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Go to Bible: 2 Chronicles 15
“was upon.” The Hebrew text is literally “was upon.” Azariah the prophet had the holy spirit of God just as Moses and other prophets had.
[For more on the spirit of God, see Appendix 11, “What is the Holy Spirit?”](top)
|2Ch 15:2||- (top)|
“For a long time Israel.” The prophet is likely referring to the time of the Judges.
“without a teaching priest.” One of the jobs of the priests was to teach the people the Law of Moses and the commands of God (Lev. 10:11). However, when the king was against God, they could only do that at the risk of their lives. But Asa supported God and the Law, and so officials and Levites were able to travel around Judah and teach the Law to the people (2 Chron. 17:7-9).(top)
|2Ch 15:4||- (top)|
“the one who went out, nor for the one who came in.” This is the figure of speech polarmerismos for people living their lives, who go out in the morning and come in later in the afternoon after work. The text is saying that people did not have peace and the feeling of well-being in their life. There was always a state of worry and anxiety. They had “great troubles.”
[See figure of speech “merismos.”]
“all the inhabitants of the lands.” This could be the “lands,” i.e., the districts, within Israel, or it could refer to Israel and the lands around it; the other nations as well as Israel.(top)
|2Ch 15:6||- (top)|
“do not let your hands be slack.” The Hebrew word “slack” has a couple of meanings that both apply. It can be “slack” in the sense of lazy, i.e., don’t back off your work, or it can be “weak,” in the sense of losing strength due to discouragement, etc.
“because your work will be rewarded.” The Hebrew has “reward” as a noun, “because there is a reward for your work.”(top)
“and the prophecy of Oded the prophet.” Oded is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 15:1, but what he said is not recorded. It seems he must have agreed with the prophecy of Azariah.
“and from the cities he had taken from the hill country of Ephraim.” In the various conflicts between the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah, Judah had conquered some Israelite cities, and those would have had lots of different idols. Asa removed the idols and abominations from his country, Judah, and even from the cities he had conquered in Israel. That may not have been very popular with the people who lived in those cities, because people get attached to their gods and idols, but Asa was the king and it was his responsibility to see that in his kingdom Yahweh was followed and obeyed.
“in front of the vestibule of the house of Yahweh.” The Temple of Yahweh built by Solomon had three rooms: an outermost vestibule, then the Holy Place, then the Holy of Holies. The great altar of sacrifice was in the courtyard east of the vestibule.
[For more on the Temple and the vestibule, see commentary on 1 Kings 6:3.](top)
“for an abundance of them defected to him from Israel.” As Israel became more and more ungodly, more and more godly people moved from Israel into Judah. This had happened earlier also, in the days of Rehoboam, son of Solomon (cp. 2 Chron. 11:13-17).
“defected to him.” The Hebrew is idiomatic, literally, “fell upon him.”(top)
“in the third month.” This gathering is likely at Pentecost, the Old Testament Feast of Weeks, which was 50 days after the Feast of Unleavened Bread.(top)
“some of the spoil.” This spoil is from the battle with the Ethiopians (2 Chron. 14:14).(top)
|2Ch 15:12||- (top)|
“that whoever would not seek Yahweh the God of Israel would be put to death.” This law was much more severe than the Law of Moses, which never demanded what this law did. It is likely that it did not last long. There is no record of anyone being put to death because of this law, and it is not reflected in the Book of Kings.
“whether small or great.” The law applied to everyone, whether they were a “great” and powerful person in the kingdom, or whether they were “small,” a common citizen. Some versions have “young or old,” but the Hebrew vocabulary does not support that distinction well.(top)
|2Ch 15:14||- (top)|
|2Ch 15:15||- (top)|
“Maacah, the grandmother.” Maacah was the wife of Rehoboam, the grandfather of Asa, and so Maacah was the grandmother of Asa. The Hebrew does not have a specific word for “grandmother,” but uses “mother” and expects people to know the correct genealogy.
“queen mother.” The Hebrew word (Strong’s #01377) refers to the “queen mother,” who in this context is the grandmother of the king (BDB Hebrew and English lexicon). The queen mother was the most powerful woman in the kingdom, much more powerful than any of the wives of the king, who often did not have much real power at all. In this case, the “queen grandmother” was ungodly and Asa removed her from her powerful position, but the text does not tell us how he did that.
“in the brook Kidron.” The brook Kidron ran dry most of the year.(top)
“the local shrines.” The Hebrew word “shrines” is bamot, which referred to a place that was leveled and built up and on which were placed various idols and objects of worship. Many of the towns had such shrines (see commentary on Num. 33:52).(top)
|2Ch 15:18||- (top)|
|2Ch 15:19||- (top)|