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.
The Reign and Dethronement of Jehoahaz
36 1 Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz, the son of Josiah, and made him king in Jerusalem in place of his father. 2 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king; he was ruling in Jerusalem for three months. 3 Then the king of Egypt took the kingdom from him in Jerusalem, and put on the land a tax of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 4 And the king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, changing his name to Jehoiakim. And Neco took his brother Jehoahaz away to Egypt.
The Reign of Jehoiakim
5 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king; he was ruling in Jerusalem for eleven years, and he did evil in the eyes of the Lord his God. 6 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came up against him, and took him away in chains to Babylon. 7 And Nebuchadnezzar took away some of the vessels of the Lord's house, and put them in the house of his god in Babylon. 8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim and the disgusting things he did, and all there is to be said against him, are recorded in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah; and Jehoiachin his son became king in his place.
Jehoiachin Taken Captive to Babylon
9 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king; he was ruling in Jerusalem for three months and ten days, and he did evil in the eyes of the Lord. 10 In the spring of the year King Nebuchadnezzar sent and took him away to Babylon, with the beautiful vessels of the house of the Lord, and made Zedekiah, his father's brother, king over Judah and Jerusalem.
The Reign of Zedekiah
11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king; he was ruling in Jerusalem for eleven years. 12 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did not make himself low before Jeremiah the prophet who gave him the word of the Lord. 13 And he took up arms against King Nebuchadnezzar, though he had made him take an oath by God; but he made his neck stiff and his heart hard, turning away from the Lord, the God of Israel. 14 And more than this, all the great men of Judah and the priests and the people made their sin great, turning to all the disgusting ways of the nations; and they made unclean the house of the Lord which he had made holy in Jerusalem. 15 And the Lord, the God of their fathers, sent word to them by his servants, sending early and frequently, because he had pity on his people and on his living-place; 16 But they put shame on the servants of God, making sport of his words and laughing at his prophets, till the wrath of God was moved against his people, till there was no help.
The Captivity of Judah
17 So he sent against them the king of the Chaldaeans, who put their young men to death with the sword in the house of their holy place, and had no pity for any, young man or virgin, old man or white-haired: God gave them all into his hands. 18 And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the stored wealth of the Lord's house and the wealth of the king and his chiefs, he took away to Babylon. 19 And the house of God was burned and the wall of Jerusalem broken down; all its great houses were burned with fire and all its beautiful vessels given up to destruction. 20 And all who had not come to death by the sword he took away prisoners to Babylon; and they became servants to him and to his sons till the kingdom of Persia came to power: 21 So that the words of the Lord, which he said by the mouth of Jeremiah, might come true, till the land had had pleasure in her Sabbaths; for as long as she was waste the land kept the Sabbath, till seventy years were complete.
The Proclamation of Cyrus
22 Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order that the words which the Lord had said by the mouth of Jeremiah might come true, the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, was moved by the Lord, and he made a public statement and had it given out through all his kingdom and put in writing, saying, 23 Cyrus, king of Persia, has said, All the kingdoms of the earth have been given to me by the Lord, the God of heaven; and he has made me responsible for building a house for him in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him and let him go up.