2 Kings 21:4
And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem will I put my name.
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(4) He built altarsi.e., idolatrous altars (2Kings 21:5).

In the house of the Lordi.e., in the two courts of it. This verse contains the general statement of what is particularised in 2Kings 21:5.

In Jerusalem will I put my name.—See 1Kings 14:21.

21:1-9 Young persons generally desire to become their own masters, and to have early possession of riches and power. But this, for the most part, ruins their future comfort, and causes mischief to others. It is much happier when young persons are sheltered under the care of parents or guardians, till age gives experience and discretion. Though such young persons are less indulged, they will afterwards be thankful. Manasseh wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Lord, as if on purpose to provoke him to anger; he did more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed. Manasseh went on from bad to worse, till carried captive to Babylon. The people were ready to comply with his wishes, to obtain his favour and because it suited their depraved inclinations. In the reformation of large bodies, numbers are mere time-servers, and in temptation fall away.The "altars" of this verse seem to be the same with those of 2 Kings 21:5, and consequently were not in the temple building, but in the outer and inner courts. CHAPTER 21

2Ki 21:1-18. Manasseh's Wicked Reign, and Great Idolatry.

1-3. Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign—He must have been born three years after his father's recovery; and his minority, spent under the influence of guardians who were hostile to the religious principles and reforming policy of his father, may account in part for the anti-theocratic principles of his reign. The work of religious reformation which Hezekiah had zealously carried on was but partially accomplished. There was little appearance of its influence on the heart and manners of the people at large. On the contrary, the true fear of God had vanished from the mass of the people; corruption and vice increased, and were openly practised (Isa 28:7, &c.) by the degenerate leaders, who, having got the young prince Manasseh into their power, directed his education, trained him up in their views, and seduced him into the open patronage of idolatry. Hence, when he became sovereign, he introduced the worship of idols, the restoration of high places, and the erection of altars or pillars to Baal, and the placing, in the temple of God itself, a graven image of Asherah, the sacred or symbolic tree, which represented "all the host of heaven." This was not idolatry, but pure star-worship, of Chaldaic and Assyrian origin [Keil]. The sun, as among the Persians, had chariots and horses consecrated to it (2Ki 23:11); and incense was offered to the stars on the housetops (2Ki 23:12; 2Ch 33:5; Jer 19:13; Zep 1:5), and in the temple area with the face turned toward the sunrise (Eze 8:16).

In the house of the Lord, i.e. in the temple itself, in the holy place, because this is distinguished from the courts of the house, 2 Kings 21:5.

In Jerusalem will I put my name; that place I have peculiarly consecrated to my worship and honour; which made it the greater injustice, and impiety, and sacrilege to alienate it from God, and to dedicate it, or any part of it, especially the temple, to the service of idols, whom God abhorreth. And he built altars in the house of the Lord,.... In the holy place, as distinct from the courts in the next verse; and these were sacred to the idols of the Gentiles:

of which the Lord said, in Jerusalem will I put my name; in the temple there, devoted to his service, called by his name, and where his name was called upon, see Deuteronomy 12:5 and to erect altars to idols here must be very abominable to him.

And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem will I put my name.
4. he built altars in the house of the Lord, of which] R.V. whereof &c. It seems most likely that the following verse explains what is meant by this. The altars were in the courts of the temple, not within the temple building. Azariah had intruded himself within the holy place (2 Chronicles 26:16). Even for his most solemn prayer Hezekiah prayed toward the sanctuary. Intrusion within the walls would have been specially noted.Verse 4. - And he built altars in the house of the Lord. He created, i.e., altars to other gods in the very temple of Jehovah (see ver. 5). This was a pollution beyond any that either Athaliah or Ahaz had ventured on. Of which the Lord had said, In Jerusalem will I put my Name (see 1 Kings 8:29; 1 Kings 9:3; 1 Kings 14:21). Where Jehovah "put his Name," making the place his, and condescending, in a certain sense, to dwell there, it might at least have been expected that he would not find himself confronted with rivals. The first part of Hezekiah's reply, "Good is the word of Jehovah, which thou hast spoken," is an expression of submission to the will of the Lord, like Eli's answer in 1 Samuel 3:18 (cf. 1 Kings 2:38, 1 Kings 2:42);

(Note: "He calls that good in which it is right to acquiesce, as having proceeded from Him who does nothing but what is not only most just, but tempered with the greatest goodness, even when He inflicts punishment." - Clericus.)

the second part, which the repetition of ויּאמר shows to have been spoken after a pause, and which was not addressed directly to Isaiah, "Is it not so (i.e., is it not purely goodness), if there are to be peace and truth in my days (during my life)?" is a candid acknowledgment of the grace and truth of the Lord.

(Note: "He praises the moderation of the divine decree, because when God, in accordance with His justice, might have brought this calamity upon him in his own person, for His mercy's sake He was willing to spare him and to put off the evil to a future day." - Vitringa.)

הלוא is used, as is frequently the case, in the sense of a lively affirmation. Instead of אם הלוא we have in Isaiah כּי, "for there will be peace and truth," by which this clause is attached more clearly to the first declaration as a reason for it: the word of the Lord is good, for the Lord proves His goodness and truth in the fact, that He will not inflict the merited punishment in my lifetime. "Peace and truth" are connected as in Jeremiah 33:6. אמת does not mean continuance (Ges.), security (Knobel), but fides, faithfulness-not human faithfulness, however, which preserves peace, and observes a tacit treaty (Hitzig), but the faithfulness of God, which preserves the promised grace to the humble.

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