2 Kings 12:11
And they gave the money, being told, into the hands of them that did the work, that had the oversight of the house of the LORD: and they laid it out to the carpenters and builders, that worked on the house of the LORD,
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(11) They gave.—Rather, And they used to give, i.e., every time they had emptied the chest.

Being told.—Rather, which was weighed.

Them that did the work.—Not the actual workmen, but, as is immediately explained, “those who had the oversight of the house,” or were charged with the superintendence of the work.

That wrought.—Literally, who were making.

12:1-16 It is a great mercy to young people, especially to all young men of rank, like Jehoash, to have those about them who will instruct them to do what is right in the sight of the Lord; and they do wisely and well for themselves, when willing to be counselled and ruled. The temple was out of repair; Jehoash orders the repair of the temple. The king was zealous. God requires those who have power, to use it for the support of religion, the redress of grievances, and repairing of decays. The king employed the priests to manage, as most likely to be hearty in the work. But nothing was done effectually till the twenty-third year of his reign. Another method was therefore taken. When public distributions are made faithfully, public contributions will be made cheerfully. While they were getting all they could for the repair of the temple, they did not break in upon the stated maintenance of the priests. Let not the servants of the temple be starved, under colour of repairing the breaches of it. Those that were intrusted did the business carefully and faithfully. They did not lay it out in ornaments for the temple, till the other work was completed; hence we may learn, in all our expenses, to prefer that which is most needful, and, in dealing for the public, to deal as we would for ourselves.The king's scribe - Or "secretary" (1 Kings 4:3 note). Such persons are often seen in the Assyrian sculptures, with a roll, apparently of parchment, in one hand and a pen in the other, taking account for the king of the spoil brought in from foreign expeditions. 11, 12. they gave the money, being told, into the hands of them that did the work—The king sent his secretary along with an agent of the high priest to count the money in the chest from time to time (2Ch 24:11), and deliver the amount to the overseers of the building, who paid the workmen and purchased all necessary materials. The custom of putting sums of certain amount in bags, which are labelled and sealed by a proper officer, is a common way of using the currency in Turkey and other Eastern countries. Them that did the work, that had the oversight of the house of the Lord; who were chosen out of the people, not without a reflection upon the priests for their neglect or unfaithfulness. And they gave the money, being told, into the hands of them that did the work, that had the oversight of the house of the Lord,.... Who were appointed overseers of the workmen employed in the repairs of the temple; which overseers were laymen, and not priests, they being discharged from any concern in the repairs: this money "told", Kimchi interprets of its being coined; he supposes money coined and uncoined to be brought, which was put in separate bags; and that, which was not coined, they coined it before they delivered it to the overseers to pay the workmen with:

and they laid it out to the carpenters and builders that wrought upon the house of the Lord; paid them with it, some that wrought in cutting the timber, and others in building with it.

And they gave the money, being told, into the hands of them {g} that did the work, that had the oversight of the house of the LORD: and they laid it out to the carpenters and builders, that wrought upon the house of the LORD,

(g) For the king had appointed others who were fit for that purpose, 2Ki 22:5.

11. they gave the money, being told] R.V. that was weighed out. Here by employing a different word the writer makes plain what was meant by the previous ‘telling’ or ‘counting’. The Chronicler adds that when this was done, the chest was carried back to its place, and that they did this from day to day, i.e. from time to time, and gathered money in abundance.

into the hands of them that did the work] Explained by the following clause as ‘the overseers’, the chief men who had charge of the restoration. The priests and the king’s officer did not pay the workmen, but gave sums in gross over to the contractors.

and they laid [R.V. paid] it out to the carpenters and [R.V. and the] builders] Both nouns are defined, as are also ‘the masons and the hewers of stone’ in the next verse. R.V. inserts the article there also.Verse 11. - And they gave the money, being told - rather, after weighing it - into the hands of them that did the work, that had the oversight of the house of the Lord. It must be remembered that no coins existed as yet; and the lumps of silver which passed as shekels and half shekels, were of very uncertain weight. To know the value of the money in each bag, it was necessary, not only to count the pieces, but to weigh each bag separately. The bags, when weighed, were handed over by the high priest and the royal secretary to the officers whom Jehoiada had appointed (2 Kings 11:18) to have the general superintendence of the "house." And they laid it out to the carpenters and builders, that wrought upon the house of the Lord. The "paid it out" of our Revisers is better than "laid it out." The overseers of the temple paid over to the carpenters and the builders, from time to time, such money as was needed for the work done or doing. (5-17). Repairing of the temple (cf. 2 Chronicles 24:5-14). - 2 Kings 12:4, 2 Kings 12:5. That the temple, which had fallen into ruins, might be restored, Joash ordered the priests to collect all the money of the consecrated gifts, that was generally brought into the house of the Lord, and to effect therewith all the repairs that were needed in the temple. The general expression הקּדשׁים כּסף, money of the holy gifts, i.e., money derived from holy gifts, is more specifically defined by וגו עובר כּסף, according to which it consisted of three kinds of payments to the temple: viz., (1) עובר כּסף, i.e., money of persons mustered (or numbered in the census); עובר is an abbreviated expression for הפּקדים העובר, "he who passes over to those who are numbered" (Exodus 30:13), as it has been correctly interpreted by the Chald., Rashi, Abarb., and others; whereas the explanation "money that passes" (Luther), or current coin, which Thenius still defends, yields not suitable sense, since it is impossible to see why only current coin should be accepted, and not silver in bars of vessels, inasmuch as Moses had accepted gold, silver, copper, and other objects of value in natura, for the building of the tabernacle (Exodus 24:2-3; Exodus 35:5; Exodus 36:5-6). The brevity of the expression may be explained from the fact, that עובר כּסף had become a technical term on the ground of the passage in the law already cited. The objection raised by Thenius, that the explanation adopted would be without any parallel, would, if it could be sustained, also apply to his own explanation "current money," in which עובר is also taken as an abbreviation of לסּהר עבר לסּ in Genesis 23:16. There is still less ground for the other objection, that if עובר כּסף denoted one kind of temple-revenue, כּל or אישׁ would necessarily have been used. (2) ערכּו...אישׁ, "every kind of souls' valuation money;" אישׁ is more precisely defined by ערכּו, and the position in which it stands before כּסף resembles the בּתרו in Genesis 15:10 -literally, soul money of each one's valuation. Thenius is wrong in his interpretation, "every kind of money of the souls according to their valuation," to which he appends the erroneous remark, that אישׁ is also used in Zechariah 10:1 and Joel 2:7 in connection with inanimate objects as equivalent to כּל. ערכּו...אישׁ, every kind of valuation, because both in the redemption of the male first-born (Numbers 18:15-16) and also in the case of persons under a vow a payment had to be made according to the valuation of the priest. (3) "All the money that cometh into any one's mind to bring into the house of the Lord," i.e., all the money which was offered as a free-will offering to the sanctuary. This money the priests were to take to themselves, every one from his acquaintance, and therewith repair all the dilapidations that were to be found in the temple. In the Chronicles the different kinds of money to be collected for this purpose are not specified; but the whole is embraced under the general expression "the taxes of Moses the servant of God, and of the congregation of Israel, to the tent of the testimony," which included not only the contribution of half a shekel for the building of the temple, which is prescribed in Exodus 30:12., but also the other two taxes mentioned in this account.

(Note: There is no ground either in the words or in the facts for restricting the perfectly general expression "taxes of Moses and of the congregation of Israel" to the payment mentioned in Exodus 30:12, as Thenius and Bertheau have done, except perhaps the wish to find a discrepancy between the two accounts, for the purpose of being able to accuse the chronicler, if not of intentional falsification, as De Wette does, at any rate of perverting the true state of the case. The assertion of Thenius, that the yearly payment of half a shekel, which was appointed in the law and regarded as atonement-money, appears to be directly excluded in our text, is simply founded upon the interpretation given to עובר כּסף as current money, which we have already proved to be false.)

Again, according to 2 Kings 12:7 of the Chronicles, Joash gave the following reason for his command: "For Athaliah, the wicked woman, and her sons have demolished the house of God, and all the dedicated gifts of the house of Jehovah have they used for the Baals." We are not told in what the violent treatment of demolition (פּרץ) of the temple by Athaliah had her sons consisted. The circumstance that considerable repairs even of the stonework of the temple were required in the time of Joash, about 130 or 140 years after it was built, is quite conceivable without any intentional demolition. And in no case can we infer from these words, as Thenius has done, that Athaliah or her sons had erected a temple of Baal within the limits of the sanctuary. The application of all the dedicatory offerings of the house of Jehovah to the Baals, involves nothing more than that the gifts which were absolutely necessary for the preservation of the temple and temple-service were withdrawn from the sanctuary of Jehovah and applied to the worship of Baal, and therefore that the decay of the sanctuary would necessarily follow upon the neglect of the worship.

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