Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 12:4

Then Jehoash said to the priests, "All the money of the sacred things which is brought into the house of the Lord , in current money, both the money of each man's assessment and all the money which any man's heart prompts him to bring into the house of the Lord ,
New American Standard

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Church;   Church and State;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Jehoiada;   Joash;   Liberality;   Money;   Temple;   Treasure-Houses;   Zeal, Religious;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Dedication;   Temple, the First;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Temple;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jehoash;   Temple;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Zeal;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Tribute;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Kings, 1 and 2;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Government;   Jerusalem;   Set;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Joash ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Joash;   Tax taxing taxation;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Jeho'ash;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Dedicate;   Hallow;   Jehoash;   Money, Current;   Temple;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Parashiyyot, the Four;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

All the money of the dedicated things - From all this account we find that the temple was in a very ruinous state; the walls were falling down, some had perhaps actually fallen, and there was no person so zealous for the pure worship of God, as to exert himself to shore up the falling temple!

The king himself seems to have been the first who noticed these dilapidations, and took measures for the necessary repairs. The repairs were made from the following sources:

  1. The things which pious persons had dedicated to the service of God.
  • The free-will offerings of strangers who had visited Jerusalem: the money of every one that passeth.
  • The half-shekel which the males were obliged to pay from the age of twenty years ( Exodus 30:12;) for the redemption of their souls, that is their lives, which is here called the money that every man is set at.
  • All these sources had ever been in some measure open, but instead of repairing the dilapidations in the Lord's house, the priests and Levites had converted the income to their own use.

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    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-12.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    It is remarkable that the first movement toward restoring the fabric of the temple should have come, not from Jehoiada, but from Jehoash (compare 2 Chronicles 24:4). Jehoiada had, it seems, allowed the mischief done in Athaliah‘s time to remain unrepaired during the whole term of his government.

    The money of every one … - Three kinds of sacred money are here distinguished - first, the half shekel required in the Law Exodus 30:13 to be paid by every one above twenty years of age when he passed the numbering; secondly, the money to be paid by such as had devoted themselves, or those belonging to them, by vow to Yahweh, which was a variable sum dependent on age, sex, and property Leviticus 27:2-8; and thirdly, the money offered in the way of free-will offerings.

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    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-12.html. 1870.

    Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

    JOASH TOOK THE TEMPLE REPAIR BUSINESS INTO HIS OWN HANDS

    "And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the hallowed things that is brought into the house of Jehovah, in current money, the money of the persons for whom each man is rated, and all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of Jehovah, let the priests take it to them, every man from his acquaintance; and they shall repair the breaches of the house, wheresoever any breach shall be found. But it was so that in the three and twentieth year of king Jehoash the priests had not repaired the breaches of the house. Then king Jehoash called for Jehoiada the priest, and for the other priests, and said unto them, Why repair ye not the breaches of the house? now therefore take no more money from your acquaintance, but deliver it for the breaches of the house. And the priests consented that they should take no more money from the people, neither repair the breaches of the house."

    "In current money" (2 Kings 12:4). "Three kinds of money are mentioned here: (1) the half-shekel required by the Law (Exodus 30:13); (2) the money paid by those who had devoted themselves or made vows, a variable sum depending on age, sex, and property (Leviticus 27:2-8); and (3) the money offered in the way of free-will offerings."[3]

    The narrative in this paragraph indicates that the king ordered the priests to repair the breaches in the temple, but that for some indefinite time (not indicated in the text) they did not do so, continuing to use all the money they received for themselves. With ten of the twelve tribes now under a separate system of government and no longer giving anything whatever for the support of the temple and its priests and Levites, coupled with the unfavorable economic conditions, the priests might not have been receiving enough money to do what the king ordered. There also might have been some instances of dishonesty in their handling of the money, although the text does not say that.

    "Every man from his acquaintance" (2 Kings 12:4). It is not clear here just what this means; but in 2 Chronicles 24:5 we learn that "The collection was to be made throughout Judah, each of the priests and Levites collecting the temple tax in his own neighborhood."[4]

    "The priests consented that they should take no more money from the people, neither repair the breaches in the temple" (2 Kings 12:8). This indicates that the priests consented to take no more money "from the people," that is, the revenue from certain classes of the three sources of money mentioned above, and that they were also to be freed of any further obligation to repair the temple. See under 2 Kings 12:16 for the portion of the money that was strictly allotted to the priests.

    The net result of this new arrangement was to take the affairs of the temple out of the hands of the priests and concentrate them in the hands of the king, which, of course, proved to be an unhappy development.

    The fact that the twenty-third year of Joash's reign had been reached with nothing being done to repair the temple leaves an unfavorable impression regarding the priesthood of that period. The following paragraph shows that the king himself took charge of the temple finances. Thus, very early in Israel's history, we have evidence of the corruption of the Jewish priesthood, a corruption that reached its climax in the days of Malachi. when God Himself actually cursed that priesthood (Malachi 2:1-2).

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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 12:4". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-kings-12.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    And Jehoash said to the priests,.... Being minded or having it in his heart, to repair the temple, as in 2 Chronicles 24:4 not only because it was the sanctuary of the Lord, though that chiefly, but because it had been a sanctuary to him, where he was hid and preserved six years:

    all the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the Lord: or rather, "that is to be brought", as De Dieu, and others render it, the particulars of which follow:

    even the money of everyone that passeth the account; or that passeth among them that are numbered, as in Exodus 30:13 that were upwards of twenty years of age, and bound to pay the half shekel for the ransom of their souls; and it is called the collection or burden Moses laid on them in the wilderness, 2 Chronicles 24:6.

    the money that every man is set at; the price the priest set upon or estimated a man at, or whomsoever that belonged to him, that he devoted to the Lord, which by the law he was bound to pay for his redemption, and, till that was done, he and they were not his, but the Lord's, of which see Leviticus 27:1 and here the Targum calls it, the money of the redemption of souls, which is the gift of a man for the redemption of his soul:

    and all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the Lord: vows and freewill offerings made of their own accord.

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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.
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    Bibliographical Information
    Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-12.html. 1999.

    Geneva Study Bible

    And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, [even] the money of every one that passeth [the c account], the money that every man is set at, [and] all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the LORD,

    (c) That is, the money of redemption (Exodus 30:12), also the money which the priest valued the vows at (Leviticus 27:2), and their free gift.
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    Bibliographical Information
    Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-12.html. 1599-1645.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    Jehoash said to the priests, etc. — There is here given an account of the measures which the young king took for repairing the temple by the levying of taxes: 1. “The money of every one that passeth the account,” namely, half a shekel, as “an offering to the Lord” (Exodus 30:13). 2. “The money that every man is set at,” that is, the redemption price of every one who had devoted himself or any thing belonging to him to the Lord, and the amount of which was estimated according to certain rules (Leviticus 27:1-8). 3. Free will or voluntary offerings made to the sanctuary. The first two were paid annually (see 2 Chronicles 24:5).

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    These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
    This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-kings-12.html. 1871-8.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the LORD,

    And Jehoash said, … — Remembering that he owed his preservation and restoration to the temple, and that he was made by God the guardian of his temple, he now takes care to repair it.

    Dedicated things — The money which had been either formerly or lately vowed or dedicated to the service of God and of his house.

    That is brought — Or rather, that shall be brought: for though the people might vow to bring it thither in convenient time, yet it is not likely they would bring much money thither in the tyrannical and idolatrous reign of Athaliah.

    The money — The half shekel, which was paid for every one that was numbered from twenty years old and upward.

    Is set at — Heb. the money of souls, or persons according to his taxing, the money which every man that had vowed his person to God, paid according to the rate which the priest put upon him.

    That cometh — All that shall be freely offered.

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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 12:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-kings-12.html. 1765.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    2 Kings 12:4 And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, [even] the money of every one that passeth [the account], the money that every man is set at, [and] all the money that cometh into any man’s heart to bring into the house of the LORD,

    Ver. 4. And Jehoash said to the priests.] His first care was the repair of the temple, where he had been so long hid and preserved to the crown.

    All the money of the dedicated things.] Heb., Money of holinesses; contrary whereunto is the mammon of iniquity. [Luke 16:11]

    The money of every one that passeth the account.] The half shekel, [Exodus 30:12-13, &c.} paid by all above twenty, as a perpetual poll money, to the use of the tabernacle and temple, called the collection of Moses. {2 Chronicles 24:6] The Pope had here his Peter’s pence - and Polydor Virgil was his collector - so long as it held.

    The money that every man is set at.] See Leviticus 27:2, &c. Redemption money.

    And all the money that cometh into any man’s heart.] Freewill offerings; for God straineth upon no man. See Exodus 35:5, &c. Hereunto the priests were in all places to exhort those that they knew. [2 Chronicles 24:5]

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    Bibliographical Information
    Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-12.html. 1865-1868.

    Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

    2 Kings 12:4. Even the money of every one that passeth the account "Whether of the money of those that pass by, or the money with which every man will redeem his soul; all the money, in fine, which it shall seem good to any one to bring into the house of the Lord." Houbigant.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-kings-12.html. 1801-1803.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    Remembering that he owed his preservation and restoration to the temple, and that he was made by God the guardian of his temple and worship, and that he had covenanted to be so, Jehoash now takes care to repair it.

    All the money of the dedicated things: this may be, either, first, The general designation of the money, the particulars whereof here follow. Or rather, secondly, A special branch of it, the money which had been either formerly or lately vowed or dedicated to the use and service of God and of his house, either by the former kings; of which see below, 2 Kings 12:18, and compare 1 Kings 7:51 15:15 2 Kings 12:18 2 Chronicles 15:8; or by this king or his people.

    That is brought, or rather, that shall be brought; for though the people might vow to bring it thither in convenient time, yet it is not likely they would bring much money thither in the tyrannical and idolatrous reign of Athaliah; or if they did, that Athaliah would not seize it for her own use.

    The money of every one that passeth the account, i.e. the half shekel, which was paid for every one that was numbered from twenty years old and upward; of which the very same phrase is used Exodus 30:13 compare 2 Chronicles 24:5,6,9.

    The money that every man is set at, Heb. the money of souls, or persons, according to his taxing, i.e. the money which every man that had vowed his person to God paid according to the rate which the priest put upon him; of which see Leviticus 27:2, &c.

    All the money that cometh into any man’s heart; all that shall be freely offered. See Exodus 25:2 35:5.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-kings-12.html. 1685.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    4.All the money of the dedicated things — The annual contributions to the sanctuary which Moses ordained in the wilderness. Compare Exodus 30:12-16, and 2 Chronicles 24:6; 2 Chronicles 24:9. These contributions might be of three kinds, 1.)

    The money of every one that passeth the account — Explained by Exodus 30:13: “Every one that passeth among them that are numbered [in the census] shall give half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary.” This half shekel was properly a poll tax. 2.)

    The money that every man is set at — That is, the amount at which every one who makes a singular vow is estimated, according to the law of Leviticus 27:1-8. Large revenues may sometimes have come to the sanctuary from this source alone. 3.)

    Money that cometh into any man’s heart to bring — That is, free-will offerings, which any one might give over and above his poll tax, or other obligation.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-12.html. 1874-1909.

    Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

    2 Kings 12:4. And Jehoash said to the priests — The house of God having been neglected, and suffered to go to decay in the time of Athaliah and her son, Jehoash, in gratitude to God, who had preserved him there, resolved to have it repaired; and, in order thereto, commanded what money should be set apart for that purpose. All the money of the dedicated things — That had been or should hereafter be brought and dedicated to the service of God and of the temple. As it appears from 2 Chronicles 24:5, that the priests went through the land to collect money, it seems the people were required to dedicate something toward these repairs. The money of every one that passeth the account — The words, the account, are not in the Hebrew, so that it is likely this clause is to be understood of the offerings which pious people cast into the boxes prepared to receive them, as they passed into the temple. The money that every man is set at — Namely, the money that every man, who had vowed his person to God, paid or was to pay for his redemption, by the estimation made by the priest, according to the law, Leviticus 27:2-3. In the Hebrew it is the money of souls, or persons according to his taxing. As soon as this money was paid by any one, he was freed from the vow wherewith he had bound himself: but till it was paid, his life was not his own, but God’s. All the money that cometh into any man’s heart to bring, &c. — This was the third sort of money for the reparation of the temple; that which any man would give freely for that service.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-12.html. 1857.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    Sanctified. That is, dedicated to God's service. (Challoner) --- Literally, "of the holy" sanctorum. (Haydock) --- For the use of the sanctuary. --- Pass, as strangers, (3 Kings viii. 41.) desiring sacrifice to be offered, (Grotius) or who pass in the roll of those who have attained their 20th year, and are obliged to pay half a sicle, Exodus xx. 13, 14. This was the first fund which had been turned to a different purpose by the priests, (Calmet) under the wicked kings. (Haydock) --- Soul. that is, the ordinary oblation, which every soul was to offer by the law, Exodus xxx. (Challoner) --- Or, this was a second fund arising from the redemption of vows, Leviticus xxi. 2. --- Lord. Voluntary contributions, like that of the widow, (Luke xxi. 2.) were also recommended; and Joas sent Levites throughout the land, every year, to collect what they could, for the reparation of the temple, 2 Paralipomenon xxiv. 5.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-12.html. 1859.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    the priests. See note on Libnah, 2 Kings 8:22.

    dedicated = sacred. See note on Exodus 3:5.

    the account. These italics are not needed. Hebrew. "abar = to pass over.

    that every man, &c. Hebrew "of the souls (= persons. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13) of his [the priest"s] valuation" (Leviticus 27:2-8).

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    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-12.html. 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the LORD,

    Jehoash said to the priests ... There is here given an account of the measures which the young king took for repairing the temple by the levying of taxes. There are three sorts of money reckoned:

    (1) "The money of everyone that passeth the account" (our translators have supplemented this word) namely, half a shekel, as an offering to the Lord (Exodus 30:13). This money was destined for the temple as it had been originally for the tabernacle.

    (2) "The money that every man (Hebrew the souls or persons) is set at"- ie the redemption-price of (2) "The money that every man (Hebrew, the souls, or persons) is set at" - i:e., the redemption-price of everyone who had devoted himself or anything belonging to him to the Lord, and the amount of which was estimated according to certain rules (Leviticus 27:1-8).

    (3) Free-will or voluntary offerings made to the sanctuary. The first two were paid annually (see the notes at 2 Chronicles 24:5).

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    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-kings-12.html. 1871-8.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (4) The money’ of the dedicated things.—Comp. 1 Kings 15:15.

    Is brought—i.e., from time to time. All the silver given for the purposes of the sanctuary is meant.

    Even the money of every one that passeth the account.—Rather, to wit, current money (Genesis 23:16). The currency at this period consisted of pieces of silver of a fixed weight. There was no such thing as a Hebrew coinage before the exile. The reason “current money” was wanted was that it might be paid out immediately to the workpeople employed in the repairs.

    The money that every man is set at.—Literally, each the money of the souls of his valuation, i.e., every kind of redemption money, such as was paid in the case of the first-born (Numbers 18:16) and of a vow (Leviticus 27:2, seq.). In the latter case, the priest fixed the amount to be paid.

    And all the money that cometh into any man’s heart to bring—That is, all the free-will offerings in money. In 2 Chronicles 24:6 the revenues here specified are called “the tax of Moses . . . for the tabernacle,” implying that Moses had originally instituted them. The chronicler’s language, indeed, appears to indicate that he understood the money collected to have been chiefly the tax of half a shekel, which the law ordered to be paid by every male on occasion of the census (Exodus 30:12-16), for the good of the sanctuary.

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    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-12.html. 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the LORD,
    A. M. 3148. B.C. 856. said to the priests
    22:4; 2 Chronicles 29:4-11; 35:2
    the money
    18; 1 Kings 7:1; 1 Chronicles 18:11; 2 Chronicles 15:18; 31:12
    dedicated things
    or, holy things. Heb. holiness.
    Leviticus 5:15,16; 27:12-27,31
    even the money
    22:4; Exodus 30:12-16; 2 Chronicles 24:9,10
    that every may is set at
    Heb. of the souls of his estimation.
    Leviticus 27:2-8
    and all the money
    Exodus 25:1,2; 35:5,22,29; 36:3; 1 Chronicles 29:3-9,17; Ezra 1:6; 2:69; 7:16; Ezra 8:25-28; Luke 21:4
    cometh, etc
    Heb. ascendeth upon the heart of a man.
    Reciprocal: 2 Chronicles 24:5 - gather of all Israel;  2 Chronicles 24:7 - the dedicated

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    Bibliographical Information
    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-12.html.