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2Ki 22:1 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.
Ver. 1. Josiah was eight years old. ] Josiah he was called by God two or three hundred years before he was born. 1Ki 13:2 His name signifieth, The salvation of God: and he answered his name better than did Probus the emperor; of whom, notwithstanding, the historian saith, a that if Honest had not been his name, yet it might well have been his surname. Some say, but not so well, that he was called Josiah, q., Jah-scai, that is, the gift of God, or, q., Jah-esch, that is, the fire of God, sc., for his zeal, which is called the flame of God. Son 8:6
And his mother’s name was Jedidah,] i.e., The Lord’s darling, as his grandmother’s name was Hephzibah; 2Ki 21:1 a couple of good women likely, doing the same for Josiah as afterward Eunice and Lois did for young Timothy.
a Fla. Vopis.
2Ki 22:2 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.
Ver. 2. And he did that which was right. ] Helped on, no doubt, by the holy prophets of his time, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, Huldah, &c.; as was our English Josiah, Edward VI, by Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, Sir John Cheek, his tutor, and Dr Cox, his almoner. a
a An official distributor of the alms of another; the name of a functionary in a religious house, in the household of a bishop, prince, or other person of rank. Sometimes applied to the chaplain of a hospital, or other institution.
2Ki 22:3 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,
Ver. 3. In the eighteenth year of king Josiah. ] That is, In the eighteenth year of his reign; after that, with a great deal of zeal, he had purged the land and the house. 2Ch 34:8 In which time also it seemeth that a collection was made for the repairing of the temple, which now this pious king taketh order to have done, and herein he proceedeth aequabiliter, iuste, prudenter. a And from this famous eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, both those thirty years, Eze 1:1 and those forty days or years of the sin of Judah, Eze 6:6 seem to take their rise and reckoning.
a Ussher., Annal. Vet. Testam., p. 115.
2Ki 22:4 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:
Ver. 4. Go up to Helkiah the high priest. ] Who perhaps was father to Jeremiah the prophet. Jer 1:1
That he may sum the silver. ] That is, Count it; or as some will, Stamp it, and put it into current money.
2Ki 22:5 And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD: and let them give it to the doers of the work which [is] in the house of the LORD, to repair the breaches of the house,
Ver. 5. Into the hands of the doers of the work. ] So both the overseers and the workmen are called.
To repair the breaches. ] Ad instauranda sarta tecta templi. a
2Ki 22:6 Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house.
Ver. 6. To buy timber and hewn stone. ] For the very stone walls also temporis iniuria et hominum incuria were much decayed.
2Ki 22:7 Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully.
Ver. 7. Howbeit there was no reckoning. ] Or, Let there be no reckoning made with them of the money: for they will deal faithfully. See Nehemiah 7:2 . See Trapp on " Neh 7:2 "
2Ki 22:8 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.
Ver. 8. I have found the book of the law. ] Authenticum Mosis autographum; Deuteronomy; or perhaps the whole law in Moses’s own handwriting: and by him caused to be put by the side of the ark, as a κειμηλιον . Deu 31:26 This was not venerandae rubiginis, as some books are, sed summae authoritatis monumentum. The Turks themselves do so reverence Moses, that if they find but a paper wherein any part of the pentateuch is written, they presently take it up, and kiss it. This precious piece might in the confusions of Manasseh and Amon be hidden or mislaid; and now it is brought to the king as a rare jewel, and a good reward of his zeal in repairing the temple. R. Solomon saith that wicked Manasseh sought to abolish the law, as point-blank against his idolatry and cruelty. Therefore some good priests had hid this original copy, which now came to light and sight. For it is not credible that this good king had never read the law till now. But that he had not so thoroughly read and considered the comminations of the law as now he did, is evident. But what a shame is it, that Bibles, now so common, are so little set by amongst us: when our devout forefathers would have purchased some few chapters at a great rate! It is a sad complaint that Moulin maketh a of the French Protestants: whilst they burnt us, saith he, for reading the Scriptures, we burnt with zeal to be reading them. Now with our liberty is bred also negligence and disesteem of God’s word.
a Moul. Thea., p. 278.
2Ki 22:9 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.
Ver. 9. Thy servants have gathered. ] Heb., Melted. a Hence Vatablus inferreth, that much of the silver gathered was yet uncoined. See 2 Kings 22:4 .
2Ki 22:10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.
Ver. 10. And Shaphan read it before the king. ] Who well showed how he was affected toward it, and wrought upon by it, (1.) Lectione libri; ( 2.) Laceratione vestium; ( 3.) Legatione ad Prophetissam.
2Ki 22:11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.
Ver. 11. When the king had heard the words. ] Which the wicked account to be but wind, Jer 5:13 and spoken in terrorem only; though God threaten to make them fire, Jer 5:14 and as he gave his law in fire, so in fire to require it.
2Ki 22:12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying,
Ver. 12. And Achbor the son of Michaiah. ] Called Abdon the son of Micah, 2Ch 34:20 by a different pronunciation.
2Ki 22:13 Go ye, enquire 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.
Ver. 13. For great is the wrath of the Lord. ] A good heart trembleth at God’s judgments whilst they yet hang in the threatenings; Isa 66:2 when carnal people put off all with a "God forbid," Luk 20:16 and bless themselves, though God curse them. Deu 29:19-20
2Ki 22:14 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.
Ver. 14. Went unto Huldah the prophetess. ] Souls have no sexes. They who vilify the female sex, especially with reference to religion, as some Papists have done, a may here observe in point of holy prophecy, that male and female are all one in God as in Christ. Gal 3:28
The wife of Shallum. ] Who was, say the Rabbis, Jeremiah’s great-uncle, and much honoured in such a wife.
Now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college. ] Heb., In the second, in parte secunda ab eo, se., rege, in some part of the king’s palace; and therefore sent to her, as nigh at hand, and of known abilities. The Chaldee hath it, In the house of learning. The Septuagint, In Mishneh, as if it were the name of a certain street in Jerusalem. Others, in repetitionum loco, in the school or college where the law was repeated. The Hebrews call Deuteronomy, Mishneh Torah, the repetition of the law.
a Faemellae in Vet. Testamento non habuerunt spem salutis. - Collatores Bavar. Ap. Polyc. Lyser.
2Ki 22:15 And she said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me,
Ver. 15. Tell the man. ] Kings had need to be told that they are but men. Remember that thou art but a man, said the boy to king Philip: and Agnosco me esse mortalem, I acknowledge myself a mortal, said Charles V, emperor. Huldah here speaketh from God, with whom there is no respect of persons.
2Ki 22:16 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, [even] all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read:
Ver. 16. Behold, I will bring evil upon this place. ] God is absolute in threatening, because resolute in punishing.
2Ki 22:17 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.
Ver. 17. Because they have forsaken me. ] The reformation they make being but feigned and forced: as appeared by their revolt to idolatry and blood-guiltiness, presently after good Josiah’s death. 2Ki 24:3
2Ki 22:18 But to the king of Judah which sent you to enquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, [As touching] the words which thou hast heard;
Ver. 18. But to the king of Judah. ] Here she giveth him his just title, whom before she had called "man." 2Ki 22:15 Piety is no enemy to civility.
2Ki 22:19 Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard [thee], saith the LORD.
Ver. 19. Because thine heart was tender. ] How happy a thing is it, saith a reverend man, to be a reed unto God’s judgments, rather than an oak! The meek and gentle reed stoops, and therefore stands. The oak stands stiffly out against the strongest gust, and therefore is turned up by the roots.
2Ki 22:20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.
Ver. 20. And thou shalt be gathered unto thy grave in peace. ] And yet he died in battle; but (1.) He died before the general deluge of desolation on the land: and so the next words expound these: "And thine eyes shall not see all the evil that I will bring upon this place." So he died "in peace," comparatively with a worse state of life; Isa 57:1 or, (2.) He was gathered to the spirits of his fathers who enjoyed peace; or, (3.) He died in God’s favour, though by the hand of an enemy. His weeping and humiliation had altered the very nature of trouble, and made war to be peace to him. Hereupon one crieth out, Oh, the safe condition of God’s children, whom very pain easeth, whom death reviveth, whom dissolution uniteth, whom, lastly, their sin and temptation glorifieth!
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 22". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany