The Meaning of 2 Kings 18:4 Explained

2 Kings 18:4

KJV: He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

YLT: he hath turned aside the high places, and broken in pieces the standing-pillars, and cut down the shrine, and beaten down the brazen serpent that Moses made, for unto these days were the sons of Israel making perfume to it, and he calleth it 'a piece of brass.'

Darby: He removed the high places, and broke the columns, and cut down the Asherahs, and broke in pieces the serpent of brass that Moses had made; for to those days the children of Israel burned incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

ASV: He removed the high places, and brake the pillars, and cut down the Asherah: and he brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made; for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it; and he called it Nehushtan.

What does 2 Kings 18:4 Mean?

Study Notes

groves
.
grove
The groves (Heb. Asherim) so often mentioned in the OT were devoted to the worship of Ashtereth, the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, the Aphrodite of the Greeks, the Roman Venus. CF.
(See Scofield " Judges 2:13 ") .

Context Summary

2 Kings 18:1-12 - A Resolute Religious Reformer
It is wonderful that such a man as Ahaz should have had so good a son, but it is likely that Hezekiah had a good mother. See 2 Chronicles 29:1; 2 Chronicles 26:5. No doubt the fall of Samaria was a great incentive with the king and his advisers to root out idolatry. There is no better way of neutralizing evil than by accentuating good, and Hezekiah was wise to reopen and purify the Temple at the very beginning of his reign. See 2 Chronicles 29:3; 2 Chronicles 29:19; 2 Chronicles 29:21-35. It has been supposed that the prophecy of Micah 3:12 and Jeremiah 26:18 was made effective by the power of the Holy Spirit.
When a soul is all for God, God is all to it. "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him." See 2 Kings 18:7. Let us see to it that we follow the suggestion of Psalms 1:1-6, and strike our roots deep into the Word of God, pondering it carefully and obeying it reverently; then our leaf shall not fade, and whatsoever we do shall prosper. It is a good thing to cleave to God and keep His commandments. Compare 2 Kings 18:6 with Deuteronomy 10:20. [source]

Chapter Summary: 2 Kings 18

1  Hezekiah's good reign
4  He destroys idolatry, and prospers
9  The inhabitants of Samaria are carried captive for their sins
13  Sennacherib invading Judah, is pacified by a tribute
17  Rabshakeh, by blasphemous persuasions, solicits the people to revolt

What do the individual words in 2 Kings 18:4 mean?

He removed - the high places and broke the [sacred] pillars and cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces serpent the bronze that had made Moses for until days those did the sons of Israel burned incense to it and called it Nehushtan
ה֣וּא ׀ הֵסִ֣יר אֶת־ הַבָּמ֗וֹת וְשִׁבַּר֙ הַמַּצֵּבֹ֔ת וְכָרַ֖ת הָֽאֲשֵׁרָ֑ה וְכִתַּת֩ נְחַ֨שׁ הַנְּחֹ֜שֶׁת אֲשֶׁר־ עָשָׂ֣ה מֹשֶׁ֗ה כִּ֣י עַד־ הַיָּמִ֤ים הָהֵ֙מָּה֙ הָי֤וּ בְנֵֽי־ יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ מְקַטְּרִ֣ים ל֔וֹ וַיִּקְרָא־ ל֖וֹ נְחֻשְׁתָּֽן

הֵסִ֣יר  removed 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: סוּר 
Sense: to turn aside, depart.
אֶת־  - 
Parse: Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
הַבָּמ֗וֹת  the  high  places 
Parse: Article, Noun, feminine plural
Root: בָּמָה  
Sense: high place, ridge, height, bamah (technical name for cultic platform).
וְשִׁבַּר֙  and  broke 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Piel, Conjunctive perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: שָׁבוּר 
Sense: to break, break in pieces.
הַמַּצֵּבֹ֔ת  the  [sacred]  pillars 
Parse: Article, Noun, feminine plural
Root: מַצֵּבָה  
Sense: pillar, mastaba, stump.
וְכָרַ֖ת  and  cut  down 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: כָּרַת  
Sense: to cut, cut off, cut down, cut off a body part, cut out, eliminate, kill, cut a covenant.
הָֽאֲשֵׁרָ֑ה  the  wooden  image 
Parse: Article, Noun, feminine singular
Root: אֲשֵׁרָה  
Sense: a Babylonian (Astarte)-Canaanite goddess (of fortune and happiness), the supposed consort of Baal, her images.
וְכִתַּת֩  and  broke  in  pieces 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Piel, Conjunctive perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: כָּתַת  
Sense: to beat, crush by beating, crush to pieces, crush fine.
נְחַ֨שׁ  serpent 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: נָחָשׁ  
Sense: serpent, snake.
הַנְּחֹ֜שֶׁת  the  bronze 
Parse: Article, Noun, feminine singular
Root: נְחֹשֶׁת 
Sense: copper, bronze.
אֲשֶׁר־  that 
Parse: Pronoun, relative
Root: אֲשֶׁר 
Sense: (relative part.).
עָשָׂ֣ה  had  made 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: עָשָׂה 
Sense: to do, fashion, accomplish, make.
מֹשֶׁ֗ה  Moses 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: מֹשֶׁה  
Sense: the prophet and lawgiver, leader of the exodus.
עַד־  until 
Parse: Preposition
Root: עַד  
Sense: as far as, even to, until, up to, while, as far as.
הַיָּמִ֤ים  days 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine plural
Root: יׄום 
Sense: day, time, year.
הָהֵ֙מָּה֙  those 
Parse: Article, Pronoun, third person masculine plural
Root: הֵם 
Sense: they, these, the same, who.
בְנֵֽי־  the  sons 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: בֵּן 
Sense: son, grandson, child, member of a group.
יִשְׂרָאֵל֙  of  Israel 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יִשְׂרָאֵל  
Sense: the second name for Jacob given to him by God after his wrestling with the angel at Peniel.
מְקַטְּרִ֣ים  burned  incense 
Parse: Verb, Piel, Participle, masculine plural
Root: מֻקְטָר 
Sense: .
ל֔וֹ  to  it 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
וַיִּקְרָא־  and  called 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: קָרָא  
Sense: to call, call out, recite, read, cry out, proclaim.
נְחֻשְׁתָּֽן  Nehushtan 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: נְחֻשְׁתָּן  
Sense: name by which the brazen serpent made by Moses in the wilderness was worshipped in the time of king Hezekiah of Judah before he destroyed it.