The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers1 to remove2 from the temple of the LORD all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley and took the ashes to Bethel
References for 2 Kings 23:4
He did away with the pagan priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem--those who burned incense3 to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts.45
References for 2 Kings 23:5
He took the Asherah pole from the temple of the LORD to the Kidron Valley6 outside Jerusalem and burned it there. He ground it to powder7 and scattered the dust over the graves8 of the common people.9
References for 2 Kings 23:6
He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes,10 which were in the temple of the LORD and where women did weaving for Asherah.
References for 2 Kings 23:7
Josiah brought all the priests from the towns of Judah and desecrated the high places, from Geba11 to Beersheba, where the priests had burned incense. He broke down the shrines at the gates--at the entrance to the Gate of Joshua, the city governor, which is on the left of the city gate.
References for 2 Kings 23:8
Although the priests of the high places did not serve12 at the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, they ate unleavened bread with their fellow priests.
References for 2 Kings 23:9
He desecrated Topheth,13 which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom,14 so no one could use it to sacrifice his son15 or daughter in the fire to Molech.
References for 2 Kings 23:10
He removed from the entrance to the temple of the LORD the horses that the kings of Judah16 had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court near the room of an official named Nathan-Melech. Josiah then burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.17
References for 2 Kings 23:11
He pulled down18 the altars the kings of Judah had erected on the roof19 near the upper room of Ahaz, and the altars Manasseh had built in the two courts20 of the temple of the LORD. He removed them from there, smashed them to pieces and threw the rubble into the Kidron Valley.21
References for 2 Kings 23:12
The king also desecrated the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption--the ones Solomon22 king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molech the detestable23 god of the people of Ammon.24
References for 2 Kings 23:13
Josiah smashed25 the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles and covered the sites with human bones.
References for 2 Kings 23:14
Even the altar26 at Bethel, the high place made by Jeroboam27 son of Nebat, who had caused Israel to sin--even that altar and high place he demolished. He burned the high place and ground it to powder, and burned the Asherah pole also.
References for 2 Kings 23:15
Then Josiah28 looked around, and when he saw the tombs that were there on the hillside, he had the bones removed from them and burned on the altar to defile it, in accordance29 with the word of the LORD proclaimed by the man of God who foretold these things.
References for 2 Kings 23:16
The king asked, "What is that tombstone I see?" The men of the city said, "It marks the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and pronounced against the altar of Bethel the very things you have done to it."
"Leave it alone," he said. "Don't let anyone disturb his bones30." So they spared his bones and those of the prophet31 who had come from Samaria.
References for 2 Kings 23:18
Just as he had done at Bethel, Josiah removed and defiled all the shrines at the high places that the kings of Israel had built in the towns of Samaria that had provoked the LORD to anger
Josiah slaughtered32 all the priests of those high places on the altars and burned human bones33 on them. Then he went back to Jerusalem.
References for 2 Kings 23:20