2 Kings 11:11
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And the guards stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the south side of the house to the north side of the house, around the altar and the house on behalf of the king.

King James Bible
And the guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, round about the king, from the right corner of the temple to the left corner of the temple, along by the altar and the temple.

American Standard Version
And the guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, along by the altar and the house, by the king round about.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they stood having every one their weapons in their hands, from the right side of the temple, unto the left side of the altar, and of the temple, about the king.

English Revised Version
And the guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, along by the altar and the house, by the king round about.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, around the king, from the right corner of the temple to the left corner of the temple, along by the altar and the temple.

2 Kings 11:11 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Jehoiada then communicated to those initiated into the plan the necessary instructions for carrying it out, assigning them the places which they were to occupy. "The third part of you that come on the Sabbath (i.e., mount guard) shall keep the guard of the king's house (ושׁמרי is a corruption of ושׁמרוּ), and the third part shall be at the gate Sur, and the third part at the gate behind the runners, and (ye) shall keep guard over the house for defence; and the two parts of you, (namely) all who depart on the Sabbath, shall keep the guard of the house of Jehovah for the king; and ye shall surround the king round about, every one with his weapons in his hand; and whoever presses into the ranks shall be slain, and shall be with the king when he goes out and in," i.e., in all his steps. The words השּׁבּת בּאי השּׁבּ and השּׁבּת יצאי, "those coming and those going out on the Sabbath," denote the divisions of the watch, those who performed duty on the Sabbath and those who were relieved on the Sabbath; not the military guard at the palace however, but the temple-guard, which consisted of Levites. For David had divided the priests and Levites into classes, every one of which had to perform service for a week and was relieved on the Sabbath: compare 1 Chronicles 23-26 with Josephus (Ant. vii. 14, 7), who expressly says that every one of the twenty-four classes of priests had to attend to the worship of God "for eight days, from Sabbath to Sabbath," also with Luke 1:5. On the other hand, we do not know that there was any similar division and obligation to serve in connection with the royal body-guard or with the army. The current opinion, that by those who come on the Sabbath and those who go out on the Sabbath we are to understand the king's halberdiers or the guard of the palace, is therefore proved to be unfounded and untenable. And if there could be any doubt on the matter, it would be removed by 2 Kings 11:7 and 2 Kings 11:10. According to 2 Kings 11:7, two parts of those who went away (were relieved) on the Sabbath were to undertake the guarding of the house of Jehovah about the king, i.e., to keep guard over that room in the temple where the king then was. Could Jehoiada have used the royal body-guard, that was being relieved from guarding the palace, for such a purpose as this? Who can imagine that this is a credible thing? According to 2 Kings 11:10, Jehoiada gave to the captains over a hundred the weapons of king David, which were in the house of Jehovah. Did the palace-guard then return without weapons? In 2 Chronicles 23:4, "those coming on the Sabbath" are correctly described as the priests and Levites coming on the Sabbath, i.e., the priests and Levites who entered upon their week's duty at the temple on the Sabbath. According to this explanation of the words, which is the only one that can be grammatically sustained, the facts were as follows: "When Jehoiada had initiated the captains of the royal halberdiers, and with their help the heads of families of the people generally, into his plan of raising the youthful Joash to the throne and dethroning Athaliah, he determined to carry out the affair chiefly with the help of the priests and Levites who entered upon their duty in the temple on the Sabbath, and of those who left or were relived at the same time, and entrusted the command over these men to the captains of the royal halberdiers, that they might occupy the approaches to the temple with the priests and Levites under their command, so as to prevent the approach of any military from the king's palace and protect the youthful king. These captains had come to the temple without weapons, to avoid attracting attention. Jehoiada therefore gave them the weapons of king David that were kept in the temple.

With regard to the distribution of the different posts, the fact that two-thirds are spoken of first of all in 2 Kings 11:5, 2 Kings 11:6, and then two parts in 2 Kings 11:7, occasions no difficulty. For the two-thirds mentioned in 2 Kings 11:5, 2 Kings 11:6 were those who came on the Sabbath, whereas the "two divisions" (היּדות שׁתּי) referred to in 2 Kings 11:7 were all who went away on the Sabbath. Consequently the priests and Levites, who came on the Sabbath and entered upon the week's service, were divided into three sections; and those who should have been relieved, but were detained, into two. Probably the number of those who came this time to perform service at the temple was much larger than usual, as the priests were initiated into Jehoiada's secret; so that it was possible to make three divisions of those who arrived, whereas those who were about to depart could only be formed into two. The three divisions of those who were entering upon duty are also distinctly mentioned in the Chronicles; whereas, instead of the two divisions of those who were relieved, "all the people" are spoken of. The description of the different posts which were assigned to these several companies causes some difficulty. In general, so much is clearly indicated in 2 Kings 11:7 and 2 Kings 11:8, that the two divisions of those who were relieved on the Sabbath were to keep guard over the young king in the house of Jehovah, and therefore to remain in the inner spaces of the temple-court for his protection; whereas the three divisions of those who were entering upon duty were charged with the occupation of the external approaches to the temple. One-third was to "keep watch over the king's house," i.e., to observe whatever had to be observed in relation to the king's palace; not to occupy the king's palace, or to keep guard in the citadel at the palace gate (Thenius), but to keep watch towards the royal palace, i.e., to post themselves so that no one could force a way into the temple, with which the indefinite המּלך בּבית in the Chronicles harmonizes, if we only translate it "against (at) the king's house." The idea that the palace was guarded is precluded not only by 2 Kings 11:13, according to which Athaliah came out of the palace to the people to the house of Jehovah, which she would not have been able to do if the palace had been guarded, but also by the circumstance that, according to 2 Kings 11:19, the chief men were in the temple with the whole of the (assembled) people, and did not go out of the house of Jehovah into the king's house till after the anointing of Joash and the death of Athaliah. The other third was to station itself at the gate Sur (סוּר), or, according to the Chronicles, Yesod (יסוד), foundation-gate. There is no doubt as to the identity of the gate Sur and the gate Yesod; only we cannot decide whether one of these names has simply sprung from a copyist's error, or whether the gate had two different names. The name יסוד שׁער, foundation-gate, suggests a gate in the outer court of the temple, at the hollow of either the Tyropoeon or the Kedron; for the context precludes our thinking of a palace gate. The third division was to be posted "at the gate behind the runners;" or, as it is stated in 2 Kings 11:19, "at the gate of the runners." It is very evident from 2 Kings 11:19 that this gate led from the temple-court to the royal palace upon Zion, and was therefore on the western side of the court of the temple. This also follows from 2 Kings 11:4 of the Chronicles, according to which this division was to act as "doorkeepers of the thresholds" (הסּפּים לשׁערי), i.e., to keep guard at the gate of the thresholds. For we may safely infer, from a comparison with 1 Chronicles 9:19, that הסּפּים were the thresholds of the ascent to the temple. The last clause, "and shall keep guard over the house for defence," refers to all three divisions, and serves to define with greater precision the object for which they were stationed there. מסּח is not a proper name (lxx, Luther, and others), but an appellative in the sense of defence or resistance, from נסח, depellere. The meaning is, that they were to guard the house, to keep off the people, and not to let any of the party of Athaliah force a way into the temple. - In 2 Kings 11:7, הש יצאי כּל is an explanatory apposition to בּכם ot היּדות וּשׁתּי, "and the two parts in (of) you," namely, all who go out on the Sabbath, i.e., are relieved from duty. Their task, to observe the watch of the house of Jehovah with regard to the king, is more precisely defined in 2 Kings 11:8 as signifying, that they were to surround the king with weapons in their hands, and slay every one who attempted to force a way into their ranks. וּבבאו בּצאתו, i.e., in all his undertakings, or in all his steps; ובוא צאת being applied to the actions and pursuits of a man, as in Deuteronomy 28:6; Deuteronomy 31:2, etc. (see the Comm. on Numbers 27:17). Thenius has explained this incorrectly: "in his going out of the temple and entering into the palace."

2 Kings 11:11 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

every man

2 Kings 11:8,10 And you shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand: and he that comes within the ranges...

corner [heb] shoulder
by the altar

Exodus 40:6 And you shall set the altar of the burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation.

2 Chronicles 6:12 And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands:

Ezekiel 8:16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD...

Joel 2:17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare your people, O LORD...

Matthew 23:35 That on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth...

Luke 11:51 From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias which perished between the altar and the temple: truly I say to you...

Cross References
2 Kings 11:10
And the priest gave to the captains the spears and shields that had been King David's, which were in the house of the LORD.

2 Kings 11:12
Then he brought out the king's son and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony. And they proclaimed him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and said, "Long live the king!"

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