Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 21:6

He made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and used divination, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord provoking Him to anger.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Groves;   Idolatry;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Manasseh;   Molech;   Rulers;   Temple;   Thompson Chain Reference - Fortune Telling;   Magic;   Sorcery;   The Topic Concordance - Paganism;   Wickedness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Divination;   Idolatry;   Kings;   Temple, the First;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Divination;   Manasseh;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Judah, tribe and kingdom;   Magic;   Manasseh, king of judah;   Molech;   Zephaniah;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Amos, Theology of;   Ethics;   Gods and Goddesses, Pagan;   Kings, First and Second, Theology of;   Magic;   Necromancy;   Sin;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Divination;   Familiar Spirit;   Meonenim;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Abomination of Desolation;   Divination;   Manasseh (2);   Holman Bible Dictionary - Baal;   High Place;   Human Sacrifice;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Medium;   Molech;   Observer of Times;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Chronicles, I;   Israel;   Magic, Divination, and Sorcery;   Manasseh;   Molech, Moloch;   Text, Versions, and Languages of Ot;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Divination;   Manasseh ;   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 - Alliance;   Augury;   Baal (1);   Communion with Demons;   Divide;   Enchantment;   Familiar;   Fire;   Firstborn;   High Place;   Idolatry;   Magic;   Molech;   Sacrifice, Human;   Temple;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Divination;   Magic;   Moloch (Molech);   Necromancy;   Witchcraft;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Made his son pass through the fire - Consecrated him to Moloch.

Observed times - ועונן veonen ; he practiced divination by the clouds; by observing their course at particular times, their different kinds, contrary directions, etc., etc.

Used enchantments - ונחש venichesh ; he used incantations, spells, and charms.

Dealt with familiar spirits - אוב ועשה veasah ob ; he was a necromancer; was a raiser of spirits, whom he endeavored to press into his service; he had a Python.

And wizards - וידענים veyiddeonim ; the knowing ones, the white witches, and such like; see on Leviticus 19:26-31; (note), where most of these terms are particularly explained and illustrated.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:6". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-21.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

On the meaning of the phrase “passing through the fire,” see 2 Kings 16:3, and Leviticus 20:2-5.

To “observe times” was forbidden in the Law (marginal references), and was no doubt among the modes of divination practiced by the Canaanite nations. It has been explained as,

(1) Predicting from the state of the clouds and atmosphere;

(2) Fascination with the eye;

(3) Watching and catching at chance words as ominous.

Dealt with familiar spirits - This practice was forbidden by Moses Leviticus 19:31 under the penalty of death Leviticus 20:27. Its nature is best learned from Saul‘s visit to the witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28:7, etc.).

Wizards - “Wizards” - literally, “wise men” - are always joined with those who have familiar spirits. Probably they were a sort of necromancers.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:6". "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

And he made his son pass through the fire,.... To Molech, after the manner of the old Canaanites and Phoenicians; his son Amon, that succeeded him, and other children, as appears from 2 Chronicles 33:6, where mention is made of the place where it was done, the valley of the son of Hinnom:

and observed times; lucky or unlucky, which was judged of by omens, and by the position of the stars:

and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards; to get knowledge of things to come; all which are forbid and condemned by the law of Moses; see Deuteronomy 18:10,

he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger; in all those evils before mentioned, which were very abominable in the sight of God.

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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 21:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And he made his son a pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke [him] to anger.

(a) Read (2 Kings 16:3).
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:6". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-21.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

made his son pass through the fire — (See on 2 Kings 16:3).

observed times — from an observation of the clouds.

used enchantments — jugglery and spells.

dealt with familiar spiritsSeptuagint, “ventriloquists,” who pretended to ask counsel of a familiar spirit and gave the response received from him to others.

and wizards — wise or knowing ones, who pretended to reveal secrets, to recover things lost and hidden treasure, and to interpret dreams. A great influx of these impostors had, at various times, poured from Chaldea into the land of Israel to pursue their gainful occupations, especially during the reigns of the latter kings; and Manasseh was not only their liberal patron, but zealous to appear himself an adept in the arts. He raised them to be an influential class at his court, as they were in that of Assyria and Babylon, where nothing was done till they had ascertained the lucky hour and were promised a happy issue.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-kings-21.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

Through the fire — Between two fires, by which he dedicated him to Molock, in contempt of the seal of circumcision by which he had been dedicated to God.

Times — Lucky, or unlucky days according to the superstitious practice of the heathens.

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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 21:6". "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 21:6 And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke [him] to anger.

Ver. 6. And he made his son to pass through the fire.] Yea, more than one of his children. [2 Chronicles 21:6] See 2 Kings 16:3.

And observed times.] Vacabat arti ariolandi et auguriis, he was both a soothsayer and a sorcerer. By the position of stars and flying of birds, he took upon him to divine and to foretell future contingents. (a)

And dealt with familiar spirits.] He ordained that there should always be somebody possessed with such a kind of spirit as should give answers instead of an oracle.

To provoke him to anger.] Deliberately, as it were, and on set purpose, to vex the Lord.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-21.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Made his son pass through the fire; of which See Poole "Leviticus 18:21 2 Kings 16:3".

Observed times, i.e. lucky or unlucky days or seasons for the despatch of businesses, according to the superstitious practice of the heathens. See Esther 3:7: see also Leviticus 19:26 Deuteronomy 18:10,11.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:6". 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

6.Made his son pass through the fire — So he equalled the wicked Ahaz in the horrible abomination. See 2 Kings 16:3, note.

Observed times — Rather, practised magic. The word עונן, thus rendered, is, according to Aben Ezra, from ענן, a cloud, and refers to the practice of divination by observing the courses of the clouds.

Enchantments’ familiar spirits’ wizards — Various forms of sorcery and witchcraft, all positively forbidden in the law. See on Deuteronomy 18:9-12.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:6". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-21.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Kings 21:6. He made his son pass through the fire — By which he dedicated him to Moloch, in contempt of the seal of circumcision by which he had been dedicated to God: see notes on Leviticus 18:21-22. And observed times — Lucky or unlucky days, according to the superstitious practice of the heathen.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:6". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-21.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Fire, for purification, or as a holocaust to Moloch. See chap. xvi. 3. --- Divination, or, "he observed times," Arabic. (Montanus) --- Omens. Protestants, "used enchantments," (Haydock) by means of brass or of serpents, &c. (Calmet) --- Septuagint agrees with the Vulgate, "he took notice of birds." (Haydock) --- Pythons. That is, diviners by spirits (Challoner) particularly by Apollo. He authorized and encouraged such ventriloquists, &c., Leviticus xix. 31. --- Soothsayers, who inspected the entrails of victims, to foretell future things. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "He dealt with familiar spirits and wizards." (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:6". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

his son. Son put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Part), App-6, for his sons. Compare 2 Chronicles 33:6.

pass through the fire. As Ahaz had done (2 Kings 16:3; Compare 2 Kings 23:10. Deuteronomy 18:10). The name of Moloch was common at this time (Zephaniah 1:5).

observed times. Compare Deuteronomy 18:10.

used enchantments. The same as modern spiritism. Compare Leviticus 19:31. Deuteronomy 18:10.

familiar spirits. Hebrew a familiar spirit. See note on Leviticus 19:31.

wizards = mediums.

wickedness. Hebrew. ra"a". App-44. Same word as "evil", 2 Kings 21:2.

Him. Some codices, with four early printed editions, Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "Him" in text.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:6". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-21.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

Made his son pass through the fire - (see the notes at 2 Kings 16:3.) observed times-from an observation of the clouds determined the proper season for things, distinguishing lucky from unlucky days. [Septuagint, ekleedonizeto.]

Used enchantments - observed auguries [Septuagint, oioonizeto]; but it is used in a general sense for divining by the cup, etc.

Dealt with familiar spirits [ `aasaah (Hebrew #6213) 'owb (Hebrew #178) (see the notes at Deuteronomy 18:11; 1 Samuel 28:7); Septuagint, generally, engastrimuthos, ventriloquist, who pretended to ask counsel of a familiar spirit, and gave the response received from him to others; but here that version renders the phrase, epoieese temenee, made sanctuaries].

And wizards, [ w

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-kings-21.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(6) And he made his son . . .—The LXX. has his sons; so Chronicles.

Dealt with familiar spirits . . .—made a necro-mancer—i.e., formally appointed such a person as a court official (1 Kings 12:31). (See the Notes on chaps. 16:3, 17:17, and especially 2 Chronicles 33:6.)

“In the time from Manasseh onwards, Moloch-worship and worship of the Queen of Heaven appear as prominent new features of Judah’s idolatry. It is also probable that the local high places took on their restoration a more markedly heathenish character than before” (Prof. Robertson Smith).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:6". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-21.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
A. M. 3321. B.C. 683. he made
16:3; 17:17; Leviticus 18:21; 20:2,3; 2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6; Micah 6:7
observed times
Leviticus 19:26,31; Deuteronomy 18:10-14
familiar
1 Chronicles 10:13; Isaiah 8:19; 19:3; Acts 16:16
wrought
24:3,4; Genesis 13:13
Reciprocal: Genesis 44:5 - divineth;  1 Samuel 2:17 - before;  2 Kings 3:2 - wrought;  2 Kings 14:24 - in the sight;  2 Kings 17:11 - to provoke;  2 Kings 23:10 - might make;  2 Kings 23:19 - to provoke the Lord;  2 Kings 23:24 - the workers;  Psalm 51:4 - evil;  Psalm 106:37 - they sacrificed;  Isaiah 66:4 - they did;  Jeremiah 7:6 - and shed;  Jeremiah 19:4 - filled;  Ezekiel 16:21 - to pass;  Ezekiel 20:26 - in that;  Ezekiel 23:37 - have also;  Daniel 4:17 - the basest;  Acts 7:43 - ye took

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-21.html.