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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 35

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

Second Chronicles Chapter 35

2 Chronicles 35:1 "Moreover Josiah ept a passover unto the LORD in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth [day] of the first month."

In the last lesson, we found that Josiah heard the reading of the law. He would be desirous to keep the Passover, since it was to be kept for all generations. We see in this first verse, that he was trying to be careful about it being on the correct day, as well. The 14th day of Nisan was when it was to be kept. Hezekiah had kept the Passover. He had to have it in the second month, since they were not ready the first month. The preferred time was the 14th day of the first month.

2 Chronicles 35:2 "And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the LORD,"

They had not been keeping Passover, and the priests were inexperienced. Josiah encouraged them. It was very important to keep Passover, and it was almost impossible to do without the cooperation of the priests.

2 Chronicles 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,"

This is a very unusual statement. The key to this Scripture, perhaps, is "burden upon your shoulders". There had been so much evil in the land with several of the kings of Judah, that perhaps, the high priest and the priests had hidden the ark in their quarters for safety. They had been responsible for its safety. Now, that Josiah had re-established worship in the temple, it was time to put the ark in its rightful place, in the holy of holies. The only other reason for it not being in the holy of holies, would have been during the restoration of the temple, it had been moved. Of course, in either case, the high priest and the priests would have been responsible for moving it. Anyone else who might have touched it, would have been killed. They will, now, bring it into its rightful place, not to be moved again.

2 Chronicles 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."

It is very unusual, to me, that the king would have to remind the Levites of their duties in the temple. Each of them had been specified for a particular ministry. They must, now, prepare themselves, and be ready to conduct the services in the temple. David and Solomon had told in detail what each of them were to do. Now they must do what they were called to do.

2 Chronicles 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."

There were actually three divisions of the Levitical tribe. The Gershonites, the Kohathites, and the Merarites.

2 Chronicles 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."

Not only were they to purify themselves for the killing of the Passover, but they were to instruct the people in the details of the Passover to be kept.

2 Chronicles 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."

Those who came were furnished sacrifices for this particular feast by Josiah. The people had not practiced Passover in so long, they had forgotten the details of the feast, even if they had ever been taught. Josiah was very serious about this. The lambs and the kids were given for the Passover, and the bullocks were for sin and peace offerings. Josiah gave thousands of animals for this purpose.

2 Chronicles 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."

The princes, here, were speaking of the heads of families. Those who understood Passover, gave willingly of their animals for the feast. These were animals that had belonged to the high priests.

2 Chronicles 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."

These were heads of the families of the Levites. They furnished the Passover feast for the Levitical tribe.

2 Chronicles 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."

The king had commanded that the Passover be done exactly as prescribed in the law. Josiah was determined that the Passover feast would take place exactly as God planned.

2 Chronicles 35:11 "And they killed the passover, and the priests sprinkled [the blood] from their hands, and the Levites flayed [them]."

There were so many animals, that the Levites had to help with the flaying of the animals. Only the priests touched the blood. The sprinkling of the blood must be done by the high priest.

2 Chronicles 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."

The families participating in the Passover feast must eat the animal sacrificed for their family. The entire family ate of the Passover feast.

2 Chronicles 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."

This just means that they prepared it, as quickly as they could to feed all of the people.

2 Chronicles 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."

We can see that the priests served the people first, and then took care of their own. There is a good lesson in this for all believers. We should serve others first, and then ourselves. It took all day long for the priests to prepare for all the people even until night. By necessity, the Levites prepared for themselves and for the priests.

2 Chronicles 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."

We see that the singers, the keepers of the gates, and all of the others in service to the LORD stayed at their tasks until all was finished. The Levites prepared for all of those who served.

2 Chronicles 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."

All of them serving in the capacity the LORD had called them to, prepared the entire thing in the one day, as prescribed by the law, and commanded of Josiah.

2 Chronicles 35:17 "And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days."

The Feast of Unleavened Bread and Passover actually overlap. The eating of the unleavened bread symbolizes the sinless body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Chronicles 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."

The Passover had been grossly neglected. The last time the Passover had truly been kept, was in the time of Samuel. It appears, that even Hezekiah had not seen to the Passover being kept properly. It was kept during his time, but not in its fullest extent.

2 Chronicles 35:19 "In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this passover kept."

The eighteenth year of his reign would have made him 26 years old. At any rate, this was an important event in Josiah’s life.

2 Chronicles 35:20 "After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Charchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him."

We do not know how much after the Passover, just that this happened later. It could have been as much as 13 years later. It seems, there was a time of peace and good times for Josiah and his people. This battle seemed to be between Necho of Egypt and Charchemish. There was a Hittite city by this name on the Euphrates. Josiah went against Necho.

2 Chronicles 35:21 "But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? [I come] not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from [meddling with] God, who [is] with me, that he destroy thee not."

This is an unusual statement coming from an Egyptian. We do know, however, that God used heathen kings to punish Israel and Judah. This, possibly, would mean to Josiah, that God was with this Egyptian, and not with him. He would not listen to the Egyptian.

2 Chronicles 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."

In this particular place, this Egyptian was speaking the Words God had put into his mouth. Josiah did not realize it, but he was disobeying the will of God to come against Necho. This valley of Megiddo has been the sight of many battles. The battle of Armageddon is believed to happen in this spot.

2 Chronicles 35:23 "And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded."

The archers were not deliberately trying to kill Josiah. He was disguised, and they did not know this was him. They were just shooting at someone who was advancing toward them. The archer shot Josiah. He asked his servant to take him home, because he was severely wounded.

2 Chronicles 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."

Josiah had been a good king, as well as being a man after God’s own heart. He was greatly loved by the people. At his death, there was much mourning. He died, and was given an honorable burial with his fathers in Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 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."

Jeremiah was the prophet in the land at the time of Josaih’s death. Jeremiah loved Josiah, because he did right in the sight of God. It is not in the Bible in the book of Lamentations. This is speaking of an unknown writing somewhere.

2 Chronicles 35:26 "Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness, according to [that which was] written in the law of the LORD,"

2 Chronicles 35:27 "And his deeds, first and last, behold, they [are] written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah."

Josiah was a keeper of the law of God. He studied God’s law to show himself approved of God a workman who needeth not to be ashamed. There is some writing of him in the book of Kings in the Bible. He was, possibly, recorded in some historical writings, as well.

2 Chronicles 35 Questions

1. Quote 2 Chronicles 35:1.

2. When was the correct day for Passover?

3. Why did Josiah have to encourage the priests?

4. Where does the author believe the ark had been?

5. Why had it been there?

6. Where did Josiah tell them to put it?

7. What was another possible reason why the ark had been moved?

8. The priests were to prepare themselves according to the writing of __________.

9. What is strange about Josiah telling the priests their duties?

10. What were the three divisions of the Levitical tribe?

11. What are they instructed to do in 2 Chronicles 35:6?

12. What did Josiah give for the Passover and the offerings?

13. Who are the princes in 2 Chronicles 35:8?

14. These animals had belonged to the ______ _________.

15. What did the heads of the families of the Levites give?

16. The priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their courses, according to whose commandments?

17. Who sprinkled the blood?

18. Who ate the animals?

19. Why did the Levites prepare for the priests?

20. Over what period of time did Passover take place?

21. What overlaps with Passover?

22. When was the last time Passover had been done this thoroughly?

23. How many years, approximately after this special Passover, was it until Necho attacked Charchemish?

24. What did Necho tell Josiah?

25. Did he listen? 26. What happened to Josiah?

27. Where was he buried?

28. He was greatly ________ by the people.

29. Who was a prophet in the land, at the time of Josiah’s death?

30. Josiah was a keeper of the ______ of God.

Verses 1-6

2Ch 35:1-6

Introduction

JOSIAH GIVES ORDER FOR OBSERVANCE OF THE PASSOVER ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF JEHOVAH BY MOSES

This passover was utterly unlike the one kept in the reign of Hezekiah, in a number of important particulars. (1) It was kept at the prescribed time. (2) The ceremonial cleanness of participants was observed. (3) And all the particulars of the Mosaic instructions were strictly observed. (4) Although the singers were mentioned, the instruments of music were not mentioned, and apparently not used. These important distinctions fully justify the statement in 2 Chronicles 35:18 that, "From the days of Samuel the prophet, none of the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept."

2 Chronicles 35:1-6

"And Josiah kept a passover unto Jehovah in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. And he set the priests in their offices, and encouraged them to the service of the house of Jehovah. And he said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, that were holy unto Jehovah, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; there shall no more be a burden upon your shoulders. Now serve Jehovah your God, and his people Israel; and prepare yourselves after your fathers’ houses by your courses, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son. And stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the fathers’ houses of your brethren the children of the people, and let there be for each a portion of a fathers’ house of the Levites. And kill the passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare for your brethren, according to the word of Jehovah by Moses."

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 35:1. This passover was the feast instituted by Moses on the night the children of Israel prepared to leave Egypt. It was so named because the Lord made certain exceptions to a great destruction of life among the families. All the firstborn of the Egyptians, and any others who did not observe this feast, were to be visited with the death of the oldest member of the family. If a family of the Israelites carried out the requirements of this ordinance, which included the sprinkling of blood over the doors of the homes, the death angel would pass over that house. It was then established as one of the set feasts of the nation, to be observed on the 14th day of the 1st month of each year. (Exodus 12.)

2 Chronicles 35:2. Set the priests in their charges indicates that Josiah required some system to be observed. The priests were assigned their several duties, and were encouraged to carry on the divine service that had been given into their hands.

2 Chronicles 35:3. The Levites (of whom were the priests), were to teach the people. Read Leviticus 10:11; Deuteronomy 17:9; Malachi 2:7 . Put the holy ark in the house implies that it was then outside its own proper room. 2 Chronicles 5:7 states that it was placed in there by Solomon, and there is no evidence that it had been taken out. Moffatt’s translation of this passage shows a different construction of the language, which agrees with all the known facts and I shall quote it. "Since the sacred ark," said he, "was placed inside the temple built by Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, and you have no longer to carry it on your shoulders, see to the worship of the Eternal your God, and of his people Israel."

2 Chronicles 35:4. In the general disorder that had befallen the nation, the orders or courses that David had instituted for the priesthood had shared in the confusion. Josiah instructed them to adjust themselves to the proper places again.

2 Chronicles 35:5. This verse is practically a repetition of the preceding one. But the importance of proper order was so great that the king did not wish to take any chances on the men being short about their performances. Stand is from an original word that has a very wide extent of applications; all of them, however, are in just two major classes.; either figurative or literal. The priests were to continue in the holy place that had been appointed for them in the law. One family was not to encroach upon the work or place of another, but was to observe the order given to their forefathers.

2 Chronicles 35:6. After the instructions of the several preceding verses, the people were told in direct terms to kill the passover. It reminds us of the introductory instructions that Moses gave the people on the night of the first passover. (Exodus 12.) Sanctify. In every passage of the Old Testament this is from the same Hebrew word, which is QADASH. Strong’s definition is, "a primitive root; to be (causatively make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally)". A man was not permitted to partake of the passover if he were unclean in any sense, hence the full definition would apply in the command that Josiah gave the people. One illustration of ceremonial uncleanness would be where a man had touched a dead person. Actual uncleanness requires no illustration to make it understood by the reader. Prepare your brethren was addressed to these Levites, who will be in charge of the feast. They were to transmit the order of the king to their brethren of the nation, and see that they removed any defect, either ceremonial or actual, that would hinder them from partaking of the feast. Word of the Lord by the hand of Moses. This is another instance that shows the writings of Moses to have been the Lord’s word. It is a solemn rebuke for the sabbatarians who presume to distinguish between the two as to authority of the word.

Verses 7-9

2Ch 35:7-9

2 Chronicles 35:7-9

JOSIAH AND HIS PRINCES PROVIDE LAMBS AND KIDS FOR PASSOVER AND SMALL CATTLE; AND BULLOCKS FOR THE OTHER OFFERINGS

"And Josiah gave to the children of the people, of the flock, lambs and kids, all of them for the passover-offerings, unto all that were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bullocks that were of the king’s substance. And his princes gave for a freewill-offering unto the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, the rulers of the house of God, gave unto the priests for the passover-offerings two thousand and six hundred small cattle, and three thousand oxen. Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethanel, his brethren, and Hashabiah and Jehiel and Jozabad, the chiefs of the Levites, gave unto the Levites, for the passover-offerings five thousand small cattle, and five hundred oxen."

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 35:7. The vast number of animals that Josiah gave to the people indicates the size of the group assembled for the feast. Under the circumstances, he knew that few of them would be provided with the beasts, so out of his own private property he made the donation. Mention is made of bullocks which might be a little confusing, since the sheep or goat only was used in the passover. But the feast of unleavened bread of 7 days followed the passover immediately, and in that period they observed an offering made by fire. (Leviticus 23:8.) This would call for the larger animals.

2 Chronicles 35:8. The princes were leading citizens of the country but not necessarily officers. Having been favored with an abundance of possessions, they willingly shared them with the people, also with the official and unofficial members of the tribe of Levi. Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel had charge of the temple. The first was high priest, the one who found the book that caused this great movement of reformation. It would be particularly appropriate for him to show a practical interest in the work of reconstruction, by giving out of his possessions unto the common priests, so they could have wherewith to sacrifice to the Lord. Small cattle has no words in the original, but is followed by the conjunction and, which connects with the word oxen which we know are the larger cattle. The connection, therefore, justifies the words small cattle, meaning lambs of the sheep or goats, since all animals were called cattle.

2 Chronicles 35:9. The men named were chief of the Levites. The word is defined in the lexicon, "a head person of any rank or class." So they were not necessarily officers, but outstanding men of the tribe. Such men would likely have more property, and they graciously shared it with their fellow-Levites, so they could take part in the great feast. Small cattle takes the same explanation that is made in the preceding verse.

Verses 10-15

2Ch 35:10-15

2 Chronicles 35:10-15

DETAILS OF THE PASSOVER OBSERVANCE

"So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites by their courses, according to the king’s commandment. And they killed the passover, and the priests sprinkled the blood which they received of their hand, and the Levites flayed them. And they removed the burnt-offerings, that they might give them according to the divisions of the fathers’ houses of the children of the people, to offer unto Jehovah, as it is written in the book of Moses. And so did they with the oxen. And they roasted the passover with fire, according to the ordinance: and the holy offerings boiled they in pots, and in caldrons, and in pans, and carried them quickly to all the children of the people. And afterward they prepared for themselves, and for the priests, because the priests the sons of Aaron were busied in offering the burnt-offerings and the fat until night: therefore the Levites prepared for themselves, and for the priests the sons of Aaron. And the singers the sons of Asaph, according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s seer; and the porters were at every gate: they needed not to depart from their service; for their brethren the Levites prepared for them."

SUCH A PASSOVER NOT SEEN SINCE THE DAYS OF SAMUEL

This cannot mean that the passover was not observed in the days of David the king; so what is meant? We have found no help at all regarding this question in the commentaries; and the only thing which we can think of which made this passover different from those observed during the kingship of David is the conspicuous absence of the instruments of music, which were so dear to David’s heart.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 35:10. Everything was "all set" for the important observance. Each man took his place for duty, whether he were a priest and ready for the direct service at the altar, or of the other Levites, and ready for secondary work in connection with the ceremonies. And the whole procedure was according to the king’s commandment.

2 Chronicles 35:11. The animal was killed by having his throat cut. That caused the blood to be available, and it was first used by the priests by sprinkling or dashing it by hand on the altar. Then the other Levites would flay (skin) the carcass and prepare it for burning on the altar.

2 Chronicles 35:12. Certain parts of some of the animals were to be burned on the altar. Certain other parts were to be given to the people for their individual service to the Lord. This is the explanation of the verse.

2 Chronicles 35:13. The passover was the set feast for this time of the year, and the law required that it be roasted, not boiled. (Exodus 12:8-9.) Other offerings that the people made along about the same time could be sodden, which means they were boiled. The cooking was done in whatever vessels were convenient. After being cooked, they were divided among the people for food.

2 Chronicles 35:14. They in the verses now being considered means the Levites in general. They had to do the bulk of the work, while the priests (the Levites who came from Aaron), had to do the official work about the altar. After the congregation had been waited on, these unofficial Levites were released to get ready for their own offerings. And while they were at it they prepared for the priests also because they had not had any time to do so for themselves. The fat is specially mentioned because it was the most important part of an animal that was offered on the altar. It referred to the richest portion, such as the suet and the material that clung to the kidneys and intestines. It had no reference to what is commonly called "fat meat."

2 Chronicles 35:15. The sons of Asaph were a school of poets and musical composers founded by Asaph, according to Smith’s Bible Dictionary. The word "school" means group or class in about the same sense as we speak of a "school" of fishes. David had appointed this group to the song program in connection with the passover.

Verses 16-19

2Ch 35:16-19

2 Chronicles 35:16-19

"So all the service of Jehovah was prepared the same day, to keep the passover, and to offer burnt-offerings upon the altar of Jehovah, according to the commandment of king Josiah. And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days. And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did any of 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. In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this passover kept."

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 35:16. Promptness was manifested by the persons charged with the preparations, for they were all accomplished in one day. The immediate orders came from the king, Josiah, but originally they were ordained through Moses at Sinai.

2 Chronicles 35:17. All of the people, whether male or female, were permitted to be present at the feast of the passover, but the males only were required to be. That explains why the verse says that those that were present kept the feast. The entire feast required 8 days; and 7 of that period was the feast of unleavened bread, and it was preceded by the passover. The period as a whole is frequently referred to in the Old and New Testaments by either term, passover or feast of unleavened bread. If that is kept in mind it might save the student of the Bible some confusion.

2 Chronicles 35:18. This verse makes a comparison that goes back to Samuel the prophet. The corresponding passage in 2 Kings 23:22 goes back to the days of the judges. But there is no contradiction for Samuel was one of the judges as well as being a prophet. (1 Samuel 7:6.) There was a specific formula for observing the feast of the passover, and that did not allow for any variation. It would be questioned, then, how there could be any such comparison made as is done here. The comparison is to the number of persons participating and the zeal manifested, not to the form of observance.

2 Chronicles 35:19. This wonderful passover observance was 13 years before Josiah closed his career. From that time on, however, we have very little information about him.

Verses 20-27

2Ch 35:20-27

2 Chronicles 35:20-27

CONCLUSION OF THE REIGN OF GOOD KING JOSIAH

"After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Neco king of Egypt went up to fight against Carchemesh by the Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war; and God hath commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not. 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 Neco from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded. So his servants took him out of the chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had, and brought him to Jerusalem; and he died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations unto this day; and they made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they were written in the lamentations. Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his good deeds, according to that which is written in the law of Jehovah, and his acts, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah."

The remarkable thing in this paragraph concerns the claim of Neco that the message he gave to Josiah came from the true God. Not for a moment, may we believe that Neco believed in Jehovah; but yet his claim here to have received a message from the true God is supported by a statement in the apocryphal book of 1Esdras (1 Esdras 1:27 f), which states that "The warning came from Jeremiah." Meyers based this opinion on a reference he cited from the Apochrypha (1 Esdras 1:27 f), but we are not able to find any such reference in 1Esdras.). Nevertheless our text here clearly indicates that it was indeed a true message from God that came to Josiah by the mouth of Neco (verse 22); where Neco received it, or how, we do not know.

Some have made a big point out of the fact that God’s promise of a peaceful death for Josiah was not fulfilled; but all such objectors should read again Jeremiah 18:7-10. Josiah’s disobedience here nullified the prophecy. Certainly we may reject the insistence of Curtis (Madsen), and their school of critics, that this whole account is "probably fiction." The reason for all such opinions is because Second Chronicles so effectively contradicts their darling theory of the D Document.

At this junction in Israel’s history, God did indeed speak to them, in some instances, through pagan kings, as witnessed also in the decree of Cyrus.

The historical situation at that time found Assyria a tottering, weakened empire, destined to fall within a couple of years to Babylon in the battle of Carchemish. Whether Josiah was acting as an ally of Assyria, or in hopes of establishing his independence is not clear; but neither the strengthening of Assyria nor the independence of Israel, doomed to fall to Babylon in the near future, was in line with God’s will.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 35:20. Preparing the temple had nothing to do with the movements of the king of Egypt. The writer merely mentions it in the way of dates; that the expedition of Necho was after the repair of the temple and the reformatory work that accompanied it. By such a statement, the reader will be informed that the sad affair about to be reported did not interfere with the life work of the good king. The king of Egypt made a tour against a city on the Euphrates. To do so he had to travel across some territory in which Josiah felt an interest, not far from Nazareth. But he was passing along peaceably and not making any disturbance against the land of Palestine. However, Josiah went out with the intention of intercepting him.

2 Chronicles 35:21. We do not know why God wished the people of Charchemish chastised. But it was not the only instance in which one heathen people was sent against another, by the ordinance of the Lord. (2 Kings 5:1.) It was done also after this in the days of Nebuchadnezzar (Ezekiel 26:7), and later in the days of Belshazzar (Daniel 5:28). It was a meddling with the work of God, therefore, for Josiah to interfere with the march of Necho.

2 Chronicles 35:22. This verse shows that Necho was telling the truth when he said that God was with him. The inspired writer is the one who tells us that the words of Necho were from the mouth of God. Josiah committed the one great mistake of his life in this case. He disguised himself in an attempt to escape defeat. He should have remembered the like conduct of Ahab (1 Kings 22:30-37), and the failure that he suffered. But he persisted in his own way and thought to elude the danger that usually confronts a man when he goes out to battle; especially in a cause that is not his business.

2 Chronicles 35:23. The archers were those who used the bow and arrow, a common weapon of warfare in those times. The simple statement is made that they shot at Josiah, but the rest of the verse shows they hit him. Sore wounded is worded "made sick" in the margin. The lexicon would agree with it, for part of the definition is, "to be weak, sick, afflicted." The idea is that he was not only critically hurt, but was still fully conscious and could feel the sickening effect of his wound.

2 Chronicles 35:24. A second chariot was one in reserve, not in direct line of combat. It was thus used as we would use an ambulance, and served to bring the wounded king to his capital at Jerusalem. The statement and he died is made after the one about his being brought to Jerusalem. That does not make it mean, however, that the death occurred after arrival. It is just a common form of expression in the Bible, where the several facts of a circumstance may be named with very little regard for their chronological order. The corresponding passage in 2 Kings 23:30 plainly says that the servants carried hint in his chariot dead. Where two different, but not conflicting accounts of an event are given, one more specific than the other, the one that is clearer should be used to explain the other. Josiah was critically wounded, but death was not instantaneous, for he felt and announced his terrible condition. It was a considerable distance from the scene of the tragedy to Jerusalem, and the king did not live to see it. He was buried in one of the family tombs. Judah was his proper realm and Jerusalem was its capital. The whole nation mourned the passing of one of the best kings it had ever had.

2 Chronicles 35:25. Jeremiah was one of the writing prophets and wrote two of the books in our Bible. But, like many other writers of old, he wrote or expressed some things that have not been handed down to us. It was very natural that he, "the weeping prophet," should lament the death of so good a man as Josiah. The singing men and women expressed their sentiment in their composition. To this day means to the day this book was being written. It is similar to a common expression of writers in current publications, "as we go to press." Made them an ordinance denotes that they established it as a custom to mourn the sad fate of their good king. Written in the lamen-tations does not have any special reference to the book bearing that name. It is from a word that is defined, "a dirge (as accompanied by beating the breasts or on instruments)."--Strong.

2 Chronicles 35:26-27. For comments on this thought see 1 Kings 14:19.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Chronicles 35". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/2-chronicles-35.html.
 
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