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Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, by Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsh, [1857-78], at

2 Chronicles Chapter 24

2 Chronicles 24:1

ch2 24:1

The reign of Joash; cf. 2 Kings 12. - In both accounts only two main events in Joash's reign of forty years are narrated at any length, - the repair of the temple, and the campaign of the Syrian king Hazael against Jerusalem. Besides this, at the beginning, we have a statement as to the duration and spirit of his reign; and in conclusion, the murder of Joash in consequence of a conspiracy is mentioned. Both accounts agree in all essential points, but are shown to be extracts containing the most important part of a more complete history of Joash, by the fact that, on the one hand, in 2 Kings 12 single circumstances are communicated in a more detailed and more exact form than that in which the Chronicle states them; while, on the other hand, the account of the Chronicle supplements the account in 2 Kings 12 in many respects. To these latter belong the account of the marriage of Joash, and his many children, the account of the death of Jehoiada at the age of 130 years, and his honourable burial with the kings, etc.; see on Ch2 24:15.

2 Chronicles 24:4

ch2 24:4

As to the repair of the temple, see the commentary on Kg2 12:5-17, where both the formal divergences and the essential agreement of the two narratives are pointed out.

2 Chronicles 24:11

ch2 24:11

וגו יביא בּעת ויהי, translate: It came to pass at the time when they brought the chest to the guard of the king by the Levites, i.e., to the board of oversight appointed by the king from among the Levites. עת stat. constr. before a sentence following. בּכום ליום does not denote every day, but every time when there was much money in the chest.

2 Chronicles 24:13

ch2 24:13

ארוּכה ותּעל, and there was a band laid upon the work, i.e., the restoration of the house of God was furthered; cf. for this symbolical expression, Neh 4:1; Jer 8:7.

2 Chronicles 24:14

ch2 24:14

כּלים ויּעשׂהוּ, therefrom (the king) caused to be made (prepared) vessels for the house of Jahve, (namely) vessels of the service, i.e., according to Num 4:12, in the holy place, and for the offering of burnt-offering, i.e., altar vessels, and (besides) bowls, and (other) vessels of gold and silver. The last clause of Ch2 24:14 leads on to the following: "They (king and people) offered burnt-offering continually so long as Jehoiada lived."

2 Chronicles 24:15

ch2 24:15

Jehoiada's death: the fall of the people into idolatry: the protest of the prophet Zechariah against it, and the stoning of him. - This section is not found in 2 Kings 12, but is important for the understanding of the later history of Joash (Ch2 24:23.). With the death of the grey-haired high priest came a turning-point in the reign of Joash. Jehoiada had saved the life and throne of Joash, preserved to the kingdom the royal house of David, to which the promises belonged, and had put an end to the idolatry which had been transplanted into Judah by Joram's marriage into the royal house of Ahab, restoring the Jahve-worship. For this he was honoured at his death, his body being laid in the city of David among the kings: "For he had done good in Israel, and towards God and His house" (the temple). According to Kg2 12:7, he still took an active part in the repair of the temple in the twenty-third year of Joash, and according to Ch2 24:14 he lived for some time after the completion of that work. But after his death the people soon forgot the benefits they owed him.

2 Chronicles 24:17

ch2 24:17

The princes of Judah besought the king to allow them to worship the Astartes and idols, and the king hearkened to them, did not venture to deny their request. למּלך ישׁתּחווּ, they bowed themselves before the king, i.e., they besought him. What they thus beseechingly requested is not stated, but may be gathered from what they did, according to Ch2 24:18. They forsook Jahve the God of their fathers, etc. There came wrath upon Judah because of this their trespass. קצף, a wrathful judgment of the Lord, cf. Ch2 29:8, viz., the invasion of the land by Hazael, Ch2 24:23. On the construction זאת אשׁמתם, cf. Ew. 293, c, S. 740. Against this defection prophets whom the Lord sent did indeed lift up their testimony, but they would not hearken to them. Of these prophets, one, Zechariah the son of the high priest Jehoiada, is mentioned by name in Ch2 24:20., who, seized by the Spirit of the Lord, announced to the people divine punishment for their defection, and was thereupon, at the king's command, stoned in the court of the temple. With לבשׁה רוּח cf. Ch1 12:18, and the commentary on Jdg 6:34. לעם מעל, above the people, viz., as we learn from Ch2 24:21, in the inner, higher-lying court, so that he was above the people who were in the outer court. "Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, and (why) will ye not prosper?" Fidelity to the Lord is the condition of prosperity. If Israel forsake the Lord, the Lord will also forsake it; cf. Ch2 12:5; Ch2 15:2.

2 Chronicles 24:21

ch2 24:21

And they (the princes and the people) conspired against him, and stoned him, at the command of the king, in the court of the temple. This זכריה is the Ζαχαρίας whose slaughter is mentioned by Christ in Mat 23:36 and Luk 11:51 as the last prophet-murder narrated in the Old Testament, whose blood would come upon the people, although Matthew calls him υἱὸς Βαραχίου. According to these passages, he was slain between the temple and the altar of burnt-offering, consequently in the most sacred part of the court of the priests. That the king, Joash, could give the command for this murder, shows how his compliance with the princes' demands (Ch2 24:17) had made him the slave of sin. Probably the idolatrous princes accused the witness for God of being a seditious person and a rebel against the majesty of the crown, and thereby extorted from the weak king the command for his death. For it is not said that Joash himself worshipped the idols; and even in Ch2 24:22 it is only the base ingratitude of which Joash had been guilty, in the slaughter of the son of his benefactor, which is adduced against him. But Zechariah at his death said, "May the Lord look upon it, and take vengeance" (דּרשׁ, to seek or require a crime, i.e., punish it). This word became a prophecy, which soon began to be fulfilled, Ch2 24:23.

2 Chronicles 24:23

ch2 24:23

The punishment comes upon them. Joash afflicted by the invasion of Judah by Hazael the Syrian; and his death in consequence of a conspiracy against him. - These two events are narrated in Kg2 12:18-21 also, the progress of Hazael's invasion being more exactly traced; see the commentary on Kg2 12:18. The author of the Chronicle brings forward only those parts of it which show how God punished Joash for his defection from Him.

"At the revolution of a year," i.e., scarcely a year after the murder of the prophet Zechariah, a Syrian army invaded Judah and advanced upon Jerusalem; "and they destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people," i.e., they smote the army of Joash in a battle, in which the princes (the chief and leaders) were destroyed, i.e., partly slain, partly wounded. This punishment came upon the princes as the originators of the defection from the Lord, Ch2 24:17. "And they sent all their booty to the king (Hazael) to Damascus." In this booty the treasures which Joash gave to the Syrians (Kg2 12:19) to buy their withdrawal are also included. In order to show that this invasion of the Syrians was a divine judgment, it is remarked in Ch2 24:24 that the Syrians, with a small army, gained a victory over the very large army of Judah, and executed judgment upon Joash. שׁפטים עשׂה, as in Exo 12:12; Num 33:4, frequently in Ezekiel, usually construed with בּ, here with את, analogous to the את טּוב עשׂה, e.g., Sa1 24:19. These words refer to the wounding of Joash, and its results, Ch2 24:25. In the war Joash was badly wounded; the Syrians on their withdrawal had left him behind in many wounds (מחליים only met with here, synonymous with תּחלאים, Ch2 21:19). Then his own servants, the court officials named in Ch2 24:26, conspired against him, and smote him upon his bed. In Kg2 12:21, the place where the king, lying sick upon his bed, was slain is stated. He met with his end thus, "because of the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest" which had been shed. The plural בּני is perhaps only an orthographical error for בּן, occasioned by the preceding דּמי (Berth.); but more probably it is, like בּנין, Ch2 28:3 and Ch2 33:6, a rhetorical plural, which says nothing as to the number, but only brings out that Joash had brought blood-guiltiness upon himself in respect of the children of his benefactor Jehoiada; see on Ch2 28:3. Upon the murdered king, moreover, the honour of being buried in the graves of the kings was not bestowed; cf. Ch2 21:20. On the names of the two conspirators, Ch2 24:26, see on Kg2 12:21. In Ch2 24:27 it is doubtful how ורב is to be read. The Keri demands ירב, which Berth. understands thus: And as regards his sons, may the utterance concerning him increase; which might signify, "May the wish of the dying Zechariah, Ch2 24:22, be fulfilled on them in a still greater degree than on their father." But that is hardly the meaning of the Keri. The older theologians took ירב relatively: et quam creverit s. multiplicatum fuerit. Without doubt, the Keth. ורב or ורב is the correct reading. המּשּׂא, too, is variously interpreted. Vulg., Luther, and others take it to be synonymous with משׂאת, Ch2 24:6, Ch2 24:9, and understand it of the money derived from Moses' tax; but to that עליו is by no means suitable. Others (as Then.) think of the tribute laid upon him, Kg2 12:19, but very arbitrarily. On the other hand, Clericus and others rightly understand it of prophetic threatenings against him, corresponding to the statement in Ch2 24:19, that God sent prophets against him. As to the Midrash of the book of Kings, see the Introduction.

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