2 Kings 23:18
And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) Let him alone.—Or, Let him rest.

So they let his bones alone.—A different verb. And they suffered his bones to escape, scil., disturbance.

With the bones of the prophet . . .—See 1Kings 13:31-32.

That came out of Samaria.—This simply designates the old prophet who deceived the Judæan man of God, as a citizen of the Northern kingdom, which was called Samaria, after its capital.

2 Kings 23:18. He said, Let no man move his bones — It is pertinently observed by Joh. Wolfius, that if pious persons, in those days, had had the same opinion about relics which has long been prevalent in the Church of Rome, the king would not have ordered his bones to remain quiet and undisturbed, but would have put them into golden boxes, and carried them to Jerusalem, to be there regarded with religious, if not idolatrous veneration by the people.

23:15-24 Josiah's zeal extended to the cities of Israel within his reach. He carefully preserved the sepulchre of that man of God, who came from Judah to foretell the throwing down of Jeroboam's altar. When they had cleared the country of the old leaven of idolatry, then they applied themselves to the keeping of the feast. There was not holden such a passover in any of the foregoing reigns. The revival of a long-neglected ordinance, filled them with holy joy; and God recompensed their zeal in destroying idolatry with uncommon tokens of his presence and favour. We have reason to think that during the remainder of Josiah's reign, religion flourished.What title is that? - Rather, "What pillar is that?" The word in the original indicates a short stone pillar, which was set up either as a way-mark Jeremiah 31:21, or as a sepulchral monument Genesis 35:20; Ezekiel 39:15.17. What title is that that I see?—The king's attention probably, had been arrested by a tombstone more conspicuous than the rest around it, bearing on an inscription the name of him that lay beneath; and this prompted his curiosity to make the inquiry.

the men of the city—not the Assyrian colonists—for they could know nothing about the ancient transactions of the place—but some of the old people who had been allowed to remain, and perhaps the tomb itself might not then have been discoverable, through the effects of time and neglect, had not some "Old Mortality" garnished the sepulcher of the righteous.

Which were now mixed together.

Samaria; the place of his birth or former abode, though now he were in Beth-el, 1 Kings 13:11.

And he said, let him alone, let no man move his bones,.... Not take them out of the grave, as they had done the rest:

so they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria; the old prophet, whereby his end was answered in being buried with him, 1 Kings 13:31.

And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the {p} prophet that came out of Samaria.

(p) Meaning, the prophet who came after him, and caused him to eat contrary to the command of the Lord, who were both buried in the same grave, 1Ki 13:31.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. Let him alone] R.V. Let him be. The verb translated ‘let alone’, in a later clause of the verse is not the same as this. Hence the change in the English.

that came out of Samaria] i.e. The prophet of Bethel, for that place belonged to what was afterwards known as the kingdom of Samaria. The word ‘Samaria’ is used here in accordance with the language of Josiah’s day. Samaria did not exist in Jeroboam’s time, the city which ultimately gave name to the district having only been built in the reign of Omri (1 Kings 16:24).

Verse 18. - And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. Josiah remembered the circumstances when they were recalled to him, and, in order to show honor to the "man of God" (1 Kings 13, passim), commanded that his tomb should be undisturbed. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria; i.e. with the bones of the Israelite prophet, who had taken care to be buried with him. The reference is to 1 Kings 13:31. 2 Kings 23:18In order to desecrate this idolatrous site for all time, Josiah had human bones taken out of the graves that were to be found upon the mountain, and burned upon the altar, whereby the prophecy uttered in the reign of Jeroboam by the prophet who came out of Judah concerning this idolatrous place of worship was fulfilled; but he spared the tomb of that prophet himself (cf. 1 Kings 13:26-32). The mountain upon which Josiah saw the graves was a mountain at Bethel, which was visible from the bamah destroyed. ציּוּן, a sepulchral monument, probably a stone erected upon the grave. וימלּטוּ: "so they rescued (from burning) his bones (the bones of the prophet who had come from Judah), together with the bones of the prophet who had come from Samaria," i.e., of the old prophet who sprang from the kingdom of the ten tribes and had come to Bethel (1 Kings 13:11). משּׁמרון בּא in antithesis to מיהוּדה ot sisehtit בּא denotes simply descent from the land of Samaria.

(Note: 2 Kings 23:16-18 are neither an interpolation of the editor, i.e., of the author of our books of Kings (Staehelin), nor an interpolation from a supplement to the account in 1 Kings 13:1-32 (Thenius). The correspondence between the וגם in 2 Kings 23:15 and the וגם in 2 Kings 23:18 does not require this assumption; and the pretended discrepancy, that after Josiah had already reduced the altar to ruins (2 Kings 23:15) he could not possibly defile it by burning human bones upon it (2 Kings 23:16), is removed by the very natural solution, that המזבח in 2 Kings 23:16 does not mean the altar itself, but the site of the altar that had been destroyed.)

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