23:1 And the king a sent, and they gathered unto him all the
elders of Judah and of Jerusalem.
(a) Because he saw the great plagues of God that were
threatened, he knew no more speedy way to avoid them,
than to turn to God by repentance which cannot come but
from faith, and faith by hearing the word of God.
23:3 And the king stood by b a pillar, and made a c covenant
before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his
commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all
[their] heart and all [their] soul, to perform the words of
this covenant that were written in this book. And all the
people stood to the covenant.
23:4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the d
priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door,
to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the
vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for
all the host of heaven: and he burned them without
Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried e the
ashes of them unto Bethel.
(d) Meaning, they who were next in dignity to the high
(e) In contempt of the altar Jeroboam had built there to
sacrifice to his calves.
23:5 And he put down the f idolatrous priests, whom the kings
of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in
the cities of Judah, and in the places round about
Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the
sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the
host of heaven.
(f) Or Chemarims, meaning the priests of Baal who were
called Chemarims either because they wore black
garments or else were smoked with burning incense to
23:6 And he brought out the g grove from the house of the
LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned
it at the brook Kidron, and stamped [it] small to powder,
and cast the powder thereof upon the h graves of the
children of the people.
(g) He removed the grove which idolaters for devotion had
planted near the temple, contrary to the commandment of
the Lord, (De 16:21), or as some read, the
similitude of a grove which was hung in the temple.
(h) Both in contempt of the idols and reproach of them who
had worshipped them in their lives.
23:9 Nevertheless the priests of the high places i came not up
to the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, but they did eat of
the unleavened bread among their brethren.
(i) Because they who had forsaken the Lord to serve idols,
were not fit to minister in the service of the Lord for
the instruction of others.
23:10 And he defiled k Topheth, which [is] in the valley of
the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or
his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.
(k) Which was a valley near to Jerusalem, and signifies a
tabret because they smote on the tabret while their
children were burning, that their cry should not be
heard, (Le 18:21), after which Josiah commanded
trash to be cast in contempt of it.
23:11 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
23:13 And the high places that [were] before Jerusalem, which
[were] on the right hand of the m mount of corruption,
which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth
the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the
abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the
abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile.
(m) That was the mount of olives, so called because it was
full of idols.
23:15 Moreover n the altar that [was] at Bethel, [and] the
high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made
Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high
place he brake down, and burned the high place, [and]
stamped [it] small to powder, and burned the grove.
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 o man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.
(o) According to the prophecy of Iddo, (1Ki 13:2).
23:18 And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So
they let his bones alone, with the bones of the p
prophet that came out of Samaria.
(p) Meaning, the prophet who came after him, and caused
him to eat contrary to the command of the Lord, who
were both buried in the same grave, (1Ki 13:31).
23:22 Surely there was not holden q such a passover from the
days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days
of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah;
(q) For the multitude and zeal of the people with the
23:26 Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the r
fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was
kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations
that Manasseh had provoked him withal.
(r) Because of the wicked heart of the people, who would
not turn to him by repentance.
23:29 In his days Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt went up against
the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king
Josiah s went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo,
when he had seen him.
(s) Because Pharaoh passed through his country, he was
afraid Pharaoh would have done him harm and would have
stopped him, yet he did not consult the Lord, and
therefore was slain.
23:32 And he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD,
according to all that his t fathers had done.
(t) Meaning, the wicked kings before.
23:33 And Pharaohnechoh put him in bands u at Riblah in the
land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and
put the land to a tribute of an hundred talents of silver,
and a talent of gold.
(u) Which was Antiochia in Syria, also called Hamath.