2 Kings 23:24
Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) Moreover the workers . . .—After abolishing public idolatry, Josiah attacked the various forms of private superstition.

The workers with familiar spirits.The necromancers (‘ôbôth; 1Samuel 28:3 seq.). (See 2Kings 21:6.)

Images.—See margin; and Genesis 31:19; Judges 17:5; 1Samuel 19:13; Zechariah 10:2.

The idols.The dunglings. Gresenius prefers to render, idol-blocks; Ewald, doll-images. (See 2Kings 17:12.)

That were spied (seen).—A significant expression. Many idols were, doubtless, concealed by their worshippers.

Put away.—Or, put out, did away with (Deuteronomy 13:6; Deuteronomy 17:7); strictly, consumed. (See the law in Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:9-10.)

2 Kings 23:24. Workers with familiar spirits, and wizards — Of which see notes on Deuteronomy 18:10-11; Leviticus 19:31; and Leviticus 20:27. And the images — Hebrew, the teraphim, images which were very ancient among idolaters. And idols — Other kinds of images. And all the abominations that were spied — All the instruments and monuments of idolatry that were discovered, were destroyed as God had commanded; not only such as were in the place of worship, but such as their priests or zealots had removed, and endeavoured to hide.

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.Perform - Rather, establish. Josiah saw that it was necessary, not only to put down open idolatry, but also to root out the secret practices of a similar character which were sometimes combined with the worship of Yahweh, notwithstanding that the Law forbade them (marginal references), and which probably formed, with many, practically almost the whole of their religion. 21-23. the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto the Lord your God, &c.—It was observed with great solemnity and was attended not only by his own subjects, but by the remnant people from Israel (see on [355]2Ch 35:1-19). Many of the Israelites who were at Jerusalem might have heard of, if they did not hear, the law read by Josiah. It is probable that they might even have procured a copy of the law, stimulated as they were to the better observance of Jehovah's worship by the unusual and solemn transactions at Jerusalem. The wizards; of which see on Leviticus 19:31 20:27 Numbers 22:5 Deu 18:11.

The images, and the idols, and all the abominations; three words noting the same thing, to show that till the instruments and monuments of idolatry were destroyed, as God had commanded.

That were spied, i.e. all that were discovered; not only such as were in the place and state of worship, but such as their priests or zealots had removed, and endeavoured to hide and secure.

Moreover, the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards,.... Who were not to be allowed among the Israelites, Deuteronomy 18:10.

and the images; or teraphim: and the idols, and all the abominations; which were worshipped by the Heathens, and introduced among the Jews, and forbidden by the word of God:

that were spied in the land of Judah, and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away; for which, it seems, diligent search was made, and wherever they were discovered were removed:

that he might perform the words of the law, which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord; both with respect to witchcraft and idolatry, see Leviticus 20:27.

Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24. Moreover the workers with [R.V. them that had] familiar spirits, and the wizards] See note on 2 Kings 21:6. Josiah now proceeds to exterminate all the superstitious practices which grow up side by side with idolatry.

and the images] R.V. the teraphim. These were a sort of household gods, and some charm or virtue seems to have been ascribed to the possession of them. Hence Rachel stole the teraphim (Genesis 31:19) when she was leaving her father’s home. Micah made teraphim for his house in Mount Ephraim (Jdg 17:5), and it was the teraphim which Michal, Saul’s daughter, hid in the bed, to make believe that David was sick, and thus give him time to escape.

that he might perform (R.V. confirm) the words of the law] The change is as in verse 3. What Josiah desired was not only to carry out on this occasion the prescription of the Law, but so to establish the observance that it should continue and not be lightly modified. There is no mention of the passover held in the nineteenth year and in the succeeding years of Josiah’s reign. It would be rash, however, to conclude from such absence of the record, that the same solemnity was not used every succeeding year of the king’s reign, almost as rash as to decide that the passover had been unobserved since the time of Samuel.

The ordinances for putting down them that had familiar spirits and other like superstitions are found in Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6; Leviticus 20:27.

Verse 24. - Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards. Persons of these classes had been encouraged by Manasseh, in his earlier reign (2 Kings 21:6), and probably by Amon (2 Kings 21:21). As Josiah designed a thorough reformation, it was necessary for him to put them down. And the images; literally, the teraphim, which are thought to have been small images kept as household gods in many Israelite families from a very ancient date (see Genesis 31:19-35). The superstition was exceedingly persistent. We find it under the judges (Judges 18:14), under Saul (1 Samuel 19:13), here under the later kings, and it is still mentioned after the return from the Captivity (Zechariah 10:2). The superstition was, apparently, Babylonian (Ezekiel 21:21), and brought from Ur of the Chaldees by the family of Abraham. Besides being regarded as household gods, the teraphim were used in divination. And the idols, and all the abominations that were spied. The "idols," gillulim, are probably, like the teraphim, of a private nature, figures used as amulets or talismans. Excepting in Ezekiel, the word is an uncommon one. By the "abominations that were spied" are meant secret defilements and superstitious practices in households, which needed to be searched out. (So Thenius and Bahr.) In the land of Judah and in Jerusalem. Not, apparently, in the cities of Samaria, where such a rigid inquisition would perhaps have provoked a stubborn resistance. Did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the Law; rather, that he might establish the words of the Law. Laws against such practices as Josiah now put down will be found in Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:10-12. Which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord (see 2 Kings 22:8). 2 Kings 23:24Conclusion of Josiah's reign. - 2 Kings 23:24. As Josiah had the passover kept in perfect accordance with the precepts of the law, so did he also exterminate the necromancers, the teraphim and all the abominations of idolatry, throughout all Judah and Jerusalem, to set up the words of the law in the book of the law that had been found, i.e., to carry them out and bring them into force. For האבות and היּדּענים see at 2 Kings 21:6. תּרפים, penates, domestic gods, which were worshipped as the authors of earthly prosperity and as oracular deities (see at Genesis 31:19). גּלּלים and שׁקּצים, connected together, as in Deuteronomy 29:16, as a contemptuous description of idols in general. - In 2 Kings 23:25 the account of the efforts made by Josiah to restore the true worship of Jehovah closes with a general verdict concerning his true piety. See the remarks on this point at 2 Kings 18:5. He turned to Jehovah with all his heart, etc.: there is an evident allusion here to Deuteronomy 6:5. Compare with this the sentence of the prophet Jeremiah concerning his reign (Jeremiah 22:15-16).
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