Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 21:3

For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Baal;   Groves;   Idolatry;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Manasseh;   Rulers;   Stars;   Thompson Chain Reference - Baal;   False;   Gods, False;   Groves;   High Places;   Idolatry;   Images;   Places;   Worship;   Worship, False;   Worship, True and False;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Altars;   Groves;   High Places;   Kings;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Moon;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Baal;   Judah, tribe and kingdom;   Manasseh, king of judah;   Stars;   Zephaniah;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Amos, Theology of;   Destroy, Destruction;   Ethics;   Gods and Goddesses, Pagan;   Kings, First and Second, Theology of;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Host of Heaven;   Stars;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Abomination of Desolation;   Baal (1);   Manasseh (2);   Samuel, the Books of;   Sun;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Asherah;   Baal;   High Place;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Lord;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Chronicles, I;   Israel;   Manasseh;   Text, Versions, and Languages of Ot;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Baal, Baalim ;   Manasseh ;   Moon;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Moloch;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Manasseh;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Moloch;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Adoration;   Alliance;   Angel;   Asherah;   High Place;   Host of Heaven;   Idolatry;   Moon;   Temple;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Baal;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Made a grove - He made Asherah, the Babylonian Melitta or Roman Venus. See 2 Kings 17:10, and the observations at the end of that chapter; and see here on 2 Kings 21:7; (note).

Worshipped all the host of heaven - All the stars and planets, but particularly the sun and the moon.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-21.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The first step in the re-establishment of idolatry seems to have been the restoration of the high places where Yahweh was professedly worshipped 2 Kings 18:22, but with idolatrous rites 1 Kings 14:23. The next was to re-introduce the favorite idolatry of Israel, Baal-worship, which had formerly flourished in Judaea under Athaliah 2 Kings 11:18, and Ahaz 2 Chronicles 28:2. After this, Manasseh seems to have especially affected Sabaism, which had been previously unknown in Judaea (compare 2 Kings 17:16 and note).

Worshipped all the host of heaven - Sabaism, or pure star-worship, without images, and without astrological superstitions, included a reverence for the sun, the moon, the chief stars, and the twelve signs of the Zodiac (2 Kings 23:5 note). The main worship was by altars, on which incense was burned Jeremiah 19:13. These altars were placed either upon the ground 2 Kings 21:5, or upon the house-tops 2 Kings 23:12; Zephaniah 1:5. The sun was worshipped with the face toward the east Ezekiel 8:16; chariots and horses were dedicated to him 2 Kings 23:11. The star-worship of the Jews has far more the character of an Arabian than an Assyrian or Chaldaean cult. It obtained its hold at a time when Assyria and Babylonia had but little communication with Judaea - i. e., during the reign of Manasseh. It crept in probably from the same quarter as the Molech worship, with which it is here (and in 2 Chronicles 33:3-6) conjoined.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-21.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed,.... The temples and altars upon them, see 2 Kings 18:4,

and he reared up altars for Baal; in the high places he rebuilt:

and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel: which was either an idol itself, or a shade of trees where idols were placed; or rather Asherah, rendered "a grove", is the same with Astarte, the goddess of the Zidonians, the figure of which he made and worshipped; for groves were not so soon and easily planted, raised, and made; so the same in 1 Kings 16:33.

and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them: the sun, moon, and stars, particularly the planets Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, and Venus.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-21.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.

He built, … — Trampling on the dust and affronting the memory of his worthy father.

All the host of heaven — The sun, moon and stars.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-kings-21.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 21:3 For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.

Ver. 3. He built up again the high places, &c.] Which he, perhaps, was persuaded to believe to be the old religion, and therefore by all means to be restored. The Papist’s plea: τα γαρ καινα κενα..

And he reared up altars for Baal.] Like his grandfather Ahaz, [2 Chronicles 28:2] into whom Manasseh degenerateth; as if there had been no intervention of a Hezekiah. So we have seen the kernel of a well-fruited plant degenerate into that crab or willow which gave the original to his stock.

And made a grove.] Ahab-like, from whom, by wicked Athaliah, he was lineally descended. Sic partus sequitur ventrem.

And worshipped all the host of heaven.] Forgetting what had been done for his father by that host, when the sun, for his sake, went ten degrees backward: and so making good the import of his name Manasseh, which signifieth Forgetfulness.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-21.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Kings 21:3. A grove Or, Aschera [Astarte].

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-kings-21.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The host of heaven; the stars, which the Gentiles had transformed into gods. See Poole "Deuteronomy 4:19".

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-kings-21.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.As did Ahab — See notes on 1 Kings 16:30-33.

Host of heaven — See note on 2 Kings 17:16.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-21.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Groves. Hebrew Ashera, "the grove," or the idol of Astarte, (Calmet) as both were worshipped. (Haydock) --- Achab, whom he imitated also in spilling the blood of the saints. (Menochius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the high places. Restoring what his father had destroyed (2 Kings 18:4, 2 Kings 18:22).

a grove = an "Asherah. See note on Exodus 34:18. App-42.

as = according as.

did Ahah See 2 Kings 11:18, and compare 1 Kings 16:31, 1 Kings 16:32.

the host of heaven. Never before done in Judah. Compare Deuteronomy 4:19; Deuteronomy 17:3.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-21.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) For he built up again.—The LXX. and Vulg. imitate the Hebrew idiom, and he returned and built—i.e., and he rebuilt.

The high places . . . altars for Baal . . . a grove (an Ashçrah).—“The idols, the sun-pillars, the ashçrim, the sacred trees, and all the other pagan or half-pagan symbols, so plainly inconsistent with the prophetic faith, were of the very substance of Israel’s worship in the popular sanctuaries” (Prof. Robertson Smith).

As did Ahab.—See 1 Kings 16:32-33.

Worshipped all the host of heaven.—See Notes on 2 Kings 17:16, and comp. 2 Kings 23:12. The Babylonian star-worship and astrology, with concomitant superstitions, had been introduced under Ahaz.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-21.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.
the high places
18:4,22; 2 Chronicles 32:12; 34:3
he reared
10:18-20; 1 Kings 16:31-33; 18:21,26
a grove
Rather, as we have before remarked, Asherah or Astarte. So Castel defines Asherah to be Simulacrum ligneum Astartæ dicatum; "A wooden image dedicated to Astarte."
Ahab
8:18,27; Micah 6:16
and worshipped
17:16; 23:4; Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:3; 2 Chronicles 33:3-5; Job 31:26
Reciprocal: Genesis 2:1 - host;  Deuteronomy 16:21 - General1 Kings 11:7 - build an high;  1 Kings 14:9 - to provoke;  1 Kings 14:23 - groves;  1 Kings 16:33 - made a grove;  2 Kings 23:5 - all the host;  2 Kings 23:24 - the workers;  Jeremiah 8:2 - and all;  Jeremiah 23:27 - as;  Ezekiel 16:15 - and playedst;  Ezekiel 16:24 - thou hast;  Hosea 2:13 - the days;  Acts 7:42 - the host

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-21.html.