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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
2 Chronicles 24

 

 

Verses 1-27

2 Chronicles 24:6. The collection required by Moses for the erection of the tabernacle, of the half shekel. Dr. Lightfoot contends that it was but the half of the half shekel, the eighth part of an ounce.

2 Chronicles 24:7. The sons of Athaliah that wicked woman had broken up the house of God. She had managed Ahaziah by her counsel, 2 Chronicles 22:3; and having done it during the time she swayed the sceptre, she would not be wanting to repeat the crime; or if she had sons by another husband, they could not be more than six or seven years of age.

2 Chronicles 24:20. The Spirit of God came upon Zechariah. The same phrase is used of Jahaziel: 2 Chronicles 20:14.

2 Chronicles 24:21. They stoned him at the command of the king. Jehoiada lived to the vast age of a hundred and thirty years; and having saved Joash, the only male branch of David’s house, and completely repaired the temple, he acquired the surname of Berachiah, the blessed of the Lord. He left the pontificate to his son Zechariah, who inherited all the virtues of his sire. Now, because Baruch had a son named Zechariah, who was slain with myriads more at the taking of Jerusalem, our critics have too much displayed their learning in raking up whatever is known of the latter Zechariah. Certainly the Jews were not to blame for his death. It was the apostate nobles of Judah who prevailed on king Joash to restore idolatry, and in this glorious struggle Zechariah fell at his post resisting idolatry. They stoned him at the altar; so that as Hosea says, “blood touched blood.” While dying, with uplifted hands he testified his faith, and called on God to avenge his blood. Presently Joash, who had ordered him to be slain, was assassinated by two of his captains; so that his death had a striking resemblance to that of Zechariah. A chain of other calamities followed on the country. Before the death of Joash, Hazael king of Damascus carried his bloody conquests to Philistia; an earthquake also followed, which much desolated the country, while drought one year denied vegetation, and another year, the locust devoured the land. Joel 2.

2 Chronicles 24:27. The greatness of the burdens laid upon him; that is, the tribute which the Syrians had imposed. The Vulgate reads here, “The sum of money gathered by him.”

REFLECTIONS.

The fall of Athaliah and the elevation of Joash have already been considered. 2 Kings 11. How illustrious was the character of Jehoiada, so long the highpriest of Israel. His great wisdom, and his mild and paternal talents for administration, are sufficiently displayed by the share he must have had in the government during the happy reigns of Asa and of Jehoshaphat. His virtues were so conspicuous as to procure him a princess of the blood. His address and cool prudence, while idolatry and wickedness prevailed under Athaliah, acquired him the highest applause. He protected his wife, sister to the murdered princess: he succeeded in concealing the heir apparent at the hazard of his life, and he retained an influence with the elders of Judah which placed him on the throne while an infant, and overthrew Athaliah, the grand enemy of God and of David’s house. His temperance, founded on piety, prolonged his happy constitution far beyond the usual age of man. He had seen Solomon on his throne of ivory; and now having attended the funeral of seven kings, his hands, not yet feeble, placed the crown on the ninth monarch of David’s line. If among so many excellencies he had a defect, it was an excess of mildness, in not stirring up the levites to repair the breaches in the walls of the temple. Truly he long wore a mitre of glory, and a breastplate of righteousness: his sun set resplendent with every virtue. Having lived a hundred and thirty years, he died the admiration of his country, and the brightest ornament of the altar, which he left surrounded with sons who inherited the virtues of their sire: 2 Chronicles 26:7.

The death of a great and good man is a calamity to the nation and to the church, and especially when no one is found to succeed him, whose rising excellence promises the attainment of equal worth: but when he is succeeded by a time-serving, or a wicked man, the loss is more than can be conceived. To Israel the loss was great; but to Joash it was irreparable. The princely rulers and families of Judah, in whose hearts former reformations had checked but not eradicated the roots of idolatry, availed themselves of Jehoiada’s death to gain an ascendancy over the king, and to restore the liberty of worshipping idols according to every one’s pleasure. And when a man claims the right of choosing his god, and consequently his creed, he is little short of making an idol of himself.

Zechariah, a worthy son of Jehoiada, surnamed in after ages Berachias, or the blessed of the Lord, Matthew 23:35, seeing this awful progress of apostasy and breach of covenant with God, like another Phinehas, interposed his life with holy zeal to stop the evil; but the profane and infidel princes, impatient of controul, stoned him between the porch and the altar. The guilt of apostasy, and of innocent blood, often meets with its reward earlier than is expected. They were deaf to the prophets, deaf to the priests; and Joash was most ungratefully deaf to all cries for the execution of the murderers; but heaven had ears, and arms of vengeance too. God sent the king of Damascus the ensuing spring, with but a small army, and they plundered Jerusalem, murdered the princes, and left Joash sorely afflicted with disease. Nor had he repose from his own servants, for they avenged the blood of Zechariah; and it would seem, from the plural number being used here, that he had slain others of Jehoiada’s house. Thus blood has a voice which pierces heaven, and he who will not do justice shall receive justice at the hand of God.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 24:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/2-chronicles-24.html. 1835.

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Sunday, December 8th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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