Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.
2Ki 11:1-3. Jehoash Saved from Athaliah's Massacre.
1. Athaliah—(See on 2Ch 22:2). She had possessed great influence over her son, who, by her counsels, had ruled in the spirit of the house of Ahab.
destroyed all the seed royal—all connected with the royal family who might have urged a claim to the throne, and who had escaped the murderous hands of Jehu (2Ch 21:2-4; 22:1; 2Ki 10:13, 14). This massacre she was incited to perpetrate—partly from a determination not to let David's family outlive hers; partly as a measure of self-defense to secure herself against the violence of Jehu, who was bent on destroying the whole of Ahab's posterity to which she belonged (2Ki 8:18-26); but chiefly from personal ambition to rule, and a desire to establish the worship of Baal. Such was the sad fruit of the unequal alliance between the son of the pious Jehoshaphat and a daughter of the idolatrous and wicked house of Ahab.
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. Jehosheba—or Jehoshabeath (2Ch 22:11).
daughter of King Joram—not by Athaliah, but by a secondary wife.
stole him from among the king's sons which were slain—either from among the corpses, he being considered dead, or out of the palace nursery.
hid him … in the bedchamber—for the use of the priests, which was in some part of the temple (2Ki 11:3), and of which Jehoiada and his wife had the sole charge. What is called, however, the bedchamber in the East is not the kind of apartment that we understand by the name, but a small closet, into which are flung during the day the mattresses and other bedding materials spread on the floors or divans of the sitting-rooms by day. Such a slumber-room was well suited to be a convenient place for the recovery of his wounds, and a hiding-place for the royal infant and his nurse.
And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land.
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.
2Ki 11:4-12. He Is Made King.
4. the seventh year—namely, of the reign of Athaliah, and the rescue of Jehoash.
Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers, &c.—He could scarcely have obtained such a general convocation except at the time, or on pretext, of a public and solemn festival. Having revealed to them the secret of the young king's preservation and entered into a covenant with them for the overthrow of the tyrant, he then arranged with them the plan and time of carrying their plot into execution (see on 2Ch 22:10-23:21). The conduct of Jehoiada, who acted the leading and chief part in this conspiracy, admits of an easy and full justification; for, while Athaliah was a usurper, and belonged to a race destined by divine denunciation to destruction, even his own wife had a better and stronger claim to the throne; the sovereignty of Judah had been divinely appropriated to the family of David, and therefore the young prince on whom it was proposed to confer the crown, possessed an inherent right to it, of which a usurper could not deprive him. Moreover, Jehoiada was most probably the high priest, whose official duty it was to watch over the due execution of God's laws, and who in his present movement, was encouraged and aided by the countenance and support of the chief authorities, both civil and ecclesiastical, in the country. In addition to all these considerations, he seems to have been directed by an impulse of the Divine Spirit, through the counsels and exhortations of the prophets of the time.
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;
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.
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.
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.
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.
And to the captains over hundreds did the priest give king David's spears and shields, that were in the temple of the LORD.
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.
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.
And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the temple of the LORD.
2Ki 11:13-16. Athaliah Slain.
13. Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people—The profound secrecy with which the conspiracy had been conducted rendered the unusual acclamations of the vast assembled crowd the more startling and roused the suspicions of the tyrant.
she came … into the temple of the Lord—that is, the courts, which she was permitted to enter by Jehoiada's directions (2Ki 11:8) in order that she might be secured.
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. the king stood by a pillar—or on a platform, erected for that purpose (see on 2Ch 6:13).
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. without the ranges—that is, fences, that the sacred place might not be stained with human blood.
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.
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.
2Ki 11:17-20. Jehoiada Restores God's Worship.
17, 18. a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people—The covenant with the Lord was a renewal of the national covenant with Israel (Ex 19:1-24:18; "to be unto him a people of inheritance," De 4:6; 27:9). The covenant between the king and the people was the consequence of this, and by it the king bound himself to rule according to the divine law, while the people engaged to submit, to give him allegiance as the Lord's anointed. The immediate fruit of this renewal of the covenant was the destruction of the temple and the slaughter of the priests of Baal (see 2Ki 10:27); the restoration of the pure worship of God in all its ancient integrity; and the establishment of the young king on the hereditary throne of Judah [2Ki 11:19].
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.
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.
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.
Seven years old was Jehoash when he began to reign.