2 Kings 23:20 MEANING

2 Kings 23:20
(20) He slew.--He slaughtered. A contrast to his mild treatment of the priests of the Judaean high places (2 Kings 23:8-9). They were Levites, and these heathenish priests. (Comp. Deuteronomy 17:2-5.) Thus was fulfilled the prophecy of 1 Kings 13:2. (Thenius considers the event historical, because that prophecy "is undoubtedly modelled upon it.")

Verse 20. - And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars. It is not directly said that he had done this at Bethel, though it had been prophesied that he would do so (1 Kings 13:2). Possibly there were no priests at Bethel at the time, since the "calf" set up by Jeroboam had been carried off (Hosea 10:6) by the Assyrians. The difference between the treatment of the high-place priests in Israel and in Judah (ver. 9) clearly implies that the former were attached to the worship of false gods, while the latter were priests of Jehovah who worshipped him with superstitious and unauthorized rites and ceremonies. And burned men's bones upon them (comp. ver. 16), and returned to Jerusalem.

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.And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there,.... The idolatrous priests who sacrificed to Baal, and other Heathen deities; for as for others that burnt incense in high places, yet to the true God, those he spared, though they were not suffered to officiate at the altar of God: the others he slew

upon the altars; where they sacrificed:

and burnt men's bones upon them: the bones of the priests, and worshippers of idols, as he had done at Bethel:

and returned to Jerusalem; after he had gone through the land, both of Judah and Israel, and abolished idolatrous worship everywhere.

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