2 Kings 23:11

11 He removed from the entrance to the temple of the LORD the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court[a] near the room of an official named Nathan-Melek. Josiah then burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.

2 Kings 23:11 in Other Translations

KJV
11 And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.
ESV
11 And he removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the precincts. And he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.
NLT
11 He removed from the entrance of the LORD ’s Temple the horse statues that the former kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were near the quarters of Nathan-melech the eunuch, an officer of the court. The king also burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.
MSG
11 He hauled off the horse statues honoring the sun god that the kings of Judah had set up near the entrance to The Temple. They were in the courtyard next to the office of Nathan-Melech, the warden. He burned up the sun-chariots as so much rubbish.
CSB
11 He did away with the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. [They had been] at the entrance of the Lord's temple in the precincts by the chamber of Nathan-melech the court official, and he burned up the chariots of the sun.

2 Kings 23:11 Meaning and Commentary

2 Kings 23:11

And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had
given to the sun
Consecrated to it; these were not images of horses, as some have thought, but real living ones; and the kings that gave them for the service of the sun, and for sacrifice to it, very probably were Manasseh and Amon: that horses were sacred to the sun with many Heathen nations, as the Massagetae, a people in Scythia, and the Persians, and Babylonians, and Ethiopians, is affirmed by various writers F3: and from them the Jews received this notion. According to the Jewish commentators, these were horses provided for the worshippers of the sun to ride upon, and meet the sun in the morning at its rising, and pay their homage to it; but certain it is that the Heathen nations before mentioned slew the horses, and sacrificed them as burnt offerings to the sun, as is asserted by Herodotus F4, Xenophon F5, Strabo F6, Pausanias F7, Philostratus F8, and other writers F9; and so the Indians of India


FOOTNOTES:

F11 sacrificed them to Apollo, the same with the sun; these being the swiftest of creatures, they offered them to the swiftest of their gods, as Herodotus and Heliodorus observe, in the places before referred to. The stables in which these horses were kept were

at the entering of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of
Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs;
so that they reached from the temple to the suburbs of Jerusalem, to that part of them where this officer had a chamber, or lodgings, being in some place of power and authority there; though, according to L'Empereur F12, it is the same with Parbar, ( 1 Chronicles 26:18 ) and should not be rendered "suburbs", it being between the compass or wall of the temple, and the court:

and burnt the chariots of the sun with fire;
these were either chariots, in which the king and his nobles rode, when they went to meet and worship the rising sun; or rather such as were sacred to the sun, as well as the horses, or Josiah would not have burnt them; they seem to be such in which the images of the sun were carried. Herodotus F13 makes mention as of sacred horses, so of a sacred chariot. Xenophon F14 speaks of the chariot of the sun as being of a white colour, and drawn in procession at the worship of the sun; as does also Pausanias F15 of a chariot, in which were the sun, Jupiter, and Juno, and near them other deities; which notion of sacred chariots the Heathens might take from the chariot of the cherubim Jehovah sat and rode in, ( 1 Chronicles 28:18 ) .


F3 Justin e Trogo, l. 1. c. 10. Curt. Hist. l. 3. c. 3. Ovid. Fast. l. 1. Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 6. c. 26. Heliodor. Ethiop. l. 10. c. 6. 28.
F4 Clio, sive, l. 1. c. 216.
F5 Cyropaed. l. 8. c. 23, 24.
F6 Geograph. l. 11. p. 353.
F7 Laconica, sive, l. 3. p. 201.
F8 Vit. Apollon. l. 1. c. 20.
F9 Vid. Lactant. de fals. Relig. l. 1. c. 21.
F11 Laon. Chalcondyl. de Rebus Turc. l. 3. p. 108.
F12 Not. in Misn. Middot, c. 2. sect. 3. No. 3. So Boehart. Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. 10. col. 177.
F13 Polymnia, sive, l. 7. c. 55.
F14 Ut supra, (Cyropaed. l. 8.) c. 23.
F15 Eliac. 1. sive, l. 5. p, 307.

2 Kings 23:11 In-Context

9 Although the priests of the high places did not serve at the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, they ate unleavened bread with their fellow priests.
10 He desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice their son or daughter in the fire to Molek.
11 He removed from the entrance to the temple of the LORD the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court near the room of an official named Nathan-Melek. Josiah then burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.
12 He pulled down the altars the kings of Judah had erected on the roof near the upper room of Ahaz, and the altars Manasseh had built in the two courts of the temple of the LORD. He removed them from there, smashed them to pieces and threw the rubble into the Kidron Valley.
13 The king also desecrated the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption—the ones Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the people of Ammon.

Cross References 2

  • 1. ver 5,19; Nehemiah 9:34; Jeremiah 44:9
  • 2. S Deuteronomy 4:19

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.