Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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4 KINGS - Chapter 12

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4 Kings xii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 2. Taught him. Joiada lived, at least, till the 23d year of the reign of Joas, (ver. 6.) and the king seems to have persevered some time longer in virtue.

Ver. 3. Places, to the true God, but contrary to his law. The king was deterred from overturning these altars, through human policy; which did not meet with the divine approbation. (Calmet) See 3 Kings xxii. 24., and Deuteronomy xii. 8.

Ver. 4. Sanctified. That is, dedicated to God's service. (Challoner) --- Literally, "of the holy" sanctorum. (Haydock) --- For the use of the sanctuary. --- Pass, as strangers, (3 Kings viii. 41.) desiring sacrifice to be offered, (Grotius) or who pass in the roll of those who have attained their 20th year, and are obliged to pay half a sicle, Exodus xx. 13, 14. This was the first fund which had been turned to a different purpose by the priests, (Calmet) under the wicked kings. (Haydock) --- Soul. that is, the ordinary oblation, which every soul was to offer by the law, Exodus xxx. (Challoner) --- Or, this was a second fund arising from the redemption of vows, Leviticus xxvii. 2. --- Lord. Voluntary contributions, like that of the widow, (Luke xxi. 2.) were also recommended; and Joas sent Levites throughout the land, every year, to collect what they could, for the reparation of the temple, 2 Paralipomenon xxiv. 5.

Ver. 5. Order. Hebrew, "acquaintance." Let them receive the contributions on the spot where they reside; or, let those who are on duty in the temple take them. (Calmet) --- Thing. Hebrew, "breach," badek, a term which the Septuagint retain. (Haydock)

Ver. 6. Temple. It is not known when the king gave his orders; but they were executed with negligence, as they seemed to interfere (Calmet) with the emoluments assigned by the law to the Levites, 2 Paralipomenon xxiv. 5. (Haydock) --- The latter Jews were obliged to pay half a sicle towards the repairs of the temple. (Tirinus)

Ver. 8. Forbidden. Hebrew, Septuagint, &c., "And the priests consented to take no," &c. They were also obliged to restore what they had already received. (Calmet)

Ver. 9. By the altar, yet without the enclosure, that any person might freely put in what he thought proper, 2 Paralipomenon xxiv. 8. Priests were still appointed to watch, that no fraud was committed: and they counted the money which the law ordained to be paid. Josephus (Jewish Wars vi. 5.) speaks of many coffers; one might be near the altar, and another out of the door. (Menochius)

Ver. 10. Priest, or his deputy. (Paralipomenon) (Calmet) --- Out. Protestants, "put it up in bags," (Haydock) or tied and afterwards weighed it.

Ver. 11. And they. The king and the high priest conjointly. (Paralipomenon)

Ver. 13. Bowls. Chaldean, "silver chalices." The precise import of the Hebrew term is not well known. (Menochius) --- Lord. After the repairs were finished, the remaining money, which was very considerable, was however employed for these purposes, 2 Paralipomenon xxiv. 14. (Calmet) (Menochius)

Ver. 15. Faithfully, and corresponded with the trust reposed in them. (Haydock)

Ver. 16. Sins. These terms seem to be synonymous, though they may be distinguished, Leviticus iv. 2., and v. 15. If any one forgot to pay tithes, he was bound to make full reparation to the priests; (Tostat) and the money which was given to them by strangers, to offer sacrifice, was not taken from them. (Calmet)

Ver. 17. Then. After the death of Joiada, the king gave way to the greatest excesses of idolatry, and even murdered the son of his greatest benefactor. Hereupon the justice of God fell heavy upon him; Geth was taken, Jerusalem only saved by giving up all the sacred treasures, &c.: yea, the very next year, Hazael returned, routed the forces of Juda, and wounded the king, who on his return to the palace was murdered by conspirators, (Calmet) to revenge the death of Zacharias, 2 Paralipomenon xxiv. 25. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] ix. 8.)

Ver. 18. Joram, &c. These are accused of plundering the temple, 2 Paralipomenon xxiv. 7. But they might make some presents, through ostentation. How many rob the poor, while they erect magnificent altars to the God of the poor! (Calmet)

Ver. 20. Sella. A flight of steps leading to the temple. (Haydock) --- The palace was at the bottom of it, and had been built by Solomon. Here Joas was slain in his bed. (Paralipomenon)

Ver. 21. Josachar, or Zabad, the son of Semmaath, an Ammonitess, and Jozabad, the son of Semarith, a Moabitess. (Paralipomenon) Both their mothers were of foreign extraction. (Calmet) --- People have frequently two names. --- Somer is the father of Jozabad. (Menochius) --- David. Achaz was treated in like manner. The fear of this infamy might tend to keep the kings in awe. After death, the kings of Egypt might be accused, and deprived of sepulture, if their crimes deserved it: as many of them were. (Diodorus i. p. 46.) (Calmet) --- Thus Joas was covered with eternal infamy, after he had begun so well. Finis coronat opus. (Haydock)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The temple is repaired. Hazael is bought off from attacking Jerusalem. Joas is slain.

1 In the seventh year* of Jehu, Joas began to reign: and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. The name of his mother was Sebia, of Bersabee.

2 And Joas did that which was right before the Lord all the days that Joiada, the priest, taught him.

3 But yet he took not away the high places: for the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.

4 And Joas said to the priests: *All the money of the sanctified things, which is brought into the temple of the Lord by those that pass, which is offered for the price of a soul, and which of their own accord, and of their own free heart, they bring into the temple of the Lord:

5 Let the priests take it according to their order, and repair the house, wheresoever they shall see any thing that wanteth repairing.

6 Now till the three and twentieth year of king Joas, the priests did not make the repairs of the temple.

7 And king *Joas called Joiada, the high priest, and the priests, saying to them: Why do you not repair the temple? Take you, therefore, money no more according to your order, but restore it for the repairing of the temple.

8 And the priests were forbidden to take any more money of the people, and to make the repairs of the house.

9 And Joiada, the high priest, took a chest, and bored a hole in the top, and set it by the altar at the right hand of them that came into the house of the Lord; and the priests that kept the doors, put therein all the money that was brought to the temple of the Lord.

10 And when they saw that there was very much money in the chest, the king's scribe, and the high priest, came up, and poured it out, and counted the money that was found in the house of the Lord:

11 And they gave it out by number and measure into the hands of them that were over the builders of the house of the Lord: and they laid it out to the carpenters, and the masons, that wrought in the house of the Lord,

12 And made the repairs: and to them that cut stones, and to buy timber, and stones to be hewed, that the repairs of the house of the Lord might be completely finished, and wheresoever there was need of expenses to uphold the house.

13 But there were not made of the same money for the temple of the Lord, bowls, or flesh-hooks, or censers, or trumpets, or any vessel of gold and silver, of the money that was brought into the temple of the Lord:

14 For it was given to them that did the work, that the temple of the Lord might be repaired.

15 And they reckoned not with the men that received the money to distribute it to the workmen, but they bestowed it faithfully.

16 But the money for trespass, and the money for sins, they brought not into the temple of the Lord, because it was for the priests.

17 *Then Hazael, king of Syria, went up, and fought against Geth, and took it, and set his face to go up to Jerusalem.

18 Wherefore Joas, king of Juda, took all the sanctified things, which Josaphat, and Joram, and Ochozias, his fathers, the kings of Juda, had dedicated to holy uses, and which he himself had offered: and all the silver that could be found in the treasures of the temple of the Lord, and in the king's palace: and sent it to Hazael, king of Syria, and he went off from Jerusalem.

19 And the rest of the acts of Joas, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the words of the days of the kings of Juda?

20 And his servants arose, and conspired among themselves, and slew Joas, in the house of Mello, in the descent of Sella.

21 For Josachar, the son of Semaath, and Jozabad, the son of Somer, his servants, struck him, and he died: and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David; and Amasias, his son, reigned in his stead.



1: Year of the World 3126.

4: Year of the World 3147, Year before Christ 857.

7: Year of the World 3148.

17: Year of the World 3165, Year before Christ 839.; 2 Paralipomenon xxiv. 23.