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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 12

Grant's Commentary on the BibleGrant's Commentary

Verses 1-21



Jehu bad reigned seven years in Israel before Jehoash took the throne of Judah, so that the two were contemporary for 21 years (ch.10:26). Until the time that Jehoiada died, Jehoash was kept from evil (v.1), though after the death of Jehoiada, Jehoash was influenced by leaders in Judah to leave the house of the Lord and worship wooden images and other idols (2 Chronicles 24:15-18).

However, in the earlier years of his reign, Jehoash was rightly influenced by Jehoiada, though the high places still remained, where the people sacrificed and burned incense (vv.2-3). They would say they were sacrificing to God, but it was disobedience, for God had told Israel to sacrifice only in the place that He chose (Deuteronomy 12:5; Deuteronomy 12:11), which was Jerusalem. Yet Jehoash was concerned for the proper welfare of the temple of God and gave orders that the money for which the people were assessed and that which they voluntarily brought was to be used for the repair of the temple (vv.4 5). It is not told us at what age Jehoash first gave these orders, but by the time Jehoash was 30 years of age the priests had not repaired the damages of the temple (v.6).

It was Jehoash who confronted the priests with this failure. it seems strange that Jehoiada had been lax in this necessary work. of repairing the temple, so that Jehoash took the initiative. At this time the faithfulness of Jehoash was commendable. He called Jehoiada and other priests to reproach them with their laxity and to command that they use the money they already had in the work of repair, demanding no more from the people.

However, Jehoiada bored a hole in the lid of a chest and placed it beside the altar, and whatever money was brought voluntarily by the people was put into the chest (v.9). This was filled more than once (v.10), and the proceeds were put into bags and counted by the king's scribe and the high priest, a necessary witness as to the amount gathered.

The money was then given to those who did the work, having oversight over the house of the Lord, as well as masons and stonecutters, and for bringing timber. It is noted, however, that basins of silver, trimmers, sprinkling bowls, trumpets or articles of gold and silver were not included in this work of repair (v.14). Does this not tell us that, though there was a good measure of recovery, yet the finer details of the worship of the Lord were still lacking? This too frequently happens even in the Church of God today. Seriously concerned saints may be exercised to recover the main features of the worship of God, but too often the silver basins are lacking, that is, the emphasis on the truth of redemption by virtue of the sacrifice of Christ. Or the trimmers might be ignored, speaking of the absence of lowly self-judgment in our worship. Or the sprinkling bowls may be absent, the bowls from which blood was sprinkled before and on the mercy seat. For sometimes, even in worship, we forget how valuable to God is the reminder of the blood of Christ having made atonement for sin in God's sight. Trumpets too, the musical side of worship, with its many notes of praise, may not be present. Indeed, today literal musical instruments may be used, but their spiritual significance hardly known. Articles of gold speak of that which is strictly for God's glory, and articles of silver speak of the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. These ought to be most prominent in worship, and yet in many churches today there is a measure of worship without attention given to these precious details.

How good it is to see that the workmen dealt faithfully (v.15), not as under bondage. How vital a matter this is in Christian testimony too.



Hazael, the wicked king of Syria had aspirations of greatness. He fought against Gath, a Philistine city, and captured it (v.17). Then he set his sights on Jerusalem. Jehoash made the sad blunder of not appealing to the Lord, but rather of sacrificing the sacred wealth that was in the temple, to compromise himself and satisfy the greed of Hazael (v.18). Did he not stop to think that the treasures he gave to Hazael actually belonged to the Lord, so that he had no right to give them away? Do we also make the serious blunder of giving up any truth of the Word of God to satisfy the enemy of our souls? The Word of God tells Timothy, "O Timothy, guard what was committed to your trust" (1 Timothy 6:20). When God entrusts us with His truth, let us not dare to give it up, whatever enemy threatens us!



No more is said in Kings of the further failure of Jehoash, though 2 Chronicles 24:15-22 shows us how far astray he went in disobedience to God after the death of Jehoiada, even putting to death Zechariah the prophet who reproved his transgression.

It is little wonder that the death of Jehoash was so tragic. When he rebelled against serving the Lord, his own servants rebelled against him, and as a result of a conspiracy, two of them killed Jehoash (vv.20-21). Thus a reign that began well ended in ignominy and shame. Jehoash was buried in Jerusalem and Amaziah, his son, took the throne.

Bibliographical Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12". Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lmg/2-kings-12.html. 1897-1910.
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