Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 23:16

Now when Josiah turned, he saw the graves that were there on the mountain, and he sent and took the bones from the graves and burned them on the altar and defiled it according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these things.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Beth-El;   Burial;   Calf;   Iconoclasm;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Josiah;   Prophecy;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Burial;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Sepulchre;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Bethel;   Jeremiah;   Josiah;   Zephaniah;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Gods and Goddesses, Pagan;   Grave;   Kings, First and Second, Theology of;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Relics;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Bethel;   Fire;   Jeremiah;   Tombs;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Burial;   Jehoiachin;   Jeroboam;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Bethel;   Deuteronomy, the Book of;   Ezekiel;   Fire;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Canon of the Old Testament;   Hexateuch;   Hilkiah;   Idolatry;   Jeremiah;   Mount, Mountain;   Temple;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Josiah ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Raca;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Kidron;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Grove;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Defile;   Judah, Territory of;   Old Prophet, the;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Bethel;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Aquila (Β;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And as Josiah turned himself - This verse is much more complete in the Septuagint, and in the Hexaplar Syriac version at Paris. I shall give the whole, making a distinction where, in those versions, any thing is added: "And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burnt them upon the altar, and polluted it: according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed [when Jeroboam stood by the altar at the feast. And turning about, he cast his eyes on the sepulcher of the man of God] who proclaimed these words." See 1 Kings 13:2; (note), where these things were predicted, and see the notes there.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-23.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And as Josiah turned himself,.... From the high place, and the altar at Bethel; for he not only gave orders for the destroying of idolatrous places and idols, but he saw them executed himself:

he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount; the graves of idolatrous priests and worshippers, who chose to be buried near those places of idolatry; nor was it unusual for persons to be buried on hills and mountains, see Joshua 24:30 and this was a custom in other nations formerlyF20Vid. Servium in Virgil. Aeneid. 11. ver 849. "fuit ingens monte sub alto". , particularly among the IndiansF21Manasseh ben Israel Spes Israelis. sect 6. p. 29. now, who in many things agree with the Jews:

and sent and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burnt them upon the altar; where they had sacrificed to idols:

and polluted it; with their bones, which, according to the law, were defiling, and which was done in contempt of their idolatrous worship there:

according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words; or things; foretold that such a king by name would arise, and burn men's bones upon the altar, and which had been foretold more than three hundred and fifty years before this time.

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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 23:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-23.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that [were] there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned [them] upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the o man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.

(o) According to the prophecy of Iddo, (1 Kings 13:2).
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:16". "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

according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, etc. — In carrying on these proceedings, Josiah was prompted by his own intense hatred of idolatry. But it is remarkable that this act was predicted three hundred twenty-six years before his birth, and his name also was expressly mentioned, as well as the very place where it should be done (1 Kings 13:2). This is one of the most remarkable prophecies in the Bible.

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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 23:16". "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 as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.

Himself — Josiah's care and zeal was so great, that he would not trust his officers with these things, but would see them done with his own eyes.

These words — Three hundred years before it was done.

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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 23:16". "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 23:16 And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that [were] there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned [them] upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.

Ver. 16. He sent and took the bones.] That had been foreseen and foretold three hundred years at least before. [1 Kings 13:2] Intervention ofttimes breaks no square in the divine decrees. Our blind eyes see nothing but that which toucheth their lids: the quick sight of God’s prescience sees that as present which is a world afar off.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-23.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

As Josiah turned himself: Josiah’s care and zeal was so great, that he would not trust his officers with these things, but would see them done with his own eyes. Which the man of God proclaimed three hundred years before it was done.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:16". 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

16.The sepulchres’ in the mount — Apparently in the same mount on which Beth-el was situated. During an evening which J.L. Porter spent at this place, he says, “I explored the rock sepulchres, too, which dot the sides of the mount, thinking that one or other of them might be that of the man of God from Judah, whose bones Josiah respected.”

Polluted it — The burning of human bones on an altar was regarded as utterly defiling the sacred place, and rendering it unfit for holy uses.

According to the word — See 1 Kings 13:2.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:16". "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 23:16. As Josiah turned himself — His care and zeal were so great that he would not trust his officers with these things, but would see them done with his own eyes. He spied the sepulchres that were in the mount — It is not said whose sepulchres they were, but it is probable they were those of the idolatrous priests, (for, 2 Chronicles 34:5, he is said to have burned their bones,) and of the false prophets and great men who had been instruments to promote Jeroboam’s idolatry, and who were so attached to their altar at Beth-el, that they were desirous to have their bones laid near it. And burned them, &c., according to the word which the man of God proclaimed — Who foretold, three hundred and sixty-two years before, that these very things should be done by a king called Josiah, 1 Kings 13:2. God always foresees, and has sometimes foretold as certain, that which yet to us seems most contingent. Of this we have here a remarkable instance. No word of God shall fall to the ground!

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:16". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-23.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Spoke. Septuagint subjoin some words, which seem to be lost in the original: ["when Jeroboam was standing, on the festival day, upon the altar. And turning, he lifted up his eyes towards the tomb of the man of God,} who spoke these words." (Haydock) --- "The copies, from which this version was made, read differently from the modern copies," and often better. (Kennicott, diss. ii. p. 335.)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-23.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

sepulchres. Hebrew, plural of keber. See note on 2 Kings 21:26.

the word. See 1 Kings 13:2.

the man of God. See note on Deuteronomy 33:1. App-49.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

proclaimed. Supply Figure of speech Ellipsis thus: "proclaimed [when Jeroboam stood by the altar at the feast], who proclaimed these words" 369 years before. See 1 Kings 13:1, 1 Kings 13:2.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:16". "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 as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.

And as Josiah turned himself, he spied, the sepulchres that were there in the mount. 'The "mount," doubtless, is the same as the mountain, on the east of Beth-el, described in the history of Abraham. The "sepulchres" must be the numerous rock-hewn tombs still visible in the whole descent from that "mountain" to the Wady Suweinit. In one of these, though we know not which, lay side by side the bones of the two prophets-the aged, prophet of Beth-el and his brother and victim, "the man of God from Judah" - and they were left to repose. From that time the desolation foretold by Amos and Hosea (Hosea 4:15; Hosea 5:8; Hosea 10:5; Hosea 10:8; Amos 5:5) has never been disturbed; and Beth-el, "the house of God," has become literally Beth-aven, "the house of nought"' (Stanley, 'Sinai and Palestine,' p. 220).

According to the word of the Lord ... In carrying on these proceedings, Josiah was prompted by his own intense hatred of idolatry. But it is remarkable that this act was predicted 326 years before his birth, and his name also was expressly mentioned, as well as the very place where it should be done (1 Kings 13:2).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:16". "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

(16) Turned himself.—So that he caught sight of the tombs on the hill-side opposite—not on the hill where the high place was.

The man of God proclaimed.—Some words appear to have fallen out of the Hebrew text here, for the LXX. adds, “when Jeroboam stood in the feast at the altar. And he returned and lifted up his eyes upon the grave of the man of God.” (A transcriber’s eye wandered from one “man of God” to the other.) Josiah returned, when on the point of going away.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-23.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.
burned
1 Kings 13:1,2,32; Matthew 24:35; John 10:35
who proclaimed
The Septuagint and Hexaplar Syriac at Paris insert, "when Jeroboam stood by the altar at the feast. And turning about, he cast his eyes on the sepulchre of the man of God"--
Reciprocal: Leviticus 26:30 - I will destroy;  2 Kings 23:14 - the bones of men;  2 Chronicles 34:5 - he;  Jeremiah 8:1 - GeneralJeremiah 35:4 - a man;  Ezekiel 6:4 - and I;  Amos 6:10 - that burneth

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-23.html.