|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.
Verse 20. - And all the people of the land rejoiced. "All the people of the land" has here, perhaps, a wider signification than in vers. 18 and 19. The whole land was content with the revolution that had taken place. No opposition showed itself. Ewald has no ground for his statement that the heathenizing party was strong in Jerusalem, and that the worshippers of Jehovah "had for a long time to keep watch in the temple, to prevent surprise by the heathenizing party" ('History of Israel,' vol. 4. p. 136, note 3). He has mistaken the intention of the last clause of ver. 18. If anything is clear from the entire narrative of the early reign of Joash (2 Kings 11:3-21; 2 Kings 12:1-16; 2 Chronicles 23:1-21; 2 Chronicles 24:1-14), it is that there was no heathenizing party in Jerusalem, or none that dared to show itself, until after the death of the high priest Jehoiada, which was later than the twenty-third year of Joash. And the city - i.e. Jerusalem - was in quiet: and they slew - it might he translated, when they had slain - Athaliah with the sword beside the king's house. The intention of the writer is to connect the period of tranquility with the removal of Athaliah, and therefore to point her out as the cause of disturbance previously.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And all the people of the land rejoiced,.... That one of the house of David was set upon the throne, which they might fear was extinct, as it very near was; the lamp of David was almost quenched, only this single life left, from whom a line of kings proceeded, and the King Messiah; the promise of God cannot fail see Psalm 132:11, this occasioned great joy:
and the city was quiet: was very easy at, yea, pleased with, the dethroning and death of Athaliah; there was no tumult on account thereof, nor such disturbances as she occasioned in her life:
and they slew Athaliah with the sword beside the king's house; as related in 2 Kings 11:16 where she was buried, or what became of her carcass, is not said; some have thought she was cast into the brook Kidron, because Josephus says (h) Jehoiada ordered her to be had into that valley, and there slain.
(h) Antiqu. l. 9. c. 7. sect. 3.
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