2 Kings 15:10
And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him before the people, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.
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(10) Son of Jabesh.Not man of Jabesh Gilead, as Hitzig explains. The father’s name is always given in the case of usurpers.

Before the people.—Rather, before peoplei.e., in public. So all the versions except the LXX. The open assassination of the king is noted, in contrast with the secrecy with which former conspiracies had been concerted. It is a symptom of the rapidly-increasing corruption of morals, which allowed people to look on with indifference while the king was being murdered. (The LXX. puts the Hebrew words into Greek letters thus: κεβλααμ. The word qobol—“before”—is Aramaic rather than Hebrew, and only occurs here. Ewald acutely conjectured that Qobol’ām—“before people”—was really the proper name of another usurper, comparing Zechariah 11:8, “the third king during that month;” but in that case the narrative is hardly coherent of complete. Grätz suggests the correction “in Ibleam.”

2 Kings 15:10. Shallum the son of Jabesh — Probably one of his chief captains; conspired against him — On what pretence is quite uncertain. And smote him before the people — Openly and impudently, which, it is likely, he presumed to do, either because he remembered that the promise of the kingdom, made to Jehu, was confined to the fourth generation, (2 Kings 10:30,) which he observed to be now expired; or because he perceived the people were generally disaffected to their king, and favourable to his attempt.15:8-31 This history shows Israel in confusion. Though Judah was not without troubles, yet that kingdom was happy, compared with the state of Israel. The imperfections of true believers are very different from the allowed wickedness of ungodly men. Such is human nature, such are our hearts, if left to themselves, deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. We have reason to be thankful for restraints, for being kept out of temptation, and should beg of God to renew a right spirit within us.Before the people - i. e. openly and publicly. The Septuagint turns the original of the above words into a proper name, Keblaam, and makes him the actual assassin, but without much ground. 2Ki 15:8-16. Zechariah's Reign over Israel.

8-10. In the thirty and eighth year of Azariah king of Judah did Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel—There was an interregnum from some unknown cause between the reign of Jeroboam and the accession of his son, which lasted, according to some, for ten or twelve years, according to others, for twenty-two years, or more. This prince pursued the religious policy of the calf-worship, and his reign was short, being abruptly terminated by the hand of violence. In his fate was fulfilled the prophecy addressed to Jehu (2Ki 10:30; also Ho 1:4), that his family would possess the throne of Israel for four generations; and accordingly Jehoahaz, Joash, Jehoram, and Zechariah were his successors—but there his dynasty terminated; and perhaps it was the public knowledge of this prediction that prompted the murderous design of Shallum.

Shallum the son of Jabesh; one of his chief captains.

Before the people openly and impudently; which he presumed to do, either because he remembered that the promise of the kingdom made to Jehu was confined to the fourth generation, 2 Kings 10:30, which he observed to be now expired; or because he perceived that the people were generally disaffected to their king, and favourable to his attempt. And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him,.... A friend of his, as Josephus (q) calls him, encouraged by the dissatisfaction of the people to him:

and smote him before the people, and slew him; in a public manner, the people consenting to it, and approving of it, not liking Zachariah to be their king:

and reigned in his stead; though but a very short time.

(q) Antiqu. l. 9. c. 11. sect. 1.

And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him before the people, and {e} slew him, and reigned in his stead.

(e) Zachariah was the last in Israel, that had the kingdom by succession, save only Pekahiah the son of Menahem, who reigned only two years.

10. Shallum the son of Jabesh] Nothing more is known of him than is given in this verse. The death of the last scion of the house of Jehu by the sword appears to be foretold in Amos 7:9, ‘I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword’.

before the people] i.e. Publicly. Hence it would seem that the conspiracy of Shallum had large popular support. But the LXX. here has plural verbs ‘they conspired’, ‘they smote’ and ‘they slew’ and writes the two words translated ‘before the people’ as though they were one proper name Κεβλαὰμ. Hence some have thought that Shallum had a fellow-conspirator of whom this was the name. The words occur in such a combination and sense nowhere else, and the preposition, rendered ‘before’, is not found except in the Chaldee portions of the Old Testament. But there is nothing in the Hebrew to warrant the changes of the LXX., though Ewald, and after him the late Dean Stanley, adopted them as representing a more correct text. Stanley says (Jewish Church 2:308) ‘Zechariah was, it would seem, succeeded by a king, whose very name is almost lost to us, Kobolam, and Kobolam was succeeded by Shallum’. There needs a great deal of manipulation of even the text of the LXX. to extract any such statement from it. A much more reasonable conjecture is to make Κεβλαὰμ (though found nowhere else) the name of the place where Zachariah was murdered.Verse 10. - And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him. Josephus calls Shallum Zachariah's "friend," but otherwise adds nothing to the present narrative. And smote him before the people. The phrase employed is very unusual, and has justly excited suspicion. It was not understood by the LXX., who translate ἐπάταξαν αὐτὸν Κεβλαάμ, which gives no sense. Ewald sought to solve the difficulty by inventing a king, "Zobolam," but other critics have found this expedient too bold. The rendering of our translators is generally accepted, though qobal, "before," only occurs here and in Daniel. If we accept this rendering, we must suppose that the act of violence was done openly, like Jehu's murder of Jehoram. And slew him, and reigned in his stead (comp. ver. 13). Beside the general characteristics of Uzziah's fifty-two years' reign, which are given in the standing formula, not a single special act is mentioned, although, according to 2 Chronicles 26, he raised his kingdom to great earthly power and prosperity; probably for no other reason than because his enterprises had exerted no permanent influence upon the development of the kingdom of Judah, but all the useful fruits of his reign were destroyed again by the ungodly Ahaz. Uzziah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father Amaziah had done. For as the latter was unfaithful to the Lord in the closing years of his reign, so did Uzziah seek God only so long as Zechariah, who was experienced in divine visions, remained alive, and God gave success to his enterprises, so that during this time he carried on successful wars against the Philistines and Arabians, fortified the walls of Jerusalem with strong towers, built watch-towers in the desert, and constructed cisterns for the protection and supply of his numerous flocks, promoted agriculture and vine-growing, and organized a numerous and well-furnished army (2 Chronicles 26:5-15). But the great power to which he thereby attained produced such haughtiness, that he wanted to make himself high priest in his kingdom after the manner of the heathen kings, and usurping the sacred functions, which belonged according to the law to the Levitical priests alone, to offer incense in the temple, for which he was punished with leprosy upon the spot (2 Kings 15:5 compared with 2 Chronicles 26:16.). The king's leprosy is described in our account also as a punishment from God. יי ויננּע: Jehovah smote him, and he became leprous. This presupposes an act of guilt, and confirms the fuller account of this guilt given in the Chronicles, which Thenius, following the example of De Wette and Winer, could only call in question on the erroneous assumption "that the powerful king wanted to restore the regal high-priesthood exercised by David and Solomon" Oehler (Herzog's Cycl.) has already shown that such an opinion is perfectly "groundless," since it is nowhere stated that David and Solomon performed with their own hands the functions assigned in the law to the priests in connection with the offering of sacrifice, as the co-operation of the priests is not precluded in connection with the sacrifices presented by these kings (2 Samuel 6:17, and 1 Kings 3:4, etc.). - Uzziah being afflicted with leprosy, was obliged to live in a separate house, and appoint his son Jotham as president of the royal house to judge the people, i.e., to conduct the administration of the kingdom. - The time when this event occurred is not stated either in our account or in the Chronicles. But this punishment from God cannot have fallen upon him before the last ten years of his fifty-two years' reign, because his son, who was only twenty-five years old when his father died (2 Kings 15:33, and 2 Chronicles 27:1), undertook the administration of the affairs of the kingdom at once, and therefore must have been at least fifteen years old. החפשׁית בּית is taken by Winer, Gesenius, and others, after the example of Iken, to signify nosocomium, an infirmary or lazar-house, in accordance with the verb Arab. xfs̆, fecit, II debilis, imbecillis fuit. But this meaning cannot be traced in Hebrew, where חפשׁי is used in no other sense than free, set at liberty, manumissus. Consequently the rendering adopted by Aquila is correct, οἶκος ἐλευθερίας; and the explanation given by Kimchi of this epithet is, that the persons who lived there were those who were sent away from human society, or perhaps more correctly, those who were released from the world and its privileges and duties, or cut off from intercourse with God and man.
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