2 Chronicles 34:4
And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Of Baalim.Of the Baals. 2Kings 23:4-5, “the Baal.”

In his presence.—Comp. 2Kings 23:16, from which it appears that Josiah personally superintended the work of demolition.

The images.Sun statues (2Chronicles 14:4).

That were on high above them, he cut down.—Or, that were above, from off them he hewed.

The molten images.—Rather, the maççebuth, or sacred pillars. (See 2Kings 23:14.)

Made dust of them.2Kings 23:6 (of an Asherah).

And showed . . . unto them.—Literally, and sprinkled upon the face of the graves that used to sacrifice unto them, as if the graves were guilty. 2Kings 23:6 relates this of the temple Asherah only.

34:1-33 Josiah's good reign in Judah. - As the years of infancy cannot be useful to our fellow-creatures, our earliest youth should be dedicated to God, that we may not waste any of the remaining short space of life. Happy and wise are those who seek the Lord and prepare for usefulness at an early age, when others are pursuing sinful pleasures, contracting bad habits, and forming ruinous connexions. Who can express the anguish prevented by early piety, and its blessed effects? Diligent self-examination and watchfulness will convince us of the deceitfulness and wickedness of our own hearts, and the sinfulness of our lives. We are here encouraged to humble ourselves before God, and to seek unto him, as Josiah did. And believers are here taught, not to fear death, but to welcome it, when it takes them away from the evil to come. Nothing hastens the ruin of a people, nor ripens them for it, more than their disregard of the attempts made for their reformation. Be not deceived, God is not mocked. The current and tide of affections only turns at the command of Him who raises up those that are dead in trespasses and sins. We behold peculiar loveliness, in the grace the Lord bestows on those, who in tender years seek to know and to love the Saviour. Hath Jesus, the Day-spring from on high, visited you? Can you trace your knowledge of this light and life of man, like Josiah, from your youth? Oh the unspeakable happiness of becoming acquainted with Jesus from our earliest years!The images - Margin, sun-images. See Leviticus 26:30 note. 4. the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them—He treated the graves themselves as guilty of the crimes of those who were lying in them [Bertheau]. No text from Poole on this verse.

And they broke down the altars of Baalim in his presence,.... He not only ordered them to be broke down, but he went in person, and saw it done; these were the altars Manasseh had reared up to the idols; and though upon his humiliation he cast them out, they were rebuilt by Amon his son, see 2 Chronicles 33:3,

and the images that were above them he cut down; sun images, as the word signifies; these Chamanim might be representatives of Cham or Ham, the son of Noah, the same with Jupiter Ammon; and there was another Heathen deity, Amanus, Strabo (w) speaks of, supposed to be the sun; see Gill on Leviticus 26:30, these, as Jarchi says, were in the form of the sun, and were set above the altars, over against the sun, to whom worship was paid; though some think this respects not place, but time, and that these were images in times past; in the preceding age, as the Tigurine version:

and the groves, and the carved images and the molten images, he brake in pieces; ordered them to be broken; the groves were statues, or images in groves, and thereby distinguished from those made of wood, and were carved, and from those that were of molten metal, and were placed elsewhere:

and made dust of them, and strewed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them, see 2 Kings 23:6.

(w) Geograph l. 11. p. 352.

And they brake down {c} the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.

(c) Which shows that he would see the reformation with his own eyes.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. Baalim] R.V. the Baalim; cp. 2 Chronicles 33:3 (note).

the images] R.V. the sun-images (so 2 Chronicles 34:7 for “the idols”). See 2 Kings 23:11.

he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images] R.V. he hewed down; and the Asherim, and the graven images.

Verse 4. - Note references in Leviticus 26:1, 30. The images, that were on high above them; i.e., as Revised Version, the sun-images (הַחַמָּנִים). The word and name occur only eight times - in Leviticus as just quoted; in our Second Book of Chronicles three times; in Isaiah twice; and in Ezekiel twice. The groves; i.e. the Asherim; again as last verse. The carved images; Revised Version, graven images; Hebrew, הַפְסִלִים. This word is found twenty-two times, occurring in Deuteronomy, Judges, Kings, Chronicles, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, and Micah. The molten images; Hebrew, הַמַּסֵּכות. This word also occurs just twenty-two times, from Exodus downwards. Made dust of them and strewed it (so Exodus 32:20; 2 Kings 23:6). 2 Chronicles 34:4Extirpation of idolatry. In the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a youth, being then only sixteen years old, Josiah began to seek the God of his ancestor David, and in the twelfth year of his reign he commenced to purify Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, Asherim, etc. The cleansing of the land of Judah from the numerous objects of idolatry is summarily described in 2 Chronicles 34:4 and 2 Chronicles 34:5; and thereupon there follows (2 Chronicles 34:6 and 2 Chronicles 34:7) the destruction of the idolatrous altars and images in the land of Israel, - all that it seemed necessary to say on that subject being thus mentioned at once. For that all this was not accomplished in the twelfth year is clear from the לטהר החל, "he commenced to cleanse," and is moreover attested by 2 Chronicles 34:33. The description of this destruction of the various objects of idolatry is rhetorically expressed, only carved and cast images being mentioned, besides the altars of the high places and the Asherim, without the enumeration of the different kings of idolatry which we find in 2 Kings 23:4-20. - On 2 Chronicles 34:4, cf. 2 Chronicles 31:1. ינתּציּ, they pulled down before him, i.e., under his eye, or his oversight, the altars of the Baals (these are the בּמות, 2 Chronicles 34:3); and the sun-pillars (cf. 2 Chronicles 14:4) which stood upwards, i.e., above, upon the altars, he caused to be hewn away from them (מעליהם); the Asherim (pillars and trees of Asherah) and the carved and molten images to be broken and ground (הדק, cf. 2 Chronicles 15:16), and (the dust of them) to be strewn upon the graves (of those) who had sacrificed to them. הזּבחים is connected directly with הקּברים, so that the actions of those buried in them are poetically attributed to the graves. In 2 Kings 23:6 this is said only of the ashes of the Asherah statue which was burnt, while here it is rhetorically generalized.
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