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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
2 Chronicles 24

 

 

Verses 1-25

This chapter gives us the story of the reign of Joash. He was the only one of the royal seed who was preserved alive when Athaliah sought to destroy all the family of Ahaziah. He was hidden away for some six years in the temple by his aunt Jehoshabeath, the wife of Jehoiada the high priest, who arranged matters so well that, when the child was seven years old, Jehoiada caused him to be crowned king, and he put to death the cruel she-wolf Athaliah, who had destroyed the royal family. You see, therefore, how much this young king owed to his uncle the high-priest. Now let us read the story of his reign.

2 Chronicles 24:1. Joash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem.

He might have reigned much longer had he not erred and turned aside from the right way, and so brought judgment upon himself.

2 Chronicles 24:1-2. His mother’s name also was Zibiah of Beersheba. And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.

As long as his uncle lived, that truly devout statesman as well as priest of the Lord, “Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.”

2 Chronicles 24:3-4. And Jehoiada took for him two wives; and he begat sons and daughters. And it came to pass after this,

Probably, some three and twenty years after, —

2 Chronicles 24:4. That Joash was minded to repair the house of the LORD.

Jehoiada had with him broken in pieces the images of Baal, and battered down the temples of the idols; and now the young king is “minded to repair the house of Jehovah.”

2 Chronicles 24:5. And he gathered together the priests and the Levites, and said to them, go out unto the cities of Judah, and gather of all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year, and see that ye hasten the matter. Howbeit the Levites hastened it not.

It is a great pity when those who live in the house of God have not enough interest in it to see to its repair. The fact was, the offerings presented at the temple, like the tithes in modern times, were intended not only for the ministers, but for the maintaining of the fabric, too. But these priests and Levites would not allow anything to be deducted from their own income even for the repair of the house in which they served. So Joash ordained that special collections should be made for the purpose.

2 Chronicles 24:6-9. And the king called for Jehoiada the chief, and said unto him, Why hast thou not required of the Levites to bring in out of Judah and out of Jerusalem the collection, according to the commandment of Moses the servant of the Lord, and of the congregation of Israel, for the tabernacle of witnesses? For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken up the honour of God: and also all the dedicated things of the house of the LORD did they bestow upon Baalim. And at the king’s commandment they made a chest, and set it without at the gate of the house of the LORD. And they made a proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem, to bring in to the LORD the collection that Moses the servant of God laid upon Israel in the wilderness.

Everyone must give his half shekel by way of redemption money, and this had not been brought in.

2 Chronicles 24:10-14. And all the princes and all the people rejoiced, and brought in, and cast into the chest, until they had made an end. Now it came to pass, that at what time the chest was brought unto the king’s office by the hand of the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, the king’s scribe and the high priest’s officer came and emptied the chest, and took it, and carried it to his place again. This they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance. And the king and Jehoiada gave it to such as did the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and hired masons and carpenters to repair the house of the LORD, and, also such as wrought iron and brass to mend the house of the LORD. So the workmen wrought, and the work was perfected by them, and they set the house of God in his state, and strengthened it. And when they had finished it, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, whereof were made vessels for the house of the LORD, even vessels to minister, and to offer withal, and spoons, and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the LORD continually all the day of Jehoiada.

See the influence of one man. One man can sway a state. One man can check sin. One man can be the head of a host who shall serve God, and honour his name.

2 Chronicles 24:15. But Jehoiada waxed old,

It happened to him as it must happen to us all; for the best of men must grow old, and pass away. Let us value them while we have them. Too often we give them stones while they are alive, in anticipation of giving them bigger stones to keep them in memory when they die. “Jehoiada waxed old,” —

2 Chronicles 24:15. And was full of day when he died; an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died.

An unusual age for that time; short enough as compared with the years of the antediluvian patriarchs, but still a great age for those days.

2 Chronicles 24:16. And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward his house.

That is the best kind of good which begins with doing good toward God, and then goes on to doing good towards God’s house. The Church is to be served, but even it must be second to God’s glory. God first, and then the very best must come next.

2 Chronicles 24:17. Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them.

These flatterers came with all their daintiest manners, and made obeisance to the king, and “the king hearkened unto them.” All the days of Jehoiada, these princes had been afraid to set up the fashionable worship the worship of Baalim, that had been introduced by the Sidonian queen Jezebel, that wicked woman of strong and masterful spirit. This worldly and false religion had been put down by the strong hand of Jehoiada; but when its adherents thought they had a chance to get to the front again, they came and flattered the king, and “the king hearkened unto them.”

2 Chronicles 24:18. And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols:

Or, “Asherah and idols.” The word is mistakenly translated “groves.” These were certain horrible and disgusting emblems of the heathen goddess Ashtaroth, or Astarte: “They served Asherah and idols.”

2 Chronicles 24:18-19. And wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass. Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.

“These old Puritans have come back again,” said they. “We will not listen to them.” The common people were still mostly worshippers of Jehovah; but the great ones of the earth had gone over to the idols, and they could not endure that one and another of the prophets, often very humble and unlearned men, should come and bear testimony for Jehovah.

2 Chronicles 24:20. And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the Lord, he hath also forsaken you.

He spoke very temperately and affectionately. The warning was faithful; but it was delivered in the very best and kindest spirit. But now see what the wicked men did.

2 Chronicles 24:21. And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the Lord.

This is probably the prophet to whom Christ alludes when he speaks of Zechariah, “whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.” It was a crime most foul to murder the son of Jehoiada, one of those who had helped to put the crown upon the head of the king. To do this evil deed in the court of God’s house, when the prophet was engaged in his Master’s business, and delivering a divine message, was to heap sin upon sin.

2 Chronicles 24:22-23. Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said, The LORD look upon it, and require it. And it came to pass at the end of the year, that the host of Syria came up against him: and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people, and sent all the spoil of them unto the king of Damascus.

God delayed not long the punishment of the evil-doers. When his servants are persecuted, he will speedily avenge his own elect. “They destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people.” Was not that remarkable? These were the authors of the sin; and they had chiefly to endure the penalty. It is not always that invaders lay hold upon the princes alone, and slay them; but these Syrians did so.

2 Chronicles 24:24-25. For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men, and the LORD delivered a very great host into their hand, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers. So they executed judgment against Joash. And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings.

When one set of executioners had gone, his own servants conspired against him and slew him. Here ends our reading. May it be profitable to us!

 


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 24:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/2-chronicles-24.html. 2011.

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Saturday, December 7th, 2019
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