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					                               FINDING PURPOSE BIBLE STUDY
                                        SCRIPTURES
                                  The Destruction of Babylon (Part 2)
                                            LESSON #30
                                       REVELATION 18:9-24


1.       Revelation 18: Read verses 9-19. 9"When the kings of the earth who committed adultery
with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her.
10
   Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:
   " 'Woe! Woe, O great city,
     O Babylon, city of power!
   In one hour your doom has come!'
11
  "The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes
any more— 12cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet
cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron
and marble; 13cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive
oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.
14
    "They will say, 'The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have
vanished, never to be recovered.' 15The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth
from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn 16and cry out:
  " 'Woe! Woe, O great city,
     dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet,
     and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!
 17
    In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!'

  "Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the
sea, will stand far off. 18When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, 'Was there ever
a city like this great city?


                                                 JUDGMENT LAMENTED

              Nothing so clearly reveals the hardness of sinner’s hearts as their lack of sorrow over
              their sin. Through the years of devastating judgments, the Tribulation sinners will
              relentlessly refuse to mourn over their sin. But though they will not lament over their
              sin, they will cry over the destruction of Babylon. When the glorious centerpiece, the
              head of Antichrist’s empire, is judged and destroyed, there will be worldwide dismay
              and mourning.

              The first mourners introduced are the leaders, the kings of the earth. This group
              includes the ten kings who rule Antichrist’s kingdom under his authority (17:12), as
              well as the rest of the world’s leaders under them. They will greet the news of
              Babylon’s destruction with shock and dismay. The destruction of the seat of
              Antichrist’s political and economic power will strike a fatal blow to his empire. The fall
              of Babylon will be a symbol of the fall of that entire evil world system.
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                     FINDING PURPOSE BIBLE STUDY
                              SCRIPTURES
                        The Destruction of Babylon (Part 2)
                                  LESSON #30
                             REVELATION 18:9-24




    These leaders are the same ones who committed acts of immorality and lived
    sensuously with her (v. 3). Once again, Babylon is pictured as a harlot (cf. 17:1, 15, 16),
    whose death causes her lovers to weep and lament over her. Some of those crossing
    the Euphrates on their way to Armageddon (16:12) may actually see the smoke rising
    from the burning city (cf. Gen. 19:28; Josh. 8:20–21; Isa. 34:10). The rest will watch
    Babylon’s destruction through the world’s media. All will be careful to keep their
    distance from the stricken city. They will be powerless to help and will fear that they
    may share her torment. This fearful scene supports the idea that Babylon is an actual
    city, not a symbol for the entire world system. Obviously, the entire world is not
    destroyed at this point, since those watching Babylon burn are safe for the moment.
    Babylon’s destruction is, however, a precursor to the doom that will soon fall on the
    entire world.

    As they watch her burn, the leaders will cry out in anguish, “Woe, woe, the great city,
    Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.” As the crown
    jewel of Antichrist’s empire, Babylon will be a great city. And since it will have survived
    the devastating judgments of the Tribulation up to that point, the leaders will believe it
    to be a strong city. Thus, Babylon’s swift destruction will shock and amaze them, and
    they will cry out to her in dismay, “For in one hour your judgment has come.” The
    judgment on Babylon will happen rapidly, just as verse 8 predicted.

    The next mourners to appear on the scene are the merchants of the earth. These
    businessmen will weep and mourn over Babylon because no one buys their cargoes
    any more. The destruction of Antichrist’s capital will end any semblance of normalcy
    on the devastated planet. Whatever economic activity will have been taking place on
    an earth reeling under the escalating difficulty brought on by the catastrophic divine
    judgments will then come to a halt.

    Then follows a list of twenty-eight items or categories of merchandise that comprised
    the merchants’ cargoes: gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen
    and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of
    ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble,
    and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and
    olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and
    chariots and slaves and human lives (lit. “bodies and souls of men”). These items were




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                                FINDING PURPOSE BIBLE STUDY
                                         SCRIPTURES
                                    The Destruction of Babylon (Part 2)
                                              LESSON #30
                                         REVELATION 18:9-24


              common commodities in the ancient world (many of them are included on the list in
              Ezek. 27:12–24) and were the source of immense financial gain. They are only
              representative of the great wealth of Antichrist’s future commercial empire. John
              Phillips writes:

                       What a catalog of opulence! What a vivid picture of a great, commercial city,
                       trafficking in every luxury the heart could desire. This is the world’s great Vanity
                       Fair. It offers articles of adornment and display, beautiful things to grace the
                       mansions of the world’s millionaires. It deals in exotic spices and perfumes, in
                       delicacies for the table, in provisions for banquets, in slaves, and in the souls of
                       men. And Babylon imported all these things.… Babylon’s demand for this
                       world’s goods was insatiable; ever it clamored for more and more! (Exploring
                       Revelation, rev. ed. [Chicago: Moody, 1987; reprint, Neptune, N.J.: Loizeaux,
                       1991], 225)177


      (a)     Who will be the first group of people to mourn over their losses?



      (b)     How do you think these leaders will have committed “adultery with her (Babylon)?”




      (c)     Who will be the second group to mourn over the demise of Babylon? Why will they
              mourn?



      (d)     Where will these merchants stand and what will they cry out?

              Continuing their lament, the merchants now address Babylon directly: The fruit you
              long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have
              passed away from you and men will no longer find them. All of the city’s luxurious
              and splendid (Gk., lampros, a word that may refer to clothing) possessions have
              passed away from her and men will no longer find them. They will be gone forever as
              God bankrupts the system. The words no longer translate a double double negative in

177
      Ibid. 186-188.

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                                        SCRIPTURES
                                   The Destruction of Babylon (Part 2)
                                             LESSON #30
                                        REVELATION 18:9-24


               the Greek text, which is the strongest form of negation in the Greek language. That
               indicates these items will never be found again.

               Joining the leaders, the merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will
               stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning,
               saying, “Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and
               scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; for in one hour such
               great wealth has been laid waste!” They weep and mourn, not out of some emotional
               sympathy for the decimated city, but because with its collapse they have been
               stripped of the key source of their financial resources. The merchants lament because
               their materialistic passions can no longer be fulfilled. The weeping that begins then
               will last for eternity in hell (Matt. 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30). These greedy
               merchants are the classic illustration of all those in all times who gain the whole world,
               but forfeit their souls (Mark 8:36).178



      (e)      What is the final group that mourns the death of this city?


      (f)      What will this group do to express their grief (Job 2:12; Lamentations 2:10)?

            Job 2:12 12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they
            began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads.;

            Lamentations 2:10 10 The elders of the Daughter of Zion
               sit on the ground in silence;
               they have sprinkled dust on their heads
               and put on sackcloth.
               The young women of Jerusalem
               have bowed their heads to the ground.




               Then a third and final group in the vision joins the funeral dirge for Babylon: every
               shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the
               sea. In addition to her political and economic importance, Babylon will also be an
               important distribution center. With its destruction, there will be no more goods to be
178
      Ibid. 188-189.
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                                   The Destruction of Babylon (Part 2)
                                             LESSON #30
                                        REVELATION 18:9-24


               transported by those who make their living by the sea. Like the rulers and merchants,
               the sailors were careful to stand at a safe distance from the city. As they gazed on the
               ruined city they were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, “What
               city is like the great city?” Their lament is reminiscent of the proud boast of
               Antichrist’s deluded followers in 13:4, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage
               war with him?” But the seemingly indestructible city is already destroyed before their
               eyes, and its seemingly invincible ruler will shortly meet his end (19:20).

               Then, in a typical ancient expression of grief, the sailors threw dust on their heads (cf.
               Josh. 7:6; 1 Sam. 4:12; 2 Sam. 1:2; 15:32; Job 2:12; Lam. 2:10; Ezek. 27:30). Like the
               rulers (vv. 9–10) and the merchants (vv. 15–16), they too will cry out, “Woe, woe, the
               great city.” That is an expression of pain, suffering, and grief, but not of repentance.
               The sailors do not mourn over their sins, or those of Babylon, but because of their lost
               business, since all who had ships at sea became rich by Babylon’s wealth. Like the
               rulers (v. 10) and the merchants (v. 17), the sailors also express amazement at the
               swiftness of Babylon’s downfall, exclaiming, “In one hour she has been laid waste!” In
               an astonishingly short period of time, the city that was the source of their wealth was
               destroyed.179

2.    Read verses 20-24. ' 19They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning
                                               cry out:
                                      " 'Woe! Woe, O great city,
                                 where all who had ships on the sea
                                  became rich through her wealth!
                             In one hour she has been brought to ruin!
                                   20
                                      Rejoice over her, O heaven!
                              Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets!
                       God has judged her for the way she treated you.' "
                 21
                    Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large
                          millstone and threw it into the sea, and said:
                                         "With such violence
                           the great city of Babylon will be thrown down,
                                        never to be found again.




179
      Ibid. 189.
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                                     The Destruction of Babylon (Part 2)
                                               LESSON #30
                                          REVELATION 18:9-24


                22
                     The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters,
                                         will never be heard in you again.
                                            No workman of any trade
                                         will ever be found in you again.
                                            The sound of a millstone
                                         will never be heard in you again.
                             23
                                The light of a lamp will never shine in you again.
                                       The voice of bridegroom and bride
                                         will never be heard in you again.
                                 Your merchants were the world's great men.
                              By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.
                       24
                          In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints,
                                 and of all who have been killed on the earth."


              Heaven will have quite a different perspective on Babylon’s judgment than that of
              Antichrist’s earthly followers. The angel who began speaking in verse 4 then addressed
              the redeemed in heaven: the saints (a general term for all believers) and apostles and
              prophets (the special class of saints given to the church, as indicated in Eph. 2:20;
              4:11). He calls on them to rejoice over Babylon’s fall, because God has pronounced
              judgment for them against her. The long-awaited moment of vindication, retribution,
              and vengeance, for which the martyred Tribulation believers prayed (6:9-10) and for
              which all the redeemed hoped, will have arrived. Heaven rejoiced, not over the
              damnation of sinners, but because of the triumph of righteousness, the exaltation of
              Jesus Christ, the elimination of His enemies, and the arrival of His kingdom on the
              earth.180

      (a)     What three groups of people are told to rejoice over the destruction of Babylon?




      (b)     Read Psalm 30:4; Ephesians 1:1; and, I Peter 2:9. If you are in Christ, what are you
              according to Scripture? What does it mean to be a saint?
                  Psalm 30:4 4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name.;
                  Ephesians 1:1 1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints
                     in Ephesus,[a] the faithful[b] in Christ Jesus



180
      Ibid. 189-190.
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                              The Destruction of Babylon (Part 2)
                                        LESSON #30
                                   REVELATION 18:9-24


                 I Peter 2:9 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a
                  people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called
                  you out of darkness into his wonderful light..




    (c)   What image does the angel show John which depicts the complete destruction of
          Babylon? Read Revelation 20:10 10And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into
          the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown.
          They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.,
           15. 15If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into
          the lake of fire.




                                            JUDGMENT COMPLETED

          So complete will be Babylon’s destruction that none of the normal activities of human
          life will take place. There will be no one making music at all; the sound of harpists and
          musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard. There will be no one
          working; no craftsman of any craft will be found. There will be no one preparing food;
          the sound of a mill will not be heard. The city will be so completely abandoned that
          even the light of a lamp will not shine in her any longer. There will be no more falling
          in love; the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in her any longer.
          Babylon will be so thoroughly destroyed that it will never rise again, as predicted by
          the Old Testament prophets (Isa. 13:19–22; 14:22–23; Jer. 50:13, 39; 51:37).181

    (d)   According to verses 22-23, what will be forever missing from this once proud city?




    (e)   What two reasons are given for the destruction of Babylon?




    181
          Ibid. 190-191.
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                                   The Destruction of Babylon (Part 2)
                                             LESSON #30
                                        REVELATION 18:9-24




        (f)    Read Revelation 20:10, 15. What judgment awaits Satan, the beast, the false prophet
               and all whose names are not written in the book of life?




       Is your name written in the book of life (Revelation 20:12, 15)? (Revelation 20:12 12And I saw
        the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book
        was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done
        as recorded in the books, 15 15If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he
        was thrown into the lake of fire




(h)   The words of Jesus in Luke 12:16–21 form a fitting conclusion to the message of judgment
on commercial Babylon:



                      And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very
                      productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I
                      have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear
                      down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my
                      goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many
                      years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him,
                      ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own
                      what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself,
                      and is not rich toward God.”

               1.     Of what sin do you think America has been particularly guilty?
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                                 The Destruction of Babylon (Part 2)
                                           LESSON #30
                                      REVELATION 18:9-24




             2.      What lesson do you learn from the parable above?


             3.      Read II Chronicles 7:14. How should we as believers respond?
                     14
                        if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray
                     and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven
                     and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.




    (h)      Read II Kings 22-23. Josiah at this time was the king of Judah (the southern kingdom of
             Israel). The nation of Israel had turned away from God. The land was filled with idols.
             The kings that ruled over the divided kingdom (Israel and Judah) let the nations further
             and further away from God. When Josiah ascended to the throne we learn that the
             priest Hilkiah discovered the Book of the Law (The Pentateuch—the first 5 books of the
             Old Testament) in the Temple. He took the copy of God’s Word to Josiah.

          a. What was King Josiah’s reaction when he discovered what was written in the Book of
             the Law (22:11-12)? (22:11-12 11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the
             Law, he tore his robes. 12 He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of
             Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king's
             attendant:



          b. What was God’s response to Josiah through the prophetess Huldah (22:16-20)?
             (22:16-20 16 'This is what the LORD says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and
             its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read. 17
             Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and provoked me to
             anger by all the idols their hands have made, [a] my anger will burn against this place
             and will not be quenched.' 18 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the
             LORD, 'This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard:
             19
                Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when
             you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people, that they would
             become accursed and laid waste, and because you tore your robes and wept in my
             presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD. 20 Therefore I will gather you to your
             fathers, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am

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                                   The Destruction of Babylon (Part 2)
                                             LESSON #30
                                        REVELATION 18:9-24


               going to bring on this place.' "
                  So they took her answer back to the king.




What did King Josiah do (23:1-16)? What celebration did King Josiah reinstate (23:21-23 1 Then the
king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2 He went up to the temple of the LORD
with the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets—all the people from the
least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had
been found in the temple of the LORD. 3 The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the
presence of the LORD -to follow the LORD and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all
his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the
people pledged themselves to the covenant.
4
  The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove
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. 5 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 incense to Baal, to the sun and
moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts. 6 He took the Asherah pole from the temple of
the LORD to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem and burned it there. He ground it to powder and
scattered the dust over the graves of the common people. 7 He also tore down the quarters of the
male shrine prostitutes, which were in the temple of the LORD and where women did weaving for
Asherah.
8
  Josiah brought all the priests from the towns of Judah and desecrated the high places, from Geba to
Beersheba, where the priests had burned incense. He broke down the shrines [a] at the gates—at the
entrance to the Gate of Joshua, the city governor, which is on the left of the city gate. 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
his son or daughter in [b] the fire to Molech. 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-Melech. 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
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                                   The Destruction of Babylon (Part 2)
                                             LESSON #30
                                        REVELATION 18:9-24


ones Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the
vile god of Moab, and for Molech [c] the detestable god of the people of Ammon. 14 Josiah smashed
the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles and covered the sites with human bones.
15
   Even the altar at Bethel, the high place made by Jeroboam 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. 16 Then Josiah 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
accordance with the word of the LORD proclaimed by the man of God who foretold these things.)?




           c. What celebration did King Josiah reinstate (23:21-23)?




           What does the Bible record for all time regarding the man Josiah (23:25-26)? 25 Neither
           before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did—with
           all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of
           Moses.
           26
             Nevertheless, the LORD did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger, which
           burned against Judah because of all that Manasseh had done to provoke him to anger.



           d. When you reflect on what is in store for the coming “Babylon” and on the man
              Josiah, what do you desire to do? What have you learned from this lesson that you
              plan to implement into your life?




                                       Josiah’s Reign (22–23)


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                              REVELATION 18:9-24


     The assassination of Amon brought Josiah to the throne at the young age of eight
     years. Four key events summarize this godly king’s brief life and reign:


     Salvation (22:1–2; 2 Chron. 34:3).

     In the eighth year of his reign, when he was sixteen, Josiah began to seek the Lord. No
     doubt Hilkiah the high priest taught the lad the Word of God. It is interesting that his
     mother’s name (Jedidah) is the same “pet name” that God gave to Solomon (2 Sam.
     12:25). It means “beloved of the Lord” and may indicate that Josiah’s mother was also
     a godly influence in his life. Jeremiah and Zephaniah were also ministering then.

     Reformation (2 Chron. 34:3–7).

     The king was now twenty years old and mature enough to start purifying the city and
     the land of the idolatry of Manasseh and Amon. Josiah’s ultimate goal was to restore
     the temple and bring the nation back to the worship of the Lord, but he knew that he
     would have to destroy the old sins before he could establish new obedience.
     Unfortunately, “Josiah’s revival” was a surface thing; it never did get to the hearts of
     the people. While Jeremiah the prophet wept much at Josiah’s death (2 Chron. 35:25;
     Jer. 22:10–12), we do not find him commending the youthful king for his so-called
     “revival.” Certainly the king and his council were sincere in their attempts at reform,
     but the people did not follow; they remained idolaters at heart.

     Restoration (22:3–23:28).

     Having purged away the idols, Josiah could now concentrate on re-establishing the
     true worship of Jehovah. It is not enough to tear down; we must also build up. He
     commanded the priests to gather money and repair the temple. See 2 Chron. 34:8–
     35:19. While repairing the temple, the high priest discovered a copy of the Law of
     Moses, long since discarded by an idolatrous nation. When heheard the Law read,
     Josiah immediately knew that Judah was in great danger, and he sent to inquire of the
     Lord what to do. Huldah the prophetess, who lived in the “second quarter” of the city
     (“college” in 22:14), gave the anxious king God’s message: (1) Judah and Jerusalem
     would be judged for their sins, but (2) King Josiah would not see these judgments
     because he had humbled himself before the Lord. Josiah immediately shared the Word
     of God with all the elders of the land, and he led the way in a great service of
     dedication, reaffirming the Covenant of God. He continued further purges of the land,
     including the defiling of “Topheth”—the valley of the son of Hinnom where the people
     burned their children as sacrifices to Molech. As we noted earlier, the king made this

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              valley a garbage dump and Ge-hinnom became, in the NT, “Gehenna”—a vivid
              illustration of hell. The Mount of Olives had been a “mount of corruption” (23:13), but
              Josiah restored it. During his purge, Josiah uncovered the altar of wicked King
              Jeroboam as well as the tomb of the prophet who had warned him; and thus Josiah
              fulfilled the prophecy of 1 Kings 13:1–5. God’s Word never returns void. The king not
              only restored the temple and the Law, but he also restored the Passover feast that had
              long been neglected by the nation. He wanted to remind his people that they had been
              “bought with a price.”

              What did Josiah’s reformations and restorations accomplish? During Josiah’s day,
              there was peace and blessing; but God did not withdraw His original promise of
              judgment because of the sins of Manasseh (23:26–27). Josiah’s godly life and ministry
              had stayed the hand of judgment a few more years, but captivity was coming and
              nothing could prevent it.182




182
      Wiersbe, W. W. (1993). Wiersbe's expository outlines on the Old Testament (2 Ki 21:1). Wheaton, IL: Victor
      Books.
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posted:11/13/2011
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pages:13