2 Kings 12:20
And his servants arose, and made a conspiracy, and slew Joash in the house of Millo, which goes down to Silla.
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(20) His servants.—His immediate attendants. (Comp. 2Kings 8:15.)

Arosei.e., against him.

In the house of Millo.—Or, at Beth-Millo. The precise locality cannot be determined. Thenius supposes that the sorely wounded (?) king had retired for greater safety into “the castle palace.” Ewald says the king was murdered while engaged in the fortress. For “the Millo,” see 2Samuel 5:9; 1Kings 9:15. The chronicler relates that Jehoash was murdered in his bed.

Which goeth down to Silla.—These words convey no meaning to us, the name Silla being otherwise unknown. The text is probably corrupt, for Silla is almost exactly like Millo in Hebrew writing. (The Vatican LXX. omits “which goeth down.”)

2 Kings 12:20. His servants made a conspiracy, and slew Jehoash — Of which, see 2 Chronicles 24:25, where we are told that his murdering the prophet, Jehoiada’s son, was the provocation. In this, how unrighteous soever they were, yet the Lord was righteous: and this was not the only time that he let even kings know, it was at their peril if they touched his anointed, or did his prophets any harm; and that, when he comes to make inquisition for blood, the blood of prophets will run the account very high. Thus fell Joash, who began in the spirit, and ended in the flesh. God usually sets marks of his displeasure upon apostates, even in this life; for they, of all sinners, do most reproach the Lord. 12:17-21 Let us review the character of Jehoash, and consider what we may learn from it. When we see what a sad conclusion there was to so promising a beginning, it ought to make us seek into our spiritual declinings. If we know any thing of Christ as the foundation of our faith and hope, let us desire to know nothing but Christ. May the work of the blessed Spirit on our souls be manifest; may we see, feel, and be earnest, in seeking after Jesus in all his fulness, suitableness, and grace, that our souls may be brought over from dead works to serve the living and true God.A conspiracy - Compare the marginal reference Joash, either from a suspicion of intended treason, or from some other unknown cause, took up his abode in the fortress of Millo 1 Kings 9:24. This conspiracy was connected with religion. Soon after the death of Jehoiada, Joash had apostatised; had renewed the worship of Baal; and, despite of many prophetic warnings, had persisted in his evil courses, even commanding Zechariah to be slain when he rebuked them 2 Chronicles 24:18-27. The conspirators, who wished to avenge Zechariah, no doubt wished also to put down the Baal worship. In this it appears that they succeeded. For, though Amaziah punished the actual murderers after a while 2 Kings 14:5, yet he appears not to have been a Baal-worshipper. The only idolatries laid to his charge are the maintenance of the high places 2 Kings 14:4, and a worship of the gods of Edom 2 Chronicles 25:14-20.

Silla - This place is quite unknown.

20. his servants arose … and slew Joash in the house of Millo—(See on [339]2Ch 24:25). Made a conspiracy; of which see 2 Chronicles 24:25.

In the house of Millo; either in that strong and famous place in Jerusalem called Millo; of which see 2 Samuel 5:9 1 Kings 9:15,24 11:27; into which he possibly retired for his security, being afraid even of his own subjects and servants; or in some other place called by the same name, for some resemblance it had with it.

Which goeth down to Silla, i.e. which standeth upon the descent to Silla, or upon that descending causeway which leadeth from Millo to the king’s house. Some refer this to Joash, and render the place thus, they slew him at or near the house of Millo, descending, or as he was going down to Silla, to escape their hands. And his servants arose,.... This was after he had slain Zechariah the son of Jehoiada, who reproved him for his idolatry; and after a second expedition of the king of Syria, who came to Jerusalem, and spoiled it, and left Jehoash diseased, as is recorded in 2 Chronicles 24:23,

and made a conspiracy; not to get the kingdom into their hands, for his son succeeded him, but to avenge the death of Zechariah:

and slew Jehoash in the house of Millo, which goeth down to Silla; these are both names of places; perhaps the latter is mentioned, to distinguish this Bethmillo from Millo in Zion; or rather that itself is meant, and described by the descent from it to a causeway, as Silla may signify, which led to the royal palace.

And his servants arose, and made a conspiracy, and {k} slew Joash in the house of {l} Millo, which goeth down to Silla.

(k) Because he had put Zachariah the son of Jehoiada to death, 2Ch 24:25.

(l) Read 2Sa 5:9.

20. And his servants arose] The Chronicler tells us that the Syrians left the king suffering from ‘great diseases’, perhaps from wounds received in some battle against the Syrians. He adds also that it was because of the blood ‘of the sons of Jehoiada’ that the conspiracy was formed against Joash. From which it would seem that not Zechariah only but the whole family of Jehoiada had been put to death by the ungrateful king.

slew Joash in the house of Millo] R.V. smote Joash at &c. We see from 2 Chronicles that the king was lying sick at this place. So it probably was some royal residence, or some part thereof. On ‘Millo’, the name of some part of the fortifications of Jerusalem, cf. 1 Kings 9:15. Perhaps the place indicated in this verse may have been part of that fortress. The ‘house of Millo’ is mentioned before this, in Jdg 9:6, but that passage has no connexion with this. The Hebrew ‘Beth-Millo’, translated ‘house of Millo’, may have been one proper name which we ought to retain without translation, as in so many other words formed with ‘Beth’ as a prefix.

which goeth down to Silla] R.V. on the way that goeth down to Silla. The LXX. and other versions take ‘Silla’ as a proper name, but we have no knowledge of it except from this place.Verse 20. - And his servants arose, and made a conspiracy. By "his servants" officers of his household are probably intended, attendants whose position would give them ready access to his person. And slew Joash in the house of Millo. Joash had probably transferred his residence to "the house of Mille." - the great fortress built by David (2 Samuel 5:9) and Solomon (1 Kings 9:15, 24) in Jerusalem - for greater security during the siege; and, being there prostrated by sickness, could not remove from it when the siege was over. Which goeth down to Silla. No commentator has succeeded in explaining this passage. There is no other mention of Silla; and it is difficult to understand how a fortress could be said to "go down" to any place. Our Revisers' conjecture - "on the way that goeth down to Silla" - may be accepted as a possible explanation; but it implies that a word (בַּדֶּרֶך) has dropped out of the text. "They gave the money weighed into the hands of those who did the work, who were placed over the house of Jehovah," i.e., the appointed overlookers of the work; "and they paid it (as it was required) to the carpenters and builders, who worked at the house, and to the masons and hewers of stone, and for the purchase of wood and hewn stones, to repair the dilapidations of the house, and for all that might be spent (יצא, i.e., be given out) for the house for repairing it." It is quite clear from this, that the assertion of J. D. Michaelis, De Wette, and others, that the priests had embezzled the money collected, is perfectly imaginary. For if the king had cherished any such suspicion against the priests, he would not have asked for their consent to an alteration of the first arrangement or to the new measure; and still less would he have commanded that the priests who kept the door should put the money into the chest, for this would have been no safeguard against embezzlement. For if the door-keepers wished to embezzle, all that they would need to do would be to put only a part of the money into the chest. The simple reason and occasion for giving up the first arrangement and introducing the new arrangement with the chest, was that the first measure had proved to be insufficient fore the accomplishment of the purpose expected by the king. For inasmuch as the king had not assigned any definite amount for the repairing of the temple, but had left it to the priests to pay for the cost of the repairs out of the money that was to be collected, one portion of which at least came to themselves, according to the law, for their own maintenance and to provide for the expenses of worship, it might easily happen, without the least embezzlement on the part of the priests, that the money collected was paid out again for the immediate necessities of worship and their own maintenance, and that nothing remained to pay for the building expenses. For this reason the king himself now undertook the execution of the requisite repairs. The reason why the chest was provided for the money to be collected was, first of all, that the money to be collected for the building might be separated from the rest of the money that came in and was intended for the priests; and secondly, that the contributions to be gathered for the building might be increased, since it might be expected that the people would give more if the collections were made for the express purpose of restoring the temple, than if only the legal and free-will offerings were simply given to the priests, without any one knowing how much would be applied to the building. - And because the king had taken the building into his own hand, as often as the chest was full he sent his secretary to reckon the money along with the high priest, and hand it over to the superintendents of the building.

If we compare with this the account in the Chronicles, it helps to confirm the view which we have obtained from an unprejudiced examination of the text as to the affair in question. According to 2 Kings 12:5 of the Chronicles, Joash had commanded the priests and Levites to accelerate the repairs; "but the Levites did not hurry." This may be understood as signifying that they were dilatory both in the collection of the money and in the devotion of a portion of their revenues to the repairing of the temple. But that the king took the matter in hand himself, not so much because of the dilatoriness or negligence of the priests as because his first measure, regarded as an expedient, did not answer the purpose, is evident from the fact that, according to the Chronicles, he did not content himself with placing the chest at the entrance, but had a proclamation made at the same time in Judah and Jerusalem, to offer the tax of Moses for the repair of the temple (2 Kings 12:9) - evidently with no other intention than to procure more liberal contributions. For, according to 2 Kings 12:10, all the chief men and all the people rejoiced thereat, and cast their gifts into the chest, i.e., they offered their gifts with joy for the purpose that had been proclaimed. - The other points of difference between the Chronicles and our text are unimportant. For instance, that they placed the chest "at the gate of the house of Jehovah on the outside." The הוּצה merely defines the expression in our text, יי בּית בּבוא־אישׁ בּימין, "to the right at the entrance into the temple," more minutely, by showing that the ark was not placed on the inner side of the entrance into the court of the priests, but against the outer wall of it. This is not at variance with המּזבּח אצל in 2 Kings 12:10; for even apart from the account in the Chronicles, and according to our own text, this cannot be understood as signifying that the ark had been placed in the middle of the court, as Thenius explains in opposition to וגו בּבוא־אישׁ, but can only mean at the entrance which was on the right side of the altar, i.e., at the southern entrance into the inner court. Again, the further variation, that according to the Chronicles (2 Kings 12:11), when the chest was full, an officer of the high priest came with the scribe (not the high priest himself), furnishes simply a more exact definition of our account, in which the high priest is named; just as, according to 2 Kings 12:10, the high priest took the chest and bored a hole in the lid, which no intelligent commentator would understand as signifying that the high priest did it with his own hand. But there is a real difference between 2 Kings 12:14 and 2 Kings 12:15 of our text and 2 Kings 12:14 of the Chronicles, though the solution of this suggests itself at once on a closer inspection of the words. According to our account, there were no golden or silver vessels, basons, knives, bowls, etc., made with the money that was brought in, but it was given for the repairing of the house. In the Chronicles, on the contrary, it is stated that "when they had finished the repairs, they brought the remnant of the money to the king and Jehoiada, and he (the king) used it for vessels for the house of the Lord, for vessels of the service," etc. But if we take proper notice of כּכלּותם here, there is no ground for saying that there is any contradiction, since the words of our text affirm nothing more than that none of the money that came in was applied to the making of vessels of worship so long as the repairing of the building went on. What took place afterwards is not stated in our account, which is limited to the main fact; this we learn from the Chronicles.

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