2 Kings Chapter 11  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: 2 Kings 11
2Ki 11:1

“she set out to destroy all the royal seed.” The horrific ungodliness of Athaliah can be seen in this one act, and there were surely many more. What grandmother murders all her own grandchildren just so she can have a position of power? No wonder the people of the land rejoiced when she was finally executed. The word “seed” means offspring; the royal family.

2Ki 11:2

“Joash.” The Hebrew text uses both spellings of his name, “Joash” and “Jehoash.” Joash became the king of Judah.

“and hid them in a bedroom.” It is possible that Jehosheba hid Joash and his nurse in a bedroom in the palace until she could sneak him into a room in the Temple, or it is possible that this bedroom was one of the priest’s bedrooms in the Temple. Solomon’s Temple had 3 stories of side rooms along the sides of the Temple, and one of the things they would have been used for was to house the priests who came from out of town to serve in the Temple (1 Kings 6:5).

2Ki 11:3

“And he was with her, hiding in the house of Yahweh for six years.” Athaliah obviously had little or nothing to do with the Temple of Yahweh. She was likely a Baal worshiper and spent time at the temple of Baal (2 Kings 11:18).

2Ki 11:4

“the Carites.” The word “Carites” seems to be an alternative spelling of “Cherethites,” who were part of David’s army and were likely bodyguards. They may have been foreign mercenary soldiers, but their origin and identity are not known. What is known is that they were fiercely loyal to David, and were with him in times of crisis, for example, in Absalom's rebellion (2 Sam. 15:18) and in Sheba’s rebellion (2 Sam. 20:7). They were also at Solomon’s anointing as king (1 Kings 1:38). Their leader was Beniah son of Jehoiada (2 Sam. 8:18), who was also the leader of David’s bodyguard (2 Sam. 23:23). From 2 Kings 11:4 we learn that they apparently stayed as an intact group and as part of the army of the king long after David.

2Ki 11:5

“This is the thing that you are to do.” Exactly what Jehoiada commanded the priests to do is not clear, even though it was obviously well planned. The Hebrew text leaves some things unexplained, but it seems from 2 Kings 11:5-9 that Jehoiada had the priests that were coming on duty at the Temple divide into thirds and guard the palace (the king’s house) (2 Kings 11:5-6). Meanwhile, the priests who were coming off duty did not leave the Temple but stayed there and guarded the Temple (2 Kings 11:7-8). Jehoiada then armed the priests with weapons that were stored in the Temple so they could protect Joash, the seven-year-old descendant of David who was to be anointed king (2 Kings 11:10).

“the king’s house.” The palace. Jehoiada was coordinating protection for little Joash around both the palace and the Temple of Yahweh (2 Kings 11:7).

2Ki 11:6

“the Sur Gate.” The word “Sur” means to go out; to remove. In 2 Chronicles 23:5 this gate seems to be called the Foundation Gate. The Sur Gate and gate behind the guards (called the Guard Gate in some versions) seem to be gates leading from the Temple to the palace. Athaliah would have had soldiers in the palace with her, and stationing guards at the Sur Gate and Guard Gate made sure they did not get into the Temple to harm the young king.

“to keep the watch of the house for defense.” In this context, this “house” is the king’s palace.

2Ki 11:7

“the house of Yahweh.” The Temple. 2 Kings 11:5-6 were about the palace, while this verse is about the Temple, where the young King Joash was.

2Ki 11:8

“when he goes out and when he comes in.” An idiom and the figure of speech polarmerismos, where two extremes are put for all that comes between them. The idiom means “all the time.”

[For more on polarmerismos, see commentary on Joshua 14:11.]

2Ki 11:9

“going on duty...going off duty.” The Hebrew text is much more brief and expects the reader to understand the social context and that these were priests who served in the Temple. Thus, the Hebrew reads more like “those who were to go in on the Sabbath and those who were to go out.” But going in referred to going into the Temple to serve, in other words, going on duty to serve, while going out referred to leaving the Temple and going off duty. Many modern versions clarify this for the English reader.

2Ki 11:10

“the spears and shields that had been king David’s.” After Solomon died, during the reign of Solomon’s son Rehoboam, Pharaoh Shishak of Egypt attacked Judah and sacked it. He took all the gold weapons from the Temple (1 Kings 14:25-26). However, for there to be shields and spears from the time of David in the Temple at the time of Jehoiada, Pharaoh Shishak must have left them, likely because they were bronze and not gold or silver.

2Ki 11:11

“from the south side of the house to the north side of the house.” The “house” is the house of God, the Temple, and the Temple faced east, so the right side was south and the left side was north. Thus the sentence is saying, “from the south side of the Temple to the north side of the Temple, on behalf of the king."

“near the altar.” If the priests stood at the altar and the house, the altar would have been behind their protective wall of men, leaving the space between the Temple and the altar for Jehoiada to come out and present the king.

2Ki 11:12

“the testimony.” That is, the scroll of the Mosaic covenant.

Long live the king!” The Hebrew text is idiomatic and contains an expression that can be loosely translated, “Let the king live.” This idiom gets translated into an English equivalent, “Long live the king.” Note that the King James Version, done in 1611, has an earlier equivalent phrase, “God save the king.”

2Ki 11:13

“in the house of Yahweh.” In this context, “in the house of Yahweh” meant in the outer court of the Temple. The “house of Yahweh,” in this context referred to the whole Temple complex. It included the Temple building itself and a courtyard that had the altar, the lavers and Solomon’s sea for washing, etc., and the whole complex was surrounded by a wall. Athaliah went through the outer gate into the Temple where the people were, but could not get behind the line of armed men to be where Jehoiada and the new king were.

2Ki 11:14

“the king stood by the pillar as the custom was.” The “pillar” in the Temple by which Joash stood would have been either Jachin or Boaz, but the exact custom is no longer known (1 Kings 7:15-22). The Hebrew word translated “custom” is more literally “law,” but this was a custom that became so fixed it was thought of as a law. Nevertheless, it was not a law of Moses or David, but was a custom that over time acquired the strength of a law.

“all the people of the land rejoiced.” It is obvious from this that Athaliah was not liked as a ruler. She must have been a terrible tyrant.

“Treason! Treason!” This is the ultimate hypocrisy. Athaliah became ruler because her son was dead and she was cunning and cruel enough to seize power and kill everyone she could find who could have been a legitimate ruler (2 Kings 11:1). She was the one who committed treason, but typical of evil and narcissistic people, she accused others of the treason that she herself committed. Jehoiada was a godly priest who protected the line of David and sought to restore the kingship to the rightful king.

2Ki 11:15

“Bring her outside of the temple, to the ranks.” The priests/soldiers who were taking Athaliah out of the Temple were the “ranks” who would then execute her.

2Ki 11:16

“So they seized her.” The Hebrew reads, “So they laid hands on her,” but that can be misunderstood in English.

“and when she came by the way that horses enter the king’s house, she was put to death there‚Äč.” So Athaliah was put to death just outside the Temple, and likely near the gate that led inside her palace enclosure in Jerusalem. She would have been executed in the palace courtyard, not in the palace itself. Athaliah deserved the death penalty. At the very least she was guilty of the murder of the royal seed, the descendants of the king (2 Kings 11:1; cp. 2 Chron. 22:10).

2Ki 11:17

“between Yahweh and the king and the people.” In this covenant, “the king and the people” are one party of the covenant and Yahweh is the second party.

2Ki 11:18

“the altars.” So the temple of Baal had more than one altar to Baal.

Jehoiada the priest.” The Hebrew text simply says, “the priest,” but in this context that refers to the head priest in this situation, Jehoiada.

“arranged for oversight of the house of Yahweh.” The word “oversight” is a feminine noun. Although it is translated as “officers” or “guards” in many versions, that is not its actual meaning. The New Jerusalem Bible captures the sense of the text: “The priest made arrangements for the security of the Temple of Yahweh.”

2Ki 11:19

“brought the king down from the house of Yahweh.” This is geographically accurate. The palace of the king is south and downhill from the Temple of Yahweh. Yahweh’s Temple faced east, so the palace and the king’s throne would be on the right hand of Yahweh (cp. Ps. 110:1).

“the throne of the kings.” This refers to the throne of the kings in the Davidic dynasty. In this instance, the use of the plural “kings” could refer to the essence of the kings, and so some versions translate it as “royal throne” (cp. NET; NLT, NIV2011).

2Ki 11:20

“quiet.” The Hebrew means, “quiet, at rest.” Athaliah’s reign of terror had kept everyone in a state of fear. Now people could live in peace. The New Testament directs believers to pray for their leaders so the people can lead peaceful lives (1 Tim. 2:2).

2Ki 11:21(top)

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