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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
2 Kings 11

 

 

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.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/2-kings-11.html. 1919.

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