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2 Chronicles 35:3 . Put the holy ark in the house. Perhaps in idolatrous times the ark had been removed: and as the copy of the law written by the hand of Moses had been concealed, we need wonder the less. However, Tremelius reads this text, “Put the holy things before the ark.”
2 Chronicles 35:21 . I come not against thee. Pharaoh dissuaded Josiah from fighting, by alleging the command of his god to make haste against the Assyrians. Meanwhile the prophet Jeremiah had warned Josiah not to fight, and avowed that he spake from the mouth of the Lord. The four next short- reigning kings of Judah seemed to reign only to allow Jerusalem to fill up the measure of her sins.
Josiah was pious, firm, and exceedingly vigorous in his efforts to reform the land; and they were the last of political efforts. So great was his zeal that he almost dragged the degenerate priests and levites to their sacred duties. In this view he shines more illustrious than the other good kings of Judah, because the age in which he lived was more depraved. The efforts he made to revive the long neglected passover do great honour both to his head and his heart; and the multitude who came to partake of his bounty, and the bounty of the princes, was more than had attended since the days of Samuel. But what avails this vast parade, while the heart is attached to idols and to wickedness? In vain did the altars smoke, in vain did the music sound, and the scribes read. It was a feigned devotion. Jeremiah 7:10. The very priests who sprinkled the blood were some of them ready to lend a hand to erect idols, yea, perhaps a Venus in the house of God; and the very princes who now gave cattle were in their hearts resolved to erect altars to every god: 2 Chronicles 36:14. Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem. Hypocrisy is in thy heart, and the blood of the prophets is unwashed from thy streets. For this there is now no atonement but by the blood of thy children. Egypt and Babylon shall make thy country the theatre of war, and thou shalt be swallowed up in the vortex of divine visitation. And all the surrounding nations, marvelling at the peculiar severities of thy fall, shall be told that it was because thou didst forsake the God of thy fathers. And here is a mirror for the christian church. We, as well as Judah, say Lord, Lord; but in works we deny him. We are supine and indifferent, like those levites about his service. We make light of the sacred ministry; we see nations punished and plundered in war, as Judah saw Samaria fall; and yet we take no warning. What then will be the issue.
This good king, having attained his thirty ninth year among a faithless people; and perhaps his early piety somewhat cooled by the character of the age, found himself drawn into a snare. Pharaoh-necho entered his country to fight the Babylonians on the Euphrates. If Josiah had let him pass, he must have broken his league with Nebuchadnezzar; therefore he resolved to give him battle; and alas, for Israel, he fell near Megiddo. But he fell bravely: he fell, not looking on while others fought, but disguised as commander of a chariot, he fell worthy of David, and worthy of his name in personal conflict. God took him from the evil to come. People of Israel, weep for Josiah. You have lost the best of kings; and the greater is your calamity, because you shall never be counted worthy of so great a loss again. Weep, people of Israel; and let Jeremiah suggest the language of your tears. He consulted not the prophet, but the prophet shall weep at once both for him, and for you. See Zechariah 12:11, where the prophet figures the mourning of future times by this mourning in Hadadrimmon.
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 35". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27