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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

2 Chronicles 34

Verses 1-7

Reformation - 2 Chronicles 34:1-7

With Josiah, Judah gets its last godly king, and again there is the paradox of bad father-good son. He was only an eight year old child when his father died, and he was made king. To the good of Judah he had a relatively long reign of thirty-one years, cut short by his death in battle. He is said to have taken his forefather David as his example and to have walked in his ways, doing right in the sight of the Lord, not turning aside to the right hand or the left.

Josiah turned to the Lord and was saved during his eighth year of rule, when, he was about sixteen years of age. It is said that he then began to seek after the God of David. What influenced this young man to turn from the idolatry of his father and his counselors is unknown, but the question will be examined at more length in a succeeding topic of this commentary. In the twelfth year of Josiah’s reign, when he was twenty years of age, he began a reformation of the land religiously, much like that of his great grandfather Hezekiah, whom he resembles in many respects.

Josiah totally demolished the shrines of idolatry throughout the land. He began with the high places, for this was the basis of most of the idolatrous practices carried on under pretense of worshipping the Lord. The groves were cut down, the carved wooden images and molten ones were destroyed. The numerous altars of Baal were broken down. The king was a personal witness to much of this, his presence lending emphasis to the crusade to turn Judah back to the true God. The pagan practice of raising idolatrous symbols on poles had appeared in Judah. Josiah cut these down. From the ashes of the burned images he took and strewed the dust on the graves of the false priests and prophets. The bones of many of these were taken from their graves and burned to ashes.

Josiah pursued his eradication program thoroughly in Judah and Jerusalem, then ventured into the former tribes of the north. For some eighty years the Assyrians had occupied these lands, since Samaria’s fall. Now they were in their decline because of pressure on them from eastern nations, such as Babylon, Media, and Persia. Josiah took advantage of lax conditions in the former northern kingdom to extend his reformation into that area, particularly the former tribes of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Naphtali. It also extended to the south, to the former area of the tribe of Simeon. Here he broke down pagan altars and cut down the groves just as he had done in his own country, and returned to Jerusalem.

Verses 8-13

See note on 2 Kings 22:1

Verses 14-21

See note on 2 Kings 22:8

Verses 22-28

See note on 2 Kings 22:14

Verses 29-33

See note on 2 Kings 23:1

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 34". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/2-chronicles-34.html. 1985.