2 Kings 22:20
Behold therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered into your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring on this place. And they brought the king word again.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) Thy grave.—So some MSS. and the old versions. But the ordinary Hebrew text, thy graves, may be right, as referring to the burial-place formed by Manasseh, which would contain a number of chambers and niches (2Kings 21:18).

In peace.—These words are limited by those which follow: “thine eyes shall not see all the evil,” &c. Josiah was slain in battle, as the next chapter relates (2Kings 23:29); but he was spared the greater calamity of witnessing the ruin of his people.

2 Kings 22:20. Behold, therefore, I will gather thee to thy fathers — It is justly observed here by Henry, that the saints in those days had doubtless a comfortable prospect of happiness on the other side of death, otherwise the being gathered to their fathers would not have been so often made the matter of a promise as we find it was. Josiah could not prevail to prevent the judgment itself, but God promised him he should not live to see it; which, especially considering that he died in the midst of his days, before he was forty years of age, would have been but a small reward for his eminent piety, if there had not been another world, in which he should be abundantly recompensed, Hebrews 11:16. When the righteous is taken away from the evil to come, he enters into peace, Isaiah 58:1-2. This is promised to Josiah here, Thou shalt go to thy grave in peace — Which refers not to the manner of his death, for he was killed in battle, but to the time of it; it was a little time before the captivity in Babylon, that great trouble, in comparison with which other troubles were as nothing: so that he might be truly said to die in peace, that did not live to share in that. He died in the love and favour of God, which secures such a peace as no circumstances of dying, no, not dying in the field of war, could alter the nature of, or break in upon. They may well be said to die in peace, who, after their dissolution here, are numbered among the children of God, and have their lot among the saints. 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.In peace - The death of Josiah in battle 2 Kings 23:29 is in verbal contradiction to this prophecy, but not in real opposition to its spirit, which is simply that the pious prince who has sent to inquire of the Lord, shall be gathered to his fathers before the troubles come upon the land which are to result in her utter desolation. Now those troubles were to come, not from Egypt, but from Babylon; and their commencement was not the invasion of Necho in 608 B.C., but that of Nebuchadnezzar three years later. Thus was Josiah "taken away from the evil to come," and died "in peace" before his city had suffered attack from the really formidable enemy. 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. In peace, i.e. in a time of public peace, and the tranquility of thy kingdom; or so as

thou shalt not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place, as the following words explain it; for otherwise he died in battle, 2 Kings 23:29. Besides, he died in peace with God, and was by death translated to everlasting peace. Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers,.... To his godly ancestors, to share with them in eternal life and happiness; otherwise it could be no peculiar favour to die in common, as his fathers did, and be buried in their sepulchres:

and thou shall be gathered into thy grave in peace; in a time of public peace and tranquillity; for though he was slain in battle with the king of Egypt, yet it was what he was personally concerned in, and it was not a public war between the two kingdoms, and his body was carried off by his servants, and was peaceably interred in the sepulchre of his ancestors, 2 Kings 23:29, as well as he died in spiritual peace, and entered into eternal peace, which is the end of the perfect and upright man, as he was, Psalm 37:37 but this chiefly regards his not living to be distressed with the calamities of his nation and people, as follows:

and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place: he being removed first, though it came upon it in the days of his sons:

and they brought the king word again; of what Huldah the prophetess had said unto them.

Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in {k} peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.

(k) Upon which we may gather that the anger of God is ready against the wicked when God takes his servants out of this world.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. into thy grave in peace] i. e. None of these evils denounced against the nation shall come to pass in thy days. As far as they are concerned thou shalt die in peace. The promise has no reference to the war with Egypt (2 Kings 23:29) in which Josiah was slain at Megiddo.Verse 20. - Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace. There is a seeming contradiction between these words and the fact of Josiah's violent death in battle against Pharaoh-Nechoh (2 Kings 23:29). But the contradiction is not a real one. Huldah was commissioned to assure Josiah that, though the destruction of his kingdom and the desolation of Judaea and Jerusalem, threatened in the Law, were at hand, yet they would not come in his day. He would not see the evil time. Before it came he would be "gathered to his fathers" i.e., in Jerusalem, as his predecessors had been (2 Kings 23:30), and not hurried off into captivity, to die in a foreign land, or given "the burial of an ass, drawn and east forth before the gates of Jerusalem" (Jeremiah 22:19). The promise given him was fulfilled. He died in battle; but he was buried in peace (2 Chronicles 35:24, 25); and the fated enemy who was to destroy Jerusalem, and carry the Jewish nation into captivity, did not make any attack upon the land until three years later, when he was departed to his rest, and the throne was occupied by Jehoiakim (see 2 Kings 24:1). And thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place; e.g. the three sieges of Nebuchadnezzar, the destruction of the temple and city by Nebuzaradan (2 Kings 25:9, 10), the deportation of the bulk of the inhabitants (2 Kings 25:11), and the calamities which happened to the remnant left (2 Kings 25:22-26). Josiah did not witness any of this. He was "taken away from the evil to come." And they brought the king word again; i.e. Hilkiah, Shaphan, and their companions (ver. 14) reported to Josiah the message which Huldah had sent by them.



Nothing further is known of the prophetess Huldah than what is mentioned here. All that we can infer from the fact that the king sent to her is, that she was highly distinguished on account of her prophetical gifts, and that none of the prophets of renown, such as Jeremiah and Zephaniah, were at that time in Jerusalem. Her father Shallum was keeper of the clothes, i.e., superintendent over either the priests' dresses that were kept in the temple (according to the Rabbins and Wits. de proph. in his Miscell. ss. i. p. 356, ed. 3), or the king's wardrobe. The names of his ancestors תּקוה and הרחס are written תּוקהת and חסרה in the Chronicles. Huldah lived at Jerusalem בּמּשׁנה, "in the second part" or district of the city, i.e., in the lower city, upon the hill Ἄκρα (Rob. Pal. i. p. 391), which is called המּשׁנה in Zephaniah 1:10, and משׁנה העיר in Nehemiah 11:9, and ἄλλη πόλις in Joseph. Ant. xv. 11, 5.
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