Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 23:11

He did away with the horses which the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of the Lord , by the chamber of Nathan-melech the official, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Chamberlain;   Church;   Horse;   Iconoclasm;   Idolatry;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Josiah;   Nathan-Melech;   Prophecy;   Sun;   Thompson Chain Reference - Animals;   Chamberlains;   Horses;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Chariots;   Horse, the;   Sun, the;   Temple, the First;   Zeal;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Baal;   Chamberlain;   Horses;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jeremiah;   Josiah;   Zephaniah;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Gods and Goddesses, Pagan;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Jeremiah;   Parbar;   Suburbs;   Sun;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ahaz;   Baal (1);   Chariot;   Fire;   Horse;   Jehoiachin;   Kedron;   Kings, the Books of;   Nathan-Melech;   Parbar;   Sun;   Temple;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Bethel;   Chamber;   Chamberlain;   Chariots of the Sun;   Deuteronomy, the Book of;   Ezekiel;   High Place;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Nathan-Melech;   Parbar;   Temple of Jerusalem;   Wheel;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Canon of the Old Testament;   Chamberlain;   Chariot;   Clean and Unclean;   Deuteronomy;   Eunuch;   Hexateuch;   Hilkiah;   Horse;   Idolatry;   Nathan-Melech;   Parbar;   Suburb;   Sun;   Temple;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Chamberlain;   Josiah ;   Nathanmelech ;   Parbar ;   Sun;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Nathan-melech;   Raca;   Sabbath;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chamberlain;   Chariots;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Horse;   Na'than-Me'lech;   Sun;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Baal;   Chariots of War;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ahaz;   Chamberlain;   Chariot;   Chariots of the Sun;   Eunuch;   Horses of the Sun;   Images;   Nathan-Melech;   Parbar;   Sun (2);   Sun-Worship;   Temple;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Aquila (Β;   Horse;   King;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun - Jarchi says that those who adored the sun had horses which they mounted every morning to go out to meet the sun at his rising. Throughout the East the horse, because of his swiftness and utility, was dedicated to the sun; and the Greeks and Romans feigned that the chariot of the sun was drawn by four horses - Pyroeis, Eous, Aethon, and Phlegon. See the note on 2 Kings 2:11.

Whether these were living or sculptured horses, we cannot tell; the latter is the more reasonable supposition.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-23.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Kings 23:11

And Josiah took away the horses that the Kings of Judah had given to the sun.

The imagination in sin

Josiah sought to purify Israel from the idolatry that had been established by his predecessors, and in the course of this reformation occurs the incident recorded in the text. He “took away the horses that the Kings of Judah had given to the sun . . . and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.” You ask, What has this to do with the modern world and with modern men? This I wish to show. For it seems to me that there is in the text a twofold lesson which all generations ought to lay to heart. We are taught here--

I. The pretentiousness of sin. “The horses of the sun . . . the chariots of the sun.” Very large and magnificent indeed! There is wonderful exaggeration about all idolatry. The idol without eyes was known as the God of light; without breath, it was worshipped as the God of life; it could not stand unless it were nailed down or shored up, but it was proclaimed the Thunderer, or distinguished by some other august title. “We know that an idol is nothing in the world,” but these nothings have received the highest names and titles, and through the superstition of their worshippers have been invested with the grandest attributes. And as it was with the gods of the Pantheon, so it is with the rabble of the vices; they are full of pretentiousness, they steal supreme names, they make impossible promises. The world of iniquity is a world of dazzling colours, false magnitudes, lurid lights.

1. How brilliant is the world of diseased imagination when compared with the world of sober reality in which God has placed us to work out our life! To-day we are all readers. What are we reading? History, science, philosophy, theology? Are we bent on finding out the great meanings of sober life and real life? You know better. The main part of our leisure hours is taken up with tales of mystery and imagination. It is not well to live long with unthinkable people and impossible situations in an ideal and fantastic universe; it puts our eye out for the actual world in which our serious business lies. Multitudes who would not for a moment in actual life touch the vices gilded by literary art will spend their leisure hours in contemplating these lawless things projected into visionary realms. And what is the secret of this ambiguous conduct? The fact is; actual life seems narrow and prosaic, dull and dreary, and so we steal away in me solar phaeton. How dim and insipid is the world of sober virtue off the side of lawlessness, excused by Sophistry and glorified by imagination! In fiction me grey world becomes kaleidoscopic, and the evil world is etherealised into coloured vapours whose fantastic movements stir our curiosity and wonder. So, despising the modest vehicles which God appoints for the pilgrimage of human life, we seat ourselves in the flaming car of imagination, and, drawn by fiery steeds of passion, with Zola for a charioteer, make the dizzy, intoxicating, yet terribly dangerous circuit of the sun.

2. Again, the same truth comes out as we compare the victories of war with the victories of peace. War is sometimes inevitable, things being as they are. The scientist holds that in nature a lesser evil is permitted to prevent a greater. Just war is a lesser evil to prevent a greater. There is something better than life, and that is right, equality, liberty; and war is the desperate resort of men crushed by tyranny. Still, war is an evil, a terrible evil. We must never fail to remember that; we must ever pray and work for the golden year when men shall learn war no more. And yet what a glamour there is about the red spectre! The poet may well write of “the pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war.” But no crowd turns out in the morning to greet the colliers going to their work, or in the evening to cheer the factory hands returning from the mill. There is no glittering romance about industry, no poetry about the toil which creates the wealth of nations. Industry is yoked to a coster’s barrow, whilst the powder-cart is the dazzling chariot of the sun.

3. We find another illustration of our point if we compare the career of unlawful speculation with the life of honest gain. How large, glowing, bewitching, is the former compared with the level course of the latter! Look at the titanic speculator. In a few years he emerges out of obscurity into national notoriety. It is all outside the legitimate, but it is dramatic, full of sensation and surprise. Squalid huckstering is transfigured into romance. How different the course of the little shopkeeper, with his “small profits and quick returns!” No song or story this time; no scent of poetry about the ledger, unless it sometimes reminds the shopkeeper of “Paradise Lost.” The daring adventurer shoots towards the golden goal in an electric car, whilst the humble trader is a wayfaring man.

4. And, finally, the same truth is evident when we compare the course of sensual pleasure with the simple pleasantness of a blameless life. How violent are the delights of sensualism! How tame the entertainments of the fireside! They are ridiculous compared with the fiery delights of the dram-shop. So it is throughout. The illegitimate and destructive, the things seriously wanting in reason and godliness, appeal most to the imagination; they have a glory and garishness which bewitch and lure into false ways.

II. The preposterousness of sin. “And Josiah burned the chariots of the sun with fire.” Throughout the whole of the reformation that he effected Josiah manifested his deep contempt of the idolatry that had wrought such mischief in Israel. With cutting irony he abolished first one evil thing and then another. “He burned the chariots of the sun with fire.” To cremate the chariots of the sun was the grimmest humour. The sun is said to be fifteen times hotter than the hottest thing upon the earth, so that if an incombustible car is wanted anywhere it is required for the insufferable solar majesty; and to cremate the car set apart for the fiery god was to convict it of fraud and to doom it to infinite contempt. To make a bonfire of the chariots of the sun was as ridiculous as if Noah’s ark had suffered shipwreck in a fish-pond. All Israel smiled scornfully as the pretentious things blazed in the flame and darkened into the ashes. Here is the truth that I wish to enforce--namely, that, despite all paint and spangles, all its exaggerations and splendours, sin is a miserable sham utterly unworthy of rational men. Wickedness is a screaming farce, as it is also the supreme tragedy. Notwithstanding its theatrical rhetoric, it is a hollow lie doomed to detection and contempt. Have nothing to do with things that cannot bear the test of thought. Thought strips away the cunning disguises of sin; it is the searchlight that makes clear the fact. In the hour of reflection our reason gives the lie to passion; our instincts rebuke our fancies; our conscience scorns the sophistries of imagination. Have nothing to do with that which will not bear the test of experience. Recall the principles and teachings which have been tried and attested by many generations. The devil has an arithmetic of his own which shows how large and splendid are the wages of unrighteousness; but in actual life his specious arithmetic works into bankruptcy and beggary of every kind. Fancy figures out the couriers and chariots of the sun as the dazzling and delightful equipages of the wicked, but a ray of daylight reduces them to the monstrous forms of the policeman’s stretcher, the workhouse omnibus, the prison van, the scaffold, the hearse that bears to the grave ere men have lived out half their days. Have nothing to do with that which will not bear the test of time. Things that are seductive in certain hours and moods of temptation look mean and deadly enough if you wait awhile. Time tries all things and detects the plausibleness which might deceive the elect. There is an illuminating power in time, and it shows up sin as vain, absurd, and contemptible. We wonder that we could ever thus have prayed the fool. Christ alone can strengthen us to live such a life. He knows what “the chariots of the sun” mean--He was tempted by the vision of the kingdoms and the glory of them. He saw and felt the power of the realm of illusion. The arch-sorcerer worked all his spells on the Son of Man--He refused “the chariot of the sun,” and followed the call of duty, the path of the Passion. In the strength of the Master take up your cross and follow Him, and you shall find the realities of power, greatness, and everlasting joy. (W. L. Watkinson.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Kings 23:11". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-kings-23.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun,.... Consecrated to it; these were not images of horses, as some have thought, but real living ones; and the kings that gave them for the service of the sun, and for sacrifice to it, very probably were Manasseh and Amon: that horses were sacred to the sun with many Heathen nations, as the Massagetae, a people in Scythia, and the Persians, and Babylonians, and Ethiopians, is affirmed by various writersF3Justin e Trogo, l. 1. c. 10. Curt. Hist. l. 3. c. 3. Ovid. Fast. l. 1. Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 6. c. 26. Heliodor. Ethiop. l. 10. c. 6. 28. : and from them the Jews received this notion. According to the Jewish commentators, these were horses provided for the worshippers of the sun to ride upon, and meet the sun in the morning at its rising, and pay their homage to it; but certain it is that the Heathen nations before mentioned slew the horses, and sacrificed them as burnt offerings to the sun, as is asserted by HerodotusF4Clio, sive, l. 1. c. 216. , XenophonF5Cyropaed. l. 8. c. 23, 24. , StraboF6Geograph. l. 11. p. 353. , PausaniasF7Laconica, sive, l. 3. p. 201. , PhilostratusF8Vit. Apollon. l. 1. c. 20. , and other writersF9Vid. Lactant. de fals. Relig. l. 1. c. 21. ; and so the Indians of IndiaF11Laon. Chalcondyl. de Rebus Turc. l. 3. p. 108. sacrificed them to Apollo, the same with the sun; these being the swiftest of creatures, they offered them to the swiftest of their gods, as Herodotus and Heliodorus observe, in the places before referred to. The stables in which these horses were kept were

at the entering of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs; so that they reached from the temple to the suburbs of Jerusalem, to that part of them where this officer had a chamber, or lodgings, being in some place of power and authority there; though, according to L'EmpereurF12Not. in Misn. Middot, c. 2. sect. 3. No. 3. So Boehart. Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. 10. col. 177. , it is the same with Parbar, 1 Chronicles 26:18 and should not be rendered "suburbs", it being between the compass or wall of the temple, and the court:

and burnt the chariots of the sun with fire; these were either chariots, in which the king and his nobles rode, when they went to meet and worship the rising sun; or rather such as were sacred to the sun, as well as the horses, or Josiah would not have burnt them; they seem to be such in which the images of the sun were carried. HerodotusF13Polymnia, sive, l. 7. c. 55. makes mention as of sacred horses, so of a sacred chariot. XenophonF14Ut supra, (Cyropaed. l. 8.) c. 23. speaks of the chariot of the sun as being of a white colour, and drawn in procession at the worship of the sun; as does also PausaniasF15Eliac. 1. sive, l. 5. p, 307. of a chariot, in which were the sun, Jupiter, and Juno, and near them other deities; which notion of sacred chariots the Heathens might take from the chariot of the cherubim Jehovah sat and rode in, 1 Chronicles 28:18.

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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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Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:11". "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 took away the l horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which [was] in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

(l) The idolatrous kings had dedicated horses and chariots to the sun, either to carry about the image of it as the heathen did, or else to sacrifice them as a most agreeable sacrifice.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:11". "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

took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun — Among the people who anciently worshipped the sun, horses were usually dedicated to that divinity, from the supposed idea that the sun himself was drawn in a chariot by horses. In some cases these horses were sacrificed; but more commonly they were employed either in the sacred processions to carry the images of the sun, or for the worshippers to ride in every morning to welcome his rise. It seems that the idolatrous kings, Ahaz, Manasseh, and Amon, or their great officers, proceeded on these horses early on each day from the east gate of the temple to salute and worship the sun at his appearing above the horizon.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:11". "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 took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

Horses — Such the eastern nations used to consecrate to the sun, to signify the swiftness of his motion.

The sun — Either, to be sacrificed to the sun: or, to draw those chariots in which the kings, or some other in their stead, went forth every morning to worship the rising sun: for both these were the customs of the Armenians and Persians, as Xenophon testifies.

Entering in — By the gate of the outward court of the temple.

Chamberlain — Or, officer, to whom the care of these horses were committed.

Suburbs — Of the temple: in certain outward buildings belonging to the temple.

Chariots — Which were made for the worship of the sun.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:11". "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 23:11 And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which [was] in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

Ver. 11. And he took away the horses.] Not statues of horses and chariots dedicated to the sun, as some interpret it; sed equos veros et vivos, living and light horses dedicated to the sun, after the Persian mode, ωσπερ το ταχιστον τω ταχοτατω θεω, as the swiftest creature to the swiftest god. (a) These Josiah caused to be killed. Macrobius telleth us that the Syrians called God Adad (Achad, he should have said); that is, One, quia unus est sol - sic dictus quasi Solus - aeque ac Deus in mundo: because, as there is but one sun in the world, so but one God. But how many gods they worshipped, see learned Mr Selden, De diis Syris.

Nathanmelech the chamberlain.] Qui fuit imberbis, qualis est sol, saith Villapandus; (b) a beardless officer for a beardless god. The Persians called the sun Mithras and Apollo. This Nathanmelech, though a courtier, thought it an honour to be groom of the sun’s stable.

And burnt the chariots of the sun with fire.] Chrysostom saith that Peter, for his zeal, was like a man made all of fire walking among stubble. Josiah was surely so. Angelomus saith, that herein he represented Christ, who, by the fire of the last day, shall destroy all impiety, and not suffer any defiled one to enter into his kingdom.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:11". 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 23:11. He took away the horses—given to the sun—and burned the chariots, &c.— Whether these horses and chariots were real, or only carved or molten, is not easy to determine. The ancient Persians used to consecrate white horses and chariots to the sun, with which they adorned their processions, wherein they were imitated afterwards by other nations. See Hyde's Relig. Ver. Persar. We can see no reason; therefore, why so many learned commentators should scruple to suppose that the Jews had adopted this among other far worse heathenish idolatries; especially considering how soon the prophet Amos, and from him St. Stephen, charged them with having carried about the tabernacle of Moloch or the sun, and the star of their god Remphan. What convinced us further that these were real chariots, drawn by horses, and bearing some image of the sun, is, that the text expressly says, that Josiah did not burn chariots and horses, as he would have done if they had been only carved and painted; but that he took away the horses, and burned the chariots. Bochart supposes that these horses and chariots were designed to carry the king and his great officers out of the east gate of the city, every morning, to salute and adore the sun at its coming above the horizon, according to the custom of the Persian idolaters. See Univ. Hist. and Boch. Hieroz. pars 1: lib. 11.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:11". 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

The horses; either,

1. The carved or graven horses, to which were adjoined a graven chariot, in which there might be the picture of the sun, which the heathens used to represent in this manner. Or rather,

2. Living horses; for,

1. Such the eastern nations used to consecrate to the sun, to signify the swiftness of his motion.

2. These horses are mentioned apart from the chariots, and are said to be

given to the sun, which is not said of the chariots; and to be taken away, when the chariots were burnt, &c.; and a certain place is here allotted to the horses, not to the chariots. To the sun; either to be sacrificed to the sun; or to draw those chariots in which the kings, or some other in their stead, and by their appointment, went forth every morning to worship the rising sun; for both these were the customs of the Armenians and Persians, as Xenophon testifies.

At the entering in of the house of the Lord, i.e. by the gate of the outward court of the temple; for the courts are oft contained under the name of the house or temple.

The chamberlain, or officer, to whom the care of these horses was committed.

In the suburbs; either,

1. Of the city of David; or rather, of the temple; in certain outward buildings belonging to the temple, and the uses thereof. See Ezekiel 45:2. Heb. in Parvarim; a place near the temple, called also Parbar, 1 Chronicles 26:18, though it be not now known either where it was, or why it was so called. Tie chariots of the sun; which were made for the honour and worship of the sun, as was before expressed.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:11". 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

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.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:11". "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 23:11. And he took away — Hebrew, וישׁבת, va-jashbeth, he put down, or made to cease; the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun — That is, had consecrated to the sun. It appears, by the testimony of many authors, that among several nations horses were dedicated to the sun, as hawks and some other creatures were, because of the swiftness of their motions. Thus the ancient Persians consecrated white horses and chariots to the sun, as Xenophon testifies, and with them were wont to adorn their processions. See Hyde’s Relig. Ver. Persar. “We can see no reason, therefore,” says Dr. Dodd, referring to the Universal Hist. and Boch. Hieroz., “why so many learned commentators should scruple to suppose that the Jews had adopted this, among other far worse heathenish idolatries; especially considering how soon the Prophet Amos, and from him St. Stephen, charged them with having carried about the tabernacle of Molech, or the sun, and the star of their god Remphan. What convinces us further that these were real chariots, drawn by horses, and bearing some image of the sun, is, that the text expressly says, that Josiah did not burn the chariots and horses, as he would have done if they had been only carved and painted, but that he took away the horses, and burned the chariots. Bochart supposes that these horses and chariots were designed to carry the king and his great officers out at the east gate of the city every morning, to salute and adore the sun, at his coming above the horizon, according to the custom of the Persian idolaters.” At the entering in of the house of the Lord — By the gate of the outward court of the temple. By the chamber of the chamberlain — Or officer, to whom the care of these horses was committed. Which was in the suburbs — Of the temple; in certain outward buildings belonging to the temple. Was it to defy or affront the Lord, that they thus brought the objects and instruments of their various idolatries as near as possible to his house, and some of them even into the courts of it?

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:11". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-23.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Nathan-melech. Septuagint, "to the treasury (room.; Pagnin) of Nathan, the king's eunuch," or chamberlain. (Haydock) --- Pharurim, "the suburbs." (Vatable) (Menochius) (Chaldean) --- It perhaps denotes the guard-house. See 1 Paralipomenon xxvi. 18. --- Chariots. The aforesaid horses were designed to draw them in honour of the sun. Some nations used to ride in this manner with all expedition, at its rising; and the Rabbins pretend that the king, or some other by his order, had been accustomed to ride from the eastern gate of the temple to the house of the governor, Nathan-melech. The horse was consecrated to the sun, on account of its agility. Placat equo Persis radiis Hyperiona cinctum,

Ne detur celeri victima tarda Deo. (Ovid, Fast. i.)

The Persians sacrificed the horse to the sun, that a slow victim may not be offered to the swift deity. The sun gives vigour to the whole material system, as the instrumental cause in the hand of God; and horses perceive the influence, more particularly in the warmer climates, and exult in their strength, Job xxxix. 21. (Haydock) --- Perhaps these horses had been destined for sacrifice by the infidel kings of Juda, as well as the chariots. (Calmet) --- The Rhodeans threw some into the sea every year. (Festus.) --- Others think that what Josias took away, was only engraved, or, that the horses had been set at liberty for superstitious observations, as was customary among the pagans. (Tacitus, Mor. Germ.) (Suetonius, in Julio)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-23.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

kings of Judah. Presumably Manasseh and Amon. See 2 Kings 21:3-5. of = from.

by = to.

chamberlain = eunuch, or officer.

suburbs, or outskirts.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:11". "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 took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

He took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun. Amount the people who anciently worshipped the sun, horses were usually dedicated to that divinity, from the supposed idea that the sun himself was drawn in a chariot by horses. In some cases these horses were sacrificed; but more commonly they were employed either in the sacred processions to carry the images of the sun, or for the worshippers to ride in every morning to welcome his rise. This form of superstition prevailed in Asia long before the Persian domination (Layard, 'Nineveh and its Remains,' 2:, p. 365; see also Drew, 'Scripture Lands,' p. 196, note; Barclay, p. 99). It seems that the idolatrous kings, Ahaz, Manasseh, and Amon, or their great officers, proceeded on these horses early on each day, from the east gate of the temple, to salute and worship the sun at his appearing above the horizon.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:11". "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

(11) He took away.—The same word as “put down” (2 Kings 23:5). Here, as there, the Syriac and Arabic render, “he killed,” which is possibly a correct gloss.

The horses . . . the sun.—These horses drew “the chariots of the sun” in solemn processions held in honour of that deity. (See Herod, i. 189; Xenoph. Anab. iv. 5. 34, seq.; Quint. Curt. iii 3. 11.) Horses were also sacrificed to the sun. The sun’s apparent course through the heavens, poetically conceived as the progress of a fiery chariot and steeds, explains these usages.

Had given—i.e., had dedicated.

At the entering in of the house of the Lord.—This appears right. Along with the next clause it states where the sacred horses were kept; viz., in the outer court of the Temple, near the entrance. (So the LXX. and Vulgate. This rendering involves a different pointing of the Hebrew text—měbô for mibbô. The latter, which is the ordinary reading, gives the sense, “so that they should not come into the house, &c.”)

By the chamber.—Rather, towards the cell; further defining the position of the stalls. As to the cells in the outer court, see the Note on 1 Chronicles 9:26; Ezekiel 40:45 seq.

Nathan-melech the chamberiain, or, eunuch, is otherwise unknown. He may have been charged with the care of the sacred horses and chariots. Meleck was a title of the sun-god in one of his aspects (2 Kings 23:10.)

Which was in the suburbs.—Rather, which was in the cloisters or portico. Parwârîm is a Persian word explained in the Note on 1 Chronicles 26:18.

Burned the chariots . . .—Literally, and the chariots of the sun he burnt. The treatment of the chariots is thus contrasted with that of the horses. If the whole had been, as some expositors have thought, a work of art in bronze or other material, placed over the gateway, no such difference would have been made.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-23.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.
the sun
5; 2 Chronicles 14:5; 34:4; Ezekiel 8:16
house of the Lord
Throughout the East, the horse because of his swiftness and utility, was dedicated to the sun; and the Greeks and Romans feigned that the chariot of the sun was drawn by four horses, Pyrous, Eous, Aithon, and Phlegon: and hence also chariots were dedicated to that luminary. Jarchi says, that those who adored the sun had horses, which they mounted every morning, to go out to meet him at his rising. The kings of Judah had imitated these idolatrous customs, and kept the horses of the sun even at the entrance of the temple of the Lord!
chamberlain
or, eunuch, or officer.
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 4:19 - when thou;  1 Chronicles 26:18 - Parbar;  2 Chronicles 33:3 - the host;  Job 31:26 - beheld;  Jeremiah 19:4 - estranged;  Ezekiel 7:20 - but;  Ezekiel 16:24 - thou hast;  Ezekiel 23:38 - they have;  Ezekiel 43:8 - setting

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-23.html.