Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, , at sacred-texts.com
The narrative in 2 Chr. 20:1-30 is entirely additional to Kings; in Ch2 20:31-37, it runs parallel with Kg1 22:41-49.
2 Chronicles 20:1
The present Hebrew (and English) text mentions the Ammonites twice over. Hence, some adopt a different reading and translate "the children of Ammon, and with them certain of the Maonites," etc. Compare Ch2 20:10, note; Jdg 10:12, note; Ch1 4:41, note.
2 Chronicles 20:2
Translate, "from beyond the sea, from Edom." The "sea" intended is, of course, the Dead Sea. "Syria" (Aram) is probably a mistake of a copyist for "Edom" (compare Sa2 8:12 note).
On Engedi, see Sa1 23:29 note.
2 Chronicles 20:3
General fasts had been previously observed by the Israelites (e. g. Jdg 20:26; Sa1 7:6); but we do not hear of any fast having been "proclaimed" by authority before this.
2 Chronicles 20:5
The new court - In Solomon's Temple there were two courts. One of these had probably been renovated by Jehoshaphat or by his father, Asa Ch2 15:8, and was known as "the new court."
2 Chronicles 20:6
Jehoshaphat's appeal is threefold:
(1) to God omnipotent Ch2 20:6;
(2) to "our God;"
(3) the God especially "of this house" the temple.
Abraham thy friend - Historically, this is the first use of this remarkable expression, afterward repeated (marginal references). The ground of the expression is to be found principally in Gen 18:23-33, where Abraham spoke with God as a man with his friend (compare Exo 33:11).
Ch2 20:8, Ch2 20:9
The appeal recalls Solomon's prayer (marginal references), which God had formally accepted by sending down fire from heaven to consume the accompanying offering.
2 Chronicles 20:10
The Maonites of Ch2 20:1 are here, and in Ch2 20:22-23, called the "children" or inhabitants "of mount Seir." Hence, we may gather that they were a tribe of Edomites, the inhabitants, probably of a city Maon (now Ma'an) on the eastern side of the Wady el-Arabah.
2 Chronicles 20:14
"Mattaniah" is thought to be a corrupt reading for "Nethaniah," who is mentioned among the sons of Asaph in Ch1 25:2, Ch1 25:12.
2 Chronicles 20:15
The prophet uses words familiar to the people, and connected with several great deliverances (see the marginal references).
By the "cliff (or, rather - as in the margin - ascent) of Ziz," we must understand the mountain path which leads up from Engedi across the elevated tract still known as El-Husasah, in the direction of Tekoa Ch2 20:20.
At the end of the brook - Rather, "at the end of the gulley," or dry torrent-course. No name like Jeruel has been as yet found in this district.
2 Chronicles 20:20
Tekoa (Sa2 14:2 note) lay on the borders of the desert which skirts the highlands of Judaea toward the east. The town was built on a hill of a considerable height.
2 Chronicles 20:21
Praise the beauty of holiness - Some render, "in the beauty of holiness" - i. e. in rich apparel and ornaments suitable to a holy occasion. Compare Psa 29:2.
2 Chronicles 20:22
The Lord set ambushments - These liers in wait have been regarded as angels employed by God to confuse the host and cause its destruction, so that the Moabites and Ammonites first united to destroy the Edomites, and then turned upon each other.
2 Chronicles 20:24
The march of Judah from Jerusalem would take five or six hours. By the time they reached the watch-towers in the wilderness of Jeruel all was over.
2 Chronicles 20:25
Riches with the dead bodies - Several manuscripts give another reading: "riches, and garments."
2 Chronicles 20:26
The valley of Berachah - Probably, the Wady Bereikut, which lies at a short distance from Tekoa toward the northwest.
2 Chronicles 20:33
The latter clause of this verse helps to reconcile the first clause with the statement that Jehoshaphat "took away the high places" (see Ch2 15:17 note).
2 Chronicles 20:34
Who is mentioned ... - Words which are now generally thought to mean "whose work was inserted into the Book of the Kings."
Of Israel - "Israel" is probably used here inexactly for "Judah" (compare Ch2 12:6; Ch2 21:2, Ch2 21:4).
2 Chronicles 20:35
After this - Jehoshaphat's history had been formally completed Ch2 20:34. Consequently we can lay no stress on the note of time contained in the words "after this," which are detached from the context to which they originally referred. On the history Ch2 20:35-37, see marginal references and notes.