2 Chronicles 34: Josiah's
Notes: This chapter
takes us through the gradual spiritual growth of Josiah who
at 8 years old starts his reign
at 16 years old started seeking the Lord
at 20 years old started a cleanup of the land
at 26 years old started the cleanup and restoration of the temple
and subsequently oversaw a spiritual renewal in the land.
this, the die has been cast, we might say, and the nation's ways
tainted by what has gone before and the Lord knows subsequent
kings will fall away and destruction will come.]
Josiah's reign starts
eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem
for thirty-one years.
did what was right in the eyes of the Lord
the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or
to the left.
In his youth Josiah seeks the Lord & starts cleaning up the
land of idol worship
the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young,
he began to seek the God of his father David. In his twelfth
year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places,
Asherah poles and idols.
his direction the altars of the Baals were torn down; he cut to
pieces the incense altars that were above them, and smashed the
Asherah poles and the idols. These he broke to pieces and scattered
over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.
burned the bones of the priests on their altars, and so he purged
Judah and Jerusalem.
the towns of Manasseh, Ephraim and Simeon, as far as Naphtali,
and in the ruins around them,
tore down the altars and the Asherah poles and crushed the idols
to powder and cut to pieces all the incense altars throughout
Israel. Then he went back to Jerusalem.
When twenty-six he instructs a cleanup & restoration of the
the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign, to purify the land
and the temple, he sent Shaphan son of Azaliah and Maaseiah the
ruler of the city, with Joah son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair
the temple of the Lord
went to Hilkiah the high priest and gave him the money that had
been brought into the temple of God, which the Levites who were
the gatekeepers had collected from the people of Manasseh, Ephraim
and the entire remnant of Israel and from all the people of Judah
and Benjamin and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
they entrusted it to the men appointed to supervise the work on
the Lord 's
temple. These men paid the workers who repaired and restored the
also gave money to the carpenters and builders to purchase dressed
stone, and timber for joists and beams for the buildings that
the kings of Judah had allowed to fall into ruin.
workers laboured faithfully. Over them to direct them were Jahath
and Obadiah, Levites descended from Merari, and Zechariah and
Meshullam, descended from Kohath. The Levites – all who were
skilled in playing musical instruments –
charge of the labourers and supervised all the workers from job
to job. Some of the Levites were secretaries, scribes and gatekeepers.
The Book of the Law found and read to Josiah
they were bringing out the money that had been taken into the
temple of the Lord,
Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord
that had been
given through Moses.
said to Shaphan the secretary, ‘I have found the Book of the Law
in the temple of the Lord.'
He gave it to Shaphan.
Shaphan took the book to the king and reported to him: ‘Your officials
are doing everything that has been committed to them.
have paid out the money that was in the temple of the Lord
and have entrusted
it to the supervisors and workers.'
Shaphan the secretary informed the king, ‘Hilkiah the priest has
given me a book.' And Shaphan read from it in the presence of
Josiah is devastated and commands his leaders to seek the Lord
the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes.
gave these orders to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son
of Micah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king's attendant:
and enquire of the Lord
for me and
for the remnant in Israel and Judah about what is written in this
book that has been found. Great is the Lord's
anger that is poured out on us because those who have gone before
us have not kept the word of the Lord;
they have not acted in accordance with all that is written in
The prophetess Huldah brings a word
and those the king had sent with him went to speak to the prophet
Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath,
the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem,
in the New Quarter.
said to them, ‘This is what the Lord
, the God of
Israel, says: tell the man who sent you to me,
God's anger will come
is what the Lord
says: I am
going to bring disaster on this place and its people – all
the curses written in the book that has been read in the presence
of the king of Judah.
they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused
my anger by all that their hands have made, my anger will be poured
out on this place and will not be quenched.”
Yet Josiah will be spared
the king of Judah, who sent you to enquire of the Lord,
“This is what the Lord,
the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard:
your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God
when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people,
and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes
and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the Lord.
I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in
peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring
on this place and on those who live here.”'
they took her answer back to the king.
the king [i] called
together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.
up to the temple of the Lord
with the people
of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the Levites –
all the people from the least to the greatest. He [iii]
read in their hearing all the words
of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple
of the Lord.
king [iv] stood
by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the
follow the Lord
and keep his
commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his
soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book.
he [v] made
everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin pledge themselves to it; the
people of Jerusalem did this in accordance with the covenant of
God, the God of their ancestors.
all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the
Israelites, and he [vii] made
all who were present in Israel serve the Lord
As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the Lord,
the God of their ancestors.