In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)THE REIGN OF PEKAHIAH
(Heb., Pĕkahyāh). (
(23) In the fiftieth year.—The forty-ninth, if verse seventeen were exact.
(25) But . . . a captain of his.—And . . . his adjutant (or knight, 2Kings 7:2).
The palace of the king’s house.—The same expression occurred in 1Kings 16:18. The word armôn, rendered “palace,” is usually explained as meaning citadel or keep, from a root meaning to be high. (Comp. ἡ ἄκρα in Greek.) Ewald makes it the harem, which, as the innermost and most strongly-guarded part of an Oriental palace, is probably meant here. Thither Pekahiah had fled for refuge before the conspirators.
With Argob and Arieh.—Pekah slew these two persons, probably officers of the royal guard, who stood by their master, as well as the king himself.
The peculiar names are an indication of the historical character of the account. Argob suggests that the person who bore this name was a native of the district of Bashan so designated (1Kings 4:13); Arieh (“lion”), like our own Cceur-de-Lion, betokens strength and bravery. (Comp. 1Chronicles 12:8, “The Gadites, whose faces were as the faces of lions.”)
And with him fifty men of the Gileadites.—Or, and with him were fifty, &c. Pekah was supported by fifty soldiers, probably of the royal guard. Menahem himself was of Gadite origin (2Kings 15:17), and so belonged to Gilead. He would therefore be likely to recruit his body-guard from among the Gileadites, who were always famous for their prowess. (Comp. Joshua 17:1; Judges 11:12; 1Chronicles 26:31.) The two names Argob and Arieh agree with this supposition. The LXX. reads, in place of “the Gileadites,” ἀπὸ τῶν τετρακοσίων, “of the four hundred,” which reminds us of David’s six hundred Gibbôrîm (2Samuel 15:18).
Josephus accounts for the short reign of Pekahiah by the statement that he imitated the cruelty of his father.2 Kings 15:29. In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verses 23-26. - SHORT REIGN OF PEKA-HIAH. The short reign of Pekahiah was wholly undistinguished. He held the throne for two years only, or perhaps for parts of two years, and performed no action that any historian has thought worthy of record. Our author has nothing to relate of him but the circumstances of his death (ver. 25), wherewith he combines the usual formulae (vers. 23, 24, 26). 2 Kings 15:23), and resembled that of his predecessors in its attitude towards God. In 2 Kings 15:18, the expression כּל־ימיו (all his days) is a very strange one, inasmuch as no such definition of time occurs in connection with the usual formula, either in this chapter (cf. 2 Kings 15:24 and 2 Kings 15:28) or elsewhere (cf. 2 Kings 3:3; 2 Kings 10:31; 2 Kings 13:2, 2 Kings 13:11, etc.). The lxx have instead of this, ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις αὐτοῦ (in his days). If we compare 2 Kings 15:29, בּא פּקח בּימי (in the days of Pekah came, etc.), בּא בּימיו might possibly be regarded as the original reading, from which a copyist's error בּא כּל־מיו arose, after which כּל־ימיו was connected with the preceding clause.
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