2 Kings 23:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the LORD all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley and took the ashes to Bethel.

New Living Translation
Then the king instructed Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second rank and the Temple gatekeepers to remove from the LORD's Temple all the articles that were used to worship Baal, Asherah, and all the powers of the heavens. The king had all these things burned outside Jerusalem on the terraces of the Kidron Valley, and he carried the ashes away to Bethel.

English Standard Version
And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second order and the keepers of the threshold to bring out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel.

New American Standard Bible
Then the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second order and the doorkeepers, to bring out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel.

King James Bible
And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the 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 the ashes of them unto Bethel.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second rank and the doorkeepers to bring out of the LORD's temple all the articles made for Baal, Asherah, and the whole heavenly host. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel.

International Standard Version
The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests of the secondary order, and the doorkeepers to take out of the LORD's Temple all of the implements that had been crafted for Baal, for Asherah, and for every star in the heavens. Then he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried the ashes to Bethel.

NET Bible
The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the high-ranking priests, and the guards to bring out of the LORD's temple all the items that were used in the worship of Baal, Asherah, and all the stars of the sky. The king burned them outside of Jerusalem in the terraces of Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel.

New Heart English Bible
The king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the threshold, to bring forth out of the LORD's temple all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the Asherah, and for all the host of heaven, and he burned them outside of Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then the king ordered the chief priest Hilkiah, the priests who served under Hilkiah, and the doorkeepers to take out of the LORD's temple all the utensils that had been made for Baal, Asherah, and the entire army of heaven. Josiah burned the utensils outside Jerusalem in an open field near the Kidron Brook. Then he carried their ashes to Bethel.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the 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 Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Beth-el.

New American Standard 1977
Then the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second order and the doorkeepers, to bring out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the king commanded Hilkiah, the high priest, and the 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 had been made for Baal and for the grove and for all the host of heaven; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron and caused their dust to be carried unto Bethel.

King James 2000 Bible
And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the 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 idol poles, and for all the army of heaven: and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Beth-el.

American King James Version
And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the 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 the ashes of them to Bethel.

American Standard Version
And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the threshold, to bring forth out of the temple of Jehovah all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the Asherah, and for all the host of heaven, and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Beth-el.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the king commanded Helcias the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the doorkeepers, to cast out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that had been made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burnt them without Jerusalem in the valley of Cedron, and he carried the ashes of them to Bethel.

Darby Bible Translation
And the king commanded Hilkijah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the doorkeepers, to bring forth out of the temple of Jehovah all the vessels that had been made for Baal, and for the Asherah, and for all the host of the heavens; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them to Bethel.

English Revised Version
And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the 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 Asherah, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Beth-el.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the 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 the ashes of them to Beth-el.

World English Bible
The king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the threshold, to bring forth out of the temple of Yahweh all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the Asherah, and for all the army of the sky, and he burned them outside of Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried the ashes of them to Bethel.

Young's Literal Translation
And the king commandeth Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the threshold, to bring out from the temple of Jehovah all the vessels that are made for Baal, and for the shrine, and for all the host of the heavens, and he burneth them at the outside of Jerusalem, in the fields of Kidron, and hath borne their ashes to Beth-El.
Study Bible
Josiah Destroys Idolatry
3The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people entered into the covenant. 4Then the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second order and the doorkeepers, to bring out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. 5He did away with the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah and in the surrounding area of Jerusalem, also those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and to the moon and to the constellations and to all the host of heaven.…
Cross References
John 18:1
When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples across the Kidron Valley, where they entered a garden.

2 Kings 21:3
For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.

2 Kings 21:5
For he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.

2 Kings 21:7
Then he set the carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of which the LORD said to David and to his son Solomon, "In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever.

2 Kings 23:12
The altars which were on the roof, the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, the king broke down; and he smashed them there and threw their dust into the brook Kidron.

2 Kings 23:15
Furthermore, the altar that was at Bethel and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, had made, even that altar and the high place he broke down. Then he demolished its stones, ground them to dust, and burned the Asherah.

2 Kings 25:18
Then the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest, with the three officers of the temple.

2 Chronicles 33:3
For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; he also erected altars for the Baals and made Asherim, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.

2 Chronicles 34:4
They tore down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and the incense altars that were high above them he chopped down; also the Asherim, the carved images and the molten images he broke in pieces and ground to powder and scattered it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.

Jeremiah 52:24
Then the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest, with the three officers of the temple.
Treasury of Scripture

And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the 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 the ashes of them to Bethel.

priests of the second order. These were either such as occasionally supplied the high priest's office, or those of the second course or order established by David. See the References.

1 Chronicles 24:4-19 And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of …

Matthew 26:3 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the …

Matthew 27:1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the …

the keepers. See on

2 Kings 22:4 Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which …

1 Chronicles 26:1-19 Concerning the divisions of the porters: Of the Korhites was Meshelemiah …

to bring.

2 Kings 21:3,7 For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had …

2 Chronicles 33:3,7 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had …

2 Chronicles 34:3,4 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began …

Baal.

2 Kings 17:16 And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made …

Judges 2:13 And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.

1 Kings 16:31 And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk …

1 Kings 18:19,26,40 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel to mount Carmel, …

1 Kings 19:18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which …

Isaiah 27:9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this …

Jeremiah 7:9 Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and …

Kidron.

2 Samuel 15:23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed …

John 18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples …

Cedron.
Beth-el.

1 Kings 12:29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.

Hosea 4:15 Though you, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and …

Amos 4:4 Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; …

(4) The priests of the second order.--Thenius is probably right in reading the singular, the priest of the second rank, i.e., the high priest's deputy, after the Targum, unless the heads of the twenty-four classes be intended ("the chief priests" of the New Testament). (See also 2Kings 25:18.)

The keepers of the door (threshold).--The three chief warders (2Kings 25:18.)

Out of the temple--i.e., out of the principal chamber or holy place.

For Baal . . . grove.--For the Baal . . . Ash?rah (so in 2Kings 23:6-7; 2Kings 23:15 also).

Burned them.--According to the law of Deuteronomy 7:25; Deuteronomy 12:3. (Comp. 1Chronicles 14:12.)

Without Jerusalem.--As unclean.

In the fields of Kidron.--North-east of the city, where the ravine expands considerably. (Comp. Jeremiah 31:40; also 1Kings 15:13.)

Carried the ashes of them unto Beth-el.--This is undoubtedly strange, and Chronicles says nothing about it. If the ashes of the vessels were sent to Beth-el, why not also those of the idols themselves, and the fragments of the altars (2Kings 23:6-12)? The text appears to be corrupt.

Verses 4-27. - Josiah's reformation of religion. The reformation of religion by Josiah next engages the writer's attention, and is treated, not chronologically, but rather gee-graphically, under the three heads of

(1) reforms in Jerusalem;

(2) reforms outside Jerusalem, but in the kingdom of Judah; and

(3) reforms in the territory which had belonged to the kingdom of Samaria (vers. 4-20).

The celebration of the Passover is then briefly noticed (vers. 21-25); and the section concludes with a eulogy of Josiah (vers. 24, 25), who, however, it is noticed could not, with all his piety, obtain a revocation of the sentence passed on Judah in consequence of the sins of Manasseh. The fate of Judah was fixed (vers. 26, 27). Verse 4. - And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order. Not the "deputy-high priests," of whom there seems to have been only one at this period of the history (2 Kings 25:18); nor the "heads of the courses," who were not recognized as a distinct class of priests till much later; but merely the common priests, as distinguished from the high priest. (So Keil, Bahr, and others.) And the keepers of the door; literally, the keepers of the threshold; i.e. the Levites, whose duty it was to keep watch and ward at the outer temple gates (see 1 Chronicles 26:13-18). Their importance at this time appears again in 2 Kings 25:18. To bring forth out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that were made for Baal. The reformation naturally began with the purging of the temple. So the reformation under Jehoiada (2 Kings 11:18) and that of Manasseh (2 Chronicles 33:15). Under "the vessels" (הַכֵּלִים) would be included the entire paraphernalia of worship, even the two altars which had been set up in honor of Baal in the outer and the inner courts (comp. 2 Kings 21:5). And for the grove (see 2 Kings 21:3), and for all the host of heaven. The three worships are here united, because there was a close connection between them. Baal was, in one of his aspects, the sun; and Astarte, the goddess of the "grove" wet-ship, was, in one of her aspects, the moon. The cult of "the host of heaven," though, perhaps, derived from a different source, naturally became associated with the cults of the sun and moon. And he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron. The Law required that idols should be burnt with fire (Deuteronomy 7:25), and likewise "groves" (Deuteronomy 12:3). It was enough to "overthrow" altars (Deuteronomy 12:3) and to "break" pillars. But Josiah seems to have thought it best to destroy by fire, i.e. in the completest possible way, all the objects, of whatever kind, which had been connected with the idol-worship (see vers. 6, 12, 15, 16). The burning took place in "the fields of Kidron," i.e. in the upper part of the Kidron valley, to the northeast of Jerusalem, in order that not even the smoke should pollute the town (comp. 1 Kings 15:13). And carried the ashes of them unto Bethel. This was a very unusual precaution, and shows Josiah's extreme scrupulousness. He would not have even the ashes of the wooden objects, or the calcined powder of the metal ones, remain even in the vicinity of the holy city, but transported them to a distance. In selecting Bethel as the place to convey them to, he was no doubt actuated by the circumstance that that village was in some sense the fount and origin of all the religious impurities which had overflowed the land. That which had proceeded from Bethel might well be taken back thither. And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order,.... Or the second course of the priests; the course of Jedaiah, 1 Chronicles 24:7 as some think; or rather, the two chief priests next to the high priest, who were of the line both of Eleazar and Ithamar; though the Targum interprets it of the Sagan of the priests, a deputy of the high priest, such as in later times the high priest had always appointed for him on the day of atonement (r):

and the keepers of the door: the porters at the door and gates of the temple; or rather the treasurers, as the Targum; such as were appointed over the vessels of the sanctuary, as the Jewish writers generally interpret it, and which best agrees with what follows:

to bring forth out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that were made for Baal: used in burning incense, or offering sacrifices to him:

and for the grove: the idol of the grove, or Asherah, that is, Ashtoreth, or Astarte, the same with Venus, or the moon, as Baal was the sun, the one the husband, and the other the wife, according to the Jews (s):

and for all the host of heaven: the stars:

and he burnt them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron; or plain of Kidron, as the Targum; through which the brook Kidron ran:

and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel; where one of Jeroboam's calves was set, and was the source of idolatry; and this he did in contempt of that place; and, to show his detestation of the idolatry there, he made it a dunghill of ashes of things used in idolatrous service; this he could do, that place being in the hands of the kings of Judah from the times of Ahijah, 2 Chronicles 13:19.

(r) Misn. Yoma, c. 1. sect. 1.((s) Zohar in Gen. fol. 34. 3.2Ki 23:4-28. He Destroys Idolatry.

4. the king commanded Hilkiah, etc.—that is, the high priest and other priests, for there was not a variety of official gradations in the temple.

all the vessels, etc.—the whole apparatus of idol-worship.

burned them without Jerusalem—The law required them to be consigned to the flames (De 7:25).

in the fields of Kidron—most probably that part of the valley of Kidron, where lies Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. It is a level, spacious basin, abounding at present with plantations [Robinson]. The brook winds along the east and south of the city, the channel of which is throughout a large portion of the year almost or wholly dry, except after heavy rains, when it suddenly swells and overflows. There were emptied all the impurities of the temple (2Ch 29:15, 16) and the city. His reforming predecessors had ordered the mutilated relics of idolatry to be thrown into that receptacle of filth (1Ki 15:13; 2Ch 15:16; 30:14); but Josiah, while he imitated their piety, far outstripped them in zeal; for he caused the ashes of the burnt wood and the fragments of the broken metal to be collected and conveyed to Beth-el, in order thenceforth to associate ideas of horror and aversion with that place, as odious for the worst pollutions.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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