Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 23:12

The altars which were on the roof, the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord , the king broke down; and he smashed them there and threw their dust into the brook Kidron.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Altar;   Cedron;   House;   Iconoclasm;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Josiah;   Kidron;   Prophecy;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Altars;   Houses;   Idolatry;   Temple, the First;   Zeal;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Astrologers;   Baal;   House;   Kidron or Cedron;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jeremiah;   Jerusalem;   Josiah;   Zephaniah;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Gods and Goddesses, Pagan;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Altar;   Dwellings;   Jeremiah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ahaz;   Baal (1);   Fire;   House;   Jehoiachin;   Kedron;   Sun;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Bethel;   Deuteronomy, the Book of;   Ezekiel;   High Place;   Kidron Valley;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Temple of Jerusalem;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Altar;   Canon of the Old Testament;   Hexateuch;   Hilkiah;   Host of Heaven;   Idolatry;   Kidron (1);   Temple;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Josiah ;   Kidron, Kedron, Brook;   Manasseh ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Gethsemane;   Raca;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Dwelling;   Kidron;   Smith Bible Dictionary - A'haz;   Court;   House;   Idolatry,;   Temple;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Baal;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ahaz;   Host of Heaven;   House;   Idolatry;   Kidron, the Brook;   Molech;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Altar;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Aquila (Β;   Astarte Worship among the Hebrews;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

On the top of the upper chamber - Altars built on the flat roof of the house. Such altars were erected to the sun, moon, stars, etc.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-23.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made,.... Which were on the roof of the royal palace; the roofs of houses in Judah being flat, Deuteronomy 21:8 altars might be built upon them; so, in Arabia, altars were built on the tops of houses to offer incense thereon daily to the sunF16Strabo, Geograph l. 16. p. 539. ; as here by Manasseh and Amon very probably, which might be chosen because nearer the heavens; for which reason the Heathens made use of high places to worship in, see Jeremiah 19:13.

and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord; 2 Kings 21:5.

did the king beat down; ordered to be demolished:

and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron; that there might be no remains of them to be put to any superstitious use.

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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 23:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-23.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz — Altars were reared on the flat roofs of houses, where the worshippers of “the host of heaven” burnt incense (Zephaniah 1:5; Jeremiah 19:13). Ahaz had reared altars for this purpose on the {oleah}, or upper chamber of his palace, and Manasseh on some portion of the roof of the temple. Josiah demolished both of these structures.

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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 23:12". "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 the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, did the king beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.

The top — Upon the roof of the king's house. They were so mad upon their idols, that they were not content with all their publick high places and altars, but made others upon their house-tops, for the worship of the heavenly bodies.

Cast — To shew his detestation of them: and to abolish the very remembrance of them.

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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 23:12". "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 23:12 And the altars that [were] on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, did the king beat down, and brake [them] down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.

Ver. 12. And the altars that were on the top.] See Jeremiah 19:13, Zephaniah 1:5. Ahaz was ειδωλομανης.

And the altars which Manasseh had made.] These, after his repentance, he cast out of the city, [2 Chronicles 33:15] but not so thoroughly abolished; hence they became snares to his successors.

And brake them down from thence.] Or, Ran from thence; quam citissime potuit discedens illinc, (a) he got out of those loathsome places as soon as he could.

Into the brook Kidron,] i.e., The town ditch.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:12". 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 23:12. The altars that were on the top of the upper chamber Or, The altars on the house-top. The ancient idolaters and the magi were wont to sacrifice not only upon high places and mountains, but also upon the housetops. See Jeremiah 32:29.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:12". 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

On the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, i.e. upon the roof of the king’s house. They were so mad upon their idols, that they were not content with all their public high places and altars, but made others upon their house-tops, for the worship of the heavenly bodies. See Jeremiah 19:13 Zephaniah 1:5.

Which Manasseh had made.

Quest. How could this be, when Manasseh had taken them away before, 2 Chronicles 33:15?

Answ. Either these altars were not so fully destroyed as they should have been, the foundations of them being left through the neglect of the officers appointed to do that work, upon which Amon built his new altars; or if they were wholly rooted out, Amon’s new altars are called by his father’s name, because they were built by his example, and in the very same place where his father’s altars were; as the wells which Isaac digged in the same place where Abraham had digged them before, were therefore called by their ancient names, Genesis 26:18. See more on the next verse.

In the two courts; the priests’ and the people’s. See 2 Kings 21:5.

Cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron; partly to show his detestation of them, and partly to abolish the very remembrance of them as far as he could.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:12". 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

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.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:12". "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 23:12. The altars on the top of the upper chamber, &c. — “Read,” says Mr. Locke, “the altars on the house-top.” According to Jeremiah, chap. Jeremiah 32:29, they were so mad upon their idols, that they were not content with their numerous public high places and altars, but made others upon their house-tops for the worship of Baal and others of their false gods. And the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts, &c. — We learn from 2 Chronicles 33:13-15, that when Manasseh repented he took away all the altars he had built in the mount of the house of the Lord, and in Jerusalem; and it is probable those in the court of the priests, and in that of the people, were then removed; but, it seems, Amon set them up again in the very place where Manasseh had erected them, and therefore they are here called his altars. And cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron — To show his detestation of them, and to abolish the very remembrance of them.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:12". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-23.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Upper chamber, to be nearer the host of heaven, which they adored. (Haydock) --- We are assured that the Arabs also adored the sun, and offered incense to it on the tops of their houses. The prophets often upbraid the people with this practice, Jeremias xix. 13., and Sophonias i. 5. (Calmet) --- It is wonderful that Ezechias had not before removed these remnants of his father's infidelity; and still more that Manasses, after his repentance, had not destroyed what he had unlawfully erected in the courts of the priests and of the people. But Amon might have restored them. --- Ran. This shews the zeal of the king. Hebrew and Septuagint, "and thence he broke or tore them."

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:12". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-23.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

top = roof, "[the roof] of", &c. brake them down. The margin of Authorized Version seems preferable here: "hurried away [with them] from thence".

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:12". "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 the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, did the king beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.

The altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz. Altars were reared on the flat roofs of house, where the worshippers of "the host of heaven" burnt incense (Zephaniah 1:5; Jeremiah 19:13). Ahaz had reared altars for this purpose on the oleah or upper chamber of his palace, and Manasseh on some portion of the roof of the temple. Josiah demolished both of these structures.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:12". "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

(12) And the altars that were on the top (roof) of the upper chamber of Ahaz.—The roof of an upper chamber in one of the Temple courts. perhaps built over one of the gateways (comp. Jeremiah 35:4), appears to be meant. The altars were for star-worship, which was especially practised on housetops. (Comp. Jeremiah 19:13; Jeremiah 32:29; Zephaniah 1:5.)

Brake them down from thence.—The Targum has removed from thence; the LXX. pulled them down from thence ( κατέσπασεν). The Hebrew probably means ran from thence; marking the haste with which the work was done. The clause thus adds a vivid touch to the narrative. It is hardly necessary to alter the points with Kimchi and Thenius, so as to read, he caused to run from thence; i.e., hurried them away.

Cast the dust of them.—Over the wall of the Temple enclosure, into the ravine beneath.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-23.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, did the king beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.
on the top
Deuteronomy 22:8; Jeremiah 19:13; Zephaniah 1:5
which Manasseh
21:5,21,22; 2 Chronicles 33:5,15
brake them down from thence
or, ran from thence. cast.
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 15:13 - destroyed;  2 Chronicles 15:16 - cut down;  2 Chronicles 30:14 - altars;  2 Chronicles 34:4 - made dust;  Jeremiah 7:30 - they;  Jeremiah 19:4 - estranged;  Jeremiah 31:40 - the brook;  Ezekiel 5:11 - thou hast;  Ezekiel 7:20 - but;  Ezekiel 16:24 - thou hast;  Ezekiel 23:38 - they have;  Ezekiel 43:8 - setting;  Amos 5:26 - the tabernacle of your Moloch;  John 18:1 - the brook

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-23.html.