2 Kings 22:10
And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.
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(10) Read it before the king.—Keil suggests such passages as Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26. If it were meant that Shaphan read the whole of the book, as Thenius alleges, we should expect “all the words of the book” in 2Kings 22:11.

2 Kings 22:10-11. And Shaphan read it before the king — That is, some part of it, for it cannot be supposed that he read all of it, especially at one time. When the king heard the words of the book — The dreadful comminations contained in it against them for the sins still reigning among them; he rent his clothes — Being very deeply affected with a sense of the greatness of their guilt, and an apprehension that dreadful judgments hung over them, and were ready to fall upon them. It appears from this, that whether this was the only authentic copy of the law in existence or not, yet the things contained in it were new, both to the king himself, and also to the high- priest. And if even they were strangers to them, how much more may we reasonably suppose the people in general were. It is true, every king was commanded to write a copy of the law with his own hand, (Deuteronomy 17:18,) and the law was to be publicly read every seventh year. But, it is probable, these customs had been intermitted for a long time, and that the body of the people had no other way of coming to the knowledge of God’s laws, but by word of mouth from one to another; a method which must have been attended with great imperfection and uncertainty. And accordingly we find, that even in the times of pious kings, and public reformation, the people, notwithstanding, continued in the practice of many things directly contrary to the law of Moses, such as sacrificing and burning incense on high places. And they seem to have done these things as if they did not know that they were forbidden. And certainly it must have been very difficult for them, had they been ever so desirous of it, to obtain a knowledge of all the things required of them in the law. It was no marvel that the people were so corrupt, when the book of the law was such a scarce thing, and its contents so little known among them. Where that vision is not, the people perish. From hence we may take occasion to reflect with gratitude on the great privileges we possess, in that we live in times when the art of printing has made it comparatively easy, in most Christian countries, at least in our own, for every one to have a copy of the divine law in his hands, to be his constant director, to be consulted on all occasions, and to be the matter of his meditation at all times. An advantage this of inestimable value, if it be made a right use of.

22:1-10 The different event of Josiah's early succession from that of Manasseh, must be ascribed to the distinguishing grace of God; yet probably the persons that trained him up were instruments in producing this difference. His character was most excellent. Had the people joined in the reformation as heartily as he persevered in it, blessed effects would have followed. But they were wicked, and had become fools in idolatry. We do not obtain full knowledge of the state of Judah from the historical records, unless we refer to the writings of the prophets who lived at the time. In repairing the temple, the book of the law was found, and brought to the king. It seems, this book of the law was lost and missing; carelessly mislaid and neglected, as some throw their Bibles into corners, or maliciously concealed by some of the idolaters. God's care of the Bible plainly shows his interest in it. Whether this was the only copy in being or not, the things contained in it were new, both to the king and to the high priest. No summaries, extracts, or collections out of the Bible, can convey and preserve the knowledge of God and his will, like the Bible itself. It was no marvel that the people were so corrupt, when the book of the law was so scarce; they that corrupted them, no doubt, used arts to get that book out of their hands. The abundance of Bibles we possess aggravates our national sins; for what greater contempt of God can we show, than to refuse to read his word when put into our hands, or, reading it, not to believe and obey it? By the holy law is the knowledge of sin, and by the blessed gospel is the knowledge of salvation. When the former is understood in its strictness and excellence, the sinner begins to inquire, What must I do to be saved? And the ministers of the gospel point out to him Jesus Christ, as the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.Have gathered - Rather, "have poured out" or "emptied out." The allusion probably is to the emptying of the chest in which all the money collected had been placed 2 Kings 12:9. 2Ki 22:8-15. Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law.

8-11. Hilkiah said … I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord, &c.—that is, the law of Moses, the Pentateuch. It was the temple copy which, had been laid (De 31:25, 26) beside the ark in the most holy place. During the ungodly reigns of Manasseh and Amon—or perhaps under Ahaz, when the temple itself had been profaned by idols, and the ark also (2Ch 35:3) removed from its site; it was somehow lost, and was now found again during the repair of the temple [Keil]. Delivered by Hilkiah the discoverer to Shaphan the scribe [2Ki 22:8], it was by the latter shown and read to the king. It is thought, with great probability, that the passage read to the king, and by which the royal mind was so greatly excited, was a portion of Deuteronomy, the twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth, and thirtieth chapters, in which is recorded a renewal of the national covenant, and an enumeration of the terrible threats and curses denounced against all who violated the law, whether prince or people. The impressions of grief and terror which the reading produced on the mind of Josiah have seemed to many unaccountable. But, as it is certain from the extensive and familiar knowledge displayed by the prophets, that there were numbers of other copies in popular circulation, the king must have known its sacred contents in some degree. But he might have been a stranger to the passage read him, or the reading of it might, in the peculiar circumstances, have found a way to his heart in a manner that he never felt before. His strong faith in the divine word, and his painful consciousness that the woeful and long-continued apostasies of the nation had exposed them to the infliction of the judgments denounced, must have come with overwhelming force on the heart of so pious a prince.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And Shaphan showed the king,.... Further related to him what follows:

saying, Hilkiah the high priest hath delivered me a book; but did not say what book it was:

and Shaphan read it before the king; part of it; and it is thought by Kimchi and Ben Gersom that he particularly read the reproofs and threatenings in the book of Deuteronomy; they suppose that Hilkiah read those to Shaphan, and directed him to read them to the king, that he might take into consideration a further reformation.

And Shaphan the scribe showed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.
10. Shaphan … shewed [R.V. told] the king] The R.V. has taken the rendering in Chronicles where the Hebrew is the same. ‘Shewed’ is open to a wrong sense.

Hilkiah … hath delivered me a book] Though Shaphan is represented as speaking of a book, there can be no question that he knew what the book was. ‘The book of the Law’ had a well-defined meaning for him. How far the king understood what such a book contained is questionable. The sacrifices and other religious observances in which he had taken part he of course understood. It is manifest that there was in this book something more than he had known before, from his alarm when he heard it read.

And Shaphan read it] i.e. Portions of it. The Hebrew in 2 Chronicles expresses this, and says ‘he read in it’.

Verse 10. - And Shaphan the scribe showed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. Shaphan does not venture to-characterize the book, as Hilkiah has done. He is not officially learned in the Law. And he has only read a few passages of it. To him, therefore, it is only "a book," the authorship and value of which he leaves it to others to determine. And Shaphan read it before the king. It is most natural to understand hero, as in ver. 8, that Shaphan read portions of the book. Where the author intends to say that the whole book was read, he expresses himself differently (see 2 Kings 23:2, "The king read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant"). 2 Kings 22:10The reading of the book of the law to the king, and the inquiry made of the prophetess Huldah concerning it. - 2 Kings 22:9, 2 Kings 22:10. When Shaphan informed the king of the execution of his command, he also told him that Hilkiah had given him a book, and read it to the king. דּבר השׁיב, to bring an answer, to give a report as to a commission that has been received. התּיכוּ, they poured out the money, i.e., out of the chest in which it was collected, into bags. ויּקראהוּ, "he read it to the king," is simplified in the Chronicles (2 Kings 22:18) by בו יקרא, "he read therein." That יקראהו does not signify that the whole was read, is evident from a comparison of 2 Kings 23:2, where the reading of the whole is expressed by כּל־דּברי ס. Which passages or sections Shaphan read by himself (2 Kings 22:8), and which he read to the king, it is impossible to determine exactly. To the king he most likely read, among other things, the threats and curses of the law against those who transgressed it (Deuteronomy 28), and possibly also Leviticus 26, because the reading made such an impression upon him, that in his anguish of soul he rent his clothes. Nor is it possible to decide anything with certainty, as to whether the king had hitherto been altogether unacquainted with the book of the law, and had merely a traditional knowledge of the law itself, or whether he had already had a copy of the law, but had not yet read it through, or had not read it with proper attention, which accounted for the passages that were read to him now making so deep and alarming an impression upon him. It is a well-known experience, that even books which have been read may, under peculiar circumstances, produce an impression such as has not been made before. But in all probability Josiah had not had in his possession any copy of the law, or even read it till now; although the thorough acquaintance with the law, which all the prophets display, places the existence of the Pentateuch in prophetical circles beyond the reach of doubt.
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