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2 Kings 22:3-7

Context

22:3 In the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign, the king sent the scribe Shaphan son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, to the Lord’s temple with these orders: 1  22:4 “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him melt down 2  the silver that has been brought by the people to the Lord’s temple and has been collected by the guards at the door. 22:5 Have them hand it over to the construction foremen 3  assigned to the Lord’s temple. They in turn should pay the temple workers to repair it, 4  22:6 including craftsmen, builders, and masons, and should buy wood and chiseled stone for the repair work. 5  22:7 Do not audit the foremen who disburse the silver, for they are honest.” 6 

2 Kings 23:1-25

Context
The King Institutes Religious Reform

23:1 The king summoned all the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem. 7  23:2 The king went up to the Lord’s temple, accompanied by all the people of Judah, all the residents of Jerusalem, the priests, and the prophets. All the people were there, from the youngest to the oldest. He read aloud 8  all the words of the scroll of the covenant that had been discovered in the Lord’s temple. 23:3 The king stood by the pillar and renewed 9  the covenant before the Lord, agreeing to follow 10  the Lord and to obey his commandments, laws, and rules with all his heart and being, 11  by carrying out the terms 12  of this covenant recorded on this scroll. All the people agreed to keep the covenant. 13 

23:4 The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the high-ranking priests, 14  and the guards 15  to bring out of the Lord’s temple all the items that were used in the worship of 16  Baal, Asherah, and all the stars of the sky. 17  The king 18  burned them outside of Jerusalem in the terraces 19  of Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. 20  23:5 He eliminated 21  the pagan priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed to offer sacrifices 22  on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the area right around Jerusalem. (They offered sacrifices 23  to Baal, the sun god, the moon god, the constellations, and all the stars in the sky.) 23:6 He removed the Asherah pole from the Lord’s temple and took it outside Jerusalem to the Kidron Valley, where he burned it. 24  He smashed it to dust and then threw the dust in the public graveyard. 25  23:7 He tore down the quarters 26  of the male cultic prostitutes in the Lord’s temple, where women were weaving shrines 27  for Asherah.

23:8 He brought all the priests from the cities of Judah and ruined 28  the high places where the priests had offered sacrifices, from Geba to Beer Sheba. 29  He tore down the high place of the goat idols 30  situated at the entrance of the gate of Joshua, the city official, on the left side of the city gate. 23:9 (Now the priests of the high places did not go up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but they did eat unleavened cakes among their fellow priests.) 31  23:10 The king 32  ruined Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that no one could pass his son or his daughter through the fire to Molech. 33  23:11 He removed from the entrance to the Lord’s temple the statues of horses 34  that the kings of Judah had placed there in honor of the sun god. (They were kept near the room of Nathan Melech the eunuch, which was situated among the courtyards.) 35  He burned up the chariots devoted to the sun god. 36  23:12 The king tore down the altars the kings of Judah had set up on the roof of Ahaz’s upper room, as well as the altars Manasseh had set up in the two courtyards of the Lord’s temple. He crushed them up 37  and threw the dust in the Kidron Valley. 23:13 The king ruined the high places east of Jerusalem, south of the Mount of Destruction, 38  that King Solomon of Israel had built for the detestable Sidonian goddess Astarte, the detestable Moabite god Chemosh, and the horrible Ammonite god Milcom. 23:14 He smashed the sacred pillars to bits, cut down the Asherah pole, and filled those shrines 39  with human bones.

23:15 He also tore down the altar in Bethel 40  at the high place made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who encouraged Israel to sin. 41  He burned all the combustible items at that high place and crushed them to dust; including the Asherah pole. 42  23:16 When Josiah turned around, he saw the tombs there on the hill. So he ordered the bones from the tombs to be brought; 43  he burned them on the altar and defiled it. This fulfilled the Lord’s announcement made by the prophet while Jeroboam stood by the altar during a festival. King Josiah 44  turned and saw the grave of the prophet who had foretold this. 45  23:17 He asked, “What is this grave marker I see?” The men from the city replied, “It’s the grave of the prophet 46  who came from Judah and foretold these very things you have done to the altar of Bethel.” 23:18 The king 47  said, “Leave it alone! No one must touch his bones.” So they left his bones undisturbed, as well as the bones of the Israelite prophet buried beside him. 48 

23:19 Josiah also removed all the shrines on the high places in the cities of Samaria. The kings of Israel had made them and angered the Lord. 49  He did to them what he had done to the high place in Bethel. 50  23:20 He sacrificed all the priests of the high places on the altars located there, and burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

23:21 The king ordered all the people, “Observe the Passover of the Lord your God, as prescribed in this scroll of the covenant.” 23:22 He issued this edict because 51  a Passover like this had not been observed since the days of the judges; it was neglected for the entire period of the kings of Israel and Judah. 52  23:23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign, such a Passover of the Lord was observed in Jerusalem.

23:24 Josiah also got rid of 53  the ritual pits used to conjure up spirits, 54  the magicians, personal idols, disgusting images, 55  and all the detestable idols that had appeared in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem. In this way he carried out the terms of the law 56  recorded on the scroll that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the Lord’s temple. 23:25 No king before or after repented before the Lord as he did, with his whole heart, soul, and being in accordance with the whole law of Moses. 57 

2 Chronicles 34:3-13

Context

34:3 In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his ancestor 58  David. In his twelfth year he began ridding 59  Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, Asherah poles, idols, and images. 34:4 He ordered the altars of the Baals to be torn down, 60  and broke the incense altars that were above them. He smashed the Asherah poles, idols and images, crushed them up and sprinkled the dust over the tombs of those who had sacrificed to them. 34:5 He burned the bones of the pagan priests 61  on their altars; he purified Judah and Jerusalem. 34:6 In the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, as far as Naphtali, and in the ruins 62  around them, 34:7 he tore down the altars and Asherah poles, demolished the idols, and smashed all the incense altars throughout the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

34:8 In the eighteenth year of his reign, he continued his policy of purifying the land and the temple. 63  He sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the city official, and Joah son of Joahaz the secretary to repair the temple of the Lord his God. 34:9 They went to Hilkiah the high priest and gave him the silver that had been brought to God’s temple. The Levites who guarded the door had collected it from the people of 64  Manasseh and Ephraim and from all who were left in Israel, as well as from all the people of 65  Judah and Benjamin and the residents of 66  Jerusalem. 34:10 They handed it over to the construction foremen 67  assigned to the Lord’s temple. They in turn paid the temple workers to restore and repair it. 68  34:11 They gave money to the craftsmen and builders to buy chiseled stone and wood for the braces and rafters of the buildings that the kings of Judah had allowed to fall into disrepair. 69  34:12 The men worked faithfully. Their supervisors were Jahath and Obadiah (Levites descended from Merari), as well as Zechariah and Meshullam (descendants of Kohath). The Levites, all of whom were skilled musicians, 34:13 supervised the laborers and all the foremen on their various jobs. 70  Some of the Levites were scribes, officials, and guards.

2 Chronicles 34:29--35:19

Context

34:29 The king summoned all the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem. 71  34:30 The king went up to the Lord’s temple, accompanied by all the people of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem, the priests, and the Levites. All the people were there, from the oldest to the youngest. He read aloud all the words of the scroll of the covenant that had been discovered in the Lord’s temple. 34:31 The king stood by his pillar 72  and renewed 73  the covenant before the Lord, agreeing to follow 74  the Lord and to obey his commandments, laws, and rules with all his heart and being, 75  by carrying out the terms 76  of this covenant recorded on this scroll. 34:32 He made all who were in Jerusalem and Benjamin agree to it. 77  The residents of Jerusalem acted in accordance with the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors. 34:33 Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the areas belonging to the Israelites and encouraged 78  all who were in Israel to worship the Lord their God. Throughout the rest of his reign 79  they did not turn aside from following the Lord God of their ancestors.

Josiah Observes the Passover

35:1 Josiah observed a Passover festival for the Lord in Jerusalem. 80  They slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month. 35:2 He appointed the priests to fulfill their duties and encouraged them to carry out their service in the Lord’s temple. 35:3 He told the Levites, who instructed all Israel about things consecrated to the Lord, “Place the holy ark in the temple which King Solomon son of David of Israel built. Don’t carry it on your shoulders. Now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel! 35:4 Prepare yourselves by your families according to your divisions, as instructed 81  by King David of Israel and his son Solomon. 35:5 Stand in the sanctuary and, together with the Levites, represent the family divisions of your countrymen. 82  35:6 Slaughter the Passover lambs, consecrate yourselves, and make preparations for your countrymen to do what the Lord commanded through Moses.” 83 

35:7 From his own royal flocks and herds, Josiah supplied the people with 30,000 lambs and goats for the Passover sacrifice, as well as 3,000 cattle. 84  35:8 His officials also willingly contributed to the people, priests, and Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the leaders of God’s temple, supplied 2,600 Passover sacrifices and 300 cattle. 35:9 Konaniah and his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, along with Hashabiah, Jeiel, and Jozabad, the officials of the Levites, supplied the Levites with 5,000 Passover sacrifices and 500 cattle. 35:10 Preparations were made, 85  and the priests stood at their posts and the Levites in their divisions as prescribed by the king. 35:11 They slaughtered the Passover lambs and the priests splashed the blood, 86  while the Levites skinned the animals. 35:12 They reserved the burnt offerings and the cattle for the family divisions of the people to present to the Lord, as prescribed in the scroll of Moses. 87  35:13 They cooked the Passover sacrifices over the open fire as prescribed and cooked the consecrated offerings in pots, kettles, and pans. They quickly served them to all the people. 35:14 Afterward they made preparations for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were offering burnt sacrifices and fat portions until evening. The Levites made preparations for themselves and for the priests, the descendants of Aaron. 35:15 The musicians, the descendants of Asaph, manned their posts, as prescribed by David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s prophet. 88  The guards at the various gates did not need to leave their posts, for their fellow Levites made preparations for them. 35:16 So all the preparations for the Lord’s service were made that day, as the Passover was observed and the burnt sacrifices were offered on the altar of the Lord, as prescribed by King Josiah. 35:17 So the Israelites who were present observed the Passover at that time, as well as the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. 35:18 A Passover like this had not been observed in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet. None of the kings of Israel had observed a Passover like the one celebrated by Josiah, the priests, the Levites, all the people of Judah and Israel who were there, and the residents of Jerusalem. 35:19 This Passover was observed in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign.

1 tn Heb “with these orders, saying.”

2 tc The MT has וְיַתֵּם (vÿyattem), “and let them add up” (Hiphil of תָּמָם [tammam], “be complete”), but the appearance of הִתִּיכוּ (hitikhu), “they melted down” (Hiphil of נָתַךְ [natakh], “pour out”) in v. 9 suggests that the verb form should be emended to וְיַתֵּךְ (vÿyattekh), “and let him melt down” (a Hiphil of נָתַךְ [natakh]). For a discussion of this and other options see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 281.

3 tn Heb “doers of the work.”

4 tn Heb “and let them give it to the doers of the work who are in the house of the Lord to repair the damages to the house.”

5 tn Heb “and to buy wood and chiseled stone to repair the house.”

6 tn Heb “only the silver that is given into their hand should not be reckoned with them, for in faithfulness they are acting.”

7 tn Heb “and the king sent and all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem gathered to him.”

map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

8 tn Heb “read in their ears.”

9 tn Heb “cut,” that is, “made, agreed to.”

10 tn Heb “walk after.”

11 tn Or “soul.”

12 tn Heb “words.”

13 tn Heb “stood in the covenant.”

14 tn Heb “the priests of the second [rank],” that is, those ranked just beneath Hilkiah.

15 tn Or “doorkeepers.”

16 tn Heb “for.”

17 tn Heb “all the host of heaven” (also in v. 5).

18 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

19 tn Or “fields.” For a defense of the translation “terraces,” see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 285.

20 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

21 tn Perhaps, “destroyed.”

22 tn Or “burn incense.”

23 tn Or “burned incense.”

24 tn Heb “and he burned it in the Kidron Valley.”

25 tc Heb “on the grave of the sons of the people.” Some Hebrew, Greek, Syriac, Aramaic, and Latin witnesses read the plural “graves.”

tn The phrase “sons of the people” refers here to the common people (see BDB 766 s.v. עַם), as opposed to the upper classes who would have private tombs.

26 tn Or “cubicles.” Heb “houses.”

27 tn Heb “houses.” Perhaps tent-shrines made from cloth are in view (see BDB 109 s.v. בַּיִת). M. Cogan and H. Tadmor (II Kings [AB], 286) understand this as referring to clothes made for images of the goddess.

28 tn Heb “defiled; desecrated,” that is, “made ritually unclean and unusable.”

29 sn These towns marked Judah’s northern and southern borders, respectively, at the time of Josiah.

30 tc The Hebrew text reads “the high places of the gates,” which is problematic in that the rest of the verse speaks of a specific gate. The translation assumes an emendation to בָּמוֹת הַשְּׁעָרִים (bamot hashÿarim), “the high place of the goats” (that is, goat idols). Worship of such images is referred to in Lev 17:7 and 2 Chr 11:15. For a discussion of the textual issue, see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 286-87.

31 tn Heb “their brothers.”

32 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

33 sn Attempts to identify this deity with a god known from the ancient Near East have not yet yielded a consensus. For brief discussions see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor II Kings (AB), 288 and HALOT 592 s.v. מֹלֶךְ. For more extensive studies see George C. Heider, The Cult of Molek, and John Day, Molech: A God of Human Sacrifice in the Old Testament.

34 tn The MT simply reads “the horses.” The words “statues of” have been supplied in the translation for clarity.

35 tn Heb “who/which was in the […?].” The meaning of the Hebrew term פַּרְוָרִים (parvarim), translated here “courtyards,” is uncertain. The relative clause may indicate where the room was located or explain who Nathan Melech was, “the eunuch who was in the courtyards.” See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 288-89, who translate “the officer of the precincts.”

36 tn Heb “and the chariots of the sun he burned with fire.”

37 tc The MT reads, “he ran from there,” which makes little if any sense in this context. Some prefer to emend the verbal form (Qal of רוּץ [ruts], “run”) to a Hiphil of רוּץ with third plural suffix and translate, “he quickly removed them” (see BDB 930 s.v. רוּץ, and M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings [AB], 289). The suffix could have been lost in MT by haplography (note the mem [מ] that immediately follows the verb on the form מִשֳׁם, misham, “from there”). Another option, the one reflected in the translation, is to emend the verb to a Piel of רָצַץ (ratsats), “crush,” with third plural suffix.

38 sn This is a derogatory name for the Mount of Olives, involving a wordplay between מָשְׁחָה (mashÿkhah), “anointing,” and מַשְׁחִית (mashÿkhit), “destruction.” See HALOT 644 s.v. מַשְׁחִית and M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 289.

39 tn Heb “their places.”

40 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

41 tn Heb “And also the altar that is in Bethel, the high place that Jeroboam son of Nebat who encouraged Israel to sin, also that altar and the high place he tore down.” The more repetitive Hebrew text is emphatic.

42 tn Heb “he burned the high place, crushing to dust, and he burned the Asherah pole.” High places per se are never referred to as being burned elsewhere. בָּמָה (bamah) here stands by metonymy for the combustible items located on the high place. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 289.

43 tn Heb “and he sent and took the bones from the tombs.”

44 tn Heb “the king”; this has been specified as “King Josiah” in the translation for clarity (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT).

45 tc The MT is much shorter than this. It reads, “according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.” The LXX has a much longer text at this point. It reads: “[which was proclaimed by the man of God] while Jeroboam stood by the altar at a celebration. Then he turned and saw the grave of the man of God [who proclaimed these words].” The extra material attested in the LXX was probably accidentally omitted in the Hebrew tradition when a scribe’s eye jumped from the first occurrence of the phrase “man of God” (which appears right before the extra material) and the second occurrence of the phrase (which appears at the end of the extra material).

sn This recalls the prophecy recorded in 1 Kgs 13:2.

46 tn Heb “man of God.”

47 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

48 tn Heb “and they left undisturbed his bones, the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria.” If the phrase “the bones of the prophet” were appositional to “his bones,” one would expect the sentence to end “from Judah” (see v. 17). Apparently the “prophet” referred to in the second half of the verse is the old prophet from Bethel who buried the man of God from Judah in his own tomb and instructed his sons to bury his bones there as well (1 Kgs 13:30-31). One expects the text to read “from Bethel,” but “Samaria” (which was not even built at the time of the incident recorded in 1 Kgs 13) is probably an anachronistic reference to the northern kingdom in general. See the note at 1 Kgs 13:32 and the discussion in M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 290.

49 tc Heb “which the kings of Israel had made, angering.” The object has been accidentally omitted in the MT. It appears in the LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate versions.

50 tn Heb “and he did to them according to all the deeds he had done in Bethel.”

map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

51 tn The Hebrew text has simply “because.” The translation attempts to reflect more clearly the logical connection between the king’s order and the narrator’s observation. Another option is to interpret כִּי (ki) as asseverative and translate, “indeed.”

52 tn Heb “because there had not been observed [one] like this Passover from the days of the judges who judged Israel and all the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah.”

53 tn Here בִּעֵר (bier) is not the well attested verb “burn,” but the less common homonym meaning “devastate, sweep away, remove.” See HALOT 146 s.v. בער.

54 sn See the note at 2 Kgs 21:6.

55 sn See the note at 1 Kgs 15:12.

56 tn Heb “carrying out the words of the law.”

57 tn Heb “and like him there was not a king before him who returned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his being according to all the law of Moses, and after him none arose like him.”

sn The description of Josiah’s devotion as involving his whole “heart, soul, and being” echoes the language of Deut 6:5.

58 tn Heb “father.”

59 tn Heb “purifying.”

60 tn Heb “and they tore down before him the altars of the Baals.”

61 tn Heb “the priests”; the qualifying adjective “pagan” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

62 tn “In their ruins” is the marginal reading (Qere) of the Hebrew text.

63 tn Heb “to purify the land and the house.”

64 tn Heb “from Manasseh and Ephraim.” The words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the names “Manasseh and Ephraim” here by metonymy for the people of Manasseh and Ephraim.

65 tn Heb “all Judah and Benjamin.” The words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the names “Judah and Benjamin” here by metonymy for the people of Judah and Benjamin.

66 tc The Hebrew consonantal text (Kethib) assumes the reading, “and the residents of.” The marginal reading (Qere) is “and they returned.”

67 tn Heb “doer[s] of the work.”

68 tn Heb “and they gave it to the doers of the work who were working in the house of the Lord to restore and to repair the house.”

69 tn Heb “of the houses that the kings of Judah had destroyed.”

70 tn Heb “[were] over the laborers and were directing every doer of work for work assignment and work assignment.”

71 tn Heb “and the king sent and gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.”

72 tc This assumes an emendation to עַמּוּדוֹ (’ammudo), see 23:13. The MT reads “at his place.”

73 tn Heb “cut,” that is, “made” or “agreed to.”

74 tn Heb “walk after.”

75 tn Or “soul.”

76 tn Heb “words.”

77 tn Heb “and he caused to stand everyone who was found in Jerusalem and Benjamin.”

78 tn Or “caused, forced.”

79 tn Heb “all his days.”

80 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

81 tn Heb “written.”

82 tn Heb “and stand in the sanctuary by the divisions of the house of the fathers for your brothers, the sons of the people, and a division of the house of a father for the Levites.”

83 tn Heb “according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.”

84 tn Heb “and Josiah supplied for the sons of the people sheep, lambs and sons of goats, the whole for the Passover sacrifices for everyone who was found according to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand cattle. These were from the property of the king.”

85 tn Heb “and the service was prepared.”

86 tn Heb “from their hand.”

87 tn Heb “and they put aside the burnt offering[s] to give them to the divisions of the house of the fathers for the sons of the people to bring near to the Lord as it is written in the scroll of Moses – and the same with the cattle.”

88 tn Or “seer.”



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