2 Kings 12:9
But Jehoiada the priest took a chest, and bored a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar, on the right side as one comes into the house of the LORD: and the priests that kept the door put therein all the money that was brought into the house of the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) But.And.

Jehoiada the priest took a chest.—By order of the king (2Chronicles 24:8).

Beside the altar, on the right side as one cometh into the house of the Lord.—Chronicles says: “in the gate of the house of the Lord outwards.” This can hardly refer to the same position. It probably describes where the chest, which became a permanent feature of the sanctuary, stood in the time after the return from the Captivity. The chronicler adds that offerings were asked by proclamation throughout the country, and that the princes and people readily contributed.

Put.—Rather, used to put. The chest was kept locked, and the Levitical doorkeepers received the money from those who offered it, and dropped it at once into the chest. This obviated all suspicion of a possible misapplication of the contributions.

2 Kings 12:9. Jehoiada the priest took a chest — By the king’s order, 2 Chronicles 24:8. And set it beside the altar — In the court of the priests. Upon comparing the passage in Chronicles, just referred to, with this, it seems probable that it was first placed by the altar, and afterward removed thence to the gate of the court, for the people’s greater satisfaction, that they might come thither, and put in their money with their own hands.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 priests that kept the door - The north door into the priests' court Ezekiel 40:35-43 seems to be intended, not the door of the temple building. The chest must have been placed a little to the right of this north door, between it and the altar of burnt-offering, so that the people could see it from the doorway. The people were not ordinarily allowed to go within the doorway into this court, which belonged to the priests and Levites only. 7-10. Why repair ye not the breaches of the house?—This mode of collection not proving so productive as was expected (the dilatoriness of the priests was the chief cause of the failure), a new arrangement was proposed. A chest was placed by the high priest at the entrance into the temple, into which the money given by the people for the repairs of the temple was to be put by the Levites who kept the door. The object of this chest was to make a separation between the money to be raised for the building from the other moneys destined for the general use of the priests, in the hope that the people would be more liberal in their contributions when it was known that their offerings would be devoted to the special purpose of making the necessary repairs. The duty of attending to this work was no longer to devolve on the priests, but to be undertaken by the king. Jehoiada the priest, by the king’s consent, 2 Chronicles 24:8.

Beside the altar, in the priests’ court.

Object. It was placed without at the gate of the house of the Lord, 2 Chronicles 24:8.

Answ. Either, first, It was first placed by the altar, and afterwards thence removed to the gate of the court, for the people’s greater satisfaction, that they might come thither, and put in their money with their own hands. Or, secondly, That place 2 Chron speaks of the gate of the temple strictly so called, nigh unto which the altar of burnt-offerings was. Or, thirdly, It was placed near the entrance into the priests’ court, which was over against the altar, and not far from it; so as the people standing in their own court might either put their money into it, or see when the priests put it in.

The priests that kept the door; the door of the priests’ court, which, together with the temple and all its utensils, was committed to the charge of the priests and Levites, Numbers 18:4 1 Chronicles 9:26, &c. But Jehoiada the priest took a chest,.... By the commandment of the king, 2 Chronicles 24:8, to put the money collected into, to prevent any fraud, or suspicion of any:

and bored a hole in the lid of it; to drop the money into, by which means it could not be taken out without taking off the lid:

and set it beside the altar; the altar of burnt offering, in the court:

on the right side, as one cometh into the house of the Lord; that is, on the north; for the entrance into the temple was at the east: in 2 Chronicles 24:8, it is said to be set without at the gate of the house; which Dr. Lightfoot (k) thinks respects another time, and that either another chest was made, or the same that was first placed by the altar, in the court of the priests, and so in their hands, and the money not coming in apace, was removed without the court at the entrance of it, whither the people brought it readily:

and the priests that kept the door; the door of the outward court, the levites, the porters, or rather, as the Targum, the priests, the treasurers, who were appointed to this service in the room of the others dismissed; and so Kimchi and other Jewish commentators interpret this of the keepers of the vessels of the sanctuary, and not of the doors of it:

these put therein all the money that was brought into the house of the Lord; by the people from the several parts of the country, who, by proclamation, were required so to do, and very readily did, 2 Chronicles 24:9.

(k) Prospect of the Temple, ch. 30. p. 20, 22.

But Jehoiada the priest took a chest, and bored a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar, on the {f} right side as one cometh into the house of the LORD: and the priests that kept the door put therein all the money that was brought into the house of the LORD.

(f) That is, on the south side.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. But Jehoiada the priest took a chest] The Chronicler says ‘At the king’s commandment they made a chest’. It is manifest that both king and priests were at one in changing the plan for raising a repair-fund. But it is not without interest to note that the narrative of Chronicles, which is assumed to bring the priest into prominence everywhere, here omits Jehoiada’s name from the story.

set it beside the altar] In Chronicles it is said to have been ‘set without at the gate of the house of the Lord’. The altar spoken of here is the brasen altar for burnt offerings which was outside the temple, in the court, before the porch of the temple. So the description in Chronicles appears to be a little less exact than in the verse before us. But the words which are added here ‘on the right side as one cometh into the house of the Lord’ may have given rise to the Chronicler’s more vague description ‘at the gate of the house of the Lord’. The account in Kings is to be preferred as drawn from some contemporary record and compiled earlier than the narrative in Chronicles.

all the money that was brought] In 2 Chronicles 24:9-10 we are told that when the chest was set ‘they made a proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem to bring in to the Lord the collection that Moses, the servant of God, laid upon Israel in the wilderness. And all the princes and all the people rejoiced, and brought in, and cast into the chest, until they had made an end’. While the money had been given by individuals at their homes, and with no united action, the preparations had languished. The new arrangement put life into the work. The givers saw that others were giving as well as they, and found that a sum was being gathered of which regular account was kept, so that there was now some hope that the work would be completed. Josephus exactly hits the feeling which would be created in this way when he says πολὺν ἄργυρον καὶ χρυσὸν φιλοτιμούμενοι καὶ συνεισφέροντες ἤθροισαν. The spirit of cooperation was invoked and the contributors saw that success was likely to attend what they were doing. Hence their zealous efforts. The history is not without its value in our own days.Verse 9. - But Jehoiada the priest took a chest. The writer of Chronicles says, "At the king's commandment, they made a chest" (2 Chronicles 24:8). The suggestion was probably the king's, but the ecclesiastical and civil authorities worked harmoniously in the business. And bored a hole in the lid of it - as hundreds of thousands have done since his time - and set it beside the altar, on the right side as one cometh into the house of the Lord. The altar intended is, of course, the altar of burnt offering, which was in the court of the temple, directly opposite the porch. The chest was placed outside the sanctuary (2 Chronicles 24:8), and, indeed, outside the porch, on the right hand as one entered into the court by the north door. It was thus very conspicuous. And the priests that kept the door - i.e. the door of the court - put therein all the money that was brought into the house of the Lord. The priests received the money from those who offered, at the gate of the court, and, proceeding to the chest, dropped it in through the aperture. A man could not see that all which he had given was put in, but he reckoned on the good faith of the priest, and was satisfied. (4). But the worship on the high places was not entirely suppressed, notwithstanding the fact that Jehoiada instructed him (on this standing formula see the Comm. on 1 Kings 15:14).
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