Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel.2. Reformation under Jehoshaphat
CHAPTER 17 Jehoshaphat’s Reformation and Increase
1. The Lord was with Jehoshaphat (2Chronicles 17:1-5)
2. The revival under his reign (2Chronicles 17:6-9)
3. His increase (2Chronicles 17:10-19)
Jehoshaphat, the son of Asa, began his reign by strengthening himself against Israel. The Lord was with him, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, which means David’s faithful walk before his great sin. The Lord greatly blessed him by establishing his kingdom and in giving him riches and honor in abundance. The Lord kept all His promises. When Jehoshaphat saw the evidences of divine blessing, his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord. This does not mean that he was puffed up, but that he became encouraged to go on in the good way he was following. The high places and groves were removed by him. In 1Kings 22:43, we read that he did not take away the high places and that the people offered incense there. The work was not completely done. While he personally wanted to see it accomplished and commanded that it be done, the people failed in fully carrying out his wishes. “For as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers” (20:33). Another work he did, was the sending out of teachers to instruct in the knowledge of the LORD. Their names are interesting. Ben-hail, “son of strength”; Abadiah, “servant of the Lord”; Zechariah, “the Lord remembers 11; Nethaneel, “gift of God”; Michariah, “Who is like the Lord?” He also sent priests and Levites. “And they taught in Judah and had the book of the law of the LORD with them and went about throughout all the cities of Judah and taught the people.” It was a revival in teaching and in the study of the Word. No true revival can take place unless it is connected with the Word.
And the results soon came. The fear of the LORD fell upon the surrounding kingdoms. They feared to touch the people who were thus blessed. The Philistines brought presents and tribute silver; the Arabians immense herds of cattle. It was all a fulfillment of Deuteronomy 11:22-25. Judah had a phenomenal increase. Without doubt this chapter presents one of the best scenes in the kingdom of Judah.