2 Chronicles 24

CHAPTER XXIV

Joash begins to reign when seven years old, and reigns well

all the days of Jehoiada the priest, 1-3.

He purposes to repair the temple of God; and makes a

proclamation that the people should bring in the money

prescribed by Moses, 4-9.

They all contribute liberally; and the different artificers

soon perfect the work, 10-13.

The rest of the money is employed to form utensils for the

temple, 14.

Jehoiada dies, 15, 16.

And the people after his death become idolaters, 17, 18.

Prophets are sent unto them, 19.

And among the rest Zechariah the son of Jehoiada, who testifies

against them; and they stone him to death, 20-22.

The Syrians come against Jerusalem, and spoil it, 23, 24.

Joash is murdered by his own servants, 25, 26.

His acts, 27.

NOTES ON CHAP. XXIV

Verse 1. Joash was seven years old] As he was hidden six years

in the temple, and was but seven when he came to the throne, he

could have been but one year old when he was secreted by his aunt;

see on 2Ch 22:10.

Verse 4. To repair the house of the Lord.] During the reigns of

Joram and Athaliah, the temple of God had been pillaged to enrich

that of Baal, and the whole structure permitted to fall into

decay; see 2Ch 24:7.

Verse 5. Gather of all Israel money] As the temple was the

property of the whole nation, and the services performed in it

were for the salvation of the people at large, it was right that

each should come forward on an occasion of this kind, and lend a

helping hand. This is the first instance of such a general

collection for building or repairing a house of God.

From year to year] It must have been in a state of great

dilapidation, when it required such annual exertions to bring it

into a thorough state of repair.

Verse 6. The collection-of Moses] This was the poll-tax, fixed

by Moses, of half a shekel, which was levied on every man from

twenty years old and upward; and which was considered as a ransom

for their souls, that there might be no plague among them. See

Ex 30:12-14.

Verse 8. They made a chest]

See Clarke on 2Ki 12:4, &c.

Verse 16. They buried him-among the kings] He had, in fact, been

king in Judah; for Joash, who appears to have been a weak man, was

always under his tutelage. Jehoiada governed the state in the name

of the king; and his being buried among the kings is a proof of

the high estimation in which he was held among the people.

Verse 17. The princes of Judah-made obeisance to the king] I

believe the Targum has given the true sense of this verse: "After

the death of Jehoiada, the great men of Judah came and adored King

Joash, and seduced him; and then the king received from them their

idols."

Verse 20. And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah] "When he

saw the transgression of the king and of the people, burning

incense to an idol in the house of the sanctuary of the Lord, on

the day of expiation; and preventing the priests of the Lord from

offering the burnt-offerings, sacrifices, daily oblations, and

services, as written in the book of the law of Moses; he stood

above the people, and said."-Targum.

Verse 21. Stoned him-at the commandment of the king] What a most

wretched and contemptible man was this, who could imbrue his hands

in the blood of a prophet of God, and the son of the man who had

saved him from being murdered, and raised him to the throne! Alas,

alas! Can even kings forget benefits? But when a man falls from

God, the devil enters into him; and then he is capable of every

species of cruelty.

Verse 22. The Lord look upon it, and require it.] And so he did;

for, at the end of that year, the Syrians came against Judah,

destroyed all the princes of the people, sent their spoils to

Damascus; and Joash, the murderer of the prophet, the son of his

benefactor, was himself murdered by his own servants. Here was a

most signal display of the Divine retribution.

On the subject of the death of this prophet the reader is

requested to refer to the note on Mt 23:34, 35.

Verse 26. These are they that conspired against him] The two

persons here mentioned were certainly not Jews; the mother of one

was an Ammonitess, and the mother of the other was a Moabitess.

Who their fathers were we know not; they were probably foreigners

and aliens. Some suppose that these persons were of the king's

chamber, and therefore could have the easiest access to him. It

has been, and is still, the folly of kings to have foreigners for

their valets and most confidential servants, and they have often

been the causes of murders and treacheries of different kinds.

Foreigners should be banished from the person of the sovereign

by strong and efficient laws: even in this country they have often

been the cause of much political wo.

Verse 27. The greatness of the burdens laid upon him] Meaning,

probably, the heavy tribute laid upon him by the Syrians; though

some think the vast sums amassed for the repairs of the temple are

here intended.

Written in the story] midrash, the commentary, of the

book of Kings. We have met with this before; but these works are

all lost, except the extracts found in Kings, Chronicles, and

Ezra. These abridgments were the cause of the neglect, and finally

of the destruction, of the originals. This has been often the case

in works of great consequence. Trogus Pompeius wrote a general

history of the world, which he brought down to the reign of

Augustus, in forty-four volumes. Justin abridged them into one

volume, and the original is lost.

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