2Ch 13: Outline: "Civil war in the days of the duplicitous
Abijah: 2Ch 13:1-2.  The battle of Zemaraim: vv 3-20.  Epilogue of
Abijah's reign: vv 21-22.
"Notice the eloquence of Abijah, whose character is sometimes
forgotten in the spell of his voice! Judging from his speech one would suppose
him faultless, entirely noble in every aspiration, sublimely religious and
unselfish. But it is not the true Abijah we see (cp 1Ki 15). This was but a man
pleading a cause with the skill of a lawyer. Words are cheap. The Spirit's
exhortation is: 'Show me thy faith by thy works.' He preached well to others,
but failed to apply it to himself. Men can appear so dazzlingly good as to blind
their fellowmen. They are religious on occasions. Abijah had a great cause to
serve. He addressed himself to it with the skill of an orator, the piety of a
mind that never tenanted a worldly thought. But God knows the heart! Let those
who seek the chief seats in the ecclesia, recognise the dangers!"
Vv 4-10: Abijah's tirade against Israel is an odd mixture of
truth and falsity. He ignored the fact that the ten tribes had been taken from
the line of David by God (1Ki 11:31) even though he is correct in his assessment
of the idolatry of Israel. We can so easily mix falsity with truth in an attempt
to further our cause.
THE HILL COUNTRY OF EPHRAIM: This encompassed a large
area -- with a great number of cities and a particular mountain there:
Timnathserah (Josh 19:50), Shechem (Josh 20:7), Bethel (Jdg 4:5), Shamir (Jdg
10:1), Ramathaim-zophim (1Sa 1:1), and Mount Zemaraim (2Ch 13:4).
EVERY MORNING: Manna given (Exo 16:21). Fire on the
altar (Lev 6:12). Incense offered (Exo 30:7). Praise offered (1Ch 23:30).
Service offered (1Ch 9:27). Sacrifice presented (2Ch 2:4; here). God visits (Job
7:18). God is their arm (Isa 33:2). His compassions new (Lam 3:23). The
Philistines present themselves (1Sa 17:16). God silences the wicked (Psa 101:8).
Judgment (Zep 3:5). Administer justice (Jer 21:12).
THEY SET OUT THE BREAD: Or "set in order" (AV). Setting
"in order" is a significant thing in the service of God: Gen 22:9; Exo 26:17;
39:37; 40:4,23; Lev 1:7,8,12; 6:12; 24:8; 1Ki 18:33; 2Ki 20:1; 2Ch 13:11; 29:35;
Eze 41:6; Acts 18:23; 1Co 11:34; 14:40; Tit 1:5.
This great destruction equalizes, more or less, the strength
of the 10 tribes and the 2 tribes.