Many ages ago, there walked a man down the streets of Jerusalem by the name of Nathan- Melech. He had the privelidge of being a servant to one of the few kings of Israel who did right in the eyes of the Lord, King Josiah. The Bible mentions this servant in  2 Kings 23:11.
       Before Josiah's arrrival as king, the residents of Jerusalem had to endure the edicts of many kings prior to Josiah who brought with them the worship of foreign gods. And it was no different for Nathan-Melech. His residence sat right next door to where horses and chariots were being dedicated to the worship of the sun. Something that had to be very repugnant to any Israelite who remembered how the Lord destroyed the Sun worshipping Egyptians by drowning their chariots in the Red Sea during the time of the Exodus. And what made it even worse was they were located right at the entrance to the Lord's temple.
       But Nathan-Melech must have been very pleased one day when he looked out his window and saw the men of King Josiah destroying the chariots. And what better way to destroy the chariots then with fire. Something very hot that the sun itself was known for.
      During during his stay in Jerusalem, Nathan-Melech just happened to have left a little trace of his own existance for us to find. In 2018 a seal was uncovered on the Temple Mount bearing the words: 'LeNathan-Melech Eved HaMelech,' (Nathan-Melech servant of the king.)
Nathan-Melech Seal
Nathan-Melech Seal
      Now for the man he worked for, King Josiah, was not a man who believed in freedom of religion. Nor would any man who truly dedicates himself to serving the one true God.
      1) He removed from the temple of the LORD all the articles made to worship the false gods, Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem. 2 Kings 23:4
       2) He did away with the false religious leaders and idolatrous priests who had been appointed by the previous kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places in the towns of Judah and on those all around Jerusalem. Those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts.  2 Kings 23:5
      3) 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. 2 Kings 23:6
      4) He also tore down the quarters of the perverted male shrine prostitutes that were in the temple of the LORD, the quarters where women did weaving for Asherah. 2 Kings 23:7
      5) 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 to false gods. 2 Kings 23:8
     6) He desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice their son or daughter in the fire to the false god Molek. 2 Kings 23:10
      7) 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.  2 Kings 23:11
      8) 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. 2 Kings 23:12
      9) The king also desecrated the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption--the ones Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the people of Ammon.   2 Kings 23:13
      10) Josiah smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles and covered the sites with human bones.  2 Kings 23:14
      11) 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.  2 Kings 23:15
      12) Just as he had done at Bethel, Josiah removed all the shrines at the high places that the kings of Israel had built in the towns of Samaria and that had aroused the LORD's anger. 2 Kings 23:19
      13) Josiah slaughtered all the priests of those high places on the altars and burned human bones on them. Then he went back to Jerusalem. 2 Kings 23:20
      14) Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem.  2 Kings 23:24
     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. 2 Kings 23:25
      He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left. 2 Kings 22:2
      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 a curse and be laid waste--and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the LORD. Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place. 2 Kings 22:19-20
      He went up to the temple of the LORD with the people of Judah, the inhabitants 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. The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the LORD--to follow the LORD and keep his commands, statutes 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. 2 Kings 23:2-3
      This article is a chapter from our 3 volume book series "Bible Believer's Archaeology" which can be downloaded for your ebook reader or mobile device by visiting our resource download page by Clicking Here.
Photo Links
Nathan-Melech Seal
Artwork - Nathan-Melech seal illustration based upon photograph of the artifact. Illustrator: John Argubright 2019
Artwork  - Temple male shrine prostitute
From the book: History of the World: Vol III  (1909), Author: Ridpath, John Clark. Publisher: The Jones Brothers Publishing Company
Artwork - Molech worship and child sacrifice
From the Book : Art and Music (Childcraft: Vol. 13) (1939)
Author: Quarrie Corp. Publisher: Quarrie Corp.
Artwork - King Solomon worshipping idols
From the book - Art and Music (Childcraft: Vol. 13) (1939)
Author: Quarrie Corp.Publisher: Quarrie Corp.
Artwork - Josiah slaughtering the priests of the high places.
From the book - American Portraits (1946), Author: Fisher, Dorothy Canfield. Illustrator: Kaufman, Enit
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
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