2 Kings 14:28
(28) How he recovered Damascus, and Hamath.--Jeroboam II. was probably contemporary with Ramman-nirari, king of Assyria (B.C. 812-783). This king has recorded his exaction of tribute from Tyre and Sidon, "the land of Omri" (i.e., Israel), Edom, and Philistia; and a siege of Damascus, followed by the submission of Mari', its king, and the spoiling of his palace. The prostration of his enemy thus accounts for the permanent success of Jeroboam, who was himself a vassal of Assyria.

He recovered.--This verb was rendered "lie restored" in 2Kings 14:25, and that is the meaning here.

Damascus and Hamath.--Not the entire states so named, which were powerful independent communities, but portions of their territory, which had belonged to Israel in the days of Solomon. (See Note on 2Chronicles 8:3-4.)

Which belonged to Judah.--This is really an epithet restrictive of the phrase, "Damascus and Hamath," the sense being, "Jud?an Damascus and Hamath." (Comp, the Note on 2Kings 15:1.)

For Israel.--Heb., in Israel. The sense is obscure; but the particle "in" appears to refer to the re-incorporation of the Damascene and Hamathite districts with Israel. Ewald would cancel "which belonged to Judah," and read "to Israel" (so the Syriac and Arabic. But the LXX., Vulg., and Targum support the existing text.) Others explain: He restored Damascus and Hamath to Judah (i.e., to the theocratic people) through Israel (i.e., the northern kingdom, to which the recovered districts were actually annexed). No explanation, however, is really satisfactory. It may be that by an oversight the Judaean editor wrote" to Judah, "instead of" to Israel and that some scribe added a marginal note "in Israel," which afterwards crept into the text. It is curious to find certain districts of Hamath leagued with Azariah, king of Judah, against Tiglath Pileser. (See Note on 2Kings 15:1.)

Verse 28. - Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and his might, how he warred, and how he recovered Damascus and Hamath. It has been suggested that these words mean no more than that Jeroboam took territory from Damascus and Hamath - from Damascus the trans-Jordanic territory which Hazael had conquered from Jehu (2 Kings 10:33); from Hamath some small portion of the Coele-Syrian valley, about the head-streams of the Orontes and Litany (so Keil and Bahr). But there does not seem to be any sufficient reason for giving the words used this narrow signification. Damascus was conquered and annexed by David (2 Samuel 8:6), and held for a time even by Solomon (1 Kings 11:24), of whose kingdom Hamath also seems to have formed part (1 Kings 4:21-24; 2 Chronicles 8:4; 2 Chronicles 9:26). The word "recovered" is, therefore, a suitable one. The prophecy of Amos, no doubt, represents Damascus as independent (Amos 1:3, 4); but this may have been written before Jeroboam conquered it. Hamath's subjection seems to be implied in Amos 6:2, 14. We may, therefore, well understand, with Ewald ('History of Israel,' vol. 4. p. 124) and Dr. Pusey ('Minor Prophets,' pp, 157, 209), that Jeroboam . ' subdued Damascus and even Hamath," and added them to his kingdom. How long the subjection continued is a different question. Probably, in the troubles that followed the death of Zachariah (2 Kings 15:10-14), the yoke was thrown off. In the Assyrian Inscriptions, Damascus appears under its own king about B.C. 786 (G. Smith, 'Eponym Canon,' p. 115), and it was certainly independent in B.C. 743. At the latter date Hamath also appears as the capital of an independent kingdom (ibid., pp. 118, 120) under its own monarch. Which belonged to Judah. Keil and Bahr render,"Hamath of Judah," regarding לִיהוּדָה as a genitive. Ewald proposes to read חֲמָת לְצובָה, "Hamath of Zobah" (comp. 2 Chronicles 8:3), or else to cut out ליחודה altogether. The passage is one of great difficulty. For Israel. It is questionable whether this meaning can be obtained from the present text, which is בְיִשׂרָאֵל. Bahr thinks that it can; but Ewald regards the change into לְיִשׂרָאֵל as one "of necessity." Might we not avoid all these alterations by translating simply - " how he recovered Damascus and Hamath to Judah through Israel"? Attaching them to Israel was a sort of recovering of them to Judah, to which (i.e. the Judah of David and Solomon) they had once belonged. Are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

14:23-29 God raised up the prophet Jonah, and by him declared the purposes of his favour to Israel. It is a sign that God has not cast off his people, if he continues faithful ministers among them. Two reasons are given why God blessed them with those victories: 1. Because the distress was very great, which made them objects of his compassion. 2. Because the decree was not yet gone forth for their destruction. Many prophets there had been in Israel, but none left prophecies in writing till this age, and their prophecies are part of the Bible. Hosea began to prophesy in the reign of this Jeroboam. At the same time Amos prophesied; soon after Micah, then Isaiah, in the days of Ahaz and Hezekiah. Thus God, in the darkest and most degenerate ages of the church, raised up some to be burning and shining lights in it; to their own age, by their preaching and living, and a few by their writings, to reflect light upon us in the last times.Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and his might, how he warred,.... His valiant acts and warlike exploits:

and how he recovered Damascus and Hamath, which belonged to Judah, for Israel; which cities, in the times of David and Solomon, were tributary to Judah, but afterwards fell into the hands of the Syrians, from whom Jeroboam recovered them, and annexed them to the kingdom of Israel; or, as Kimchi, though Jeroboam was king of Israel, yet, having taken them, he restored them to the king of Judah, to whom they belonged:

are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? where all events of any moment were registered.

2 Kings 14:27
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