2 Kings 11:14
And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets: and Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason.
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(14) And when she looked.—Having entered the court, the whole scene met her astonished gaze.

The king stood by a pillar.—Rather, the king was standing on the stand. (Comp. 2Kings 23:3.) The stand (Vulg., “tribunal”) was apparently a dais reserved for the king only, which stood before the great altar, at the entrance to the inner court (2Chronicles 23:13; 2Chronicles 6:13). Thenius maintains that the king stood on the top of the flight of steps leading into the sanctuary. Why, then, does not the text express this meaning more exactly? (Comp. 2Kings 9:13.)

As the manner wasi.e., according to the custom on such occasions.

The princes.—The chiefs of the people, not the centurions of the royal guard, who have their full designation throughout the chapter. (See 2Kings 11:4; 2Kings 11:9-10; 2Kings 11:15; 2Kings 11:19.) The present account has nowhere stated that the nobles were present in the Temple; but this sudden mention of them, as if they had been present throughout the proceedings, is in striking harmony with the chronicler’s express assertion that, after their conference with Jehoiada, the centurions of the guard assembled the Levites and the heads of the clans in the Temple (2Chronicles 23:3). (The LXX. and Vulg. render “singers,” because they read shārîm, “singers,” instead of sārîm, “princes.”)

The trumpeters.—Literally, the trumpets; as we speak of “the violins,” meaning the players on them. The sacred trumpets or clarions blown on solemn occasions by the priests are intended. (Comp. 2Kings 12:14; Numbers 10:2; 1Chronicles 15:24.) This is an indication that the priests and Levites were present as the chronicle so conspicuously represents, and as, indeed, was to be expected on an occasion when the high priest took the lead, and when the scene of action was the Temple. The acting classes of priests and Levitical musicians, warders, and priestly attendants must certainly have participated in the proceedings.

All the people of the land.—Secrecy was no longer necessary, as Thenius supposes, when once the centurions of the guard had heartily taken up with the plot.

Rejoiced . . . blew.Rejoicing . . . blowing.

Treason.—Literally, Conspiracy.

2 Kings 11:14. Behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was — It is generally supposed that the royal throne was erected near one of the pillars, described 1 Kings 7:15; 1 Kings 7:21, unless we may suppose that what is here called a pillar was that brazen scaffold five cubits long, &c., which Solomon made at first on his dedicating the temple, (2 Chronicles 6:13,) and which was afterward continued for the king to appear upon on solemn occasions, and where, doubtless, there was a throne of state. See Calmet.

11:13-16 Athaliah hastened her own destruction. She herself was the greatest traitor, and yet was first and loudest in crying, Treason, treason! The most guilty are commonly the most forward to reproach others.By a pillar - Rather, "upon the pillar" probably a sort of stand, or pulpit, raised on a pillar. Under the later monarchy the Jewish king seems to have had a special place assigned him in the temple-court, from which on occasions he addressed the people (marginal references). 14. the king stood by a pillar—or on a platform, erected for that purpose (see on [337]2Ch 6:13). By a pillar; possibly by one of the two famous pillars of the temple; of which see 1 Kings 7:21; nigh unto which the throne was erected. If it be said, that none but priests might come thither; I answer, ordinarily they might not; but the king being a sacred person, especially upon such extraordinary occasions, might be there. Or, upon a scaffold; possibly that brazen scaffold which Solomon erected, 2 Chronicles 6:13, and left there for such purposes. See 2 Kings 23:3.

And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was,.... Of kings, when they came into the temple on any occasion, civil or religious, therefore it is called his pillar, 2 Chronicles 23:13, some think this was the brazen scaffold erected by Solomon, 2 Chronicles 6:13, though Vitringa (e) and Bishop Patrick suppose it to be the post of the east gate of the inner court, from Ezekiel 46:2, according to Jacob Leo (f), this was the royal throne in the court of the Israelites, near the high or upper gate, on a marble pillar, where the kings of the house of David sat, when they came into the sanctuary to see the Lord in the second temple; this throne was like an high tower, standing upon two pillars, each twenty cubits high, and their circumference twelve; here sat Joash, and Hezekiah, and Josiah; however, Athaliah saw Jehoash with the crown on his head, and in the place where kings used to sit or stand:

and the princes and the trumpeters by the king; the rulers of the courses of the priests, and the Levites, blowing the trumpets:

and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets; it is added, in 2 Chronicles 23:13 that the singers played also on musical instruments; that were then and there assembled:

and Athaliah rent her clothes; through grief, and as one almost distracted:

and cried, treason, treason! to try if she could get any to take her part, and seize on the new king, and those that set him up.

(e) Proleghom. de Synagog. Vet. c. 4. p. 32. (f) Apud Wagenseil. Sotah, p. 680.

And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a {n} pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets: and Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason.

(n) Where the king's place was in the temple.

14. And when she looked, behold, the king] R.V. And she looked and behold the king. This, the literal translation of the Hebrew, is the form adopted in 2 Chron. The original is the same in both places.

stood by a [R.V. the] pillar] By this word is clearly designated some spot which was the special position of the king on such occasions. We see that Athaliah took in the whole scene at a glance and knew without telling what was going on. The word ‘pillar’ is the same which is used for the two, Jachin and Boaz (1 Kings 7:21), which stood as ornamental pillars in the porch of the temple, and which being ornamental could doubtless be seen by all in the court. If we suppose one of these set apart as the station of the king at his coronation, the position would be admirably suited for the purpose. Otherwise we must understand some special erection in the court of the temple, of which there is no mention till this passage, and afterwards in chap. 2 Kings 23:3. The situation of the pillar is described in 2 Chronicles 23:13 as ‘at the entering in’, words which would not unfitly describe the position of the two pillars erected in the temple porch.

as the manner was] Hence it was a well-known spot appropriated to such occasions.

and the princes and the trumpeters] R.V. the captains and the trumpets. The ‘captains’ were those ‘over hundreds’ mentioned before. ‘Trumpets’ of course implies ‘trumpeters’ but the word is literally translated in 2 Chron., and the two places should agree. The persons who blew with the trumpets were probably the Levites, for in chap. 2 Kings 12:13, ‘trumpets’ are recounted as among the furniture of the temple, and these would be used only by priests or Levites. In 2 Chronicles 7:6; 2 Chronicles 13:14 we have the priests sounding trumpets.

and all the people of the land rejoiced] Shewing that there was a numerous convocation. The gathering would be larger than usual because the Sabbath had been chosen for these operations.

and [R.V. Then] Athaliah rent her clothes] Seeing with horror that priests and soldiery and the assembled people were all of one mind, and against her.

Verse 14. - And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar; rather, on the pillar, or on the raised platform. The king's proper place in the temple seems to have been a raised standing-place (הָעַמּוּד, from עָמֹד, to stand) in front of the entrance to the sanctuary, which made him very conspicuous (comp. 2 Kings 23:3; 2 Chronicles 23:13, and 2 Chron 34:31). As the manner was - i.e. as was the usual practice when kings visited the temple - and the princes - i.e. the centurions or captains of the guard - and the trumpeters by the king - the officials whose business it was to blow the trumpet at a coronation (see 2 Samuel 15:10; 1 Kings 1:39; 1 Kings 9:13) - and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets; i.e. the people who had been admitted into the great court to witness the coronation. Some rumor of what was about to occur had got abroad, and many of the people had provided themselves with trumpets. As Dean Stanley puts it, "The temple court was crowded with spectators, and they too took part in the celebration, and themselves prolonged the trumpet-blast, blended with the musical instruments of the temple service." And Athaliah rent her clothes. Athaliah took in all with a single glance. She "saw that the fatal hour was come" (Stanley). With a strong hand she rent her royal robes, partly in horror, partly in despair; for the single glance which she had cast around was sufficient to show her that all was lost. And cried, Treason! Treason! or, conspiracy! conspiracy! The cry was scarcely an appeal for help, as Josephus makes it ('Ant. Jud.,' 9:7. § 3), but rather an instinctive utterance, without distinct aim or object, wrung from her under the circumstances. It fell dead on the assembly. 2 Kings 11:14Death of Athaliah. - 2 Kings 11:13, 2 Kings 11:14. As soon as Athaliah heard the loud rejoicing of the people, she came to the people into the temple, and when she saw the youthful king in his standing-place surrounded by the princes, the trumpeters, and the whole of the people, rejoicing and blowing the trumpets, she rent her clothes with horror, and cried out, Conspiracy, conspiracy! העם הרצין does not mean the people running together, but the original reading in the text was probably והעם הרצין, the people and the halberdiers, and the Vav dropped out through an oversight of the copyist. By הרצין we are to understand the captains of the halberdiers with the armed Levites, as in 2 Kings 11:11; and העם is the people who had assembled besides (cf. 2 Kings 11:19). In the Chronicles המּלך והמהללים הרצים is in apposition to העם: the noise of the people, the halberdiers, and those who praised the king. The עמּוּד, upon which the king stood, was not a pillar, but an elevated standing-place (suggestus) for the king at the eastern gate of the inner court (בּמּבוא, 2 Chronicles 23:13 compared with Ezekiel 46:2), when he visited the temple on festive occasions (cf. 2 Kings 23:3), and it was most probably identical with the brazen scaffold (כּיּור) mentioned in 2 Chronicles 6:13, which would serve to explain כּמּשׁפּט, "according to the right" (Angl. V. "as the manner was"). השּׂרים are not merely the captains mentioned in 2 Kings 11:4, 2 Kings 11:9, and 2 Kings 11:10, but these together with the rest of the assembled heads of the nation (האבות ראשׁי, 2 Chronicles 13:2). החצצרות, the trumpets, the trumpeters. The reference is to the Levitical musicians mentioned in 1 Chronicles 13:8; 1 Chronicles 15:24, etc.; for they are distinguished from וגו כּל־העם, "all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing the trumpets," i.e., not all the military men of the land who were present in Jerusalem (Thenius), but the mass of the people present in the temple (Bertheau).
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