2 Kings 22:4
Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people:
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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.Hilkiah - Hilkiah was the father (or grandfather) of Seraiah (compare 1 Chronicles 6:13-14, with Nehemiah 11:11), high priest at the time of the captivity 2 Kings 25:18. and ancestor of Ezra the scribe Ezra 7:1.

It is evident from the expressions of this verse that a collection for the repairs of the temple, similar to that established in the reign of Joash 2 Kings 12:9-10, had been for some considerable time in progress (compare 2 Chronicles 34:3), and the king now sent to know the result.

2Ki 22:3-7. He Provides for the Repair of the Temple.

3, 4. in the eighteenth year of king Josiah—Previous to this period, he had commenced the work of national reformation. The preliminary steps had been already taken; not only the builders were employed, but money had been brought by all the people and received by the Levites at the door, and various other preparations had been made. But the course of this narrative turns on one interesting incident which happened in the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign, and hence that date is specified. In fact the whole land was thoroughly purified from every object and all traces of idolatry. The king now addressed himself to the repair and embellishment of the temple and gave directions to Hilkiah the high priest to take a general survey, in order to ascertain what was necessary to be done (see on [353]2Ch 34:8-15).

That he may sum the silver, i.e. take an exact account how much it is, and then dispose it in manner following.

The keepers of the door were priests or Levites, as appears from 2 Kings 12:9 2 Chronicles 8:14 23:4 34:9.

Go up to Hilkiah the high priest,.... Who had an apartment in the temple; there was an Hilkiah, a priest, in those times, who was the father of Jeremiah the prophet, Jeremiah 1:1, whom an Arabic writer (l) takes to be the same with this; but it is not likely:

that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the Lord which the people voluntarily offered for the repairing of it; this he would have the priest take an account of, that the sum total might be known; his meaning is, that he should take it out of the chest in which it was put, and count it, that it might be known what it amounted to; see 2 Kings 12:9, some understand this of melting and coining the silver thus given

which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people: who were Levites, 2 Chronicles 34:9, either porters of the door, or rather the treasurers, as the Targum; the keepers of the vessels of the sanctuary, that had the care of them, as the Jewish commentators generally interpret it.

(l) Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. p. 68.

Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the {b} door have gathered of the people:

(b) Certain of the priests were appointed to this office, as in 2Ki 12:9.

4. Hilkiah the high priest] From 1 Chronicles 6:13 it seems that he was the son of Shallum, and judging from Ezra 7:1 he appears to have been an ancestor of Ezra.

that he may sum the silver] R.V. money. With a view to a restoration of the temple, a collection of money like that in the reign of Joash (see above, chap. 12.) had been in progress, and now, acting on the precedent of that previous time, as appears from the great similarity in the language used to describe them both, Josiah sets about the repair of all that had fallen into decay during the seven and fifty years which had passed since the death of Hezekiah.

the keepers of the door have gathered of the people] The keepers of the door were the priests (see 2 Kings 12:9) who had charge of the treasury into which the offerings of the devout were put. In Chronicles they are said to be the Levites. It is noted in 2 Chron. that money was not only gathered from Judah and Benjamin, but also from the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, and from all the remnant of Israel.

Verse 4. - Go up to Hilkiah the high priest. Hilkiah is mentioned again in the genealogy of Ezra (Ezra 7:1). He is there called "the son of Shallum." That he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the Lord. A collection must have been progressing for some time. As in the reign of Joash, after the impieties and idolatry of Athaliah, it was found necessary to collect money for the repair of the temple (2 Kings 12:4-14), so now, after the wicked doings of Manasseh and Amen, a renovation of the sacred building was required, and the money needed was being raised by a collection. Great care was taken in all such cases that an exact account should be kept and rendered. Which the keepers of the door - literally, of the threshold - have gathered of the people. The money had, apparently, been allowed to accumulate in a box or boxes (see 2 Kings 12:9), from the time when the collection was first authorized, probably six years previously. The high priest was now required to count it, to take the sum of it, and undertake the distribution. 2 Kings 22:4Repairing of the temple, and discovery of the book of the law (cf. 2 Chronicles 34:8-18). - When Josiah sent Shaphan the secretary of state (סופר, see at 2 Samuel 8:17) into the temple, in the eighteenth year of his reign, with instructions to Hilkiah the high priest to pay to the builders the money which had been collected from the people for repairing the temple by the Levites who kept the door, Hilkiah said to Shaphan, "I have found the book of the law." 2 Kings 22:3-8 form a long period. The apodosis to וגו ויהי, "it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah-the king had sent Shaphan," etc., does not follow till 2 Kings 22:8 : "that Hilkiah said," etc. The principal fact which the historian wished to relate, was the discovery of the book of the law; and the repairing of the temple is simply mentioned because it was when Shaphan was sent to Hilkiah about the payment of the money to the builders that the high priest informed the king's secretary of state of the discovery of the book of the law in the temple, and handed it over to him to take to the king. המּלך שׁלח, in 2 Kings 22:3, forms the commencement to the minor clauses inserted within the principal clause, and subordinate to it: "the king had sent Shaphan," etc. According to 2 Chronicles 34:8, the king had deputed not only Shaphan the state-secretary, but also Maaseiah the governor of the city and Joach the chancellor, because the repairing of the temple was not a private affair of the king and the high priest, but concerned the city generally, and indeed the whole kingdom. In 2 Kings 22:4, 2 Kings 22:5 there follows the charge given by the king to Shaphan: "Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may make up the money, ... and hand it over to the workmen appointed over the house of Jehovah," etc. יתּם, from תּמם, Hiphil, signifies to finish or set right, i.e., not pay out (Ges., Dietr.), but make it up for the purpose of paying out, namely, collect it from the door-keepers, count it, and bind it up in bags (see 2 Kings 12:11). יתּם is therefore quite appropriate here, and there is no alteration of the text required. The door-keepers had probably put the money in a chest placed at the entrance, as was the case at the repairing of the temple in the time of Joash (2 Kings 12:10). In 2 Kings 22:5 the Keri יתנהוּ is a bad alteration of the Chethb יתנה, "and give (it) into the hand," which is perfectly correct. המּלאכה עשׁי might denote both the masters and the workmen (builders), and is therefore defined more precisely first of all by יי בּבית המּפקדים, "who had the oversight at the house of Jehovah," i.e., the masters or inspectors of the building, and secondly by יי בּבית אשׁר, who were (occupied) at the house of Jehovah, whilst in the Chronicles it is explained by י עשׂים ב אשׁר. The Keri יי בּית is an alteration after 2 Kings 22:9, whereas the combination בּבית מפקדים is justified by the construction of הפקיד c. acc. pers. and בּ rei in Jeremiah 40:5. The masters are the subject to ויתּנוּ; they were to pay the money as it was wanted, either to the workmen, or for the purchase of materials for repairing the dilapidations, as is more precisely defined in 2 Kings 22:6. Compare 2 Kings 12:12-13; and for 2 Kings 22:7 compare 2 Kings 12:16. The names of the masters or inspectors are given in 2 Chronicles 34:12. - The execution of the king's command is not specially mentioned, that the parenthesis may not be spun out any further.
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