James Gray - Concise Bible Commentary
And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.2 Kings 11:1-14:29
A CENTURY OF ISRAEL AND JUDAH
JOASH OF JUDAH (2 Kings 11-12)
The chief events of this reign are the rescue of the infant king from the murderous grandmother (2 Kings 11:1-3); the coup d’etat of the high priest by which he was raised to the throne (2 Kings 11:4-16); the reforms of the high priest as regent of the kingdom (2 Kings 11:17-21); the repairing of the temple by the king (2 Kings 12:1-16); the surrender to the Syrians (2 Kings 12:17-18); and the king’s assassination (2 Kings 12:19-21).
Be careful to read the parallel chapters in 2 Chronicles (22-24), which add details, though at this distance it may be impossible to reconcile all the minor differences.
JEHOAHAZ OF ISRAEL (2 Kings 13:1-9)
This reign is notable not for what man did but for what God did (2 Kings 13:4). That His compassion was awakened towards such a people commands the wonder even of the spiritually enlightened a wonder the sacred narrator Himself expresses in the parenthetic verses (2 Kings 13:5-6). “Saviour,” or delivered, is used in a military sense, as in Judges. He did not appear in Jehoahaz’s time but in that of his successors Jehoash and Jeroboam II.
JEHOASH OF ISRAEL (2 Kings 13:10-25)
We need not speak further of the chronological difficulty here (2 Kings 13:10 compared with 2 Kings 13:1) which we cannot solve, but pass on to the preliminary fulfillment of the promised “saviour” (2 Kings 13:5), found in 2 Kings 13:14-25.
Jehoash, or Joash (2 Kings 13:14), is in sore distress by reason of the affliction in verse three, and sufficiently penitent to implore Jehovah through His prophet (2 Kings 13:14). The symbolism of the subsequent verses (2 Kings 13:15-19) is plain. “Take bow and arrows” means, arm thyself for war against the Syrians. “The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance” means that the victory would come from God. The second part of the action was an enhancement of it, and showed the king to lack that zeal and persevering trust in God that would have brought the complete destruction of his enemy (Note 2 Kings 13:25).
The extraordinary event in 2 Kings 13:21 is to be accepted just as it is, but it is useless to speculate on the cause or the object of it.
AMAZIAH OF JUDAH (2 Kings 14:1-20)
An interesting event is the challenge Amaziah sends to Jehoash, the manner in which it is received, and the outcome of it (2 Kings 14:8-14). It is worthy of remark that he met death in the same way as his father whose murder he had been so prompt to avenge (2 Kings 14:19-20).
JEROBOAM II OF ISRAEL (2 Kings 14:23-29)
Now God fully redeems His promise to give a “saviour” to Israel (2 Kings 13:5). Observe the long reign of this king the longest in the annals of Israel (2 Kings 14:23). Observe his remarkable victories (2 Kings 14:25). Observe the reference to Jonah who seems in succession to Elisha, and lived probably contemporaneously with Jehoash or even Jehoahaz. It may have been through him that God gave the promise to that king to which we have made reference. The close of his reign marks about a century from the beginning of that of Joash of Judah.
Another circumstance of interest is that Amos and Hosea both lived and prophesied in this reign (see the opening verses of their prophecies).
1. Name the first reigning queen of Judah.
2. Name the high priest who placed Joash on the throne.
3. How old was Joash when he began to reign?
4. What good work marked his reign?
5. Under what circumstances did he die?
6. Who was the “saviour” intended in 13:5?
7. In whose reign did Elisha die?
8. What nation was the constant enemy of Israel in those days?
9. Name some events making the reign of Jeroboam II the golden age of Israel.
10. Name three prophets of his period whose written works have come down to us.