Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, , at sacred-texts.com
2 Chronicles 35:3
Put the holy ark etc - The ark of the covenant may have been temporarily removed from the holy of holies while Josiah effected necessary repairs.
It shall not be a burden upon your shoulders - The removing and replacing the ark Josiah means "shall not henceforth be your duty. The ark shall remain undisturbed in the holy of holies. You shall return to your old employments, to the service of God and the instruction of the people."
2 Chronicles 35:5
The sense of this verse probably is: "So divide yourselves that, for every distinct family among the people who come to the Passover, there shall be a portion of a Levitical family to minister."
2 Chronicles 35:6
Prepare your brethren ... - i. e. "as you minister to your brethren the people, by killing and flaying their offerings and handing the blood to the priests, instruct them how they are to eat the Passover acceptably." It is implied that many would be ignorant of the requirements of the Law.
2 Chronicles 35:7
See the marginal references and note.
His princes - i. e. his ecclesiastical princes, the chief men of the priests and Levites. For the poor families of their own order the leading priests furnished both Passover-cattle and cattle for thank-offerings. The chief Levites acted similarly toward the poor Levitical families.
2 Chronicles 35:12
They removed the burnt offerings - They separated from the Paschal lambs those parts which were to be burned on the altar. These parts they gave to the offerers, who took them up to the altar and handed them to the officiating priests.
2 Chronicles 35:15
They might not depart - The singers and porters remained at their posts, while other Levites sacrificed for them and brought them their share of the lambs.
2 Chronicles 35:20
After all this - i. e. 13 years after, 608 B.C. See the Kg2 23:28-29 notes.
2 Chronicles 35:21
The house wherewith I have war - Necho viewed Babylon as the successor and representative of Assyria - the hereditary enemy of Egypt - and he means that he is merely continuing an old hostility with which Josiah has nothing to do. No doubt the Assyrian and Egyptian armies had often passed up and down Syria by the coast route, without approaching Jerusalem, or even touching the soil of Judaea.
God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God - These are remarkable words in the mouth of a pagan; but ancient inscriptions show that the Egyptian kings, in a certain sense, acknowledged a single supreme god, and considered their actions to be inspired by him. (e. g. The god Tum (compare) the name of his city, Pithom, Exo 1:11 note) was worshipped as ankh, "the living One" (compare "Yahweh")). Hence, Necho merely expressed himself as Egyptian kings were in the habit of doing.
2 Chronicles 35:22
Disguised himself - Compare the marginal reference. But most modern critics are dissatisfied with this sense in this place, and prefer to render "equipped himself;" or - with the Septuagint - adopt another reading, and render "took courage."
The words of Necho from the mouth of God - The author apparently regarded Necho's words as actually prophetic - a warning to which Josiah ought to have listened - sent him by God to make him pause - though not spoken by divine inspiration, or in consequence of any supernatural revelation of the divine will to the Egyptian king. Compare the "prophecy" of Caiaphas, Joh 11:51.
2 Chronicles 35:24
The fate of Josiah was unprecedented. No king of Judah had, up to this time, fallen in battle. None had left his land at the mercy of a foreign conqueror. Hence, the extraordinary character of the mourning (compare Zac 12:11-14).
2 Chronicles 35:25
Some find Jeremiah's lament in the entire Book of Lamentations; others in a part of it Lam. 4. But most critics are of opinion that the lament is lost. Days of calamity were commemorated by lamentations on their anniversaries, and this among the number. The "Book of Dirges" was a collection of such poems which once existed but is now lost.
And made them an ordinance - Rather, "and they made them an ordinance," they i. e. who had authority to do so, not the minstrels.