2 Kings 18:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)

King James Bible
He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

Darby Bible Translation
He removed the high places, and broke the columns, and cut down the Asherahs, and broke in pieces the serpent of brass that Moses had made; for to those days the children of Israel burned incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

World English Bible
He removed the high places, and broke the pillars, and cut down the Asherah: and he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for to those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it; and he called it Nehushtan.

Young's Literal Translation
he hath turned aside the high places, and broken in pieces the standing-pillars, and cut down the shrine, and beaten down the brazen serpent that Moses made, for unto these days were the sons of Israel making perfume to it, and he calleth it 'a piece of brass.'

2 Kings 18:4 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Brake in pieces the brazen serpent - The history of this may be seen in Numbers 21:8 (note), Numbers 21:9 (note).

We find that this brazen serpent had become an object of idolatry, and no doubt was supposed to possess, as a telesm or amulet, extraordinary virtues, and that incense was burnt before it which should have been burnt before the true God.

And he called it Nehushtan - נהשתן. Not one of the versions has attempted to translate this word. Jarchi says, "He called it Nechustan, through contempt, which is as much as to say, a brazen serpent." Some have supposed that the word is compounded of נחש nachash, to divine, and תן tan, a serpent, so it signifies the divining serpent; and the Targum states that it was the people, not Hezekiah, that gave it this name. נחש nachash signifies to view, eye attentively, observe, to search, inquire accurately, etc.; and hence is used to express divination, augury. As a noun it signifies brass or copper, filth, verdigris, and some sea animal, Amos 9:3; see also Job 26:13, and Isaiah 26:1. It is also frequently used for a serpent; and most probably for an animal of the genus Simia, in Genesis 3:1 (note), where see the notes. This has been contested by some, ridiculed by a few, and believed by many. The objectors, because it signifies a serpent sometimes, suppose it must have the same signification always! And one to express his contempt and show his sense, has said, "Did Moses hang up an ape on a pole?" I answer, No, no more than he hanged up you, who ask the contemptible question. But this is of a piece with the conduct of the people of Milan, who show you to this day the brazen serpent which Moses hung up in the wilderness, and which Hezekiah broke in pieces two thousand five hundred years ago!

Of serpents there is a great variety. Allowing that נחש nachash signifies a serpent, I may ask in my turn, What kind of a serpent was it that tempted Eve? Of what species was that which Moses hung up on the pole, and which Hezekiah broke to pieces? Who of the wise men can answer these questions? Till this is done I assert, that the word, Genesis 3:1, etc., does not signify a serpent of any kind; and that with a creature of the genus Simia the whole account best agrees.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


2 Kings 12:3 But the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.

2 Kings 14:4 However, the high places were not taken away: as yet the people did sacrifice and burnt incense on the high places.

2 Kings 15:4,35 Save that the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burnt incense still on the high places...

Leviticus 26:30 And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols...

1 Kings 3:2,3 Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built to the name of the LORD, until those days...

1 Kings 15:14 But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the LORD all his days.

1 Kings 22:43 And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the LORD...

Psalm 78:58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.

Ezekiel 20:28,29 For when I had brought them into the land, for the which I lifted up my hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill...


2 Kings 23:4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door...

Deuteronomy 7:5 But thus shall you deal with them; you shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves...

Deuteronomy 12:2,3 You shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which you shall possess served their gods, on the high mountains...

Judges 6:25,28 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said to him, Take your father's young bullock...

1 Kings 15:12,13 And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made...

2 Chronicles 19:3 Nevertheless there are good things found in you, in that you have taken away the groves out of the land...

2 Chronicles 31:1 Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and broke the images in pieces...

2 Chronicles 33:3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves...

images [heb] statues
the brasen serpent

Numbers 21:8,9 And the LORD said to Moses, Make you a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten...

John 3:14,15 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up...

unto those days

2 Kings 16:15 And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, On the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meat offering...

Nehushtan that is, a piece of brass

Hezekiah, a Pattern of Devout Life
'Hezekiah trusted in the Lord God of Israel.... 6. He clave to the Lord, and departed not from following Him, but kept His commandments.'--2 KINGS xviii. 5,6. Devout people in all ages and stations are very much like each other. The elements of godliness are always the same. This king of Israel, something like two thousand six hundred years ago, and the humblest Christian to-day have the family likeness on their faces. These words, which are an outline sketch of the king's character, are really
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Old Testament and Archeology
A century ago the student of the world's history found it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to paint for himself a clear picture of events antedating B.C. 400. Concerning earlier periods, he was, aside from the Old Testament, practically without records that could claim contemporaneousness with the events recorded. But, one hundred years ago, men had commenced to test every statement, be it historical, or scientific, or theological, by severe canons of criticism, and if it could not stand
Frederick Carl Eiselen—The Christian View of the Old Testament

Deliverance from Assyria
In a time of grave national peril, when the hosts of Assyria were invading the land of Judah and it seemed as if nothing could save Jerusalem from utter destruction, Hezekiah rallied the forces of his realm to resist with unfailing courage their heathen oppressors and to trust in the power of Jehovah to deliver. "Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him," Hezekiah exhorted the men of Judah; "for there be more with us
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

The book[1] of Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions--its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon (1 Kings i., ii.) it traverses his reign with considerable fulness (1 Kings iii.-xi.),
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
Exodus 23:24
Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces.

Exodus 34:13
Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles.

Numbers 21:8
The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live."

Numbers 21:9
So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

2 Kings 18:22
But if you say to me, "We are depending on the LORD our God"--isn't he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, "You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem"?

2 Kings 21:3
He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them.

2 Chronicles 31:1
When all this had ended, the Israelites who were there went out to the towns of Judah, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. They destroyed the high places and the altars throughout Judah and Benjamin and in Ephraim and Manasseh. After they had destroyed all of them, the Israelites returned to their own towns and to their own property.

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