2 Kings 23:11
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
He removed from the entrance to the temple of the LORD the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court near the room of an official named Nathan-Melek. Josiah then burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.

New Living Translation
He removed from the entrance of the LORD's Temple the horse statues that the former kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were near the quarters of Nathan-melech the eunuch, an officer of the court. The king also burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.

English Standard Version
And he removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the precincts. And he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

Berean Study Bible
And he removed from the entrance to the house of the LORD the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court near the chamber of an official named Nathan-melech. And Josiah burned up the chariots of the sun.

New American Standard Bible
He did away with the horses which the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the official, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

King James Bible
And he took away the 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.

Christian Standard Bible
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.

Contemporary English Version
He also got rid of the horses that the kings of Judah used in their ceremonies to worship the sun, and he destroyed the chariots along with them. The horses had been kept near the entrance to the LORD's temple, in a courtyard close to where an official named Nathan-Melech lived.

Good News Translation
He also removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the worship of the sun, and he burned the chariots used in this worship. (These were kept in the temple courtyard, near the gate and not far from the living quarters of Nathan Melech, a high official.)

Holman Christian Standard Bible
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 court official, and he burned up the chariots of the sun.

International Standard Version
He abolished the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun at the entrance to the LORD's Temple, near the offices of Nathan-melech, the official, that were in the precincts. He also set fire to the chariots of the sun.

NET Bible
He removed from the entrance to the LORD's temple the statues of horses 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.) He burned up the chariots devoted to the sun god.

New Heart English Bible
He took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of the LORD, by the room of Nathan Melech the officer, who was in the court; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He removed the horses that Judah's kings had dedicated to the sun god at the entrance of the LORD's temple. They were in the temple courtyard near the room of the eunuch Nathan Melech. He also burned the chariots of the sun god,

JPS Tanakh 1917
And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nethan-melech the officer, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

New American Standard 1977
And he did away with the horses which the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the official, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech, the chamberlain who was in charge of the Parbar, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

King James 2000 Bible
And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the court, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

American King James Version
And he took away the 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.

American Standard Version
And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of Jehovah, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he took away the horses which the kings of Juda had given to the sun, at the entering in of the temple of the Lord, near the chamber of Nathanmelech the eunuch, who was in Pharurim: and he burnt the chariots of the sun with fire.

Darby Bible Translation
And he abolished the horses that the kings of Judah had appointed to the sun at the entrance of the house of Jehovah, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun, with fire.

English Revised Version
And he took away the 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 Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

World English Bible
He took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of Yahweh, by the room of Nathan Melech the officer, who was in the court; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

Young's Literal Translation
And he causeth to cease the horses that the kings of Judah have given to the sun from the entering in of the house of Jehovah, by the chamber of Nathan-Melech the eunuch, that is in the suburbs, and the chariots of the sun he hath burnt with fire.
Study Bible
Josiah Destroys Idolatry
10He also desecrated Topheth in the Valley of Ben-hinnom so that no one could sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech. 11And he removed from the entrance to the house of the LORD the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court near the chamber of an official named Nathan-melech. And Josiah burned up the chariots of the sun. 12He pulled down the altars that the kings of Judah had set up on the roof near the upper chamber of Ahaz, and the altars Manasseh had set up in the two courtyards of the house of the LORD. The king pulverized them there and threw their dust into the Kidron Valley.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 4:19
When you look to the heavens and see the sun and moon and stars—all the host of heaven—do not be enticed to bow down and worship what the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.

1 Chronicles 26:18
As for the court on the west, there were four at the highway and two at the court.

Job 31:26
if I have regarded the sun in its radiance or at the moon moving in splendor,

Ezekiel 8:16
So He brought me to the inner court of the house of the LORD, and there at the entrance to the temple of the LORD, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east; and they were bowing to the east in worship of the sun.

Ezekiel 40:17
Then he brought me into the outer court, and there were chambers and a pavement laid out all around the court. Thirty chambers faced the pavement,

Treasury of Scripture

And he took away the 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.

the sun.

2 Kings 23:5 And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had …

2 Chronicles 14:5 Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places …

2 Chronicles 34:4 And they broke down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the …

Ezekiel 8:16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD's house, and, …

house of the Lord. Throughout the East, the horse because of his swiftness and utility, was dedicated to the sun; and the Greeks and Romans feigned that the chariot of the sun was drawn by four horses, Pyrous, Eous, Aithon, and Phlegon: and hence also chariots were dedicated to that luminary. Jarchi says, that those who adored the sun had horses, which they mounted every morning, to go out to meet him at his rising. The kings of Judah had imitated these idolatrous customs, and kept the horses of the sun even at the entrance of the temple of the Lord!

chamberlain. or, eunuch, or officer.







(11) He took away.--The same word as "put down" (2Kings 23:5). Here, as there, the Syriac and Arabic render, "he killed," which is possibly a correct gloss.

The horses . . . the sun.--These horses drew "the chariots of the sun" in solemn processions held in honour of that deity. (See Herod, i. 189; Xenoph. Anab. iv. 5. 34, seq.; Quint. Curt. iii 3. 11.) Horses were also sacrificed to the sun. The sun's apparent course through the heavens, poetically conceived as the progress of a fiery chariot and steeds, explains these usages.

Had given--i.e., had dedicated.

At the entering in of the house of the Lord.--This appears right. Along with the next clause it states where the sacred horses were kept; viz., in the outer court of the Temple, near the entrance. (So the LXX. and Vulgate. This rendering involves a different pointing of the Hebrew text--m?bo for mibbo. The latter, which is the ordinary reading, gives the sense, "so that they should not come into the house, &c.")

By the chamber.--Rather, towards the cell; further defining the position of the stalls. As to the cells in the outer court, see the Note on 1Chronicles 9:26; Ezekiel 40:45 seq.

Nathan-melech the chamberiain, or, eunuch, is otherwise unknown. He may have been charged with the care of the sacred horses and chariots. Meleck was a title of the sun-god in one of his aspects (2Kings 23:10.)

Which was in the suburbs.--Rather, which was in the cloisters or portico. Parw?rim is a Persian word explained in the Note on 1Chronicles 26:18.

Burned the chariots . . .--Literally, and the chariots of the sun he burnt. The treatment of the chariots is thus contrasted with that of the horses. If the whole had been, as some expositors have thought, a work of art in bronze or other material, placed over the gateway, no such difference would have been made.

Verse 11. - And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun. The custom of dedicating horses to the sun was practiced by many ancient nations; but it is only in Persia that we find horses and chariots so dedicated (Xen., 'Cyrop.,' 8:3. § 12). The idea of the sun-god as a charioteer, who drove his horses daily across the sky, is one common to several of the Aryan nations, as the Greeks, the Romans, the Hindoos, and others;but we do not find it either in Egypt or among the Semitic peoples. The sacrifice of the horse to the sun was more general (Herod., 1:216; Xen., 'Cyrop.,' 8:3. § 24; 'Anab.,' 4:5. § 35; Rig Veda, vol. 2. pp. 112, et seqq., etc.), but does not seem to have been adopted by the Hebrews. It is not at all clear whence the "kings of Judah" - i.e. Ahaz, Manasseh, and Amon - derived the idea of maintaining sacred chariots and horses to be used in their sun-worship. They certainly could not have received it, as Keil thinks, "through the Assyrians." At the entering in of the house of the Lord - the horses, i.e., were kept near one of the entrances to the temple, to be ready for use in sacred processions - by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs. There were many "chambers" attached to the temple, which were sometimes used as store-rooms for different materials (1 Chronicles 9:26; 2 Chronicles 31:11, 12; Nehemiah 10:38; Nehemiah 13:5), sometimes as residences (Nehemiah 13:7). In Josiah's time, "Nathan-melech the chamberlain," or rather "the eunuch," occupied one of these. It was situated בַפַדְוָרִים - "in the outskirts" or "purlieus" of the temple. And burned the chariots of the sun with fire (comp. vers. 4, 6, 15, etc.). Josiah burnt all the material objects that had been desecrated by the idolatries; the persons and animals so desecrated he "removed," or deprived of their functions. And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun,.... Consecrated to it; these were not images of horses, as some have thought, but real living ones; and the kings that gave them for the service of the sun, and for sacrifice to it, very probably were Manasseh and Amon: that horses were sacred to the sun with many Heathen nations, as the Massagetae, a people in Scythia, and the Persians, and Babylonians, and Ethiopians, is affirmed by various writers (c): and from them the Jews received this notion. According to the Jewish commentators, these were horses provided for the worshippers of the sun to ride upon, and meet the sun in the morning at its rising, and pay their homage to it; but certain it is that the Heathen nations before mentioned slew the horses, and sacrificed them as burnt offerings to the sun, as is asserted by Herodotus (d), Xenophon (e), Strabo (f), Pausanias (g), Philostratus (h), and other writers (i); and so the Indians of India (k) sacrificed them to Apollo, the same with the sun; these being the swiftest of creatures, they offered them to the swiftest of their gods, as Herodotus and Heliodorus observe, in the places before referred to. The stables in which these horses were kept were

at the entering of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs; so that they reached from the temple to the suburbs of Jerusalem, to that part of them where this officer had a chamber, or lodgings, being in some place of power and authority there; though, according to L'Empereur (l), it is the same with Parbar, 1 Chronicles 26:18 and should not be rendered "suburbs", it being between the compass or wall of the temple, and the court:

and burnt the chariots of the sun with fire; these were either chariots, in which the king and his nobles rode, when they went to meet and worship the rising sun; or rather such as were sacred to the sun, as well as the horses, or Josiah would not have burnt them; they seem to be such in which the images of the sun were carried. Herodotus (m) makes mention as of sacred horses, so of a sacred chariot. Xenophon (n) speaks of the chariot of the sun as being of a white colour, and drawn in procession at the worship of the sun; as does also Pausanias (o) of a chariot, in which were the sun, Jupiter, and Juno, and near them other deities; which notion of sacred chariots the Heathens might take from the chariot of the cherubim Jehovah sat and rode in, 1 Chronicles 28:18.

(c) Justin e Trogo, l. 1. c. 10. Curt. Hist. l. 3. c. 3. Ovid. Fast. l. 1. Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 6. c. 26. Heliodor. Ethiop. l. 10. c. 6. 28. (d) Clio, sive, l. 1. c. 216. (e) Cyropaed. l. 8. c. 23, 24. (f) Geograph. l. 11. p. 353. (g) Laconica, sive, l. 3. p. 201. (h) Vit. Apollon. l. 1. c. 20. (i) Vid. Lactant. de fals. Relig. l. 1. c. 21. (k) Laon. Chalcondyl. de Rebus Turc. l. 3. p. 108. (l) Not. in Misn. Middot, c. 2. sect. 3. No. 3. So Boehart. Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. 10. col. 177. (m) Polymnia, sive, l. 7. c. 55. (n) Ut supra, (Cyropaed. l. 8.) c. 23. (o) Eliac. 1. sive, l. 5. p, 307. 11. took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun—Among the people who anciently worshipped the sun, horses were usually dedicated to that divinity, from the supposed idea that the sun himself was drawn in a chariot by horses. In some cases these horses were sacrificed; but more commonly they were employed either in the sacred processions to carry the images of the sun, or for the worshippers to ride in every morning to welcome his rise. It seems that the idolatrous kings, Ahaz, Manasseh, and Amon, or their great officers, proceeded on these horses early on each day from the east gate of the temple to salute and worship the sun at his appearing above the horizon.23:4-14 What abundance of wickedness in Judah and Jerusalem! One would not have believed it possible, that in Judah, where God was known, in Israel, where his name was great, in Salem, in Zion, where his dwelling-place was, such abominations should be found. Josiah had reigned eighteen years, and had himself set the people a good example, and kept up religion according to the Divine law; yet, when he came to search for idolatry, the depth and extent were very great. Both common history, and the records of God's word, teach, that all the real godliness or goodness ever found on earth, is derived from the new-creating Spirit of Jesus Christ.



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