In the eighteenth year, not of his life, but of his reign, as it is expressed, 2 Chronicles 34:3,8. What he did before this time, see 2 Chronicles 34:3, &c. The scribe; the king’s secretary.
That he may sum the silver, i.e. take an exact account how much it is, and then dispose it in manner following.
The keepers of the door were priests or Levites, as appears from 2 Kings 12:9 2 Chronicles 8:14 23:4 34:9.
The oversight of the house of the Lord, i.e. the care and oversight of the workmen; which also were Levites, 2 Chronicles 34:12.
Either hewed or cut out of the quarries, or to be hewed and fitted to the building.
i.e. Because it was found by experience that they dealt faithfully. Verbs signifying the being of a thing are oft put for the manifestation of it.
The book of the law; that original
book of the law of the Lord, given or written by the hand of Moses, as it is expressed, 2 Chronicles 34:14, which by God’s command was put beside the ark, Deuteronomy 31:26, and probably taken from thence and hid, by the care of some godly priest, when some of the idolatrous kings of Judah persecuted the true religion, and defaced the temple, and (which the Jewish writers affirm) burnt all the copies of God’s law which they could find, and now found among the rubbish, or in some secret place.
The words of the book of the law, i. e. the dreadful comminations against them for the sins still reigning among the people.
Quest. Did Josiah never see and read a copy of this book before this time? If he did not, how could he do so much towards the reformation of religion, as he did before? if he did, why was he not sooner convinced and humbled by it?
Answ. If Josiah had not yet seen a copy of this book, (which is not impossible,) yet there was so much of the law left in the minds and memories of many of the people, as might easily persuade and direct him to all that he did till this time; or if Josiah had seen and read it before, which seems more probable, yet the great reverence which he justly bore to the original book, and the strange, and remarkable, and seasonable finding of it, had very much awakened and quickened him to a more serious and diligent reading, and attentive consideration, of all the passages contained in it, than he used before.
A servant of the king’s, who most constantly waited upon the king’s person; otherwise all of them were the king’s servants.
Inquire of the Lord; either what he intends to do with us, or what we shall do to him, to appease his wrath.
Concerning the words of this book; whether the curses here threatened must come upon us without remedy, or whether there be hope in Israel concerning the prevention of them.
Unto Huldah the prophetess; for we read of women prophetesses, both in the Old and New Testament; as Miriam, Exodus 15:20, Deborah, Jude 4:4, Hannah, 1Sa 2, Elisabeth, and the blessed Virgin, Lu 1, and Philip’s daughters, Acts 21:9.
Quest. But why did he send to this woman, and not rather to Zephaniah, or Jeremiah, who were prophets in Josiah’s days?
Answ. Either, first, Because the king’s earnest affection in this business required great haste; and she was in Jerusalem, which is therefore noted in the following part of the verse, when Jeremiah might at this time be at Anathoth, or in some more remote part of the kingdom; and the like may be said of Zephaniah, who also might not be a prophet at this time, though he was afterward, in the days of Josiah, which is all that is affirmed of him, Zephaniah 1:1. Or,
2. Because the king or his courtiers had longer and greater experience of the eminency of her prophetical gifts than of Jeremiah’s, who began not to prophesy till the thirteenth year of Josiah, Jeremiah 1:2; and being well assured of her fidelity in delivering the mind and counsel of God to those that inquired of her, they rightly concluded that it was much more considerable what message God sent, than by whom it was conveyed to them. In the college; where the sons of the prophets, or others who devoted themselves to the study of God’s word, used to meet and discourse of the things of God, and receive the instructions of their teachers. Others both ancient and modern render it, in another or the second part, to wit, of the city, i.e. in the suburbs, which also were fortified and walled about by Hezekiah, 2 Chronicles 32:5.
The works of their hands; gods made with hands. This she adds to aggravate their folly and contempt of God, in preferring such vain and idle things before him.
In peace, i.e. in a time of public peace, and the tranquility of thy kingdom; or so as
thou shalt not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place, as the following words explain it; for otherwise he died in battle, 2 Kings 23:29. Besides, he died in peace with God, and was by death translated to everlasting peace.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 22". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://pro.studylight.org/
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34