James Nisbet Commentary - 2 Chronicles 13:2 - 13:2

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James Nisbet Commentary - 2 Chronicles 13:2 - 13:2

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:


‘There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.’


In the reign of Abijah there was terrible war between Judah and Israel. The king himself was evil, as the Book of Kings declares. Here, however, he was speaking and acting for his people. His address, in which he attempted to persuade Israel to submission, is a very remarkable one.

I. It is a strange mixture of misrepresentation and religion.—The misrepresentation is to be found in his statement of the reason of the rebellion of Israel, which culminated in the crowning of Jeroboam. He attributed the whole thing to the influence of evil men whom he described as ‘sons of Belial.’ How often in process of time men misinterpret the reasons from which differences spring! The condition of Israel from the standpoint of righteousness was a deplorable one, and Jeroboam was a veritable incarnation of evil. His method of warfare, as here recorded, was mean and despicable. To surprise a foe from ambush in the midst of conference is inexpressibly wicked.

II. The God of the nations is Himself seen acting, and the power of Jeroboam was broken utterly by the victory of Judah.


‘Rehoboam was succeeded by his son Abijah, concerning whom we are told in the Book of Kings that “he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him; and his heart was not perfect with Jehovah his God, as the heart of David his father.” The chronicler omits this unfavourable verdict; he does not indeed classify Abijah among the good kings by the usual formal statement, “he did that which was good and right in the eyes of Jehovah,” but Abijah delivers a hortatory speech, and by Divine assistance obtains a great victory over Jeroboam. There is not a suggestion of any evil-doing on the part of Abijah; and yet we gather from the history of Asa that in Abijah’s reign the cities of Judah were given up to idolatry.’