I just learned King Josiah and Hezekiah turned the altars of pagan temples into toilets
· Jul 12, 2023 · NottheBee.com

I know some Christians who might be offended by ancient Israel's methods of tearing down pagan temples and desecrating so-called holy places.

The story in 2 Kings 23 tells of how King Josiah destroyed all of the altars and idols of pagan gods that were in the temple and, as archaeologists later discovered, in their destruction of these idols, Josiah and the Israelites actually made the altars into literal toilets.

Not very winsome of Josiah. I guess he was more concerned with serving God than making the world like him!

This discovery, as covered by Newsweek back in 2017, shows just how serious these Israelites were about tearing down false religions.

Archaeologists have discovered a symbolic toilet from the eighth century B.C. in Jerusalem that could be a clue to religious reforms in the Kingdom of Judah. Religious reforms, in this case, is a euphemism for quite literally defecating on the holy places one wishes to drive out of business.

The stone toilet sits in Tel Lachish, a sprawling Iron Age city and the Kingdom of Judah's most important one after the capitol, Jerusalem. It was found in what the archaeologists believe to be a gate-shrine within Israel's largest ancient city gate. The ruler at that time, King Hezekiah, enacted campaigns of religious worship and reform that made their way into the Hebrew Bible on multiple occasions.

Newsweek attributes this likely to King Hezekiah, although it's entirely possible that this could also be a work of the good King Josiah as well.

It's also documented in 2 Kings 10:27 that Jehu previously implemented the practice of turning altars to false gods into literal toilets:

And they demolished the pillar of Baal, and demolished the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day.

It is important for believers to reconcile Christ's rebuke of James and John for wanting to call down fire from heaven on unbelievers (Luke 9), as well as Christ's admonition against the sword to Peter (Matthew 26), with the realization that though now is the time for patience and forgiveness, there will come a day when Christ returns with a sword to judge the living and the dead and place all enemies under His feet (Revelation 19, Matthew 25, 2 Timothy 4:1). We tend to forget this to our very great error.

At that point, making the altars of Baal into toilets will seem nice by contrast!

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