Josiah Reigns in Judah
(2 Kings 22:1–2)
1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. 2 And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.
Josiah Destroys Idolatry
(1 Kings 13:1–10; 2 Kings 23:4–20)
3 In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, Josiah began to seek the God of his father David, and in the twelfth year he began to cleanse Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherah poles, the carved idols, and the cast images. 4 Then in his presence the altars of the Baals were torn down, and he cut to pieces the incense altars that were above them. He shattered the Asherah poles, the carved idols, and the cast images, crushed them to dust, and scattered them over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. 5 Then he burned the bones of the priests on their altars. So he cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.
6 Josiah did the same in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, as far as Naphtali, and in the ruins a around them. 7 He tore down the altars and Asherah poles, crushed the idols to powder, and cut to pieces all the incense altars throughout the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
Josiah Repairs the Temple
(2 Kings 22:3–7)
8 Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, in order to cleanse the land and the temple, Josiah sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his God.
9 So they went to Hilkiah the high priest and gave him the money that had been brought into the house of God, which the Levites at the doors had collected from the people of Manasseh and Ephraim, from all the remnant of Israel, Judah, and Benjamin, and from the people of Jerusalem. 10 They put it into the hands of the supervisors of those doing the work of the house of the LORD, who in turn gave it to the workmen restoring and repairing the house of the LORD. 11 They also gave money to the carpenters and builders to buy dressed stone, as well as timbers for couplings and beams for the buildings that the kings of Judah had allowed to deteriorate.
12 And the men did the work faithfully. The Levites overseeing them were Jahath and Obadiah, descendants of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, descendants of Kohath. Other Levites, all skilled with musical instruments, 13 were over the laborers and supervised all who did the work, task by task. Some of the Levites were secretaries, officers, and gatekeepers.
Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law
(2 Kings 22:8–13)
14 While they were bringing out the money that had been taken into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the LORD written by b Moses. 15 And Hilkiah said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD!” And he gave it to Shaphan.
16 Then Shaphan brought the book to the king and reported, “Your servants are doing all that has been placed in their hands. 17 They have paid out the money that was found in the house of the LORD and have put it into the hands of the supervisors and workers.”
18 Moreover, Shaphan the scribe told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it in the presence of the king.
19 When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his clothes 20 and commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon c son of Micah, d Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the servant of the king: 21 “Go and inquire of the LORD for me and for those remaining in Israel and Judah concerning the words in the book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the LORD that has been poured out on us because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD by doing all that is written in this book.”
(2 Kings 22:14–20)
22 So Hilkiah and those the king had designated went and spoke to Huldah e the prophetess, the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath, f the son of Hasrah, g the keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the Second District. h
23 And Huldah said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Tell the man who sent you 24 that this is what the LORD says: I am about to bring calamity on this place and on its people, according to all the curses written in the book that has been read in the presence of the king of Judah, 25 because they have forsaken Me and burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands. My wrath will be poured out upon this place and will not be quenched.’
26 But as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, tell him that this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘As for the words that you heard, 27 because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its people, and because you have humbled yourself before Me and you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I have heard you,’ declares the LORD.
28 ‘Now I will indeed gather you to your fathers, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace. Your eyes will not see all the calamity that I will bring on this place and on its inhabitants.’ ”
Josiah Renews the Covenant
(2 Kings 23:1–3)
29 Then the king summoned all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 And he went up to the house of the LORD with all the people of Judah and Jerusalem, as well as the priests and the Levites—all the people small and great—and in their hearing he read all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the LORD.
31 So the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the LORD to follow the LORD and to keep His commandments, decrees, and statutes with all his heart and all his soul, and to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book.
32 Then he had everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin take a stand in agreement to it. So all the people of Jerusalem carried out the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.
33 And Josiah removed all the abominations from all the lands belonging to the Israelites, and he required everyone in Israel to serve the LORD their God. Throughout his reign they did not turn aside from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.
6 a Or in the regions
14 b Hebrew the Law of the LORD by the hand of
20 c Abdon is a variant of Achbor ; see 2 Kings 22:12.
20 d Micah is a variant of Micaiah ; see 2 Kings 22:12.
22 e One Hebrew manuscript, Vulgate, and Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts and those the king had told went to Huldah
22 f Tokhath is a variant of Tikvah ; see 2 Kings 22:14.
22 g Hasrah is a variant of Harhas ; see 2 Kings 22:14.
22 h Or the Second Quarter , a newer section of Jerusalem; Hebrew the Mishneh