלם וישבו where the false keri, or marginal note, directs it, in opposition to common sense and All the versions, to be read וישובו and they returned, which our translation has unhappily followed.
The “fathers of Israel” are the heads of families; the chief of the fathers” are the great patriarchal chiefs, the admitted heads of great houses or clans. They were now admitted to share in the judicial office which seems in David‘s time to have been confined to the Levites 1 Chronicles 23:4.
For the judgment of the Lord, and for controversies - By the former are meant disputed cases concerning the performance of religious obligations. In “controversies” are included all the ordinary causes, whether criminal or civil.
When they returned to Jerusalem - Rather, “and they returned to Jerusalem,” a clause which if detached from the previous words and attached to 2 Chronicles 19:9, gives a satisfactory sense.
The words of the prophet should have been enough to show the kings that their project was not favored by Heaven, but neither ruler felt inclined to heed the warning. Ahab had marked out his course, and he was determined to follow it. Jehoshaphat had given his word of honor, “We will be with thee in the war;” and after making such a promise, he was reluctant to withdraw his forces. 2 Chronicles 18:3. “So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead.” 1 Kings 22:29. PK 196.1
During the battle that followed, Ahab was shot by an arrow, and at eventide he died. “About the going down of the sun,” “there went a proclamation throughout the host,” “Every man to his city, and every man to his own country.” Verse 36. Thus was fulfilled the word of the prophet. PK 196.2
From this disastrous battle Jehoshaphat returned to Jerusalem. As he approached the city, the prophet Jehu met him with the reproof: “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord. Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God.” 2 Chronicles 19:2, 3. PK 196.3Read in context »