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Tuesday, May 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 24

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New TestamentsBenson's Commentary


A.M. 3126. B.C. 878.

Joash takes care to repair the temple, 2 Chronicles 24:1-14 . After Jehoiada’s death, he sets up the worship of Baal again, though warned, 2 Chronicles 24:15-19 . He puts Zechariah to death, 2 Chronicles 24:20-22 . Is invaded by the Syrians, 2 Chronicles 24:23 , 2 Chronicles 24:24 . Struck with sore diseases and slain, 2 Chronicles 24:25-27 .

Verse 1

2 Chronicles 24:1. Joash was seven years old, &c. A great part of this chapter is explained in the notes on 2 Kings 12:0.

Verse 5

2 Chronicles 24:5. Gather of all Israel Not only of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, but of all the Israelites, belonging to any of the ten tribes, who are now resident in my kingdom: money to repair, &c., from year to year That is, either, 1st, To repair part of it every year till the reparations were perfected: or, 2d, The money was to be gathered from year to year, till they got such a sum as might suffice for the work.

Verse 6

2 Chronicles 24:6. The king called for Jehoiada the chief It is observable, that he is not called the chief priest, or high-priest, but only the chief, or the head; which he might be in many other respects, either by reason of his near relation to the royal family, or because he was the chief of one of the twenty-four families. And the high-priest seems to be mentioned as a distinct person from Jehoiada, 2 Kings 12:9-10; which things make it questionable whether Jehoiada was the high-priest or not.

Verse 7

2 Chronicles 24:7. The sons of Athaliah, &c. To wit, Ahaziah and his brethren, before they were carried away captive, (2 Chronicles 21:17,) who did this by her instigation, as this phrase implies; had broken up the house of God Had both broken up the treasures, and defaced the house itself. And the dedicated things did they bestow upon Baalim Gave them, either to adorn the temples of those false gods, or to promote their worship.

Verses 8-9

2 Chronicles 24:8-9. And set it at the gate of the house, &c. That is, of the court of the people, whither all manner of persons might come to offer. To bring in to the Lord the collection that Moses laid upon Israel That is, a collection answerable to it.

Verse 14

2 Chronicles 24:14 . Whereof were made vessels for the house of the Lord

Because Athaliah and her sons had taken away the old ones.

Verses 15-16

2 Chronicles 24:15-16. A hundred and thirty years old was he, &c. By which it appears, that he was born in Solomon’s time, and had lived six entire reigns before this. They buried him among the kings With this honourable encomium, (perhaps inscribed upon his grave-stone,) that he had done good in Israel But the little religion that Joash had, was all buried in his grave. See how great a judgment, to any prince or people, the death of holy, useful men is! Both toward God, and toward his house He had been an instrument in restoring the divine worship, which now, they were sensible, was a great blessing, and in repairing the decays which were in the temple, and furnishing it with vessels for the service of God.

2 Chronicles 24:17. Came the princes of Judah Some of the great men, who continued Baalites in their hearts; and made obeisance to the king And in that posture presented their requests to him, that they might not be confined to troublesome journeys to Jerusalem, but might have the liberty, which their forefathers enjoyed, of worshipping God in the high places. This liberty once obtained, they knew they could worship idols without disturbance, which was the thing at which they aimed: and for the prevention of such abuses, God obliged all to worship him in one place. Then the king hearkened unto them He consented to their request, that they might worship in the high places. For fair words and flatteries easily deceive princes, as Grotius here observes; and they wanted not specious reasons to persuade the king, not to be so strict as to insist on their worshipping only at the temple.

Verse 18

2 Chronicles 24:18. And they left the house of the Lord God The king and princes, who a while ago so zealously repaired the temple, now forsook the temple! So inconstant a thing is man! So little confidence is to be put in him! It is probable that these great men at first only worshipped in the groves and on the high places themselves; yet they had their emissaries, who persuaded the people to join with them. So that the house of God was soon deserted by them, and they proceeded to worship idols. And wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem They were soon punished by the hand of Hazael, king of Syria.

Verse 19

2 Chronicles 24:19. Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again God’s goodness was astonishing, in sending messengers to reclaim such a base people; whose wickedness was no less wonderful, in that they hearkened to the great men among them, rather than to those whom they knew to be true prophets of Jehovah.

Verse 20

2 Chronicles 24:20. The Spirit of God came upon Zechariah, who stood above the people He was moved by the Holy Spirit to address the people publicly, and to reprove them for their idolatries, and their departure from the worship of God, which that he might do, so as to be heard by all, he stood upon a high place, where they might both see and hear him, and from thence both testified against their sin, and warned them of the consequences of it. And said, Why transgress ye, &c. It is remarkable, that, though he spake by the spirit of prophecy, yet he only applied the general prediction of Moses, Deuteronomy 31:16-17, unto the present time; that they might all learn to pay a greater regard to Moses, and to make themselves better acquainted with his law; unto which, if they had attended, they would have easily discerned who were true prophets and who were false. Because ye have forsaken the Lord, he also hath forsaken you This, it is likely, he spake with great vehemence, and even enlarged upon the subject so long, that it raised their indignation.

Verse 21

2 Chronicles 24:21. And they conspired against him Namely, the people whom he addressed, having been easily corrupted by the examples of their apostate king and princes. And stoned him with stones And that immediately, without even colour of law; not so much as accusing him of being a blasphemer, a traitor, a false prophet, or guilty of any crime whatever; at the commandment of the king Who owed his crown and life to Jehoiada his father; and in the court of the house of the Lord Whose minister and messenger he was! As horrid a piece of wickedness this as any we read of in all the history of the kings! The person was sacred, a prophet; the place sacred, the court of the temple, either the court of the priests, or the inner court, between the porch and the altar; the message was yet more sacred, a message which, we have reason to believe, they knew proceeded from the spirit of prophecy; the reproof was just, the warning fair, and both grounded on Scripture acknowledged by themselves to be divinely inspired; and yet so impudently and daringly do they defy God himself, that nothing less than the blood of the prophet can satisfy their indignation at his prophecy. Be astonished, O heavens, at this, and tremble, O earth, that ever such villany should be committed by men, by Israelites, in contempt and violation of every thing that was just, honourable, and sacred! That a king, a king in covenant with God, should command the murder of one whom it was his office to protect and countenance! The Jews say, there were seven transgressions in one: they killed a priest, a prophet, a judge; they shed innocent blood; polluted the court of the temple, the sabbath, and the day of expiation: for on that day, their tradition says, this happened.

Verse 22

2 Chronicles 24:22. When he died, he said, The Lord look upon it, and require it That is, make inquisition for my innocent blood. But the words may as well be rendered, The Lord will look upon it, and require it He will examine this action, and require satisfaction from you for it: a prophetic sentence, which, as appears from what follows, was speedily executed.

Verse 23

2 Chronicles 24:23. At the end of the year the host of Syria came up So soon did God hear the cry of his holy prophet’s blood and revenge it. They came and destroyed all the princes That it might appear they were sent and directed by God, to single out to destruction the first beginners, and chief promoters, of this general apostacy. And sent all the spoil unto the king of Damascus To Hazael the king of that part of Syria called Syria Damascena, from its capital city Damascus.

Verse 24

2 Chronicles 24:24. For, or rather, although, the army of the Syrians came with a small company Or was a small company of men. This more manifestly showed that the punishment proceeded from the hand of God, who took away their courage, so that, even with a great host, they could not withstand a mere handful of their enemies. This, as all the circumstances of it make manifest, was a distinct war from that mentioned 2 Kings 12:17; as the reader will easily see if he compare that passage with this. The case seems to have been as follows: When the Jews began to apostatize, Hazael was sent to chastise them, as is recorded 2 Kings 12:17; but God, in his great long-suffering, either that he might give them further space for repentance, or because he saw some partial repentance had already taken place among them, permitted Hazael to be diverted, by Joash’s presents, from his purpose of leading his army against Jerusalem. But in the end of the year, the king and people being still more sunk in idolatry, and this horrid wickedness of murdering his prophet being committed, he sent a party of these same Syrians to execute this awful judgment against Joash, who had commanded it to be committed; against the princes, who had been the instigators of it; and against the people, who had so readily obeyed such an unrighteous mandate of their apostate king and princes.

Verse 25

2 Chronicles 24:25. They left him in great diseases, &c. The chastisement by the invasion of the Syrians, and their destroying the princes, and plundering the city, not answering the end intended, of humbling Joash, and bringing him to repentance, God proceeded to smite him with sore diseases; and as even this did not reclaim him, his own servants were permitted to conspire against him and slay him. For, when vengeance pursues guilty men, the end of one trouble is often but the beginning of another. For the blood of the sons of Jehoiada By which it seems Joash slew, not only Zechariah, but his brothers also. And perhaps they that slew him intended to take vengeance for that innocent blood. However, that was it which God intended in permitting them to do it.

Verse 27

2 Chronicles 24:27. The greatness of the burdens laid upon him Either the severe prophecies uttered against him, of which one instance is recorded, and there might be others that are not recorded; or the great judgments of God upon him, both by the Syrians, 2 Chronicles 24:23, and by great diseases, 2 Chronicles 24:25.

Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 24". Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rbc/2-chronicles-24.html. 1857.
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