For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.
Young — ln the sixteenth year of his age; when he was entering into the age of temptation, and had the administration of his kingdom wholly in his own power, and none to restrain him; even then he begins to be religious in good earnest.
 And so did he in the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their mattocks round about.
Naphtali — Which was in the utmost borders of the kingdom of Israel. For it must be remembered, that the ten tribes were now gone into captivity; and those who were come in their stead were weak and few, and not able to withstand the power of Josiah.
 Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his God.
The house — The house of God, called the house by way of eminency.
 Even to the artificers and builders gave they it, to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to floor the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed.
Houses — The chambers joining to the temple.
 And the men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to set it forward; and other of the Levites, all that could skill of instruments of musick.
Musick — All these here named, were skilful in instruments of musick. Which may be here mentioned, to intimate, that as they were skilful, so they were exercised in both employments, and did successively oversee the work, and praise God with their voices and instruments.
 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes.
Rent his clothes — Were the things contained in scripture new to us, as they were here to Josiah, surely they would make deeper impressions upon us than they commonly do. But they are not the less weighty, and therefore should not be the less regarded, because they are well known.
 And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.
To stand to it — He caused them to engage by an oath or covenant, that they would observe the laws of God, as his predecessors had formerly done, and which indeed they were before obliged to do.
 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. And all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.
Even to serve — The repetition shews, that this was the only thing his heart was set upon. He aimed at nothing in all he did, but to engage them to God and their duty.