Loading…
2 Kings 23:4–20

JOSIAH’S REFORMS

Then the king commanded the high priest Hilkiahad and the priests of the second rankae and the doorkeepers to bring out of the Lord’s sanctuary all the articles made for Baal, Asherah, and all the stars in the sky.af He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel.ag Then he did away with the idolatrous priests the kings of Judah had appointed to burn incense at the high placesa in the cities of Judah and in the areas surrounding Jerusalem. They had burned incense to Baal, and to the sun, moon, constellations, and all the stars in the sky.b He brought out the Asherah polec from the Lord’s temple to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem. He burned it at the Kidron Valley,d beat it to dust,e and threw its dust on the graves of the common people.A,f He also tore down the houses of the male cult prostitutesg that were in the Lord’s temple, in which the women were weaving tapestriesB for Asherah.h

Then Josiah brought all the priests from the cities of Judah, and he defiled the high placesi from Gebaj to Beer-sheba,k where the priests had burned incense. He tore down the high places of the city gates at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city (on the left at the city gate). The priests of the high places, however, did not come up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem; instead, they ate unleavened bread with their fellow priests.l

10 He defiled Topheth,m which is in Ben Hinnon Valley,n so that no one could sacrifice his son or daughter in the fireC,o to Molech.p 11 He did away with the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They had been at the entrance of the Lord’s temple in the precincts by the chamber of Nathan-melech, the eunuch. He also burned the chariots of the sun.q

12 The king tore down the altars that the kings of Judah had made on the roofr of Ahaz’s upper chamber.s He also tore down the altars that Manasseh had madet in the two courtyards of the Lord’s temple. Then he smashed themD there and threw their dust into the Kidron Valley. 13 The king also defiled the high places that were across from Jerusalem, to the south of the Mount of Destruction, which King Solomon of Israel had built for Ashtoreth, the abhorrent idol of the Sidonians; for Chemosh, the abhorrent idol of Moab; and for Milcom, the detestable idol of the Ammonites.u 14 He broke the sacred pillars into pieces,v cut down the Asherah poles,w then filled their places with human bones.

15 He even tore down the altar at Bethelx and the high placey that had been made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin. He burned the high place, crushed it to dust, and burned the Asherah.z 16 As Josiah turned, he saw the tombs there on the mountain. He sent someone to take the bones out of the tombs, and he burned them on the altar.aa He defiled it according to the word of the Lord proclaimed by the man of GodE who proclaimed these things.ab 17 Then he said, “What is this monument I see?”

The men of the city told him, “It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things that you have done to the altar at Bethel.”ac

18 So he said, “Let him rest. Don’t let anyone disturb his bones.” So they left his bones undisturbed with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria.ad

19 Josiah also removed all the shrines of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to anger the Lord.ae Josiah did the same things to them that he had done at Bethel. 20 He slaughtered on the altars all the priests of those high places,af and he burned human bones on the altars.ag Then he returned to Jerusalem.

Read more