2 Kings 11

Athaliah and Joash

1 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family.
2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram[a] and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes, who were about to be murdered. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom to hide him from Athaliah; so he was not killed.
3 He remained hidden with his nurse at the temple of the LORD for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.
4 In the seventh year Jehoiada sent for the commanders of units of a hundred, the Carites and the guards and had them brought to him at the temple of the LORD. He made a covenant with them and put them under oath at the temple of the LORD. Then he showed them the king’s son.
5 He commanded them, saying, “This is what you are to do: You who are in the three companies that are going on duty on the Sabbath—a third of you guarding the royal palace,
6 a third at the Sur Gate, and a third at the gate behind the guard, who take turns guarding the temple—
7 and you who are in the other two companies that normally go off Sabbath duty are all to guard the temple for the king.
8 Station yourselves around the king, each of you with weapon in hand. Anyone who approaches your ranks[b] is to be put to death. Stay close to the king wherever he goes.”
9 The commanders of units of a hundred did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each one took his men—those who were going on duty on the Sabbath and those who were going off duty—and came to Jehoiada the priest.
10 Then he gave the commanders the spears and shields that had belonged to King David and that were in the temple of the LORD.
11 The guards, each with weapon in hand, stationed themselves around the king—near the altar and the temple, from the south side to the north side of the temple.
12 Jehoiada brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him; he presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king. They anointed him, and the people clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!”
13 When Athaliah heard the noise made by the guards and the people, she went to the people at the temple of the LORD.
14 She looked and there was the king, standing by the pillar, as the custom was. The officers and the trumpeters were beside the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her robes and called out, “Treason! Treason!”
15 Jehoiada the priest ordered the commanders of units of a hundred, who were in charge of the troops: “Bring her out between the ranks[c] and put to the sword anyone who follows her.” For the priest had said, “She must not be put to death in the temple of the LORD.”
16 So they seized her as she reached the place where the horses enter the palace grounds, and there she was put to death.
17 Jehoiada then made a covenant between the LORD and the king and people that they would be the LORD’s people. He also made a covenant between the king and the people.
18 All the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols to pieces and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars. Then Jehoiada the priest posted guards at the temple of the LORD.
19 He took with him the commanders of hundreds, the Carites, the guards and all the people of the land, and together they brought the king down from the temple of the LORD and went into the palace, entering by way of the gate of the guards. The king then took his place on the royal throne.
20 All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was calm, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword at the palace.
21 Joash[d] was seven years old when he began to reign.[e]

2 Kings 11 Commentary

Chapter 11

Athaliah usurps the government of Judah, Jehoash made king. (1-12) Athaliah put to death. (13-16) The worship of the Lord restored. (17-21)

Verses 1-12 Athaliah destroyed all she knew to be akin to the crown. Jehoash, one of the king's sons, was hid. Now was the promise made to David bound up in one life only, and yet it did not fail. Thus to the Son of David, the Lord, according to his promise, will secure a spiritual seed, hidden sometimes, and unseen, but hidden in God's pavilion, and unhurt. Six years Athaliah tyrannized. Then the king was brought forward. A child indeed, but he had a good guardian, and, what was better, a good God to go to With such joy and satisfaction must the kingdom of Christ be welcomed into our hearts, when his throne is set up there, and Satan the usurper is cast out. Say, Let the King, even Jesus, live, for ever live and reign in my soul, and in all the world.

Verses 13-16 Athaliah hastened her own destruction. She herself was the greatest traitor, and yet was first and loudest in crying, Treason, treason! The most guilty are commonly the most forward to reproach others.

Verses 17-21 King and people would cleave most firmly to each other, when both had joined themselves to the Lord. It is well with a people, when all the changes that pass over them help to revive, strengthen, and advance the interests of religion among them. Covenants are of use, both to remind us of, and bind us to, the duties already binding on us. They immediately abolished idolatry; and, pursuant to the covenant with one another, they expressed mutual readiness to help each other. The people rejoiced, and Jerusalem was quiet. The way for people to be joyful and at peace, is to engage fully in the service of God; for the voice of joy and thanksgiving is in the dwellings of the righteous, but there is no peace for the wicked.

Cross References 25

  • 1. S 2 Kings 8:18
  • 2. ver 21; 2 Kings 12:1
  • 3. S Judges 9:5
  • 4. ver 19
  • 5. 1 Chronicles 9:25
  • 6. 1 Kings 14:27
  • 7. S 2 Samuel 8:7; 1 Chronicles 18:7
  • 8. Exodus 25:16; 2 Kings 23:3
  • 9. S 1 Samuel 9:16; S 1 Kings 1:39
  • 10. Psalms 47:1; Psalms 98:8; Isaiah 55:12
  • 11. S 1 Samuel 10:24
  • 12. S 1 Kings 7:15; 2 Kings 23:3; 2 Chronicles 34:31
  • 13. S 1 Kings 1:39
  • 14. S Genesis 37:29
  • 15. 2 Kings 9:23
  • 16. 1 Kings 2:30
  • 17. Nehemiah 3:28; Jeremiah 31:40
  • 18. S Genesis 4:14
  • 19. S Exodus 24:8; 2 Samuel 5:3; 2 Chronicles 15:12; 2 Chronicles 23:3; 2 Chronicles 29:10; 2 Chronicles 34:31; Ezra 10:3
  • 20. 2 Kings 23:3; Jeremiah 34:8
  • 21. S 1 Kings 16:32
  • 22. S Deuteronomy 12:3
  • 23. 1 Kings 18:40; 2 Kings 10:25; 2 Kings 23:20
  • 24. ver 4
  • 25. Proverbs 11:10; Proverbs 28:12; Proverbs 29:2

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. Hebrew "Joram," a variant of "Jehoram"
  • [b]. Or "approaches the precincts"
  • [c]. Or "out from the precincts"
  • [d]. Hebrew "Jehoash," a variant of "Joash"
  • [e]. In Hebrew texts this verse (11:21) is numbered 12:1.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 KINGS 11

This chapter relates how that Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, being hid and preserved, when his grandmother murdered all the seed royal, after six years was produced, 2Ki 11:1-3, when Jehoiada the priest set a sufficient guard about him, and the king's house, and anointed him king, 2Ki 11:4-12, and Athaliah his grandmother, who had reigned six years, was put to death by the order of the priest, 2Ki 10:13-16, and then a covenant was made between the Lord, and the king, and the people, and between the king and the people; and he was placed on the throne, to the satisfaction of the people, and the quiet thereof, 2Ki 10:17-21.

2 Kings 11 Commentaries