The Agora
Bible Commentary
2 Kings

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2 Kings 12

2Ki 12:3

THE HIGH PLACES, HOWEVER, WERE NOT REMOVED; THE PEOPLE CONTINUED TO OFFER SACRIFICES AND BURN INCENSE THERE: Although Jehoash was described as a good king, this goodness did not extend to making the people good by removing their high places where they worshipped their idols. Hezekiah was the only one to do this (2Ki 18:22), and even this was immediately be reversed by his son (2Ki 21:3). We are under a great responsibility to remove the "high places", as it were, not just from our own lives, but that of the whole community of believers.

Specific mention is made, several times, of the high places not being taken away: by Asa (1Ki 15:14); Jehoshaphat (1Ki 22:43); Jehoash (2Ki 12:3); Amaziah (2Ki 14:4); Azariah/Uzziah (2Ki 15:4); and Jotham (2Ki 15:35) -- demonstrating the importance of this action in God's sight. These kings did not make a full return to God. The high places (which had been used for idol worship) might have been out of use for the time being, but it seems they were not totally destroyed until the time of Hezekiah (2Ki 18:4; 2Ch 32:12); and even then their prohibition did not last beyond his reign (2Ch 33:3).

Do we have other shrines at which we worship? We must be sure that we remove the "high places" from our lives completely, even if they are currently "out of use".

2Ki 12:7

Misappropriation of funds.

2Ki 12:15

THEY ACTED WITH COMPLETE HONESTY: "Well done, good and faithful servant!" (Mat 25:21). "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful" (1Co 4:2).

Examples of faithfulness in service: Samuel (1Sa 3:20); David (1Sa 22:14); the temple overseers (2Ki 12:15); the workers (2Ch 34:12); Hananiah (Neh 7:2); Abraham (Neh 9:8); the treasurers (Neh 13:13); Daniel (Dan 6:4); Timothy (1Co 4:17); Epaphras (Col 1:7); Tychicus (Col 4:7); Onesimus (Col 4:9); Paul (1Ti 1:12); Moses (Heb 3:2,5); Gaius (3Jo 1:5); Jesus Christ (Rev 1:5); Antipas (Rev 2:13).

Cp Luk 16:10; 2Ch 31:12.

"An inscription attributed to Jehoash, the king of Judea who ruled in Jerusalem at the end of the ninth century BCE, has been authenticated by experts from the National Infrastructure Ministry's Geological Survey of Israel following months of examination. The 10-line fragment, which was apparently found on the Temple Mount, is written in the first person on a black stone tablet in ancient Phoenician script. The inscription's description of Temple 'house repairs' ordered by King Jehoash strongly resembles passages in 2Ki 12.

"Dr Gabriel Barkai, a leading Israeli archaeologist from Bar Ilan University's Land of Israel Studies Department, says that if the inscription proves to be authentic, the finding is a 'sensation' of the greatest import. It could be, he says, the most significant archaeological finding yet in Jerusalem and the Land of Israel. It would be a first-of-its kind piece of physical evidence describing events in a manner that adheres to the narrative in the Bible.

"According to Dr Barkai, such a finding, which appears to furnish proof of the existence of the Temple, must be made available for examination by scholars, and can not be kept a virtual secret... Sources have indicated that the writing surfaced in the Temple Mount area as a result of wide-scale excavation work done in recent years in the area by Muslims, and that Palestinians relayed the fragment to a major collector of antiquities in Jerusalem...

"The inscription lauds repairs carried out by King Jehoash in ways reminiscent of the description in 2Ki. It includes the king's request that priests collect public money to be used for the repair of the First Temple; and there are references to the purchase of timber and quarried stones for the carrying out of repairs on the Temple.

"The inscription contains fragments from 2Ki 12:15: 'And they did not ask an accounting from the men into whose hands they delivered the money to pay out to the workmen; for they dealt honestly' " (BAR).

2Ki 12:18

WHO THEN WITHDREW FROM JERUSALEM: But he soon returned: 2Ch 24.
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