2 Kings 22:19
Because your heart was tender, and you have humbled yourself before the LORD, when you heard what I spoke against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and have rent your clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard you, said the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(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.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
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." From the commission, "Inquire ye of Jehovah for me and for the people and for all Judah (i.e., the whole kingdom) concerning the words of this book of the law that has been found, for great is the wrath of the Lord which has been kindled against us, because our fathers have not heard ...," we may infer that the curses of the law upon the despisers of the commandments of God in Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28:1, and other passages, had been read to the king. את־יי דּרשׁ means to inquire the will of the Lord, what He has determined concerning the king, his people, and the kingdom. על שׁמע signifies here to hearken to anything, to observe it, for which אל is used elsewhere. על כּתב, to prescribe for performance. עלינוּ, "prescribed for us," is quite appropriate, since the law was not only given to the fathers to obey, but also to the existing generation-a fact which Thenius has overlooked with his conjecture עליו. To render the king's alarm and his fear of severe judgments from God intelligible, there is no need for the far-fetched and extremely precarious hypothesis, that just at that time the Scythians had invaded and devastated the land.
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