Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

2 Kings 23

Verse 2

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

prophets. Some codices read "Levites", as in 2 Chronicles 34:30.

read. Either himself; or, by Hebrew idiom, "caused to be read".

in their ears. Compare Nehemiah 8:1-4, &c. The king did not keep it to himself. God"s word is for all.

Verse 3

by a pillar: or, on the pillar, or, platform. Compare 2 Kings 11:14.

soul. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.

written. See App-47.

stood. But not for long. See Jeremiah 11:2-20.

Verse 4

priests of the second order (or degree), i.e. ordinary priests.

the grove = the "Asherah. See App-42.

host of heaven. Compare 2 Kings 21:3.

burned them. As prescribed in Deuteronomy 7:25.

unto Beth-el. To defile the altar there, according to the prophecy in 1 Kings 13:2.

Verse 5

idolatrous priests = black-robed; not kohen, as appointed by God, but kemarlm, as appointed by man. Compare Hosea 10:5, Zephaniah 1:4.

Planets = stations: i.e. the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Hebrew. mazzaloth. Spelled Mazzaroth in Job 38:32 = stations. The Babylonian name for the divisions of the zodiac. Called in the Assyrian inscriptions "Mauzalti". (See Western Asiatic Inscriptions.)

Verse 6

graves. Hebrew. keber. See note on 2 Kings 21:26.

of the children of the people = of the common people in Jeremiah 26:23. In 2 Chronicles 35:5 it = the laity as distinguished from Levites.

children = sons.

Verse 7

sodomites = male prostitutes. Suppression directed in Deuteronomy 23:17, Deuteronomy 23:18. See note on 1 Kings 14:23, 1 Kings 14:24.

hangings. Hebrew houses. Probably veils to cover the "Asherah, as it is covered in Romish processions to-day.

Verse 8

the high places. Seemingly (from 2 Kings 23:9) some were used for the worship of Jehovah. See notes on 2 Kings 18:20; 2 Kings 19:10, 2 Kings 19:14.

Geba. NOW Jeba (Joshua 18:24).

Beer-sheba. Southern boundary (Genesis 21:31. Judges 20:1). Compare Amos 5:5; Amos 8:14.

Verse 9

priests of the high places. Not idolatrous priests. See note on 2 Kings 23:8.

Verse 10

Topheth = the Topheth. First occurrence. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), put for anything abhorrent.

valley, &c. The junction of the three valleys uniting south of Jerusalem. The continual fires burning there gave the Greek name Gehenna (from the Hebrew Ge Hinnom = valley of Hinnom).

Molech. Compare Jeremiah 7:31, Jeremiah 7:32; Jeremiah 19:2-6. Prohibited Deuteronomy 18:10. Compare 1 Kings 11:7.

Verse 11

kings of Judah. Presumably Manasseh and Amon. See 2 Kings 21:3-5. of = from.

by = to.

chamberlain = eunuch, or officer.

suburbs, or outskirts.

Verse 12

top = roof, "[the roof] of", &c. brake them down. The margin of Authorized Version seems preferable here: "hurried away [with them] from thence".

Verse 13

before Jerusalem: i.e. the east side. See Zechariah 16:4.

which, &c. Figure of speech Polyonyrnia.

mount of corruption: i.e. the Mount of Olives. Thus called on account of the idolatries connected with it.

Chemosh. Compare 1 Kings 11:5, 1 Kings 11:7.

Verse 14

images = pillars, or statues.

men. Hebrew. "adam. Used collectively. App-14.

Verse 15

the altar. Compare 1 Kings 12:32, 1 Kings 12:33.

made Israel to sin. See note on 1 Kings 14:16.

Verse 16

sepulchres. Hebrew, plural of keber. See note on 2 Kings 21:26.

the word. See 1 Kings 13:2.

the man of God. See note on Deuteronomy 33:1. App-49.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

proclaimed. Supply Figure of speech Ellipsis thus: "proclaimed [when Jeroboam stood by the altar at the feast], who proclaimed these words" 369 years before. See 1 Kings 13:1, 1 Kings 13:2.

Verse 17

title = monument.

Verse 19

the LORD. Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read "Jehovah" in the text.

Verse 20

slew = sacrificed. See App-43.

Verse 21

Keep the passover. See note on Exodus 12:28.

the book of this covenant = this covenant-book. Authorized Version 1611, reads "this book of the covenant".

Verse 22

not holden such. Compare Hezekiah"s passover, of which the same is said (2 Chronicles 30:26). Both statements true. Hezekiah"s greater than any before it. Josiah"s greater than Hezekiah"s. See the details (2 Chronicles 35:1-19). There were larger numbers, and the law was more exactly followed. Hezekiah"s passover kept just before the dispersion of Israel. Josiah"s passover kept just before the captivity of Judah.

judges that judged. Figure of speech Polyptoton.

Verse 24

familiar spirits. See note on Leviticus 19:31.

images = teraphim = household gods.

idols = manufactured gods.

put = clear.

Hilkiah the priest found. See 2 Kings 22:8, &c.

Verse 25

like unto. Note the Figure of speech Epanadiplosis, by which (for emphasis) the statement begins and ends with the same words.

soul. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.

Verse 27

as = according as.

I have chosen = I once, or erewhile, chose.

Verse 28

are they not . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6.

Verse 29

Pharaoh-nechoh: i.e. Nechoh II, the sixth king of the twentysixth dynasty. His father was a tributary to Assyria, but had secured independence for Egypt.

the king of Assyria: i.e. the king of Babylon, who had just conquered Nineveh, the rival capital.

went against him. His motive not known.

he = the king of Egypt.

him = Josiah.

Megiddo. Southern margin of the plain of Esdraelon, celebrated for Syria"s defeat by Barak (Judges 5:19).

seen. Figure of speech Tapeinosis, to emphasize the fact that he did much more than "see" him. Compare 2 Kings 14:8 and 2 Chronicles 35:21, 2 Chronicles 35:22.

Verse 30

buried him. For the sorrow attending this, see 2 Chronicles 35:25.

Verse 31

Jehoahaz. Also called Johanan (Jeremiah 22:11. 1 Chronicles 3:15). He was the younger brother of Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:36).

Verse 32

evil. Hebrew. raa". App-44.

Verse 33

at Biblah. After his defeat by Nebuchadrezzar at Carohemish. Eiblah was a centre from whence roads branched to the Euphrates and Nineveh, or by Palmyra to Babylon. The southern roads led to Palestine, Lebanon, and Egypt. Eiblah still bears this name, and is about twenty-five miles south-south-west of Ernesa.

that he might not reign. Hebrew text reads "when he reigned". Authorized Version follows some codices, with Aramaean, Septuagint, and Vulgate.

Verse 34

Eliakim. Name changed, to assert Pharaoh-nechoh"s authority.

in the room. Refusing to recognize the People"s appointment of 2 Kings 23:30.

died there. As Jeremiah (2 Kings 22:11, 2 Kings 22:12) foretold.

Verse 35

taxed = assessed.

Verse 37

did that which was evil. See 2 Chronicles 36:5-8. Jeremiah 22:17; Jeremiah 24:8; Jeremiah 26:22-23. N.B. Jeremiah chapters 13-20, and probably Jeremiah chapters 22 ; 26 ; 35 ; 36 ; belong to this period.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.