2 Chronicles 31:1
When all this had ended, the Israelites in attendance went out to the cities of Judah and broke up the sacred pillars, chopped down the Asherah poles, and tore down the high places and altars throughout Judah and Benjamin, as well as in Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the Israelites returned to their cities, each to his own property.
After the ExcitementW. Clarkson 2 Chronicles 31:1
Home Missionary ZealH. Townley.2 Chronicles 31:1
ReformSpurgeon, Charles Haddon2 Chronicles 31:1
ReformCharles Haddon Spurgeon 2 Chronicles 31:1
Reform Must Lead to RegenerationJ. Parker, D. D.2 Chronicles 31:1
UtterlyJ. Parker, D.D.2 Chronicles 31:1
A Religious Reformation in the Days of HezekiahT. Whitelaw 2 Chronicles 31:1-4

And now what next? The services and the feasts are over; the temple door is closed; the tables are taken down; the musical instruments are laid aside in their places; the programme has been completed - the extended programme. What now shall that excited, enthusiastic multitude do? There is -

I. THE PECULIAR PERIL OF THE HOUR. There is no hour of greater moral danger - such is our human nature - than that immediately following great religious excitement. The leaders of revivals are well aware that this is so. There comes a certain reaction of the soul, a readiness to give way to other and to unworthy impulses; the highly strung system seeks relaxation, and becomes relaxed, and that is often found to be the enemy's opportunity; then he can sometimes find a footing, and do his deadly work. Hence the need for wisdom, and hence -

II. THE NECESSITY FOR ACTION. When "all this was finished," when there was the danger of some kind of reaction and wrong-doing, all Israel went out "and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves," etc. This was something done in accordance with their religious convictions; it was action along the line of their new devotedness to Jehovah. It was rightful action, and, as such, it was timely, and it was serviceable. Whenever there is any kind of danger, do something that is right; get to some useful work. It may not be of the highest kind; it may not be particularly meritorious or eminently useful; but so that it is rightful action of some kind, it is well. Peril passes off in labour, in wholesome exertion. If a man is doing anything which can be honestly considered by him to be done unto the Lord, he is in the way of safety and of wisdom.

III. THE PIETY OF REMOVAL. Ordinarily we can show our spirit of obedience by shunning the evil thing; by avoiding it; by "turning from it and passing away" (Proverbs 4:15), or simply by declining to touch it. But there are times and cases when this does not suffice; when our wisdom is not merely to shut the eye or to tighten the hand, but to bring the axe and to smite to the ground, and to break in pieces. Such was the wisdom of Israel in regard to all images, altars, groves, "high places." Their existence was too strong a temptation for those times; true piety was shown in their abolition, in sweeping them from sight, in clearing the temptation wholly from the view. Such is often our wisdom, our piety now. The wine-cup must be banished from the table, and even from the house. The cards must be thrown into the fire; the favourite amusement must be kept well out of reach. There are those - perhaps they are more numerous than is supposed - whose devotion to their Master is most wisely shown by an act of abolition; by placing beyond access the temptation that has again and again proved to be too strong for them. The idol must not even be kept in the cabinet; it must be broken in pieces.

IV. THE WISDOM OF THOROUGHNESS IN ALL DESTRUCTIVE SERVICE. They went on their way with their work of destruction, "until they had utterly destroyed them all." To leave any of those objects at all would have been like leaving weeds in the soil; they needed to be thoroughly uprooted. For the act of destruction to be of any lasting virtue, it was essential that it should be complete. If we are bent on destroying any vice in our nature, or ridding ourselves of any harmful habit in our life, the only thing we can do is to extirpate utterly that which is wrong; to sweep it away without reserve; to lay the axe to the root of the "evil tree." It is useless to cut weeds; they must be torn out of the soil.

V. THE HOUR FOR SACRIFICE IN CHRISTIAN SERVICE. There no doubt went to the creation of these images and altars much that was valuable in its way. There had been expended on them labour, skill, affection, piety (after its kind). There were connected with them some old and, probably, some tender domestic associations. But while they were thus costly, they must go down and disappear in the interest of truth and pure religion. Their costliness must not save them when they stood in the way of the nation's true piety and real prosperity. Nor may the costliness of any treasure we possess save it from removal from before our eyes, if it stand

(1) between us and our Master;

(2) between us and our moral and spiritual integrity;

(3) between us and our usefulness;

(4) between us and eternal life. If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee, etc. - C.

Until they had utterly destroyed them all.
Mark the word "utterly." It is for want of that word that so many men have failed. Many men have cut off the heads of weeds. Any man can do that. The weed is in the root, and the root is not straight down in the earth, so that it can be taken out easily; after a certain depth it ramifies, and care must be taken that we get out every fibre and filament, and having got it out, turn it upside down, and let the sun do the rest. A man has undertaken to abstain from some evil pursuit for a month: he has clipped off the top of the weed and looks just as well as anybody else, but he is not; he has still the root in him, and that must be taken out, though he be half murdered in the process.

(J. Parker, D.D.)

To utterly destroy an idol first, even were it possible, would not be lasting. What must come first in the order of time? Religious enthusiasm, religious conviction; deep, intense spiritual fellowship with God; a look into heaven; vital sympathy with the Cross; a purification of hand and life and tongue, and body, soul, and spirit, by the Passover rightly eaten; and then what giants will go forth with axes of lightning to smite pillar and asherah and idol and every vain thing. Men cannot strike finally if they sot only as reformers. Reform is an active word, and is to be regarded with great favour, and is the only word that is permissible under some circumstance; but the greater word is regeneration. Reform that does not point to regeneration is a waxen flower that will melt when the sun is well up in the heavens.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

There are three effects which ought always to follow our solemn assembly on the Lord's day. We should go home and —


1. Self-righteousness.

2. Bacchus.

3. Lust.

4. Business; false measures and false weights.

5. Pride.

II. CUT DOWN THE GROVES. Groves are the places where the images have been set up. There was nothing mark you, positively sinful in the grove; but they have been used for sinful purposes, and therefore down they must come. We would specify —

1. The theatre.

2. The tavern.

3. So-called recreation, dancing, etc.

4. Evil books. Light literature, the moral of which is anything but that of piety and goodness.

III. THROW DOWN THE HIGH PLACES AND ALTARS, ETC. God had said that He would have but one altar, namely, at Jerusalem. There should be a casting down of everything in connection with the true worship that is not according to the law of God and the word of God.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, unto their own cities
In evangelising our own countrymen we must proceed —

I. IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF THOSE MEANS WHICH ARE CONGENIAL WITH THE SPIRIT OF THE DISPENSATION UNDER WHICH WE LIVE. The men of Israel were fully justified in doing as described in the text. They lived under a Theocracy, and idolatry was high treason. We live under a different dispensation. "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal." To destroy the idolatry which still reigns in our land we must go forth and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Hezekiah's proclamation of the Passover and its consequences as described in the preceding chapter suggests how this has to be done.

1. Distinctly (ver. 1).

2. Boldly. In spite of ridicule (ver. 10).

3. Affectionately (ver. 6-9).

4. Prayerfully (ver. 18).


1. By sincerity and uprightness (2 Chronicles 31:20, 21).

2. By joy and praise (2 Chronicles 30:21).

3. By self-denial and sacrifice (2 Chronicles 30:24).


(H. Townley.)

Aaron, Amariah, Asahel, Azariah, Azaziah, Benaiah, Benjamin, Conaniah, Cononiah, Eliel, Hezekiah, Imnah, Ismachiah, Israelites, Jehiel, Jerimoth, Jeshua, Jimnah, Jozabad, Kore, Levites, Mahath, Manasseh, Miniamin, Nahath, Shecaniah, Shechaniah, Shemaiah, Shimei, Zadok
Altars, Asherah, Asherahs, Asherim, Ashe'rim, Benjamin, Brake, Break, Broke, Broken, Causing, Cities, Columns, Completion, Cut, Demolished, Destroyed, Ephraim, E'phraim, Finished, Groves, Hewed, Images, Israelites, Judah, Manasseh, Manas'seh, Pieces, Pillars, Places, Poles, Possession, Present, Property, Pulled, Pulling, Returned, Sacred, Shrines, Smashed, Sons, Standing-pillars, Stone, Stones, Threw, Throughout, Till, Towns, Turn, Utterly, Wood
1. The people go forward in destroying idolatry
2. Hezekiah orders the courses of the priests and Levites,
4. and provides for their work and maintenance
5. The people's forwardness in offerings and tithes
11. Hezekiah appoints officers to dispose of the tithes
20. The sincerity of Hezekiah

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Chronicles 31:1

     4366   stones
     4906   abolition
     7245   Judah, kingdom of
     7374   high places
     7435   sacrifice, in OT
     7735   leaders, political

2 Chronicles 31:1-19

     8466   reformation

Now there are three effects which ought always to follow our solemn assembly upon the Lord's day, especially when we gather in such a number as the present, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving. We should go home and first break our false gods; next, cut down the very groves in which we have been wont to delight, and after that break the altars which though dedicated to the God of Israel, are not according to Scripture, and therefore ought to be broken down, albeit, they be even dedicated to the true
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

Last Journey and Death, 1858 --Concluding Remarks.
We are now arrived at the closing scene of John Yeardley's labors. The impression which he had received, during his visit to Turkey in 1853, of the opening for the work of the Gospel in the Eastern countries, had never been obliterated; it had rather grown deeper with time, although his ability to accomplish such an undertaking had proportionately diminished. This consideration, however, could not satisfy his awakened sympathies, and, according to his apprehension, no other course remained for him
John Yeardley—Memoir and Diary of John Yeardley, Minister of the Gospel

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Mal. 3:10). Down deep in the heart of every Christian there is undoubtedly the conviction that he ought to tithe. There is an uneasy feeling that this is a duty which has been neglected, or, if you prefer it, a privilege that has not been
Arthur W. Pink—Tithing

The Whole Heart
LET me give the principal passages in which the words "the whole heart," "all the heart," are used. A careful study of them will show how wholehearted love and service is what God has always asked, because He can, in the very nature of things, ask nothing less. The prayerful and believing acceptance of the words will waken the assurance that such wholehearted love and service is exactly the blessing the New Covenant was meant to make possible. That assurance will prepare us for turning to the Omnipotence
Andrew Murray—The Two Covenants

The comparative indifference with which Chronicles is regarded in modern times by all but professional scholars seems to have been shared by the ancient Jewish church. Though written by the same hand as wrote Ezra-Nehemiah, and forming, together with these books, a continuous history of Judah, it is placed after them in the Hebrew Bible, of which it forms the concluding book; and this no doubt points to the fact that it attained canonical distinction later than they. Nor is this unnatural. The book
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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