Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 11:5

He commanded them, saying, "This is the thing that you shall do: one third of you, who come in on the sabbath and keep watch over the king's house
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Armies;   Church and State;   Citizens;   Conspiracy;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Loyalty;   Orphan;   Usurpation;   Women;   Zeal, Religious;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Home;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Stories for Children;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Fatherless;   Kings;   Levites, the;   Palaces;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Athaliah;   Joash or Jehoash;   King, Kings;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Judah, tribe and kingdom;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Fulfillment;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Judgments of God;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Athaliah;   Canaan, History and Religion of;   High Priest;   History;   Kings, 1 and 2;   People of the Land;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Athaliah;   Chronicles, I;   Government;   Jehoash;   Jerusalem;   Marriage;   Priests and Levites;   Sabbath;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Athaliah ;   Guard;   Jehoiada ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Athaliah;   Joash;   Queen;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jehoiada;   Joel (2);   Priest, High;   Priests and Levites;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Sabbath;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

That enter in on the Sabbath - It appears that Jehoiada chose the Sabbath day to proclaim the young king, because as that was a day of public concourse, the gathering together of the people who were in this secret would not be noticed; and it is likely that they all came unarmed, and were supplied by Jehoiada with the spears and shields which David had laid up in the temple, 2 Kings 11:10.

The priests and Levites were divided into twenty-four classes by David, and each served a week by turns in the temple, and it was on the Sabbath that they began the weekly service, all this favored Jehoiada's design.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-11.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he commanded them, saying, this is the thing that ye shall do,.... These were the rulers over hundreds among the priests and Levites, and which he, as high priest, could command, and whom he could convene without suspicion, being such as he had a connection with, and were unarmed men: and for the better understanding of what follows, it should be observed, that the priests, in the times of David, were divided into twenty four courses, which were by turns to serve a week in the temple; the course that came in entered when the sabbath began, and that which went out went out when it ended, and each course consisted of a thousand men: now with respect to both these courses, both that which went in and that which went out, Jehoiada gave them the following charge:

a third part of you that enter in on the sabbath; on the beginning of it, to do duty in the temple the week following:

shall even be keepers of the watch of the king's house, which, according to some, was that part of the temple where the king was hid and brought up, supposed to be the north part of it: or rather these were set at the north gate of the temple, which led to the royal palace, lest any should rush out of that, and kill the king.

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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 11:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-11.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And he commanded them, saying, This [is] the thing that ye shall do; A third part of e you that enter in on the sabbath shall f even be keepers of the watch of the king's house;

(e) Of the Levites, who had charge of the keeping of the temple, and kept watch by course.

(f) That no one should come on them, while they were crowning the king.

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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-11.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he commanded them, saying, This is the thing that ye shall do; A third part of you that enter in on the sabbath shall even be keepers of the watch of the king's house;

Of you — Levites, who were distributed into twenty four courses, to minister in turns, each course consisting of about a thousand men for a week.

Enter in — That come into the temple to attend your ministry.

King's house — Of that part which lead to the king's palace, which Athaliah now possessed.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:5". "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 11:5 And he commanded them, saying, This [is] the thing that ye shall do; A third part of you that enter in on the sabbath shall even be keepers of the watch of the king’s house;

Ver. 5. And he commanded them.] For he was protector of the young king, and προβολον της αληθειας - as Theodoret styleth Athanasius - the Bulwark of Truth.

That enter in on the Sabbath.] So that the deposing Of Athaliah and her idolatry, the setting up of Joash, and with him, of true religion, was a Sabbath day’s work, and well it might be: Jehoiada - for the purpose - taking in the new company of Levites that came in their course, and not dismissing the old till this great work was over.

Of the king’s house.] Which was very near the temple; however it was with Athaliah, and the recently revolted princes of Judah, according to the common word, The nearer to the church, the farther from God.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-11.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Kings 11:5. A third part of you that enter, &c.— The captains, and other officers who were admitted to the knowledge of Jehoiada's design, came into the temple unarmed, that they might give no suspicion: but as David had erected a kind of sacred armoury in one of the apartments of the temple, wherein were deposited the weapons and other trophies which he and several other generals had gained from their enemies; Jehoiada took care upon the present occasion to have this magazine of military provisions opened, so that there was no want of any sort of arms. See 2 Kings 11:10 and Joseph. Antiq. lib. 9: cap. 7.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:5". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-kings-11.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

A third part of you; either,

1. A third part of you, (i.e. of the whole number, including those

that come in and those

that go out on the sabbath,) even

they that enter in on the sabbath;

and so the two other third parts were to consist of those that went out on the sabbath, as some gather from 2 Kings 11:6,7. Or rather,

2. A third part only of those that enter in on the sabbath, who seem to be plainly divided into three thirds here, and 2 Kings 11:6, as those that went forth on the sabbath are expressly distributed into two parts, 2 Kings 11:7. That enter in on the sabbath, i.e. that come into the temple on the sabbath day. For the understanding of this matter, you must know that the Levites were, in and from David’s time, distributed into twenty-four courses, which were to do the work of the temple successively, and by turns; each course consisting of about a thousand men for his week; of which see 1Ch 23 1Ch 24.

The watch of the king’s house; either,

1. Of that bed-chamber where the king now was. But it is unlikely, and without example, either that one bed-chamber, or the temple, or any part of it, should be called the king’s house. And besides, the king’s person is secured by other persons, 2 Kings 11:7. Or rather,

2. Of that part which leadeth to the king’s palace, which Athaliah now possessed, and whence they might expect opposition.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:5". 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

5.This is the thing that ye shall do — This description (2 Kings 11:5-14) of the arrangement of the Levite guards is obscure, and some parts of it difficult to harmonize with the parallel and fuller account in 2 Chronicles 23:4-13. The difficulty comes from our ignorance of some of the terms employed. The gate of Sur and the gate behind the guard are matters of conjecture, on which it is needless to posit a decided opinion. But so long as these gates are unknown, there must rest an obscurity upon the whole passage. We attempt merely to point out what seems to be the most natural and plausible meaning of the words.

You that enter in on the sabbath — Those Levites whose turn to enter upon their week of service in the temple came on the particular Sabbath here indicated. The different kinds of service in which they were employed are described in 1 Chronicles 9:17-33, from which passage it appears that a large body of the Levites were constantly required in the temple, and that they relieved each other by turns, one company entering in on the Sabbath when another company, having filled their week, went forth. 2 Kings 11:7. “By choosing the Sabbath day,” says Wordsworth, “and by retaining those of the Levitical course whose turn it was to retire from its allotted service, Jehoiada doubled the number of the official forces of the temple without exciting suspicion.”

Shall even be keepers of the watch of the king’s house — The king’s house must certainly mean the royal palace, from which there was a magnificent passageway leading up to the house of the Lord. 1 Kings 10:5, note. A third part of the Levites here specified, instead of entering the temple as usual, were to stay outside, and guard this way to the royal residence, lest some satellite of Athaliah should discover or interrupt the plot. They are the ones who in 2 Chronicles 23:5 are to be at the king’s house.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:5". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-11.html. 1874-1909.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

that enter in = must come inside.

shall even be = and must be.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:5". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-11.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(5) A third part of you . . . king’s house.—Rather, the third of you who come in on the Sabbath shall keep the ward of the king’s house. (Reading w‘shâm‘rû, as in 2 Kings 11:7.) The troops of the royal guard regularly succeeded each other on duty just as they do in modern European capitals. That the Sabbath was the day on which they relieved each other is known only from this passage; but the priestly and Levitical guilds did the same, and their organisation in many ways resembled that of an army.

The watch of the king’s house.—There were two places to be occupied for the success of the present movement—viz., the royal palace and the Temple, “the king’s house” and “the house of the Lord.” In the former was Athaliah, the usurping queen, whose movements must be closely watched, and whose adherents must be prevented from occupying and defending the palace; in the latter, the young heir to the throne, who must be protected from attack. That “the king’s house” here means the palace proper is evident from 2 Kings 11:16; 2 Kings 11:19, and, indeed, from the whole narrative. The LXX. adds, “at the entry” ( ἐν τῷ πυλῶνι)—i.e., the grand entrance to the palace itself. This is at least a correct gloss, and may be part of the original text.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:5". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he commanded them, saying, This is the thing that ye shall do; A third part of you that enter in on the sabbath shall even be keepers of the watch of the king's house;
that enter
1 Chronicles 9:25; 23:3-6,32; 24:3-6; Luke 1:8,9
the watch
19; 16:18; 1 Kings 10:5; Jeremiah 26:10; Ezekiel 44:2,3; 46:2,3
Reciprocal: 2 Kings 11:7 - go forth;  2 Chronicles 23:5 - the king's house;  Luke 1:23 - the days

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-11.html.