And you shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand: and he that comes within the ranges, let him be slain: and be you with the king as he goes out and as he comes in.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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 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 ranges, or fences, i.e. the walls wherewith the courts of the temple were environed: see 2 Kings 11:15. Or, your ranks, or order. If any of Athaliah’s guards shall attempt to break in upon you, or within your bounds.
Be ye with the king as he goeth out and as he cometh in; whether the king shall go out of the temple, to offend or subdue his enemies, or retire hither to defend himself, do you always accompany him. 2 Kings 11:10,
and he that cometh within the ranges, let him be slain; any strange man that was not of them, that came into the ranks in which they were formed, was to be put to death as a spy, who might go and inform the queen what was doing; according to Jarchi, the word for "ranges" signifies the place through which the king went from his own house to the house of God (d); and here it seems the guards were placed:
and be ye with the king as he goeth out and as he cometh in when brought forth to be crowned and anointed, and returned again.And ye shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand: and he that cometh within the ranges, let him be slain: and be ye with the king as he goeth out and as he cometh in.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. And ye shall compass the king round about] Though the pronoun is changed, the same persons are intended, who were to be a bodyguard for the young king in every movement at this critical time.
he that cometh within the ranges] R.V. ranks. This is the point where the distinction is most marked between the duties to be discharged by the soldiers and by the Levites. In 2 Chronicles 23:7 it is said: ‘And the Levites shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand; and whosoever cometh into the house, he shall be put to death’. From this we find that the Levites were to form a guard for the king’s person within the temple, while the soldiers discharged the same office in the court, and when he was conducted from the temple to the palace. So the one body is bidden to take summary vengeance on any intruder within the sacred building, the other on any who should break through their ranks to get within the enclosure and so draw near to the king after he had come forth.
as [R.V. when] he goeth out and as [R.V. when] he cometh in] This change assimilates the rendering to 2 Chronicles.Verse 8. - And ye shall compass the king round about; every man with his weapons in his hand. The guard was to take up a position, partly in front of the king, and partly behind him; interposing themselves between his person and any danger, and at the same time extending themselves across the entire court of the temple (ver. 11) from one wall to the other. They were, of course, to have their weapons in their hands, ready for use. And he that cometh within the ranges, let him be slain; rather, within the ranks. The order was that if any one entered the temple, and attempted to break through the ranks of the guard, either in front of the king or behind him, he should instantly be put to death. No attempt of the kind was made; and so the order re-rosined a dead letter. And be ye with the king as he goeth out and as he cometh in; accompany him, i.e. in all his movements - let him never for a moment stray outside your ranks - continue to surround him whithersoever he goes. Boys are restless, and curiosity would lead the young prince to move from place to place in order to see what was going on. 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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