2 Kings 11:3
And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land.
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(3) And he was with heri.e., with Jehosheba his aunt. The words “in the house of the Lord” should immediately follow. The Word “hid” is connected with “six years” in the Hebrew, and relates to the infant prince only. Joash was with his aunt “in the house of the Lord”—i.e., in one of the chambers allotted to the priests, perhaps even in the high priest’s residence, which may have been within the sacred precincts. Thenius assumes that the statement of Chronicles, that Jehosheba was wife of the high priest, has no other ground than a “traditional interpretation” of these words; and asserts that Jehosheba was herself obliged to share the asylum of the infant prince in order to escape the vengeance of Athaliah. But it is certain that the chronicler had better authority than mere tradition for his important additions to the history of the kings. (See Note on 2Chronicles 22:11.)

Did reign.Was reigning.

2 Kings 11:3. He was hid with her six years — Probably Athaliah thought they were dead; or, if she suspected this child was preserved, she supposed an infant could do her no great harm; and that she could so well establish herself in the possession of the kingdom within a few years, that she need not fear any such weak competitor. And Athaliah did reign over the land — Which she had the better opportunity of doing, because she was not only the late king’s wife, but also, probably, made queen-regent upon Joram’s going to Ramoth-gilead.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.And Athaliah did reign over the land - In these words the writer dismisses the entire reign of Athaliah, whereof he scorns to speak. We gather incidentally from 2 Kings 12:5-12, compared with 2 Chronicles 24:7, that Athaliah used her power to establish the exclusive worship of BaaI through the kingdom of Judah, and to crush that of Yahweh. She stopped the temple service, gave over the sacred vessels of the sanctuary to the use of the Baal priests, and employed the temple itself as a quarry from which materials might be taken for the construction of a great temple to Baal, which rose in the immediate neighborhood. 2. Jehosheba—or Jehoshabeath (2Ch 22:11).

daughter of King Joram—not by Athaliah, but by a secondary wife.

stole him from among the king's sons which were slain—either from among the corpses, he being considered dead, or out of the palace nursery.

hid him … in the bedchamber—for the use of the priests, which was in some part of the temple (2Ki 11:3), and of which Jehoiada and his wife had the sole charge. What is called, however, the bedchamber in the East is not the kind of apartment that we understand by the name, but a small closet, into which are flung during the day the mattresses and other bedding materials spread on the floors or divans of the sitting-rooms by day. Such a slumber-room was well suited to be a convenient place for the recovery of his wounds, and a hiding-place for the royal infant and his nurse.

Either Athaliah thought they were all dead; or if she suspected that Joash was preserved, she thought an infant could do her no great harm; and that she could so well assure the kingdom to herself within a few years, that she need not fear any such weak competitor: or she was willing to smother up the business, lest if she had made a strict and diligent search for it, the people should thereby learn that there was yet a son of David’s family left, and so be unquiet under her government, and desirous of a change.

Athaliah did reign over the land; which she had an opportunity, to do, because she was not only the late king’s wife, but also was probably made queen-regent upon Joram’s going to Ramoth-gilead. And he was with her hid in the house of the Lord six years,.... In the temple; not in the holy of holies, as Jarchi, but in a chamber of the priests and Levites, of which there were several in a temple, as Kimchi, and others; and the husband of Jehosheba, being high priest, had one of them for his own use; and here the child was hid six years, so that he was but a year old when he was first taken and preserved, for he was made king when seven years of age, 2 Kings 11:21,

and Athaliah did reign over the land; the only instance we hear of a woman reigning in Israel, and this was not by right, but by usurpation; and so, according to the Jewish canons, a woman might not rule; which thus runs (a), they do not set a woman in the kingdom, as it is said, Deuteronomy 17:15, "a king over them", not a queen; and so, in all places of power and authority in Israel, they put in them none but a man.

(a) Maimon. Hilchot Melachim, c. 1. sect. 5.

And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land.
3. And he was with her] i.e. With his nurse, who continued to tend him after he had grown somewhat older.

in the house of the Lord] We learn from the description of Solomon’s temple (see note on 1 Kings 6:5) that it was surrounded on two sides and one end with three stories of chambers. It is not said to what use they were put, but we may safely conclude that they were under the control of the high-priest, and that, for such a purpose as is here described, he would have no scruple about using them, even if on ordinary occasions no one dwelt in them.

six years] Perhaps Athaliah was not aware that any one of the royal children had been saved. She gave order for their destruction, and her agents did all they could to carry out her design. Perhaps when they could not find Joash some other slain babe was substituted, and Athaliah would know no difference. The house of the Lord was not a place in which she herself was likely to be interested, and if the rooms around it were never as a rule used for dwelling-rooms suspicion would not be directed to them, and so they would go unsearched.

And Athaliah did reign] R.V. reigned. As in Chronicles.Verse 3. - And he was with her - he, i.e. Joash, was with her, i.e. Jehosheba, his aunt - hid in the house of the Lord; i.e. the temple. We learn from Chronicles (2 Chronicles 22:11) that Jehosheba was married to Jehoiada, the high priest, and would thus have ready access to the temple. We must suppose that, after a few days' concealment in the "chamber of mattresses," Jehosheba found an opportunity of transferring him, with his nurse, to a chamber in the temple, where he was thenceforward nourished and brought up. There were various chambers in the temple used for secular purposes, as we learn from 1 Kings 6:5-8 and Nehemiah 13:5-9. Six years (comp. ver. 21 and 2 Chronicles 24:1). And Athaliah did reign over the land. It is difficult to realize all that this implies. It cannot mean less than that for six years Baalism was triumphant in Judah - the temple was allowed to fall into decay (2 Kings 12:5) - a temple to Baal was erected in Jerusalem itself, to supersede the temple of Jehovah (2 Kings 11:18), and a high priest appointed to be a rival to the successor of Aaron. Whether persecution was indulged in, as under Jehoram (2 Chronicles 21:11), is uncertain; but the servants of Jehovah were at any rate under a cloud, slighted, contemned, held as of small account. Perhaps we may conclude, from the position occupied by Jehoiada, and from the powers which he was able to exercise when he determined on revolt (ver. 4; 2 Chronicles 23:1, 2), that Athaliah, during her six years' reign, was to some extent held in check by a Jehovistic party, which she knew to exist, and which she did not dare openly to defy. Thus she left Jehoiada (apparently) in possession of the temple, of its treasures and its armory (ver. 10); she allowed the temple service to continue (2 Chronicles 23:4-7); she permitted the priests and the Levites to serve in their regular "courses" (2 Chronicles 23:8); she let the fortress of the eastern city - for the temple was always a fortress - remain in her enemies' hands. Still, the time was evidently one "of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy" the oppressed worshippers of Jehovah were greatly discontented; and the nation generally was ripe for a counter-revolution, so soon as the signal was given by an authority whom they could trust. Therefore (this link of connection follows from the actual fact, though it is not distinctly mentioned in the text) Hazael had now to inflict chastisement upon faithless Israel. In Jehu's days Jehovah began "to cut off in Israel," i.e., to rend away certain portions from the kingdom. "Hazael smote them (the Israelites) on the whole of the border of Israel," i.e., of the kingdom, "from Jordan to the sun-rising (i.e., on the eastern side of the Jordan), the whole of the land of Gilead (כּל־ארץ את is dependent upon יכּה which must be supplied from יכּם), namely, the territory of the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and Half-Manasseh, from Aroer on the brook Arnon (now Araayr, a ruin on the northern border of the Mojeb (Arnon) valley; see at Numbers 32:34), the southern border of the Israelitish land to the east of the Jordan (Deuteronomy 2:36; Deuteronomy 3:12), both Gilead and Bashan," the two countries into which Gilead in the broader sense was divided (see at Deuteronomy 3:8-17). - These conquests took place during the twenty-eight years' reign of Jehu, since Hazael began to reign before Jehu, viz., while Joram was king, and had already fought successfully against the Israelites at Ramoth in Joram's reign (2 Kings 8:28-29), but not in the later part of Jehu's reign, as Thenius supposes.
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