By William Johnstone
Read or Download 1 and 2 Chronicles: Volume 2: 2 Chronicles 10-36: Guilt and Atonement PDF
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Additional resources for 1 and 2 Chronicles: Volume 2: 2 Chronicles 10-36: Guilt and Atonement
Thus, instead of the 'each man to his tent' of the call to defensive arms in the north (2 Chron. 16), it is 'each man to his house', each to return to the ordinary constructive affairs of life. Lest there be any confusion that the north might have a monopoly on the claim to be called 'Israel', C omits the wording of Kings, 'the Israelites', after 'your brothers'. C's last phrase, 'they turned back [or, even, 'repented'] from advancing against Jeroboam', underlines the historic elements in the decision and avoids the repetition of 'they repented to go, according to the word of the LORD' that is found in Kings.
The phrase, 'covenant of salt', carries with it a broad range of allusion. Salt, as an essential element of diet, is a permanent requirement in sacrificial ritual (see Lev. 13, where it is sprinkled on the cereal offering as 'the salt of the covenant of your God'; Ezek. 24). It thus carries with it the associations and connotations of sacrifice itself: devotion to God, and atonement and fellowship with him. The phrase, 'covenant of salt', is also used in connection with the priests' irrevocable rights of participation in sacrifice (Num.
In response, God relents (v. 7). He again sends a two-fold message: he accepts the acknowledgment of guilt; he suspends the full payment of the sentence. The acknowledgment of guilt ('they have humbled themselves') uses the vocabulary of Lev. 41, one of the key passages on ma'al: it marks the first step on the costly road back towards rehabilitation (see 2 Chronicles 10-12 43 on 2 Chron. 14). The sentence is only mitigated: 'I will not destroy them' uses the techical term for God's punitive action in the 'negative Passover' after David's presumptuous census in 1 Chron.