2 Kings 11:18
And all the people of the land went into the house of Baal, and broke it down; his altars and his images broke they in pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) All the people of the land went into the house of Baal.—Immediately after the covenant had been renewed, of which the extirpation of the foreign Baal-worship was a consequence. In the fervour of their newly-awakened enthusiasm for Jehovah, the assembly may have hurried off at once to the work of demolition. It seems to be implied that the “house of Baal” stood on the Temple mount, in ostentatious rivalry with the sanctuary of Jehovah. (Comp, the introduction of idolatrous altars into the Temple itself by Manasseh, 2Kings 21:4-5; 2Kings 21:7; 2Kings 23:12.) This house of Baal had, perhaps, been built by Athaliah. (Comp. 1Kings 16:31-32.)

His altars . . . his images.—Or, its (the Temple’s) altars . . . its images.

And the priest appointed officers over the house of the Lord.—The obviously close connection of this statement with what precedes, almost proves that the sanctuary of Baal had stood within the Temple precincts, probably in the outer court. After the destruction of it, Jehoiada appointed certain overseers—probably Levites of rank—to prevent any future desecration of the Temple by the practice of idolatrous rites (comp. Ezekiel 8:5-16), or by wanton attacks of the Baal-worshippers, who might be cowed, but were certainly not exterminated (comp. 2Chronicles 24:7); and to see that the legitimate cultus was properly carried out. (The sentence tells us what was done some time afterwards, in consequence of the reformation; thus finishing the subject in hand at the expense of the strict order of time.)

Mattan.—Mattan is short for Mattanbaal, “gift of Baal,” a Phœnician name occurring in Punic and Assyrian inscriptions (the Muthumballes of Plautus). Comp. also Mitinna and Mattén, as names of Tyrian kings (Inscr. of Tig. Pil. ii.; Herod. Vii. 98).

2 Kings 11:18. All the people went into the house of Baal — They began immediately to make good their covenant in part, by destroying the worship of Baal, which had been introduced in Judah by Jehoram, (2 Kings 8:18,) and was continued by Ahaziah, 2 Kings 8:27. And slew the priest of Baal before the altars — To which possibly he fled for refuge, or rather he was brought thither as a fit sacrifice to his god. The priest appointed officers over the house of the Lord — To see that the service was regularly performed by the proper persons, in due time, and according to the instituted manner. See the margin.11:17-21 King and people would cleave most firmly to each other, when both had joined themselves to the Lord. It is well with a people, when all the changes that pass over them help to revive, strengthen, and advance the interests of religion among them. Covenants are of use, both to remind us of, and bind us to, the duties already binding on us. They immediately abolished idolatry; and, pursuant to the covenant with one another, they expressed mutual readiness to help each other. The people rejoiced, and Jerusalem was quiet. The way for people to be joyful and at peace, is to engage fully in the service of God; for the voice of joy and thanksgiving is in the dwellings of the righteous, but there is no peace for the wicked.A temple had been built to Baal at Jerusalem itself by Athaliah, Ahaziah, or Jehoram. According to Josephus, it was constructed in the reign of Jehoram. Its exact position is uncertain.

Images - The word used here is not the same as in 2 Kings 10:26, but a word which implies likeness. The Phoenicians had fashioned images, besides their unfashioned pillar-idols.

The priest appointed ... - The temple worship having been discontinued during Athaliah's rule, it devolved on Jehoiada now to re-establish it (see marginal reference). He had already summoned the Levites out of all the cities of Judah 2 Chronicles 23:2, and had made use of them in the events of the day. He therefore proceeded at once to assign the custody of the temple to a particular course, before conducting the young king to the palace.

2Ki 11:17-20. Jehoiada Restores God's Worship.

17, 18. a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people—The covenant with the Lord was a renewal of the national covenant with Israel (Ex 19:1-24:18; "to be unto him a people of inheritance," De 4:6; 27:9). The covenant between the king and the people was the consequence of this, and by it the king bound himself to rule according to the divine law, while the people engaged to submit, to give him allegiance as the Lord's anointed. The immediate fruit of this renewal of the covenant was the destruction of the temple and the slaughter of the priests of Baal (see 2Ki 10:27); the restoration of the pure worship of God in all its ancient integrity; and the establishment of the young king on the hereditary throne of Judah [2Ki 11:19].

Before the altar; to which possibly he fled for refuge; or rather, he was brought thither as a fit sacrifice to his God.

Officers over the house of the Lord; of which see more particularly, 2 Chronicles 23:18,19. And all the people of the land,.... That were at Jerusalem, and the parts adjacent, that came from the country, hearing what was done: went into the house of Baal; a temple of his Athaliah had built, either in Jerusalem, or near it; perhaps on the mount of Olives, called the mount of corruption, 2 Kings 23:13 from the idolatry there committed:

and brake it down, his altars and his images brake they in pieces thoroughly; made an entire destruction of them all, temple, altars, the images of Baal and other deities:

and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altar; either as he was sacrificing, or that he might be a sacrifice, or where he had fled for refuge:

and the priest appointed officers over the house of the Lord; priests to offer sacrifices, Levites to sing the praises of God, porters at the door of the temple, and watches in it, and restored the courses of the priests, and everything to its proper order, which had been neglected, or had ceased, during the usurpation of Athaliah; see 2 Chronicles 23:18.

And all the people of the land went into the house of Baal, and brake it down; his altars and his images brake they in pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the {r} altars. And the {s} priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD.

(r) Even in the place where he had blasphemed God, and thought to have been helped by his idol, there God poured his vengeance on him.

(s) That is, Jehoiada.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. went into [R.V. to] the house of Baal] Athaliah had set up Baal worship in Judah after the fashion of the northern kingdom. We are told also in 2 Chronicles 24:7 that the sons of Athaliah had broken up (i.e. broken into) the house of God, and bestowed the dedicated things of the house of the Lord upon the Baalim. It is clear from this that the house of Baal was not any portion of the temple which had been appropriated to the idolatrous worship, but a separate building, into which spoils from the temple had been conveyed. It may have been on the same hill with the temple, though of that we cannot be certain. There can however be no doubt that the Baal worship had not extended largely in Judah. Hence the readiness of the people of the land, called to Jerusalem by some festival, to go to the Baalite edifice and destroy it.

brake they in pieces throughly] That there should be no chance of a restoration. The multitude were no doubt helped in their destruction by the military force with which, in these doings, they had been in such close combination.

Mattan the priest of Baal] We read of no other priest of Baal in Judah, and so we may conclude that though the court favoured idolatry, it found no great favour with the rest of the kingdom. Otherwise we should have heard of an array of priests like that of Jezebel in Samaria.

And the priest appointed officers over the house of the Lord] From this necessity we may gather that the regular ministrations in the temple had been interfered with by the introduction of the Baalim. The Chronicler gives fuller details on this matter, and the two accounts have so much verbal similarity in other parts that we cannot avoid the conclusion that both writers used a common source of information. He says (2 Chronicles 23:18-19) ‘Jehoiada appointed the offices of the house of the Lord by the hand of the priests, the Levites, whom David had distributed in the house of the Lord, to offer the burnt offerings of the Lord, as it is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, as it was ordained by David. And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the Lord that none which was unclean in any thing should enter in’.Verse 18. - And all the people of the land - i.e. all those who had come up to Jerusalem from the various cities of Judah to help Jehoiada (see 2 Chronicles 23:2) - went into the house of Baal. According to Josephus, "the house of Baal" here mentioned was built by Jehoram and Athaliah in the reign of the former ('Ant. Jud.,' 9:7. § 4), But, if this was the case, it is rather strange that the writer of Chronicles, who enumerates so many of the evil acts of Jehoram (2 Chronicles 21:4, 6, 11), does not mention it. The present narrative shows that the temple was in, or very near, Jerusalem; but there is nothing to fix the site of it. And brake it down - Josephus says they "razed it to the ground" (κατέσκαψαν) - his altars and his images brake they in pieces thoroughly. It was common among the heathen to have several altars in one temple, and not uncommon to have several images even of the same god, especially if he was a god worshipped under different forms, as Baal was (whence the word "Baalim"). The Baalim of this temple are mentioned by the writer of Chronicles (see 2 Chronicles 24:7). And slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. The name "Mattan" recalls that of the last King of Judah, which was originally Mattaniah, equivalent to "gift of Jehovah" (2 Kings 24:17). Mattan would be simply "gift." We may presume that, though only called "priest," he was the high priest. And the priest - i.e. Jehoiada - appointed officers over the house of the Lord. The parallel passage of Chronicles (2 Chronicles 23:18, 19) explains this statement. We are there told that "Jehoiada appointed the offices of the house of the Lord by the hand of the priests the Levites... to offer the burnt offerings of the Lord, as it is written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, as it was ordained by David. And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the Lord, that none which was unclean in anything should enter in." During Athaliah's reign the temple service had ceased; breaches had been broken in the outer walls; and neither the priests nor the porters had served in their regular order; there had been no morning or evening sacrifice, and no antiphonal psalm-singing. Jehoiada re-established the regular courses and the worship. After the approaches to the temple had all been occupied in this manner, Jehoiada brought out the king's son from his home in the temple; or, he brought him forth, set the crown upon him, and handed him the testimony, i.e., the book of the law, as the rule of his life and action as king, according to the precept in Deuteronomy 17:18-19. ואת־העדוּת is connected with את־הנּזר עליו יתּן, because עליו יתּן has the general meaning "delivered to him, handed him," and does not specially affirm the putting on of the crown. ימליכוּ, they made him king. The subject is the persons present, through, as a matter of course, the anointing was performed by Jehoiada and the priests, as the Chronicles expressly affirm. Clapping the hands was a sign of joyful acclamation, like the cry, "Long live the king" (cf. 1 Kings 1:39).
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