2 Chronicles 24:20
And the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said to them, Thus said God, Why transgress you the commandments of the LORD, that you cannot prosper? because you have forsaken the LORD, he has also forsaken you.
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(20) And the Spirit of God came upon.—Literally, clothed, invested. (See Note on 1Chronicles 12:18.)

Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest.—“The priest,” i.e., the high priest, is an epithet of Jehoiada, not of Zechariah.

Which stood above the people.—Probably on the steps of the inner court of the Temple, facing the people who were assembled in the outer court.

Why transgress.Wherefore are ye transgressing?

That ye cannot prosper.—Literally, and will not prosper.

Because ye have forsaken . . .—Rather, for ye have forsaken the Lord, and He hath forsaken you. (Comp. the similar language ascribed to the prophets Shemaiah and Azariah ben Oded, 2Chronicles 12:5; 2Chronicles 15:2).

2 Chronicles 24:20. The Spirit of God came upon Zechariah, who stood above the people — He was moved by the Holy Spirit to address the people publicly, and to reprove them for their idolatries, and their departure from the worship of God, which that he might do, so as to be heard by all, he stood upon a high place, where they might both see and hear him, and from thence both testified against their sin, and warned them of the consequences of it. And said, Why transgress ye, &c. — It is remarkable, that, though he spake by the spirit of prophecy, yet he only applied the general prediction of Moses, Deuteronomy 31:16-17, unto the present time; that they might all learn to pay a greater regard to Moses, and to make themselves better acquainted with his law; unto which, if they had attended, they would have easily discerned who were true prophets and who were false. Because ye have forsaken the Lord, he also hath forsaken you — This, it is likely, he spake with great vehemence, and even enlarged upon the subject so long, that it raised their indignation.24:15-27 See what a great judgment on any prince or people, the death of godly, zealous, useful men is. See how necessary it is that we act in religion from inward principle. Then the loss of a parent, a minister, or a friend, will not be losing our religion. Often both princes and inferior people have been flattered to their ruin. True grace alone will enable a man to bring forth fruit unto the end. Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, being filled with the Spirit of prophecy, stood up, and told the people of their sin. This is the work of ministers, by the word of God, as a lamp and a light, to discover the sin of men, and expound the providences of God. They stoned Zechariah to death in the court of the house of the Lord. Observe the dying martyr's words: The Lord look upon it, and require it! This came not from a spirit of revenge, but a spirit of prophecy. God smote Joash with great diseases, of body, or mind, or both, before the Syrians departed from him. If vengeance pursue men, the end of one trouble will be but the beginning of another. His own servants slew him. These judgments are called the burdens laid upon him, for the wrath of God is a heavy burden, too heavy for any man to bear. May God help us to take warning, to be upright in heart, and to persevere in his ways to the end.Stood above the people - Zechariah, the high priest, took up an elevated position, perhaps on the steps of the inner court, which was elevated above the outer court, where the people would be. 20, 21. the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada—probably a younger son, for his name does not occur in the list of Aaron's successors (1Ch 6:4-47).

stood above the people—Being of the priestly order, he spoke from the inner court, which was considerably higher than that of the people.

and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper, &c.—His near relationship to the king might have created a feeling of delicacy and reluctance to interfere; but at length he, too, was prompted by an irresistible impulse to protest against the prevailing impiety. The bold freedom and energy of [Zechariah's] remonstrance, as well as his denunciation of the national calamities that would certainly follow, were most unpalatable to the king; while they so roused the fierce passions of the multitude that a band of miscreants, at the secret instigation of Joash, stoned him to death. This deed of violence involved complicated criminality on the part of the king. It was a horrid outrage on a prophet of the Lord—base ingratitude to a family who had preserved his life—atrocious treatment of a true Hebrew patriot—an illegal and unrighteous exercise of his power and authority as a king.

Above the people; in a higher place, that his voice and message might be the better heard. And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest,.... The spirit of prophecy, as the Targum; he was moved and influenced by it to speak what is after related:

which stood above the people; in a desk, or sort of pulpit, in which the priests stood when they taught the people, that they might be the better heard, like that which Ezra used, Nehemiah 8:4.

and said unto them, thus saith God; being moved and directed by his Spirit, he spake in his name:

why transgress ye the command of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper? by committing idolatry, than which nothing could more hinder prosperity, both in things spiritual and temporal, in soul and body:

because ye have forsaken the Lord, he hath also forsaken you; because they had forsaken the worship of God, as the Targum, God had forsaken them, and was about to give them up into the hand of their enemies.

And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood {l} above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you.

(l) In a place above the people, to the intent that he might be heard.

20. came upon] Heb. “clothed itself with”; cp. Jdg 6:34; 1 Chronicles 12:18.

stood above the people] Cp. Jeremiah 36:10 (Baruch reads Jeremiah’s words from the window of an upper chamber to the people assembled in the court below); Nehemiah 8:4 (Ezra reads the Law from a pulpit of wood).

they conspired against him] Perhaps the proceedings were the same as in the case of Naboth (1 Kings 21:9-10), viz., a mock trial and a formal execution (“at the commandment of the king”).

in the court] An aggravation of the murder; cp. 2 Chronicles 23:14. The altar of burnt-offering stood in the court (cp. 2 Chronicles 8:12) and the execution (Luke 11:51) took place between this altar and the Temple itself.

20–22 (no parallel in 2 Kin.). The Martyrdom of Zechariah

This martyrdom is referred to by our Lord in Luke 11:51, “from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zachariah who perished between the altar and the house,” i.e. “the temple” (cp. Matthew 23:35). As Chronicles is reckoned last in the Jewish Canon, “From Abel to Zachariah” practically includes the whole Old Testament. In the text of Matt. Zachariah is called “son of Barachiah” by a confusion with Zechariah the contemporary of Haggai.Verse 20. - Came upon; margin, clothed; Revised Version margin, clothed itself with (1 Chronicles 12:18). Compare the beautiful expression of Revelation 1:10, I was in the Spirit;" it was not merely that the Spirit deigned to visit St. John in Patmos, but so possessed him that he was in the Spirit. The son of Jehoiada; i.e. very possibly grandson of Jehoiada (Jehoiada's great age the rather countenancing this interpretation) and "son of Barachias" (Matthew 23:35). That ye cannot prosper. The Hebrew text says, "and ye will not prosper." This clause may read all the more forcibly if kept under the dominance of the why of the former, reminding us of such appeals as "Why will ye die?" etc. (2 Chronicles 15:2; Deuteronomy 18, throughout). Reading these two clauses in the preterite or present tense will make them neither less forcible nor less correct, so indicating that they, the princes and the nation, were already beginning to eat the fruit of their ways, and "rumours of war," if not war itself, were on them. 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 Numbers 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 2 Chronicles 24:14 leads on to the following: "They (king and people) offered burnt-offering continually so long as Jehoiada lived."
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