2 Kings 22:19
Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD.
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(19) Tender.—See 1Chronicles 29:1; 1Chronicles 13:7; Deuteronomy 20:8.

Hast humbled thyself.—Comp. the behaviour of Ahab (1Kings 21:27 seq.).

Become a desolation and a curse.—See Jeremiah 44:22. “A curse” is not so much an instance of causa pro effectu (Thenius), as a specification of the type such as would be made in blessing and cursing. (Comp. Jeremiah 29:22; Genesis 48:20; Ruth 4:11-12.)

2 Kings 22:19. Because thy heart was tender — Here are four tokens of true repentance and conversion to God in Josiah: 1st, Tenderness, or softness of heart, in opposition to that hardness which arises from unbelief of God’s declarations and threatenings: he trembled at God’s word: he was grieved for the dishonour done to God by the sins of the people: and he was afraid of the judgments of God, which he saw coming on Jerusalem. This is tenderness of heart; and proceeded in Josiah from his faith in God’s word. 2d, Great humility: he abased himself before the divine majesty, conscious of his own sinfulness and guilt before God, and unworthiness of the goodness God had shown him. These two qualities were internal. The two others were outward tokens of this inward sense of things; namely, rending his clothes, and weeping before God, for his own and the public offences, followed by all possible endeavours to effect a reformation in the people.

22:11-20 The book of the law is read before the king. Those best honour their Bibles, who study them; daily feed on that bread, and walk by that light. Convictions of sin and wrath should put us upon this inquiry, What shall we do to be saved? Also, what we may expect, and must provide for. Those who are truly apprehensive of the weight of God's wrath, cannot but be very anxious how they may be saved. Huldah let Josiah know what judgments God had in store for Judah and Jerusalem. The generality of the people were hardened, and their hearts unhumbled, but Josiah's heart was tender. This is tenderness of heart, and thus he humbled himself before the Lord. Those who most fear God's wrath, are least likely to feel it. Though Josiah was mortally wounded in battle, yet he died in peace with God, and went to glory. Whatever such persons suffer or witness, they are gathered to the grave in peace, and shall enter into the rest which remaineth for the people of God.See the marginal references. 15-20. she said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me—On being consulted, she delivered an oracular response in which judgment was blended with mercy; for it announced the impending calamities that at no distant period were to overtake the city and its inhabitants. But at the same time the king was consoled with an assurance that this season of punishment and sorrow should not be during his lifetime, on account of the faith, penitence, and pious zeal for the divine glory and worship which, in his public capacity and with his royal influence, he had displayed. No text from Poole on this verse.

Because thine heart was tender,.... Soft like wax, and susceptible of impressions; or was "moved", or "trembled", as the Targum; for God has respect to such as are of contrite hearts, and tremble at his word, Isaiah 66:2,

and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord; external humiliation, such as in Ahab, was regarded by the Lord, much more internal and cordial humiliation is regarded by him, see 1 Kings 21:29,

when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse; as in Leviticus 26:1.

and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; as expressive of the inward contrition, sorrow, and grief of his heart:

I also have heard thee, saith the Lord: his cries and prayers.

Because thine heart was {i} tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD.

(i) Meaning, that he repented as they that do not repent are said to harden their heart, Ps 95:8.

19. thine heart was tender] The adjective is often used of those that are fainthearted and feeble. Here it has a good sense and means ‘easily touched’, ‘susceptible’.

and thou hast humbled [R.V. didst humble] thyself] For grace shewn to such humiliation even in a worse case cf. 1 Kings 21:29.

I also have heard thee] The sentence implies ‘Because thou didst hear me’.

Verse 19. - Because thine heart was tender - or, faint, timid (comp. Deuteronomy 20:3; Isaiah 7:4) - and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord. Rending the garments (ver. 11) was an outward act of humiliation. Josiah had accompanied it by inward repentance and self-abasement. He had even been moved to tears (see the last clause but one of this verse). When thou heartiest what I spake against this place. The book was, therefore, a record of what God had really spoken, not a fraud imposed on the king by the high priest, or on the high priest (Ewald, 'History of Israel,' vol. 4. p. 235) by an unknown Egyptian exile. And against the inhabitants thereof; that they should become a desolation and a curse. This is not a direct quotation from the Law, but a summary, in pregnant language, of the general effect of such passages as Leviticus 26:31-35 and Deuteronomy 28:15-20. The language is like that of Jeremiah 26:6; Jeremiah 41:18; Jeremiah 44:22. And hast rent thy clothes (see ver. 11), and wept before me. This had not been previously stated, but might have been gathered from Josiah's evident sincerity, and from the ordinary habits of Orientals (comp. 2 Kings 8:11; 2 Kings 13:14; 2 Kings 20:3). I also have heard thee, saith the Lord. The general sense of vers. 18, 19, is, as Bahr notes, "Because thou hast heard me and taken heed to my threats, I also have heard thee, and will delay their fulfillment." 2 Kings 22:19The reply of Huldah the prophetess. - Huldah confirmed the fear expressed by Josiah, that the wrath of the Lord was kindled against Jerusalem and its inhabitants on account of their idolatry, and proclaimed first of all (2 Kings 22:16, 2 Kings 22:17), that the Lord would bring upon Jerusalem and its inhabitants all the punishments with which the rebellious and idolaters are threatened in the book of the law; and secondly (2 Kings 22:18-20), to the king himself, that on account of his sincere repentance and humiliation in the sight of God, he would not live to see the predicted calamities, but would be gathered to his fathers in peace. The first part of her announcement applies "to the man who has sent you to me" (2 Kings 22:15), the second "to the king of Judah, who has sent to inquire of the Lord" (2 Kings 22:18). "The man" who had sent to her was indeed also the king; but Huldah intentionally made use of the general expression "the man," etc., to indicate that the word announced to him applied not merely to the king, but to every one who would hearken to the word, whereas the second portion of her reply had reference to the king alone. הזּה המּקום, in 2 Kings 22:16, 2 Kings 22:19, and 2 Kings 22:20, is Jerusalem as the capital of the kingdom. In 2 Kings 22:16, הסּפר כּל־דּברי is an explanatory apposition to רעה. 2 Kings 22:17. "With all the work of their hands," i.e., with the idols which they have made for themselves (cf. 1 Kings 16:7). The last clause in 2 Kings 22:18, "the words which thou hast heard," is not to be connected with the preceding one, "thus saith the Lord," and על or ל to be supplied; but it belongs to the following sentence, and is placed at the head absolutely: as for the words, which thou hast heart - because thy heart has become soft, i.e., in despair at the punishment with which the sinners are threatened (cf. Deuteronomy 20:3; Isaiah 7:4), and thou hast humbled thyself, when thou didst hear, etc.; therefore, behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, etc. לשׁמּה להיות, "that they (the city and inhabitants) may become a desolation and curse." These words, which are often used by the prophets, but which are not found connected like this except in Jeremiah 44:22, rest upon Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, and show that these passages had been read to the king out of the book of the law.
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