2 Kings 11:12
And he brought forth the king's son, and put the crown on him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king.
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(12) And he brought forth the king’s son.—When the two lines were formed, cutting off the interior of the Temple from the court, Jehoiada led forth the young prince into the protected space between them; perhaps from a side chamber, or perhaps from the sanctuary itself.

And gave him the testimony.—The Hebrew has simply and the testimony. Kimchi explains this to mean a royal robe; other rabbis think of a phylactery on the coronet. (See Deuteronomy 6:8.) Thenius says, the Law—i.e., a book in which were written Mosaic ordinances, and which was held in a symbolic manner over the king’s head after he had been crowned. (See Note on 2Chronicles 23:11.)

Anointed him.—The chronicler says it was “Jehoiada and his sons” who did it. It is difficult to see what objection can fairly be taken to this explanatory addition, unless we are to suppose that, although the high priest was present, the soldiers of the guard poured the sacred oil on the king’s head. Yet Thenius adduces it as an instance of the “petty spirit of the chronist,” accusing him of inserting the words “for fear anybody should think of an anointing by unconsecrated hands.” Surely such criticism as this is itself both “petty” and “wilful.” The words probably stood in the chronicler’s principal source.

God save the king.—Literally, Vivat rex. (1Kings 1:25.)

2 Kings 11:12. And put the crown upon him — Having produced Joash, he put the crown on his head, which, it is likely, was kept in the sanctuary. And gave him the testimony — The book of the law, which he put into the king’s hand to remind him of his duty at his entrance upon his kingdom, which was to read and write out that holy book, (Deuteronomy 17:18,) and to govern himself and his kingdom by it; the law of God being frequently and most properly called a testimony, because it is a witness of God’s will, and man’s duty. They made him king, and anointed him — As was wont to be done in doubtful cases, when there was any competition or question about the crown, as now there was.11:1-12 Athaliah destroyed all she knew to be akin to the crown. Jehoash, one of the king's sons, was hid. Now was the promise made to David bound up in one life only, and yet it did not fail. Thus to the Son of David, the Lord, according to his promise, will secure a spiritual seed, hidden sometimes, and unseen, but hidden in God's pavilion, and unhurt. Six years Athaliah tyrannized. Then the king was brought forward. A child indeed, but he had a good guardian, and, what was better, a good God to go to With such joy and satisfaction must the kingdom of Christ be welcomed into our hearts, when his throne is set up there, and Satan the usurper is cast out. Say, Let the King, even Jesus, live, for ever live and reign in my soul, and in all the world.The testimony - i. e., "The Book of the Law" which was kept in the ark of the covenant (Dent. 31:26). This Jehoiada placed ou the king's head at the moment of coronation, perhaps to indicate that the king was not to be above, but under, the direction of the Law of his country. 2Ki 11:4-12. He Is Made King.

4. the seventh year—namely, of the reign of Athaliah, and the rescue of Jehoash.

Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers, &c.—He could scarcely have obtained such a general convocation except at the time, or on pretext, of a public and solemn festival. Having revealed to them the secret of the young king's preservation and entered into a covenant with them for the overthrow of the tyrant, he then arranged with them the plan and time of carrying their plot into execution (see on [336]2Ch 22:10-23:21). The conduct of Jehoiada, who acted the leading and chief part in this conspiracy, admits of an easy and full justification; for, while Athaliah was a usurper, and belonged to a race destined by divine denunciation to destruction, even his own wife had a better and stronger claim to the throne; the sovereignty of Judah had been divinely appropriated to the family of David, and therefore the young prince on whom it was proposed to confer the crown, possessed an inherent right to it, of which a usurper could not deprive him. Moreover, Jehoiada was most probably the high priest, whose official duty it was to watch over the due execution of God's laws, and who in his present movement, was encouraged and aided by the countenance and support of the chief authorities, both civil and ecclesiastical, in the country. In addition to all these considerations, he seems to have been directed by an impulse of the Divine Spirit, through the counsels and exhortations of the prophets of the time.

The testimony, i.e. the book of the law, which he put into the king’s hand, to mind him of his duty at his entrance upon his kingdom, which was to read and write out that holy book, Deu 17:18, and to govern himself and his kingdom by it; the law of God being frequently and most properly called a testimony, as Psalm 78:5 132:12 Isaiah 8:16,20; see also Deu 6:17,20 2 Kings 23:3, because it is a witness of God’s will, and man’s duty.

Anointed him; as they used to do in doubtful cases, when there was any competition or question about the crown, as now there was. And he brought forth the king's son,.... Out of the apartment in the temple where he had been brought up:

and put the crown upon him; the crown royal, which seems to have been kept in the temple:

and gave him the testimony; the book of the law, which he was to read in all his days, and according to it govern the people; and which was a testimony of the will of God both to him and them: Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it of royal garments put upon him:

and they made him king, and anointed him; proclaimed and declared him king, and anointed him, for the confirmation of it, because of the pretension Athaliah made to the kingdom; otherwise, as the Jewish writers say, the son of a king was not anointed; and hence, they say, it was, that Solomon was anointed, because of the claim of Adonijah:

and they clapped their hands; in token of joy:

and said, God save the king; or, "let the king live"; or, "may he prosper", as the Targum; may health and prosperity attend him in his government. In 2 Chronicles 23:11, it is said; "Jehoiada and his sons anointed him", and said those words; among whom must be Zechariah, whom this king afterwards slew, which was an instance of great ingratitude, 2 Chronicles 24:20.

And he brought forth {l} the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him {m} the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king.

(l) That is, Joash, who had been kept secret six years.

(m) Meaning, the law of God, which is his chief charge, and by which only his throne is established.

12. And he brought forth the king’s son] i.e. Jehoiada did so, who had charge of him. The name ‘king’s son’ is perhaps given to him here rather than his personal name, to mark that the struggle was for the true successor.

and gave him the Testimony] The word so rendered occurs first in Exodus 16:34, where it is directed that the pot of manna is to be laid up before the Testimony. That by this is meant some portion of the Law which was given to Moses is made clear in a later passage. In Exodus 25:16; Exodus 25:21 it is described as ‘the Testimony which I shall give thee’. We need not suppose that in these passages the whole law of Moses is intended, but the name given to the first portion of the Law would no doubt be continued in after times for all that was considered to be the divine revelation. Hence we must here understand the Law, as the people then possessed it. Express direction is given in Deuteronomy 17:18-19, that when a king shall be chosen he shall have a copy of the Law, which he shall study ‘that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes to do them’. So the delivery of the Law would naturally form a most solemn portion of the coronation ceremony.

and anointed him] This was not done as far as we know with all kings, but the present was a special occasion, and no part of the ordinance would be omitted which could help to mark in a religious manner the restoration of the true scion of David’s house.

and they clapt their hands] A natural expression of approval and applause, though not frequently spoken of in the O. Test. It is found in the Psalm 47:1 of exultation before God, and the figure is used Psalm 98:8 ‘Let the floods clap their hands’. But it is quite as frequently used where rejoicing over a fallen enemy is the cause (cf. Job 27:23; Lamentations 2:15; Nahum 3:19).

God save the king] Literally ‘Let the king live’. So they cried when Saul was made king, 1 Samuel 10:24, and at the feast of Adonijah when he sought to be king, 1 Kings 1:25.Verse 12. - And he - i.e. Jehoiada - brought forth the king's son - produced him, i.e., from the chamber or chambers where he had been concealed hitherto. (On the temple chambers, see Nehemiah 13:4-9.) And put the crown upon him. That the Israelite kings actually wore crowns appears from 2 Samuel 1:10 and 1 Chronicles 20:2. The crown was probably a band of gold, either plain or set with jewels (Zechariah 9:16), fastened behind with a riband. It receives here the same name that is given to the high priest's diadem in Exodus 29:6 and Exodus 39:30. And gave him the testimony. The words "gave him" are not in the original, and are superfluous. What is meant plainly is that the high priest laid on the young king's head a copy of the Law, or of some essential portion of it, perhaps the Decalogue, which is often called "the testimony" (Exodus 16:34; Exodus 25:16, 21, etc.). The object apparently was to show that the king was to rule by law, not arbitrarily - that he was to be, as Dean Stanley says, "not above, but beneath, the law of his country" ('Jewish Church,' vol. 2. p. 397). The ceremony seems to have been a new one, and is indicative of the gradual curtailment of the regal power under the later monarchy. And they made him king, and anointed him. A change is made from the singular to the plural, because, as we learn from 2 Chronicles 23:11, "Jehoiada and his sons anointed him." We have had no mention of the anointing of a new monarch in Judah since the time of Solomon (1 Kings 1:39). It may, however, have been the usual practice. And they - i.e. the people - all who were present - clapped their hands - an ordinary sign of joy (see Psalm 47:1; Psalm 98:8; Isaiah 4:12; Nahum 3:19, etc.) - and said, God save the king! literally, long live the king! (comp. 1 Samuel 10:24; 2 Samuel 16:16; 1 Kings 1:25, 39). Jehoiada then communicated to those initiated into the plan the necessary instructions for carrying it out, assigning them the places which they were to occupy. "The third part of you that come on the Sabbath (i.e., mount guard) shall keep the guard of the king's house (ושׁמרי is a corruption of ושׁמרוּ), and the third part shall be at the gate Sur, and the third part at the gate behind the runners, and (ye) shall keep guard over the house for defence; and the two parts of you, (namely) all who depart on the Sabbath, shall keep the guard of the house of Jehovah for the king; and ye shall surround the king round about, every one with his weapons in his hand; and whoever presses into the ranks shall be slain, and shall be with the king when he goes out and in," i.e., in all his steps. The words השּׁבּת בּאי השּׁבּ and השּׁבּת יצאי, "those coming and those going out on the Sabbath," denote the divisions of the watch, those who performed duty on the Sabbath and those who were relieved on the Sabbath; not the military guard at the palace however, but the temple-guard, which consisted of Levites. For David had divided the priests and Levites into classes, every one of which had to perform service for a week and was relieved on the Sabbath: compare 1 Chronicles 23-26 with Josephus (Ant. vii. 14, 7), who expressly says that every one of the twenty-four classes of priests had to attend to the worship of God "for eight days, from Sabbath to Sabbath," also with Luke 1:5. On the other hand, we do not know that there was any similar division and obligation to serve in connection with the royal body-guard or with the army. The current opinion, that by those who come on the Sabbath and those who go out on the Sabbath we are to understand the king's halberdiers or the guard of the palace, is therefore proved to be unfounded and untenable. And if there could be any doubt on the matter, it would be removed by 2 Kings 11:7 and 2 Kings 11:10. According to 2 Kings 11:7, two parts of those who went away (were relieved) on the Sabbath were to undertake the guarding of the house of Jehovah about the king, i.e., to keep guard over that room in the temple where the king then was. Could Jehoiada have used the royal body-guard, that was being relieved from guarding the palace, for such a purpose as this? Who can imagine that this is a credible thing? According to 2 Kings 11:10, Jehoiada gave to the captains over a hundred the weapons of king David, which were in the house of Jehovah. Did the palace-guard then return without weapons? In 2 Chronicles 23:4, "those coming on the Sabbath" are correctly described as the priests and Levites coming on the Sabbath, i.e., the priests and Levites who entered upon their week's duty at the temple on the Sabbath. According to this explanation of the words, which is the only one that can be grammatically sustained, the facts were as follows: "When Jehoiada had initiated the captains of the royal halberdiers, and with their help the heads of families of the people generally, into his plan of raising the youthful Joash to the throne and dethroning Athaliah, he determined to carry out the affair chiefly with the help of the priests and Levites who entered upon their duty in the temple on the Sabbath, and of those who left or were relived at the same time, and entrusted the command over these men to the captains of the royal halberdiers, that they might occupy the approaches to the temple with the priests and Levites under their command, so as to prevent the approach of any military from the king's palace and protect the youthful king. These captains had come to the temple without weapons, to avoid attracting attention. Jehoiada therefore gave them the weapons of king David that were kept in the temple.

With regard to the distribution of the different posts, the fact that two-thirds are spoken of first of all in 2 Kings 11:5, 2 Kings 11:6, and then two parts in 2 Kings 11:7, occasions no difficulty. For the two-thirds mentioned in 2 Kings 11:5, 2 Kings 11:6 were those who came on the Sabbath, whereas the "two divisions" (היּדות שׁתּי) referred to in 2 Kings 11:7 were all who went away on the Sabbath. Consequently the priests and Levites, who came on the Sabbath and entered upon the week's service, were divided into three sections; and those who should have been relieved, but were detained, into two. Probably the number of those who came this time to perform service at the temple was much larger than usual, as the priests were initiated into Jehoiada's secret; so that it was possible to make three divisions of those who arrived, whereas those who were about to depart could only be formed into two. The three divisions of those who were entering upon duty are also distinctly mentioned in the Chronicles; whereas, instead of the two divisions of those who were relieved, "all the people" are spoken of. The description of the different posts which were assigned to these several companies causes some difficulty. In general, so much is clearly indicated in 2 Kings 11:7 and 2 Kings 11:8, that the two divisions of those who were relieved on the Sabbath were to keep guard over the young king in the house of Jehovah, and therefore to remain in the inner spaces of the temple-court for his protection; whereas the three divisions of those who were entering upon duty were charged with the occupation of the external approaches to the temple. One-third was to "keep watch over the king's house," i.e., to observe whatever had to be observed in relation to the king's palace; not to occupy the king's palace, or to keep guard in the citadel at the palace gate (Thenius), but to keep watch towards the royal palace, i.e., to post themselves so that no one could force a way into the temple, with which the indefinite המּלך בּבית in the Chronicles harmonizes, if we only translate it "against (at) the king's house." The idea that the palace was guarded is precluded not only by 2 Kings 11:13, according to which Athaliah came out of the palace to the people to the house of Jehovah, which she would not have been able to do if the palace had been guarded, but also by the circumstance that, according to 2 Kings 11:19, the chief men were in the temple with the whole of the (assembled) people, and did not go out of the house of Jehovah into the king's house till after the anointing of Joash and the death of Athaliah. The other third was to station itself at the gate Sur (סוּר), or, according to the Chronicles, Yesod (יסוד), foundation-gate. There is no doubt as to the identity of the gate Sur and the gate Yesod; only we cannot decide whether one of these names has simply sprung from a copyist's error, or whether the gate had two different names. The name יסוד שׁער, foundation-gate, suggests a gate in the outer court of the temple, at the hollow of either the Tyropoeon or the Kedron; for the context precludes our thinking of a palace gate. The third division was to be posted "at the gate behind the runners;" or, as it is stated in 2 Kings 11:19, "at the gate of the runners." It is very evident from 2 Kings 11:19 that this gate led from the temple-court to the royal palace upon Zion, and was therefore on the western side of the court of the temple. This also follows from 2 Kings 11:4 of the Chronicles, according to which this division was to act as "doorkeepers of the thresholds" (הסּפּים לשׁערי), i.e., to keep guard at the gate of the thresholds. For we may safely infer, from a comparison with 1 Chronicles 9:19, that הסּפּים were the thresholds of the ascent to the temple. The last clause, "and shall keep guard over the house for defence," refers to all three divisions, and serves to define with greater precision the object for which they were stationed there. מסּח is not a proper name (lxx, Luther, and others), but an appellative in the sense of defence or resistance, from נסח, depellere. The meaning is, that they were to guard the house, to keep off the people, and not to let any of the party of Athaliah force a way into the temple. - In 2 Kings 11:7, הש יצאי כּל is an explanatory apposition to בּכם ot היּדות וּשׁתּי, "and the two parts in (of) you," namely, all who go out on the Sabbath, i.e., are relieved from duty. Their task, to observe the watch of the house of Jehovah with regard to the king, is more precisely defined in 2 Kings 11:8 as signifying, that they were to surround the king with weapons in their hands, and slay every one who attempted to force a way into their ranks. וּבבאו בּצאתו, i.e., in all his undertakings, or in all his steps; ובוא צאת being applied to the actions and pursuits of a man, as in Deuteronomy 28:6; Deuteronomy 31:2, etc. (see the Comm. on Numbers 27:17). Thenius has explained this incorrectly: "in his going out of the temple and entering into the palace."

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