Verses 12–21

Here we have, I. The people pleased, 2 Chron. 23:12, 13. When the king stood at his pillar, whose right it was to stand there, all the people of the land rejoiced to see a rod sprung out of the stem of Jesse, Isa. 11:1. When it seemed a withered root in a dry ground, to see what they despaired of ever seeing—a king of the house of David, what a pleasing surprise was it to them! They ran in transports of joy to see this sight, praised the king, and praised God, for they had with them such as taught to sing praise.

II. Athaliah slain. She ran upon the point of the sword of justice; for, imagining her interest much better than it was, she ventured into the house of the Lord at that time, and cried, Treason, treason! But nobody seconded her, or sided with her. The pride of her heart deceived her. She thought all her own, whereas none were cordially so. Jehoiada, as protector in the king’s minority, ordered her to be slain (2 Chron. 23:14), which was done immediately (2 Chron. 23:15), only care was taken that she should not be slain in the house of the Lord, that sacred place must not be so far disgraced, nor that wicked woman so far honoured.

III. The original contract agreed to, 2 Chron. 23:16. In the Kings it is said that Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord, the people, and the king, 2 Kgs. 11:17. Here it is said to be between himself, the people, and the king; for he, as God’s priest, was his representative in this transaction, or a sort of mediator, as Moses was. The indenture was tripartite, but the true intent and meaning of the whole was that they should be the Lord’s people. God covenanted by Jehoiada to take them for his people; the king and people covenanted with him to be his; and then the king covenanted with the people to govern them as the people of God, and the people with the king to be subject to him as the Lord’s people, in his fear and for his sake. Let us look upon ourselves and one another as the Lord’s people, and this will have a powerful influence upon us in the discharge of all our duty both to God and man.

IV. Baal destroyed, 2 Chron. 23:17. They would not have done half their work if they had only destroyed the usurper of the king’s right, and not the usurper of God’s right—if they had asserted the honour of the throne, and not that of the altar. The greatest grievance of Athaliah’s reign was the bringing in of the worship of Baal, and supporting of that; therefore that must be abolished in the first place. Down with Baal’s house, his altars, his images; down with them all, and let the blood of his priests be mingled with his sacrifices; for God had commanded that seducers to idolatry should be put to death, Deut. 13:5, 6.

V. The temple service revived, 2 Chron. 23:18, 19. This had been neglected in the last reigns, the priest and people wanting either power or zeal to keep it up when they had princes that were disaffected to it. But Jehoiada restored the offices of the house of the Lord, which in the late times had been disturbed and invaded, to the proper course and proper hands. 1. He appointed the priests to their courses, for the due offering of sacrifices, according to the law of Moses. 2. The singers to theirs, according to the appointment of David. The sacrifices (it should seem) were offered with rejoicing and singing, and with good reason. We joy in God when we receive the atonement, Rom. 5:11. 3. The porters were put in their respective posts as David ordered (2 Chron. 23:19), and their office was to take care that none who were upon any account ceremonially unclean should be admitted into the courts of the temple.

VI. The civil government re-established, 2 Chron. 23:20. They brought the king in state to his own palace, and set him upon the throne of the kingdom, to give law, and give judgment, either in his own person or by Jehoiada his tutor. Thus was this happy revolution perfected. The generality of the people rejoiced in it, and the rest were quiet and made no opposition, 2 Chron. 23:21. When the Son of David is enthroned in the soul all is quiet and springs of joy are opened.