New Defender's Study Bible Notes
35:3 ark in the house. Amazingly enough, the ark of the covenant, in which the Mosaic writings and those of Joshua had been placed, had been taken out of the holy place probably in order for Manasseh to place a carved image there (II Chronicles 33:7). Apparently it had been kept hidden by faithful priests during the intervening years.
35:7 thirty thousand. Originally, each family was to slay and eat its own Passover lamb. On this occasion, however, the king generously provided all the lambs for all the families.
35:18 the days of Samuel the prophet. It had been almost five hundred years since Samuel’s days. Even the Passover held by King Hezekiah had to be held in the second month instead of the first (II Chronicles 30:2-3). See also note on II Kings 23:22.
35:19 this passover. This uniquely great Passover (see II Chronicles 35:18), plus the repairs of the temple, the rediscovery and reading of the Scriptures, and the purging of the pagan practices of the land were apparently all accomplished during Josiah’s eighteenth year as king, when he was only twenty-six years old (note II Chronicles 34:8). That was truly a momentous year, but it could not prevent the coming judgment of God (II Chronicles 34:24-25) on the land and its people. Although the reforms were extensive, and Josiah’s efforts sincere, they seem to have been only superficial, and did not take root. With Josiah’s death thirteen years later, the people soon returned to their pagan ways.
35:20 to fight against Carchemish. Pharaoh’s intent was to fight against the Babylonians at Carchemish in support of the Assyrians. The Babylonians had already conquered the Assyrian capital of Nineveh. Evidently the Egyptians did not want the Babylonians to proceed into Syria, which they themselves coveted, and so were planning to help the Assyrians. See note on II Kings 23:29.
35:20 fight against Carchemish. The historic battle of Carchemish, which saw the final defeat of Assyria by Babylon, as well as a decisive rout of the Egyptians who came to help the Assyrians, is described in detail in a clay tablet known as the Nebuchadnezzar Chronicle.
35:22 hearkened not. This unusual (though not unique) divinely inspired message and mission of an Egyptian Pharaoh was ignored by Josiah at the cost of his own life (II Chronicles 35:24). Both the Egyptian and Assyrian armies were defeated at Carchemish by the Babylonians. Since the latter were to be used by God to punish Judah, as prophesied, Josiah should not have interfered at all in these international developments involving them.
35:24 all Judah and Jerusalem mourned. This mourning was so great that Zechariah later compared Israel’s future mourning over Messiah’s second coming to it (Zechariah 12:11). Josiah, their greatest king since David, had been slain in the valley of Megiddo (II Chronicles 35:22).
35:25 And Jeremiah lamented. This is the first specific reference to the prophet Jeremiah who first prophesied in the reign of Josiah, continuing under the successive kings until the exile. Other prophets contemporary with Jeremiah during this period were Nahum (prophesying the imminent defeat of Nineveh and the Assyrians), Habakkuk (predicting the imminent Babylonian invasion of Judah), and Zephaniah (Zephaniah 1:1).