2 Kings 22:17
Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.
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(17) With all the works (work) of their hands.—With the idols they have made. See 1Kings 16:7, where the same phrase occurs. (Comp. also Isaiah 44:9-17; Psalm 115:4 seq.).

Shall not be quenched.—Comp. Jeremiah 4:4; Amos 5:6; Isaiah 1:31.

2 Kings 22:17. Because they have forsaken me — The God of their fathers, and the only living and true God. And burned incense to other gods — Imaginary beings of their own devising, or the works of their hands —

Gods which they themselves have made. To provoke me to anger — As if they designed this, and worshipped these vanities for no other end but to provoke me; for in so doing they said, in effect, there is as much reason and propriety in worshipping the stock of a tree, as in worshipping Jehovah: and to worship these works of our hands, will be of as much service to us as to worship the author and end of all things! Therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place — And what is hell itself but the fire of God’s wrath kindled against sinners? Observe the degree and duration of it. It is so kindled, that it shall not be quenched. The decree is gone forth, and it is now too late to think of preventing it; for the iniquity of Jerusalem shall not be purged by sacrifice or offering. Thus hell is unquenchable fire.22:11-20 The book of the law is read before the king. Those best honour their Bibles, who study them; daily feed on that bread, and walk by that light. Convictions of sin and wrath should put us upon this inquiry, What shall we do to be saved? Also, what we may expect, and must provide for. Those who are truly apprehensive of the weight of God's wrath, cannot but be very anxious how they may be saved. Huldah let Josiah know what judgments God had in store for Judah and Jerusalem. The generality of the people were hardened, and their hearts unhumbled, but Josiah's heart was tender. This is tenderness of heart, and thus he humbled himself before the Lord. Those who most fear God's wrath, are least likely to feel it. Though Josiah was mortally wounded in battle, yet he died in peace with God, and went to glory. Whatever such persons suffer or witness, they are gathered to the grave in peace, and shall enter into the rest which remaineth for the people of God.Have burned incense - In the marginal reference the corresponding phrase is: "have served other gods, and worshipped them." Its alteration to "have bnrned incense" points to the fact that the favorite existing idolatry was burning incense on the housetops to Baal Jeremiah 19:13; Jeremiah 32:29 and to the host of heaven 2 Kings 21:3. 15-20. she said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me—On being consulted, she delivered an oracular response in which judgment was blended with mercy; for it announced the impending calamities that at no distant period were to overtake the city and its inhabitants. But at the same time the king was consoled with an assurance that this season of punishment and sorrow should not be during his lifetime, on account of the faith, penitence, and pious zeal for the divine glory and worship which, in his public capacity and with his royal influence, he had displayed. The works of their hands; gods made with hands. This she adds to aggravate their folly and contempt of God, in preferring such vain and idle things before him. Because they have forsaken me,.... My worship, as the Targum; his word and ordinances:

and have burnt incense unto other gods; to Baal, to the host of heaven, and other Heathen deities:

that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands: their idols of wood, stone, gold, and silver, which their hands had made, to worship; than which nothing was more provoking to God:

therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched; the decree for the destruction of Jerusalem was gone forth, and not to be called back; the execution of it could not be stopped or hindered by cries, prayers, entreaties, or otherwise; this wrath of God was an emblem of the unquenchable fire of hell, Matthew 3:12.

Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the {h} works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.

(h) The works of man's hand here signifies all that man invents beside the word of God, which are abominable in God's service.

17. works] R.V. work] of their hands] The Hebrew has the singular.

my wrath shall be kindled against this place and [R.V. adds it] shall not be quenched] The king in verse 13 used the expression ‘wrath of the Lord’. And the same expression is found in Leviticus 26:28, (though there both A.V. and R.V. have ‘fury’). The language of that book must have been present to the mind of both Josiah and Huldah.Verse 17. - Because they have forsaken me. This was the gist of their offence, the thing that was unpardonable. Against this were all the chief warnings in the Law (Deuteronomy 12:19; Deuteronomy 29:25-28; Deuteronomy 31:16, 17; Deuteronomy 32:15, etc.) and the prophets (Judges 10:13; 1 Samuel 8:8; 1 Samuel 12:9; 1 Kings 9:9; 1 Kings 11:33; 1 Kings 18:18; Isaiah 1:4; Isaiah 65:11; Jeremiah 1:16; Jeremiah 2:13, etc.). It was not merely that they broke the commandments, but they turned from God altogether, and "cast him behind their back." And have burned incense unto other gods (comp. 2 Kings 23:5; and see also Jeremiah 1:18; Jeremiah 7:9; Jeremiah 11:13; Jeremiah 44:19, etc.), that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; i.e. "with the idols that they have made for themselves" (Keil) (comp. 1 Kings 16:7). Therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place - i.e. against Jerusalem - and shall not be quenched. Here lies the whole point of the answer. God's threatenings against nations are for the most part conditional, and may be escaped, or at least their fulfillment may be deferred indefinitely, by repentance, as we learn from the example of Nineveh (Jonah 3:1-10). But if a nation persists long in evil-doing, there comes a time when the sentence can be no longer averted. A real repentance has become impossible, and a mock one does but provoke God the more. For such a state of things there is "no remedy" (2 Chronicles 36:16), and this was the state of things reached by the Jews. God's anger against them could not be quenched. In his alarm at the words of the book of the law that had been read to him, Josiah rent his clothes, and sent a deputation to the prophetess Huldah, to make inquiry of Jehovah through her concerning the things which he had heard from the law. The deputation consisted of the high priest Hilkiah, Ahikam the supporter of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 26:24) and the father of Gedaliah the governor (2 Kings 25:22; Jeremiah 39:14, etc.), Achbor the son of Michaiah, Shaphan the state-secretary (2 Kings 22:3), and Asahiah the servant (i.e., an officer) of the king.
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