2 Chronicles 24:21
And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD.
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(21) And they conspired against him.—The conspiracy of 2Chronicles 24:25 was the Divine recompense for this one.

And stoned him.—The legal penalty of idolatry (Leviticus 20:2; Deuteronomy 17:2-5).

At the commandment of the king.—Probably Zechariah’s words had been represented to Joash as treasonable. The Syrian invasion may have been already threatening, when his prophecy was uttered; and in that case it would be easy to allege against the prophet that his “wish was father to his thought.” (Comp. the similar case of Jeremiah, Jeremiah 32:1-5; and 1Kings 21:8-13.)

In the court of the house of the Lord.—There is little doubt that the allusion of Christ (Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:51) to the death of “Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the Temple and the altar,” refers to this murder. The altar stood in the court, before the Temple. Barachias (Berechiah) may have been Zechariah’s father, and Jehoiada his grandfather. Moreover the Lord appears to be thinking of the honourable burial of Jehoiada, in contrast with the murder of his son, in Matthew 23:29-32, verses which immediately precede the mention of Zacharias.

2 Chronicles 24:21. And they conspired against him — Namely, the people whom he addressed, having been easily corrupted by the examples of their apostate king and princes. And stoned him with stones — And that immediately, without even colour of law; not so much as accusing him of being a blasphemer, a traitor, a false prophet, or guilty of any crime whatever; at the commandment of the king — Who owed his crown and life to Jehoiada his father; and in the court of the house of the Lord — Whose minister and messenger he was! As horrid a piece of wickedness this as any we read of in all the history of the kings! The person was sacred, a prophet; the place sacred, the court of the temple, either the court of the priests, or the inner court, between the porch and the altar; the message was yet more sacred, a message which, we have reason to believe, they knew proceeded from the spirit of prophecy; the reproof was just, the warning fair, and both grounded on Scripture acknowledged by themselves to be divinely inspired; and yet so impudently and daringly do they defy God himself, that nothing less than the blood of the prophet can satisfy their indignation at his prophecy. Be astonished, O heavens, at this, and tremble, O earth, that ever such villany should be committed by men, by Israelites, in contempt and violation of every thing that was just, honourable, and sacred! That a king, a king in covenant with God, should command the murder of one whom it was his office to protect and countenance! The Jews say, there were seven transgressions in one: they killed a priest, a prophet, a judge; they shed innocent blood; polluted the court of the temple, the sabbath, and the day of expiation: for on that day, their tradition says, this happened.

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.In the court of the house of the Lord - "Between the altar and the Temple," or directly in front of the temple porch, if it be this Zechariah of whom our Lord speaks Matthew 23:35. A horror of the impious deed long possessed the Jews, who believed that the b ood could not be effaced, but continued to bubble on the stones of the court, like blood newly shed, until the temple was entered, just prior to its destruction, by Nebuzaradan. 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.

They conspired, i. e. the people to whom he preached, who were easily corrupted by the examples of their apostate king and princes.

And they conspired against him,.... Consulted together to take away his life, and got the order of the king to do it:

and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the Lord; where he had stood and reproved them; this they did before he went out, while in the temple; and if he is the same Zechariah, as some think, our Lord speaks of, he was slain between the temple porch and the altar, Matthew 23:35; see Gill on Matthew 23:35.

And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the {m} commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD.

(m) There is no rage so cruel and beastly as of them whose hearts God has hardened, and who delight more in superstition and idolatry than in the true service of God and pure simplicity of his word.

Verse 21. - Stoned him. Yet this was their Law's punishment for themselves, for idolaters (Leviticus 20:2). At the commandment of the king. The king, who had yielded to the flattering obeisance and worship of the princes, is now driven on a grievous length further. In the court of the house of the Lord. So Matthew 23:35, "between the temple [Revised Version, 'sanctuary'] and the altar." 2 Chronicles 24:21And 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 Matthew 23:36 and Luke 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 (2 Chronicles 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 2 Chronicles 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, 2 Chronicles 24:23.
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