Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
In the seventh year of Jehu Jehoash began to reign; and forty years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Zibiah of Beersheba.
2Ki 12:1-18. Jehoash Reigns Well while Jehoiada Lived.
And Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all his days wherein Jehoiada the priest instructed him.
2. Jehoash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord—so far as related to his outward actions and the policy of his government. But it is evident from the sequel of his history that the rectitude of his administration was owing more to the salutary influence of his preserver and tutor, Jehoiada, than to the honest and sincere dictates of his own mind.
But the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.
3. But the high places were not taken away—The popular fondness for the private and disorderly rites performed in the groves and recesses of hills was so inveterate that even the most powerful monarchs had been unable to accomplish their suppression; no wonder that in the early reign of a young king, and after the gross irregularities that had been allowed during the maladministration of Athaliah, the difficulty of putting an end to the superstitions associated with "the high places" was greatly increased.
And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the LORD, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the LORD,
4. Jehoash said to the priests, &c.—There is here given an account of the measures which the young king took for repairing the temple by the levying of taxes: 1. "The money of every one that passeth the account," namely, half a shekel, as "an offering to the Lord" (Ex 30:13). 2. "The money that every man is set at," that is, the redemption price of every one who had devoted himself or any thing belonging to him to the Lord, and the amount of which was estimated according to certain rules (Le 27:1-8). 3. Free will or voluntary offerings made to the sanctuary. The first two were paid annually (see 2Ch 24:5).
Let the priests take it to them, every man of his acquaintance: and let them repair the breaches of the house, wheresoever any breach shall be found.
But it was so, that in the three and twentieth year of king Jehoash the priests had not repaired the breaches of the house.
Then king Jehoash called for Jehoiada the priest, and the other priests, and said unto them, Why repair ye not the breaches of the house? now therefore receive no more money of your acquaintance, but deliver it for the breaches of the house.
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.
And the priests consented to receive no more money of the people, neither to repair the breaches of the house.
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 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.
And it was so, when they saw that there was much money in the chest, that the king's scribe and the high priest came up, and they put up in bags, and told the money that was found in the house of the LORD.
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 wrought upon the house of the LORD,
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.
And to masons, and hewers of stone, and to buy timber and hewed stone to repair the breaches of the house of the LORD, and for all that was laid out for the house to repair it.
Howbeit there were not made for the house of the LORD bowls of silver, snuffers, basons, trumpets, any vessels of gold, or vessels of silver, of the money that was brought into the house of the LORD:
13-16. Howbeit there were not made … bowls, &c.—When the repairs of the temple had been completed, the surplus was appropriated to the purchase of the temple furniture. The integrity of the overseers of the work being undoubted, no account was exacted of the way in which they applied the money given to them, while other moneys levied at the temple were left to the disposal of the priests as the law directed (Le 5:16; Nu 5:8).
But they gave that to the workmen, and repaired therewith the house of the LORD.
Moreover they reckoned not with the men, into whose hand they delivered the money to be bestowed on workmen: for they dealt faithfully.
The trespass money and sin money was not brought into the house of the LORD: it was the priests'.
Then Hazael king of Syria went up, and fought against Gath, and took it: and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem.
17, 18. Then Hazael … fought against Gath—(See on 2Ch 24:23).
And Jehoash king of Judah took all the hallowed things that Jehoshaphat, and Jehoram, and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own hallowed things, and all the gold that was found in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and in the king's house, and sent it to Hazael king of Syria: and he went away from Jerusalem.
And the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 12:19-21. He Is Slain.
And his servants arose, and made a conspiracy, and slew Joash in the house of Millo, which goeth down to Silla.
20. his servants arose … and slew Joash in the house of Millo—(See on 2Ch 24:25).
For Jozachar the son of Shimeath, and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, smote him, and he died; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Amaziah his son reigned in his stead.