1Then Josiah celebrated the Lord’s Passover in Jerusalem. They slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month.#March–April, Nisan 2He assigned the priests to their posts, encouraging them to fulfill their responsibilities in the Lord’s temple.
3Next Josiah ordered the Levites, who were holy to the Lord and who instructed all Israel: "Put the holy chest in the temple built by Israel’s King Solomon, David’s son. You don’t need to carry it around on your shoulders anymore. Now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel. 4Organize yourselves by families according to your divisions, as directed by Israel’s King David and his son Solomon. 5Stand in the sanctuary, according to the family divisions of your relatives the laypeople, so that there can be Levites for each family division.#Heb uncertain 6Slaughter the Passover lambs and prepare the holy sacrifices#Correction; cf 1 Esdr 1:6; MT and sanctify yourselves for your relatives in order to celebrate according to the Lord’s word through Moses."
7On behalf of the laypeople, Josiah donated from his personal holdings thirty thousand lambs and young goats, and three thousand bulls, all for the Passover offerings. 8His officials also provided spontaneous gift offerings for the people, the priests, and the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the ones in charge of God’s temple, gave two thousand six hundred Passover lambs and three hundred bulls for the priests. 9Conaniah and his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, along with Hashabiah, Jeiel, and Jozabad, the leaders of the Levites, provided the Levites with five thousand lambs and five hundred bulls as Passover sacrifices. 10When everything was ready, the priests and the Levites took their places as the king had ordered. 11Then they slaughtered the Passover lambs, and the priests splashed the blood#LXX; MT from their hand while the Levites skinned the animals. 12Next they divided the entirely burned offerings among the laypeople by their families to sacrifice to the Lord as written in the scroll from Moses, and they did the same with the bulls. 13They roasted the Passover lambs in the fire as instructed, cooked the holy offerings in pots, kettles, and pans, and brought them quickly to all the laypeople. 14Next they prepared food for themselves and for the priests. Since the priests, Aaron’s descendants, were busy offering up the entirely burned offerings and fat pieces until nighttime, the Levites prepared food for themselves and for the priests, Aaron’s descendants. 15The Asaphite singers also remained at their stations as ordered by David, Asaph, Heman, and the king’s seer Jeduthun, as did the guards at the various gates. They didn’t need to leave their tasks because their fellow Levites prepared food for them. 16So on that day all of the Lord’s service was prepared for celebrating Passover and offering up entirely burned offerings on the Lord’s altar, just as King Josiah had ordered. 17The Israelites who were present celebrated the Passover at that time, and observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days. 18Not since the days of the prophet Samuel had such a Passover been celebrated in Israel. And no other king of Israel had celebrated a Passover like the one Josiah celebrated with the priests, the Levites, all the people of Judah and Israel who were present, and the residents of Jerusalem. 19This Passover was celebrated in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s rule.
20After all of these things, when Josiah had finished restoring the temple, Egypt’s King Neco marched against Carchemish by the Euphrates, and Josiah marched out against him. 21But Neco sent messengers to Josiah. "What do you want with me, king of Judah?" he asked. "I haven’t come to attack you today. I’m after the dynasty that wars with me. God told me to hurry, and he is on my side. Get out of God’s way, or he will destroy you."
22But Josiah wouldn’t turn back. Instead, he camouflaged himself in preparation for battle, refusing to listen to Neco’s words from God’s own mouth, and went to fight Neco on the plain of Megiddo. 23When archers shot King Josiah, he said to his servants, "Take me away; I’m badly wounded!" 24So his servants took him out of his chariot, placed him in another one, and brought him to Jerusalem, where he died and was buried in the tombs of his ancestors. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. 25Jeremiah composed a funeral song#Or lament, twice more in this verse for Josiah, and to this day every singer, man or woman, continues to remember Josiah in their funeral songs. They are now traditional in Israel and are written down among the funeral songs.
26The rest of Josiah’s deeds, including his faithfulness in acting according to what is written in the Lord’s Instruction, 27and everything else he did, from beginning to end, are written in the official records of Israel’s and Judah’s kings.
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