346. Coronation Ceremonies

2 Kings 11:12; Exodus 39:30-31; Judges 9:8; Judges 9:15; 1 Samuel 9:16; 1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 12:3; 1 Samuel 12:5; 2 Samuel 1:14; 2 Samuel 1:16; 2 Samuel 2:4; 1 Kings 1:34; 1 Kings 1:39; 2 Chronicles 23:11; Psalm 2:2; Psalm 47:1; Isaiah 55:12; Habakkuk 3:13
2 Kings 11:1212And he brought forth the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king. (2 Kings 11:12). He brought forth the king’s son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king.
1. The crown was put upon him. We have no definite knowledge of the shape of the crowns which were worn by the Hebrew kings. The original word used here is the same that is used to denote the diadem of the high priest, which was a plate of gold tied around the head with a ribbon (Ex. 39:30-3130And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote upon it a writing, like to the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. 31And they tied unto it a lace of blue, to fasten it on high upon the mitre; as the Lord commanded Moses. (Exodus 39:30‑31)). Doubtless there were other forms of crowns, as other words are used in various passages.
2. They gave him the “testimony.” That is, they made to him a formal presentation of a manuscript roll of the Divine law, as an indication that this was to be his guide in administering the government.
3. They anointed him. This was not done in every case of coronation, and from the expression “they made him king,” which precedes the statement of his anointing, it has been inferred that the essential parts of the coronation ceremony were those connected with the crown and the “testimony”; the anointing of the founder of a dynasty being considered all that was necessary so long as the succession was unbroken in his family. Saul was thus anointed (1 Sam. 10:11Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance? (1 Samuel 10:1)) and so also was David (2 Sam 2:4). Solomon was likewise anointed (1 Kings 1:3939And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon. (1 Kings 1:39)), because there was a probability that his right to the throne would be disputed; and Joash, in the text, was anointed for the same reason. Anointing was a ceremony connected with coronation before the Jews ever had a king, as is evident from Judges 9:8,158The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. (Judges 9:8)
15And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. (Judges 9:15)
. It was by Divine command that the people of God adopted it. See 1 Samuel 9:16; 10:116To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me. (1 Samuel 9:16)
1Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance? (1 Samuel 10:1)
; 1 Kings 1:34,3934And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. (1 Kings 1:34)
39And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon. (1 Kings 1:39)
. From this circumstance the king was called “the Lord’s anointed.” See 1 Samuel 12:3,53Behold, here I am: witness against me before the Lord, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you. (1 Samuel 12:3)
5And he said unto them, The Lord is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness. (1 Samuel 12:5)
; 2 Samuel 1:14,1614And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord's anointed? (2 Samuel 1:14)
16And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the Lord's anointed. (2 Samuel 1:16)
; Psalm 2:22The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, (Psalm 2:2); Habakkuk 3:1313Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah. (Habakkuk 3:13).
4. The people then clapped their hands and shouted, “Live the king.” This was their part of the ceremony, and denoted their approbation of the newly crowned sovereign. Mr. Harmer (Observations, vol. 2, p. 433) calls attention to the fact that the Hebrew text in this place, and in Psalm 47:11<<To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.>> O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. (Psalm 47:1) and Isaiah 40:1212Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? (Isaiah 40:12), has hand instead of hands, as our translators have it. He suggests that a different sort of clapping may have been meant by this than what is ordinarily understood by clapping hands, where one hand is forcibly struck upon another, though that is practiced in the East. He refers to an Oriental custom of striking the fingers of one hand gently and rapidly upon the lips as a token of joy, and supposes that the expression clap the hand, in distinction from clap the hands, refers to some similar custom observed by the Hebrews.