The Reign of Josiah
22 1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king; and he was ruling in Jerusalem for thirty-one years; his mother's name was Jedidah, daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, walking in the ways of David his father, without turning to the right hand or to the left.
The Book of the Law Discovered
3 Now in the eighteenth year after he became king, Josiah sent Shaphan, the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the Lord, saying to him, 4 Go up to Hilkiah, the chief priest, and let him give out the money which is taken into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the door have got together from the people; 5 And let it be given to the overseers of the work of the Lord's house, to give to the workmen who are making good what was damaged in the house of the Lord; 6 To the woodworkers and the builders and the stone-cutters; and for getting wood and cut stones for the building up of the house. 7 They did not have to give any account of the money which was handed to them, for they made use of it with good faith. 8 Then Hilkiah, the chief priest, said to Shaphan the scribe, I have made discovery of the book of the law in the house of the Lord. So Hilkiah gave it to Shaphan; 9 Then, after reading it, Shaphan the scribe went in to the king and gave him an account of what had been done, saying, Your servants have given out the money which was in the house, and have given it to the overseers of the work of the house of the Lord. 10 Then Shaphan the scribe said to the king, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book; and he was reading it before the king.
11 And the king, hearing the words of the book of the law, took his robe in his hands, violently parting it as a sign of his grief; 12 And he gave orders to Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, and Achbor, the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying, 13 Go and get directions from the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah, about the words of this book which has come to light; for great is the wrath of the Lord which is burning against us, because our fathers have not given ear to the words of this book, to do all the things which are recorded in it. 14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam and Achbor and Shaphan and Asaiah, went to Huldah the woman prophet, the wife of Shallum, the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the robes, (now she was living in Jerusalem, in the second part of the town;) and they had talk with her. 15 And she said to them, The Lord, the God of Israel, says, Say to the man who sent you to me, 16 These are the words of the Lord: See, I will send evil on this place and on its people, even everything which the king of Judah has been reading in the book; 17 Because they have given me up, burning offerings to other gods and moving me to wrath by all the work of their hands; so my wrath will be on fire against this place, and will not be put out. 18 But to the king of Judah who sent you to get directions from the Lord, say, This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has said: As to the words which have come to your ears, 19 Because your heart was soft, and you made yourself low before me, when you had word of what I said against this place and its people, that they would become a waste and a curse, and you gave signs of grief, weeping before me: truly, I have given ear to you, says the Lord. 20 For this cause I will let you go to your fathers and be put in your last resting-place in peace, and your eyes will not see all the evil which I will send on this place. So they took this news back to the king.
23 1 Then the king sent and got together all the responsible men of Judah and of Jerusalem. 2 And the king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the men of Judah and all the people of Jerusalem, and the priests and the prophets and all the people, small and great; and they were present at his reading of the book of the law which had come to light in the house of the Lord. 3 And the king took his place by the pillar, and made an agreement before the Lord, to go in the way of the Lord, and keep his orders and his decisions and his rules with all his heart and all his soul, and to keep the words of the agreement recorded in the book; and all the people gave their word to keep the agreement.
4 Then the king gave orders to Hilkiah, the chief priest, and to the priests of the second order, and to the keepers of the door, to take out of the house of the Lord all the vessels made for Baal and for the Asherah and for all the stars of heaven; and he had them burned outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and took the dust of them to Beth-el. 5 And he put an end to the false priests, who had been put in their positions by the kings of Judah to see to the burning of offerings in the high places in the towns of Judah and the outskirts of Jerusalem, and all those who made offerings to Baal and to the sun and the moon and the twelve signs and all the stars of heaven. 6 And he took the Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem to the stream Kidron, burning it by the stream and crushing it to dust, and he put the dust on the place where the bodies of the common people were put to rest. 7 And he had the houses pulled down of those who were used for sex purposes in the house of the Lord, where women were making robes for the Asherah. 8 And he made all the priests from the towns of Judah come into Jerusalem, and he made unclean the high places where the priests had been burning offerings, from Geba to Beer-sheba; and he had the high places of the evil spirits pulled down which were by the doorway of Joshua, the ruler of the town, on the left side of the way into the town. 9 Still the priests of the high places never came up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem; but they took their food of unleavened bread among their brothers. 10 And Topheth, in the valley of the sons of Hinnom, he made unclean, so that no man might make his son or his daughter go through the fire to Molech. 11 And he took away the horses which the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the way into the house of the Lord, by the room of Nathan-melech, the unsexed servant, which was in the outer part of the building, and the carriages of the sun he put on fire. 12 And the altars on the roof of the high room of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two outer squares of the house of the Lord, were pulled down and crushed to bits, and the dust of them was put into the stream Kidron. 13 And the high places before Jerusalem, on the south side of the mountain of destruction, which Solomon, king of Israel, had made for Ashtoreth, the disgusting god of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh, the disgusting god of Moab, and for Milcom, the disgusting god of the children of Ammon, the king made unclean. 14 The stone pillars were broken to bits and the wood pillars cut down, and the places where they had been were made full of the bones of the dead. 15 And the altar at Beth-el, and the high place put up by Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel do evil, that altar and that high place were pulled down; and the high place was burned and crushed to dust and the Asherah was burned. 16 Then Josiah, turning round, saw on the mountain the places of the dead, and he sent and had the bones taken out of their places and burned on the altar, so making it unclean, as the Lord had said by the man of God when Jeroboam was in his place by the altar on that feast-day. And he, turning his eyes to the resting-place of the man of God who had given word of these things, said: 17 What is that headstone I see over there? And the men of the town said to him, It is the resting-place of the man of God who came from Judah and gave word of all these things which you have done to the altar of Beth-el. 18 So he said, Let him be; let not his bones be moved. So they let his bones be with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria. 19 Then Josiah took away all the houses of the high places in the towns of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had put up, moving the Lord to wrath, and he did with them as he had done in Beth-el. 20 And all the priests of the high places there he put to death on the altars, burning the bones of the dead on them; and then he went back to Jerusalem.
The Passover Kept
21 And the king gave orders to all the people, saying, Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it says in this book of the law. 22 Truly, such a Passover had not been kept in all the days of the judges of Israel or of the kings of Israel or the kings of Judah; 23 In the eighteenth year of the rule of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem.
The LORD's Persistent Anger against Judah
24 And all those who had control of spirits, and the wonder-workers, and the images, and the false gods, and all the disgusting things which were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, Josiah put away, so that he might give effect to the words of the agreement recorded in the book which Hilkiah the priest made discovery of in the house of the Lord.
25 Never before had there been a king like him, turning to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his power, as the law of Moses says; and after him there was no king like him. 26 But still the heat of the Lord's wrath was not turned back from Judah, because of all Manasseh had done in moving him to wrath. 27 And the Lord said, I will send Judah away from before my face, as I have sent Israel; I will have nothing more to do with this town, which I had made mine, even Jerusalem, and the holy house of which I said, My name will be there.
The Death of Josiah
28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? 29 In his days, Pharaoh-necoh, king of Egypt, sent his armies against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates; and King Josiah went out against him; and he put him to death at Megiddo, when he had seen him. 30 And his servants took his body in a carriage from Megiddo to Jerusalem, and put him into the earth there. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz, the son of Josiah, and put the holy oil on him and made him king in place of his father.
The Reign and Dethronement of Jehoahaz
31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, ruling in Jerusalem for three months; his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his fathers had done. 33 And Pharaoh-necoh put him in chains at Riblah in the land of Hamath, so that he might not be king in Jerusalem; and took from the land a tax of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 34 Then Pharaoh-necoh made Eliakim, the son of Josiah, king in place of Josiah his father, changing his name to Jehoiakim; but Jehoahaz he took away to Egypt, where he was till his death. 35 And Jehoiakim gave the silver and gold to Pharaoh, taxing the land by his orders to get the money; the people of the land had to give silver and gold, everyone as he was taxed, to make the payment to Pharaoh-necoh.
The Reign of Jehoiakim
36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king; he was ruling in Jerusalem for eleven years; his mother's name was Zebidah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord as his fathers had done.
The Reign of Josiah
34 1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king; he was ruling in Jerusalem for thirty-one years. 2 And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, walking in the ways of his father David, without turning to the right hand or to the left.
3 In the eighth year of his rule, while he was still young, his heart was first turned to the God of his father David; and in the twelfth year he undertook the clearing away of all the high places and the pillars and the images of wood and metal from Judah and Jerusalem. 4 He had the altars of the Baals broken down, while he himself was present; and the sun-images which were placed on high over them he had cut down; and the pillars of wood and the metal images he had broken up and crushed to dust, dropping the dust over the resting-places of the dead who had made offerings to them. 5 And he had the bones of the priests burned on their altars, and so he made Judah and Jerusalem clean. 6 And in all the towns of Manasseh and Ephraim and Simeon as far as Naphtali, he made waste their houses round about. 7 He had the altars and the pillars of wood pulled down and the images crushed to dust, and all the sun-images cut down, through all the land of Israel, and then he went back to Jerusalem.
The Book of the Law Discovered
8 Now in the eighteenth year of his rule, when the land and the house had been made clean, he sent Shaphan, the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah, the ruler of the town, and Joah, the son of Joahaz, the recorder, to make good what was damaged in the house of the Lord his God. 9 And they came to Hilkiah, the chief priest, and gave him all the money which had been taken into the house of God, which the Levites, the keepers of the door, had got from Manasseh and Ephraim and those of Israel who had not been taken away as prisoners, and from all Judah and Benjamin and the people of Jerusalem. 10 And they gave it to the overseers of the work of the Lord's house, and the overseers gave it to the workmen working in the house, for building it up and making good what was damaged; 11 Even to the woodworkers and builders to get cut stone and wood for joining the structure together and for making boards for the houses which the kings of Judah had given up to destruction. 12 And the men did the work well; and those who had authority over them were Jahath and Obadiah, Levites of the sons of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, who were to be responsible for seeing that the work was done; and others of the Levites, who were expert with instruments of music, 13 Had authority over the transport workers, giving directions to all who were doing any sort of work; and among the Levites there were scribes and overseers and door-keepers.
14 Now when they were taking out the money which had come into the Lord's house, Hilkiah the priest came across the book of the law of the Lord, which he had given by the mouth of Moses. 15 Then Hilkiah said to Shaphan the scribe, I have made discovery of the book of the law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan. 16 And Shaphan took the book to the king; and he gave him an account of what had been done, saying, Your servants are doing all they have been given to do; 17 They have taken out all the money which was in the Lord's house and have given it to the overseers and to the workmen. 18 Then Shaphan the scribe said to the king, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book; and he made a start at reading some of it to the king. 19 And the king, hearing the words of the law, took his robe in his hands, violently parting it as a sign of his grief. 20 And he gave orders to Hilkiah and to Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, and Abdon, the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe and Asaiah, the king's servant, saying, 21 Go and get directions from the Lord for me and for those who are still in Israel and for Judah, about the words of this book which has come to light; for great is the wrath of the Lord which has been let loose on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord or done what is recorded in this book. 22 So Hilkiah, and those whom the king sent, went to Huldah the woman prophet, the wife of Shallum, the son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, the keeper of the robes (now she was living in Jerusalem, in the second part of the town); and they had talk with her about this thing. 23 And she said to them, The Lord, the God of Israel, has said, Say to the man who sent you to me, 24 These are the words of the Lord: See, I will send evil on this place and on its people, even all the curses in the book which they have been reading before the king of Judah; 25 Because they have given me up, burning offerings to other gods and moving me to wrath by all the works of their hands; so my wrath is let loose on this place and will not be put out. 26 But to the king of Judah who sent you to get directions from the Lord, say, This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has said: Because you have given ear to my words, 27 And your heart was soft, and you made yourself low before God, on hearing his words about this place and its people, and with weeping and signs of grief have made yourself low before me, I have given ear to you, says the Lord God. 28 See, I will let you go to your fathers, and be put in your last resting-place in peace, and your eyes will not see all the evil which I will send on this place and on its people. So they took this news back to the king.
29 Then the king sent and got together all the responsible men of Judah and of Jerusalem. 30 And the king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the men of Judah and the people of Jerusalem, and the priests and the Levites and all the people, small and great; and they were present at his reading of the book of the law which had come to light in the house of the Lord. 31 Then the king, taking his place by the pillar, made an agreement before the Lord, to go in the way of the Lord, and to keep his orders and his decisions and his rules with all his heart and with all his soul, and to keep the words of the agreement recorded in this book. 32 And he made all the people in Jerusalem and Benjamin give their word to keep it. And the people of Jerusalem kept the agreement of God, the God of their fathers. 33 Josiah took away all the disgusting things out of all the lands of the children of Israel, and made all who were in Israel servants of the Lord their God. And as long as he was living they were true to the Lord, the God of their fathers.
Josiah Keeps the Passover
35 1 And Josiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem; on the fourteenth day of the first month they put the Passover lamb to death. 2 And he gave the priests their places, making them strong for the work of the house of God. 3 And he said to the Levites, the teachers of all Israel, who were holy to the Lord, See, the holy ark is in the house which Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel, made; it will no longer have to be transported on your backs: now be the servants of the Lord your God and his people Israel, 4 And make yourselves ready in your divisions, by your families, as it is ordered in the writings of David, king of Israel, and of Solomon his son; 5 And take your positions in the holy place, grouped in the families of your brothers, the children of the people, and for every division let there be a part of a family of the Levites. 6 And put the Passover lamb to death, and make yourselves holy, and make it ready for your brothers, so that the orders given by the Lord through Moses may be done. 7 And Josiah gave lambs and goats from the flock as Passover offerings for all the people who were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand oxen: these were from the king's private property. 8 And his captains freely gave an offering to the people, the priests, and the Levites. Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, the rulers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings two thousand, six hundred small cattle and three hundred oxen. 9 And Conaniah and Shemaiah and Nethanel, his brothers, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, the chiefs of the Levites, gave to the Levites for the Passover offerings five thousand small cattle and five hundred oxen. 10 So everything was made ready and the priests took their places with the Levites in their divisions, as the king had said. 11 And they put the Passover lambs to death, the blood being drained out by the priests when it was given to them, and the Levites did the skinning. 12 And they took away the burned offerings, so that they might give them to be offered to the Lord for the divisions of the families of the people, as it is recorded in the book of Moses. And they did the same with the oxen. 13 And the Passover lamb was cooked over the fire, as it says in the law; and the holy offerings were cooked in pots and basins and vessels, and taken quickly to all the people. 14 And after that, they made ready for themselves and for the priests; for the priests, the sons of Aaron, were offering the burned offerings and the fat till night; so the Levites made ready what was needed for themselves and for the priests, the sons of Aaron. 15 And the sons of Asaph, the makers of melody, were in their places, as ordered by David and Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun, the king's seer; and the door-keepers were stationed at every door: there was no need for them to go away from their places, for their brothers the Levites made ready for them. 16 So everything needed for the worship of the Lord was made ready that same day, for the keeping of the Passover and the offering of burned offerings on the altar of the Lord, as King Josiah had given orders. 17 And all the children of Israel who were present kept the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread at that time for seven days. 18 No Passover like it had been kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; and not one of the kings of Israel had ever kept a Passover like the one kept by Josiah and the priests and the Levites and all those of Judah and Israel who were present, and the people of Jerusalem. 19 In the eighteenth year of the rule of Josiah this Passover was kept.
The Death of Josiah
20 After all this, and after Josiah had put the house in order, Neco, king of Egypt, went up to make war at Carchemish by the river Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him. 21 But he sent representatives to him, saying, What have I to do with you, O king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, but against those with whom I am at war; and God has given me orders to go forward quickly: keep out of God's way, for he is with me, or he will send destruction on you. 22 However, Josiah would not go back; but keeping to his purpose of fighting against him, and giving no attention to the words of Neco, which came from God, he went forward to the fight in the valley of Megiddo. 23 And the bowmen sent their arrows at King Josiah, and the king said to his servants, Take me away, for I am badly wounded. 24 So his servants took him out of the line of war-carriages, and put him in his second carriage and took him to Jerusalem, where he came to his end, and they put his body in the resting-place of his fathers. And in all Judah and Jerusalem there was great weeping for Josiah. 25 And Jeremiah made a song of grief for Josiah; and to this day Josiah is named by all the makers of melody, men and women, in their songs of grief; they made it a rule in Israel; and the songs are recorded among the songs of grief. 26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and the good he did, in keeping with what is recorded in the law of the Lord, 27 And all his acts, first and last, are recorded in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.