2 Chronicles 14:10
Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) Then.And.

Against him.Before him (1Chronicles 12:17; 1Chronicles 14:8).

In the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.—This valley is not identified. The LXX. reads: ἐν τῇ φάραγγι κατὰ βορρᾶν Μαρισης, “in the ravine north of Mareshah.” This would involve a change of one letter in the present Hebrew. [Çaphônah “northward,” for Ç’phathah.] Syriac and Arabic, “in the wady of Mareshah.”

14:1-15 Asa's piety, He strengthens his kingdom. - Asa aimed at pleasing God, and studied to approve himself to him. Happy those that walk by this rule, not to do that which is right in their own eyes, or in the eye of the world, but which is so in God's sight. We find by experience that it is good to seek the Lord; it gives us rest; while we pursue the world, we meet with nothing but vexation. Asa consulted with his people how to make a good use of the peace they enjoyed; and concluded with them that they must not be idle, nor secure. A formidable army of Ethiopians invaded Asa's kingdom. This evil came upon them, that their faith in God might be tried. Asa's prayer is short, but it is the real language of faith and expectation from God. When we go forth in God's name, we cannot but prosper, and all things work together for the good of those whom he favours.The "valley of Zephathah" - not elsewhere mentioned - is probably the broad Wady which opens out from Mareshah (marginal reference) in a northwesterly direction, leading into the great Philistine plain. Zerah, on the advance of Asa, drew off into the wider space of the Wady, where he could use his horsemen and chariots. 10. Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array … at Mareshah—one of the towns which Rehoboam fortified (2Ch 11:8), near a great southern pass in the low country of Judah (Jos 15:44). The engagement between the armies took place in a plain near the town, called "the valley of Zephathah," supposed to be the broad way coming down Beit Jibrin towards Tell Es-Safren [Robinson]. No text from Poole on this verse.

Then Asa went out against him,.... Notwithstanding he brought so great an army with him:

and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah; where the Ethiopians were; he did not stay till they got further into his country, but marched against them when on the frontiers of it, and chose the valley to pitch in, as being more to the advantage of his smaller army; see Judges 1:17.

Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. against him] R.V. to meet him.

in the valley] Probably the valley in which Beit-Jibrin now stands, one of several valleys giving access from the Shephelah into central Judah (G. A. Smith, Hist. Geography, pp. 230–233). In such a place a large force might easily be discomfited by a few resolute men (cp. 2 Samuel 17:9-10).

of Zephathah at Mareshah] Read with LXX., north of Mareshah (“Zaphonah” for “Zephathah”). No valley or town called “Zephathah” is known.

Verse 10. - The valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. "At" some translate "belonging to," some more suitably to the exact connection "near." The Hebrew here for" valley" is גֵיא. It can scarcely designate necessarily a "ravine." It is a valley in the sense of being a low, fiat region, in which springs of water "broke out." From Numbers 21:20, the first occasion of its occurrence, to Zechariah 14:5 it is found fifty-six times, and is always rendered (Authorized Version) "valley;" it is the word used in the celebrated passages, "Though I walk through the valley" etc. (Psalm 23:4); and "Every valley shall be exalted" (Isaiah 40:4). The Septuagint, however, do not render it uniformly; but though they render it generally φάραξ, they also have ναπή κοίλας αὐλών, and in some cases the simple word γῆ, as e.g. ἐν γῇ (γε) Ἑννόμ, (2 Chronicles 28:3; 2 Chronicles 33:6), which, nevertheless, elsewhere they describe as φάραξ Ἑννόμ (Joshua 15:8). The full explanation may probably be that the word is used for the valley that narrowed up to a ravine-like pass, or gorge, or that opened out into one of the wide wadies of the country; but see Stanley's 'Sinai and Palestine,' Appendix, pp. 482, 483, new edit., 1866. It is supposed that Zephathah is not mentioned elsewhere, but see the Zephath of Judges 1:17; and comp. Numbers 21:3: 1 Samuel 30:30, which Keil and Bertheau think conclusively to be not the same. 2 Chronicles 14:10Then he called upon the Lord his God for help. וגו עמּך אין we translate, with Berth., "None is with Thee (on עמּך, cf. 2 Chronicles 20:6; Psalm 73:25) to help between a mighty one and a weak," i.e., no other than Thou can help in an unequal battle, i.e., help the weaker side; while the Vulg., on the contrary, after the analogy of 1 Samuel 14:6, translates, "non est apud te ulla distantia, utrum in paucis auxilieris an in pluribus;" and the older commentators (Schmidt, Ramb.) give the meaning thus: "perinde est tibi potentiori vel imbecilliori opem ferre." But in 1 Samuel 14:16 the wording is different, so that that passage cannot be a standard for us here. "In Thy name (i.e., trusting in Thy help) are we come against this multitude" (not "have we fallen upon this multitude"). וגו יעצר אל, "Let not a mortal retain strength with Thee" (עצר equals כּח עצר, 2 Chronicles 13:20; 1 Chronicles 29:14), i.e., let not weak men accomplish anything with Thee, show Thy power or omnipotence over weak men.
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