Hilkiah Finds the Scroll of the Law
1Josiah was eight years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 31 years. His mother's name was Jedidah. She was the daughter of Adaiah. She was from Bozkath.
2Josiah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He lived the way King David had lived. He didn't turn away from it to the right or the left.
3King Josiah sent his secretary Shaphan to the Lord's temple. It was in the 18th year of Josiah's rule. Shaphan was the son of Azaliah. Azaliah was the son of Meshullam. Josiah said, 4"Go up to the high priest Hilkiah. Have him add up the money that has been brought into the Lord's temple. Those who guard the doors have collected it from the people.
5"Have them put all of the money in the care of the men who have been put in charge of the work on the Lord's temple. Have them pay the workers who repair it. 6Have them pay the builders and those who work with wood. Have them pay those who lay the stones. Also have them buy lumber and blocks of stone to repair the temple.
7"But they don't have to report how they use the money that is given to them. That's because they are completely honest."
8The high priest Hilkiah spoke to the secretary Shaphan. He said, "I've found the Scroll of the Law in the Lord's temple." He gave it to Shaphan, who read it.
9Then Shaphan went to King Josiah. He told him, "Your officials have paid out the money that was in the Lord's temple. They've put it in the care of the workers and directors there." 10Shaphan continued, "The priest Hilkiah has given me a scroll." Shaphan read some of it to the king.
11The king heard the words of the Scroll of the Law. When he did, he tore his royal robes. 12He gave orders to the priest Hilkiah, Ahikam, Acbor, the secretary Shaphan and Asaiah. Ahikam was the son of Shaphan. Acbor was the son of Micaiah. And Asaiah was the king's attendant.
Josiah commanded them, 13"Go. Ask the Lord for advice. Ask him about what is written in this scroll that has been found. Do it for me. Also do it for the people and the whole nation of Judah. The Lord's anger is burning against us. That's because our people before us didn't obey the words of this scroll. They didn't do everything that is written there about us."
14The priest Hilkiah went to speak to the prophet Huldah. So did Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan and Asaiah. Huldah was the wife of Shallum. Shallum was the son of Tikvah. Tikvah was the son of Harhas. Shallum took care of the sacred robes. Huldah lived in the New Quarter of Jerusalem.
15She said to them, "The Lord is the God of Israel. He says, 'Tell the man who sent you to me, 16"The Lord says, 'I am going to bring horrible trouble on this place and its people. Everything that is written in the scroll the king of Judah has read will take place.
17" ' " 'That is because the people have deserted me. They have burned incense to other gods. They have made me very angry because of the statues of gods their hands have made. So my anger will burn against this place. The fire of my anger will not be put out.' " '
18"The king of Judah sent you to ask the Lord for advice. Tell him, 'The Lord is the God of Israel. He has a message for you about the things you heard. He says, 19"Your heart was tender. You made yourself low in my sight. You heard what I spoke against this place and its people. I said they would be under a curse. I told them they would be destroyed. You tore your royal robes and sobbed. And I have heard you," announces the Lord.
20" ' "You will join the members of your family who have already died. Your body will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all of the trouble I am going to bring on this place." ' "
Huldah's answer was taken back to the king.