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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 23

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and HomileticalLange's Commentary

Verses 1-21

e. Joram: The Letter of the Prophet Elijah.—Ch. 21

2 Chronicles 21:1.And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David; and Joram his son reigned in his stead.

2And he had brethren, sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah and Jehiel, and Zechariah and Azariah, and Michael and Shephatiah: all these were sons of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. 3And their father gave them many gifts of silver and of gold and of precious things, with fenced cities in Judah; but 4the kingdom gave he to Joram, because he was the first-born. And Joram went up to the kingdom of his father, and strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword, and also some of the princes of Israel.

5Joram was thirty and two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 6And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab did; for he had a daughter of Ahab to wife: and he 7did that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord. And the Lord would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that He had made with David, and as He had promised to give a light to him and his sons for ever.—8In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made themselves 9a king. And Joram went over with his princes, and all the chariots with him; and he rose up by night, and smote Edom, who compassed him, 10and the captains of the chariots. And Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. Then Libnah revolted at that time from under his 11hand, because he had forsaken the Lord God of his fathers. He also made high places in the mountains1 of Judah, and he debauched the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and perverted Judah.

12And there came to him a writing from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus saith the Lord God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah. 13And didst walk in the way of the kings of Israel, and didst debauch Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem after the whoredom of the house of Ahab; and hast also slain thy brethren, the house of thy father, who were better 14than thou. Behold, the Lord will bring a great plague on thy people, and thy sons, and thy wives, and all thy goods. 15And thou shalt be in great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out from the sickness in a year and a day.

16And the Lord stirred up against Joram the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabs, that were near the Ethiopians. 17And they came up into Judah, and brake into it, and took away all the substance that was found in the king’s house, and his sons, and his wives; and not a son was left him but Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons. 18And after all this the Lord smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. 19And it came to pass after many days, namely, about the time of the end of two years, his bowels fell out with his sickness, and he died with sore pains; and his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers. 20Thirty and two years old was he when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem; and he departed without regret;2 and they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchres of the kings.

f. Ahaziah.—2 Chronicles 22:1-9

2 Chronicles 22:1.And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, king in his stead; for the troop that came with the Arabs to the camp had slain all the eldest: and Ahaziah son of Joram king of Judah became king. 2Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he became king;3 and he reigned one year in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Athaliah, daughter of Omri. 3He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab; for his mother 4was his counsellor to do wickedly. And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord, like the house of Ahab; for they were his counsellors after the death of his 5father, to his destruction. He also walked in their counsel, and went with Joram son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth-gilead: and the Syrians smote Joram. 6And he returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds4 which they had given him at Ramah, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria: and Ahaziah5 son of Joram king of Judah 7went down to see Joram son of Ahab at Jezreel; for he was sick. And the downfall of Ahaziah was from God, in coming to Joram; and when he came, he went out with Joram against Jehu son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab. 8And it came to pass, when Jehu executed judgment upon the house of Ahab, he found also the princes of Judah, and the sons of the brethren6 of Ahaziah, that ministered to Ahaziah, and slew them. 9And he sought Ahaziah; and they caught him when he was hiding in Samaria, and brought him to Jehu, and slew him, and buried him; for they said, He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart: and the house of Ahaziah had none to retain strength for the kingdom.

g. Athaliah’s Reign and Fall—Ch 22:10–23:20

10And Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, and she 11arose and destroyed7 all the seed of the kingdom of the house of Judah. And Jehoshabath daughter of the king took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a bed - chamber: and Jehoshabath, daughter of King Joram, wife of Jehoiada the priest,—for she was Ahaziah’s sister,—hid him from the sight of Athaliah: and she slew him not. 12And he was with them in the house of God hidden six years; and Athaliah reigned over the land.

2 Chronicles 23:1.And in the seventh year Jehoiada was encouraged, and took the captains of hundreds, Azariah son of Jeroham, and Ishmael son of Johanan, and Azariah son of Oded, and Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zichri, into covenant with him. 2And they went about in Judah, and gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Judah, and the chiefs of the fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. 3And all the congregation made a covenant in the house of God with the king; and he said unto them, Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the Lord hath spoken of the sons of David. 4This is the thing that ye shall do: a third of you, who enter on the sabbath, of the priests and of the Levites, shall be porters at the thresholds. 5And a third shall be at the king’s house; and a third at the gate Jesod; and all the 6people shall be in the courts of the house of the Lord. And none shall enter the house of the Lord, but the priests, and they that minister of the Levites; they may go in, for they are holy; and all the people shall keep the ward of the Lord. 7And the Levites shall surround the king, every man with his weapons in his hand: and whosoever goeth into the house shall be put to death; and ye shall be with the king, when he goeth in and when he cometh 8out. And the Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded, and took every one his men that went in on the sabbath with those that came out on the sabbath: for Jehoiada the priest had not dismissed 9the courses. And Jehoiada the priest gave to the captains of hundreds spears and shields and arms, that had been King David’s, which were in the house of God. 10And he set all the people, every man with his weapon in his hand, from the right to the left side of the house, by the altar and by the 11house, round about the king. And they brought out the king’s son, and gave unto him the crown and the testimony, and made him king: and Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said, Long live the king.

12And Athaliah heard the cry of the people running and praising the king, and she came to the people to the house of the Lord. 13And she looked, and, behold, the king stood at his place in the entrance, and the princes and the trumpets by the king; and all the people of the land were glad, and blew on the trumpets; and the singers with instruments of song, and the leaders of praise: and Athaliah rent her clothes, and said, Conspiracy, 14conspiracy! And Jehoiada the priest brought out8 the captains of hundreds, the officers of the host, and said unto them, Bring her out from within the ranges, and whoso followeth her shall be slain with the sword: for the priest 15had said, Slay her not in the house of the Lord. And they gave her space, and she went to the entrance of the horse gate9 by the king’s house, and they slew her there.

16And Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, and between all the 17people, and between the king, that they should be the Lord’s people. And all the people went to the house of Baal, and pulled it down, and brake its altars and its images; and Matthan the priest of Baal they slew before the 18altars. And Jehoiada appointed the offices of the house of the Lord by the hand of the priests, the Levites, whom David had distributed in the house of the Lord, to offer the burnt-offerings of the Lord, as it is written in the law of Moses, with gladness and with song, in the manner of David. 19And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the Lord, that the unclean might not enter. 20And he took the captains of hundreds, and the nobles, and the rulers of the people, and all people of the land, and brought down the king from the house of the Lord: and they went through the high gate into the king’s house, and set the king on the royal throne. 21And all the people of the land were glad; and the city was quiet, and they had put Athaliah to death by the sword.


Irrespective of the letter of the prophet Elijah (and its accompanying notices concerning the punishment of Joram therein predicted, 21:12–19), we are here presented with parallel texts to the accounts of the book of Kings, but certainly parallels to which the special Levitical standpoint of the narrator has often, especially in the description of the fall of Athaliah by the conspiracy conducted by the high priest Jehoiada, imparted a characteristic colouring, involving many deviations from the older text.
1. Joram: a. His Beginnings, and his Misgovernment: 2 Chronicles 21:1-11.—And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers. This report of Jehoshaphat’s death and burial is carried, according to the usual division of chapters, to the history of Joram, because the first deed of Joram, the general murder of his kindred, is closely connected with the decease of his father, and serves to soil with blood the solemn rites of his funeral (his being “buried with his fathers”), a mode of division corresponding well with the pragmatical turn of the Chronist.

2 Chronicles 21:2-4. Joram’s Sixfold Fratricide.—Azariah and Jehiel, etc. It is against the identity, asserted by Jewish expositors, of Jehiel with the Hiel mentioned in 1 Kings 16:34, that the latter, who is called a Bethelite (an inhabitant of Bethel), was neither a king’s son nor a member of the southern kingdom.—All these were sons of Jehoshaphat, king of Israel. On the designation of the southern kingdom by the name of Israel, comp. 12:1, 6, also 2Ch 21:4; 2 Chronicles 28:19; 2 Chronicles 28:27, etc.

2 Chronicles 21:3. And their father gave them many gifts. Comp. what Rehoboam did to his sons, 11:22 f.

2 Chronicles 21:4. And Joram went up; comp. Exodus 1:8, and on the following phrase, “strengthened himself,” 2 Chronicles 1:1. That the chief motive for the murder of his brothers was their non-concurrence with Joram’s and his mother’s idolatry, is clear from 2 Chronicles 21:13, where they are said to be better than he: this must have applied also to the “princes of Israel” who fell with them as victims in the massacre. Moreover, oriental rulers are wont still in modern times to inaugurate the beginning of their reign with such general murder of their kindred; and Abimelech had already acted the tyrant by the practice of a similar but still more wicked slaughter, Judges 9:5. –2 Chronicles 21:5-11 agree in all essentials with 2 Kings 8:17-22.

2 Chronicles 21:6. For he had a daughter of Ahab to wife. This quite definite statement excludes the hypothesis of Hitzig, based upon 2 Kings 8:26 and 2 Chronicles 22:2, that Athaliah was rather the sister of Ahab. She is there called Omri’s daughter, because the spirit of Omri, the founder of the dynasty, displayed itself most characteristically and powerfully in this his grand-daughter. Grandsons and grand-daughters are not seldom called children of their grandfather, especially if he was celebrated and influential; comp. for example, 11:20, Maachah the daughter (grand-daughter) of Absalom.

2 Chronicles 21:7. And the Lord would not destroy the house of David. Somewhat different, but coinciding in sense with the present passage, is 2 Kings 8:19 (see Bähr). In particular, “To give him a light for his sons” (or “in his sons”) stands there, for which here: “to give a light to him and his sons.” The ו of our author, inserted before לְבָנָיו, appears, moreover, to be neither superfluous nor. unsuitable, if it be taken explicatively = “and certainly” (so correctly Keil, against Berth.).

2 Chronicles 21:8. In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, changed the condition of vassalage to Judah, in which it was held from David to Jehoshaphat (comp. 1 Kings 22:48 and above on 2 Chronicles 20:35), into that of a fully independent state.

2 Chronicles 21:9. And Joram went over with his princes. עִם שָׂרָיו is possibly corrupted from שֵׂעִירָה, “to Seir” (as should be read 2 Kings 8:21, instead of צְעִירָה). At the end of the verse are wanting the words there forming the close: “and the people fled to their tents,” from which it is evident that the battle was not particularly fortunate for the Jewish king, but simply consisted in cutting his way through the surrounding force.

2 Chronicles 21:10. Unto this day, that is, merely unto the time of the older narrator, used as a source by the Chronist (comp. Introd. § 5, II. p. 19). But this is to be regarded as a writer belonging to the period immediately before the captivity; and therefore it is to be presumed that the re-conquest of the Edomites by Amaziah, 25:14 f., was only transient.—Then Libnah revolted at that time, probably the present Tell es Safieh (not far from Eleutheropolis, Robinson, Pal. ii. 622). The neighbouring Philistines took an essential part in rending it from Joram, in which they were aided also by the Phœnicians (according to Hitzig, Gesch. p. 201); comp. Joel 4:4 f.; Amos 1:9.—Because he had forsaken the Lord God of his fathers,—a pragmatic reflection of the Chronist, which is wanting in 2 Kings.

2 Chronicles 21:11. He also made high places, which Asa and Jehoshaphat had removed, 14:2 ff., 17:6. The following phrase: “debauched,” is to be understood of the spiritual whoredom of the worship of Baal; comp. 2 Chronicles 21:13. On וַיַּדַּח, “and perverted,” comp. Deuteronomy 13:6; Deuteronomy 13:11; Deuteronomy 13:14, and Proverbs 7:21.

2. b. The Letter of the Prophet Elijah, and the Fulfilment of its Evil Forebodings: 2 Chronicles 21:12-19.—And there came to him a writing from Elijah the prophet, saying (or “containing,” לֵאמֹר). מִכְתָּב is not properly a letter, but a writing, a threatening prophecy in a written form; whether written or at least dictated by Elijah is, from the indefiniteness of the phrase מֵאֱלִיָּהוּ, doubtful; a merely indirect origin from Elijah is obviously reconcilable with this phrase; and as, according to 2 Kings 2:1 ff; 2 Kings 3:11, Elijah appears to have been no longer in the land of the living in the reign of Joram (for the inquiry of Jehoshaphat after a prophet during the campaign against Mesha, 2 Kings 3:11, is answered by pointing, not to Elijah, but only to Elisha, who poured water on the hands of Elijah), it is most natural to suppose the oracle to have been spoken by Elijah against Joram, or rather against Athaliah and her idolatrous house, but first noted down and reduced to its present form by a scholar of Elijah. Comp. Evangelical and Ethical Reflections, No. 2.

2 Chronicles 21:13. After the whoredom of the house of Ahab; comp. on 2 Chronicles 21:11.—And hast also slain thy brethren; comp. on 2 Chronicles 21:4. Even this reference to the murderous deed practised on his not idolatrously disposed brothers, may Elijah have uttered by virtue of his divinely-illuminated prophetic sagacity, at a time when Joram was not yet king, in connection with the other thoughts of the present prediction.

2 Chronicles 21:14. Behold, the Lord will bring a great plague, the devastating invasion of the Philistines and the Arabs, 2 Chronicles 21:16 f.

2 Chronicles 21:15. Until thy bowels fall out from the sickness in a year and a day, literally, “days upon days,” that is, during many days; comp. שָׁנָה עַל שָׁנָה, Isaiah 29:1 and Psalms 61:7; Judges 17:10. The present determination of time is popular and proverbial, but indefinite. he duration of the malady is given more exactly, 2 Chronicles 21:19, in the account of the fulfilment of the oracle.

2 Chronicles 21:16. And the Lord stirred up, in conformity with the prediction communicated. On את רוח העיר, comp. 1 Chronicles 5:26. The Arabs that were near the Ethiopians are naturally tribes of Southern Arabia (as the Sabæans, Job 1:15; see on this passage). We know nothing of the causes which lay at the ground of the combination of these tribes with the Philistines to lay waste Judea. Moreover, the Arabs mentioned 22:1 are the same as those here designated.

2 Chronicles 21:17. And brake into it, literally, “cleft it,” “forced their way into it”; comp. 32:1; 2Sa 23:16; 2 Kings 25:4.—And took away all the substance that was found in the king’s house. According to this, Jerusalem must have been conquered by these plundering hordes; yet לְבֵית־הַמֶּלֶךְ may also be rendered “belonging to the king’s house” (royal domains), as נִמְצָא לְ certainly signifies something else than נִמְצָא בְ, namely, “possessed by” (comp. Deuteronomy 21:17; Joshua 17:16), and, besides, the absence of any mention of plundering the temple or its treasures must seem trange, if Jerusalem had been actually taken. We learn, moreover, from the later reference to the occurrence here mentioned, 22:1, that only the royal camp was surprised and plundered, not the royal palace in Jerusalem. Comp. Kuhlmey, Alttestamentl. Studien (Zeitschrift für luth. Theologie und Kirche, 1844, iii. 82 ff.), as well as Keil on this passage.—And not a son was left him but Jehoahaz. Not merely capture, but also slaughter, of all the older sons is recorded 22:1. The only remaining one is here called Jehoahaz, but there Ahaziah, a name perhaps assumed on ascending the throne; see on this passage.

2 Chronicles 21:18. Smote him (נְגָפוֹ, corresponding to the נֹגֵךָ מַגֵּפָה, 2 Chronicles 21:14) in his bowels with an incurable, disease, literally, a disease with no healing; comp. 20:21, 25, 36:16.

2 Chronicles 21:19. And it came to pass after many days, literally, “to days from days,” for which is usual the briefer “from days” (מִיָּמִים), Judges 11:4; Judges 14:8. The next words: “namely, about the time of the end of two years,” fix more exactly this somewhat indefinite date. יָמִים stands here, as in 2 Chronicles 21:15, in the sense of “year”; the indefinite phrase, denoting properly, “times, periods,” receives through the context the same meaning as the Chald. עִדָּנִין עִדָּן, often in Daniel; for example, Daniel 4:13; Daniel 4:20; Daniel 4:22; Daniel 7:25; comp. also Vulg. and Syr., which render it directly: “years.” Unnecessary and yielding too harsh a sense is Keil’s proposal, to take the words צֵאת הַקֵּץ by themselves, and render: “about the time of the end (of his life), about two days (before death).”—His bowels fell out with his sickness. עִם, during his painful malady (see the close: “and he died with sore pains”). The disease consisted probably in a very violent dysentery or chronic diarrhœa, whereby the nerve-cuticle of the whole great gut was inflamed, and parts of the mucous tunicle occasionally came off in the form of gut or pipe (resembling a falling out of the bowels); comp. Trusen, Sitten, Gebräuche und Krankheiten der alten Hebräer, p. 212, and Friedreich, Zur Bibel, p. 270 (where also other literature).—And his people made no burning for him, gave him not the honour of a magnificent funeral; comp. 16:14. The same is indicated by that which is related in the following verse, that “he departed without regret,” בְּלֹא חֶמְדָּה (sine desiderio, a nemine desideratus), and that he was not buried in the sepulchres of the kings; comp. 24:25, 26:23. On Luther’s and the Vulgate’s conception of וַיֵּלֶךְ בְּלֹא חֶמְדָּה, see Crit. Note.

3. Ahaziah’s Reign: 2 Chronicles 22:1-9; comp. 2 Kings 8:26-29, and with regard to the downfall of Ahaziah, 9, 10, a copious narrative of the revolution effected by Jehu, of which only a brief abstract (2 Chronicles 22:6-9) is given here, omitting all that refers to the extirpation of the lsraelitish branch of the house of Ahab.—And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king, the same who was called, 21:17, Jehoahaz (in the Sept. cod. Al. even as here: ’Οχοζίας ). That he was made king by the inhabitants of Jerusalem, indicates that the succession to the throne was disputed, and therefore that a party (the Levites and priests under Jehoiada) was opposed to him, but without prevailing at first against the adherents of Athaliah.—Had slain all the eldest. Comp. the remarks on 21:17; for this refers to no other fact than that there described.

2 Chronicles 22:2. Forty and two years old was Ahaziah; obviously an erroneous statement, apparently arising from the exchange of the numeral letters ב and מ; twenty-two must certainly be read for forty-two, for Joram was thirty-two years old when he ascended the throne, and reigned in all only eight years: he could not have a son forty-two years old: indeed, as the youngest son of Joram, Ahaziah could not well be over twenty-two years of age, as his father must have begotten him in his eighteenth year, and his elder brothers at a still earlier age, against which assumption no serious objection arises, as it was the well-known custom of the East to marry in early youth, and as a king’s son, he will have had no small number of concubines. Only we need not fix the number of his elder brothers at forty-two, to which 2 Kings 10:13 rightly understood does not bind us; see on 2 Chronicles 22:8. For the last words: “Athaliah daughter of Omri,” comp. on 21:6.

2 Chronicles 22:3. For his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly, in her devotion to the idolatry of the house of Ahab; comp. 20:35, 21:6 ff.

2 Chronicles 22:4. Like the house of Ahab; for they, the members of this house. At the close: “to his destruction,” as in 20:23.

2 Chronicles 22:5. Walked in their counsel, and went with Joram, Psalms 1:1; these words are wanting in 2 Kings 8:28. On Hazael, Benhadad’s former general, and then successor, see Bähr on 2 Kings 8:8 ff.—And the Syrians smote Joram; הָרַמִּים, contracted for הָֽאֲרמִּים, 2 Kings 8:28 (as הָסוּרִים, Ecclesiastes 4:14, from הָֽאֲסוּרִים; comp. also Ezekiel 20:30).

2 Chronicles 22:6. And he returned to be healed … of the wounds. So it is to be read instead of: “for the wounds,” which is unmeaning, and only to be cured by explanatory additions; see Crit. Note.—And Ahaziah . . . (see Crit. Note) went down to see Joram … in Jezreel. This going down was probably from Ramoth, not from Jerusalem; comp. 2 Kings 9:14 f. (from which, however, nothing very certain on this point is to be inferred).

2 Chronicles 22:7. And the downfall of Ahaziah was from God; “the down-treading” (תְּבוּסָה, occurring only here; comp. מְבוּסָה, Isaiah 22:5). Instead of “against Jehu,” the text has properly: “to Jehu” (אֶל), 2 Kings 9:21, more definitely “to meet Jehu” (לִקִרָאת); and for “son of Nimshi,” Jehu is there (2 Kings 9:2) more precisely called “son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi.” With the history of Jehu’s call and anointment by Elijah and Elisha (1 Kings 19:16; 2 Kings 9:2 ff.) our author here proves himself to be acquainted, but does not enter into particulars, because the fate of the Jewish royal house was his immediate concern.

2 Chronicles 22:8. When Jehu executed judgment; נִשְׁפַּט, execute judgment,—otherwise with אֵת (Ezekiel 17:20; Ezekiel 38:22) or with ל (Jeremiah 25:31), here with עִם; comp. Joel 4:2.—Sons of the brethren of Ahaziah. As the brethren of Ahaziah named in 2 Kings 10:12 ff. from their great number (42) could only be his brethren in the wider sense (kinsmen, cousins), so the Sept. is wrong in making “brethren” out of these brethren’s sons; and it is not less wrong in Bertheau to affirm two different traditions concerning the fact, according to one of which the Jewish princes put to death between Jezreel and Samaria, at Jehu’s command, were brothers; according to the other, brothers’ sons of Ahaziah; see, on the contrary, Mov. p. 258, Ew. in Der Isr. Gesch.; also Bähr, and especially Keil, who sees no difficulty in the partly very youthful age (between five and eight or nine years) of these princes.—That ministered to Ahaziah, were invested with offices in his court, the youngest as pages, as, for example, Daniel and his friends in the court of the Babylonish king, Daniel 1:4 ff.

2 Chronicles 22:6. And he sought Ahaziah. The fuller accounts of the death of Ahaziah in 2 Kings 9:27-28 deviate in several respects, in which Ahaziah is mortally wounded, not in Samaria, but in fleeing from Jezreel to Megiddo, and dies at Megiddo. See Bähr on the passage, who rightly rejects Keil’s attempt to make up the difference of the two accounts as too artificial.—And the house of Ahaziah had none to retain strength for the kingdomְ לַֽעֲצֹר כֹּחַ, as in 13:20: “to be fit for the kingdom.” On the whole sentence, comp. Daniel 9:26 (וְאֵין לוֹ).

4. Athaliah’s Reign of Six Years; Deliverance of Joash: 2 Chronicles 22:10-12; comp. 2 Kings 11:1-3.—And Athaliah . . . destroyed all the seed. On the emendation necessary here, according to 2 Kings, see Crit. Note. The “seed of the kingdom of the house of Judah” (the royal seed) embraces naturally the cousins and other remote kinsmen of Ahaziah, the male descendants of Jehoshaphat yet surviving after the catastrophes already mentioned (21:17, 22:8).

2 Chronicles 22:11. Jehoshabath daughter of the king; in 2 Kings with name slightly changed: Jehosheba; according to the close of our verse, a sister of Ahaziah, a daughter of Joram, perhaps, by another wife than Athaliah. That Jehoiada the husband of Jehoshabath was perhaps only a priest, not the high priest, see on 23:8.—That were slain, or that should have been slain (הַמּוּמָתִים).

2 Chronicles 22:12. And he was with them in the house of God hidden. Thither was he brought from his first hiding-place, the bed-chamber of the royal palace, as soon as the first favourable opportunity presented itself. “With them,” with Jehoshabath, her priestly spouse and his nurse (2 Chronicles 22:11). For אִתָּם is, moreover, in 2 Kings 11:3, the simpler אִתָּהּ, “with her.” Comp. for the rest, Bähr on the parallel passage.

5. Athaliah’s Fall through the Revolution effected by Jehoiada: 2 Chronicles 23:0.—According to the parallel in 2 Kings 11:4-20, Jehoiada employed in his enterprise the royal “runners” or guards, according to our passage, the Levites and priests, without, however, excluding the former (for in 2 Chronicles 23:1, five captains of hundreds, that is, of the life-guards, are expressly named), or betraying any design to transform the narrative of the author of Kings into his Levitical sense in an unhistorical way. He stands much more (as is immediately evident from 2 Chronicles 23:1) on independent older reports, which he takes in the main from the same sources from which 2 Kings 11:4-20 is derived; only that he finds these sources richer, and by the addition of still other reports, produces a more complete account of the fact, filling up the parallel in various ways, and even deviating from it in some respects. Here and there his statements are less clear than those of the older texts, and show plainly enough the peculiar colouring of his Levitical standpoint, but without warranting the charge of biassed invention, which de Wette, Thenius, Bertheau, Hitzig (p. 204 ff.), and nearly Movers (p. 307 ff.), here bring against the Chronist. Comp. Bähr on Kings, p. 343, and Keil, pp. 305–310; also Neteler, p. 236 ff.—In the seventh year Jehoiada . . . took the captains of hundreds, the centurions of the royal life-guards, as appears from 2 Kings 11:4 ff. Five of these captains are then named, a guarantee of the well-grounded accuracy of the present narrative. Before the first three of these names stands the introductory לְ (as 17:7; 1 Chronicles 5:26), and before the last two וְאֶת.

2 Chronicles 23:2. And they went about in Judah, וַיּסֹבּוּ, as 17:9; comp. Song of Solomon 3:3; on the following רָאשֵׁי אָבוֹת, “tribechiefs,” “heads of families,” for בֵית א׳ר׳, comp. 1 Chronicles 8:6.

2 Chronicles 23:3. And all the congregation made a covenant. כָּל־הַקָּהָל means, not the whole Israelitish community (Berth.), but according to the context, the congregation of Levites and heads of families appointed by Jehoiada at Jerusalem in the temple. What is related of “the covenant made with the king,” the young Joash, is merely completive of the report in 2 Kings 11:4, not contradictory (against Berth., etc., comp. Bahr on this passage).—As the Lord hath spoken of the sons of David, in the oracle of Nathan, 2 Samuel 7:0. (comp. 21:7).

2 Chronicles 23:4. A third of you (properly, “the third part of you,” 2 Chronicles 27:1) who enter on the Sabbath, of the priests and of the Levites. According to this, the first of the three posts is to be occupied by persons “who enter on the Sabbath” (בָּאֵי הַשַּׁבָּת), who are expressly described as belonging to the priests and Levites. In 2 Kings 11:5 also the first third is so designated, which seems to indicate that there also priests and Levites are regarded as standing under the command of the five captains of hundreds; comp. moreover, the corresponding “coming out on the Sabbath,” 2 Chronicles 23:7; 2 Chronicles 23:9. Keil justly observes (Apol. Vers. p. 362 ff., and Comm. p. 309 f.), “that the priests and Levites in courses performed the temple service from one Sabbath to another” is known from Luke 1:5; comp. with 1 Chronicles 24:0; whereas nothing is said of such an arrangement on the part of the prætorians, so that by the phrases: entering on the Sabbath (resuming service), and coming out on the Sabbath (retiring from it), we must understand the Levites. If the prætorians (life-guards) were thus intended in 2 Kings 11:0 this should have been clearly affirmed. From the words spoken of the centurions of the life-guards: “the third part of you,” this no more follows than from the fact that in 2 Kings 11:11 the appointed posts are called הָרָצִים, “the runners, guards.” If we assume that for this extraordinary occasion the Levitical attendants were placed under the command of some centurions of the royal guards who were in concert with the high priest, the designation of the men whom they commanded as רָצִים, guards, is fully explained, after these men (on account of the priestly and Levitical elements assigned to them) were described as those “entering and coming out on the Sabbath.” Accordingly, if 2 Kings and Chronicles agree in this, that they presuppose the troops employed by Jehoiada to be composed of Levites, life-guards, and other Jews, they do not essentially differ with regard to the localities which the three divisions of the troops had to occupy. For, according to 2 Kings 11:5-6, the first third was to take “the watch of the king’s house,” the second that at “the gate of Sur,” the third that at “the gate behind the runners;” besides, those coming out on the Sabbath were to occupy the temple in two divisions, and so protect the young king (2 Chronicles 23:7-8). According to our verses, on the contrary, the first third was to be porters at the thresholds, and so (1 Chronicles 9:19; 1 Chronicles 9:22) guard the entrance to the temple, the second, was to stand (2 Chronicles 23:5) in the house of the king, the third at the gate Jesod, while “all the people” were to fill the court of the house of God. Two of these statements appear quite reconcilable; for the occupying of the king’s house is by both texts assigned to a third, and the gate Jesod (foundation-gate) should be the same as the gate סוּר (the latter is probably miswritten for the former, or it denotes “a gate of retreat,” a side gate [?]; comp. Bähr). But with regard to the third, an incurable contradiction appears to exist between the two texts; the “gate behind the runners” must apparently, according to 2 Kings 11:19, be sought not in the temple but in the royal palace, whereas our author assigns to the corresponding division its post, not here, at one of the palace gates, but at the thresholds of the temple gate. The only possible arrangement would be that proposed as a hint by Keil, that the runners’ gate was placed where the passage, mentioned 1 Kings 10:5, 2 Kings 16:18, from the palace to the temple was situated, and therefore the division in question was conceived to be guarding at the same time the palace and the temple. It is easier to reconcile that which is said in both passages concerning the employment of the rest of the armed men (in our text, 2 Chronicles 23:5 : “all the people”) to occupy the temple (or in particular its court). Yet here also in the two reporters somewhat diverse conceptions of the event seem to have existed, and in such a way that the author of 2 Kings conceived and represented the whole as a military, the Chronist as a Levitical, measure. Comp. especially in this respect, 2 Chronicles 23:6-8.

2 Chronicles 23:6 And all the people shall keep the ward of the Lord, behave in a legal manner, and beware of entering the inner temple chambers, the proper sanctuary. For the phrase, comp. 13:11.

2 Chronicles 23:7. And the Levites shall surround the king, not form a dense and close circle around him, but occupy all the entrances to the temple around the chamber of the king.

2 Chronicles 23:8. And the Levites and all Judah. For this 2 Kings has: “and the captains of hundreds.” But this is not a real contradiction; in 2 Kings the commanders are named, in our passage the commanded, as the executors of Jehoiada’s directions.—All that Jehoiada the priest commanded. Neither here nor 22:11, nor generally in the accounts of the Chronist, does Jehoiada bear the title of high priest; but even in the book of Kings he is not so called, but either simply Jehoiada, without addition, or “Jehoiada the priest” (2Ki 11:15; 2 Kings 12:3; 2 Kings 12:8; 2 Kings 12:10); that he is identical with the הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדוֹל named 2 Kings 12:11 is as improbable as that in the parallel 2Ch 24:6; 2 Chronicles 24:11 (see on the passage) the designation כֹּהֵן הָרֹאשׁ refers to him as high priest. Contrary, therefore, to the usual view, which makes Jehoiada high priest, Neteler appears justly to assume that he was the leading chief of the priesthood (הָרֹאשׁ), but not the high priest proper, but that one of his sons was invested with this dignity; with which assumption the absence of Jehoiada’s name in the list of the high priests, 1 Chron. 5:30 ff., admirably agrees. That the Azariah named 1 Chron. 5:36, the son of Johanan, who ministered as priest in the house built by Solomon, was the son of our Jehoiada, and thus the high priest acting in his time and under his paternal guidance (2 Kings 12:11), is a wholly arbitrary conjecture of this learned man, which fails on this account, that, 1 Chron. 5:37, an Amariah is named as son of this Azariah, who can scarcely be different from the high priest Amariah named, 2 Chronicles 19:11, as the contemporary of Jehoshaphat.—For Jehoiada the priest had not dismissed the courses. הַמַּחְלְקוֹת, the priestly divisions for performing the temple service according to the order made by David, 1 Chronicles 24-26. The dismissal (פטר) of these divisions as well as their summoning was the business of the high priest, 1 Chronicles 24:6; 1 Chronicles 24:19; but Jehoiada may have acted for his son (possibly a minor), just as if he had been high priest himself; comp. as a New Testament parallel, the relation of Annas to his son-in-law Caiaphas, Luke 3:2; John 18:12 ff.

2 Chronicles 23:9. And Jehoiada the priest gave … spears, and shields, and arms.שְׁלָטִים, here probably in the more general sense of weapons, arms, as in Song of Solomon 4:4, where, likewise, מָגֵן precedes; yet it might also signify targets (along with shields of another kind); comp. 2 Kings 11:10 and 2 Samuel 8:7; Ezekiel 27:11 On the captured arms deposited by David as a dedicated gift in the house of God, comp. 1 Chronicles 18:7 ff. and 2 Chronicles 9:24; 2 Chronicles 12:10.

2 Chronicles 23:10. Every man with his weapon in his hand. שִׁלְחוֹ, properly, his missile; comp. 32:5; Job 33:18. The “setting round about the king” is to be understood as the surrounding (2 Chronicles 23:7).

2 Chronicles 23:11. And they brought out the king’s son. This account of the crowning of Joash agrees in substance with 2 Kings 11:12, only that the clapping of the hands as the outward expression of the people’s joy is here omitted as unessential.

2 Chronicles 23:12 ff. Athaliah’s Execution, the Renewal of the Covenant, and the Solemn Procession of the King to his Palace,—all this related essentially as in 2 Kings 11:13-20.

2 Chronicles 23:13. And the singers with instruments of song. This more copious description, corresponding with the favourite manner of the Chronist, of the musical demonstrations of the joyful multitude (comp. 1 Chronicles 15:16; 1 Chronicles 16:42) is wanting in 2 Kings.

2 Chronicles 23:14. Brought out; comp. the Crit. Note.

2 Chronicles 23:15. And she went to the entrance of the horse gate. For this is in 2 Kings: “And she went the way in which the horses entered the king’s house.” The redundant שַׁעַר of our passage, beside מְבוֹא, which the old versions do not express, came into the text perhaps by an unsuitable reference to Nehemiah 3:28. The horse gate there mentioned, which was a city gate, is not to he thought of here, although Josephus here confuses them.

2 Chronicles 23:16. And Jehoiada made a covenant between himself and between all the people. Instead of “between himself” (בֵּינוֹ) stands in 2 Kings: “between Jehovah,” an unimportant difference, for the priest causing the covenant to be made represented Jehovah. That he was the high priest in particular follows no more from this than from 2 Chronicles 23:8; comp. on 24:11.

2 Chronicles 23:17. And all the people went to the house of Baal. On the conjectural site of this temple of Baal, comp. Bähr on 2 Kings 11:18.

2 Chronicles 23:18-19 form an enlargement peculiar to our author of the brief statement in 2 Kings: “And the priest appointed officers (offices) over the house of the Lord,” wherein, again, the singers and the porters are specially mentioned.—Whom David had distributed, had determined to minister before God in certain regularly succeeding divisions; comp. 1 Chronicles 23:6, and for the following, Ezra 3:2; Ezra 3:10.—And he set the porters at the gates, properly, “over the gates”; comp. 1 Chronicles 9:23.—That the unclean might not enter, literally, “one unclean in respect of anything”; comp. Leviticus 5:2-3; Isaiah 35:8.

2 Chronicles 23:20. And he took the captains of hundreds, and the nobles (הָאַדִּירִים, Jeremiah 14:3, Psalms 16:3), and the rulers of the people (literally, “those ruling among the people”; comp. Isaiah 28:14). Instead of this, in 2 Kings: “the captains of hundreds, and the life-guards, and the runners.” In the following part also, our author with singular constancy avoids the mention of the runners; for instead of: “and came by the way of the gate of the runners to the king’s house” (2 Kings 11:19), he puts: “and went through the high gate,” etc. This high gate appears from 27:3 (comp. also 2 Kings 15:35) to have been a gate in the temple, not, as probably the runners’ gate, in the king’s house; but as it might have been situated over against the royal palace (perhaps over the bridge leading from Moriah to Zion), its name involves neither a topographical impossibility nor a contradiction of 2 Kings (comp. Keil on 2 Kings, p. 271).

evangelical and ethical reflections and apologetic remarks, on Ch. 21–23

1. The bad seed sown by Jehoshaphat through the unfortunate affinity with the house of Ahab springs up only too soon, and bears corrupt fruit to the royal house and people of Judah. With the malignity of a fury or a demon, Athaliah the daughter of Jezebel proceeds, during the two reigns of her husband Joram and her son Ahaziah that were guided by her, and during the six years of her sole sovereignty, to gloat over the blood of every, member of the unfortunate house of David from which the least resistance to her idolatrous course might be apprehended. The all too close connection, no longer, as with Solomon and Hiram, amounting to mere friendship, with the Tyrian princely family, into which Judah, also following the bad example of the house of Omri, had thoughtlessly entered, fearfully avenges itself. The worst Sultanism is transplanted thence into the royal castle on Zion.10 And as the severe punishment inflicted by Jehu on the house of Omri took place in Jezreel, and swept away at the same time the Jewish king Ahaziah and his male kinsmen in the northern kingdom (884 according to the usual reckoning, 880 according to Hitzig; according to Schrader and Neteler, certainly after 850, as follows from the synchronism of the Assyrian history; see under), the cruel scourge is not yet taken from Judah’s back, but continues to lacerate it full six years more. And to all this is added for this kingdom the humiliating and disgraceful circumstance that it is a woman, and even a foreign woman, who usurps the sole sovereignty, and maintains it for those years by the forcible setting aside of the male heir of the house of David. So much the more beneficent appears the manner in which the reform, rendered necessary by this temporary degeneracy of the Jewish royal house and state, was finally executed. No blood-dripping Jehu, spreading terror and amazement around, no tempestuous desolating form of the fanatical zealots in Roman or Herodian times, proves necessary to effect the return from the worship of Baal to that of Jehovah, and the restoration of the theocratic character of the community. The mild, not terrible, but venerable form of a pious priest, closely related by family ties to the royal house of David, accomplishes almost without blood the necessary revolution. The single sacrifice that is needed for this end is the tyrannical and idolatrous stranger who has been the origin of the evil that has broken over the land for the last twenty years. With the slaying, or rather execution, for nothing is said of wild revenge or tumultuary massacre, of her and her Baal-priest Matthan, the judgment on the disturbers of the theocratic order seems to be executed, and peace restored. That our author, by his peculiar mode of elevating the Levitical and priestly element into the factors of the revolution, places in a peculiarly clear light this eminently peaceful course of the same; that he, in harmony, again, with his often otherwise manifested historical tendency, represents the whole in some measure as a revolution carried on with music and song, as a transference, accomplished with ringing notes and flying banners, of the whole people into the camp of the legitimate party (comp. 2 Chronicles 23:13; 2 Chronicles 23:18),—this lends to his representation a peculiar charm, in contrast with the more concise and jejune description, only relating that which is of political or military importance, in the book of Kings. In this narrative, also, the circumstance that the whole people of Judah and Benjamin rises up as one man to shake off the long enough borne and already sufficiently hated foreign yoke by one powerful movement of its neck, stands forth conspicuous in the light of day. It is shown more clearly than in the parallel account of the older history, how slightly the foreign and idolatrous lust had struck its roots into the consciousness and life of the people, and with what comparative rapidity and ease it could be set aside again. A conjecture, to which we must have come on receiving exclusively the narrative of the book of Kings, that a prominent part in the revolution effected by Jehoiada must have been due to the numerically strong Levitical element in the population of the Jewish state,—this conjecture is strikingly confirmed by the Chronist’s narrative, with its emphatic marking of the priestly and Levitical character of the catastrophe, and its almost unseemly depreciation of the share of the runners in it (comp. especially on 2 Chronicles 23:20 f.), without being under the necessity of charging the narrator with any bias in moulding the narrative after his Levitical standpoint. For it would be strange if an event such as this shrewd and bold political stroke of the priest Jehoiada were conducted in so exclusively political and military a way, and with so little participation of the clergy, as appears in 2 Kings.

2. In an apologetic respect, with regard to the account of the fall of Athaliah by means of Jehoiada, we have to refer partly to what has been just observed, and partly to the detail of the exposition. On the contrary, the ill-foreboding writing of Elijah to Joram (2 Chronicles 21:12-15) needs a more special elucidation in the evangelical and apologetic interest. This remarkable document, the only definite proof of the acquaintance of our author with the existence of the greatest and most powerful prophet of the time of the divided kingdom, presents to the expositor the not unimportant chronological difficulty, that, if actually composed by Elijah, and addressed to Joram as already reigning king of Judah, it necessitates the assumption of an extension of the activity of Elijah far into the twelve years of the reign of the Israelitish Joram (896–884 in the usual reckoning, 857–846 in that of Schrader and Neteler), whereas, according to 2 Kings 2:0, the taking up of the prophet into heaven seems to have occurred at the latest in the beginning of this reign, thus all events under Jehoshaphat († 890 or 889 in the usual chronology, 850 or 849 in the modern Assyriologic chronology). Various ways have been taken of removing this difficulty. Older Jewish and Roman Catholic expositors (of the latter, for example, Estius, Malvenda, Tirinus, Calmet), and some evangelical moderns (especially Menken, and Dächsel in his Bibelw.), make Elijah write after his ascent into paradise, and send it by an angel to Elisha, or a still surviving disciple of the prophet, to forward to Joram. This overstrained supra-naturalistic solution of the problem is equally void of exegetical warrant11 with the superficial purely natural assumption, that the writer of the letter was not Elijah the Tishbite, but another prophet of the same name (Lightfoot, Hor. Hebr. on Luke 1:17, or with the no less arbitrary and text-defying attempt to change the name Elijah (2 Chronicles 21:12) into that of Elisha (Cleric, Saurin, disc. tom. ii. p. 344) Joram (890 or 889–884), that he might thus have directed the writing shortly before his departure to the latter king as his contemporary (Seb. Schmid, Lightf. Op. t. i. p. 85; Usher, Mai, Burmann, etc., and recently Keil, p. 298, at least tentatively), could only be maintained with difficulty, and only by the assumption of an inaccurate statement on the part of the author of the book of Kings, as the position of that which is related, 2 Kings 2:1 ff., of the ascension of Elijah is such that it appears to have happened either under the reign of Ahaziah of Israel, the predecessor of Joram, or immediately after his death (896, or eventually 857). There remains after all this only the twofold possibility, that either—1. Elijah wrote the letter some time before his ascension, and left it behind him to one of his disciples, with the charge to hand it to the later King Joram of Judah (Starke, Buddeus, Rambach, etc., and recently Keil, as well as Hengstenberg, Gesch. ii. 2, 243), or that, 2. Elijah merely made over by word of mouth the contents of the letter some time before his ascension to one of his disciples, perhaps to Elisha, with the charge to make it known to Joram by a writing composed in his name (Witsius, Gürtler, Hackspan, Not. philol. on 2 Chronicles 21:0; S. Schmid, De literis Eliœ ad Joramum, Argentor. 1717; Wilisch, etc.). The latter assumption, or that of an only ideal authorship of Elijah in relation to the writing, a composition of it ἐν πνεύματι καὶ δυνάμει ‛Ηλίου (Luke 1:17), but certainly on the ground of an actual prediction of Elijah, has most in its favour. It avoids the inherently improbable supposition, that Elijah wrote with his own hand a letter, which he knew could only be delivered in the course of at least five or six years after his ascension to God (for the writing appears directed to the king, not to the crown prince). On the other hand, it is reconcilable with the indefinite designation of the writing as coming from Elijah (see on 2 Chronicles 21:12), and excludes the suspicion of pseudepigraphic fiction after the manner of so many apocryphal writings of later times, bearing the names of celebrated sages or men of God.12 It recognises the genuine prophetic content and character of the writing; for it discerns actual prediction, true action of prophetic foresight in it, without overlooking the difference between the author of this prophetic kernel, and the later composer or redactor. Comp. on the possibility or even probability of a divine disclosure being made to Elijah of the future destiny of Joram, the husband of the daughter of Jezebel, as well as of a charge to Elisha to announce afterwards the contents of such a revelation to Joram, on the one hand, Hengstenberg as quoted: “Elijah had (1 Kings 19:0) foreseen the elevation of Jehu to the throne of Israel, and the extirpation of the family of Ahab by him; also the accession of Hazael, and the heavy misfortune brought by him on the kingdom of Israel. If the future was in this respect disclosed to him, the greatest of all the prophets of the Old Testament, why might not this also have been revealed to him, that Joram, who had already before his decease connected himself with the abominable Athaliah, will, by his grievous sins, bring upon himself the judgment of the Lord?” on the other hand, Keil, p. 299: “To whom God revealed the elevation of Jehu to the throne of Israel, the accession of Hazael, etc., events which took place after the death of Joram of Judah, to whom God already, under Ahab, committed the anointing of Jehu to be king of Israel (1 Kings 19:16), which, fourteen years after the death of Ahab, Elisha performed by a scholar of the prophet’s (2 Kings 9:1 ff.)—to him the Lord might also in the second year of Ahaziah of Israel, when he announced to this king his death, about seven years before Jehoshaphat’s death, reveal the wickedness of his successor Joram, and commit the announcement of the divine punishment. But if Elijah made over the anointing as well of Hazael as of Jehu to his servant Elisha, why might he not also have entrusted to him the handing of the written prediction of woe to Joram?” We find this statement so far completely suitable and convincing, but cannot agree with the two learned men from whom it proceeds in this, that they hold Elijah to be the writer (composer) of the letter in its extant form. We find it much more satisfactory for the establishment of the essential authenticity of the document, if the mediate origin of it from Elijah (the powerful “prophet of deed,” who was no man of the pen, and of whose action as a writer nothing is said) is maintained. With this also agree the generally acknowledged contents and tone of the writing, quite irrespective of the personal position of the prophet, which, however, is not on this .account to be held (with Berth, and other recent critics) to be an idealizing composition of a later historian; for in that case it would be different only in degree (as a pseudepigraphon within the canon) from the products of the post-canonical literature, above which it seems exalted by its genuine prophetic contents.


[1]For בְּהָרֵי, “on the mountains,” the Sept. and Vulg. read בְּעָרֵי, “in the cities.”

[2] בְּלֹא חֶמְדָה the Sept. translates οὐχ ἐν ἐταίω̣; but the Vulg: non recte (ambulavitque non recte). So Luther: “and walked as was not right.”

[3]Instead of forty-two, not only the parallel 2 Kings 8:26, but also the Syr. and Arab. versions (as well as some later mss. and the Ald. edit. of the Sept.), give “twenty-two years”; but the Vulg., as the Masoretic text and Sept. (Al and vat.): εἴχοσιν ἐτῶν.

[4]For בִּי הַמַּבִּים is to be read, with various better MSS., also with the Sept. and 2 Kings 8:29 : מִן המַּבִּים, Peculiar is the decision of Neteler (p 325): בִּי is to be retained and rendered by “puncture” (puncture of the wounds).

[5]This is certainly to be read instead of וַ‍ֽעֲזַרְיָהוּ, which seems to be simply an error of the pen.

[6]Instead of “sons of the brethren,” בְּנֵי אֲחֵי, the Sept., in accordance with 2 Kings 10:12 : ἀδελφούς. But see the Exeg. Expl.

[7] וַתְּדַבֵּר is without doubt, according to 2 Kings 9:1, to be changed into וַתּאַבֵּד. (Sept.: ἀπώλεσεν; Vulg: interfecit.)

[8] וַיּוֹצֵא is possibly a mistake for וַ‍ֽיְצַו (2 Kings 11:15), which latter the Syr. and Arab. also read in our passage.

[9] שַׁעַר, besides being superfluous after מְבוֹא, is wanting as well in 2 Kings 11:6 as in all old versions of our passage, and should be erased.

[10]Compare the remark of J. H. Michaelis: “Tyrian, Israelitish, Jewish history here coincide. Tyre brought by marriage her then prevalent spirit and misfortune into the Israelitish history. Contemporary with Joram is Pygmalion king of Tyre, who murdered the husband of his sister Dido merely to possess himself of his treasure. Joram likewise after Jehoshaphat’s death (2 Chronicles 21:0) murdered all his brothers, as it appears, for no other cause (?) but to possess himself of the treasures which their father had bequeathed to them (?),” etc. This latter assumption, though one-sided and exegetically unfounded (comp. on 21:4), is yet on the whole very striking.

[11]And theological warrant; for as A. Calov. aptly says: Non triumphantium in cœlis est erudire out ad pœnitentiam revocare mortales in terra. Habent Mosen et prophetas; si illos non audiant, neque si quis ex mortuis resurrexerit, nedum si quis ex cœlis literas perscripserit, credent (Luke 14:31) Likewise J. J. Rambach on our passage, who declares it inconceivable: Deum in gratiam impii regis ejusmodi quid fecisse, cujus nullum aliud exemplum extat immo quod nec necessarium erat. quum plures aliæ essent rationes, quibus Deus volutatem suam ei manifestare poterat (Luke 14:27; Luke 14:29). Comp. also the remarks of Keil, p. 298, against Menken.

[12]The Apocrypha of Jewish-Hellenistic literature bearing the name of Elijah belong to a pretty late period, as the Apocalypsis Eliæ, from which, according to Origen and the Church-fathers, the quotation in 1 Corinthians 2:9 is to be taken; comp. Fabr. Cod pseudepigr. V T. vol. i. p. 1072. Concerning the Elias of the Jewish-Christian fables or legends, comp. the reports of Epiphanius. Dorotheus of Tyre, Isidore of Seville, and in the Talmud. There are still Mahommedan or Christian (at least half-Christian) nations in the East, for example in the Caucasus, who worship in Elias (on account of 1 Kings 17:1 f.) a kind of run-god or Jupiter pluvius (see Ausland, 1872, No. 29. p. 679). What a contrast between this Elijah of the fable and that of Old Testament history, as well, according to 1 and 2 Kings, as our documents preserved in Chronicles!

Bibliographical Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 23". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lcc/2-chronicles-23.html. 1857-84.
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