Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
Joash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Zibiah of Beersheba.Ch. 2 Chronicles 24:1-3 (= 2 Kings 11:21 to 2 Kings 12:3). Joash begins to Reign
3. And Jehoiada, etc.] This ver. is not in Kings. It was the duty of a Jewish father to provide his son with a wife; Jehoiada standing in loco parentis does this for Joash.
And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.
And Jehoiada took for him two wives; and he begat sons and daughters.
And it came to pass after this, that Joash was minded to repair the house of the LORD.4–14 (= 2 Kings 12:4-16). The Restoration of the Temple
4. to repair] R.V. to restore, Heb. “to renew.” Cp. 2 Chronicles 24:12.
And he gathered together the priests and the Levites, and said to them, Go out unto the cities of Judah, and gather of all Israel money to repair the house of your God from year to year, and see that ye hasten the matter. Howbeit the Levites hastened it not.5. and the Levites] Not in Kings; cp. 2 Chronicles 23:2 (note).
Go out unto the cities of Judah] Nothing is said in Kings about collecting money outside Jerusalem, but the restoration fund was to consist of a poll tax (paid at the Temple at the Great Feasts, Exodus 23:14-17) and of free-will offerings paid in money.
hastened it not] In Kings, “in the three and twentieth year of king Jehoash the priests had not repaired the breaches of the house.”
And the king called for Jehoiada the chief, and said unto him, Why hast thou not required of the Levites to bring in out of Judah and out of Jerusalem the collection, according to the commandment of Moses the servant of the LORD, and of the congregation of Israel, for the tabernacle of witness?6. of the Levites] See note on 2 Chronicles 24:5.
the collection, according to the commandment of Moses] R.V. the tax of Moses; cp. Exodus 30:14-16; Exodus 38:25-26.
the taberna43cle of Witness] R.V. the tent of the testimony. “The testimony” refers to the Ten Commandments, which contained the substance of God’s testimony (protestation) to Israel. The two tables of stone were called “tables of the testimony” (Exodus 31:18, R.V.); the ark which contained them was called the “ark of the testimony” (Exodus 25:22); the vail which hung before the ark was the “vail of the testimony” (Leviticus 24:3); the tent which contained the ark was either the “tabernacle (Heb. miskan) of the testimony” (Exodus 38:21, R.V.) or the “tent (Heb. ôhel) of the testimony” (Numbers 9:15). The tabernacle, with all its contents, was to be a standing protest to Israel that Jehovah was with His people according to covenant, and that every breach of the covenant would call forth punishment. Cp. Deuteronomy 4:25-26; Deuteronomy 8:19, etc.
For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken up the house of God; and also all the dedicated things of the house of the LORD did they bestow upon Baalim.7. the sons of Athaliah] To be understood figuratively, “the adherents of Athaliah.” So “a son of the apothecaries” (Nehemiah 3:8; cp. A.V. with R.V.) is “a member of the apothecaries’ guild” and “the sons of the prophets” (2 Kings 2:15 etc.) are “the adherents (or ‘scholars’) of the prophets.” So again in Psalm 137:8 Edom is called “daughter of Babylon” as having attached herself to the Chaldeans at the destruction of Jerusalem.
had broken up] Rather, had broken into.
all the dedicate things] Cp. 2 Chronicles 15:18; 1 Chronicles 18:10-11. Probably gold, silver and brass.
did they bestow upon Baalim] Or, did they make into images of Baal. Cp. Hosea 2:8, R.V. mg.
And at the king's commandment they made a chest, and set it without at the gate of the house of the LORD.8. And at the king’s commandment] R.V. So the king commanded, and.…
a chest] Heb. a single chest (to receive all contributions).
And they made a proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem, to bring in to the LORD the collection that Moses the servant of God laid upon Israel in the wilderness.9. to the Lord the collection] R.V. for the LORD the tax. Kings has nothing corresponding to this ver.; cp. 2 Chronicles 24:5 (note).
And all the princes and all the people rejoiced, and brought in, and cast into the chest, until they had made an end.
Now it came to pass, that at what time the chest was brought unto the king's office by the hand of the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, the king's scribe and the high priest's officer came and emptied the chest, and took it, and carried it to his place again. Thus they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance.11. at what time … by the hand of the Levites] This clause is not in Kings.
the chief priest’s officer] According to Kings the high priest was present himself.
And the king and Jehoiada gave it to such as did the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and hired masons and carpenters to repair the house of the LORD, and also such as wrought iron and brass to mend the house of the LORD.12. to repair] R.V. to restore (as 2 Chronicles 24:4).
to mend] R.V. to repair.
So the workmen wrought, and the work was perfected by them, and they set the house of God in his state, and strengthened it.13. they set] R.V. they set up.
in its state] i.e. according to its former state.
And when they had finished it, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, whereof were made vessels for the house of the LORD, even vessels to minister, and to offer withal, and spoons, and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the LORD continually all the days of Jehoiada.14. the rest of the money] Thus expressed this ver. does not directly conflict with 2 Kings 12:13-14, which states that the money gathered was not spent on gold and silver vessels for the Temple but was given to the workmen who repaired the house.
continually] Perhaps primarily in allusion to the morning and evening daily sacrifice (Numbers 28:3-6), but having also a wider reference to the whole round of sacrifices.
But Jehoiada waxed old, and was full of days when he died; an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died.15–19 (no parallel in 2 Kin.). The Apostasy of Joash
15. when he died] R.V. and he died.
an hundred and thirty years] The age of Jacob (Genesis 47:9).
And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward his house.16. among the kings] Cp. 2 Chronicles 24:25 and 2 Chronicles 21:20.
Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them.17. made obeisance] Obeisance foreshadowed a request; cp. 1 Kings 1:16.
And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.18. they left the house of the Lord] Cp. 2 Chronicles 29:6, “[they] have turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord.” These phrases are a kind of euphemism meaning “to commit apostasy.”
served groves and idols] R.V. served the Asherim and the idols; cp. 2 Chronicles 14:3 (note).
wrath] Heb. qeçeph; cp. 2 Chronicles 19:2 (note).
wrath came] Cp. 2 Chronicles 24:25-26.
their trespass] R.V. their guiltiness; cp. 2 Chronicles 19:10 (A.V. and R.V.).
Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.19. he sent prophets] Cp. 2 Chronicles 36:15.
to them] Rather, among them.
And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you.20. came upon] Heb. “clothed itself with”; cp. Jdg 6:34; 1 Chronicles 12:18.
stood above the people] Cp. Jeremiah 36:10 (Baruch reads Jeremiah’s words from the window of an upper chamber to the people assembled in the court below); Nehemiah 8:4 (Ezra reads the Law from a pulpit of wood).
they conspired against him] Perhaps the proceedings were the same as in the case of Naboth (1 Kings 21:9-10), viz., a mock trial and a formal execution (“at the commandment of the king”).
in the court] An aggravation of the murder; cp. 2 Chronicles 23:14. The altar of burnt-offering stood in the court (cp. 2 Chronicles 8:12) and the execution (Luke 11:51) took place between this altar and the Temple itself.
20–22 (no parallel in 2 Kin.). The Martyrdom of Zechariah
This martyrdom is referred to by our Lord in Luke 11:51, “from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zachariah who perished between the altar and the house,” i.e. “the temple” (cp. Matthew 23:35). As Chronicles is reckoned last in the Jewish Canon, “From Abel to Zachariah” practically includes the whole Old Testament. In the text of Matt. Zachariah is called “son of Barachiah” by a confusion with Zechariah the contemporary of Haggai.
And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD.
Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said, The LORD look upon it, and require it.22. The Lord look upon it, and require it] Cp. 2Ma 14:45-46, and contrast Acts 7:60.
And it came to pass at the end of the year, that the host of Syria came up against him: and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people, and sent all the spoil of them unto the king of Damascus.23. at the end of the year] Rather, in the course of a year, i.e. when the same time of year had come round again.
the host of Syria] R.V. the army of the Syrians (as in 2 Chronicles 24:24).
the princes] Who had been leaders in the apostasy (2 Chronicles 24:17).
from among the people] The reading of the Heb. is doubtful; the words should perhaps be expunged.
23, 24 (cp. 2 Kings 12:17-18). The Syrian Invasion
In 2 Kin. the invasion is not represented as a judgment on Joash, for no sin is mentioned for which this could be the punishment.
As regards the campaign itself 2 Kin. simply says that the Syrians were bought off with a heavy bribe from attacking Jerusalem; nothing is said of the amount of damage done during the invasion. The Chronicler on the contrary says nothing of the cause of the withdrawal of the Syrians, but simply says that a small force of them inflicted great loss and took much spoil. The two accounts supplement rather than contradict each other.
For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men, and the LORD delivered a very great host into their hand, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers. So they executed judgment against Joash.
And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings.25–27 (2 Kings 12:19-21). The End of Joash
25. for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada] No reason is alleged for the conspiracy in Kings.
sons] LXX. and Vulg. “son”; cp. 2 Chronicles 24:20.
on his bed] In Kings it is simply “smote Joash at the house of Millo, on the way that goeth down to Silla” (R.V.).
And these are they that conspired against him; Zabad the son of Shimeath an Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith a Moabitess.26. Zabad … a Moabitess] In Kings “Jozacar the son of Shimeath, and Jehozabad the son of Shomer” (nothing being said of the nationality of the murderers). The Chronicler’s object no doubt is to trace a connexion between the apostasy of Joash and its punishment, between the king’s foreign worship and his murder by men of foreign descent.
Now concerning his sons, and the greatness of the burdens laid upon him, and the repairing of the house of God, behold, they are written in the story of the book of the kings. And Amaziah his son reigned in his stead.27. the burdens laid upon him] Render (with R.V. mg.), the burdens uttered against him. Cp. 2 Chronicles 24:19. The Heb. text of the first half of the verse is uncertain.
the repairing] R.V. the rebuilding.
the story] R.V. the commentary (Heb. midrash). Cp. Introduction, § 5.