|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:1-10 The different event of Josiah's early succession from that of Manasseh, must be ascribed to the distinguishing grace of God; yet probably the persons that trained him up were instruments in producing this difference. His character was most excellent. Had the people joined in the reformation as heartily as he persevered in it, blessed effects would have followed. But they were wicked, and had become fools in idolatry. We do not obtain full knowledge of the state of Judah from the historical records, unless we refer to the writings of the prophets who lived at the time. In repairing the temple, the book of the law was found, and brought to the king. It seems, this book of the law was lost and missing; carelessly mislaid and neglected, as some throw their Bibles into corners, or maliciously concealed by some of the idolaters. God's care of the Bible plainly shows his interest in it. Whether this was the only copy in being or not, the things contained in it were new, both to the king and to the high priest. No summaries, extracts, or collections out of the Bible, can convey and preserve the knowledge of God and his will, like the Bible itself. It was no marvel that the people were so corrupt, when the book of the law was so scarce; they that corrupted them, no doubt, used arts to get that book out of their hands. The abundance of Bibles we possess aggravates our national sins; for what greater contempt of God can we show, than to refuse to read his word when put into our hands, or, reading it, not to believe and obey it? By the holy law is the knowledge of sin, and by the blessed gospel is the knowledge of salvation. When the former is understood in its strictness and excellence, the sinner begins to inquire, What must I do to be saved? And the ministers of the gospel point out to him Jesus Christ, as the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Verse 4. - Go up to Hilkiah the high priest. Hilkiah is mentioned again in the genealogy of Ezra (Ezra 7:1). He is there called "the son of Shallum." That he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the Lord. A collection must have been progressing for some time. As in the reign of Joash, after the impieties and idolatry of Athaliah, it was found necessary to collect money for the repair of the temple (2 Kings 12:4-14), so now, after the wicked doings of Manasseh and Amen, a renovation of the sacred building was required, and the money needed was being raised by a collection. Great care was taken in all such cases that an exact account should be kept and rendered. Which the keepers of the door - literally, of the threshold - have gathered of the people. The money had, apparently, been allowed to accumulate in a box or boxes (see 2 Kings 12:9), from the time when the collection was first authorized, probably six years previously. The high priest was now required to count it, to take the sum of it, and undertake the distribution.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Go up to Hilkiah the high priest,.... Who had an apartment in the temple; there was an Hilkiah, a priest, in those times, who was the father of Jeremiah the prophet, Jeremiah 1:1, whom an Arabic writer (l) takes to be the same with this; but it is not likely:
that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the Lord which the people voluntarily offered for the repairing of it; this he would have the priest take an account of, that the sum total might be known; his meaning is, that he should take it out of the chest in which it was put, and count it, that it might be known what it amounted to; see 2 Kings 12:9, some understand this of melting and coining the silver thus given
which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people: who were Levites, 2 Chronicles 34:9, either porters of the door, or rather the treasurers, as the Targum; the keepers of the vessels of the sanctuary, that had the care of them, as the Jewish commentators generally interpret it.
(l) Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. p. 68.
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