And there stood before them
Before the pictures, as the Vulgate Latin version expresses it, praying, sacrificing, and offering incense unto them: seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel;
the whole sanhedrim, or great court of judicature among the Jews, as Kimchi; or at least there is an allusion to that number, which were appointed in Moses' time to be officers over the people, and govern and direct them, ( Numbers 11:16 ) ; which shows how sadly depraved and corrupted the state was, that not the common people only, but the civil magistrates, the chief rulers and governors, were given to idolatry; and those that should have taught the people the right way led them wrong; and it is still a further aggravation of their crime that they should do this in the chambers of the priests and Levites, where they ought not to have been: and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan;
who was either the prince of the sanhedrim, or at least a person of great note and esteem; and shows the corruption to be general, from the least to the greatest: Shaphan was a scribe in Josiah's time, who had a son named Ahikam, perhaps the father of this, ( 2 Kings 22:3 2 Kings 22:12 ) ; in ( Ezekiel 11:2 ) ; he is said to be the son of Azur, and one of the princes of the people: with every man his censer in his hand;
to offer incense to the idols portrayed on the wall; and which they did, for it follows: and a thick cloud of incense went up;
there were many that offered; and perhaps they offered a large quantity, being very liberal and profuse in this kind of devotion to their idols.