- Athaliah usurps the government and destroys all the seed royal; only Joash escapes, verse 1-3.
- He is made king, verse 4-12.
- Athaliah is slain, verse 13-16.
- Joash reigns well, verse 17-21.
She destroyed - This was the fruit of Jehoshaphat's marrying his son to a daughter of that idolatrous house of Ahab. And this dreadful judgment God permitted upon him and his, to shew how much he abhors all such affinities.
They hid - Jehosheba and her husband Jehoiada. Bed-chamber - Which was in the house of the Lord. So that it was one of those chambers adjoining to the temple, that were for the uses of the priests and Levites only: which made it more proper for this purpose. Now was the promise made to David bound up in one life. And yet it did not fail. Thus to the Son of David will God, according to his promise, secure a spiritual seed: which tho' sometimes reduced to a small number, brought very low, and seemingly lost, yet will be preserved to the end of time. It was a special providence that Joram tho' a king, a wicked king, married his daughter to Jehoiada, a priest, an holy priest. This some might think a disparagement to the royal family; but it saved the royal family from ruin. For Jehoiada's interest in the temple, gave her an opportunity to preserve the child: and her interest in the royal family, gave him an opportunity of setting him on the throne. See what blessings they lay up in store for their families who marry their children to those that are wise and good.
The house - Into the courts of that house, for into the house none but the priests or Levites might enter.
Of you - Levites, who were distributed into twenty four courses, to minister in turns, each course consisting of about a thousand men for a week. Enter in - That come into the temple to attend your ministry. King's house - Of that part which lead to the king's palace, which Athaliah now possessed.
Sur - The chief gate of the temple. The guard - Either, 1. the king's guard. Or, 2. the guard of the temple; this gate was in the south-side. So, &c. - So you shall guard all the gates or entrances into the temple that neither Athaliah nor any of her soldiers may break in.
That go, &c. - Who having finished their course, should have gone home, but were detained, 2 Chronicles 23:8. Shall keep - While the rest guard the entrances into the temple; these shall have a special care of the king's person.
Ranges - Or, fences, the wall wherewith the courts of the temple were environed.
Testimony - The book of the law, which he put into the king's hand, to mind him of his duty at his entrance upon his kingdom, which was to read and write out that holy book, Deuteronomy 17:18, and to govern himself and his kingdom by it: the law of God being frequently and most properly called a testimony, because it is a witness of God's will, and man's duty.
Host - Of these companies of Levites, who are elsewhere called the Lord's host, and now were the king's host.
A covenant - A sacred covenant whereby he solemnly engaged both the king, and people, that they should be the Lord's people; that they should renounce, and root out all idolatry, and set up and maintain God's true worship. Between the king - This was a civil covenant, whereby the king engaged himself to rule them justly, and in the fear of God; and the people obliged themselves to defend and obey him.