Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Then.—And. The verse is identical with 2Kings 22:10, save that it substitutes “read in it” for “read it,” which may mean the same thing. It seems too much to assume that the chronicler altered the phrase, in order to insinuate that the book was of considerable size.1 Kings 4:3). But here an order of scribes, forming a distinct division of the Levitical body, has been instituted. The class itself probably originated in the reign of Hezekiah (compare Proverbs 25:1); and it is probably to the rise of this class that we are indebted for the preservation of so many prophecies belonging to Hezekiah's time, while the works of almost all previous prophets - Ahijah, Iddo, Shemaiah, Jehu, the son of Hanani, and probably many others - have perished.
8. in the eighteenth year of his reign … he sent Shaphan—(See on 2Ki 22:3-9).
and then Hilkiah the high priest found a book of the law of the Lord given by Moses house of the Lord,.... The Levites, who brought it out of the country into the temple, and from thence brought it to the high priest, who delivering it to the king's ministers, and they to the overseers, the repairs were begun: See Gill on 2 Kings 22:8. From hence, to the end of 2 Chronicles 34:28, is the same as 2 Kings 22:8.Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)18. Then Shaphan] R.V. And Shaphan.
hath given] R.V. hath delivered (as in 2 Chronicles 34:15).
read it] R.V. read therein. The Heb. expression is partitive.Verse 18. - The implication on the face of this verse as of the parallel (2 Kings 22:10), is that Shaphan leaves the king to surmise (which he very quickly does), from hearing a portion (Hebrew here, read in it; in parallel, "read it") of the book, what it was. 2 Chronicles 24:11-13. The Keri ויּשׁבוּ is a correction resulting from a misinterpretation of the Keth. וישׁבי, "and of the dwellers in Jerusalem." The enumeration, "from the hand of Manasseh, Ephraim," etc., is rhetorical. In ויּתּנוּ, 2 Chronicles 34:10, the verb of 2 Chronicles 34:9 is again taken up: they handed it to the overseers of the building, and they to the workmen. הם עשׂה is a rare form of the plur. עשׁי; see on 1 Chronicles 23:24. The overseers of the building (המפקדים - עשׁי) are the subject of the second ויּתּנוּ; and before the following עשׂי ל, which stands in 2 Kings, is to be supplied. בדוק is a denom. from בּדק, and signifies to repair what has been damaged. The statement of 2 Chronicles 34:10 is made more definite by 2 Chronicles 34:11 : they gave it, namely, to the workers in stone and wood, and to the builders to buy hewn stones and timber for couplings, and for the beams of the houses (לקרות, to provide with beams; הבּתים are the various buildings of the temple and its courts), which the kings of Judah had allowed to decay (השׁחית, not of designed destroying, but of ruining by neglect). - In 2 Chronicles 34:12 we have still the remark that the people did the work with fidelity, and the money could consequently be given to them without reckoning, cf. 2 Kings 22:7; and then the names of the building inspectors follow. Two Levites of the family of Merari, and two of the family of Kohath, were overseers; לנצּח, i.e., to lead in the building, to preside over it as upper overseers; and besides them, the Levites, all who were skilled in instruments of song (cf. 1 Chronicles 25:6.). As men who by their office and their art occupied a conspicuous place among the Levites, the oversight of the workmen in the temple was committed to them, not "that they might incite and cheer the workmen by music and song" (Berth.).
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