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2Ch 35:1 Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto the LORD in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth [day] of the first month.
Ver. 1. Moreover, Josiah kept a passover. ] See on 2 Kings 23:21 .
2Ch 35:2 And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the LORD,
Ver. 2. And he set the priests in their charges. ] His idolatrous predecessors had put all out of order; and perhaps had made some priests that were not of the tribe of Levi, as Jeroboam had done.
2Ch 35:3 And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the LORD, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; [it shall] not [be] a burden upon [your] shoulders: serve now the LORD your God, and his people Israel,
Ver. 3. Put the holy ark in the house. ] Heb., The ark of holiness: therefore that ark or chest is not here meant, wherein were put the collection moneys, as some would have it, but the ark of the covenant: which might be put out of its place in the days of his wicked father Amon, to make way for some idol in its room. He might remember, saith Cajetan, what damage had been done to the Philistines, when the ark stood by Dagon. The Hebrews tell us, that the priests in those idolatrous times had carried the holy ark out of the temple - that it might not stand there among those heathenish idols - and conveyed it to the house of Shallum, who was uncle to the prophet Jeremiah, and husband to the prophetess Huldah, 2Ch 34:22 and that therefore Josiah sent to her to consult with the Lord for him.
It shall not be a burden upon your shoulders, ] q.d., You are eased of that burden; 1Ki 8:6 therefore,
Serve now the Lord your God, &c. ] Employ yourselves so much the more freely and vigorously in this other part of your service. 1Ch 23:26
2Ch 35:4 And prepare [yourselves] by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son.
Ver. 4. Prepare yourselves. ] Heathens saw that God was not to be served, but by those who were οικοθεν παρασκευασμενοι , prepared aforehand. a Solon willed in his laws that the sacrifices should be chosen and selected, and the sacrificers should purify themselves some days before.
a Plutarch. Demosth.
2Ch 35:5 And stand in the holy [place] according to the divisions of the families of the fathers of your brethren the people, and [after] the division of the families of the Levites.
Ver. 5. And stand in the holy place. ] In the priests’ court.
2Ch 35:6 So kill the passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that [they] may do according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses.
Ver. 6. Sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren. ] Not by auricular confession, or the like; but by holy exhortations, to cast away the idols of their hearts, and to come to the sacrament with the best preparation they can make. The Sybarites, when they invited to a feast, gave their women a year’s warning to deck, and trim, and prepare themselves. Should not people long before prepare, when to come to the Lord’s table?
2Ch 35:7 And Josiah gave to the people, of the flock, lambs and kids, all for the passover offerings, for all that were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bullocks: these [were] of the king’s substance.
Ver. 7. Of the flock, lambs and kids. ] Either of these might by the law be offered, Exo 12:5 but use and custom made it most frequent to furnish the paschal supper rather with a lamb than with a kid: and accordingly did our Saviour celebrate the passover.
And three thousand bullocks. ] These were rather a part of the solemnity of the feast of unleavened bread, which lasted seven days together, than precisely of the paschal supper.
These were of the king’s substance.] See 2 Chronicles 30:24 .
2Ch 35:8 And his princes gave willingly unto the people, to the priests, and to the Levites: Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave unto the priests for the passover offerings two thousand and six hundred [small cattle], and three hundred oxen.
Ver. 8. And his princes gave willingly. ] Heb., To liberality. See the force of good example. These princes were none of the best, as appears in Zephaniah.
Two thousand and six hundred small cattle. ] This these priests could not have done had they not been wealthy and well-underlaid, as we say.
2Ch 35:9 Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethaneel, his brethren, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chief of the Levites, gave unto the Levites for passover offerings five thousand [small cattle], and five hundred oxen.
Ver. 9. Five thousand small cattle. ] See on 2 Chronicles 35:8 . These Levites exceeded those priests.
2Ch 35:10 So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their courses, according to the king’s commandment.
Ver. 10. According to the king’s commandment.] Kings in those days commanded the priests, as well as others, to do their duties. That great Heteroclite of Rome acknowledgeth not any such right of theirs. Volumus te scire te in temporali et spirituali nobis subiacere, &c., said Pope Boniface in a brave [bravado] of his to Philip the Fair, king of France.
2Ch 35:11 And they killed the passover, and the priests sprinkled [the blood] from their hands, and the Levites flayed [them].
Ver. 11. And they killed the passover. ] See 2 Chronicles 30:15 . The Levites killed the bullocks, whereof see 2 Chronicles 35:7 ; but the paschal lamb, the most proper service of the passover, was killed, as some think, by the head of each family.
2Ch 35:12 And they removed the burnt offerings, that they might give according to the divisions of the families of the people, to offer unto the LORD, as [it is] written in the book of Moses. And so [did they] with the oxen.
Ver. 12. To offer unto the Lord. ] The burntofferings were wholly consumed on the altar; the skin and dung were "burnt without the camp." Heb 13:12 Hereby was signified, (1.) Christ’s ardent love and zeal towards his people; (2.) His bitter passion in the whole man.
2Ch 35:13 And they roasted the passover with fire according to the ordinance: but the [other] holy [offerings] sod they in pots, and in caldrons, and in pans, and divided [them] speedily among all the people.
Ver. 13. And they roasted the passover with fire. ] To set forth Christ roasted for us in the fire of his Father’s fierce wrath. Area amorem illius, &c. By way of retribution, let us do as is prescribed in Hebrews 13:10-17 .
And divided them speedily. ] Heb., Made them run. Bis dat qui cito dat. He gives twice who gives quickly.
2Ch 35:14 And afterward they made ready for themselves, and for the priests: because the priests the sons of Aaron [were busied] in offering of burnt offerings and the fat until night; therefore the Levites prepared for themselves, and for the priests the sons of Aaron.
Ver. 14. And afterwards they made ready for themselves. ] But not till they had executed their office. They were none of those irregulares gulares, &c.
2Ch 35:15 And the singers the sons of Asaph [were] in their place, according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s seer; and the porters [waited] at every gate; they might not depart from their service; for their brethren the Levites prepared for them.
Ver. 15. According to the commandment. ] Which to obey was their meat and drink. See 1 Chronicles 25:1 , &c.
2Ch 35:16 So all the service of the LORD was prepared the same day, to keep the passover, and to offer burnt offerings upon the altar of the LORD, according to the commandment of king Josiah.
Ver. 16. Upon the altar of the Lord. ] Which typified the godhead of Christ - not the cross properly - sanctifying the sacrifice offered thereon.
2Ch 35:17 And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days.
Ver. 17. And the feast of unleavened bread. ] See on 2 Chronicles 35:7 .
2Ch 35:18 And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Ver. 18. And there was no passover like to that. ] See 2 Kings 23:22 .
Neither did all the kings of Israel. ] No, not Hezekiah; for at his passover the congregation was not so great, nor so well prepared; nor were the Levites and singers so well marshalled, nor the sacrifices so many, &c.
2Ch 35:19 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this passover kept.
Ver. 19. In the eighteenth year. ] See 2 Kings 23:23 .
2Ch 35:20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.
Ver. 20. After all this, ] viz, Thirteen years after the aforesaid passover.
Necho king of Egypt, ] i.e., Pharaoh with the goutish feet.
And Josiah went out against him. ] But better he had kept at home. See 2 Kings 23:29 . Ius legionis facile est, The law of the army is easy, saith Vegetius, a Non sequi, non fugere bellum; war is neither to be followed after nor fled from. Passion is an ill counsellor. It is no weighing gold in the midst of a wind. We read not that he consulted with God by any prophet. Lassitude of the members precedeth a disease, saith Hippocrates: so doth carnal security danger.
I come not against thee. ] Or, Be not against thyself.
But against the house wherewith I have war. ] Heb., The house of my war, i.e., the race royal of Assyria, perpetual enemies and emulators to the Egyptians.
For God commanded me to make haste. ] By Jeremiah, say the Jewish doctors; but that was more than Josiah knew. He might take it for a pretence only, like that of Rabshakeh 2Ki 18:25
Forbear thee form meddling with God. ] Desine a Deo. It is not safe to fight against God.
a Lib. ii. cap. 1.
2Ch 35:22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.
Ver. 22. Nevertheless Josiah, &c. ] See 2 Kings 23:29 . He should have considered that the chance of war is uncertain, and oft mischievous to both sides, &c.
And hearkened not unto the words of Necho. ] Woe then to such as hearken not to the undoubted words of God, in the mouths of his faithful ministers.
In the valley of Megiddo. ] Forty-four miles from Jerusalem.
2Ch 35:23 And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded.
Ver. 23. For I am sore wounded. ] There wanted not those malignants, likely, that would say, It was just upon him for his foolhardiness and impiety in pulling down those things which his predecessors had set up, &c.
2Ch 35:24 His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in [one of] the sepulchres of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.
Ver. 24. His servants therefore took him. ] They forsook him not in his extremity, and last agony; as our Edward III’s servants did him; all but one poor priest, who called upon him, now dying, to remember his Saviour and to ask mercy for his offences: whereupon he showed all signs of contrition, and at his last breath expressed the name of Jesus. a
And they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died. ] See 2 Kings 23:30 . He repented at his death, no doubt, of his rashness. As did also Curiensis, a godly Dutch divine, who held it unlawful to forbear to visit the infected with the pestilence; but when this good pastor, being too venturous, had got the plague, and was nigh to death, he cried out, O utinam Zanchii consilium secutus essem! O that I had taken Zanchius my colleague’s counsel, which was to forbear visiting such as were so visited!
And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. ] As great cause they had; greater than the Thebans had for their Epaminondas, or the Romans for their Augustus. Who when he died, we feared, saith Paterculus, that all would have been nought with us. And did not our fathers fear the like when that peerless Queen Elizabeth died? When Louis XII left the world, such a turn of things fell out in France, saith Budaeus, that he who erst seemed to touch heaven with his finger, now lay grovelling on the ground, as if he had been thunderstruck. Think the same of this sad state, all whose happiness died with their good king Josiah.
a Dan. Hist., 260.
2Ch 35:25 And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they [are] written in the lamentations.
Ver. 25. And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah. ] Whose worth he had fully known; and to whom himself was better known than Daniel was afterwards to Belshazzar; who knew not till he was told by his mother that there was any such man in his kingdom. Whereas had he been a Tricongiustospot, he would sooner have taken knowledge of him.
And behold they are written in the lamentations. ] Whether he meant the Lamentations of Jeremiah Lamentations 4:1-22 , or some other mournful ditty extant in those time, and known by the name of the Lamentations, a is uncertain. The Roman senate bitterly bewailed the death of Titus, heaping more praise upon him dead than ever they had done whilst he was alive. b Cardanus’s epitaph upon our King Edward VI is well known -
“ Flete nefas magnum, sed toto flebitis orbe
Mortales: rester corruit omnis honos.
Nam regum decus et iuvenum flos, spesque bonorum,
Deliciae saecli et gloria gentis erat.
Dignus Apollineis lachrymis, doctaeque Minervae
Flosculus (heu misero) concidit ante diem.
Te tumulo dabimus Musae supremaque flentes
Munera, Melpomene tristia fata canet. ”
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 35". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27