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2Ch 34:1 Josiah [was] eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years.
Ver. 1. Josiah was eight years old. ] Woe to that land whose prince is a child, saith Solomon; Ecc 10:16 but Josiah was an extraordinary child, and a great blessing to his people. So was our Edward VI, that second Josiah, who began early likewise, and lived much in a little time, in brevi vitae spacio tempora virtutum multa replevit. a See 2 Kings 22:1 .
2Ch 34:2 And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined [neither] to the right hand, nor to the left.
Ver. 2. And he did that which was right. ] See 2 Kings 22:2 .
2Ch 34:3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.
Ver. 3. For in the eighth year of his reign. ] So soon as he had the reins in his own hands, he began.
He began to seek. ] That is, Publicly to show his zeal for God; which was in him of a little child.
And in the twelfth year. ] See 2 Kings 23:4-5 , &c.
2Ch 34:4 And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that [were] on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust [of them], and strowed [it] upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.
Ver. 4. In his presence. ] He would see it done; that so it might be thoroughly done.
He cut down … he brake in pieces, &c.] Notanda est congeries verborum, saith Lavater. Five or six several words are here used, to show how he mauled them, and made mortar of them, as we say; such was his holy indignation, zeal, and revenge.
2Ch 34:5 And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.
Ver. 5. And he burnt the bones. ] That those altars might be defiled, discredited, and abhorred for ever.
He cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. ] Cleansed it as well as he could; bringing them to an outward conformity, whose hearts were still full of harlotry; as well appeared when Josiah’s head was laid.
2Ch 34:6 And [so did he] in the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their mattocks round about.
Ver. 6. And so did he in the cities of Manasseh. ] Wherever he had to do; and in all places else where he could come; so great was his zeal, so diffusive his charity.
2Ch 34:7 And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem.
Ver. 7. And when he had broken. ] See 2 Chronicles 34:4 .
And cut down all the images. ] Which have their name from burning or raging heat; because idolaters, quasi aestu perciti, followed their idols with much heat of desire, through any danger. Some render it the sun images.
2Ch 34:8 Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his God.
Ver. 8. Now in the eighteenth year. ] See on 2 Kings 22:3 .
To repair the house of the Lord. ] This had been done before by Joash, 2Ki 12:5 but that was two hundred and thirty-four years since: so that now there was need of new reparations. Tempus edax rerum.
2Ch 34:9 And when they came to Hilkiah the high priest, they delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites that kept the doors had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin; and they returned to Jerusalem.
Ver. 9. And when they came to Hilkiah the high priest. ] See 2 Kings 22:4 .
They delivered the money, &c. ] The like was done. 2Ki 12:10-11 Only things are here more exactly set down.
Which the Levites had gathered. ] The Pope, under pretext of repairing St Peter’s Church in Rome, gathered great sums of money by his pardon mongers in Germany, and England, and elsewhere, till people grew wiser.
2Ch 34:10 And they put [it] in the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of the LORD, and they gave it to the workmen that wrought in the house of the LORD, to repair and amend the house:
Ver. 10. And they put it in the hand. ] See on 2 Kings 22:5 .
2Ch 34:11 Even to the artificers and builders gave they [it], to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to floor the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed.
Ver. 11. Even to the artificeres, &c. ] See on 2 Kings 22:6 .
2Ch 34:12 And the men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them [were] Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to set [it] forward; and [other of] the Levites, all that could skill of instruments of musick.
Ver. 12. The men did the work faithfully. ] As in the presence of God: to whom if men would but do eye-service, it were well: but a faithful servant is a rare bird.
All that could skill of instruments of music. ] This was then a great praise; and haply they used their skill in the hearing of the workmen, to cheer them up: as Amphion did those that built the walls of Thebes; the poets feign, that by his sweet music he drew together the stones of those walls. Alexander Aphrodisaeus gives this reason, why porters go singing under their burdens: because their minds being delighted with the sweetness of their music, the body may feel the less weight under the burden. a
a Probl. 1, Num 78.
2Ch 34:13 Also [they were] over the bearers of burdens, and [were] overseers of all that wrought the work in any manner of service: and of the Levites [there were] scribes, and officers, and porters.
Ver. 13. Also they were over the bearers of burdens. ] To see they did their work carefully; and to make them do it cheerfully. See on 2 Chronicles 34:12 .
2Ch 34:14 And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD [given] by Moses. 2Ch 34:15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan.
Ver. 14, 15. Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law. ] See 2 Kings 22:8 .
2Ch 34:16 And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and brought the king word back again, saying, All that was committed to thy servants, they do [it].
Ver. 16. And Shaphan carried the book. ] See 2 Kings 22:10 .
2Ch 34:17 And they have gathered together the money that was found in the house of the LORD, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and to the hand of the workmen.
Ver. 17-21. See on 2 Kings 22:9-12 .
2Ch 34:22 And Hilkiah, and [they] that the king [had appointed], went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college:) and they spake to her to that [effect].
Ver. 22-26. See 2 Kings 22:14-18 .
2Ch 34:27 Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard [thee] also, saith the LORD.
Ver. 27. Because thine heart was tender. ] So was King Edward VI when he heard Ridley or Latimer; whose sermons he did usually excerpt and note with his own hand.
2Ch 34:28 Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same. So they brought the king word again.
Ver. 28. Behold, I will gather thee. ] See 2 Kings 22:20 .
All the evil. ] War, and all the evils that attend it, as filth falleth into a sink.
So they brought the king word. ] They were no way guilty of that fault which the Greeks call παραπρεσβεια , or delivering a wrong message.
2Ch 34:29 Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.
Ver. 29-33. See 2 Kings 23:1-3 , &c.
2Ch 34:33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that [pertained] to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, [even] to serve the LORD their God. [And] all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.
Ver. 33. And made all that were present. ] He constrained them by royal power and authority, saith Diodate, to forsake idolatry, and serve God according to the exterior form by him appointed, &c. Tantam adhibuit severitatem disciplinae, saith Junius. That of Lavater also here is very good: Good God, saith he, how great need have we of another Josiah at this time, when so many errors and enormities abound amongst us!
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 34". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26