Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 23:20

All the priests of the high places who were there he slaughtered on the altars and burned human bones on them; then he returned to Jerusalem.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Beth-El;   Calf;   Cremation;   Iconoclasm;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Josiah;   Prophecy;   Zeal, Religious;   Thompson Chain Reference - Cremation;   Dead, the;   Idolatrous;   Leaders;   Priests;   Religious;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Zeal;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jeremiah;   Josiah;   Zephaniah;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Gods and Goddesses, Pagan;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Jeremiah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Jeroboam;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Crimes and Punishments;   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 - Josiah ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Raca;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Tyre;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Old Prophet, the;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Aquila (Β;   Blemish;   Cremation;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Slew all the priests - The lives of these, as corrupters of the people, were forfeited to the law.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:20". "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 slew all the priests of the high places that were there,.... The idolatrous priests who sacrificed to Baal, and other Heathen deities; for as for others that burnt incense in high places, yet to the true God, those he spared, though they were not suffered to officiate at the altar of God: the others he slew

upon the altars; where they sacrificed:

and burnt men's bones upon them: the bones of the priests, and worshippers of idols, as he had done at Bethel:

and returned to Jerusalem; after he had gone through the land, both of Judah and Israel, and abolished idolatrous worship everywhere.

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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 23:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-23.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men's bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem.

The priests — By this relation it appears, that after the departure of the king of Assyria, divers of the Israelites who had retired to other parts, and kept themselves out of the conqueror's hands, returned together with their priests to their own land, and to their old trade, worshipping idols; to whom, peradventure, they ascribed this their deliverance from that judgment which Jehovah had brought upon them.

And burnt — According to that famous prophecy, 1 Kings 13:1,2.

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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 23:20". "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 23:20 And he slew all the priests of the high places that [were] there upon the altars, and burned men’s bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem.

Ver. 20. And burnt men’s bones.] Hence Papists would prove the lawfulness of unburying dead heretics, as they call us, and burning their bones; as they dealt here by Grosthead, bishop of Lincoln, Paulus Phagius, Bucer’s wife, &c. But Josiah’s act is justified by the prophecy, whereby he was appointed so to do; and the Lord would have it so done, to show the abomination wherein he had idolaters, and for a demonstration of their damnation in hell.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:20". 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

The priests of the high places; either,

1. The priests which Jeroboam had made of the meanest of the people, whom he slew, both for their presumptuous usurpation of that sacred office, which of itself was punishable with death by God’s law, Numbers 3:10, and for their idolatry. Or rather,

2. The priests of Baalim; by comparing this verse with the former, where speaking of the same high places, he doth not say, which Jeroboam made, as is usual when he speaks of the high places of the calves; but, which the other kings of Israel made, who were divers of them worshippers of Baal; and by considering the parallel place, 2 Chronicles 34:4, where it is said, they brake down the altars of Baalim, &c. By this relation it appears, and from the nature of the thing, and common practice in like cases, it is more than probable, that after the departure of the king of Assyria, divers of the Israelites who had retired to other parts, and kept themselves out of the conqueror’s hands, returned together with their priests to their own land, and to their old trade of worshipping idols; to whom, peradventure, they ascribed this their deliverance from that judgment which Jehovah had brought upon them.

That were there upon the altars; according to that famous prophecy, 1 Kings 13:1,2.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:20". 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

20.Slew all the priests — Literally, sacrificed them; and he did it upon the altars which these very priests had used for idolatrous purposes.

High places that were there — High places that were in the several cities of Samaria.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:20". "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 23:20. He slew all the priests of the high places — By this relation it appears, that after the departure of the king of Assyria, divers of the Israelites, who had retired to other parts, and kept themselves out of the conqueror’s hands, returned together with their priests to their own land, and to their old trade, worshipping idols; to whom, peradventure, they ascribed this their deliverance from that judgment which Jehovah had brought upon them. And burned men’s bones upon them — According to that famous prophecy, 1 Kings 13:1-2.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:20". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-23.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

CHAPTER XXIII.

Slew. Most of the Israelites who had been left, (Haydock) embraced the true religion, after the captivity of their brethren, (Calmet) and adhered to the kings of Juda, (ver. 15.; Haydock) who had taken possession of the whole country (Du Hamel) after the fall of the Assyrian empire; (Tirinus) unless the emperors of Chaldea had given it to them as to their vassels. See ver. 29. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:20". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-23.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

slew = sacrificed. See App-43.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:20". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-23.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(20) He slew.—He slaughtered. A contrast to his mild treatment of the priests of the Judæan high places (2 Kings 23:8-9). They were Levites, and these heathenish priests. (Comp. Deuteronomy 17:2-5.) Thus was fulfilled the prophecy of 1 Kings 13:2. (Thenius considers the event historical, because that prophecy “is undoubtedly modelled upon it.”)

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:20". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-23.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men's bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem.
he slew
or, he sacrificed.
10:25; 11:18; Exodus 22:20; Deuteronomy 13:5; 1 Kings 13:2; 18:40; Isaiah 34:6; Zechariah 13:2,3
burned
2 Chronicles 34:5
Reciprocal: Leviticus 26:30 - I will destroy;  2 Kings 9:28 - General2 Kings 10:11 - his priests;  Jeremiah 7:31 - the high;  Jeremiah 8:1 - General

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-23.html.