2 Chronicles 20:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And Judah assembled to seek help from the LORD; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

King James Bible
And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

American Standard Version
And Judah gathered themselves together, to seek help of Jehovah: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek Jehovah.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Juda gathered themselves together to pray to the Lord: and all came out of their cities to make supplication to him.

English Revised Version
And Judah gathered themselves together, to seek help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Judah assembled, to ask help of the LORD: even from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

2 Chronicles 20:4 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

To the members of the superior tribunal also, Jehoshaphat gave orders to exercise their office in the fear of the Lord, with fidelity and with upright heart (שׁלם בּלבב, corde s. animo integro, cf. 2 Chronicles 15:17; 2 Chronicles 16:9). תעשׂוּן כּה, thus shall ye do; what they are to do being stated only in 2 Chronicles 19:10. The w before כּל־ריב is explicative, namely, and is omitted by the lxx and Vulg. as superfluous. "Every cause which comes to you from your brethren who dwell in their cities" (and bring causes before the superior court in the following cases): between blood and blood (בּין with ל following, as in Genesis 1:6, etc.), i.e., in criminal cases of murder and manslaughter, and between law and between command, statutes, and judgments, i.e., in cases where the matter concerns the interpretation and application of the law, and its individual commands, statutes, and judgments, to particular crimes; wherever, in short, there is any doubt by what particular provision of the law the case in hand should be decided. With והזהרתּם the apodosis commences, but it is an anacolouthon. Instead of "ye shall give them instruction therein," we have, "ye shall teach them (those who bring the cause before you), that they incur not guilt, and an anger (i.e., God's anger and punishment) come upon you and your brethren" (cf. 2 Chronicles 19:2). הזהיר, properly to illuminate, metaphorically to teach, with the additional idea of exhortation or warning. The word is taken from Exodus 18:20, and there is construed c. accus. pers. et rei. This construction is here also the underlying one, since the object which precedes in the absolute is to be taken as accus.: thus, and as regards every cause, ye shall teach them concerning it. After the enumeration of the matters falling within the jurisdiction of this court, תעשׂוּן כּה is repeated, and this precept is then pressed home upon the judges by the words, "that ye incur not guilt." Thereafter (in 2 Chronicles 19:11) Jehoshaphat nominates the spiritual and civil presidents of this tribunal: for spiritual causes the high priest Amariah, who is not the same as the Amariah mentioned after Zadok as the fifth high priest (1 Chronicles 6:11); in civil causes Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the prince of the house of Judah, i.e., tribal prince of Judah. These shall be עליכם over you, i.e., presidents of the judges; and שׁטרים, writers, shall the Levites be לפניכם, before you, i.e., as your assistants and servants. Jehoshaphat concludes the nomination of the judicial staff with the encouraging words, "Be strong (courageous) and do," i.e., go to work with good heart, "and the Lord be with the good," i.e., with him who discharges the duties of his office well.

The establishment of this superior court was in form, indeed, the commencement of a new institution; but in reality it was only the expansion or firmer organization of a court of final appeal already provided by Moses, the duties of which had been until then performed partly by the high priest, partly by the existing civil heads of the people (the judges and kings). When Moses, at Horeb, set judges over the people, he commanded them to bring to him the matters which were too difficult for them to decide, that he might settle them according to decisions obtained of God (Exodus 18:26 and Exodus 18:19). At a later time he ordained (Deuteronomy 17:8.) that for the future the judges in the various districts and cities should bring the more difficult cases to the Levitic priests and the judge at the place where the central sanctuary was, and let them be decided by them. In thus arranging, he presupposes that Israel would have at all times not only a high priest who might ascertain the will of God by means of the Urim and Thummim, but also a supreme director of its civil affairs at the place of the central sanctuary, who, in common with the priests, i.e., the high priest, would give decisions in cases of final appeal (see the commentary on Deuteronomy 17:8-13). On the basis of these Mosaic arrangements, Jehoshaphat set up a supreme court in Jerusalem, with the high priest and a lay president at its head, for the decision of causes which up till that time the king, either alone with the cooperation of the high priest, had decided. For further information as to this supreme court, see in my bibl. Archol. ii. S. 250f.

2 Chronicles 20:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

ask help of the Lord

Psalm 24:5,6 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation...

Psalm 50:15 And call on me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

Psalm 60:10-12 Will not you, O God, which had cast us off? and you, O God, which did not go out with our armies...

the cities

2 Chronicles 19:5 And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city,

Psalm 69:35 For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.

Cross References
2 Chronicles 20:5
And Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,

Joel 1:14
Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.

Zephaniah 2:1
Gather together, yes, gather, O shameless nation,

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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