Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 22:11

When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Josiah;   Mourning;   Rending;   Repentance;   Scribe (S);   Secretary (Recordist);   Shaphan;   Word of God;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Kings;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - King;   Zephaniah;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Deuteronomy, Theology of;   Kings, First and Second, Theology of;   Woman;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Josiah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Hezekiah;   Jaazaniah;   Jehoiakim;   Pentateuch;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ahikam;   Jeremiah;   Josiah;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Torah;   Zephaniah, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Canon of the Old Testament;   Deuteronomy;   Gedaliah;   Hexateuch;   Hilkiah;   Huldah;   Idolatry;   Israel;   Jerusalem;   Shaphan;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Trial of Jesus;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Hilkiah ;   Josiah ;   Shaphan ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Josiah;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Moses, the Man of God;   Kingdom of Judah;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for February 22;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He rent his clothes - Partly grief and horror, like Reuben Genesis 37:29 and Job Job 1:20, partly in repentance, like Ahab 1 Kings 21:27.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 22:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-22.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law,.... From whence it appears that he had never wrote out a copy of it, as the kings of Israel were ordered to do, when they came to the throne, Deuteronomy 17:18 nor had read it, at least not the whole of it; and yet it seems strange that he should be twenty six years of age, as he now was, and had proceeded far in the reformation of worship, and yet be without the book of the law, and the high priest also; it looks as if it was, as some have thought, that they had till now only some abstracts of the law, and not the whole: and perhaps the reformation hitherto carried on chiefly lay in abolishing idolatry, and not so much in restoring the ordinances of worship to their purity; for it was after this that the ordinance of the passover was ordered to be kept; and when the king observed, on hearing the law read, that it had not been kept as it should, that such severe threatenings were denounced against the transgressors of it;

that he rent his clothes; as expressive of the rending of his heart, and of his humiliation and sorrow for the sins he and his people were guilty of.

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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 22:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-22.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.

The words — The dreadful comminations against them for the sins still reigning among the people. If Josiah had seen and read it before, which seems more probable, yet the great reverence which he justly bare to the original book, and the strange, and remarkable, and seasonable finding of it, had awakened and quickened him to a more serious and diligent consideration of all the passages contained in it. And what a providence was this, that it was still preserved! Yea, what a providence, that the whole book of God is preserved to us. If the holy scriptures had not been of God, they had not been in being at this day. God's care of the bible, is a plain proof of his interest in it. It was a great instance of God's favour, that the book of the law was thus seasonably brought to light, to direct and quicken that blessed reformation, which Joash had begun. And it is observable, they were about a good work, repairing the temple, when it was found. They that do their duty according to their knowledge, shall have their knowledge increased.

Copyright Statement
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 22:11". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-kings-22.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 22:11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.

Ver. 11. When the king had heard the words.] Which the wicked account to be but wind, [Jeremiah 5:13] and spoken in terrorem only; though God threaten to make them fire, [Jeremiah 5:14] and as he gave his law in fire, so in fire to require it.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 22:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-22.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The words of the book of the law, i. e. the dreadful comminations against them for the sins still reigning among the people.

Quest. Did Josiah never see and read a copy of this book before this time? If he did not, how could he do so much towards the reformation of religion, as he did before? if he did, why was he not sooner convinced and humbled by it?

Answ. If Josiah had not yet seen a copy of this book, (which is not impossible,) yet there was so much of the law left in the minds and memories of many of the people, as might easily persuade and direct him to all that he did till this time; or if Josiah had seen and read it before, which seems more probable, yet the great reverence which he justly bore to the original book, and the strange, and remarkable, and seasonable finding of it, had very much awakened and quickened him to a more serious and diligent reading, and attentive consideration, of all the passages contained in it, than he used before.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 22:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-kings-22.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11.Rent his clothes — So sudden and profound was his grief and terror on fully realizing the extent and fear-fulness of the nation’s apostasy from the law of Jehovah.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 22:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-22.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Garments, through zeal for God's honour, and fear of his indignation. (Menochius)

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 22:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-22.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

he rent his clothes. Not necessarily on account of his surprise, but on account of the solemnity of the words.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 22:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-22.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.
that he rent
19; 2 Chronicles 34:19; Jeremiah 36:24; Joel 2:13; Jonah 3:6,7
Reciprocal: 2 Kings 18:37 - with their clothes rent;  Nehemiah 8:9 - all the people;  Isaiah 37:1 - he rent;  Amos 2:4 - because;  Micah 6:9 - and

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 22:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-22.html.