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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



4 KINGS 11

 

CHAPTER XI.

 

Ver. 1.  Seed.  What cruelties are occasioned by ambition!  W. --- This is one of the most extraordinary proofs recorded in history.  Agrippina was but a faint copy of the unnatural Athalia, (C.) who knew that she was destined for slaughter, if she should fall into the hands of Jehu.  M. --- Her impiety might also prompt her to destroy all the posterity of David, that she might introduce the worship of idols more easily.  Theodoret.

 

Ver. 2.  Sister.  She had probably a different mother, as she consented to the death of Athalia.  C. --- But the crimes of the latter require such a punishment; and even a daughter would have done wrong to screen her.  H. --- Josabeth, as she is called in 2 Par. xxii. 11, was married to Joiada the high priest, ibid. --- Out of.  Heb. and Paral. "hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bed-chamber" of the priest, in the temple; (Salien) different from that bed-chamber in which he had hitherto been nursed.  Thus the passage may be reconciled.  M.  C. --- Some maintain that Joas was not the son of Ochozias, in whom the line of Solomon ended, but a descendant of David by Nathan.  But he is always styled the king's son, and the authority of the false Philo of Annius is of no weight.  C. --- Joiada is called Barachias, "blessed of the Lord,"  on account of his justice, (S. Jer.) in Mat. xxiii.

 

Ver. 3.  Lord.  The case was so extraordinary, that he high priest dispensed with a woman lodging in those apartments. --- Land, for six years, by usurpation.  Women were commonly excluded, and she was not of the race of David, 4 K. viii. 26.  C.

 

Ver. 4.  Year, of the age of Joas, v. 21.  M. --- Centurions.  Five in number of the tribe of Levi, (M.) commanding each 100 men.  Heb adds "the rams," (C.) to denote "the captains (Prot.) and the runners," or guards.  H. --- Joiada was a man of great authority, virtue and discretion; so that he was able to manage this delicate affair, and no one gave information to Athalia, as she was detested.  The Levites and principal men of Juda were admonished, underhand, to be present on the day appointed.  The quality of high priest, and the known probity and zeal for the public good, which were conspicuous in Joiada, as well as his being so nearly related to the lawful heir to the crown, made the people readily come forward.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Sabbath.  On this day the Levites replaced each other; so that many might assemble without suspicion.  They guarded the king's apartments in the temple. --- The gate of Sur, or of the foundation, (2 Par. xxiii. 5.) and the western gate leading to the palace.  C. --- Sur, or "the gate of the lords," (Chal.) is generally supposed to be on the opposite side.  M. --- But this is uncertain, as well as the situation of Messa, which is perhaps the Musach.  C. xvi. 18.  This was probably some building or covert adjoining the temple, (C.) either belonging to some private person, (M.) or designed to contain the ashes, &c. taken from the temple; (Villalp. ii. 32.) or a tribune for the king in the temple.  H. -- The Chaldee seems to have explained it as an adverb, sollicite, "with diligence," (M.) as well as the Sept. (D.) which is consonant to Vatable; you shall guard the house "from desertion."  Let no one quit his post.  M.

 

Ver. 7.  Of you.  Levites, who waited on the king's person alternately.  C. --- They were divided into three parts, being in actual service, v. 6.  Those who went out of office were twice the number, and are here told what to do.  Sa thinks that those who entered upon duty, and those who went out, formed two thirds of the Levites, v. 9. and 2 Par. xxiii. 8.  M.

 

Ver. 8.  Temple, to cause confusion, Syr. &c.  The court of the priests, (Ezec. xli 9.) and that of Israel, (Josep. viii. 4.) were separated by walls, beyond which strangers were not allowed to pass.  C. --- Slain, being first cast out, v. 15.  M. --- Great respect is due to holy places, and hence comes the privilege of sanctuaries.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  David.  There was a sort of arsenal in the temple, containing arms consecrated to the Lord by David and his valiant men, in memory of their victories, 2 K. viii. 11.  1 Par. xviii. 11.  The usual band of Levites had proper arms, but more were employed on this occasion.  C.

 

Ver. 11.  Right, or south, leading to the palace, (M.) whence the greatest danger was feared.  C. --- Altar of holocausts, that it might not impede the sight of the king.  M.

 

Ver. 12.  The testimony.  The book of the law.  Ch. --- So Job (xxxi. 35, 36.) wished to have the sentence pronounced by God as a crown upon his head.  The Orientals still lift to their heads the letters which they have received from people whom they wish to honour.  Thevenot, 46. --- Some think that the diadem was adorned with phylacteries, or scrolls, containing parts of the law, (Grot.) particularly what related to the king; (H.) or that Joas held in his hand a roll of vellum, containing those instructions, (Deut. xvii. 18.  2 Par. xxiii. 11.) instead of a sceptre. --- Anointed him, by the hands of Joiada; as this ceremony was requisite on account of the usurpation of Athalia.  In peaceable times the unction was not given, (C.) according to the Jews, (H.) whose sentiment is elsewhere shewn to be unsatisfactory.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Going in.  She must have been attended by a strong guard, to force the passage through the Levites at the door.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  A tribunal.  A tribune, or place elevated above the rest.  Ch. --- Heb. "on a pillar."  Solomon had stood upon one of brass, three cubits high and five broad.  See C. xxiii. 3. and 2 Par. vi. 13.

 

Ver. 15.  Precinct.  Heb. sederoth, (untranslated by the Sept. and (H.) improperly supposed by Josephus to be the torrent Cedron) means, "the ranks" of the guards, (C.) or, "ranges" of the sacred buildings, which her impure blood  must not defile.  H. --- Follow her, as an accomplice.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Thrust.  Heb. "and she went by the way by which the horses enter the king's house.  When she was come within the horse-gate of the palace, they killed her there."  2 Par. xxiii. 15.  Such was the ignominious end of this true daughter of Jezabel!  H.

 

Ver. 17.  People.  Joiada, as mediator (C.) between God, the king, and the people, engaged the two latter to be faithful to their common Lord, and to each other.  They promised mutually to observe the laws, and, on that condition, the high priest gave them an assurance that God would protect them.  H. --- The covenant entered into by their fathers (Ex. xix. 5.) was renewed.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Altar.  Many of the sacred ornaments belonging to the temple had been transported to the house of Baal, probably on Mount Olivet, where Solomon had formerly erected such buildings.  3 K. xi. 5.  2 Par. xxiv. 7.  The reform of the state justly, therefore, began with the destruction of this profane and sacrilegious place. --- Lord, according to the former regulations, which had been lately ill observed, to prevent any thing unclean from coming in.  2 Par. xxiii. 19.  C. --- Sept. "the priest placed overseers (episkoponV) in the house of the Lord.  H.

 

Ver. 19.  Phelethi.  In the Heb. of the books of Kings we read nothing of these bands after the reign of David.  The same expressions occur here as v. 4. "the centurions, the rams, (or captains) and the runners," (C.) or guards.  Prot.  H. --- Gate, on the west.  Athalia had probably entered by the south. --- Kings.  It was made of ivory, &c.  3 K. x. 18.  C.

 

 








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