2 Chronicles 34-35 Revised Standard Version

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The Reign of Josiah

34 1  Josi'ah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2  He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father; and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.

Josiah's Reforms

3  For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a boy, he began to seek the God of David his father; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Ashe'rim, and the graven and the molten images. 4  And they broke down the altars of the Ba'als in his presence; and he hewed down the incense altars which stood above them; and he broke in pieces the Ashe'rim and the graven and the molten images, and he made dust of them and strewed it over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. 5  He also burned the bones of the priests on their altars, and purged Judah and Jerusalem. 6  And in the cities of Manas'seh, E'phraim, and Simeon, and as far as Naph'tali, in their ruins round about, 7  he broke down the altars, and beat the Ashe'rim and the images into powder, and hewed down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

The Book of the Law Discovered

8  Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azali'ah, and Ma-asei'ah the governor of the city, and Jo'ah the son of Jo'ahaz, the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God. 9  They came to Hilki'ah the high priest and delivered the money that had been brought into the house of God, which the Levites, the keepers of the threshold, had collected from Manas'seh and E'phraim and from all the remnant of Israel and from all Judah and Benjamin and from the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10  They delivered it to the workmen who had the oversight of the house of the Lord; and the workmen who were working in the house of the Lord gave it for repairing and restoring the house. 11  They gave it to the carpenters and the builders to buy quarried stone, and timber for binders and beams for the buildings which the kings of Judah had let go to ruin. 12  And the men did the work faithfully. Over them were set Jahath and Obadi'ah the Levites, of the sons of Merar'i, and Zechari'ah and Meshul'lam, of the sons of the Ko'hathites, to have oversight. The Levites, all who were skilful with instruments of music, 13  were over the burden bearers and directed all who did work in every kind of service; and some of the Levites were scribes, and officials, and gatekeepers.

14  While they were bringing out the money that had been brought into the house of the Lord, Hilki'ah the priest found the book of the law of the Lord given through Moses. 15  Then Hilki'ah said to Shaphan the secretary, "I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord"; and Hilki'ah gave the book to Shaphan. 16  Shaphan brought the book to the king, and further reported to the king, "All that was committed to your servants they are doing. 17  They have emptied out the money that was found in the house of the Lord and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers and the workmen." 18  Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, "Hilki'ah the priest has given me a book." And Shaphan read it before the king. 19  When the king heard the words of the law he rent his clothes. 20  And the king commanded Hilki'ah, Ahi'kam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary, and Asai'ah the king's servant, saying, 21  "Go, inquire of the Lord for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do according to all that is written in this book." 22  So Hilki'ah and those whom the king had sent went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter) and spoke to her to that effect. 23  And she said to them, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: 'Tell the man who sent you to me, 24  Thus says the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the curses that are written in the book which was read before the king of Judah. 25  Because they have forsaken me and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands, therefore my wrath will be poured out upon this place and will not be quenched. 26  But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall you say to him, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Regarding the words which you have heard, 27  because your heart was penitent and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me, and have rent your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, says the Lord. 28  Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place and its inhabitants.'" And they brought back word to the king.

29  Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30  And the king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the Levites, all the people both great and small; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which had been found in the house of the Lord. 31  And the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. 32  Then he made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33  And Josi'ah took away all the abominations from all the territory that belonged to the people of Israel, and made all who were in Israel serve the Lord their God. All his days they did not turn away from following the Lord the God of their fathers.

Josiah Keeps the Passover

35 1  Josi'ah kept a passover to the Lord in Jerusalem; and they killed the passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2  He appointed the priests to their offices and encouraged them in the service of the house of the Lord. 3  And he said to the Levites who taught all Israel and who were holy to the Lord, "Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built; you need no longer carry it upon your shoulders. Now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel. 4  Prepare yourselves according to your fathers' houses by your divisions, following the directions of David king of Israel and the directions of Solomon his son. 5  And stand in the holy place according to the groupings of the fathers' houses of your brethren the lay people, and let there be for each a part of a father's house of the Levites. 6  And kill the passover lamb, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare for your brethren, to do according to the word of the Lord by Moses." 7  Then Josi'ah contributed to the lay people, as passover offerings for all that were present, lambs and kids from the flock to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bulls; these were from the king's possessions. 8  And his princes contributed willingly to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilki'ah, Zechari'ah, and Jehi'el, the chief officers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the passover offerings two thousand six hundred lambs and kids and three hundred bulls. 9  Conani'ah also, and Shemai'ah and Nethan'el his brothers, and Hashabi'ah and Je-i'el and Jo'zabad, the chiefs of the Levites, gave to the Levites for the passover offerings five thousand lambs and kids and five hundred bulls. 10  When the service had been prepared for, the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their divisions according to the king's command. 11  And they killed the passover lamb, and the priests sprinkled the blood which they received from them while the Levites flayed the victims. 12  And they set aside the burnt offerings that they might distribute them according to the groupings of the fathers' houses of the lay people, to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the book of Moses. And so they did with the bulls. 13  And they roasted the passover lamb with fire according to the ordinance; and they boiled the holy offerings in pots, in caldrons, and in pans, and carried them quickly to all the lay people. 14  And afterward they prepared for themselves and for the priests, because the priests the sons of Aaron were busied in offering the burnt offerings and the fat parts until night; so the Levites prepared for themselves and for the priests the sons of Aaron. 15  The singers, the sons of Asaph, were in their place according to the command of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jedu'thun the king's seer; and the gatekeepers were at each gate; they did not need to depart from their service, for their brethren the Levites prepared for them. 16  So all the service of the Lord was prepared that day, to keep the passover and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, according to the command of King Josi'ah. 17  And the people of Israel who were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days. 18  No passover like it had been kept in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet; none of the kings of Israel had kept such a passover as was kept by Josi'ah, and the priests and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19  In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josi'ah this passover was kept.

The Death of Josiah

20  After all this, when Josi'ah had prepared the temple, Neco king of Egypt went up to fight at Car'chemish on the Euphra'tes and Josi'ah went out against him. 21  But he sent envoys to him, saying, "What have we to do with each other, king of Judah? I am not coming against you this day, but against the house with which I am at war; and God has commanded me to make haste. Cease opposing God, who is with me, lest he destroy you." 22  Nevertheless Josi'ah would not turn away from him, but disguised himself in order to fight with him. He did not listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but joined battle in the plain of Megid'do. 23  And the archers shot King Josi'ah; and the king said to his servants, "Take me away, for I am badly wounded." 24  So his servants took him out of the chariot and carried him in his second chariot and brought him to Jerusalem. And he died, and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josi'ah. 25  Jeremiah also uttered a lament for Josi'ah; and all the singing men and singing women have spoken of Josi'ah in their laments to this day. They made these an ordinance in Israel; behold, they are written in the Laments. 26  Now the rest of the acts of Josi'ah, and his good deeds according to what is written in the law of the Lord, 27  and his acts, first and last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.

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