The sacred historian in this chapter is relating the affairs of the kingdom of Judah. Athaliah destroys all the seed royal; one only escaped the general massacre, which is Jehoash. At six years of age Jehoida anoints him king. Athaliah is slain.
2 Kings 11:1
The character of this woman is given by the Holy Ghost in a short, but expressive manner: 2 Chronicles 27:7. Whether from a spirit of revenge, or from a spirit of cruelty, she perpetrated those wicked deeds, is not said. But we must look higher than the instrument. God had said to David, concerning the matter of Uriah, that the sword should not depart from his house. And, although the same God had graciously promised that the seed of David he would make to endure forever, because that Christ, after the flesh, was to be the offspring of David, yet many of David's branches were lopped off. 2 Samuel 12:10; Psalms 80:19.
Observe, Reader, for the fulfillment of God's promise, how God in his providence preserved the seed of David! It is sweet to take notice of those things in the circumstances of our own private history. What numberless events might every man find in his own life, where Jesus is accomplishing his gracious promises by his gracious providences!
It is probable that this Jehoida was high-priest, by whom the Lord was pleased to execute the purpose of his holy will. Jesus our High Priest, carries on all the grand councils and designs of Jehovah!
Young as Joash was, no doubt the sight of him stirred up the minds of the people to love him. And young as he was, the priest took care that the ceremony should be observed the same in his coronation, and with respect to the convention of the people, as if he had arrived to the maturity and ripeness of age for government. He is crowned, anointed: the testimony of the word, even the law is put into his hand, agreeable to what the Lord commanded by Moses: Deuteronomy 17:18-19. And the people ratify their approbation of his government in shouting, God save the king. But, Reader! doth not the view of this coronation, suggest to your mind one of an infinitely higher nature? When the Lord Jesus is brought forth from obscurity to the sinner's view; when we behold Jesus Christ of Nazareth, anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power, as King in Zion; when the law of his gospel is given to us in him, and by him; and when the Covenant of redemption is revealed to the poor sinner in his blood; oh! what a double coronation is here, when Christ is crowned King of his church, and King in the sinner's heart! Surely every knee of his people is made with holy joy to bend before him, and, every tongue is constrained to confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The delusion of Athaliah to go unarmed, unprotected, unsupported, shows at once how desperate her case was.
I beg the Reader not to overlook the constant care to preserve the temple unpolluted. No human sacrifice was ever to be offered there but one: and that only in the end of the world to put away sin. And though this offering was the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, yet his God-head gave virtue and efficacy to the sacrifice. Blessed Jesus! how hast thou by that one offering, perfected forever them that are sanctified! Hebrews 10:14.
Observe, in the death of Baal's priest, how human sacrifice suited their idol worship. For as Moses said, they sacrificed to devils, not to God. Deuteronomy 32:17.
IT is delightful to observe how the Lord, in the worst of times, hath his servants ready to execute his gracious designs. He hath a Jehosheba to hide when matters render it necessary; and a Jehoida to bring forward his chosen according to the counsel of his own will. Reader! how truly profitable is it thus to trace the Lord's hand in all his doings! And how encouraging, in all our intricate circumstances, to remember whose government we are under.
But, Reader! may you and I pass over the court of Judah in the history of Joash, and contemplate the Lord Jesus brought forth the lawful King of his people, against all the usurpation and tyranny of sin and Satan. Behold Jesus, showed to us as the King's Son, the rightful heir of all things, by whom Jehovah made the worlds. Behold him in the glories of his Person, being the brightness of his Father's glory! Behold him as the great Covenant-head of his people set up from everlasting, although hidden, and his name secret through the several intermediate ages, until the fulness of time, appointed of the Father for his being revealed as a Saviour unto Israel. Contemplate him in all the Old Testament promises, types, and prophecies! See him in his convention with the Father for the purposes of redemption, when he stood up, like Joash, before the people and became our Covenant-head and King. Trace him in his incarnation, life, ministry, death, resurrection, ascension, and glory! And what is he now? Surely he is the same. He stands in his temple as Joash stood by the pillar, as the manner was, to confirm the covenant, of which he himself is the whole sum and substance for his people, and to his people. He comes to us revealed in all his written word. He makes discovery of himself in his blessed gospel in all the suitableness of his precious offices, relations, and characters. He is Jehovah's Standard and Ensign for his people, implying that he maketh war against all treasonable usurpations (like Athaliah's) for his people, and maketh them more than conquerors, through his grace and love, leading them on to victory! Hail! blessed, holy, gracious, all-powerful Jesus! my soul would shout aloud, and I would clap my hands in testimony of the greatest joy, that Jesus reigns. Be thou, dearest sovereign, Lord and Master, be thou my God and King; and let all enemies which would rise up in treasonable rebellion against thy princely government, like Athaliah, be laid hands upon, without the temple, and slain before his face. Amen Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Lent