2 Kings 23:7 MEANING

2 Kings 23:7
(7) The houses . . . by the house.--The cabins of the Ked?shim . . . in the house. The Ked?shim were males, perhaps eunuchs, who prostituted themselves like women in honour of the Asherah. (See 1 Kings 14:24; 1 Kings 15:12; Hosea 4:14.) The passage shows that the last infamy of Canaanite nature-worship had been established in the very sanctuary of Jehovah. The revolt of Judah could go no farther.

Where the women wove hangings for the grove.--Wherein the women used to weave tents for the Ash?rah. The word we have rendered cabins and tents is b?ttim, "houses." What is meant in the latter case is not clear. Perhaps the female harlots attached to the Temple wove portable tabernacles or sanctuaries of the goddess for sale to the worshippers; or tents (screens) for their own foul rites may be meant.

Verse 7. - And he brake down the houses of the sodomites; literally, of the consecrated ones. (See the comment on 1 Kings 14:24; and note that the male prostitutes, or Galli, who consecrated themselves to the Des Syra, formed an essential element in the Astarte-worship, and accompanied it wherever it was introduced.) Dollinger says ('Jew and Gentile,' vol. 1. pp. 430, 431) of these wretched persons, "To the exciting din of drums, flutes, and inspired songs, the Galli cut themselves on the arms; and the effect of this act, and of the music accompanying it, was so strong upon mere spectators, that all their bodily and mental powers were thrown into a tumult of excitement, and they too, seized by the desire to lacerate themselves, deprived themselves of their manhood by means of potsherds lying ready for the purpose. Thereupon they ran with the mutilated part through the city, and received from the houses which they threw them into, a woman's gear. Not chastity, but barrenness, was intended by the mutilation. In this the Galli only desired to be like their goddess. The relation of foul lust, which they thenceforward occupied towards women, was regarded as a holy thing, and was tolerated by husbands in their wives." That were by the house of the Lord. The near vicinity is an indication that the Galli took part in the foreign rites introduced into the temple by Manasseh and Amon. The awful profanation of the house of God by such orgies is too terrible to dwell on. Where the women wove hangings for the grove. "The women" are no doubt the priestesses of the Dea Syra, who are constantly mentioned with the Galli, and, indeed, lived with them. They employed themselves, among other occupations, in weaving "hangings" (literally, "houses," i.e. "coverings") for the Asherah. It may be gathered from Ezekiel 16:16 that these "coverings" were dainty fabrics of many colors.

23:4-14 What abundance of wickedness in Judah and Jerusalem! One would not have believed it possible, that in Judah, where God was known, in Israel, where his name was great, in Salem, in Zion, where his dwelling-place was, such abominations should be found. Josiah had reigned eighteen years, and had himself set the people a good example, and kept up religion according to the Divine law; yet, when he came to search for idolatry, the depth and extent were very great. Both common history, and the records of God's word, teach, that all the real godliness or goodness ever found on earth, is derived from the new-creating Spirit of Jesus Christ.And he brake down the houses of the Sodomites that were by the house of the Lord,.... Near the temple were apartments, in which men, the worshippers of idols, prostituted their bodies to each other; committing that unnatural sin with one another, which has its name from Sodom, and from which those are so called, and which sin they committed in honour of the idols they worshipped; to such vile affections were they, in a judicial manner, delivered up, because of their idolatry; see Romans 1:27 the word signifies "Holy Ones", they being called so by an antiphrasis; though Abarbinel thinks these were the idolatrous priests, whom the worshippers of idols reckoned "holy", and so built houses for them near the temple to lodge in; the Targum is,"and broke down the houses of things consecrated to idols,''where they were put; and Theodoret on the place observes, that by an homonymy, they called the demons or idols themselves "Holy Ones"; and it is not likely, indeed, that the Sodomites should be

where the women wove hangings for the grove; that is, for Astarte, as the same writer observes: or "curtains", as the Jewish writers generally interpret it, in which either the idol was enclosed, or these made apartments for the idolaters to commit their abominable wickedness privately; though the Syriac and Arabic versions are,"they wove garments for the idols that were there;''and so the Septuagint version, of the Complutensian edition; that is, they wove garments for the goddess Astarte, which they dressed her with: the word signifies "houses", and may mean the shrines of the idol made of woven work.

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