2 Chronicles 17:6
And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah.
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(6) And his heart was lifted up.Gabhah lēbh, which usually, like the phrase of Authorised version, has a bad meaning, as in 2Chronicles 26:16. The margin is right here: “his courage rose high,” or “he grew bold” in the ways of Jehovah, i.e., in the path of religious reform. Vulg., “cum sumpsisset cor ejus audaciam propter vias Domini.”

Moreover.And again, further. Referring to 2Chronicles 17:3. Not only did he not seek the Baals, but more than this, he removed the high places, &c. [This is the common explanation. But the sense may rather be: “And he again removed,” referring back to Asa’s reforms, 2Chronicles 14:5.]

Groves.—’Ashêrim, “Asherahs.” (2Chronicles 14:3.)

17:1-19 Jehoshaphat promotes religion in Judah, His prosperity. - Jehoshaphat found his people generally very ignorant, and therefore endeavoured to have them well taught. The public teaching of the word of God forms, in all ages, the great method of promoting the power of godliness. Thereby the understanding is informed, the conscience is awakened and directed. We have a particular account of Jehoshaphat's prosperity. But it was not his formidable army that restrained the neighbouring nations from attempting any thing against Israel, but the fear of God which fell upon them, when Jehoshaphat reformed his country, and set up a preaching ministry in it. The ordinances of God are more the strength and safety of a kingdom, than soldiers and weapons of war. The Bible requires use to notice the hand of God in every event, yet this is little regarded. But let all employ the talents they have: be faithful, even in that which is little. Set up the worship of God in your houses. The charge of a family is important. Why should you not instruct them as Jehoshaphat did his subjects, in the book of the law of the Lord. But be consistent. Do not recommend one thing, and practise another. Begin with yourselves. Seek to the Lord God of Israel, then call upon children and servants to follow your example.His heart was lifted up - This expression generally occurs in a bad sense Deuteronomy 8:14; 2 Chronicles 26:16; Psalm 131:1; Proverbs 18:12; but here it must be taken differently. The margin "was encouraged" expresses fairly the true meaning. He first began by setting an example of faithfulness to Yahweh. He then proceeded to use his best endeavors to extirpate idolatry.

He took away the high places - Compare 2 Chronicles 20:33, and see the 2 Chronicles 15:17 note.

6. his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord—Full of faith and piety, he possessed zeal and courage to undertake the reformation of manners, to suppress all the works and objects of idolatry (see on [440]2Ch 20:33), and he held out public encouragement to the pure worship of God. His heart was lifted up above all discouragements, and difficulties, and fears, by which men’s hearts use to be cast down: he was valiant and resolute for God and his ways.

He took away the high places and groves, to wit, such only wherein idols were worshipped, as appears by comparing this with 2 Chronicles 20:33. And though Asa had done this before, yet either he did not do it thoroughly, or the Jews (who were many of them mad upon their idols) had secretly made new ones, in the latter part of his reign, when he grew more infirm in body, and more remiss in God’s cause.

And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord,.... It was engaged in them, was bent and set upon them; he walked in them with great pleasure and cheerfulness, being inspired with zeal and courage; he was fearless and intrepid, and regarded not any opposition he might have, or expect to have, in the work of reformation in which he was concerned:

moreover, he took away the high places; such as were dedicated to idols, but not those in which the true God was worshipped, 2 Chronicles 20:33

and groves out of Judah; where idols were placed; for though these had been removed by Asa, yet had been renewed in the latter part of his days, when more negligent of religion.

And his heart was {c} lifted up in the ways of the LORD: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah.

(c) He gave himself wholly to serve the Lord.

6. moreover he took away] R.V. and furthermore he took away. In 2 Chronicles 20:33 = 1 Kings 22:43 it is said that the high places were not taken away. Cp. what is said of Asa (2 Chronicles 14:3 and 2 Chronicles 15:17 = 1 Kings 15:14). It seems that in both cases the Chronicler incorporates mutually contradictory traditions. If the removal took place, it must have met with only partial success.

and groves] R.V. and the Asherim. See note on 2 Chronicles 14:3.

Verse 6. - And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord. Although the verb גָבַהּ often carries a bad sense with it, it quite as often carries with it a good one in the Old Testament, and the typical instance of the former (Psalm 131:1) is fully counterbalanced by Isaiah 52:13. The marginal "was enencouraged may be superseded with advantage by "took courage" (Isaiah 40:29-31). The groves. Supersede this incorrect rendering by the Asherim; and upon the seeming discrepancy, see again ch. 15:17, and "Introduction to Chronicles" there quoted. 2 Chronicles 17:6This blessing encouraged Jehoshaphat to extirpate from the land all idolatrous worship, and to teach the people the law of the Lord. לב נּבהּ, usually sensu malo, to be haughty, proud, cf. e.g., 2 Chronicles 26:16; 2 Chronicles 32:25; here sensu bono, of rising courage to advance in ways pleasing to God: and he removed the high places also, etc. עוד points back to 2 Chronicles 17:3 : not only did he himself keep far from the Baals, but he removed, besides, all memorials of the Baal-worship from Judah. On בּמות and אשׁרים, see on 2 Chronicles 14:2.
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