1 JOSIAH WAS eight years old when he began his thirty-one-year reign in Jerusalem. His mother was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath.
2 He did right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the ways of David his [forefather], and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.
3 In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, he sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the Lord's house, saying,
4 Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may count the money brought into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the door have gathered from the people. [II Kings 12:4ff.]
5 And let them deliver it into the hands of the workmen who have oversight of the Lord's house, to give to the laborers engaged in the repairing of the Lord's house–
6 That is, to the carpenters, builders, and masons–and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house.
7 However, there was no accounting required of them for the money delivered into their hands, because they dealt faithfully.
8 Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord! Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.
9 And Shaphan the scribe came to the king and reported to him: Your servants have gathered the money that was found in the house and have delivered it into the hands of the workmen who have oversight of the house of the Lord.
10 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.
11 And when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he rent his clothes.
12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Achbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah servant of the king,
13 Go, inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us because our fathers have not listened and obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.
14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe–now she dwelt in Jerusalem, in the Second Quarter–and they talked with her.
15 She said to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you to me,
16 Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will bring evil upon this place and upon its inhabitants, according to all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read.
17 Because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods, provoking Me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore My wrath will be kindled against this place and will not be quenched.
18 But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, say this, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, regarding the words you have heard:
19 Because your heart was [tender and] penitent and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I said against this place and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation, [an astonishment and] a curse, and you have rent your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you, says the Lord.
20 Behold, therefore [King Josiah], I will gather you to your fathers, taken to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring on this place. And they brought the king word.