2 Kings 11
Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.
Ch. 2 Kings 11:1-3. Athaliah, having slain all the seed royal of Judah, except Joash, usurps the throne for six years (2 Chronicles 22:10-12)

1. And [R.V. Now] when Athaliah] Athaliah was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, and became the wife of Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat.

she arose and destroyed] The verb here rendered ‘arose’ is often joined with another verb to give the notion of ‘setting earnestly about’ any business. Thus in Exodus 32:1 it is used ‘Up make us gods’, and in 1 Kings 14:2Arise and disguise thyself’, also 1 Chronicles 22:19Arise therefore and build ye the sanctuary’. See too Genesis 37:35 ‘And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him’.

all the seed royal] i.e. All those that remained after the destruction wrought by Jehu on the brethren of Ahaziah (see above 2 Kings 10:4). Judah, as well as Israel, seems at this date to have had no lack of families in the royal houses. Those whom Athaliah slew were of course the male members of the royal family.

But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain.
2. But Jehosheba] Called in 2 Chronicles 22:11 Jehoshabeath. She was only half sister to Ahaziah, and not the daughter of Athaliah. Josephus says she was Ὁχοζίᾳ ὁμοπάτριος ἀδελφή. In Chronicles we learn that she was the wife of Jehoiada the priest, which explains the ease with which she could arrange for hiding the child she had saved in the house of the Lord.

took Joash] He must have been a mere babe at the time, not a year old. Cf. vv. 3 and 21.

and stale him from among the king’s sons which [R.V. that] were slain] The slight change conforms the sentence to Chronicles, where the words are exactly the same. To make the two passagesalike, as in the Hebrew, R.V. reads the rest of the sentence thus even him and his nurse, and put them in the bed chamber, and they hid him from Athaliah, so &c.’

the bedchamber] A chamber where beds were stowed away. Josephus says τὸ ταμιεῖον τῶν κλινῶν, the storeroom for beds and couches. The fury of Athaliah would leave no sleeping room unsearched, but in such a place it was possible for nurse and child to lie hid till there was a chance of getting into more secure shelter.

And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land.
3. And he was with her] i.e. With his nurse, who continued to tend him after he had grown somewhat older.

in the house of the Lord] We learn from the description of Solomon’s temple (see note on 1 Kings 6:5) that it was surrounded on two sides and one end with three stories of chambers. It is not said to what use they were put, but we may safely conclude that they were under the control of the high-priest, and that, for such a purpose as is here described, he would have no scruple about using them, even if on ordinary occasions no one dwelt in them.

six years] Perhaps Athaliah was not aware that any one of the royal children had been saved. She gave order for their destruction, and her agents did all they could to carry out her design. Perhaps when they could not find Joash some other slain babe was substituted, and Athaliah would know no difference. The house of the Lord was not a place in which she herself was likely to be interested, and if the rooms around it were never as a rule used for dwelling-rooms suspicion would not be directed to them, and so they would go unsearched.

And Athaliah did reign] R.V. reigned. As in Chronicles.

And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the LORD, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the LORD, and shewed them the king's son.
4–16. Jehoiada the priest makes Joash king, and Athaliah is put to death (2 Chronicles 23:1-15)

4. And the [R.V. in the] seventh year] So Chronicles. Jehoiada’s name is introduced very abruptly and without any specification of his office till we come to verse 9. This points to an early date for the document from which the compiler of Kings made his extracts. It is only when the events are somewhat recent that the names of important actors in them can be introduced without some description.

fet the rulers [R.V. captains] over hundreds] The change in R.V. makes the passage conform to Deuteronomy 1:15 where the various subdivisions of the officers are mentioned. For other allusions thereto cf. Exodus 18:21; Exodus 18:25, and when the more military character had been introduced 1 Samuel 8:12; 1 Samuel 22:7; 2 Samuel 18:1. In the parallel passage A.V. has ‘captains’ 2 Chronicles 23:1. Fet is the constant preterite of ‘fetch’ in the English of A.V. For similar instances of dropping the ‘ch’ of the present, compare the preterites of catch and search, which, as far as sound is concerned, might be written caut and saut.

with the captains and the guard] R.V. of the Carites and of the guard. Here both nouns are in a construction which shews that the captains over hundreds belonged to both the classes of men here mentioned. Hence, as the word rendered ‘guard’ is literally ‘runners’ and applies to the royal body-guard, so the ‘Carites’ are thought to be a similar class. The word only occurs in this chapter verses 4 and 19 and in 2 Samuel 20:23, where the Keri (marginal reading) substitutes ‘Cherethites’. As in that passage the Carites, or Cherethites, and Pelethites formed David’s guard, so at this time there appear to have been similar body-guards attached to the palace in Jerusalem. The word may be derived from a verb which marks them as ‘executioners’, which office was performed, as we see from many instances, by those in immediate attendance on the king.

These officers were strictly military, and it is worth notice that the compiler in Chronicles, who is usually thought to lay most stress on, and give most importance to, what was done by the priests and Levites, yet at this point is very careful to notice the names of these five soldiers ‘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’, while he gives no such prominence to the names of any of the priests or Levites, except the chief actor Jehoiada.

into the house of the Lord] We can see from such passages as Jeremiah 35:2, where the prophet is bidden to bring the Rechabites ‘into the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers’ that the rooms by which the temple was surrounded were used for meetings such as the one here described.

and made a covenant with them] In 2 Chronicles we are told how these officers were first employed: ‘They went about in Judah and gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Judah and the chief of the fathers of Israel (R.V. heads of fathershouses in Israel), and they came to Jerusalem. Jehoiada sent them to the persons with whom, by reason of his office, he would have the greatest influence, but the operations were ultimately to be under the command of the captains of the guard.

And he commanded them, saying, This is the thing that ye shall do; A third part of you that enter in on the sabbath shall even be keepers of the watch of the king's house;
5. And he commanded them] The two things to be provided for were the safety of the young king’s person when it should be known to Athaliah and her party that he was alive, and the guarding of the royal palace, so that no personal troop of Athaliah’s might make an attack on the king’s party, and at the proper moment the palace might be seized and the king brought to it and set on the throne. These duties Jehoiada deputed to the five captains whom he had taken into his confidence. Three bodies of men, presumably each under a captain, are to watch the palace at different points, while two other bodies are to be in charge of the house of the Lord about the king. It is not without interest to observe that this fivefold division of the guards corresponds to the number of the captains selected, though they and their number are only mentioned in the narrative of 2 Chronicles. We see from this, that although we may not, at this distance of time, be able to make clear every detail of the two stories, they fit here very remarkably into each other.

a third part of you that enter [R.V. come] in on the sabbath] Those who are to take part in the work that is planned are to be the guards who enter on their duty on the Sabbath, and those who are going off duty. As the words are addressed to the captains over hundreds the ‘of you’ must apply to the soldiers under their command. But it is perfectly intelligible that a somewhat similar arrangement of the Levites might also be made, and that they should take their part in work of restoring the king. From the narrative in 2 Chronicles we see that the priests and Levites were arranged in 3 divisions, one of which was to have the duty of porters, as it seems, at the doors of the temple, another to be at the king’s house, and the third at the gate of the foundation. On this last position see below. Thus, as in the case of the purely military arrangement, the larger number of the priestly and Levitical body was to serve near the royal palace. We note also from Chronicles that the occasion of some feast was arranged as the time for carrying out the plan. For it is said that ‘all the people shall be in the courts of the house of the Lord’.

shall even be keepers of the watch of the king’s house] R.V. omits ‘even’. The LXX. adds ‘at the doorway’ in the end of this clause. No doubt they would be stationed so as to prevent any one from the palace coming forth, without their consent, to interfere with the proceedings at the temple.

And a third part shall be at the gate of Sur; and a third part at the gate behind the guard: so shall ye keep the watch of the house, that it be not broken down.
6. at the gate of Sur] R.V. omits ‘of’. This gate is nowhere else named. The similarity between the original words סור, Sur and יסור given in Chronicles, and rendered ‘foundation’, makes it not unlikely that the ‘gate Sur’ here, and ‘the gate of the foundation’ (2 Chronicles 23:5) are the same place, though it is impossible, if this be so, to decide which is the correct reading, for ‘the gate of the foundation’ is spoken of nowhere else. The LXX. has here ἐν τῇ πύλῃ τῶν ὁδῶν, ‘in the gate of the ways’ and in Chronicles ἐν τῇ πύλῃ τῇ μέσῃ ‘at the middle gate’.

at the gate behind the guard] The guard here spoken of are the ‘runners’ who formed a part of the royal body-guard. Nothing is more likely than that such a body would have special quarters assigned to them in the neighbourhood of the palace, and if they were at this time thought to be favourable to Athaliah, the necessity would be apparent of putting a body of well-affected men close to them to keep them in check.

so shall ye keep the watch of the house] The ‘house’ is the palace, which was thus to be strongly guarded at three places.

that it be not broken down] R.V. and be a barrier. The word is a noun in apposition with ‘watch’ and defines its character. The word is unrepresented in the LXX.

And two parts of all you that go forth on the sabbath, even they shall keep the watch of the house of the LORD about the king.
7. And two parts of all you that go forth] R.V. And the two companies of you, even all that go forth. All those men who were going off duty at the palace were to divide themselves into two bodies, and go and serve at the temple to protect the king. The ‘of you’ refers to the purely military body, as in verse 5. We see in verse 2 that their duty was outside the temple building, while the narrative in Chronicles in almost identical language appoints the Levites for duty within the temple.

And ye shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand: and he that cometh within the ranges, let him be slain: and be ye with the king as he goeth out and as he cometh in.
8. And ye shall compass the king round about] Though the pronoun is changed, the same persons are intended, who were to be a bodyguard for the young king in every movement at this critical time.

he that cometh within the ranges] R.V. ranks. This is the point where the distinction is most marked between the duties to be discharged by the soldiers and by the Levites. In 2 Chronicles 23:7 it is said: ‘And the Levites shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand; and whosoever cometh into the house, he shall be put to death’. From this we find that the Levites were to form a guard for the king’s person within the temple, while the soldiers discharged the same office in the court, and when he was conducted from the temple to the palace. So the one body is bidden to take summary vengeance on any intruder within the sacred building, the other on any who should break through their ranks to get within the enclosure and so draw near to the king after he had come forth.

as [R.V. when] he goeth out and as [R.V. when] he cometh in] This change assimilates the rendering to 2 Chronicles.

And the captains over the hundreds did according to all things that Jehoiada the priest commanded: and they took every man his men that were to come in on the sabbath, with them that should go out on the sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest.
9. and the captains over the [R.V. omits the] hundreds did according to all things] R.V. omits things, for which there is nothing in the original. It is also not in the Hebrew of 2 Chronicles, though there the A.V. prints it without italics. R.V. omits it there also. The Levites must have been in some degree at least, where they were acting as guards about the palace, under the control of these centurions, by whom also according to the narrative in 2 Chron. they had been gathered out of all the cities of Judah.

that Jehoiada the priest commanded] He was the prime mover, and both the Levitical and military guards acted together to carry out his design. The LXX. instead of any rendering of the word for ‘priest’ has ὁ συνετός. It seems as if the last three consonants of the name Jehoiada (ידע) had been read twice over, the second time as if they were the participle of the verb ‘to know’.

with them [R.V. those] that should go out] So both sets of men were engaged; and in the case of the Levites it is said in 2 Chronicles 23:8, ‘For Jehoiada the priest dismissed not the courses’, i.e. did not allow those members of the Levitical courses, whose term of service was then ended, to go away, as on other occasions they were free to do.

And to the captains over hundreds did the priest give king David's spears and shields, that were in the temple of the LORD.
10. And to the captains over hundreds did the priest give] R.V. And the priest delivered to the captains over hundreds. Thus the English is made to correspond to the Hebrew order more closely, and to the translation in 2 Chron. It is to be observed that both accounts agree about the weapons being delivered to the soldiery by Jehoiada, thus making clear that to both compilers it was known that the whole undertaking was controlled by the guard and not by the priests and Levites, though, as his manner is, the writer of Chronicles puts them in the forefront as much as he can.

king David’s stears and shields] R.V. the spears and shields that had been king David’s. This is the form in 2 Chronicles, except that there ‘bucklers’ are mentioned between ‘spears’ and ‘shields’. These weapons were those which David in his wars had taken from his enemies, and stored probably in the chambers round the temple. For the practice of so devoting the weapons of the conquered cf. the sword of Goliath laid up in store with Ahimelech at Nob (1 Samuel 21:9), and the shields which David took from the servants of Hadadezer (2 Samuel 13:7) and carried to Jerusalem.

that were in the temple [R.V. house] of the Lord] It is the same word which is rendered ‘house’ frequently in this chapter. Of course it means ‘temple’, but the English reader might suppose that the original had here a different word. The same change has to be made in the next verse, three times over; and in the parallel verse in 2 Chron.

And the guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, round about the king, from the right corner of the temple to the left corner of the temple, along by the altar and the temple.
11. And the guard stood] These are the ‘runners’, the foot-soldiers, whose duty was on the outside of the temple.

round about the king, &c.] The R.V. changes the order of words here, as well as the rendering, to that which is adopted for the same Hebrew in 2 Chron. They are thus translated, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house along by the altar and the house, by the king round about. To understand how these guards were ranged it must be remembered that the altar stood in the court in front of the temple porch. Hence from each corner of the porch, on the right and left, the men were ranged in lines between the temple and the altar, so that when the king came forth he could advance between them, and the lines gradually came towards each other as they neared the altar, so that it can be said of them that they were along by the altar and by the house. The space enclosed by them would be somewhat triangular in form, the base being the width of the temple porch. Into this space Joash was brought forth, and there proclaimed and anointed in the sight of the people who in 2 Chronicles are said to have been gathered in the temple courts.

And he brought forth the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king.
12. And he brought forth the king’s son] i.e. Jehoiada did so, who had charge of him. The name ‘king’s son’ is perhaps given to him here rather than his personal name, to mark that the struggle was for the true successor.

and gave him the Testimony] The word so rendered occurs first in Exodus 16:34, where it is directed that the pot of manna is to be laid up before the Testimony. That by this is meant some portion of the Law which was given to Moses is made clear in a later passage. In Exodus 25:16; Exodus 25:21 it is described as ‘the Testimony which I shall give thee’. We need not suppose that in these passages the whole law of Moses is intended, but the name given to the first portion of the Law would no doubt be continued in after times for all that was considered to be the divine revelation. Hence we must here understand the Law, as the people then possessed it. Express direction is given in Deuteronomy 17:18-19, that when a king shall be chosen he shall have a copy of the Law, which he shall study ‘that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes to do them’. So the delivery of the Law would naturally form a most solemn portion of the coronation ceremony.

and anointed him] This was not done as far as we know with all kings, but the present was a special occasion, and no part of the ordinance would be omitted which could help to mark in a religious manner the restoration of the true scion of David’s house.

and they clapt their hands] A natural expression of approval and applause, though not frequently spoken of in the O. Test. It is found in the Psalm 47:1 of exultation before God, and the figure is used Psalm 98:8 ‘Let the floods clap their hands’. But it is quite as frequently used where rejoicing over a fallen enemy is the cause (cf. Job 27:23; Lamentations 2:15; Nahum 3:19).

God save the king] Literally ‘Let the king live’. So they cried when Saul was made king, 1 Samuel 10:24, and at the feast of Adonijah when he sought to be king, 1 Kings 1:25.

And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the temple of the LORD.
13. And when Athaliah heard the noise] The arrangements had all been made so cautiously that the queen-mother had no knowledge of what was being done. But we may suppose that ere long the report would reach her through her attendants, and so she went, where otherwise she was not wont to go, toward the house of the Lord. Unless she had thought it some matter of grave concern we cannot fancy her going out to put an end by her presence, if possible, to the proceeding. Josephus’ account is that ‘having heard the tumult and applause unexpectedly, Athaliah was greatly troubled, and hastened with her private troops from the palace: that the priests admitted her into the temple area, but prevented the armed men who were with her from entering’. The Bible narratives do not speak of a guard accompanying Athaliah, but it is not likely that she would go forth on such an errand without one, though the influence of a queen-mother was very powerful.

of the guard and of the people] There is no conjunction in the Hebrew, and the guard were the ‘runners’ spoken of above. The narrative in Chronicles transposes the two words, and the rendering there is ‘of the people running’, but probably the conjunction is wanting in both cases through the error of the scribe. So in 2 Chronicles 23:2 the R.V. has put on the margin ‘of the people, of the guard and of those who praised the king’.

she came to the people into the temple [R.V. house] of the Lord] The assembly was a notable one and seems to have been at the time of some feast which had brought a more than usually great concourse to Jerusalem.

And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets: and Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason.
14. And when she looked, behold, the king] R.V. And she looked and behold the king. This, the literal translation of the Hebrew, is the form adopted in 2 Chron. The original is the same in both places.

stood by a [R.V. the] pillar] By this word is clearly designated some spot which was the special position of the king on such occasions. We see that Athaliah took in the whole scene at a glance and knew without telling what was going on. The word ‘pillar’ is the same which is used for the two, Jachin and Boaz (1 Kings 7:21), which stood as ornamental pillars in the porch of the temple, and which being ornamental could doubtless be seen by all in the court. If we suppose one of these set apart as the station of the king at his coronation, the position would be admirably suited for the purpose. Otherwise we must understand some special erection in the court of the temple, of which there is no mention till this passage, and afterwards in chap. 2 Kings 23:3. The situation of the pillar is described in 2 Chronicles 23:13 as ‘at the entering in’, words which would not unfitly describe the position of the two pillars erected in the temple porch.

as the manner was] Hence it was a well-known spot appropriated to such occasions.

and the princes and the trumpeters] R.V. the captains and the trumpets. The ‘captains’ were those ‘over hundreds’ mentioned before. ‘Trumpets’ of course implies ‘trumpeters’ but the word is literally translated in 2 Chron., and the two places should agree. The persons who blew with the trumpets were probably the Levites, for in chap. 2 Kings 12:13, ‘trumpets’ are recounted as among the furniture of the temple, and these would be used only by priests or Levites. In 2 Chronicles 7:6; 2 Chronicles 13:14 we have the priests sounding trumpets.

and all the people of the land rejoiced] Shewing that there was a numerous convocation. The gathering would be larger than usual because the Sabbath had been chosen for these operations.

and [R.V. Then] Athaliah rent her clothes] Seeing with horror that priests and soldiery and the assembled people were all of one mind, and against her.

But Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of the hundreds, the officers of the host, and said unto them, Have her forth without the ranges: and him that followeth her kill with the sword. For the priest had said, Let her not be slain in the house of the LORD.
15. But [R.V. And] Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of the [R.V. omits the] hundreds, the officers of the host] R.V. that were set over the host. The changes bring the version into close agreement with 2 Chron. By the ‘host’ is meant the combined body who had been gathered by Jehoiada, and put under the direction of the five captains.

Have her forth without the ranges] R.V. between the ranks. That the meaning is ‘within’ and not ‘without’ the ranks is manifest from Leviticus 16:15 where the same prepositional form is found and cannot be otherwise translated than ‘within’. The object of Jehoiada’s order is plain. He would keep Athaliah surrounded by his own guards, but get her removed beyond the precincts of the temple. This harmonizes with the order recorded at the end of this verse, that she should not be slain in the house of the Lord.

and him that followeth her kill [R.V. slay] with the sword] The verb is the same as in the next clause. The persons who might perhaps be expected lo follow her, when she was led away guarded from the temple, would be those of her own attendants, who had not been allowed to come between the lines of the guard, yet now might think it their duty to try and rescue their mistress.

And they laid hands on her; and she went by the way by the which the horses came into the king's house: and there was she slain.
16. And they laid hands on her] R.V. So they made way for her. The rendering of the A.V. agrees with the LXX. and the Vulgate. But the verb here used is not that employed for such an act as the arrest here described would be. It is better therefore to adopt the translation of the Targum followed by Jewish and many modern commentators, ‘They gave room to her on both hands’. Literally the words mean, ‘they arranged for her two sides’, thus making a space between which she could walk.

by the way by the which the horses came into the king’s house] R.V. by the way of the horses’ entry to the king’s house. This is not to be confounded with the ‘horse gate’ of Jerusalem, spoken of Nehemiah 3:28. That was a gate of the city, not of the king’s palace. The way here spoken of was a private road to the king’s house.

there was she slain] No doubt according to the orders of Jehoiada.

And Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people, that they should be the LORD'S people; between the king also and the people.
17–21. Jehoiada restores the worship of God. The house of Baal is destroyed. Joash is brought to the palace and enthroned (2 Chronicles 23:16 to 2 Chronicles 24:1)

17. And Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord] In 2 Chron. ‘Jehoiada’ stands in the place of Jehovah, and it is said he made a covenant between himself and all the people and the king. Of course in the whole transaction he would appear as the representative of Jehovah, and receive in the name of the Lord the promise of both king and people, by which they dedicated themselves to the Lord.

between the king also and the people] i.e. that they should be loyal subjects and he a just ruler over them.

And all the people of the land went into the house of Baal, and brake it down; his altars and his images brake they in pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD.
18. went into [R.V. to] the house of Baal] Athaliah had set up Baal worship in Judah after the fashion of the northern kingdom. We are told also in 2 Chronicles 24:7 that the sons of Athaliah had broken up (i.e. broken into) the house of God, and bestowed the dedicated things of the house of the Lord upon the Baalim. It is clear from this that the house of Baal was not any portion of the temple which had been appropriated to the idolatrous worship, but a separate building, into which spoils from the temple had been conveyed. It may have been on the same hill with the temple, though of that we cannot be certain. There can however be no doubt that the Baal worship had not extended largely in Judah. Hence the readiness of the people of the land, called to Jerusalem by some festival, to go to the Baalite edifice and destroy it.

brake they in pieces throughly] That there should be no chance of a restoration. The multitude were no doubt helped in their destruction by the military force with which, in these doings, they had been in such close combination.

Mattan the priest of Baal] We read of no other priest of Baal in Judah, and so we may conclude that though the court favoured idolatry, it found no great favour with the rest of the kingdom. Otherwise we should have heard of an array of priests like that of Jezebel in Samaria.

And the priest appointed officers over the house of the Lord] From this necessity we may gather that the regular ministrations in the temple had been interfered with by the introduction of the Baalim. The Chronicler gives fuller details on this matter, and the two accounts have so much verbal similarity in other parts that we cannot avoid the conclusion that both writers used a common source of information. He says (2 Chronicles 23:18-19) ‘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. 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 rulers over hundreds, and the captains, and the guard, and all the people of the land; and they brought down the king from the house of the LORD, and came by the way of the gate of the guard to the king's house. And he sat on the throne of the kings.
19. And he took the rulers [R.V. captains] and the captains] R.V. the Carites. On these words cf. above on verse 4.

and they brought down the king] The movement was a popular one, the people taking part with the soldiers and the priests. In 2 Chron. ‘the nobles and the governors of the people’ are included in the list. The temple was on a lofty height. Hence the phrase ‘brought down’.

by the way of the gate of the guard to [R.V. unto] the king’s house] This gate would be specially ready for the king’s entry, as it was one of those secured by the arrangements described in verse 6.

he sat on the throne of the kings] On this throne, and its position in the palace which Solomon built, cf. note on 1 Kings 7:7.

And all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was in quiet: and they slew Athaliah with the sword beside the king's house.
20. And [R.V. So] all the people of the land rejoiced] The attachment of Judah to the family of David had always been very great, and to see a son of that family on the throne, even though some of his blood was of Ahab’s house, was far more to the mind of the people than to be ruled over by a daughter of Ahab.

and the city was in quiet] R.V. omits in, as is done in the parallel verse in 2 Chron. Cf. for the expression, the phrase so frequently recurring in Judges, ‘the land had rest’ (Jdg 3:30; Jdg 5:31; &c.).

beside [R.V. at] the king’s house] There is no preposition in the original as the italics of A.V. indicate; the noun is an accusative of place. Hence the ‘at’ of R.V. is warranted.

On the death of Athaliah Josephus (Ant. IX. 7. 3) says, ‘Jehoiada having called the captains ordered them to take Athaliah into the valley of Kidron and there to kill her’. In 2 Kings 25:4 (see note there) we find that ‘the king’s garden’ was very near to the Kidron valley. It may be therefore that the place indicated here ‘beside (at) the king’s house’ was not far from the ‘king’s garden’ spoken of there.

Seven years old was Jehoash when he began to reign.
21. Seven years old was Jehoash] R.V. Jehoash was seven years old. This is the arrangement of the words in 2 Chron. Joash and Jehoash are duplicate forms of the same kind as have been noticed above on 2 Kings 10:15. The shorter form is used by the Chronicler, and is found presently below in 2 Kings 12:19-20.

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