And in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and took the captains of hundreds, Azariah the son of Jeroham, and Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, and Azariah the son of Obed, and Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri, into covenant with him.2 Chronicles 23:1. And took the captains of hundreds — Not all, but those here following, in whom he put most trust. But the contents of this chapter, in general, having occurred 2 Kings 11., where they are explained, little need be said on them here.
And they went about in Judah, and gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Judah, and the chief of the fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem.2 Chronicles 23:2. And gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Judah — Because he knew them to be well affected to the cause of God and the king, to which they were bound by the two strongest ties, conscience and interest: and because he could collect them without any suspicion, it being their duty to attend at Jerusalem at the solemn feasts, the time of one which was probably chosen for this purpose. And the chief of the fathers Israel — Judah is here called Israel, as in several other places. They came to Jerusalem — To settle their resolutions with Jehoiada.
And all the congregation made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And he said unto them, Behold, the king's son shall reign, as the LORD hath said of the sons of David.
This is the thing that ye shall do; A third part of you entering on the sabbath, of the priests and of the Levites, shall be porters of the doors;2 Chronicles 23:4-5. A third part of you shall be porters of the doors — Or rather, guards at the gates, to prevent any of Athaliah’s party from entering into the temple. At the gate of the foundation — So called, because it stood lower than the rest of the doors, at the foot of the steps by which they went up from the king’s house to the temple. And all the people shall be in the courts — In the two courts; for by the people here he seems to intend both the generality of the Levites, who had no particular station assigned them, such as their brethren had, and who were to be in the court of the priests, and the people who were in the court of the people.
And a third part shall be at the king's house; and a third part at the gate of the foundation: and all the people shall be in the courts of the house of the LORD.
But let none come into the house of the LORD, save the priests, and they that minister of the Levites; they shall go in, for they are holy: but all the people shall keep the watch of the LORD.2 Chronicles 23:6. Let none come into the house of the Lord — Strictly so called, and distinguished from the courts just mentioned, namely, into the sanctuary, or holy place. Save the priests, and they that minister of the Levites — Who are to minister in course, or according to my present appointment. They shall go in, for they are holy — They have been consecrated to the service of God, and are bound to attend there. But all the people shall keep the watch of the Lord — That is, of the house of the Lord, as is expressed 2 Kings 11:6. The meaning is, Let them stand in their court to prevent and oppose any person that shall endeavour violently to break into the house, to seize upon the king, or to oppose the present work, which he expected Athaliah and her accomplices would do.
And the Levites shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand; and whosoever else cometh into the house, he shall be put to death: but be ye with the king when he cometh in, and when he goeth out.
So the Levites and all Judah did according to all things that Jehoiada the priest had commanded, and took every man his men that were to come in on the sabbath, with them that were to go out on the sabbath: for Jehoiada the priest dismissed not the courses.
Moreover Jehoiada the priest delivered to the captains of hundreds spears, and bucklers, and shields, that had been king David's, which were in the house of God.
And he set all the people, every man having his weapon in his hand, from the right side of the temple to the left side of the temple, along by the altar and the temple, by the king round about.
Then they brought out the king's son, and put upon him the crown, and gave him the testimony, and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said, God save the king.2 Chronicles 23:11. Jehoiada and his sons anointed him — Among which sons was Zechariah, whom he afterward most ungratefully slew.
Now when Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people into the house of the LORD:
And she looked, and, behold, the king stood at his pillar at the entering in, and the princes and the trumpets by the king: and all the people of the land rejoiced, and sounded with trumpets, also the singers with instruments of musick, and such as taught to sing praise. Then Athaliah rent her clothes, and said, Treason, Treason.2 Chronicles 23:13. All the people rejoiced — To see a rod sprung out of the stem of Jesse! To see what they despaired of ever seeing, a king of the house of David.
Then Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains of hundreds that were set over the host, and said unto them, Have her forth of the ranges: and whoso followeth her, let him be slain with the sword. For the priest said, Slay her not in the house of the LORD.
So they laid hands on her; and when she was come to the entering of the horse gate by the king's house, they slew her there.
And Jehoiada made a covenant between him, and between all the people, and between the king, that they should be the LORD'S people.2 Chronicles 23:16. Jehoiada made a covenant between him, &c. — In 2 Kings 11:17, it is said, Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord, and the king, and the people. Here it is said to be made between him, the people, and the king. But the two passages do not contradict each other. For Jehoiada, as God’s priest, was his representative in this transaction, or a sort of mediator, as Moses was. God covenanted by him to take them for his people; and the king and people covenanted with him to be his; and then the king covenanted with the people to govern them as the people of God; and the people with the king, to be subject to him as the Lord’s people, in his fear, and for his sake. For it must be observed, that this covenant, and others made in like manner, were solemn promises on the part of the Jewish king and people, that, for the future, they would observe God’s laws: in return to which the high-priest promised, on the part of God, that, if they did so, they should enjoy all the blessings promised in those divine laws to obedience.
Then all the people went to the house of Baal, and brake it down, and brake his altars and his images in pieces, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars.
Also Jehoiada appointed the offices of the house of the LORD by the hand of the priests the Levites, whom David had distributed in the house of the LORD, to offer the burnt offerings of the LORD, as it is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, as it was ordained by David.2 Chronicles 23:18. Jehoiada appointed the offices, &c. — Or rather, restored, for there was no new appointment of offices or officers, but the old officers were restored to their respective offices. The Hebrew literally translated is, He put the offices of the house of the Lord into the hand of the priests, &c. For in the time of the idolatrous kings, and of Athaliah, those offices had probably been disposed of to persons of other tribes, partly to gratify their wicked friends, and partly to bring God’s house and worship into disgrace.
And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the LORD, that none which was unclean in any thing should enter in.
And he took the captains of hundreds, and the nobles, and the governors of the people, and all the people of the land, and brought down the king from the house of the LORD: and they came through the high gate into the king's house, and set the king upon the throne of the kingdom.
And all the people of the land rejoiced: and the city was quiet, after that they had slain Athaliah with the sword.2 Chronicles 23:21. All the people rejoiced: and the city was quiet — The generality of the people rejoiced, the rest were quiet, and made no opposition. When the son of David is enthroned in the soul, all therein is quiet, and springs of joy are opened.