The Reign of Josiah
1Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2And he did what was right in the eyes of Yahweh, and he walked in the ways of David his ancestor#Or “father” and did not deviate to the right or to the left. 3In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still a boy, he began to seek the God of David his ancestor.#Or “father” And in the twelfth year he began to cleanse Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherahs, the idols, and the images. 4And he destroyed before him the altars for the Baals, and he cut down the incense stands above them. And the Asherahs, the idols, and the images he smashed. And he ground them to powder and sprinkled the dust over the burial sites of those who sacrificed to them. 5And he burned the bones of the priests on the altars and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. 6And in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and as far as Naphtali, in their ruins all around, 7he broke down the altars and the Asherahs and crushed the idols, grinding them to dust, and he cut down all the incense stands in all the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
The Scroll of the Law Discovered
8Now in the eighteenth year of his reign after he purged the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the commander of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair the house of Yahweh his God. 9And they came to Hilkiah the high priest and gave the money that was brought for the house of God, which the Levites, the guardians of the threshold, had gathered from the hand of Manasseh, Ephraim, and from the whole remnant of Israel, and from all Judah and Benjamin and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10And they delivered it into the hand of the workmen who were appointed in the house of Yahweh, and they in turn gave it to those doing the work who were at work in the house of Yahweh, to repair and restore the house. 11And they dispensed#Or “gave” it to the skilled craftsmen and the builders to buy stone for hewing and timber for the seams and for binding the houses that the kings of Judah had destroyed. 12And the men did the work faithfully. Over them as supervisors were appointed Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites from the Merarites, and Zechariah and Meshullam from the Kohathites. And other Levites, all who were skilled in instruments of song, 13were over the porters and were directing all who worked on each task.#Literally “for service and service” And some of the Levites were scribes, officials, and gatekeepers.
14And when they brought out the money that had been brought to the house of Yahweh, Hilkiah the priest found a scroll of the law of Yahweh by the hand of Moses. 15And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found a scroll of the law in the house of Yahweh!” Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan. 16And Shaphan brought the scroll to the king and also informed#Literally “returned again a word to” the king, saying, “All that was put into the hand of your servants they are doing. 17They have dispensed#Or “emptied out” the money which was found in the house of Yahweh and have put it into the hand of the overseers and those doing the work.” 18Then Shaphan the scribe reported to the king, “Hilkiah the priest gave to me a scroll.” Then Shaphan read from it before the king. 19And when the king heard the words of the law, he tore his garments, 20and the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the servant of the king, saying, 21“Go! Seek Yahweh on my behalf and on behalf of those remaining in Israel and Judah concerning the words of the scroll that was found, for the anger of Yahweh that was poured out on us is great, because our ancestors#Or “fathers” have not kept the word of Yahweh, to do all that is written in this scroll.”
22Then Hilkiah and those whom the king had sent went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum, son of Tikvath, son of Hasrah, keeper of the garments. (Now she was living in Jerusalem in the second district.) And they spoke to her concerning this. 23And she said to them, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: ‘Say to the man who sent you all to me: 24“Thus says Yahweh: ‘Behold, I am bringing disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants—all the curses written in the scroll that were read before the king of Judah—25because they have abandoned me and burned incense to other gods so as to provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands. And my wrath will be poured out on this place and it will not be quenched.’ 26But to the king of Judah who sent you to seek Yahweh, thus shall you say to him: ‘Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: As for the words which you heard, 27because your heart was responsive 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 tore your garments and wept before me, now I also have heard,’ declares#Literally “declaration of” Yahweh. 28‘Behold, I will gather you to your ancestors,#Or “fathers” and you will be gathered to your grave in peace. Your eyes will not see any of the disaster that I am bringing upon this place.’ ” ’ ”
29Then they sent word to the king, and he gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30And the king went up to the house of Yahweh with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with the priests and the Levites—all the people from great to small—and they read in their ears all the words of the scroll of the covenant that was found in the house of Yahweh. 31And the king stood at his position. And he made the covenant before Yahweh, to walk after Yahweh and to keep his commands and statutes and regulations with all his heart and with all his soul, to do the words of the covenant that were written on this scroll. 32Then he obligated#Or “stood” all who were found in Jerusalem and in Benjamin, that the inhabitants of Jerusalem would do according to the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors.#Or “fathers” 33And Josiah removed all the detestable things from the whole land that belonged to the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” and obligated#Or “made” all who were found in Israel to serve Yahweh their God. All his days they did not turn aside from following#Or “after” Yahweh, the God of their ancestors.#Or “fathers”