His altars and images brake they in pieces - It is probable that Athaliah had set up the worship of Baal in Judah, as Jezebel had done in Israel; or probably it had never been removed since the days of Solomon. It was no wonder that Jehoiada began his reform with this act, when we learn from 2 Chronicles 24:7, that the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken up the house of God; and also all the dedicated things of the house of the Lord did they bestow upon Baalim.
A temple had been built to Baal at Jerusalem itself by Athaliah, Ahaziah, or Jehoram. According to Josephus, it was constructed in the reign of Jehoram. Its exact position is uncertain.
Images - The word used here is not the same as in 2 Kings 10:26, but a word which implies likeness. The Phoenicians had fashioned images, besides their unfashioned pillar-idols.
The priest appointed - The temple worship having been discontinued during Athaliah‘s rule, it devolved on Jehoiada now to re-establish it (see marginal reference). He had already summoned the Levites out of all the cities of Judah 2 Chronicles 23:2, and had made use of them in the events of the day. He therefore proceeded at once to assign the custody of the temple to a particular course, before conducting the young king to the palace.
After he had been proclaimed king by the army, Jehu hastened to Jezreel, where he began his work of execution on those who had deliberately chosen to continue in sin and to lead others into sin. Jehoram of Israel, Ahaziah of Judah, and Jezebel the queen mother, with “all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests,” were slain. “All the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests” dwelling at the center of Baal worship near Samaria, were put to the sword. The idolatrous images were broken down and burned, and the temple of Baal was laid in ruins. “Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.” 2 Kings 10:11, 19, 28. PK 215.1
Tidings of this general execution reached Athaliah, Jezebel's daughter, who still occupied a commanding position in the kingdom of Judah. When she saw that her son, the king of Judah, was dead, “she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah.” In this massacre all the descendants of David who were eligible to the throne were destroyed, save one, a babe named Joash, whom the wife of Jehoiada the high priest hid within the precincts of the temple. For six years the child remained hidden, while “Athaliah reigned over the land.” 2 Chronicles 22:10, 12. PK 215.2
At the end of this time, “the Levites and all Judah” (2 Chronicles 23:8) united with Jehoiada the high priest in crowning and anointing the child Joash and acclaiming him their king. “And they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king.” 2 Kings 11:12. PK 215.3Read in context »