2 Kings 11:7
And two parts of all you that go forth on the sabbath, even they shall keep the watch of the house of the LORD about the king.
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(7, 8) The whole body of guards relieved on the Sabbath are to guard the Temple and the young prince.

(7) And two parts of all you . . . sabbath.—Rather, and the two branches among you, all that go out on the Sabbath. The two “branches” means the two fundamental divisions—viz., Carians (or executioners) and Couriers. The troops relieved on the Sabbath were not to be posted in three companies at three different points, like those who came on duty in their place; but they were to form in two ranks—Carians on one side and Couriers on the other—for the purpose of guarding the Temple, and especially the king’s person.

About.—Literally, in the direction of—i.e., with regard to, over. “The house of the Lord” is obviously contrasted with “the king’s house” (2Kings 11:5).

(8) Ye shall compass the king round about.—They were to form two lines, between which the king might walk safely from the Temple to the palace.

The ranges.—Rather, the ranks—scil., the two lines of the guard formed for the protection of the king. If any one attempted to force his way through the ranks in order to attack the king he was to be slain.

Be ye with the king . . . cometh in.—When he leaves the Temple, and when he enters the palace.

2 Kings 11:7-8. Two parts that go forth on the sabbath — Who, having finished their course, should have gone home, but were detained, 2 Chronicles 23:8. Shall keep — While the rest guard the entrances into the temple, these shall have a special care of the king’s person. Ye shall compass the king, &c. — When you have set your watches and guards, all the rest of you shall draw near to the king, to preserve his royal person from all assaults and dangers. He that cometh within the ranges — Or fences, the walls wherewith the courts of the temple were environed; or your ranks. If any of Athaliah’s guard shall attempt to break in upon you, or come within your bounds. As he goeth out, and as he cometh in — Whether the king shall go out of the temple to assault and subdue his enemies, or retire hither to defend himself, do you always accompany him.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.That it be not broken down - The one word in the original text of which this is a translation occurs nowhere else; and its meaning is very doubtful.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.

You that go forth on the sabbath, i.e. who having finished their course and week, should have gone home, but were detained, 2 Chronicles 23:8.

They shall keep the watch of the house of the Lord about the king; whilst the rest guard the doors and entrances into the temple, these shall have a special care of the king’s person, part on his right, and part on his left hand. And two parts of all you that go forth on the sabbath,.... The course that went out of service at the end of the sabbath; these were not suffered, not any of them, to go into the country, but were detained for the present purpose, and divided into two parts:

even they shall keep the watch of the house of the Lord about the king, these were placed in the temple where the king was, or where he should be brought forth, and be a guard on his right and left; this interpretation seems to be agreeably to the order of the text here, and is the sense of Jarchi; but there is this objection to it, that, by such a distribution of both courses, no provision is made for the services of the temple; wherefore Dr. Lightfoot (c) divides them into six parts, each into three, one third of the course that came in for service, the other to keep the watch at the king's house, and the other third at the gate Sur; and the course that went out, one third of them was placed at the gate behind the guard, and the other two to keep the watch of the house for the king's safety; but according to the account in 2 Chronicles 23:4, there were but three ranks or orders of them in all; wherefore the sense of Kimchi, Ben Gersom, and Abarbinel, seems most agreeable, that the first consisted of those that went in on the sabbath, not of all, but half of them, the other half being employed in the service of the sanctuary; and the other two of the course that went out, even all of them, they being entirely at leisure, who were divided into two parts, and disposed of as above.

(c) Prospect of the Temple, c. 20.

And two parts of all you that {h} go forth on the sabbath, even they shall keep the watch of the house of the LORD about the king.

(h) Whose charge is ended.

7. And two parts of all you that go forth] R.V. And the two companies of you, even all that go forth. All those men who were going off duty at the palace were to divide themselves into two bodies, and go and serve at the temple to protect the king. The ‘of you’ refers to the purely military body, as in verse 5. We see in verse 2 that their duty was outside the temple building, while the narrative in Chronicles in almost identical language appoints the Levites for duty within the temple.Verse 7. - And two parts of all you that go forth on the sabbath. Three-fifths of the guard having been disposed of about the palace, there remained only two-fifths, or two "companies" (margin of Authorized Version). These Jehoiada commanded to enter the temple and protect the young king. Even they shall keep the watch of the house of the Lord about the king. According to Chronicles (2 Chronicles 23:7), the great body of the Levites gathered from the cities of Judah was also to be in the temple, and to assist in the protection of the monarch. The Government of Athaliah (cf. 2 Chronicles 22:10-12). After the death of Ahaziah of Judah, his mother Athaliah, a daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (see at 2 Kings 8:18 and 2 Kings 8:26), seized upon the government, by putting to death all the king's descendants with the exception of Joash, a son of Ahaziah of only a year old, who had been secretly carried off from the midst of the royal children, who were put to death, by Jehosheba, his father's sister, the wife of the high priest Jehoiada, and was first of all hidden with his nurse in the bed-chamber, and afterwards kept concealed from Athaliah for six years in the high priest's house. The ו before ראתה is no doubt original, the subject, Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah, being placed at the head absolutely, and a circumstantial clause introduced with וראתה: "Athaliah, when she saw that, etc., rose up." המּמלכה כּל־זרע, all the royal seed, i.e., all the sons and relations of Ahaziah, who could put in any claim to succeed to the throne. At the same time there were hardly any other direct descendants of the royal family in existence beside the sons of Ahaziah, since the elder brothers of Ahaziah had been carried away by the Arabs and put to death, and the rest of the closer blood-relations of the male sex had been slain by Jehu (see at 2 Kings 10:13). - Jehosheba (יהושׁבע, in the Chronicles יהושׁבעת), the wife of the high priest Jehoiada (2 Chronicles 22:11), was a daughter of king Joram and a sister of Ahaziah, but she was most likely not a daughter of Athaliah, as this worshipper of Baal would hardly have allowed her own daughter to marry the high priest, but had been born to Joram by a wife of the second rank. ממותים (Chethb), generally a substantive, mortes (Jeremiah 16:4; Ezekiel 28:8), here an adjective: slain or set apart for death. The Keri מוּמתים is the participle Hophal, as in 2 Chronicles 22:11. הם בּחדר is to be taken in connection with תּגנב: she stole him (took him away secretly) from the rest of the king's sons, who were about to be put to death, into the chamber of the beds, i.e., not the children's bed-room, but a room in the palace where the beds (mattresses and counterpanes) were kept, for which in the East there is a special room that is not used as a dwelling-room (see Chardin in Harm. Beobb. iii. p. 357). This was the place in which at first it was easiest to conceal the child and its nurse. ויּסתּרוּ, "they (Jehosheba and the nurse) concealed him," is not to be altered into ותּסתּירהוּ after the Chronicles, as Thenius maintains. The masculine is used in the place of the feminine, as is frequently the case. Afterwards he was concealed with her (with Jehosheba) in the house of Jehovah, i.e., in the home of the high-priest in one of the buildings of the court of the temple.
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