Attention!
For 10¢ a day you can enjoy StudyLight.org ads
free while helping to build churches and support pastors in Uganda.
Click here to learn more!

Bible Commentaries

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

2 Kings 12

Verses 1-3

Reign of Jehoash

There are seven or eight kings of whom we read that they did “right in the sight of the LORD”. Without exception, however, we also read of them that things went wrong with them later on. Experiences with the Lord are no guarantee of remaining faithful to the Lord. In youth there is often a freshness for the Lord that can disappear later. It are warnings for older believers.

Of Jehoash we read why it is that it goes wrong. As soon as Jehoiada dies, things go wrong. The big question for anyone who is young is whether faith is based on their own relationship with the Lord or on that of parents or older believers. There can be new life, without practice in personal contact with the Lord and without being taught by Him.

It is not good for (young) believers to remain dependent on older believers. For sisters it is important that in their faith they are not dependent on their husbands. The reverse is also true. For example, for sisters an own life of prayer is of great importance. It should not be the case that believers become helpless when certain believers disappear. This helplessness is the result of the fact that these believers have leaned too much upon other believers, without learning to bear their own responsibility. The same applies to parents and their children. They must teach their children to be independent in the Lord.

The high places mentioned in 2 Kings 12:3 are high places dedicated to the LORD. At such high places Solomon also sacrificed (1 Kings 3:2-Leviticus :). As long as the temple is not there, God allows sacrifice to be made there. Now that the temple is there, they wouldn’t have to sacrifice there any more. It is like serving God in a place where the Lord Jesus cannot be in the midst. There are Christians who believe that the Lord Jesus is everywhere in the midst, even though things have been introduced that are not in accordance with God’s Word, such as a by man appointed pastor.

Verses 4-8

Jehoash Commands to Restore the Temple

Jehoash understands that only the temple is the place where God’s people must come to sacrifice. Therefore he wants to restore the temple. Three types of money are used for this restoration: the ransom that every numbered person must pay (Exodus 30:11-Nehemiah :), money from someone who has made a promise and converts that promise into a sum of money (Leviticus 27:1-Ruth :) and money that is given voluntarily.

Jehoash does not use the money to build a new temple. With Jehoash it is not about a new temple. He does not act from an attitude that does not like the old because in his opinion ‘it is no longer of this time’. This is the reasoning that is often heard and acted upon in Christianity. The old, what God Himself has given, may be restored to its original state. For us this means that in practicing to be a church, we are going back to the principles of the Word concerning the church.

At one point, “in the twenty-third year” of his reign, Jehoash noted that no work had been done to restore the temple. He calls Jehoiada and the priests to account about this and warns them about it. Jehoash is still so powerful here, that he can even warn Jehoiada. He does not wait for an answer – in any case, we are not informed of any answer – but immediately gives new orders to get the temple restored as soon as possible.

From the run-up to his renewed command to restore the temple, it may be possible to understand why nothing has been done so far to restore it. Jehoash says they shouldn’t accept any more money from their acquaintances. They may be so busy collecting and managing the money that the work for which they receive the money does not get off the ground (cf. Acts 6:1-Joshua :).

Another way has to be found. The priests should no longer be involved in collecting money. They also do not have to contribute to the restoration of the temple. That work will be done by others.

Verses 9-16

Temple Restoration Collection

It is about the construction of the house of God, that is in our time the church. That house is in decay. There are many in that house who have no life out of God. Many believers associate themselves with unbelievers because they do not ask if there is life. We must restore in God’s house what is not good in it. All that is not of the Lord must be removed or restored according to His will.

Many revivals are aimed at personal experience. However, it is important that it is the church of the living God. Whoever repents becomes a member of the body of Christ. This means that such a person is there for the other and for the whole. How a member functions in the church depends on how he or she deals with the Lord. If there is contact with the Lord and His Word is read, He will make known what we can do for others. We live in an ‘I’ era. We also see this in the perception of faith, which is mainly ‘I-focused’.

The collection of the money for the restoration of the temple is now done in a box. Jojada bored a hole in the lid. The funds collected are used only for repair work and not for making utensils in the temple. The money is given to those who do the repair work. They can freely dispose of it and buy what they think they need. They do not have to account for how exactly they spent the money. There is trust because they deal faithfully. Trust is given, not demanded.

There also remains a strict separation between the gifts for the restoration and the money from the offerings. The money from the guilt offerings and the money from the sin offerings is for the priests and is not used for the repair work. The money from the offerings comes from the twenty percent to be given when bringing a guilt offering (Leviticus 5:16).

Verses 17-18

Hazael Threatens Jerusalem

Without giving any reason, the historian suddenly mentions Hazael’s march against Jerusalem after capturing Gath. In 2 Chronicles 24 we read why this discipline comes over Judah (2 Chronicles 24:17-Jeremiah :). There we see that Jehoash is doing well, as long as he is under the good influence of the priest Jehoiada. When Jehoiada falls away, he listens to others. Jehoash is a man who can be influenced quickly. He admits quickly, he has no powerful own opinion. Good friends have a good influence, bad friends have a bad influence.

The result is that he leaves the LORD. Because of this the temple doesn’t mean much to him anymore. When he comes under the pressure of Hazael, he doesn't resort to the LORD. That was the purpose of the LORD, for this enemy comes down upon him as a chastisement from Him. But instead of going to the LORD he devises his own solution. He takes from the temple, which first meant so much to him, to pay the enemy of it, that he may depart from him. He succeeds in his purpose, but at the same time he is further away from the LORD than ever.

Verses 19-21

Death of Joash

The end of Joash is humiliating. He is murdered by two of his servants. These men are sons of pagan mothers (2 Chronicles 24:26). Joash is buried in the city of David with his fathers. It does not mention that he enters the graves of the kings, which has been interpreted as a sign of disapproval of his later behavior.

Copyright Statement
Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
No part of the publications may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author.
Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op 2 Kings 12". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/2-kings-12.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniƫl', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.