2 Kings Chapter Twenty-two
New King James Version (NKJV)
INTRODUCTION TO 2 KINGS 22
This chapter begins with the age and character of Josiah king of Judah, 2 Kings 22:1, relates his orders for repairing the temple, 2 Kings 22:3, his attention to the book of the law, which was found, and read to him, and the effect it had upon him, 2 Kings 22:8, the command he gave to certain persons to inquire of the Lord about it, who applied to Huldah the prophetess, 2 Kings 22:12, who returned an answer by them to the king, foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem, and giving the reason of it, and at the same time assuring the king it should not be in his days, 2 Kings 22:15.
2 Kings 22:1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath.
YLT 1A son of eight years [is] Josiah in his reigning, and thirty and one years he hath reigned in Jerusalem, and the name of his mother [is] Jedidah daughter of Adaiah of Boskath,
Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign,.... And must be born when his father was but sixteen, for Amon lived but twenty four years, 2 Kings 21:19,
and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem; and so must die at thirty nine years of age:
and his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath; a city of the tribe of Judah; see Gill on Joshua 15:39.
2 Kings 22:2 2 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
YLT 2and he doth that which is right in the eyes of Jehovah, and walketh in all the way of David his father, and hath not turned aside -- right or left.
And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord,.... In the affair of religious worship especially, as well as in other things:
and walked in all the ways of David his father; in his religious ways, in which he never departed from his God:
and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; but kept an even, constant, path of worship and duty, according to the law of God.
2 Kings 22:3 3 Now it came to pass, in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan the scribe, the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the house of the Lord, saying:
YLT 3And it cometh to pass, in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, the king hath sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of Jehovah, saying,
And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of King Josiah,.... Not of his age, but of his reign, as appears from 2 Chronicles 34:8 nor is what follows the first remarkable act he did in a religious way; for elsewhere we read of what he did in the eighth and twelfth years of his reign, 2 Chronicles 34:3,
that the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam the scribe, to the house of the Lord; the king's secretary; the Septuagint version is, the scribe of the house of the Lord, and so the Vulgate Latin version; that kept the account of the expenses of the temple; with him two others were sent, 2 Chronicles 34:8,
saying: as follows.
2 Kings 22:4 4 “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may count the money which has been brought into the house of the Lord, which the doorkeepers have gathered from the people.
YLT 4`Go up unto Hilkiah the high priest, and he doth complete the silver that is brought into the house of Jehovah, that the keepers of the threshold have gathered from the people,
Go up to Hilkiah the high priest,.... Who had an apartment in the temple; there was an Hilkiah, a priest, in those times, who was the father of Jeremiah the prophet, Jeremiah 1:1, whom an Arabic writerF12Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. p. 68. takes to be the same with this; but it is not likely:
that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the Lord which the people voluntarily offered for the repairing of it; this he would have the priest take an account of, that the sum total might be known; his meaning is, that he should take it out of the chest in which it was put, and count it, that it might be known what it amounted to; see 2 Kings 12:9, some understand this of melting and coining the silver thus given
which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people: who were Levites, 2 Chronicles 34:9, either porters of the door, or rather the treasurers, as the Targum; the keepers of the vessels of the sanctuary, that had the care of them, as the Jewish commentators generally interpret it.
2 Kings 22:5 5 And let them deliver it into the hand of those doing the work, who are the overseers in the house of the Lord; let them give it to those who are in the house of the Lord doing the work, to repair the damages of the house—
YLT 5and they give it into the hand of the doers of the work, the overseers, in the house of Jehovah, and they give it to the doers of the work that [is] in the house of Jehovah, to strengthen the breach of the house,
And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work,
that have the oversight of the house of the Lord,.... That were overseers of the workmen, whose names are mentioned, 2 Chronicles 34:12 into their hands the money was to be delivered by the high priest, when he had taken the account of it, and perhaps along with the king's scribe, see 2 Kings 12:10,
and let them give it to the doers of the work, which is in the house of the Lord, to repair the breaches of the house as their wages for their work; it seems it had not been repaired from the times of Jehoash, a space of two hundred and eighteen years, according to the Jewish chronologyF13Seder Olam Rabba, c. 24. p. 67. ; but Kimchi and Abarbinel make it two hundred and twenty four.
2 Kings 22:6 6 to carpenters and builders and masons—and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house.
YLT 6to artificers, and to builders, and [to repairers of] the wall, and to buy wood and hewn stones to strengthen the house;
Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons,.... Who were employed, some in mending the woodwork, and others in repairing the stone walls
and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house; not only money was to be given them for their workmanship, but to buy timber and stone to work with.
2 Kings 22:7 7 However there need be no accounting made with them of the money delivered into their hand, because they deal faithfully.”
YLT 7only, the silver that is given into their hand is not reckoned with them, for in faithfulness they are dealing.
Howbeit, there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand,.... No account was kept between the high priest, and the king's scribe who delivered the money and the overseers of the workmen, who received it from them the latter were not called to any account by the former, nor any audit made of their accounts:
because they dealt faithfully: they were persons of such known honour and integrity, that their fidelity was not in the least called in question, but were trusted without examining their accounts, and how they disposed of the money committed to them, see 2 Kings 12:15.
2 Kings 22:8 8 Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.
YLT 8And Hilkiah the high priest saith unto Shaphan the scribe, `A book of the law I have found in the house of Jehovah;' and Hilkiah giveth the book unto Shaphan, and he readeth it.
And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe,.... Not at the first time of his message to him, but afterwards that he attended on him upon the same business; after the high priest had examined the temple to know what repairs it wanted, and where:
I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord; some think this was only the book of Deuteronomy, and some only some part of that; rather the whole Pentateuch, and that not a copy of it, but the very autograph of Moses, written with his own hand, as it seems from 2 Chronicles 34:14. Some say he found it in the holy of holies, on the side of the ark; there it was put originally; but, indeed, had it been there, he might have found it before, and must have seen it, since, as high priest, he entered there once every year; more probably some pious predecessor of his had taken it from thence in a time of general corruption, as in the reign of Manasseh, and hid it in some private place, under a lay of stones, as Jarchi, in some hole in the wall, which upon search about repairs was found there:
and Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it; and though there might be some copies of it in private hands, yet scarce; and perhaps Shaphan had never seen one, at least a perfect one, or however had never read it through, as now he did.
2 Kings 22:9 9 So Shaphan the scribe went to the king, bringing the king word, saying, “Your servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of those who do the work, who oversee the house of the Lord.”
YLT 9And Shaphan the scribe cometh in unto the king, and bringeth the king back word, and saith, `Thy servants have poured out the silver that hath been found in the house, and give it into the hand of the doers of the work, the inspectors, in the house of Jehovah.'
And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again,.... Of the delivery of his message to the high priest, and of what had been done upon it:
and said, thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house; meaning Hilkiah and himself, who had examined the chest in the temple, into which the money was put for the repairs of it, and had taken it out, and told it:
and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the Lord; according to the king's orders.
2 Kings 22:10 10 Then Shaphan the scribe showed the king, saying, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king.
YLT 10And Shaphan the scribe declareth to the king, saying, `A book hath Hilkiah the priest given to me;' and Shaphan readeth it before the king.
And Shaphan showed the king,.... Further related to him what follows:
saying, Hilkiah the high priest hath delivered me a book; but did not say what book it was:
and Shaphan read it before the king; part of it; and it is thought by Kimchi and Ben Gersom that he particularly read the reproofs and threatenings in the book of Deuteronomy; they suppose that Hilkiah read those to Shaphan, and directed him to read them to the king, that he might take into consideration a further reformation.
2 Kings 22:11 11 Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he tore his clothes.
YLT 11And it cometh to pass, at the king's hearing the words of the book of the law, that he rendeth his garments,
And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law,.... From whence it appears that he had never wrote out a copy of it, as the kings of Israel were ordered to do, when they came to the throne, Deuteronomy 17:18 nor had read it, at least not the whole of it; and yet it seems strange that he should be twenty six years of age, as he now was, and had proceeded far in the reformation of worship, and yet be without the book of the law, and the high priest also; it looks as if it was, as some have thought, that they had till now only some abstracts of the law, and not the whole: and perhaps the reformation hitherto carried on chiefly lay in abolishing idolatry, and not so much in restoring the ordinances of worship to their purity; for it was after this that the ordinance of the passover was ordered to be kept; and when the king observed, on hearing the law read, that it had not been kept as it should, that such severe threatenings were denounced against the transgressors of it;
that he rent his clothes; as expressive of the rending of his heart, and of his humiliation and sorrow for the sins he and his people were guilty of.
2 Kings 22:12 12 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor[a] the son of Michaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king, saying,
YLT 12and the king commandeth Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam son of Shaphan, and Achbor son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah servant of the king, saying,
And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest,.... The high priest, as he is called, 2 Kings 22:4.
and Ahikam the son of Shaphan; whether the same with Shaphan the scribe, before mentioned, or another of the same name, is not certain:
and Achbor the son of Michaiah; who is called Abdon, the son of Micah, 2 Chronicles 34:20.
and Shaphan the scribe; who brought and read the book to the king:
and Asahiah, a servant of the king's; that waited on him constantly:
saying; as follows.
2 Kings 22:13 13 “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, for the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is aroused against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”
YLT 13`Go, seek Jehovah for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found, for great [is] the fury of Jehovah that is kindled against us, because that our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according to all that is written for us.'
Go ye, inquire of the Lord,.... Of some of his prophets, as Jeremiah, who began to prophesy in the thirteenth year of Josiah's reign, and had been a prophet five years, Jeremiah 1:1,
for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found; for he observed that this book threatened and foretold not only the captivity of the ten tribes, but of Judah, and of their king; and Jarchi thinks, he had a particular respect to that passage:
the Lord shall bring thee and thy king, &c. Deuteronomy 28:36 and therefore was desirous of knowing what he and his people must do to avert those judgments:
for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us; which he concluded from the threatenings denounced:
because that our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according to all which is written concerning us: he clearly saw that his ancestors more remote and immediate had been very deficient in observing the laws, commands, and ordinances enjoined them in that book; and therefore feared that what was threatened would fall upon him and his people, who, he was sensible, came short of doing their duty.
2 Kings 22:14 14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. (She dwelt in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter.) And they spoke with her.
YLT 14And Hilkiah the priest goeth, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, unto Huldah the prophetess, wife of Shallum, son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the garments, and she is dwelling in Jerusalem in the second, and they speak unto her.
So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went down to Huldah the prophetess,.... Such as were Miriam and Deborah; in imitation of those Satan had very early his women prophetesses, the Sibyls, so called from their being the council and oracle of God, and consulted as such on occasion, as Huldah now was; and the first of the Sibyls, according to SuidasF14In voce σιβυλλα. , was a Chaldean or a Persian; and some say an Hebrew; and Pausanias expressly saysF15Phocica, sive, l. 10. p. 631. , that with the Hebrews above Palestine was a woman prophetess, whose name was Sabba, whom some called the Babylonian, others the Egyptian Sibyl. Aelian relatesF16Var. Hist. l. 12. c. 35. that one of them was a Jewess:
the wife of Shallum, the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; but whether the king's wardrobe in the palace, or the priest's in the temple, is not certain; he is called Hasrah, 2 Chronicles 34:22 who is here called Harhas:
now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college; in the college of the prophets; in the house of instruction, as the Targum; the school where the young prophets were instructed and trained up; though Jarchi observes, that some interpret this "within the two walls"; Jerusalem it seems had three walls, and within the second this woman lived; there were gates in the temple, as he also observes, called the gates of HuldahF17Misn. Middot, c. 1. sect. 3. , but whether from her cannot be said: this place of her dwelling seems to be mentioned as a reason why these messengers went to her, because she was near, as well as well known for her prophetic spirit, prudence, and faithfulness, and not to Jeremiah, who in all probability was at Anathoth; and so also is the reason why they went not to Zephaniah, if he as yet had begun to prophesy, because he might be at a distance also: and they communed with her; upon the subject the king sent them about.
2 Kings 22:15 15 Then she said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Tell the man who sent you to Me,
YLT 15And she saith unto them, `Thus said Jehovah, God of Israel, Say to the man who hath sent you unto me:
And she said unto them,.... The king's messengers:
thus saith the Lord God of Israel; being immediately inspired by him, she spake in his name, as prophets did:
tell the man that sent you to me; which may seem somewhat rude and unmannerly to say of a king; but when it is considered she spake not of herself, but representing the King of kings and Lord of lords, it will be seen and judged of in another light.
2 Kings 22:16 16 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will bring calamity on this place and on its inhabitants—all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read—
YLT 16Thus said Jehovah, Lo, I am bringing in evil unto this place and on its inhabitants, all the words of the book that the king of Judah hath read,
Thus saith the Lord, behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of it,.... Destruction to the place, and captivity to the inhabitants of it:
2 Kings 22:17 17 because they have forsaken Me and burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands. Therefore My wrath shall be aroused against this place and shall not be quenched.’”’
YLT 17because that they have forsaken Me, and make perfume to other gods, so as to provoke Me to anger with every work of their hands, and My wrath hath been kindled against this place, and it is not quenched.
Because they have forsaken me,.... My worship, as the Targum; his word and ordinances:
and have burnt incense unto other gods; to Baal, to the host of heaven, and other Heathen deities:
that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands: their idols of wood, stone, gold, and silver, which their hands had made, to worship; than which nothing was more provoking to God:
therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched; the decree for the destruction of Jerusalem was gone forth, and not to be called back; the execution of it could not be stopped or hindered by cries, prayers, entreaties, or otherwise; this wrath of God was an emblem of the unquenchable fire of hell, Matthew 3:12.
2 Kings 22:18 18 But as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, in this manner you shall speak to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Concerning the words which you have heard—
YLT 18`And unto the king of Judah, who is sending you to seek Jehovah, thus do ye say unto him, Thus said Jehovah, God of Israel, The words that thou hast heard –
But to the king of Judah, which sent you to inquire of the Lord,.... That is, with respect to him, or what may concern him:
thus shall ye say unto him; carry back this message to him as from the Lord he desired to inquire of:
thus saith the Lord God of Israel, as touching the words which thou hast heard: read out of the law, concerning the destruction of the land, and its inhabitants therein threatened.
2 Kings 22:19 19 because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord.
YLT 19because thy heart [is] tender, and thou art humbled because of Jehovah, in thy hearing that which I have spoken against this place, and against its inhabitants, to be for a desolation, and for a reviling, and dost rend thy garments, and weep before Me -- I also have heard -- the affirmation of Jehovah –
Because thine heart was tender,.... Soft like wax, and susceptible of impressions; or was "moved", or "trembled", as the Targum; for God has respect to such as are of contrite hearts, and tremble at his word, Isaiah 66:2,
and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord; external humiliation, such as in Ahab, was regarded by the Lord, much more internal and cordial humiliation is regarded by him, see 1 Kings 21:29,
when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse; as in Leviticus 26:1.
and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; as expressive of the inward contrition, sorrow, and grief of his heart:
I also have heard thee, saith the Lord: his cries and prayers.
2 Kings 22:20 20 “Surely, therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place.”’” So they brought back word to the king.
YLT 20therefore, lo, I am gathering thee unto thy fathers, and thou hast been gathered unto thy grave in peace, and thine eyes do not look on any of the evil that I am bringing in on this place;' and they bring the king back word.
Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers,.... To his godly ancestors, to share with them in eternal life and happiness; otherwise it could be no peculiar favour to die in common, as his fathers did, and be buried in their sepulchres:
and thou shall be gathered into thy grave in peace; in a time of public peace and tranquillity; for though he was slain in battle with the king of Egypt, yet it was what he was personally concerned in, and it was not a public war between the two kingdoms, and his body was carried off by his servants, and was peaceably interred in the sepulchre of his ancestors, 2 Kings 23:29, as well as he died in spiritual peace, and entered into eternal peace, which is the end of the perfect and upright man, as he was, Psalm 37:37 but this chiefly regards his not living to be distressed with the calamities of his nation and people, as follows:
and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place: he being removed first, though it came upon it in the days of his sons:
and they brought the king word again; of what Huldah the prophetess had said unto them.
──《John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible》
New King James Version (NKJV)