Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 23:17

Then he said, "What is this monument that I see?" And the men of the city told him, "It is the grave of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things which you have done against the altar of Bethel."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Beth-El;   Burial;   Calf;   Iconoclasm;   Inscriptions;   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 - Burial;   Gods and Goddesses, Pagan;   Grave;   Kings, First and Second, Theology of;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Relics;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Bethel;   Jeremiah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Burial;   Jehoiachin;   Jeroboam;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Bethel;   Deuteronomy, the Book of;   Ezekiel;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Canon of the Old Testament;   Hexateuch;   Hilkiah;   Idolatry;   Jeremiah;   Temple;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Samaria, Samaritans;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Bethel ;   Josiah ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Raca;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Burial;   Josiah;   Judah, Territory of;   Old Prophet, the;   Title;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Bethel;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Ancestor Worship;   Aquila (Β;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

What title is that - There was either a stone, an image, or an inscription here: the old prophet no doubt took care to have the place made sufficiently remarkable.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-23.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then he said, what title is that that I see?.... A high and large monument over a grave, with an inscription on it, more remarkable than any of the rest, which made Josiah take notice of it; and the Jews have a tradition, as Kimchi observes, that on one side of the grave grew nettles and thistles, and on the other side odoriferous herbs; which is not to be depended on; but what he further observes may be right, that the old prophet, as he gave orders to his sons to lay his body in the same grave with the man of God, believing his words would be fulfilled, so he likewise gave orders to have a distinguished monument or pillar erected over the grave; and which people in later times took care to support, in memory of the man of God, that thereby it might be known; by which means not only the bones of the man of God were preserved from being burnt, but those of the old prophet also, buried with him:

and the men of the city told him, it is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel; see 1 Kings 13:1.

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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 23:17". "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

What title is that that I see? — The king‘s attention probably, had been arrested by a tombstone more conspicuous than the rest around it, bearing on an inscription the name of him that lay beneath; and this prompted his curiosity to make the inquiry.

the men of the city — not the Assyrian colonists - for they could know nothing about the ancient transactions of the place - but some of the old people who had been allowed to remain, and perhaps the tomb itself might not then have been discoverable, through the effects of time and neglect, had not some “Old Mortality” garnished the sepulcher of the righteous.

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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 23:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-kings-23.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 23:17 Then he said, What title [is] that that I see? And the men of the city told him, [It is] the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel.

Ver. 17. What title is that that I see?] This was not the name Jehovah, or the sign of the cross, as some have doted; but either some pillar, orelse gravestone, with a superscription showing who lay there buried: such as was that on Scaliger’s tomb, Scaligeri quod reliquum est, &c.

And the men of the citytold him.] Historiae fidae monitrices: monumenta quasi mentem monentia. But the greatest wonder is, saith one, that these Bethelites, so well knowing what they here do relate to Josiah, were not moved to relinquish their idolatrous worship. But most probably they believed not till they saw it fulfilled.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:17". 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 23:17. What title is that that I see? The Jews have some ridiculous fables concerning this matter. We may suppose, agreeably to the text, that the king espied a stone or a pillar more eminent than the rest, with an inscription upon it, not legible. This caused him to ask the question of the men of the city; i.e. some of the old inhabitants who had escaped the captivity, and not any of those new comers whom the king of Assyria had sent thither; for these could have given no account of the ancient history of the Israelites; neither can we suppose that the sepulchre itself, after so many years standing, could have been distinguishable, had not some pious person or other, with an intent to perpetuate the memory of the thing, taken care to preserve and repair it. Matthew 23:29. See the note on 1 Kings 13:1.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:17". 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

What title is that that I see? It was the manner then, as now it is, to set up little pillars or stones by or upon the graves of the higher sort of men, upon which the name of the person, and some remarkable passages relating to him, were engraven.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:17". 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

17.Men of the city — Inhabitants of Beth-el, among whom the tradition of the man of God’ from Judah lingered with all the impressiveness of a most thrilling tale. Perhaps among these men were a few faithful Israelites, true spiritual children of the seven thousand who, in Elijah’s time, had not bowed to Baal, (1 Kings 19:18,) and who now greatly rejoiced in this signal fulfilment of prophecy.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:17". "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 23:17. He said, What title is that that I see? — It was the custom then, as it is now, to set up little pillars or stones by or upon the graves of the higher sort of men, upon which the names of the deceased persons, and some remarkable passages relating to them, were engraven. The king observing a stone or pillar of this kind more eminent than the rest, with an inscription upon it not legible, inquired whose title it was. And the men of the city told him — That is, some of the old inhabitants who had escaped the captivity; and not any of those new-comers, whom the king of Assyria had sent thither. For these could have given no account of the ancient history of the Israelites; neither can we suppose that the sepulchre itself, after so many years standing, could have been distinguishable, had not some pious person or other, with an intent to perpetuate the fact, taken care to preserve and repair it. See the note on 1 Kings 13:1.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:17". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-23.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Monument. Hebrew tsiun, "an eminence" of "dry" earth, (Ezechiel xxxix. 15.) heaped upon a corpse; whence the Latin tumulus. (Servius) (Calmet) --- It seems some inscription was still to be seen on the tomb. (Menochius) --- Thou, &c. Septuagint, "which he proclaimed against the altar." (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-23.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

title = monument.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:17". "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

Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel.

What title is that that I see? The king's attention, it is probable, had been arrested by a tombstone more conspicuous than the rest around it, bearing on an inscription the name of him that lay beneath; and this prompted his curiosity to make the inquiry. It seems probable from this instance that epitaphs were inscribed on the tombs of the ancient Jews, especially those which were placed in proper cemeteries. The title or inscription which caught the eye of the king was, there is reason to believe, on an excavated grave; but from the way in which the circumstance is recorded, it may be inferred that the practice of surmounting a tomb with an epitaph was common and familiar. It was followed by the Jews in the mediaeval times; because Buxtorf has preserved numerous specimens from an old Jewish cemetery of Basle. Here is a sample from his work-`I have set this stone over the head of the venerable Rabbi Eliakim, deceased. God grant that he may rest in the garden of Eden with all the saints. Amen, amen. Selah.'

The men of the city - not the Assyrian colonists, because they could know nothing about the ancient transactions of the place, but some of the old people who had been allowed to remain (Hengstenberg, 'On Daniel,' p. 146, and Trench, 'On the Parables,' p. 311, note, deny that any of the Israelites were left), and perhaps the tomb itself might not then have been discoverable, through, the effects of time and neglect, had not some 'Old Mortality' garnished the grave of the righteous. This is one of the most remarkable prophecies contained fin the Bible. It may appear strange and unaccountable that some pious end devoted king, like Jehoshaphat or Hezekiah, had not, at a much earlier period, bestowed upon his son the name of Josiah [ Yo'shiyaahuw (Hebrew #2977), whom Yahweh heals], and thus taken a step which, to a sovereign of such a character, must have appeared so exceedingly desirable-that of overthrowing the establishment of the calf-worship at Beth-el, and vindicating the honour of Yahweh. Had the prediction referred to the entire suppression of idolatry throughout the kingdom of Israel, and its reunion with that of Judah in the common celebration of national worship at Jerusalem, the spirit of patriotism would assuredly have kept alive the remembrance of the announcement both in the court and throughout the country, making a consummation so devoutly to be wished the favourite and distinguishing policy of the best kings. But the demolition of the single altar at Beth-el was too limited an enterprise, too trivial an act to stimulate the ambition of a Jewish king, or to continue a subject of interest in the councils of his cabinet; and hence, the prophecy seems to have fallen into comparative neglect or oblivion.

But not one jot nor title of the divine word ever fails to be fulfilled. God chooses his own time, as well as his own instrument, for the accomplishment of His providential purposes; and although no king of Judah before Manasseh had an opportunity of passing the confines of his kingdom; although Manasseh, with Amon, had not probably the slightest knowledge of the prophecy, and was influenced solely by motives of humble penitence and devout gratitude for his own temporal and spiritual deliverance in bestowing the name of Josiah upon his grandson; he was unconsciously, but by an unseen, overruling power, led to do what verified 'the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed to Jeroboam, regarding the overthrow of the altar at Beth-el.'

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:17". "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

(17) What title is this?—What is yonder monument, or memorial stone? Ezekiel 39:15, “sign.” Jeremiah uses the same term of a sign-post (Jeremiah 31:21, “waymarks”). (See 1 Kings 13:29 seq.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-23.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel.
It is the sepulchre
1 Kings 13:1,30,31
Reciprocal: Jeremiah 35:4 - a man;  1 Timothy 6:11 - O man

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-23.html.