|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:17-21 King and people would cleave most firmly to each other, when both had joined themselves to the Lord. It is well with a people, when all the changes that pass over them help to revive, strengthen, and advance the interests of religion among them. Covenants are of use, both to remind us of, and bind us to, the duties already binding on us. They immediately abolished idolatry; and, pursuant to the covenant with one another, they expressed mutual readiness to help each other. The people rejoiced, and Jerusalem was quiet. The way for people to be joyful and at peace, is to engage fully in the service of God; for the voice of joy and thanksgiving is in the dwellings of the righteous, but there is no peace for the wicked.
Verses 17-21. - Further doings of Jehoiada. The king being at present a mere puppet in his hands, Jehoiada had to determine the next steps which were necessary to be taken. These, in his judgment, were three.
1. A solemn covenant must be made between the king and the people; and another between the king, the people, and God - the latter pledging the king and people to maintain the worship of Jehovah, and never again to apostatize; the former pledging the king to govern according to law, and the people to remain faithful to him.
2. The temple of Baal, erected in Jerusalem at the instance of Athaliah, must be destroyed.
3. The king must be removed from the temple and installed in the palace of his ancestors. A brief account of these proceedings concludes the present chapter. Verse 17. - And Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people. In the original it is "made the covenant;" and the meaning is that the high priest renewed the old covenant understood to exist between king and people on the one hand and God on the other, that they would be faithful to God and God to them - that they would maintain his worship, and that he would continue his protection (see Exodus 19:5-8; Exodus 24:3-8; Exodus 34:10-28). The apostasy of Jehoram, Ahaziah, and Athaliah was regarded as having put an end to the old covenant, and therefore it was solemnly remade or renewed. That they should be the Lord's people (comp. Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 4:20; Deuteronomy 9:29; Deuteronomy 32:9, etc.); between the king also and the people. The terms of this covenant are nowhere distinctly stated, but we can only suppose them to have expressed in words the intention of that novel act, the imposition of "the testimony" upon the head of the king at the time of his coronation (see the comment upon ver. 12).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people, that they should be the Lord's people,.... Renewed the covenant between the Lord on the one part, and the king and the people on the other; assuring them, that as God had declared that he would be their God, he would yet be their God to bless and protect them, they continuing in obedience to him; and obliging them to promise that they would serve the Lord their God, and him only, and root out all idolatry from the land, and restore, and continue in, the pure worship of God:
between the king also and the people; he promising, on his part, that he would govern them according to the law of God, and protect them in their rights and properties, privileges and liberties; and they, on their part, that they would honour and obey him, and be his faithful subjects. In 2 Chronicles 23:16 Jehoiada is said to make this covenant between him, &c. which may be understood of the Lord; or if of himself, the meaning is, that it was made between him, the king and people, and the Lord.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2Ki 11:17-20. Jehoiada Restores God's Worship.
17, 18. a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people—The covenant with the Lord was a renewal of the national covenant with Israel (Ex 19:1-24:18; "to be unto him a people of inheritance," De 4:6; 27:9). The covenant between the king and the people was the consequence of this, and by it the king bound himself to rule according to the divine law, while the people engaged to submit, to give him allegiance as the Lord's anointed. The immediate fruit of this renewal of the covenant was the destruction of the temple and the slaughter of the priests of Baal (see 2Ki 10:27); the restoration of the pure worship of God in all its ancient integrity; and the establishment of the young king on the hereditary throne of Judah [2Ki 11:19].
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