Posted by: mattcolvin | November 14, 2011

2 Kings 23:1-20: Zeal for God’s House Consumes Josiah


Wednesday of the 21st week after Trinity: 2 Kings 23:1-20.

The Bible I’m reading titles this section “Josiah restores true worship.” More accurate would be “Josiah destroys idolatry in Israel.” The righteous king is eaten up with zeal for the house of the Lord, and it is truly astonishing just how many wicked and idolatrous things were going on in the Temple itself. There are articles for the worship of Baal and Asherah, a wooden image, booths for the practice of ritual sodomy and prostitution. Outside the Temple, there is child sacrifice being practiced for Molech in the valley of the son of Hinnom.

Josiah goes on a veritable spree of idoloclasm, grinding things into powder and burning them, and sprinkling men’s bones on top of altars in fulfillment of the prophecy given to Jeroboam back in 1 Kings 13, by the anonymous man of God. Josiah finds this prophet’s tomb and orders that it not be disturbed.

It is impossible to read this scene and not think of Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple. Remarkably, there is no overt idolatry when He comes to God’s house. But He is just as furious as Josiah.


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