Josiah Reigns in Judah
1Josiah #2 Kin. 22:1, 2; Jer. 1:2; 3:6was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
3For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still #Eccl. 12:1young, he began to #2 Chr. 15:2; (Prov. 8:17)seek the God of his father David; and in the twelfth year he began #1 Kin. 13:2to purge Judah and Jerusalem #2 Chr. 33:17–19, 22of the high places, the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images. 4#Lev. 26:30; 2 Kin. 23:4They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and the incense altars which were above them he cut down; and the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images he broke in pieces, and made dust of them #2 Kin. 23:6and scattered it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. 5He also #1 Kin. 13:2burned the bones of the priests on their #2 Kin. 23:20altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. 6And so he did in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, as far as Naphtali and all around, with axes. 7When he had broken down the altars and the wooden images, had #Deut. 9:21beaten the carved images into powder, and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem.
Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law
8#2 Kin. 22:3–20In the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land and the temple, he sent #2 Kin. 25:22Shaphan the son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the #2 Chr. 18:25governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God. 9When they came to Hilkiah the high priest, they delivered #2 Kin. 12:4the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites who kept the doors had gathered from the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, from all the #2 Chr. 30:6remnant of Israel, from all Judah and Benjamin, and which they had brought back to Jerusalem. 10Then they put it in the hand of the foremen who had the oversight of the house of the Lord; and they gave it to the workmen who worked in the house of the Lord, to repair and restore the house. 11They gave it to the craftsmen and builders to buy hewn stone and timber for beams, and to floor the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed. 12And the men did the work faithfully. Their overseers were Jahath and Obadiah the Levites, of the sons of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to supervise. Others of the Levites, all of whom were skillful with instruments of music, 13were #2 Chr. 8:10over the burden bearers and were overseers of all who did work in any kind of service. #1 Chr. 23:4, 5And some of the Levites were scribes, officers, and gatekeepers.
14Now when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest #2 Kin. 22:8found the Book of the Law of the Lord given by Moses. 15Then Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the #Deut. 31:24, 26book to Shaphan. 16So Shaphan carried the book to the king, bringing the king word, saying, “All that was committed to your servants they are doing. 17And they have gathered the money that was found in the house of the Lord, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers and the workmen.” 18Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king.
19Thus it happened, when the king heard the words of the Law, that he tore his clothes. 20Then the king commanded Hilkiah, #Jer. 26:24Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king, saying, 21“Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for those who are left in Israel and Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not #2 Kin. 17:15–19kept the word of the Lord, to do according to all that is written in this book.”
22So Hilkiah and those the king had appointed went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe. (She dwelt in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter.) And they spoke to her to that effect.
23Then she answered them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Tell the man who sent you to Me, 24“Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will #2 Chr. 36:14–20bring calamity on this place and on its inhabitants, all the curses that are written in the #Deut. 28:15–68book which they have read before the king of Judah, 25because they have forsaken Me and 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 on this place, and not be quenched.’ ” ’ 26But as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, in this manner you shall speak to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Concerning the words which you have heard— 27because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the #2 Kin. 22:19; 2 Chr. 12:7; 30:6; 33:12, 13Lord. 28“Surely 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 calamity which I will bring on this place and its inhabitants.” ’ ” So they brought back word to the king.
Josiah Restores True Worship
29#2 Kin. 23:1–3Then the king sent and gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30The king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem—the priests and the Levites, and all the people, great and small. And he #Neh. 8:1–3read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant which had been found in the house of the Lord. 31Then the king #2 Chr. 6:13stood in #2 Kin. 11:14; 23:3; 2 Chr. 30:16his place and made a #2 Chr. 23:16; 29:10covenant before the Lord, to follow 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. 32And he made all who were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin take a stand. So the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33Thus Josiah removed all the #1 Kin. 11:5; 2 Chr. 33:2abominations from all the country that belonged to the children of Israel, and made all who were present in Israel diligently serve the Lord their God. #Jer. 3:10All his days they did not depart from following the Lord God of their fathers.