Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 23:10

He also defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire for Molech.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Hinnom;   Iconoclasm;   Idolatry;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Josiah;   Molech;   Offerings;   Prophecy;   Tophet;   Thompson Chain Reference - False;   Gods, False;   Hinnom, Valley;   Idolatry;   Images;   Milcom;   Molech;   Tophet;   Valley of Hinnom;   Worship, False;   Worship, True and False;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Valleys;   Zeal;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Hinnom;   Molech, Moloch, or Milcom;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jeremiah;   Josiah;   Molech;   Zephaniah;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Gods and Goddesses, Pagan;   Hell;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Jeremiah;   Moloch;   Valley;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Baal (1);   Hell;   Jehoiachin;   Kedron;   Moloch;   Topheth;   Zechariah, the Book of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ben-Hinnom;   Bethel;   Deuteronomy, the Book of;   Ezekiel;   Fertility Cult;   Gods, Pagan;   Hell;   High Place;   Hinnom, Valley of;   Human Sacrifice;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Molech;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Canon of the Old Testament;   Child, Children;   Gehenna;   Hexateuch;   Hilkiah;   Hinnom, Valley of;   Idolatry;   Molech, Moloch;   Temple;   Topheth;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Gehenna (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Hell;   Hinnom, Valley of;   Idolatry;   Josiah ;   Molech ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Hinnon;   Raca;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Hell;   Hinnom;   Molech;   Topheth;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Hin'nom;   To'pheth,;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Hell;   Moloch;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Astrology;   Gehenna;   Hinnom, Valley of;   Molech;   Relationships, Family;   Sacrifice, Human;   Topheth;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Family and Family Life;   Father;   Gehenna;   Ge-Hinnom;   Moloch (Molech);  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He defiled Topheth - St. Jerome says that Topheth was a fine and pleasant place, well watered with fountains, and adorned with gardens. The valley of the son of Hinnom, or Gehenna, was in one part; here it appears the sacred rites of Molech were performed, and to this all the filth of the city was carried, and perpetual fires were kept up in order to consume it. Hence it has been considered a type of hell; and in this sense it is used in the New Testament.

It is here said that Josiah defiled this place that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire. He destroyed the image of Molech, and so polluted the place where he stood, or his temple, that it was rendered in every way abominable. The rabbins say that Topheth had its name from תף toph, a drum, because instruments of this kind were used to drown the cries of the children that were put into the burning arms of Molech, to be scorched to death. This may be as true as the following definition: "Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, was a place near Jerusalem, where the filth and offal of the city were thrown, and where a constant fire was kept up to consume the wretched remains of executed criminals. It was a human shambles, a public chopping-block, where the arms and legs of men and women were quartered off by thousands." Query, On what authority do such descriptions rest?

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-23.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he defiled Topheth,.... A place so called, as is generally thought, from the beating of drums or timbrels in it, that the shrieks of the infants sacrificed here to Molech might not be heard by their parents, and they repent of delivering them to him, and take them away. So the Indians in India now, at the burning of wives with their deceased husbands, attend them with drums and trumpets; and at such time as the fire is put to the wood, the drums and trumpets make a terrible noise for fear their cries should be heardF2Agreement of Customs between the East Indians and Jews, art. 25. p. 85, 86. ; See Gill on Isaiah 30:33, Jeremiah 7:31 this he defiled by casting any sort of filth or unclean thing into it, in contempt of the idolatry there committed, and to alienate the minds of men from it:

which is the valley of the children of Hinnom; a valley that belonged to the posterity of a man of this name, near to Jerusalem, see Joshua 15:8, hence the Greek word "geenna" for hell, in the New Testament:

that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Molech; which piece of idolatry used to be committed in this place.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-23.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And he defiled k Topheth, which [is] in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.

(k) Which was a valley near to Jerusalem, and signifies a tabret because they smote on the tabret while their children were burning, that their cry should not be heard, (Leviticus 18:21), after which Josiah commanded trash to be cast in contempt of it.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-23.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Topheth — so called from {(Toph} - a “drum.” It is the prevailing opinion among Jewish writers that the cries of the terrified children made to pass through the fire in that place of idolatrous horror were drow)ned by the sound of that instrument.

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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.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-kings-23.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.

Topheth — Very near Jerusalem, where was the image of Molech, to whom some sacrificed their children, burning them in the fire, others dedicated them, making them pass between two fires. It is supposed to be called Topheth, from toph, a drum; because they beat drums at the burning of the children, that their shrieks might not be heard.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-kings-23.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 23:10 And he defiled Topheth, which [is] in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.

Ver. 10. And he defiled Tophet.] A pleasant valley near to Jerusalem, but, for the abominable abuse of it, taken afterwards for hell, [Isaiah 30:33 Matthew 5:22] a place of torments, without end, and past imagination.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-23.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Kings 23:10. And he defiled Topheth Topheth תפת comes from תפ top, a musical instrument, a drum or tabor; and the place was so called, according to the general opinion of the Jews, because drums or tabors in this horrid valley were used to be beaten, in order to drown the cries and shrieks of the hapless little innocents who were burned alive to the idol Molech. Hence Milton, speaking of Moloch, calls him,

——Horrid king, besmear'd with blood Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears, Though for the noise of drums and timbrels loud Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd through fire To his grim idol.—— MILTON'S Par. Lost, book 1: line 392.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-kings-23.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

In the valley of the children of Hinnom; of which see Joshua 15:8 Nehemiah 11:30 Jeremiah 7:31 19:6,11.

To pass through the fire to Molech. See Poole "Leviticus 18:21"; See Poole "Deuteronomy 18:10".

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-kings-23.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

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, (ת Š) 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, תו Š, 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.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-23.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Kings 23:10. He defiled Topheth — By throwing different kinds of filth and dead carcasses into it, and making it the burying-place of the city. Topheth was a place very near Jerusalem, where was the image of Molech, to whom some sacrificed their children, burning them in the fire, as the reader may see in the note on Leviticus 18:21; and to whom others, as many able interpreters think, only dedicated them, by making them pass between two fires, or by waving them, or making them jump over a fire. It is supposed to be called Topheth, from toph, a drum; because they beat drums at the burning of their children, that their shricks might not be heard. This place, near Jerusalem, was also called the valley of the sons of Hinnom, (2 Chronicles 28:3,) from the yelling of the sacrificed infants. Thus Milton calls Molech: —

Horrid king, besmear’d with blood

Of human sacrifice, and parents’ tears,

Though for the noise of drums, and timbrels loud,

Their children’s cries unheard, that pass’d through fire

To his grim idol. Par. Lost, book 1. 50:392.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-23.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Defiled, or declared it unlawful. (Menochius) --- Topheth may signify "a drum;" which the Jews say the idolaters beat, to prevent their childrens' cries from being heard, when they were burning in the arms of Moloch. St. Jerome interprets it "latitude," as the vale was very wide, and beautifully adorned with gardens and springs. It formed a part of the vale of Josaphat and of Cedron; (Calmet) or the same valley went by these different names, as well as (Haydock) by that of Geh-hinnon, "the vale of Ennom," whence Gehenna is formed, and applied to hell, Matthew v. 22., and Mark ix. 44., &c. (Calmet) --- Yet some think that the term denotes a place of torment on earth, which those deserve who say, thou fool. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-23.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Topheth = the Topheth. First occurrence. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), put for anything abhorrent.

valley, &c. The junction of the three valleys uniting south of Jerusalem. The continual fires burning there gave the Greek name Gehenna (from the Hebrew Ge Hinnom = valley of Hinnom).

Molech. Compare Jeremiah 7:31, Jeremiah 7:32; Jeremiah 19:2-6. Prohibited Deuteronomy 18:10. Compare 1 Kings 11:7.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-23.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.

Topbeth - so called from Toph, a drum; the prevailing opinion among Jewish writers being that the cries of the terrified children made to pass through the fire in that place of idolatrous horror were drowned by the sound of that instrument. At the northeast angle of the city, on the slope nearest the city, where there are many Turkish graves, extending beyond the gate of Stephen, this part of the valley was called Hinnom. In it many cruel and idolatrous ceremonies were performed, and children passed through the fire to Moloch by their unnatural parents. The filth of the city was here collected and consumed; and from the fires that were continually kept burning for this purpose, its name was chosen as typical of hell, where "the fire is not quenched." It was defiled by Josiah, that no more human sacrifices might be presented in it to the bloody demon (see Barclay, p. 90).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-kings-23.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(10) Topheth.—Heb. the Topheth; i.e., the burning place, or hearth, if the word be rightly derived from the Persian tôften, “to burn.” The Hebrew word, however, has been so modified as to suggest a derivation from tôph, “to spit;” so that the epithet would mean “the abomination.” (Comp. 2 Kings 23:13.) (Comp. also Job 17:6; Isaiah 30:33; and the Coptic tâf, “spittle.”)

The valley of the children of Hinnom.—Elsewhere called “the valley of the son of Hinnom,” and “the valley of Hinnom (Joshua 15:8; Jeremiah 7:31-32). Simonis plausibly explained the word Hinnom as meaning shrieking or moaning (from the Arabic hanna, arguta voce gemuit, flevit). “The valley of the sons of shrieking” would be a good name for the accursed spot. (Thenius suggests Wimmer-Kinds-Thal.)

That no man . . .—See Note on 2 Kings 16:3.

To Moloch.—Heb., to the Molech (Molech is another form of melech, “king”). In 1 Kings 11:7, the god of the Ammonites is called Molech, but elsewhere, as in 2 Kings 23:13, Milcom, another variation of the same word. The feminine molecheth, “queen,” occurs as a proper name in 1 Chronicles 7:18.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-23.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.
Topheth
Isaiah 30:33; Jeremiah 7:31,32; 19:6,11-13
Tophet
the valley.
Joshua 15:8; 2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6; Jeremiah 19:2; 32:35; Matthew 5:22; *Gr:
might make
16:3; 17:17; 21:6; Leviticus 18:21; Deuteronomy 18:10; Jeremiah 32:35; Ezekiel 16:21; 20:26,31; Ezekiel 23:37-39
Reciprocal: Leviticus 20:2 - giveth;  Joshua 18:16 - the valley of the son;  2 Kings 11:18 - went;  Nehemiah 11:30 - the valley;  Isaiah 57:5 - slaying;  Jeremiah 19:13 - defiled;  Micah 6:7 - shall

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-23.html.