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The Usurpation of Athaliah and Preservation of Joash
1. Athaliah] She was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (2 Kings 8:18, 2 Kings 8:26), possessed her mother’s high courage, and, like her, was a devoted worshipper of Baal. Her position as queenmother she would naturally lose on the accession of Ahaziah’s son, the deceased monarch’s wife becoming queen-mother in her stead. She, therefore, took measures to place herself on the throne by removing all rivals, and then proceeded to make the worship of Baal predominant in the land: see 2 Chronicles 24:7.
2. In the bedchamber] This was presumably one of the side-chambers of the Temple described in 1 Kings 6:5-10.
4. Jehoiada] He was the high priest and married to the princess Jehosheba (2 Chronicles 22:11).
Rulers] For their names see 2 Chronicles 23:1. Captains] RV ’Carites’ (and so in 2 Kings 11:19). These were probably foreign mercenaries from Caria in Asia Minor (they are mentioned by Herodotus as employed by the Egyptian king Psammetichus), who formed the bodyguard of the Judæan sovereigns.
5. A third part of you, etc.] The precise arrangements are obscure, but it is probable that on the sabbath one-third of the royal guards were on duty at the palace and twothirds at the Temple; of these the former body, separated into three divisions (2 Kings 11:5-6), was posted at different parts of the building to prevent Athaliah’s personal supporters from leaving it (though she herself was allowed to do so), whilst the latter, and larger, body was assembled at the Temple to secure the safety of Joash (2 Kings 11:7).
6. The gate of Sur] RV omits ’of.’ In 2 Chronicles 23:5 it is called ’the gate of the foundation.’ Position unknown. That it be not broken down] better, ’and be a barrier.’
8. Ranges] RV ’ranks,’ and so in 2 Chronicles 23:15.
11. Along by the altar] i.e. the troops were posted in two columns converging towards the altar of burnt offering in the Temple court, so as to enclose a triangular space.
12. The testimony] i.e. a copy of the Law: cp. Exodus 25:16, and see Deuteronomy 17:18. But the literal rendering is, ’they put upon him the crown and the testimony,’ and the last word should perhaps be ’the bracelets’ which kings wore as part of their insignia (2 Samuel 1:10). (In the Heb. there is only a difference of a single letter.)
14. By a pillar] perhaps better, ’on the platform,’ from which the king used to address the people.
15. Without the ranges] RV ’between the ranks,’ so that she was surrounded by troops.
16. Laid hands on her] So the LXX. RV has,’ made way for her’ (so that she might be got out of the Temple before she was slain).
18. The house of Baal] i.e. of the Zidonian Baal to whose worship Athaliah, as the daughter of Jezebel, adhered. According to Josephus this temple was built by Jehoram and Athaliah.
20. All.. rejoiced] The brief usurpation of Athaliah was the only interruption to the orderly succession of kings of the house of David throughout the history of Judah, a fact which testifies to the strong attachment which the people felt towards it, and forms a striking fulfilment of the promise made to David (2 Samuel 7:15-16).
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26