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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
2 Kings 23

 

 

Verse 1

THE GREAT REFORMATION UNDER JOSIAH, 2 Kings 23:1-25.

1. The king sent — Instructed by the law and by the prophetess, the king does not rest in security, feeling that the evil will not come in his day, but takes immediate measures to instruct the people in the law, and to destroy idolatry throughout the land.


Verse 2

2. Priests… prophets… people — All classes were thus represented.

Small and great — All ranks as well as classes were present. No one was too great, no one too small, to be interested in the law of Jehovah.

He read — Or caused to be read. The public reading was probably done by the Levites, priests, and prophets, and was done in various parts of the temple and its courts at the same time.

All the words of the book — The entire law was read, and probably occupied several days.


Verse 3

3. Stood by a pillar — Rather, by the pillar: the same pillar by which the youthful Joash stood when the high priest Jehoiada made a covenant between the king and the people. See note on 2 Kings 11:14.

All the people stood to the covenant — They entered into the covenant like the king, by taking upon themselves solemn vows and oaths to keep the commandments. Stanley remarks that it was “one of those national vows or covenants which were in the monarchy what the vows of individuals had been in the earlier stages of the nation.”


Verse 4

4. Priests of the second order — Those who ranked next in order to the high priest. The great body of the priesthood were of this order, but some among them were more distinguished than others. Compare 2 Kings 25:18.

Keepers of the door — Levites who guarded the entrance to the temple, called porters in 1 Chronicles 23:5.

All the vessels — Such as altars, images, and symbols, that had been used in the false worship.

Baal… grove… host of heaven — See at 2 Kings 23:3-7.

Burned them — As the law commanded. Deuteronomy 7:5; Deuteronomy 7:25; Deuteronomy 12:3.

Fields of Kidron — Probably at the upper part of the Kidron valley, and a little northeast of Jerusalem, where, according to Robinson, “the valley spreads out into a basin of some breadth, which is tilled, and contains plantations of olive and other fruit trees.” It was probably in the same spot that Asa burned the Asherah idol of his mother. 1 Kings 15:13.

Carried the ashes of them unto Beth-el — To signify that all this idolatry originated, not at Jerusalem, but at Beth-el, where Jeroboam’s false worship had been inaugurated, (1 Kings 12:29,) and thence spread and opened the way for all manner of idolatrous practices.


Verse 5

5. Put down — The margin is better, he caused to cease; he set them aside by prohibiting their idolatrous service, and destroying all their places of worship.

The idolatrous priests — The chemarim, ( כמרים,) These are mentioned again at Hosea 10:5, and Zephaniah 1:4, where they seem to be the priests of the calf-worship. Here they are described as those whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places, and are distinguished from the priests of Baal and other idolaters. Of the word chemarim, over which there has been dispute, Furst says: “The application to idolatrous priests is obviously only a Hebrew peculiarity, since the Syriac chumero denotes any priest; and it is a question how this designation is united with the meaning of the stem. According to Kimchi, the idolatrous priest is so named from his gloomy, black dress; or, from the Syriac meaning of the stem, to mourn, then, to be an ascetic. But if a particular fundamental signification of the stem should be assumed for this noun, it would be appropriate to take כמר=עמר, (Arabic, amar, coluit deum,) and accordingly כמרwould be a serving one, a servant, like כהן, priest, in its fundamental meaning.”

To the sun, and to the moon — The worship of Baal was really a worship of the sun and moon, for these luminaries were the real gods represented by Baal and Ashtoreth. See note on Judges 2:13.

The planets מזלות, synonymous with מזרותof Job 38:32, stands for the twelve signs or constellations of the zodiac, which the ancients conceived of as so many stations of the sun in his course through the heavens. “In Arabic the twelve stations are called twelve palaces of the sun, and the zodiac is named the circle of palaces.” — Furst.


Verse 6

6. Brought out the grove — Rather, the Asherah image, mentioned in 2 Kings 21:7.

Kidron — See on 2 Kings 23:4.

Graves of the children of the people — That is, of the common people. See Jeremiah 26:23. 2 Chronicles 34:4, says, “Upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them;” but that passage seems to refer to other images of Asherah, to which, however, many of the common people may have often sacrificed. The object of casting the powder, or dust, of these images on the graves may have been either to defile them as the graves of idolaters, or, what is more probable, to dishonour the dust of the idols.


Verse 7

7. Sodomites — See note on 1 Kings 14:24. These abominable prostitutes had grown so bold as to build their houses, or tents, by the house of the Lord, striking evidence of the fearful extent to which the nation had become corrupted.

The women — The female prostitutes, who were devoted to the lewd rites of Ashtoreth.

Wove hangings — Rather, wove little tents, or houses for Asherah. Keil calls them “tent-temples,” and quotes Movers, who conjectures “that the women of Jerusalem gave themselves up, in honour of the goddess, in the tents of the sodomites which were pitched in the temple circle, on which account the money received for prostitution went to the temple treasury.”


Verse 8

8. Priests out of the cities of Judah — Levitical priests who had been turned aside to the service of the high places. Josiah ordered them to come to Jerusalem, but, as the next verse shows, they were not allowed to minister at the altar of the Lord.

Geba… Beer-sheba — The northern and southern limit of the territory occupied by Judah. Geba was situated about six miles northeast of Jerusalem, (see note on 1 Samuel 13:3,) and Beer-sheba fifty miles or more southwest.

High places of the gates — Those located near the gates of the city, either outside or within. The gate of Joshua and the gate of the city cannot now be determined. The latter, from its being called so indefinitely gate of the city, would seem to be the most common entrance; the former was probably so called because Joshua the governor had his residence near it.


Verse 9

9. Came not up to the altar — That is, to minister thereat by burning incense or offering sacrifice.

But they did eat of the… bread — So these priests were treated as the law prescribed for such as had some blemish or bodily defect. See Leviticus 21:17-24.


Verse 10

10. Defiled Topheth — Probably by burning the bones of the priests who had offered human sacrifices there. Compare 2 Chronicles 34:5. The word Topheth (usually with the article התפת,) occurs only in the Old Testament at the passages named in the margin, and designates the place in the valley of Hinnom, where human sacrifices were offered to Molech. Its derivation is uncertain. The rabbies say it is the same as toph, ( תŠ) a drum, and is applied to the place where human sacrifices were offered, because drums were beaten there to drown the cries of the victims. Furst and others derive it from a root, תוŠ, to burn, and understand it as an altar-place for the burning of dead bodies. It is translated tabret in Job 17:7, but most interpreters agree that it there means spittle, or abhorrence, and is also, as a proper name, to be explained in a similar sense, and applied to the spot where human sacrifices were offered, because it was a place of abhorrence — a thing to be spit at.

The valley of the children of Hinnom — This has been usually identified with the valley on the west and south sides of Jerusalem; but Jeremiah says (Jeremiah 19:2) it was “by the entry of the east gate, (Hebrews potter’s gate;) and Dr. Bonar (Smith’s Bib. Dict.) says, “Hinnom, by old writers, western and eastern, is always placed east of the city, and corresponds to what we call the mouth of the Tyropoeon, along the southern bed and banks of the Kedron, and was reckoned to be somewhere between the potter’s field and the fuller’s pool.” And Captain Wilson and M. Ganneau have concluded, from minute examinations, that the Kedron and Hinnom valleys are identical. But see note on Joshua 15:8.


Verse 11

11. Took away the horses — Just as he “put down the idolatrous priests.” 2 Kings 23:5. The Hebrew word is in each place the same: he made them cease from the work they had been performing.

Kings of Judah — Especially Ahaz, Manasseh, and Amon.

Had given to the sun — Had consecrated them as sacred to the sun, and to be used in drawing the chariots of the sun in processions which moved forth to worship that luminary. The rabbies say, they drove to meet the rising sun; but the sun was probably conceived of as a chariot drawn through the heavens, and this idea was symbolized in his worship by sacred chariots drawn by horses sacred to the sun. The law had forbidden the king to multiply horses, (Deuteronomy 17:16;) but the kings of Judah had even gone so far as to devote them to the idolatrous worship of the sun. The horse was regarded as sacred to the sun by many ancient nations, and Herodotus says of the Massagetae, (i, 216,) “The only god they worship is the sun, and to him they offer the horse in sacrifice.” There is no evidence that the kings of Judah offered the horse in sacrifice; and while Josiah burned the chariots, he merely took away the horses, and probably turned them to other and better services.

At the entering in of the house — These horses were ordinarily kept near by the entrance to the temple. The Hebrew is, from the entering, ( מבא) and is most naturally construed with took away; that is, he removed the horses from the entrance of the temple.

By the chamber of Nathan-melech — The cell or room, possibly one of the side chambers mentioned in 1 Kings 6:5, which Nathan-melech occupied, and which was close by ( אל, at or in) the stable in which the sacred horses were kept. Keil thinks that the chamber itself was arranged and used for a stable. This chamberlain ( סריס, eunuch) was an officer who had charge of the horses.

Which was in the suburbs — The relative which refers to chamber. The eunuch’s chamber was בפרורים, in the Parvars. The Hebrew word is probably identical with Parbar of 1 Chronicles 26:18, which was a spot apparently west of the temple, and inside of the gate that opened into the court at which two Levite porters were stationed. All the ancient versions render it as a proper name, except the Targum, which is followed by the translators of our version — in the suburbs. “Of the six watchmen who were posted at the west side, four had posts assigned them on the street, (English version, causeway,) that is, at the gate which led to the street, and only two at the Parbar. The latter must, therefore, have been inside the court, otherwise it could not have been left to the weaker guard.” — Bahr. The meaning and etymology of the word are uncertain.


Verse 12

12. On the top — On the roof, which in many Oriental houses is a large, flat, solid surface, much frequented by the people, especially in the cool of the day.

Upper chamber of Ahaz — Whether this was in the temple, or in some out-building of the court, cannot be determined; it was called after Ahaz, probably because he built it and used it for observing the stars and burning incense to the host of heaven. Compare Jeremiah 19:13; Zephaniah 1:5; and note on 2 Kings 17:16. For this same purpose, also, had the later kings of Judah, namely, Manasseh and Amon, kept altars there.

Altars which Manasseh had made — See 2 Kings 21:5.


Verse 13

13. Mount of corruption — The southern part of the Mount of Olives, now known as the Mount of Offence. Solomon probably erected idolatrous altars on various peaks of Olivet, (see note on 1 Kings 11:7,) but they seem gradually to have been removed towards the southern slopes, or right hand of the mountain, to one looking eastward from Jerusalem.

Which Solomon… builded — See on 1 Kings 11:1-8. It appears, then, that at least some of the high places erected by Solomon had remained until the time of Josiah.


Verse 14

14. Filled their places with the bones of men — Turned them into burial grounds, so as utterly to defile them, and prevent their ever being used again for idolatrous purposes.


Verse 15

15. The altar… at Beth-el — See 1 Kings 13:1-2. Having destroyed idolatry in Judah, the king proceeds northward to the chief seat of the calf-worship, where Jeroboam… made Israel to sin. Josiah seems to have assumed that after the kingdom of Samaria ceased he was the rightful ruler of the whole land of Israel.

Burned the high place — Every thing that pertained to the false worship there — buildings, altars, images. The calf which had been set up at Beth-el had been carried into Assyria, (Hosea 10:6,) and the remaining inhabitants seem to have devoted the house and altars to the worship of Baal and Ashtoreth. Hence the grove, or Asherah image (1 Kings 14:15, note) mentioned here.


Verse 16

16. The sepulchres… in the mount — Apparently in the same mount on which Beth-el was situated. During an evening which J.L. Porter spent at this place, he says, “I explored the rock sepulchres, too, which dot the sides of the mount, thinking that one or other of them might be that of the man of God from Judah, whose bones Josiah respected.”

Polluted it — The burning of human bones on an altar was regarded as utterly defiling the sacred place, and rendering it unfit for holy uses.

According to the word — See 1 Kings 13:2.


Verse 17

17. Men of the city — Inhabitants of Beth-el, among whom the tradition of the man of God… from Judah lingered with all the impressiveness of a most thrilling tale. Perhaps among these men were a few faithful Israelites, true spiritual children of the seven thousand who, in Elijah’s time, had not bowed to Baal, (1 Kings 19:18,) and who now greatly rejoiced in this signal fulfilment of prophecy.


Verse 18

18. They let his bones alone — Literally, let them escape; that is, from the desecration which the bones of others in the neighbouring sepulchres suffered.

Out of Samaria — Out of the country of Samaria, in contrast with the phrase from Judah, in the previous verse.


Verse 19

19. Houses also of the high places — Temples erected on heights, and devoted to idolatrous purposes.


Verse 20

20. Slew all the priests — Literally, sacrificed them; and he did it upon the altars which these very priests had used for idolatrous purposes.

High places that were there — High places that were in the several cities of Samaria.


Verse 21

21. Keep the passover — It seemed to the king appropriate to conclude his great work of reform by a proper observance of this most important religious festival.

As it is written in the book of this covenant — Rather, in this book of the covenant. It seems this feast had not been held according to the letter of the law, and Josiah’s wish was, that this one should be observed as it was written.


Verse 22

22. There was not holden such a passover — Not that Israel had utterly failed to observe any passover from the days of the Judges to this time, for we are expressly told in 2 Chronicles 30 that Hezekiah held a passover, though it was not strictly according to the direction of the law, and it is not supposable that a Festival so prominent in the Israelitish cultus as this had been neglected under David, and Solomon, and other pious kings. But no such a passover had been held, none so strictly conformed in all things to the very letter of the law of Moses.


Verse 24

24. Workers with familiar spirits… wizards — Who seem especially to have multiplied under the reign of Manasseh. 2 Kings 21:6.

Images Teraphim. See notes on Joshua 24:14, and 1 Samuel 19:13.


Verse 25

25. Like unto him was there no king before him — It is commonly held that Hezekiah equalled or surpassed him in trusting Jehovah, (2 Kings 18:5,) but that he excelled Hezekiah in his scrupulous adherence to all the law of Moses. But see note on 2 Kings 18:5.

Josiah was the last true theocratic king of Judah, and, from the great events belonging to his reign, as well as his profoundly earnest effort to extirpate idolatry from all Israel, his name and memory are highly panegyrized in the annals of his people. “The remembrance of Josiah,” says the son of Sirach, “is like the composition of the perfume that is made by the art of the apothecary; it is sweet as honey in all mouths, and as music at a banquet of wine. He behaved himself uprightly in the conversation of the people, and took away the abominations of iniquity. He directed his heart unto the Lord, and in the time of the ungodly he established the worship of God. Except David, Hezekiah, and Josiah, all were defective.” Sirach 49:1-4.

Josiah’s reformation is open to criticism, for its methods of violence were such as have ever characterized religious persecutions, and it failed, as the subsequent history shows, to effect any permanent change in the nation for the better. “Large as is the space occupied by it in the historical books,” says Stanley, “by the contemporary prophets it is never mentioned at all.”

It may therefore be held up as signal evidence and admonition that violent measures are useless to effect a genuine or permanent reformation. But we must not judge Josiah’s work by the standards of our Christian age. What other or milder measures could we rationally expect a Jewish king of that age to have thought of? “Judaism,” says Sumner, (in Schaff’s Lange,) “had intolerance as one of its fundamental principles. Violence in support of Jehovah’s religion was a duty of a Jewish king. In attempting to account for and understand the conduct of Josiah, it would be as senseless to expect him to see and practice toleration as to expect him to use firearms against Necho. We can never carry back modern principles into ancient times and judge men by the standards of to-day.”


Verse 26

CONCLUSION OF JOSIAH’S HISTORY, 2 Kings 23:26-30.

26. The Lord turned not from… his great wrath — “In spite of all this effort, the kingdom of Judah was doomed. Even the traditions which invested Josiah with a blaze of preternatural glory, maintained that in his day the sacred oil was forever lost. Too late is written on the pages even which describe this momentary revival. It did not reach the deeply-seated, widespread corruption which tainted rich and poor alike.” — Stanley.


Verse 27

27. The Lord said — By the prophets.

Out of my sight — Not out of his knowledge and remembrance. But hitherto Judah had stood as the specially favoured of Jehovah — as in the Divine presence — and the light and smile of his countenance had shone upon them; but now this nearness must end.


Verse 29

29. Pharaoh-necho — According to Manetho, he was the sixth king of the twenty-sixth dynasty, and the enterprising monarch who, according to Herodotus, (iv, 42,) fitted out an expedition under charge of the Phenician sailors, which accomplished the circumnavigation of Africa twenty-one centuries before Vasco de Gama doubled the Cape of Good Hope. He appears to have been a most active and energetic king.

Went up against the king of Assyria — According to Josephus, this expedition of Necho was “to fight with the Medes and Babylonians, who had overthrown the dominions of the Assyrians.” In that case the king of Assyria here would mean the Babylonian conqueror, Nabopolassar, who had so recently become ruler of Assyria, and stood in the same relation to Judah, so that the Hebrew historian considered it unnecessary to be more particular.

Some think that as the exact date of the fall of Nineveh is not yet settled, it may be that the Assyrian empire was just now in its last stage of weakness, and this weakness tempted Necho to improve the opportunity to conquer Carchemish, (2 Chronicles 35:20,) and attach to his own dominion the Asiatic country west of the river Euphrates. But it is fatal to this supposition, that Necho held Carchemish only three years, when it was wrested from him by Nebuchadnezzar, who had then just attained the royal power. Jeremiah 25:1; compare with Jeremiah 46:2. But Nebuchadnezzar’s father reigned twenty years, and his reign could not have commenced long before the fall of Nineveh. Hence Necho’s conquests on the Euphrates must have occurred after the fall of Assyria.

Josiah went against him — He probably supposed that if this Egyptian expedition against the king of Assyria was successful, Necho would not spare Judea on his return. Although the king of Egypt pretended to assure him that he had no hostile intentions against Judea, Josiah was too far-sighted a ruler to fail to see that if Egypt extended her dominions beyond him on the east, and so surrounded him, he would soon be required to surrender his independency, and become a mere vassal of Pharaoh.

Slew him at Megiddo — In the great plain of Esdraelon at the northern base of the Carmel range of mountains, at the site of the modern village el-Lejjun. See at Joshua 12:21. It appears from the parallel passage in Chronicles that the surrounding plain was sometimes called “the valley of Megiddo.” Near by was Hadadrimmon, and the excessive lamentation of the Jews over the fall of the beloved Josiah became proverbial, and is spoken of by Zechariah (Zechariah 12:11) as “the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.” Herodotus seems to refer to this battle between Necho and Josiah when he says (ii, 159) that this king of Egypt “made war by land upon the Syrians and defeated them in a pitched battle at Magdolus,” the latter name being probably a confused form of Megiddo.

When he had seen him — When the two armies came in conflict on the field of battle, and looked each other in the face. See at 2 Kings 14:8. It does not appear that Necho slew Josiah with his own hand, but, according to Chronicles, he was shot at and wounded by the archers, and was carried in a chariot to Jerusalem; but where he died is not exactly stated. See on next verse.


Verse 30

30. Dead from Megiddo — So he did not die at Jerusalem, as the form of statement in Chronicles would lead one to suppose. He probably gave orders, as soon as wounded, for his whole army to retreat, and he had perhaps been carried as far as Hadadrimmon, some five miles south of Megiddo, before he expired. Hence the origin of the expression, “the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.” Zechariah 12:11.

Buried him in his own sepulchre — Which was probably “in the garden of Uzza,” where his father (2 Kings 21:26) and grandfather (2 Kings 21:18) had been buried. 2 Chronicles adds, that “all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. And Jeremiah lamented,” together with “all the singing men and the singing women,” so that their lamentations became “an ordinance in Israel.”

People of the land — The great body of the nation by their representatives, the elders. Compare 2 Kings 11:24.


Verse 31

REIGN OF JEHOAHAZ, 2 Kings 23:31-35.

31. Twenty and three years old — So he was not the real heir to the throne, for Eliakim, (2 Kings 23:34,) who was placed on the throne a few months later, was nearly two years older. But “the people of the land,” who elected him in place of his elder brother, seem to have discerned in him certain energetic and enterprising or heroic qualities, which were, perhaps, wanting in Eliakim, who was disposed to idleness and luxury. Compare Jeremiah 22:10-19, where Jehoahaz is called Shallum.

Three months — Merely the time that Pharaoh-necho was engaged in the conquest of Carchemish.


Verse 32

32. He did that which was evil — His short rule evinced his character for evil. It was during that short period that the high places and images were restored in many parts of the land. This shows that Josiah’s reformation had not changed the nation’s heart.


Verse 33

33. Put him in bands at Riblah — Some render, made him, or took him, captive at Riblah. But how came Jehoahaz at Riblah? Some think he marched thither at the head of his army to fight with the Egyptian king, and to avenge the death of his father. More probable, however, is the statement of Josephus, that when Necho returned from his eastern campaign, and arrived at the land of Hamath, “he sent for Jehoahaz to come to him, and when he was come, he put him in bands.” Perhaps Necho induced him by some false pretext to come to his camp. Riblah is mentioned at Numbers 34:11, as a border city of Israel. Some, however, doubt its identity with this Riblah in the land of Hamath. The site of this latter is beyond all question identical with the modern village of the same name, situated on the east bank of the Orontes, about thirty-five miles northeast of Baalbek. It lies in the midst of a vast plain of great beauty and fertility. Here Nebuchadnezzar was encamped when Zedekiah and his sons were brought captives into his presence; and here the sons were slain and the father’s eyes put out. 2 Kings 25:6-7. Here, too, Zedekiah’s principal officers were put to death. 2 Kings 25:21. Dr. Robinson, who visited this spot in 1852, remarks: “A more advantageous place of encampment for the hosts of Egypt and Babylon can hardly be imagined. On the banks of a mountain stream, in the midst of this vast and fertile plain, the most abundant supplies of provisions and forage were at hand. From this point the roads were open to the Egyptian monarch across the desert, either by Aleppo and the Euphrates to Nineveh, or by Palmyra to Babylon. From Riblah, too, the host of the Babylonian conqueror could sweep around the end of Lebanon and along the coast to Palestine and Egypt; or, passing on southwards through the Buka’a, could spread themselves out over the land either eastwards or westwards from the valley of the Jordan.” The land of Hamath was the territory belonging to the kingdom of this name, and seems to have included the whole valley of the Orontes.

That he might not reign in Jerusalem — This is the reading of the Keri, ( ממלךְ,) which is sustained by the Septuagint, Chaldee, and Vulgate. and makes better sense than the Kethib, ( במלךְ) whilst he reigned in Jerusalem. Why Necho refused to ratify the election of Jehoahaz, and made his elder brother king in his place, does not appear, unless it be that Eliakim was the rightful heir to the throne. See on 2 Kings 23:31. It may be that Jehoahaz was a more bold and energetic prince than his elder brother, and the Egyptian king feared that he would soon lead the nation into rebellion against him. Ezekiel (Ezekiel 19:2-3) represents him as a young lion which devoured men, of whom, when the nations heard, “he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt.”

A hundred talents of silver — About one hundred and sixty-six thousand dollars.

A talent of gold — About fifty-six thousand nine hundred dollars. “The relative amount of the silver and the gold is remarkable; but as the same figures are given in 2 Chronicles 36:3, and in 3 Esra (1 Esdras) 1 Esdras 1:36, we are not justified in changing them. It may be that Necho wanted silver, which was rarer in the Orient, or that he did not wish to alienate the country too much from himself by pitiless severity.” — Bahr.


Verse 34

34. Made Eliakim… king — Some suppose that Eliakim had appealed to Necho to interfere, and had urged that he himself, being the elder son of the deceased Josiah, was the only proper heir to the kingdom. It is possible, also, that Necho took offence at the popular election of Jehoahaz immediately after his father’s fall, and without consulting him as his sovereign.

Turned his name to Jehoiakim — This changing the name of a captive or vassal king was to show the conqueror’s absolute authority over him. “The alteration of the name was a sign of dependence. In ancient times princes were accustomed to give new names to the persons whom they took into their service, and masters to give new names to their slaves.

Genesis 41:45; Ezra 5:14; Daniel 1:7. But while these names were generally borrowed from heathen deities, Eliakim, and at a later period Mattaniah, (2 Kings 24:17,) received genuine Israelitish names, Jehoiakim, ‘Jehovah will set up,’ and Zedekiah, ‘Righteousness of Jehovah;’ — from which we may infer that Necho and Nebuchadnezzar did not treat their vassal kings, installed by them, exactly as their slaves, but allowed them to choose the new names for themselves, and simply confirmed them as a sign of their supremacy.” — Keil.


Verse 35

35. Jehoiakim gave the silver — The payment of this tribute is mentioned before the writer takes up directly the history of Jehoiakim’s reign, probably because the commandment of Pharaoh required him to pay the tribute as the condition of his being elevated to the throne.


Verse 36

REIGN OF JEHOIAKIM, 2 Kings 23:36 to 2 Kings 24:7.

36. Twenty and five years old — About two years older than Jehoahaz. Compare 2 Kings 23:31. All accounts of the reign of this prince agree in representing him as excessively given over to wickedness and cruelty. Especially do the prophecies of Jeremiah (compare Jeremiah 22-26) depict the fearful corruptions of his times.

His mother’s name was Zebudah — So he was a half brother to Jehoahaz. The locality of Rumah is unknown.

 


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-23.html. 1874-1909.

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