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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Chronicles 16

 

 

Verse 1

2 Chronicles 16:1 In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.

Ver. 1. In the six and thirtieth year.] See 2 Chronicles 15:19.

Of the reign of Asa.] Or, In the reign of Asa.

Baasha king of Israel.] Of whom, see 1 Kings 15:27.

Came up against Judah.] See on 1 Kings 15:17, &c.


Verse 2

2 Chronicles 16:2 Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the LORD and of the king’s house, and sent to Benhadad king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,

Ver. 2. Then Asa brought out silver and gold.] Here good Asa began to decline; which was the worse in him, because in his old age, after so great a victory, and so strict a covenant to cleave close to the Lord.


Verses 3-6

2 Chronicles 16:3 [There is] a league between me and thee, as [there was] between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.

Ver. 3-6. See on 1 Kings 15:19-21, &c.


Verse 7

2 Chronicles 16:7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.

Ver. 7. At that time Hanani.] Father to Jehu the prophet. [1 Kings 16:1]

And not relied on the Lord.] He trusteth not God at all, who trusteth him not over all.

Therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped.] Thou hast lost the glory and booty, that I would have given thee, if Benhadad had come up with Baasha against thee, as by covenant he should have done. Nay, more, the Syrians having now found the way to this good land, will hereafter invade and overrun a great part of it, as they did in the days of Ahab and Joash, and perhaps of Asa also. [2 Chronicles 16:9] Therefore from henceforth thou shalt have war.


Verse 8

2 Chronicles 16:8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand.

Ver. 8. Were not the Ethiopians.] See 2 Chronicles 14:9.

He delivered them into thine hand.] And should not experience have bred confidence? Shouldst thou by this base begging, nay, buying help of Benhadad, cast a blur on both God’s power [2 Chronicles 16:8] and providence. [2 Chronicles 16:9]


Verse 9

2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

Ver. 9. For the eyes of the Lord,] i.e., His fatherly care and providence, which one well compareth to a well-drawn picture, that eyeth all that are in the room. He is not such a God as the Epicures dreamt him to be,

Namque deos didici securum agere aevum, ”& c. - Horat.

The Hebrew word for "run to and fro" signifieth, not to take a light view, but to search narrowly into the nature and course of things.

To show himself strong.] Or, To lay strong hold on them, and to add strength to them, that they may do exploits.

Herein thou hast done foolishly.] This was plain dealing, well becoming a prophet: who should not flatter princes, saith Hilary: (a) since they can do us no greater harm than can a fever, a fire, a fall of a house, &c.


Verse 10

2 Chronicles 16:10 Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for [he was] in a rage with him because of this [thing]. And Asa oppressed [some] of the people the same time.

Ver. 10. Then Asa was wroth with the seer.] This might better have become an Ahab, a Joash, a Herod, a Cambyses, or Tiberius: but for Asa to be angry with the seer; Queen Elizabeth with the bishop that put her in mind of her great age and death; Tertullian to turn Montanist in his old age, and write bitterly against the orthodox party, for whom he had been so zealous; - this was very sad, and lets us see what are the best when left to themselves: how they may bristle and bustle against a just reproof, till they have better considered.

And put him in a prison house.] Heb., Into a house of subversion, in carcerem cippi, into the traitor’s prison, whither the Lady Elizabeth was so loath to go, when landed prisoner at the Tower.

For he was in a rage with him.] Indignatione percitus erat. The Vulgate hath it, For the Lord was very angry for this matter, and slew very many of the people. Pellican also goeth the same way, being deceived by the Vulgate, and for want of looking into the Hebrew text.

And Asa oppressed some of the people.] Conquassavit, he crushed or trampled on such as spake against his tyranny toward the prophet: he took an order with them to teach them better manners. Thus he added sin to sin, as the best shall do if God restrain them not.


Verse 11

2 Chronicles 16:11 And, behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, lo, they [are] written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.

Ver. 11. First and last.] He did his best at first: but the end of a thing should be better than the beginning.


Verse 12

2 Chronicles 16:12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease [was] exceeding [great]: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.

Ver. 12. Was diseased in his feet.] Laborabat podagrd, (a) saith Vatablus; he was troubled with the gout, with a swelling in his feet, say the Rabbins. As he had laid the good prophet by the heels in prison, so doth God lay him by the heels in his bed; to him therefore he should have sought for release; since natural means in this case could do him little good.

Una eademque manus, &c.

Until his disease was exceeding great.] Heb., Till it ascended upwards; till the humour and grief was gotten into his head, and so became more grievous and dangerous. Let no man look that God should lay down the bucklers first: he will have the better of us.

Yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord.] Which yet he had covenanted to do. [2 Chronicles 14:7] That he repented of this and the rest of his misdoings ere he died, we doubt not. See 2 Chronicles 15:17; 2 Chronicles 20:32. Maximianus the persecutor, in a grievous fit of sickness, was convinced that God was angry with him for his cruelty to the Christians; whereupon he reversed his own edicts, and begged their prayers. (b)

But to the physicians.] Thus he fell into his former sin of creature confidence. See 2 Chronicles 16:2; 2 Chronicles 16:7. It is hard to say how oft a saint may fall into the same sin. A doctor is God’s ordinance, and must be made use of in due time and manner. The Jews are to blame who detest all physicians: they have a proverb in their Talmud, Optimus inter medicos ad gehennam, The best physician will to hell. Farewell doctor, said old Chaucer; physicians have undone me, said Adrian the emperor; so might the Hemorrhoise have said, had she not touched at length the hem of Christ’s garment. But Luke was "the beloved physician": and our Saviour saith, "The whole need not the physician, but the sick." [Matthew 9:12] Asa sinned not in using the physicians, but in trusting to them, as if they by their skill, without the divine influence, could have kept off death: whereas death suddenly snatcheth away physicians oft together with their patients; as it were in scorn and contempt of medicines.


Verse 13

2 Chronicles 16:13 And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.

Ver. 13. And Asa slept with his fathers.] He that could drive out that huge army of the Ethiopians, could not drive away death.


Verse 14

2 Chronicles 16:14 And they buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds [of spices] prepared by the apothecaries’ art: and they made a very great burning for him.

Ver. 14. And they buried him in his own sepulchre.]. Heb., Sepulchres; haply because large and capacious.

Which he had made.] Heb., Digged. This was well done. But that he filled it so full of sweet odours, Pellican blameth him for; whether justly or not, aliorum esto iudicium.

And laid him in the bed which was filled.] Or, Which he had filled. See the preceding note. What would Pellican have said if he had been in France, when after the death of Charles IX, his image was laid in a rich bed in triumphant attire, with the crown upon his head, and the collar of the order about his neck, and forty days at ordinary hours, dinner and supper was served in with all accustomed ceremonies, as sewing, water, grace, carving, &c., all the cardinals, prelates, lords, gentlemen, and officers attending in far greater solemnity than if he had been alive! (a)

With sweet odours.] Congesta cremantur thurea dona. (b) A good name is better than all these. [Ecclesiastes 7:1]

And they made a very great burning for him.] Not of his body, but of sweet odours only, at and in his sepulchre. See 2 Chronicles 21:19, Jeremiah 34:5.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 16:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-chronicles-16.html. 1865-1868.

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