2 Chronicles 28:9
But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because the LORD God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath delivered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up unto heaven.
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(9) But a prophet of the Lord.—This whole section is peculiar to the chronicler. The author has told the story in his own way; and perhaps the words of the prophet and the chiefs are mainly his. But there is no ground for doubting the general truth of the narrative.

Was there.—In Samaria. It is remarkable that neither here nor in the parallel narrative is any mention made of the great prophet Hosea ben Beeri, who must have been active at this epoch in the northern kingdom. Of Oded nothing further is known. He was a “prophet of Jehovah,” not of the Baals.

He went out before.—To meet the hosts, like Azariah ben Oded (2Chronicles 15:2).

That came.Was coming in.

Because the Lord . . . was wroth.—Literally, in the wrath of Jehovah . . . against Judah he gave them into your hand. Your victory was due to the punitive wrath of Jehovah, not to your own valour or intrinsic superiority. You ought to have considered this, and shown compassion to the victims of divine displeasure; but you have, on the contrary, given full rein to the savage dictates of furious hatred.

Slain them.Slain among them.

In a rage.2Chronicles 26:19 (za’af).

That reacheth up unto heaven.Genesis 28:12; Isaiah 8:8. Literally, which even to the heavens did reach; i.e., a guilty excess of rage, calling to heaven for vengeance, like the blood of Abel (Genesis 4:10), or the wickedness of Sodom (Genesis 18:21). (Comp. also Ezra 9:6.)

2 Chronicles 28:9. A prophet of the Lord was there — By this it appears God continued his prophets among the Israelites, idolatrous as they were, that he might bring them to repentance, if they would hearken to their admonitions. This prophet meets the victorious army of Israel, not to applaud their valour or congratulate their victory; though they returned laden with spoils and triumphs; but in God’s name to tell them of their faults, and warn them of the judgments of God. And said unto them, Behold, because the Lord was wroth with Judah — He exhorts them not to be lifted up with their victory; which he assures them was not to be ascribed so much to their own valour, as to the anger of God against Judah, to chastise whom, he had used them as the rod of his indignation. And ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up to heaven — An unbounded rage, which cries to God for vengeance against such bloody men.

28:1-27 The wicked reign of Ahaz in Judah. - Israel gained this victory because God was wroth with Judah, and made them the rod of his indignation. He reminds them of their own sins. It ill becomes sinners to be cruel. Could they hope for the mercy of God, if they neither showed mercy nor justice to their brethren? Let it be remembered, that every man is our neighbour, our brother, our fellow man, if not our fellow Christian. And no man who is acquainted with the word of God, need fear to maintain that slavery is against the law of love and the gospel of grace. Who can hold his brother in bondage, without breaking the rule of doing to others as he would they should do unto him? But when sinners are left to their own heart's lusts, they grow more desperate in wickedness. God commands them to release the prisoners, and they obeyed. The Lord brought Judah low. Those who will not humble themselves under the word of God, will justly be humbled by his judgments. It is often found, that wicked men themselves have no real affection for those that revolt to them, nor do they care to do them a kindness. This is that king Ahaz! that wretched man! Those are wicked and vile indeed, that are made worse by their afflictions, instead of being made better by them; who, in their distress, trespass yet more, and have their hearts more fully set in them to do evil. But no marvel that men's affections and devotions are misplaced, when they mistake the author of their trouble and of their help. The progress of wickedness and misery is often rapid; and it is awful to reflect upon a sinner's being driven away in his wickedness into the eternal world.Nothing more is known of this Oded. Compare 2 Chronicles 15:1.

He went out before the host - Rather, "He went out to meet the host," as the same phrase is translated in 2 Chronicles 15:2.

A rage that reacheth up to heaven - i. e. not merely an exceedingly great and violent rage, but one that has displeased God.

8-14. the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand—These captives included a great number of women, boys, and girls, a circumstance which creates a presumption that the Hebrews, like other Orientals, were accompanied in the war by multitudes of non-combatants (see on [460]Jud 4:8). The report of these "brethren," being brought as captives to Samaria, excited general indignation among the better-disposed inhabitants; and Oded, a prophet, accompanied by the princes (2Ch 28:12 compared with 2Ch 28:14), went out, as the escort was approaching, to prevent the disgraceful outrage of introducing such prisoners into the city. The officers of the squadron were, of course, not to blame; they were simply doing their military duty in conducting those prisoners of war to their destination. But Oded clearly showed that the Israelitish army had gained the victory—not by the superiority of their arms, but in consequence of the divine judgment against Judah. He forcibly exposed the enormity of the offense of keeping "their brethren" as slaves got in war. He protested earnestly against adding this great offense of unnatural and sinful cruelty (Le 25:43, 44; Mic 2:8, 9) to the already overwhelming amount of their own national sins. Such was the effect of his spirited remonstrance and the opposing tide of popular feeling, that "the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation." i.e. In a most high and fierce manner. A usual hyperbole, withal signifying that their rage did cry aloud, and was heard to heaven, from whence it would pull down vengeance upon them.

But a prophet of the Lord was there, whose name was Oded,.... Not the same that was in the time of Asa, 2 Chronicles 15:1,

and he went out before the host that came to Samaria; that was coming thither; he went out of Samaria to meet them:

and said unto them, behold, because the Lord God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath delivered them into your hand; he let them know it was not owing to their wisdom and conduct, their prowess and courage, that they had got the victory over them, but because the Lord was displeased with them for their sins, and therefore gave them up into their hands:

and ye have slain them in a rage that reaches up unto heaven; that is, with an exceeding great rage and fury, and the cry of which reached to heaven also, and was displeasing to God; he suggests to them, that they had exceeded all bounds, and had not shown that compassion to their brethren, when fallen into their hands, they ought to have done, and which therefore was resented by the God of heaven, see Zechariah 1:15.

But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, {e} because the LORD God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath delivered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up unto heaven.

(e) For they thought they had overcome them by their own valiantness, and did not consider that God had delivered them into their hands, because Judah had offended him.

9. a prophet of the Lord was there] Nothing further is known of Oded, but this may have been the only occasion on which be appeared as a prophet.

he went out before] R.V. he went out to meet.

that reacheth up] R.V. which hath reached up. Cp. Genesis 4:10.

heaven] There is a tendency in some later books of the Bible to write “heaven” for “God”; cp. 2 Chronicles 32:20, “prayed and cried to heaven.” From a similar feeling of reverence the Chronicler is sparing in his use of the name “Jehovah”; cp. 2 Chronicles 17:4 (note).

Verse 9. - The very interesting contents of this and the following six verses are not found in the parallel. A prophet of the Lord... Oded. We do not know any particulars of this prophet; for his name and its possible identity with the name Iddo, see notes on 2 Chronicles 9:29; 15:1, 8. The growingly frequent references to the interposition of the prophets is much to be noticed, and their dignity, courage, fidelity, are brought into grand relief. They are very typical of the moral presence of which no national history, a.s centuries solemnly flow on, gives the slightest symptom of a slackening need. The very same may be said alike of the truth and those qualified and commissioned to bear it, of the message and the messenger. Before the host; i.e. in very face of the host, somewhat too mildly rendered "to meet" the host, in 2 Chronicles 15:2, etc. In a rage that reacheth up unto heaven. To the wonderful life of this figure, that must strike every reader, must be added the force that comes of its moral rather than merely material suggestion - a moral suggestion that reminds us of that of the sentence of far greater antiquity, and from the sacred lip of the Inspirer of all prophets, "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground." The rage had not been that on which the sun did not go down; it had been so fierce that upon it the sun ought never to have been required to look. See for interesting particulars and then more general references, Jeremiah 51:9; Ezra 9:6; Psalm 38:4; Genesis 18:21; Genesis 28:12; Job 20:6. The expression of the text, however, "reach-eth," or "toucheth," cannot be understood to reproduce as a perfect equivalent the older above-quoted one of "crieth." In other words, the magnitude of the rage is the first thing set forth, and the particular language in which it is set forth well postulates the inference of its abominableness in God's sight. 2 Chronicles 28:9The liberation of the prisoners. - In Samaria there was a prophet of the Lord (i.e., not of the Jahve there worshipped in the calf images, but of the true God, like Hosea, who also at that time laboured in the kingdom of the ten tribes), Oded by name. He went forth to meet the army returning with the prisoners and the booty, as Azariha-ben-Oded (2 Chronicles 15:2) once went to meet Asa; pointed out to the warriors the cruelty of their treatment of their brethren, and the guilt, calling to Heaven for vengeance, which they thereby incurred; and exhorted them to turn away the anger of God which was upon them, by sending back the prisoners. To soften the hearts of the rude warriors, and to gain them for his purpose, he tells them (2 Chronicles 28:9), "Because the Lord God of your fathers was wroth, He gave them (the men of Judah) into your hand:" your victory over them is consequently not the fruit of your power and valour, but the work of the God of your fathers, whose wrath Judah has drawn upon itself by its defection from Him. This you should have considered, and so have had pity upon those smitten by the wrath of God; "but he have slaughtered among them with a rage which reacheth up to heaven," i.e., not merely with a rage beyond all measure, but a rage which calls to God for vengeance; cf. Ezra 9:6.
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