And he put down the idolatrous priests
The Cemarim, so called, because they wore black clothes, as Kimchi and others, whereas the priests of the Lord were clothed in white linen, (See Gill on Zephaniah 1:4).
whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high
places, in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about
for though those high places were destroyed by Hezekiah, they were rebuilt by Manasseh his son, and priests put in them to officiate there, whom Josiah now deposed, ( 2 Kings 21:3 ) ,
them also that burnt incense unto Baal;
in the same high places; these were the priests, and the others in the preceding clause are thought to be ministers unto them:
to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets;
the five planets besides the sun and moon, as Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, and Venus; or to the twelve celestial signs in the firmament, as some F20; though Theodoret takes it to be a single star, the evening star:
and to all the host of heaven;
or even to the host of heaven, all the stars thereof: this part of worship,
which was peculiar to the most high God, yet was frequently made by idolaters to their deities; and from the word F21 by which it is here and elsewhere expressed may "nectar" be derived, so much spoken of by the Heathen poets as of a sweet smell F23, and as delicious to their gods; and so Porphyry F24 represents the gods as living on smoke, vapours, and perfumes; and frankincense is said, by Diodorus Siculus F25, to be most grateful to them, and beloved by them; this therefore is a much better derivation of the word "nectar" than what Suidas F26 gives, that is, as if it was "nectar", because it makes those young that drink it; or than the account Athenaeus F1 gives of it, that it is a wine in Babylon so called.
F20 David de Pomis Lexic. fol. 77. 3.
F21 (rjq) "suffitum fecit. Et diis acceptus--" Nidor. Ovid. Metamorph. 1. 12, fab. 4.
F23 Theocrit. Idyll. xvii. ver. 29.
F24 De Abstinentia, l. 2. c. 42. Celsus apud Origen. l. 8. p. 417.
F25 Biblioth. l. 2. p. 132.
F26 In voce (nektareou) .
F1 Deipnosophist. l. 1.