Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 12:9

But Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in its lid and put it beside the altar, on the right side as one comes into the house of the Lord ; and the priests who guarded the threshold put in it all the money which was brought into the house of the Lord .
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Chest;   Church;   Church and State;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Jehoiada;   Joash;   Liberality;   Money;   Temple;   Treasure-Houses;   Zeal, Religious;   Thompson Chain Reference - Chests;   Jehoiada;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Money;   Temple, the First;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jehoash;   Temple;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Zeal;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ark;   Chest;   Coffin;   Scribes;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Captain;   Chest;   Jerusalem;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ark of the Covenant;   High Priest;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Government;   Jerusalem;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Bag ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Jehoiada ;   Joash ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Joash;   Temple;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Chest;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Chest;   Doorkeeper;   Ezekiel;   Jehoash;   Money;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ark of the covenant;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Parashiyyot, the Four;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Jehoiada - took a chest - This chest was at first set beside the altar, as is here mentioned; but afterwards, for the convenience of the people, it was set without the gate; see 2 Chronicles 24:8.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-12.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The priests that kept the door - The north door into the priests‘ court Ezekiel 40:35-43 seems to be intended, not the door of the temple building. The chest must have been placed a little to the right of this north door, between it and the altar of burnt-offering, so that the people could see it from the doorway. The people were not ordinarily allowed to go within the doorway into this court, which belonged to the priests and Levites only.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-12.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Kings 12:9

And Jehoiada the priest took a chest.

The first contribution-box

This chapter takes us away from those confusions up in northern Palestine, which seemed to be getting a little overcrowded with murder and warfare and theft. There is a deep spiritual apathy in the city and the land everywhere. The people have still idolatrous practices; around on some of the hills there are altars and groves where decorous men and women would think it not nice to go. The worst of this terrible ungodliness is found in the greediness of the priests. Evidently they are self-seekers of the vile sort. They exhaust all the income of the sanctuary, slender as it is, in their own emoluments and perquisites. The king is inefficient, as should be expected; what could a little boy do? The temple is all out of repair; there are breaches in many parts of the building. A dull period of sixteen years has been slowly drifting along. The picture is not encouraging; but let us turn ourselves to the instruction it offers for us in these modern times. The force of the story will come out in a series of observations.

I. Sometimes religious depression shows itself in material dilapidations. Everything is running behind-hand in the public spirit of the town, the city, or the congregation.

1. It is a bad sign when the church edifice is going into ruinous condition. Can it be said that the zeal of the Lord is eating any one up there?

2. It is a worse sign when the income of any congregation has begun to fail. In the story here, somebody must have pushed up that little seven-year-old king Jehoash to try to collect some money, for he issued a call almost at once for help to put the temple under repair. But it all came to nothing; the house of the Lord continued to discourage and chill the devotions far more than to awake them, because it was so forlorn and unclean.

3. It is a worse sign still when the minister and the employees exhaust the funds in their own uses and luxuries. That was the trouble during those sad sixteen years of Jehoash’s infancy. Money went in, but the priests swallowed it up.

4. It is the worst sign of all when the people’s heart is unmoved; when everybody knows and nobody cares about the cheerlessness of the facts or the prospects.

II. Sometimes the speediest relief is found in the people’s taking the reform wholly into their own hands.

1. In this case, it was the young king and the people who did the work, though the high-priest organised the new movement, under royal direction. Let us look into the whole facts and philosophy of this uprising of the community there in Jerusalem. The religious and ordained officers in the congregation of the temple cheerfully arose to say, “Let anybody do this great and needed thing that can do it better than we can.” They consented to receive none of the money, and they withdrew from ordering the repairs. In that historic hour there came first to light the earliest contribution-box used in the service of God. Was there ever anything imagined so rude or inartistic as an instrument of devotion?

2. But before you smile at the prosaic expedient, pause a moment to do simple justice to one of God’s instruments of good. From that day the contribution-box has been an institution for the Church under the Old Testament and the New, probably as well known as any other in the range of our experience. It deserves now and then a decent eulogy. Its record is honourable and fair.

III. Sometimes piety is brought back to its level under a fresh impulse of material prosperity. This is a reflection also that we might expect to be suggested by the history here.

1. The philosophy underlying such a conclusion is simple. We are all creatures of human build and constitutional weakness in relation to the practical world we live in. When the church is repulsive and the services dull, when the carpets are soiled with long using, when the prayer-circle is languishing; then, good friends, it is almost hopeless for even the best of saints to try and keep up his spirits.

2. The relief is close at hand.

3. The facts, which might be offered in illustration, are without limit. (C. S. Robinson, D. D.)
.

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Kings 12:9". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-kings-12.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

THE INVENTION OF THE VERY FIRST COLLECTION BOX

"But Jehoiada the priest took a chest, and bored a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar, on the right side, as one cometh into the house of Jehovah: and the priests that kept the threshold put therein all the money that was brought into the house of Jehovah. And it was so, when they saw that there was much money in the chest, that the king's scribe and the high priest came up, and they put in bags and counted the money that was found in the house of Jehovah. And they gave the money that was weighed out into the hands of them that did the work, that had the oversight of the house of Jehovah: and they paid it out to the carpenters and the builders, that wrought upon the house of Jehovah, and to the masons and the hewers of stone, and for buying timber and hewn stone to repair the breaches of the house of Jehovah, and for all that was laid out for the house to repair it. But there were not made for the house of Jehovah cups of silver, basins, snuffers, trumpets, any vessels of gold, or vessels of silver, of the money that was brought into the house of Jehovah; for they gave that to them that did the work, and repaired therewith the house of Jehovah. Moreover they reckoned not with the men, into whose hand they delivered the money to give to them that did the work; for they dealt faithfully. The money for the trespass-offerings, and the money for the sin-offerings, was not brought into the house of the Jehovah: it was the priests'."

"Jehoiada ... took a chest and bored a hole in the lid of it" (2 Kings 12:9). Evidently, this was a new thing, the very first collection box that is mentioned in the Bible. There was something permanent about that innovation, because there was still in use such a collection box when the widow cast in her two mites in the days of Christ (Mark 12:42). So important was Jehoiada in preserving some semblance of authenticity in the worship of God in Judah that God extended his life far beyond the normal expectancy of that period. According to 2 Chronicles 24:14, he lived to be 130 years of age. "He was so highly esteemed that when he died he was given the signal honor of being buried in the royal tombs."[5]

"Buying timber and hewn stone to repair breaches the house of Jehovah" (2 Kings 12:12). This indicates at Athaliah's robbing of materials from Solomon's temple was anything but trivial. Timbers and hewn stone had been take away. Additionally, as Smith stated it, "The sumptuous days of Solomon were long past; and the temple must have fallen into sad decay."[6]

"There were not made for the house of Jehovah cups of silver ... (2 Kings 12:13). Much as the priests might have desired to have such things, a very high priority was given to the cost of repairing the temple itself.

"The men into whose hands they delivered the money ... dealt faithfully" (2 Kings 12:15). This is a refreshing comment regarding the overseers of the reconstruction project, and it contrasts dramatically with what was not said regarding the way those priests handled the money until the 23year of the king's reign. The large monies placed in the collection box shows the popular approval of Joash's move to repair the dilapidated temple. The large amount of money may also be viewed as raising some question about what the priests had been doing with the money prior to the new system. Some scholars have actually suggested dishonesty, but the text does not support such an allegation.

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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 12:9". "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

But Jehoiada the priest took a chest,.... By the commandment of the king, 2 Chronicles 24:8, to put the money collected into, to prevent any fraud, or suspicion of any:

and bored a hole in the lid of it; to drop the money into, by which means it could not be taken out without taking off the lid:

and set it beside the altar; the altar of burnt offering, in the court:

on the right side, as one cometh into the house of the Lord; that is, on the north; for the entrance into the temple was at the east: in 2 Chronicles 24:8, it is said to be set without at the gate of the house; which Dr. LightfootF11Prospect of the Temple, ch. 30. p. 20, 22. thinks respects another time, and that either another chest was made, or the same that was first placed by the altar, in the court of the priests, and so in their hands, and the money not coming in apace, was removed without the court at the entrance of it, whither the people brought it readily:

and the priests that kept the door; the door of the outward court, the levites, the porters, or rather, as the Targum, the priests, the treasurers, who were appointed to this service in the room of the others dismissed; and so Kimchi and other Jewish commentators interpret this of the keepers of the vessels of the sanctuary, and not of the doors of it:

these put therein all the money that was brought into the house of the Lord; by the people from the several parts of the country, who, by proclamation, were required so to do, and very readily did, 2 Chronicles 24:9.

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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 12:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-12.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

But Jehoiada the priest took a chest, and bored a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar, on the f right side as one cometh into the house of the LORD: and the priests that kept the door put therein all the money [that was] brought into the house of the LORD.

(f) That is, on the south side.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:9". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-12.html. 1599-1645.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 12:9 But Jehoiada the priest took a chest, and bored a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar, on the right side as one cometh into the house of the LORD: and the priests that kept the door put therein all the money [that was] brought into the house of the LORD.

Ver. 9. But Jehoiada the priest took a chest.] This he did by the king’s appointment, [2 Chronicles 24:8] and it took good effect. [2 Kings 12:9-10]

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-12.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Jehoiada the priest, by the king’s consent, 2 Chronicles 24:8.

Beside the altar, in the priests’ court.

Object. It was placed without at the gate of the house of the Lord, 2 Chronicles 24:8.

Answ. Either, first, It was first placed by the altar, and afterwards thence removed to the gate of the court, for the people’s greater satisfaction, that they might come thither, and put in their money with their own hands. Or, secondly, That place 2 Chron speaks of the gate of the temple strictly so called, nigh unto which the altar of burnt-offerings was. Or, thirdly, It was placed near the entrance into the priests’ court, which was over against the altar, and not far from it; so as the people standing in their own court might either put their money into it, or see when the priests put it in.

The priests that kept the door; the door of the priests’ court, which, together with the temple and all its utensils, was committed to the charge of the priests and Levites, Numbers 18:4 1 Chronicles 9:26, &c.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:9". 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

9.Jehoiada’ took a chest — This, according to 2 Chronicles 24:8, was done “at the king’s commandment,” and was a much more popular measure than the one tried before. It provided that the contributions be audited and used by other persons besides the priests. Their’s was the trespass money and sin money, (2 Kings 12:16,) but the chest was to receive the contributions for the repairing of the temple. “It was expected,” says Keil, “that the people would give more, when the collection was appointed for the special purpose of repairing the temple, than when they were to give the legal and voluntary payments only to the priests, whereby no giver knew how much of it might be applied for building.”

The priests’ put therein all the money — Chronicles, however, seems to show that the people cast their money in the chest with their own hand. It may all have passed through the priests’ hands, but so publicly and with such oversight of interested parties as prevented all chance for embezzlement. There is not the slightest evidence that the priests and Levites had been guilty of any dishonesty in former collections, and yet there might have been suspicions.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:9". "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 12:9. Jehoiada the priest took a chest — By the king’s order, 2 Chronicles 24:8. And set it beside the altar — In the court of the priests. Upon comparing the passage in Chronicles, just referred to, with this, it seems probable that it was first placed by the altar, and afterward removed thence to the gate of the court, for the people’s greater satisfaction, that they might come thither, and put in their money with their own hands.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:9". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-12.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

By the altar, yet without the enclosure, that any person might freely put in what he thought proper, 2 Paralipomenon xxiv. 8. Priests were still appointed to watch, that no fraud was committed: and they counted the money which the law ordained to be paid. Josephus (Jewish Wars vi. 5.) speaks of many coffers; one might be near the altar, and another out of the door. (Menochius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-12.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

bored a hole. There were two chests made on account of the slackness of the priests. The first by Jehoiada named here (in Kings), beside the altar of burnt-offering in the court. The other at the king"s commandment without a hole bored (in 2 Chronicles 24:8, 2 Chronicles 24:14), outside "at the gate". In the former there was not room enough for the vessels of the house; in the latter there was abundance for all.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:9". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-12.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(9) But.—And.

Jehoiada the priest took a chest.—By order of the king (2 Chronicles 24:8).

Beside the altar, on the right side as one cometh into the house of the Lord.—Chronicles says: “in the gate of the house of the Lord outwards.” This can hardly refer to the same position. It probably describes where the chest, which became a permanent feature of the sanctuary, stood in the time after the return from the Captivity. The chronicler adds that offerings were asked by proclamation throughout the country, and that the princes and people readily contributed.

Put.—Rather, used to put. The chest was kept locked, and the Levitical doorkeepers received the money from those who offered it, and dropped it at once into the chest. This obviated all suspicion of a possible misapplication of the contributions.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But Jehoiada the priest took a chest, and bored a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar, on the right side as one cometh into the house of the LORD: and the priests that kept the door put therein all the money that was brought into the house of the LORD.
took a chest
2 Chronicles 24:8-14; Mark 12:41
beside
2 Chronicles 24:10
the priests
22:4; 23:4; 25:18; 1 Chronicles 15:18,24; Jeremiah 35:4; 52:24
door
Heb. threshold.
Psalms 84:10; *marg:
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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 12:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-12.html.