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Pett's Commentary on the Bible Pett's Commentary
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11". "Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ pet/ 2-kings-11.html. 2013.
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 2 Kings 11". "Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://studylight.org/
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1). The Usurping Of The Throne By Athaliah And The Preservation And Eventual Crowning Of The Davidic Heir Resulting In Her Execution (2 Kings 11:1-16 ).
a Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal seed (2 Kings 11:1).
b But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were slain, even him and his nurse, and put them in the bedchamber, and they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not slain (2 Kings 11:2).
c And he was with her hidden in the house of YHWH six years. And Athaliah reigned over the land (2 Kings 11:3).
d And in the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the commanders over hundreds of the Carites (or ‘the executioners’) and of the guard, and brought them to him into the house of YHWH, and he made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of YHWH, and showed them the king’s son (2 Kings 11:4).
e And he commanded them, saying, “This is the thing that you will do. A third part of you, who come in on the sabbath, will be keepers of the watch of the king’s house, and a third part will be at the gate Sur, and a third part at the gate behind the guard. So will you keep the watch of the house, and be a barrier” (2 Kings 11:5-6).
f “And the two companies of you, even all who go forth on the sabbath, will keep the watch of the house of YHWH about the king. And you shall surround the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand, and he who comes within the ranks, let him be slain. And be you with the king when he goes out, and when he comes in” (2 Kings 11:7-8).
e And the commanders over hundreds did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded, and they took every man his men, those who were to come in on the sabbath, with those who were to go out on the sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest (2 Kings 11:9).
d And the priest delivered to the commanders over hundreds the spears and shields that had been king David’s, which were in the house of YHWH. And the guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, along by the altar and the house, by the king and round about him (2 Kings 11:10-11).
c Then he brought out the king’s son, and put the crown on him, and gave him the testimony, and they made him king, and anointed him, and they clapped their hands, and said, “Long live the king.” And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the house of YHWH, and she looked, and, behold, the king stood by the pillar, as the manner was, and the captains and the rams’ horns by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew rams’ horns. Then Athaliah tore her clothes, and cried, “Treason! treason!” (2 Kings 11:12-14).
b And Jehoiada the priest commanded the commanders of hundreds who were set over the host, and said to them, “Have her forth between the ranks, and him who follows her slay with the sword.” For the priest said, “Let her not be slain in the house of YHWH” (2 Kings 11:15).
a So they made way for her, and she went by the way of the horses’ entry to the king’s house, and there she was slain (2 Kings 11:16).
Note that in ‘a’ Athaliah destroyed all the seed royal, apart from one, and in the parallel she herself was slain. In ‘b’ Joash was hidden so that he was not slain, and in the parallel Athaliah was to be slain. but not in the house of YHWH. In ‘c’ the king’s son was hidden and Athaliah ruled over the land, and in the parallel the king’s son was revealed and Athaliah tore her clothes and cried ‘treason’. In ‘d’ the king’s son was shown to the reliable king’s bodyguard, and in the parallel the king’s son was protected by the bodyguard in order to be shown to the people. In ‘e’ Jehoiada gave his instructions to the bodyguard, and in the parallel those instructions were carried out. Centrally in ‘f’ the king’s son was to be protected at all times.
2 Kings 11:1
‘Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal seed.’
When Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab, Ahaziah’s mother, learned that Ahaziah had been slain by Jehu, she determined to usurp the throne of Judah, and set about destroying all the seed royal. Had she succeeded the house of David would have been no more. It is clear from this that she had her own band of loyal supporters in Judah, many of whom would have come with her from Israel, certainly sufficient to subdue all opposition with no rival contender appearing to challenge her. As the queen mother she held a respected position, and there appeared to be no one who could claim to oppose her.
Athaliah was a worshipper of Baal and had set up a Temple of Baal in Jerusalem. Her usurpation of the throne was thus a momentous occasion for Judah, for it continued and extended the influence of Ahaziah who had promoted Baal worship (2 Kings 8:27). With the house of David having apparently ceased things were looking black for Yahwism. That she was not, however popular comes out in the sequel. Her most fervent opponents would be the priests and Levites of YHWH and the landed gentry of Judah who had been largely unaffected by the trend towards Baalism in Jerusalem and other ‘Canaanite’ cities.
The prophetic author’s derisory view of Athaliah is brought out by the fact that she has no opening or closing formula applied to her. She is seen as a blip in the succession rather than as an integral part of it. She was, of course, not of the house of David.
2 Kings 11:2
‘But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were slain, even him and his nurse, and put them in the bedchamber, and they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not slain.’
What, however, she was not aware of was that Ahaziah’s sister, Jehosheba, a daughter of the deceased king Jehoram of Judah, had been able to steal away Ahaziah’s infant son Joash, and along with his nurse, hide him in a bedchamber in the palace, with the result that he was not slain. He was then subsequently secretly transferred to the Temple precincts where he was watched over by Jehoiada the Priest (High Priest). From 2 Chronicles 22:11 we learn that Jehosheba was in fact the wife of Jehoiada. Through her YHWH had watched over the house of David and had ensured its continuation as He had promised (2 Samuel 7:0).
2 Kings 11:3
‘And he was with her hidden in the house of YHWH six years. And Athaliah reigned over the land.’
The fact that Jehosheba was Jehoiada’s wife explains why she was able to remain in the Temple precincts without arousing suspicion, and why she was able to keep the growing son of Ahaziah hidden there, presumably in the High Priest’s residence, or, as Josephus hazarded, in a store room of the Temple. He was kept there for six years, along with his nurse, and meanwhile Athaliah reigned over the land. But she was clearly not popular, being seen as a foreign usurper and a Baalite, and being able to continue her reign only as a result of her own armed supporters and in view of the fact that she had had the status of queen mother, with no Davidic contender for the throne visible. The fact that she was so easily overthrown brings out her underlying unpopularity, especially once a son of David appeared.
2 Kings 11:4
‘And in the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the commanders over hundreds of the Carites (or ‘piercers, executioners’) and of the guard, and brought them to him into the house of YHWH, and he made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of YHWH, and showed them the king’s son.’
In the seventh year after the coup, Joash being seven years old (2 Kings 11:21), Jehoiada felt that it was time to act. Calling to him those commanders whom he knew to be loyal Davidides and Yahwists, probably therefore those over the temple guards (who would be Levites and could be relied on), he took an oath of secrecy from them and then showed them the king’s son in the Temple. Their ready acceptance might suggest that when the king’s sons were born they were marked with an identifying tattoo, which was shown to them. Alternately the testimony of the nurse and of Jehosheba, supported by the reputation of Jehoiada, may have been accepted. The ‘hundreds’ (military units) of the Carites (or ‘executioners’) have been seen as:
1) Foreign mercenaries from Caria in south west Asia Minor.
2) Descendants of David’s men who had come with him from Ziklag and may have been known as Cherethites (compare1 Samuel 30:14; 1 Samuel 30:14), by now abbreviated to Carites (compare2 Samuel 20:23; 2 Samuel 20:23).
3) Elite units of Levites known as the ‘piercers’ or ‘executioners’ (cari from cwr), in contrast to the ordinary guards, their main duty being to carry out the death sentences of the Temple court, which would be fairly numerous given man’s sinfulness.
‘The guard’ were presumably the Temple guard who would all be Levites. The royal bodyguard would hardly be of such a nature as all to be trustworthy in such a delicate situation. The Temple guard would have numbered well over a thousand if we consider the fact that Solomon made three hundred shields to be borne by those on duty (1 Kings 10:17). When they were in use there would be those who were off duty, and even then not all on duty would have been among those who bore the shields as there would still be other guard duty to do.
2 Kings 11:5-6
‘And he commanded them, saying, “This is the thing that you will do. A third part of you, who come in on the sabbath, will be keepers of the watch of the king’s house, and a third part will be at the gate Sur, and a third part at the gate behind the guard. So will you keep the watch of the house, and be a barrier.”
We are only given the bare bones of the plot, but we can be sure that it had been meticulously planned. It was probably timed to take place during a regular feast when crowds of people gathering to the Temple would not cause comment, and was clearly at the time of the changing of the Temple guard when movements in and out by armed guards would be expected. Others, however, who were not of the Temple guard going on and off duty, (the latter being able to move in and out armed as they commenced or finished duty), had to enter the Temple without weapons and be supplied with weapons in the Temple area (2 Kings 11:10), because for them to enter the Temple armed would have been seen as suspicious.
The instructions in this verse were for the incoming Temple guards. These were those who came into the Temple on the Sabbath in order to begin their period of duty, clearly in this case more than usual because of what was anticipated (proved by the fact that they made up three companies), but not sufficiently more to arouse suspicions (no one would be counting but the numbers would have to be kept within bounds). Of these one third were to guard the house where the king was residing, one third were to guard the gate Sur, and one third were to be at the gate of the keepers. Their joint responsibility was to watch over the house where the king was in residence, and to be ready for any armed opponents who might try to enter the Temple by the gates mentioned in order to attack the king.
‘The gate Sur.’ Many suggestions have been made concerning the meaning of ‘Sur’ but all are guesses and unreliable. We must take this as simply one of the names used of the gate in question.
2 Kings 11:7
‘And the two companies of you, even all who go forth on the sabbath, will keep the watch of the house of YHWH about the king.”
Meanwhile those who were preparing to go ‘off duty’ would not actually do so, but would act as further guards in the Temple so as directly to protect the king. Of these guards, (whose numbers had not been deliberately increased because they had been on duty all week), there were only two companies, composed of the alternating guard duties.
2 Kings 11:8
“And you shall surround the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand, and he who comes within the ranks, let him be slain. And be you with the king when he goes out, and when he comes in.”
When the king was brought out for his coronation their responsibility would be to surround the king with their weapons at the ready and to ensure that any who sought to break their ranks would be killed instantly. They would go with him into the Temple, and out again once the proceedings were over, guarding him at all times. There could be no slip up. His life as a Davidide was paramount.
Others see ‘the ranks’ as referring to the ranks of pillars in the colonnades of the Temple.
2 Kings 11:9
‘And the commanders over hundreds did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded, and they took every man his men, those who were to come in on the sabbath, with those who were to go out on the sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest.’
The commanders over these military units did precisely as Jehoiada had commanded, both those who were over the guards who were coming on duty, and those who were over those going off duty.
2 Kings 11:10
‘And the priest delivered to the commanders over hundreds the spears and shields that had been king David’s, which were in the house of YHWH.’
It would appear from this that Temple guards who were not of those going on and off duty were also introduced into the Temple, probably along with other selected loyal troops, but as ordinary unarmed citizens so as not to arouse suspicion. As a result they had to be provided with arms after entering the Temple and this was accomplished by calling on the spears and shields which had been King David’s and which were clearly stored there. These would be special shields and spears which had originally been sanctified for use within the actual Temple and were kept in the Temple store. They would have been used in the sanctuary in the time of David and Solomon, while the Temple was being built, although later being partly replaced by the golden ceremonial shields of Solomon. When Solomon replaced them with his shields of gold the old sanctified spears and shields were presumably stored away in the Temple, because being ‘sanctified’ they had to remain in the Temple area. And even when the shields of gold (later replaced by shields of bronze) were used spears would presumably be required. These ancient shields and spears now proved useful on this occasion. We have no grounds for denying that such had been supplied by David to Solomon in readiness for the building of the Temple, in the same way as he supplied much else.
The word for ‘spear’ is in the singular but connected with shields is probably to be seen as a composite term signifying all the spears (it is plural in 2 Chronicles 23:9). Others see it as David’s spear of authority (compare how Saul constantly carried a spear of authority), in other words that Jehoiada was giving them authority from David to act. This then being connected with ‘shields’ denoted all the Davidic weapons.
2 Kings 11:11
‘And the guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, along by the altar and the house, by the king and round about him.’
The result was that there were armed guards everywhere, assembled without the least suspicion, and all stood ready with their weapons in their hands, both to the right side of the Temple and to the left side of the Temple, and along by the altar and the sanctuary, and at the king’s side and around the king himself as he was brought out.
2 Kings 11:12
‘Then he brought out the king’s son, and put the crown on him, and gave him the testimony, and they made him king, and anointed him, and they clapped their hands, and said, “Long live the king.” ’
Then the event took place that most present could only have dreamed of. A genuine heir of the house of David was ‘brought out’, and was crowned in accordance with the customs prevailing in Judah;
· The crown was placed on his head.
· The testimony (probably Exodus 20:2-17 in written form, a copy of what was on the tablets stored in the Ark of the Testimony - 1 Kings 8:9) was placed in his hand, or symbolically placed upon him.
· He was anointed by the Priest. Compare 1 Samuel 10:1; 2 Samuel 2:4; 2 Samuel 5:3; 2Sa 19:10 ; 1 Kings 1:39; .
· Finally he was acclaimed by all present with the cry, ‘May the king live (long)’. Compare 1 Samuel 10:24; 1 Kings 1:39.The lack of opposition may have had much to do with the impressive array of armed guards, but it also betokened the fact that rather than being dismayed the ‘common people’ present, who to some extent may have been carefully ‘selected’, were delighted.
Note the centrality of the Testimony, which represented the whole Law of Moses, the reading and observance of which was the duty of the king (Deuteronomy 17:18-19). The Ark of the Covenant of YHWH, which contained ‘the ten words’ written on stone, was also called ‘the Ark of the Testimony’ (Exodus 25:16-22; Exodus 26:33-34; Exodus 30:6; Exodus 30:26; Exodus 31:7; Exodus 39:35; Exodus 40:3; Exodus 40:5; Exodus 40:20-21; Numbers 4:5; Numbers 7:89; Joshus 2 Kings 4:16). 1 Kings 8:9 confirms that the covenant tablets were there in the time of Solomon.
2 Kings 11:13-14
‘And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the house of YHWH, and she looked, and, behold, the king stood by the pillar, as the manner was, and the commanders and the rams’ horns by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew rams’ horns. Then Athaliah tore her clothes, and cried, “Treason! treason!” ’
On hearing the cries of acclamation in the Temple Athaliah was concerned to discover the cause of it, and came from the palace into the Temple, no doubt accompanied by armed attendants. She must have been totally without suspicion to arrive in the way that she did, and must equally have been totally taken aback when she discovered there a boy wearing a crown, standing by the coronation pillar (or the recognised ‘king’s pillar’. Compare ‘the station of the king’ in the temple of Amun in Egypt), and being hailed by the commanders of the guard and all the people present, with loud cries of acclamation and the blowing of rams’ horns. And surrounded by a large number of armed men. Indeed she was so taken aback that she tore her clothes and cried out in alarm, ‘treason, treason’. She was furious. She had felt safe to come there because she had known the Temple guard were there, and she just could not believe that the whole of the Temple guard had turned against her. After all they had always treated her with the greatest of respect. (Had she realised the true position earlier she could have withdrawn quietly and waited until she could round up her own loyal supporters and call out the royal bodyguard, but she had acted on impulse and presumably could not believe that this was happening to her until it was too late).
Some see two sources intermingled, one of which emphasised the guard and the other the people, but the grounds for the distinction in this case are very flimsy. The movement is naturally from ‘the guard’ who were watching over the king until he was crowned, to ‘the people’ who had acclaimed his coronation. The commanders are prominent throughout.
2 Kings 11:15
‘And Jehoiada the priest commanded the commanders of hundreds who were set over the host, and said to them, “Have her forth between the ranks, and him who follows her slay with the sword.” For the priest said, “Let her not be slain in the house of YHWH.” ’
Then Jehoiada commanded the commanders of hundreds who were over the host of guards gathered there (or the commanders of hundreds who had been given responsibility for crowd control and were therefore seen as ‘over the host’) to expel her from the Temple between the ranks of guards, and once she was outside the Temple area to slay her, because it was not fitting that blood be shed in this way in the house of YHWH. She was to be slain with the sword because, while worthy of death and a murderess and usurper, she was of royal blood and had not committed offences for which she should be stoned.
2 Kings 11:16
‘So they made way for her, and she went by the way of the horses’ entry to the king’s house, and there she was slain.’
So the ranks opened up for her and she was led out by way of the horses’ entrance to the king’s house, and there she was executed. (This entrance was in contrast to ‘the gate of the guard to the king’s house’ in 2 Kings 11:19 which was the way by which the king would enter the palace complex). The execution may not necessarily have taken place immediately, although it would be vital for it to be accomplished before her supporters could rally round. It may have awaited the cessation of the coronation celebrations so as not to mar the event. On the other hand, the danger of news slipping out and causing a counter-movement would have rendered it necessary as soon as possible.
The horse gate was at the rear of the palace (2 Kings 23:11; Jeremiah 31:40; Nehemiah 3:28). That she had to use this gate indicated that she was no longer seen as queen. It may therefore be that she was slain in the palace stables.
The Reign In Judah Of Athaliah The Usurper c. 841-835 BC, Or The Remarkable Preservation And Restoration Of The Davidic Heir And The Refutation Of The Worship Of The Foreign Baal (2 Kings 11:1-21 ).
On hearing of the death of Ahaziah, king of Judah, at the hands of Jehu, and the overthrowing of the dynasty of Omri in Israel, Ahaziah’s mother Athaliah, a daughter of Ahab and the influential ‘queen mother’, seized the throne of Judah and sought to destroy all the seed royal, seeking to salvage something for the house of Ahab. The result appeared to be that the house of David was about to be exterminated, and it was all due to their association with the house of Ahab. The fact that according to the Chronicler her son had previously slain all his brothers, along with a number of prominent aristocrats, once his reign was established (2 Chronicles 21:4), presumably because of opposition to his support for Baal, brings out how evil that house really was. They would brook no opposition in their determination to establish the worship of Baal.
But YHWH had not forgotten His promises to David (2 Samuel 7:0) and Ahaziah’s half-sister Jehosheba (presumably by another wife of Jehoram) hid one of Ahaziah’s infant sons, Joash, so that he survived the massacre, after which he was kept in hiding for many years in the Temple, until the time came for his revealing to Judah. Then when the appropriate time came Jehoiada, the faithful Priest who, with Jehosheba his wife had watched over him, presented him before the commanders of the Temple guards whom he knew that he could rely on, taking from them suitable oaths of secrecy and loyalty.
The result was that, after carefully putting in place certain safeguards, Joash was crowned, anointed and acclaimed in the Temple by both the guards and a gathering of the people. The noise of the acclamation was such that it brought the unsuspecting Athaliah hurrying to the scene, presumably accompanied by a number of attendants, and when she realised what was happening she cried out ‘treason’. But she had little popular support, and with her own main bodyguard and supporters (as worshippers of Baal) presumably largely elsewhere she was at the mercy of the Temple guards. She was therefore led out of the Temple and slain. Her rebellion was at an end. This was then followed by the renewal of the covenants of YHWH and the destruction of the sanctuary of Baal.
We should note that we do not strictly have a record of the reign of Athaliah. She is seen rather as a brief and unpleasant interlude leading up to the restoration of the Davidic monarchy and of the covenants of YHWH, and the account of her reign simply deals with her failure to extirpate the house of David, and her death.
The passage divides into two subsections:
1) The Usurping Of The Throne By Athaliah And The Preservation And Eventual Crowning Of The Davidic Heir Resulting In Her Execution (2 Kings 11:1-16).
2) The Renewing Of The Covenants of YHWH, The Destruction Of The Sanctuary Of Baal, And The Final Official Enthronement Of The Davidic Heir (2 Kings 11:17-21).
2). The Renewing Of The Covenants of YHWH, The Destruction Of The Sanctuary Of Baal, And The Final Official Enthronement Of The Davidic Heir (2 Kings 11:17-21 ).
Athaliah having been disposed of, and the Davidic king having been restored and crowned, we now have a summary of the events that immediately followed, commencing with the renewing of the covenants, and the consequent extirpation of Baalism, and culminating in a reference to the enthronement of the Davidic king. These are not necessarily in chronological order. Rather they bring out the three necessary elements to the full restoration of Judah, the renewing of the covenants with YHWH which was the first essential step, the necessarily following destruction of the sanctuary of Baal and execution of its high priest, and the final enthroning of Joash on the official throne of David in accordance with YHWH’s covenant with the house of David, which is the highlighted feature of the whole passage.
a And Jehoiada made a covenant between YHWH and the king and the people, that they should be YHWH’s people, between the king also and the people (2 Kings 11:17).
b And all the people of the land went to the house of Baal, and broke it down. His altars and his images they broke in pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of YHWH (2 Kings 11:18).
c And he took the commanders over hundreds, and the Carites, and the guard, and all the people of the land, and they brought down the king from the house of YHWH, 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 (2 Kings 11:19).
b So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet. And they had slain Athaliah with the sword at the king’s house (2 Kings 11:20).
a Jehoash was seven years old when he began to reign (2 Kings 11:21).
Note that in ‘a’ the king’s position is settled between him and YHWH and him and the people, and in the parallel he commenced to reign. In ‘b’ the people of the land destroyed the symbols of Baalism and in the parallel they had destroyed Athaliah, and they rejoiced and rejoiced and were quiet. Centrally in ‘c’ the Davidic heir was enthroned on the throne of the kings.
2 Kings 11:17
‘And Jehoiada made a covenant between YHWH and the king and the people, that they should be YHWH’s people, between the king also and the people.’
In very abbreviated form we learn that Jehoiada re-established the sacred covenants; the sacred covenant of YHWH with the Davidic house, ‘YHWH and the king’ (2 Samuel 7:8-16), the sacred covenant of YHWH with the people, (including the king), ‘YHWH --- and the people’ (Exodus 20:2-17), and the political (although still sacred) covenant between king and people, ‘between king also and people’. The kingdom had returned to YHWH on the basis of the covenants of YHWH.
Such a renewing of the covenant on important occasions can be paralleled in 2 Kings 23:3; Deuteronomy 5:1 ff; Joshua 8:30-35; Joshua 24:2-25; 2 Samuel 5:3 with 1Ch 11:3 ; 2 Chronicles 29:3 ff). It was an essential part of returning to the true worship of YHWH. By it the people were acknowledging YHWH as their sole God and Overlord, and their responsibility to be His holy people and observe His laws and commandments.
2 Kings 11:18
‘And all the people of the land went to the house of Baal, and broke it down. His altars and his images they broke in pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of YHWH.’
Then the freemen of Israel, the landed gentry and freeholders in contrast with the city bureaucrats, went to the hated house of Baal and tore it down. They were dethroning Baal. They broke in pieces his altars and his images. And they slew Mattan, the high priest of Baal in Jerusalem, before those altars (the term High Priest is found at Ugarit)). This was, of course, a necessary consequence of the official renewing of the covenants, and with the people in control, supported by the Temple guard, the followers of Baal remained quiet. The will of the people was conclusive. (The incidents are in topical order rather than in chronological order. This would chronologically probably follow the enthronement of the king).
Mattan was a common Israelite name (a shortened form of Mattaniah) and is testified to by a seal at Lachish. It means simply ‘gift’. (It may here signify ‘gift (of Baal)’, Mattaniah meaning ‘gift of YHWH’).
2 Kings 11:19
‘And he took the commanders over hundreds, and the Carites, and the guard, and all the people of the land, and they brought down the king from the house of YHWH, 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.’
Meanwhile those who had been involved in the coronation, the commanders of military units, the elite units of Temple executioners (the Carites), and the general Temple guard, together with the ‘people of the land’ brought the king down from the house of YHWH, and came by the gate of the guard to the palace which was now once more the king’s house, and there he was officially seated on ‘the throne of kings’, the Davidic throne. The lack of interference by, or even cooperation of, the royal bodyguard and the standing army suggest that they too were ready to support Yahwism and the people. Athaliah had had few real friends
2 Kings 11:20
‘So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet. And they had slain Athaliah with the sword at the king’s house.’
The city was now filled with rejoicing by ‘the people of the land’, while the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who could be expected to be more tied to the reigning monarch, themselves remained quiet and peaceful. Athaliah was dead, slain with the sword at the entrance to the palace, and it would appear that few mourned her passing (again the order is not chronological).
2 Kings 11:21
‘Jehoash was seven years old when he began to reign.’
And the final result was that Jehoash commenced his reign at the age or seven years old. But it was not his age that mattered, it was that he was the true heir to the throne of David.
Note how this note has been removed from the opening formula that follows and has been placed here in order to conclude this subsection. He had already begun to reign.