International Standard Bible EncyclopediaChariots of the Sun
CHARIOTS OF THE SUN
(markebhoth ha-shemesh): These, together with "horses of the sun," are mentioned in 2 Kings 23:11. They are said to have stood in the temple, a gift of the kings of Judah. Josiah removed the horses from the precincts of the temple and burned the chariots. Among the Greeks, Helios was endowed with horses and chariots. Thus the course of the sun as he sped across the skies was understood by the mythological mind of antiquity. The Babylonian god Shamash (= Hebrew Shemesh) likewise had his chariot and horses as well as his charioteer. The cult of the sun and other heavenly bodies which was particularly in vogue during the latter days of the Judean monarchy (compare 2 Kings 23:5 Ezekiel 8:16; Deuteronomy 17:3 Jeremiah 8:2) seems to have constituted an element of the Canaanitish religion (compare the names of localities like Beth-shemesh and the like). The chariots of the sun are also referred to in Enoch 72:5, 37; 75:4, and Greek Apocrypha of Baruch 6.
Max L. Margolis