- Joash takes care to repair the temple, verse 1-14.
- After Jehoiada's death, he sets up the worship of Baal again, tho' warned, verse 15-19.
- He puts Zechariah to death, verse 20-22.
- Is invaded by the Syrians, verse 23, 24.
- Struck with sore diseases and slain, verse 25-27
The chief - It is observable, that he is not called the chief priest, or high-priest, but only the chief, or the head, which he might be in many other respects, either by reason of his near relation to the royal family: or because he was the chief of one of the twenty-four families.
The sons - Ahaziah, and his brethren before they were carried away captive, chap. 21:17, who did this by her instigation, as this phrase implies. Broke up - Both broke up the treasuries, and defaced the house itself.
Vessels - Because Athaliah and her sons had taken the old ones away, verse 7.
An hundred and thirty years old - By which it appears, that he was born in Solomon's time, and had lived six entire reigns before this. They buried him among the kings, with this honourable encomium, (perhaps inscribed upon his grave-stone) that he had done good in Israel. But the little religion that Joash had, was all buried in his grave. See how great a judgment to any prince or people, the death of holy, useful men is!
Israel - In Judah, which was an eminent part of Israel, and the only part of it which owned God, or was owned by God as his Israel, to whom therefore he often appropriates this name.
Made obeisance - In that posture presenting their requests to him, that they might not be confined to troublesome journeys to Jerusalem, but might have the liberty, which their fore-fathers enjoyed, os worshipping God in the high-places. This liberty once obtained, they knew they could worship idols without disturbance: which was the thing at which they aimed. And for the prevention of such abuses, God obliged all to worship him in one place.
Left, &c. - The king and princes that awhile ago so zealously repaired the temple, now forsook the temple! So inconstant a thing is man! So little confidence is to be put in him!
Who stood - The people were assembled in the court of the temple, which they had not quite forsook, when Zechariah stood up in some of the desks that were in the court of the priests, and plainly told them their sin, and the consequences of it.
Stoned him - They stoned him immediately, without even colour of law; as horrid a piece of wickedness, as any we read of in all the history of the kings. That ever such a villainy should be committed, by men, by Israelites, in contempt and violation of everything that is just, honourable, and sacred! The Jews say, there were seven transgressions in one: They killed a priest, a prophet, a judge; they shed innocent blood; polluted the court of the temple, the Sabbath, and the day of expiation: for on that day, their tradition says, this happened.
Require it - Make inquisition for innocent blood. But the words may be rendered, The Lord will look upon it, and require it, will require satisfaction from you for it.
The year - So soon did God hear the cry of his holy prophet's blood, and revenge it. The princes - That it might appear they were sent and directed by God to single out to destruction the first beginners of this general apostacy.
Son - By which it seems, he slew not only Zechariah, but his brothers also. Perhaps they that slew him intended to take vengeance for that innocent blood. However that was it, which God intended, in permitting them to do it.
Burdens - The great judgments of God upon him, both by the Syrians, verse 24:23, and by great diseases, verse 25.