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Friday, May 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 11

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.

Athaliah - (see the notes at 2 Chronicles 22:2.) She had possessed great influence over her son, who, her counsels, had ruled in the spirit of the house of Ahab.

Destroyed all the seed royal - all connected with the royal family who might have urged a claim on the throne, and who had escaped the murderous hands of Jehu (2 Chronicles 21:2-4; 2 Chronicles 22:1; 2 Kings 10:13-14). This massacre she was incited to perpetrate, partly from a determination not to let David's family outline her's-partly as a measure of self-defense, to secure herself against the violence of Jehu, who was bent on destroying the whole of Ahab's posterity, to which she belonged (2 Kings 8:18-26); but chiefly from personal ambition to rule, and a desire to establish the worship of Baal. Such was the sad fruit of the unequal alliance between the son of the pious Jehoshaphat and a daughter of the idolatrous and wicked house of Ahab. Athaliah's horrid policy of 'destroying all the seed royal' was carried on until lately at Constantinople, and is stiff practiced, at Bokhara (Joseph Wolff's 'Missionary Labours,' p. 493).

Verse 2

But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain.

Jehosheba - or Jehoshabeath (2 Chronicles 22:11).

Daughter of king Joram - not by Athaliah, but by a secondary wife.

Stole him from among the king's sons which were slain - either from among the corpses, he being considered dead, or out of the palace nursery.

Hid him ... in the bed-chamber - for the use of the priests, which was in some part of the temple (2 Kings 11:3), and of which Jehoiada and his wife had the sole charge. What is called however, the bed-chamber in the East is not the kind of apartment that we understand by the name, but a small closet, into which are flung during the day the mattresses and other bedding materials spread on the floors or divans of the sitting-rooms at night. Such a 'chamber of beds,' or a lumber-room, was well suited to be a convenient place for the recovery of his wounds, and a hiding-place for the royal infant and his nurse.

Verse 3

And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 4

And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the LORD, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the LORD, and shewed them the king's son.

And the seventh year - namely, of the reign of Athaliah and the rescue of Jehoash.

Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers ... He could scarcely have obtained such a general convocation except at the time, or on pretext, of a public and solemn festival. Having revealed to them the secret of the young king's preservation, and entered into a covenant with them for the overthrow of the tyrant, he then arranged with them the plan and time of carrying their plot into execution, (see the notes at 2 Chronicles 22:10-12; 2 Chronicles 23:1-21.) The conduct of Jehoiada, who acted the leading and chief part in this conspiracy, admits of an easy and full justification: for, while Athaliah was a usurper, and belonged to a race devoted by divine denunciation to destruction, even his own wife had a better and stronger claim to the throne; the sovereignty of Judah has been divinely appropriated to the family of David, and therefore the young prince on whom it was proposed to confer the crown possessed an inherent right to it, of which a usurper could not deprive him. Moreover, Jehoiada was most probably the high priest, whose official duty it was to watch over the due execution of God's laws, and who, in his present movement, was encouraged and aided by the countenances and support of the chief authorities, both civil and ecclesiastical, in the country. In addition to all these considerations, he seems to have been directed by an impulse of the Divine Spirit, through the counsels and exhortations of the prophets of the time.

Verses 5-12

And he commanded them, saying, This is the thing that ye shall do; A third part of you that enter in on the sabbath shall even be keepers of the watch of the king's house;

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 13

And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the temple of the LORD.

Athaliah heard the noise. The profound secrecy with which the conspiracy had been conducted rendered the unusual acclamations of the vast assembled crowd the more startling, and roused the suspicious of the tyrant into the temple of the Lord - i:e., the courts, which she was permitted to enter by Jehoiada's direction (2 Kings 11:8), in order that she might be secured.

Verse 14

And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets: and Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason.

The king stood by the pillar - probably on a platform sneered for that purpose (2 Chronicles 6:13). A seat placed near a column was reckoned an honourable and distinguished, position (2 Kings 23:3; also Homer, 'Odyssey,'

xxiii., 93,) --

`The monarch, by a pillar high enthroned, His eye withdrew, and fixed it on the ground.' (-POPE)

Verse 15

But Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of the hundreds, the officers of the host, and said unto them, Have her forth without the ranges: and him that followeth her kill with the sword. For the priest had said, Let her not be slain in the house of the LORD.

Without the ranges - i:e., fences, that the sacred place might not be stained with human blood.

Verse 16

And they laid hands on her; and she went by the way by the which the horses came into the king's house: and there was she slain.

She went the way by the which the horses came into the king's house. 'This is by no means the king's palace, as is generally supposed, but is evidently the royal stables, quite distant from the palace. The wicked usurper, Athaliah, was put to death at the Horse gate, near this edifice, by order of Jehoiada, the high priest. It would have been strange, indeed, after all the pains taken by Jehoiada to exclude her army from the temple, at the coronation of the young king, had they incurred the hazard of her rescue by sending her beck over the bridge to her army, instead of taking her for execution in the opposite direction-to the desecrated valley of Kidron. But that this view is correct, we have the testimony of Josephus ("Antiquities," b. 9:, ch. 7:, sec. 2), who informs us that "Jehoiada called for the captains of hundreds, and commanded and to bring Atbaliah to the valley of Kidron, and slay her there ... Wherefore those that the charge of her slaughter took hold of her, led her to the gate of the king's mules, and slew her there." The gate of the king's mules is, no doubt, the Horse gate of the Scripture; and the Hippodrome is probably the king's (horse's) house, though this term in its largest sense, would include the race-ground attached, as well as the, royal stable' (Barclay's 'City of the Great King,' pp. 173, 174).

Verse 17

And Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people, that they should be the LORD's people; between the king also and the people.

A covenant between the Lord and the king and the people. The covenant with the Lord was a renewal of the national covenant with Israel (Exodus 19:1-25; Exodus 20:1-26; Exodus 21:1-36; Exodus 22:1-31; Exodus 23:1-33; Exodus 24:1-18) "to be unto him a people of inheritance" (Deuteronomy 4:6; Deuteronomy 27:9). The covenant between the king and the people was the consequence of this, and by it the king bound himself to rule according to the divine law, while the people engaged to submit to give him all allegiance as the Lord's anointed. The immediate fruit of this renewal of the covenant was the destruction of the temple, and the slaughter of the priests of Baal (see the notes at 2 Kings 10:27), the restoration of the pure worship of God in all its ancient integrity, and the establishment of the young king on the hereditary throne of Judah.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/2-kings-11.html. 1871-8.
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