Brake the images in pieces - This species of reformation was not only carried on through Judah, but they carried it into Israel; whether through a transport of religious zeal, or whether with the consent of Hoshea the Israelitish king, we cannot tell.
Jerusalem had been cleansed 2 Chronicles 30:14; now the land had to be purged. Hezekiah therefore gave his sanction to a popular movement directed as much against the “high places” which had been maintained since the times of the patriarchs, as against the remnants of the Baal-worship, or the innovations of Ahaz. See 2 Kings 18:4 note. The invasion of the northern kingdom “Ephraim and Manasseh” by a tumultuous crowd from the southern one, and the success which attended the movement, can only be explained by the state of weakness into which the northern kingdom had fallen (see the note at 2 Chronicles 29:24).
The time had come for the return of the worshipers to their homes. “The priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place, even unto heaven.” Verse 27. God had accepted those who with broken hearts had confessed their sins and with resolute purpose had turned to Him for forgiveness and help. PK 338.1
There now remained an important work in which those who were returning to their homes must take an active part, and the accomplishment of this work bore evidence to the genuineness of the reformation wrought. The record reads: “All Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities.” 2 Chronicles 31:1. PK 338.2
Hezekiah and his associates instituted various reforms for the upbuilding of the spiritual and temporal interests of the kingdom. “Throughout all Judah” the king “wrought that which was good and right and truth before the Lord his God. And in every work that he began, ... he did it with all his heart, and prospered.” “He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, ... and departed not from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses. And the Lord was with him; and he prospered.” Verses 20, 21; 2 Kings 18:5-7. PK 338.3Read in context »