Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 11:4

Now in the seventh year Jehoiada sent and brought the captains of hundreds of the Carites and of the guard, and brought them to him in the house of the Lord . Then he made a covenant with them and put them under oath in the house of the Lord , and showed them the king's son.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Armies;   Church;   Church and State;   Citizens;   Conspiracy;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   King;   Loyalty;   Oath;   Orphan;   Usurpation;   Women;   Zeal, Religious;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Home;   Jehoiada;   Oaths;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Stories for Children;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Fatherless;   Kings;   Oaths;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Athaliah;   Joash or Jehoash;   King, Kings;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Judah, tribe and kingdom;   Yahweh;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Fulfillment;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Judgments of God;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Host;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Jehoiada;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Athaliah;   Canaan, History and Religion of;   High Priest;   History;   Jehoiada;   King, Kingship;   Kings, 1 and 2;   People of the Land;   Runners;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Army;   Athaliah;   Carites;   Chronicles, I;   Covenant;   Government;   Guard Body-Guard;   Jehoash;   Jehoiada;   Jerusalem;   Marriage;   Oaths;   Priests and Levites;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Athaliah ;   Guard;   Jehoiada ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Athaliah;   Cherethites;   Jehoiada;   Joash;   Queen;   War;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Alliances;   Cher'ethites;   Footman,;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Benaiah;   Carites;   Covenant, in the Old Testament;   Criticism (the Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis);   Guard;   Jehoash;   Jehoiada;   Joel (2);   King;   Philistines;   Post;   Priest, High;   Priests and Levites;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Captain;   Carites;   Cherethites;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And the seventh year Jehoiada sent - He had certainly sounded them all, and brought them into the interests of the young king, before this time; the plot having been laid, and now ripe for execution, he brings the chief officers of the army and those of the body guard into the temple, and there binds them by an oath of secrecy, and shows them the king's son, in whose behalf they are to rise.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-11.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

See the marginal reference.

The captains - The word used here and in 2 Kings 11:19, הא־כרי ha -kârı̂y designates a certain part of the royal guard, probably that which in the earlier times was known under the name of Cherethites 1 Kings 1:38. Others see in the term an ethnic name - “Carians,” who seem certainly to have been much inclined to take service as mercenaries from an early date. Render the whole passage thus - “And in the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the centurions of the Carians and the guardsmen (literally, ‹runners, ‹ 2 Kings 10:25), etc.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-11.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

JEHOIADA CONSPIRED TO MAKE JOASH KING OVER JUDAH

"And in the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the captains over hundreds over the Carites and of the guard, and brought them into the house of Jehovah; and he made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of Jehovah, and showed them the king's son. And he commanded them, saying, This is the thing that ye shall do: a third part of you, that come in on the sabbath, shall be keepers of the watch of the king's house; and a third part shall be at the gate Sur; and a third part at the gate behind the guard: so shall ye keep the watch of the house, and be a barrier. And the two companies of you, even all that go forth on the sabbath, shall keep the watch of the house of Jehovah about the king. And ye shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand; and he that cometh within the ranks, let him be slain: and be ye with the king when he goeth out, and when he cometh in."

"Jehoiada" (2 Kings 11:4). This man is designated as the High Priest in 2 Kings 12:10, but, in this chapter, he is called merely the priest. From this, certain radical scholars have postulated an impossible proposition, namely, that, "The high-priestly office was probably post-exilic."[7] Ridiculous! The high-priestly office existed continually throughout the history of Israel from the times of Aaron in the shadow of Mount Sinai to Caiaphas who engineered the crucifixion of Christ.

A number of scholars have attempted to explain exactly how this conspiracy was supposed to work; but no account which we have read is very convincing. Whatever the plan was, it was carefully and deliberately laid; the captains of various divisions of the armed troops were made party to the conspiracy to overthrow Athaliah; and their willingness to do so is an eloquent comment upon the general detestation in which the people held that wicked woman.

"The Carites" (2 Kings 11:4). Cook identified these with the Cherethites (1 Kings 1:38).[8] They were mercenaries employed by kings as guardians. "These people, along with the Pelethites and Gittites, were Philistine mercenary troops who were fiercely loyal to David and the Davidic dynasty (2 Samuel 15:18; 1 Samuel 30:14; Ezekiel 25:16; Zephaniah 2:5)."[9]

Matthew Henry pointed out that Jehosheba, the wife of Jehoiada, was a daughter of King Joram and a sister of Ahaziah, and that she actually had a better right to the throne of Judah than Athaliah.[10] It is an interesting question as to why Athaliah did not attempt to murder her. The fact that she was the wife of the High Priest might have been the reason.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-kings-11.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard,.... This was the husband of Jehosheba, who was high priest, 2 Chronicles 22:11 these

rulers over hundreds were not those appointed over the people for civil affairs, as by the advice of Jethro, but over the priests and Levites in their courses; five of whom are mentioned by name, and were employed in gathering together the Levites, and the chief of the fathers, throughout all the cities of Judah, 2 Chronicles 23:1, and the "captains" here are the heads of the fathers there, who were the heads of the courses they were sent to gather; and the "guard", those of the late king, whom Athaliah had turned out of their post, and took in others in their room, unless rather the temple guard is meant:

and brought them to him into the house of the Lord; the temple, that part of it where was the court of the priests and Levites:

and made a covenant with them; to join with him, assist him, and stand by him in the restoration of the king, and the reformation of the kingdom:

and took an oath of them in the house of the Lord; to keep secrecy, and be faithful to him:

and showed them the king's son; for the truth of which he could produce his wife, the sister of the late king, and also the nurse of this child with him.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-11.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And the seventh year d Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the LORD, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the LORD, and shewed them the king's son.

(d) The chief priest, Jehosheba's husband.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-11.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

2 Kings 11:4-12. He is made king.

the seventh year — namely, of the reign of Athaliah, and the rescue of Jehoash.

Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers, etc. — He could scarcely have obtained such a general convocation except at the time, or on pretext, of a public and solemn festival. Having revealed to them the secret of the young king‘s preservation and entered into a covenant with them for the overthrow of the tyrant, he then arranged with them the plan and time of carrying their plot into execution (see on 2 Chronicles 22:10-23:21). The conduct of Jehoiada, who acted the leading and chief part in this conspiracy, admits of an easy and full justification; for, while Athaliah was a usurper, and belonged to a race destined by divine denunciation to destruction, even his own wife had a better and stronger claim to the throne; the sovereignty of Judah had been divinely appropriated to the family of David, and therefore the young prince on whom it was proposed to confer the crown, possessed an inherent right to it, of which a usurper could not deprive him. Moreover, Jehoiada was most probably the high priest, whose official duty it was to watch over the due execution of God‘s laws, and who in his present movement, was encouraged and aided by the countenance and support of the chief authorities, both civil and ecclesiastical, in the country. In addition to all these considerations, he seems to have been directed by an impulse of the Divine Spirit, through the counsels and exhortations of the prophets of the time.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-kings-11.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

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!

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/2-kings-11.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the LORD, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the LORD, and shewed them the king's son.

The house — Into the courts of that house, for into the house none but the priests or Levites might enter.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-kings-11.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 11:4 And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the LORD, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the LORD, and shewed them the king’s son.

Ver. 4. And the seventh year.] When now the young prince was full seven years old, [2 Kings 11:21] and able to say - as Grave Maurice did to the States when they doubted to choose him their general, because young - Tandem fit sureulus arbor, a twig in time comes to be a tall tree, might he have but princely education and dignity.

Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds.] Five of them only at first, [2 Chronicles 23:1-2] and then many other Levites, and chief of the fathers of Israel (ibid.), to whom he communicated the matter, and by whom he wrought upon the rest to join, and yield their best assistance.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-11.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

If this action of Jehoiada’s seem strange and irregular, this was no ordinary case, but there were divers peculiar things in it, as, that Athaliah was a mere usurper, having no pretence of right to the crown, and one of that wicked house which God had particularly, and by name, devoted to destruction: that Jehoiada’s wife was nearer allied, and had more right to the crown, than Athaliah: that thee crown of Judah was by Divine appointment appropriated to the sons of David; and therefore the right of the crown was inherently in him whom Jehoiada set up, which right her usurpation could not exclude: that Jehoiada was not a mere private person, but the husband of the king’s aunt; and probably the high priest, to whom it belonged in great part to see the laws of God executed: that Jehoiada did not act alone in the business, but had the consent and concurrence of the chief rulers, both civil and ecclesiastical: and besides all this, that it is conceived that he had a special motion of God’s Spirit, or the direction and encouragement of the prophets of that time. So that this action cannot be drawn into a precedent for succeeding times, and for other kingdoms.

The rulers over hundreds; of whom see Exodus 18:25. Of these there were five which are named, 2 Chronicles 23:1. And these were either,

1. Civil or military officers. But then such small officers could not have stood him in much stead. And why did he not rather engage captains of thousands, or greater persons, whom doubtless he might easily have brought into this confederacy? Or rather,

2. Priests or Levites of eminency, as their work showeth, 2 Kings 11:5-7 2 Chronicles 23:1,2, and their distinction from the

captains and guard. The captains, or princes, or nobles, or commanders; such as he knew were weary of her idolatrous and tyrannical government, and faithful to their king.

The guard; possibly those who had been the former king’s guard, who had been displaced by Athaliah, as persons whose fidelity she suspected.

Into the house of the Lord, i.e. into the courts of that house, which oft come under the name of the house, or temple of the Lord; for into the house none but the priests or Levites might enter.

Made a covenant with them, to restore the king to his kingdom, and religion to its purity.

Took an oath of them, for their secrecy and fidelity in the present design.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-kings-11.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

FALL OF ATHALIAH, AND ELEVATION OF JOASH TO THE THRONE, 2 Kings 11:4-21.

4.The seventh year — The seventh year of Joash’s age. Compare 2 Kings 11:21.

Rulers over hundreds — Their names are given in 2 Chronicles 23:1-2, together with the statement that the Levites out of all the cities of Judah, and the chief fathers of Israel, were gathered together at Jerusalem. These rulers of hundreds were probably officers of the army, having charge of a hundred men.

Captains and the guard — Gesenius renders these words, executioners and runners; which composed an important part of the bodyguard of the king. Others explain the word rendered captains, כרי Carians, that is, the men of Caria, in Asia Minor, who, like the Cretans, were wont to serve as lifeguards to the ancient Asiatic rulers. See on Cherethites and Pelethites. 2 Samuel 8:18.

Made a covenant’ took an oath — These expressions explain each other. Jehoiada made a covenant with them by binding them under a solemn oath to help him carry out his plans of ruining Athaliah, and setting the youthful Joash on the throne. The high priest was wise enough to know that in carrying out a plan of so vast moment he must have the confidence and support of all the men of power. Athaliah’s regency was doubtless oppressive and unpopular, and the leading minds of the kingdom were glad to have it come to an end.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-11.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Kings 11:4. With the captains and the guard — The chief commanders of the soldiery, and those that had been the former king’s guard; for it is not likely that he would dare to call the guard of the present queen: and it is probable that the former could not well brook the dominion of a woman, and that woman a foreigner. And brought them into the house of the Lord — Into the courts of that house; for into the house itself, strictly speaking, none but the priests or Levites might enter. And showed them the king’s son — He discovered to them the true heir of the crown, and they entered into a covenant to restore him, which they confirmed with an oath.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-11.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Year, of the age of Joas, ver. 21. (Menochius) --- Centurions. Five in number of the tribe of Levi, (Menochius) commanding each 100 men. Hebrew adds "the rams," (Calmet) to denote "the captains (Protestants) and the runners," or guards. (Haydock) --- Joiada was a man of great authority, virtue and discretion; so that he was able to manage this delicate affair, and no one gave information to Athalia, as she was detested. The Levites and principal men of Juda were admonished, underhand, to be present on the day appointed. The quality of high priest, and the known probity and zeal for the public good, which were conspicuous in Joiada, as well as his being so nearly related to the lawful heir to the crown, made the people readily come forward. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-11.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Jehoiada. See note on Jehosheba, 2 Kings 11:2.

rulers. For their names see 2 Chronicles 23:1.

the king"s son. Compare 2 Chronicles 23:3.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-11.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the LORD, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the LORD, and shewed them the king's son.

And the seventh year - namely, of the reign of Athaliah and the rescue of Jehoash.

Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers ... He could scarcely have obtained such a general convocation except at the time, or on pretext, of a public and solemn festival. Having revealed to them the secret of the young king's preservation, and entered into a covenant with them for the overthrow of the tyrant, he then arranged with them the plan and time of carrying their plot into execution, (see the notes at 2 Chronicles 22:10-12; 2 Chronicles 23:1-21.) The conduct of Jehoiada, who acted the leading and chief part in this conspiracy, admits of an easy and full justification: for, while Athaliah was a usurper, and belonged to a race devoted by divine denunciation to destruction, even his own wife had a better and stronger claim to the throne; the sovereignty of Judah has been divinely appropriated to the family of David, and therefore the young prince on whom it was proposed to confer the crown possessed an inherent right to it, of which a usurper could not deprive him. Moreover, Jehoiada was most probably the high priest, whose official duty it was to watch over the due execution of God's laws, and who, in his present movement, was encouraged and aided by the countenances and support of the chief authorities, both civil and ecclesiastical, in the country. In addition to all these considerations, he seems to have been directed by an impulse of the Divine Spirit, through the counsels and exhortations of the prophets of the time.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-kings-11.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) And the seventh year.—When perhaps discontent at Athalialı’s tyranny had reached a climax.

Jehoiada.—The high priest (2 Kings 11:9). The curious fact that his rank is not specified hero upon the first mention of his name, suggests the inference that in the original authority of this narrative he had been mentioned as high priest, and husband of Jehosheba, at the outset of the story, as in 2 Chronicles 22:11.

The rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard.—Rather, the centurions of the Carians and the Couriers—i.e., the officers commanding the royal guard. The terms rendered “Carians” and “Couriers” are obscure. Thenius prefers to translate the first “executioners.” (Comp. Notes on 1 Kings 1:38; 2 Samuel 8:18; 2 Samuel 15:18; 2 Samuel 16:6; 1 Chronicles 18:17.) Thenius argues against the idea that so patriotic and pious a king as David could have employed foreign and heathen soldiers as his body-guard. But did not David himself serve as a mercenary with Achish, king of Gath, and commit his parents to the care of the king of Moab? And would not the mercenaries who enlisted in the guard of the Israelite sovereigns adopt the religion of their new country? (Comp. the case of Uriah the Hittite.) The apparently gentilic ending of the words rendered “Cherethites and Pelethites” in Samuel, and that rendered “captains” in this place, Thenius explains as marking an adjective denoting position or class. It may be so, but sub judice lis est.

Made a covenant with them.—The chronicler gives the names of the centurions. His account of the whole transaction, while generally coinciding with that given here, presents certain striking differences, of which the most salient is the prominence assigned to the priests and Levites in the matter. These deviations are explicable on the assumption that the chronicler drew his information from a large historical compilation somewhat later than the Books of Kings, and containing much more than they contain, though mainly based upon the same annalistic sources. The compilors of the two canonical histories were determined in their choice of materials and manner of treatment by their individual aims and points of view, which differed considerably. (See the Introductions to Kings and Chronicles.) At the same time, it must not be forgotten that the account before us is the older and more original, and, therefore, the more valuable regarded as mere history.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the LORD, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the LORD, and shewed them the king's son.
A. M. 3126. B.C. 878. the seventh
2 Chronicles 23:1-15
rulers
9; 1 Chronicles 9:13
the captains
Acts 5:24,26
made a covenant
17; 23:3; Joshua 24:25; 1 Samuel 18:3; 23:18; 2 Chronicles 15:12; 29:10; 34:31,32; Nehemiah 9:38
took an oath
Genesis 50:25; 1 Kings 18:10; Nehemiah 5:12; 10:29
Reciprocal: Numbers 4:3 - enter;  2 Kings 11:12 - he brought;  2 Kings 11:15 - captains;  2 Kings 11:19 - took;  2 Kings 11:21 - General2 Kings 12:1 - the seventh;  2 Kings 12:7 - Jehoiada;  2 Kings 13:1 - three and twentieth year;  1 Chronicles 12:27 - the leader

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-11.html.