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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 11

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

Verses 1-21

2 Kings 11. Usurpation of Athaliah. Coronation of Joash and Execution of Athaliah.— Athaliah, mother of Ahaziah, a daughter of Ahab, destroyed the royal family of Judah, except Joash, a child who was saved by Jehosheba and kept concealed for six years, during which time Athaliah reigned ( 2 Kings 11:1-3). The author gives no notice, as is customary, of her regnal years; and S. A. Cook (EBi, col. 381) remarks on her maintaining herself on the throne for six years as “ a singular fact, which raises questions more easily asked than answered.” At the end of this period Jehoiada, according to 2 Chronicles 22:11, the husband of Jehosheba, made a conspiracy with the troops, showed them the king’ s son, and arranged for the overthrow of Athaliah ( 2 Kings 11:4-12). At this point we have a second narrative (so Stade, see Cent.B), in which the people play their part ( 2 Kings 11:13-18). Athaliah was slain, and Mattan, the priest of Baal; for it appears that the revolution was a religious one ( 2 Kings 11:17 a), like that of Jehu. This narrative is supplemented in 2 Chronicles 22 f., where Jehoiada’ s relationship to the royal family is mentioned, the names of the officers with whom he conspired are given, and particular care is taken to show ( 2 Kings 23:6) that the sanctuary was not profaned by non-Levitical soldiery.

2 Kings 11:4 . Jehoiada.— Though the high priest is mentioned in 2 Kings 12:10, Jehoiada is always called “ the priest” here and in the parallel passages in Chronicles. Nor does his name appear in the high-priestly line in 1 Chronicles 6, nor in Josephus ( Ant.) . He was evidently the chief priest in the Temple; but the high-priestly office is probably post-exilic, and there is no one analogous to him in the records of the Temple in Kings.— the Carites: probably foreign mercenaries. The Heb. name is akin to the Cherethites, who, with the Pelethites, played a part in the army of David and Solomon (p. 56, 2 Samuel 8:18, etc.; 1 Kings 1:38). It is remarkable that in Jerusalem these foreign guards continued to be the important leaders of the army, and we have no trace of any such in Israel.

2 Kings 11:10 . The spears and shields which Jehoiada delivered to the guard were possibly sacred weapons to be used at a coronation. According to 2 Chronicles 23, the priest armed the Levites, as the presence of foreign troops in the Temple was deemed a profanation.

2 Kings 11:12 . Here is an interesting account of a coronation: ( a) crowning, ( b) giving of “ the testimony,” ( c) anointing, ( d) the king took his stand by the pillar ( 2 Kings 11:14) “ as the manner was,” ( a) The crown ( nezer, cf. Nazirite) is only mentioned here in making a king, but Saul wore a nezer at the battle of Mt. Gilboa ( 2 Samuel 1:10). ( b) The “ testimony” may be the “ law book,” but was more probably part of the regalia. A slight emendation would make it mean “ the bracelets” ( cf. 2 Samuel 1:10), ( c) Anointing was evidently the essential ceremony. The king was the Messiah (Christ) of Yahweh. ( d) The pillar or platform was at the entrance of the Temple ( 2 Chronicles 23:13). It was here that Josiah ( 2 Kings 23:3) made his covenant with Yahweh ( 2 Kings 11:17).

2 Kings 11:18 . The execution of Mattan, the priest of Baal, shows that the rebellion against Athaliah essentially religious.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/2-kings-11.html. 1919.
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