Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 30th, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 22

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

Verse 1

Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath.

Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign. Happier than his grandfather Manasseh, he seems to have fallen, during his minority, under the care of better guardians, who trained him in the principles and practice of piety; and so strongly had his young affections been enlisted on the side of true and undefiled religion, that he continued to adhere all his life, with undeviating perseverance, to the cause of God and righteousness.

Verse 2

And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 3

And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the LORD, saying,

In the eighteenth year of king Josiah. Previous to this period he had commenced the work of national reformation. The preliminary steps had been already taken-not only the builders were employed, but money had been brought by all the people, and received by the Levites at the door, and various other preparations had been made. But the course of this narrative turns on one interesting incident, which happened in the 18th year of Josiah's reign, and hence, that date is specified. In fact, the whole land was thoroughly purified from every object and all traces of idolatry. The king now addressed himself to the repair and embellishment of the temple, and gave directions to Hilkiah, the high priest, to take a general survey, in order to ascertain what was necessary be done (see the notes at 2 Chronicles 34:8-15).

Verses 4-7

Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people: No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 8

And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

Hilkiah ... said ... I have found the book of the law ... - i:e., the law of Moses-the Pentateuch. It was the temple copy, which having been laid (Deuteronomy 31:25-26 beside the ark in the most holy place and during the ungodily reins of Manasseh and Amon-perhaps under Ahaz, when the temple itself had been profaned by idols, and the ark also (2 Chronicles 35:3) removed from its site-was somehow lost, and was now found again during the repair of the temple (Keil, in loco). The Gemara says that it had been probably deposited in a secret recess of the house of God, by some faithful priest, in those times of abounding iniquity, when its publicity might have endangered the very existence of that best treasure of the sanctuary. Delivered by Hilkiah, the discoverer to Shaphan, the scribe, it was by the latter shown and read to the king. It is thought, with great probability, that the passage read to the king, and by which the royal mind was so greatly excited, was a portion of Deuteronomy-the 28th, 29th, and 30th chapters-in which is recorded a renewal of the national covenant, and an enumeration of the terrible threats and curses denounced against all who violated the law, whether prince or people.

The impressions of grief and terror which the reading produced on the mind of Josiah have seemed to many unaccountable. And as it is certain, from the extensive and familiar knowledge displayed by the prophets, that there were numbers of other copies in popular circulation, the king must have known its sacred contents in some degree. But he might have been a stranger to the passage read to him; or the reading of it might, in the special circumstances, have found a way to his heart in a manner that he never felt before. His strong faith in the Divine Word, and his painful consciousness that the woeful and long-continued apostasies of the people had exposed them to the infliction of the judgment denounced, must have come with overwhelming force on the heart of so pious a prince.

Verses 9-12

And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 13

Go ye, inquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.

Go ye, inquire of the Lord for me ... To "inquire of the Lord," through the appointed methods, by Urim and Thummim, or from the prophets, was a phraseology as common amount the Jews as to consult a physician or lawyer is among ourselves. Innumerable instances occur in the Old Testament (Genesis 25:22; Judges 1:1-2; Judges 10:10-14; Judges 20:18; Judges 20:23; 1 Samuel 10:21; 2 Samuel 16:23; 1 Kings 22:5-7; 2 Kings 3:11-12; 1 Chronicles 13:3). The agitated feelings of the king prompted him to ask immediate counsel how to avert those curses under which his kingdom lay; and forthwith a deputation of his principal officers was sent to one endowed with the prophetic spirit.

Verse 14

So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her.

Ahikam - a friend of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 26:24).

Achbor - or Abdon (2 Chronicles 34:20), a man of influence at court (Jeremiah 26:22). The occasion was urgent, and therefore they were sent, not to Zephaniah (Zephaniah 1:1), who was perhaps young, nor to Jeremiah, who was probably absent at his house in Anathoth, but to one who was at hand, and known for her prophetic gifts-to Huldah, who was probably at this time a widow. Her husband Shallum, was grandson of one Harhas, "keeper of the wardrobe." If this means the priestly wardrobe, he must have been a Levite. But it probably refers to the royal wardrobe.

She dwelt ... in the college, [ bamishneh (H4932)] - in the second part, i:e., the suburb, of the city (cf. Nehemiah 11:9; Zephaniah 1:10). [The Septuagint, taking it as a proper name, retains the original, en tee masena.] It was not a school or college, but a particular suburb of Jerusalem. Huldah was held in such veneration that Jewish writers say she and Jehoiada the priest were the only persons not of the house of David (2 Chronicles 24:16) who were ever buried in Jerusalem.

Verse 15

And she said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me, She said ... Tell the man that sent you. On being consulted, she delivered an oracular response in which judgment was blended with mercy; because it announced the impending calamities that at no distant period were to overtake the city and its inhabitants, but at the same time consoled the king with an assurance that this season of punishment and sorrow should not be during his lifetime, on account of the faith, penitence, and pious zeal for the divine glory and worship which, in his public capacity, and with his royal influence, he had displayed.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 22". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/2-kings-22.html. 1871-8.
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