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2 Chronicles 34International Standard Version (ISV)

Josiah Succeeds Amon

34 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for 31 years in Jerusalem. He practiced what the Lord considered to be right, following the example[a] of his ancestor David, turning neither to the right nor to the left. In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his ancestor David. In the twelfth year of his reign,[b] he began to remove the high places, Asherim, carved images, and cast images from Judah and Jerusalem.

They tore down the altars of Baals in his presence. He chopped down the incense altars that stood high above them. He broke into pieces the Asherim, the carved images, and the cast images, ground them to dust, and scattered the residue on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. He burned the bones of the priests on their altars, thus purging Judah and Jerusalem. In the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and as far as Naphtali and their surrounding ruins, he also tore down altars, destroyed the Asherim and the carved images, grinding them[c] into dust, and chopped down all the incense altars throughout the land of Israel. Then he went back to Jerusalem.

Josiah’s Restoration Work

In the eighteenth year of his reign, after he had purged the land and the Temple, he sent Azaliah’s son Shaphan, Maaseiah, mayor[d] of Jerusalem,[e] and Joahaz’s son Joah, the recorder, to repair the Temple of the Lord his God. They approached Hilkiah the high priest and delivered to him the money that had been brought into God’s Temple that the descendants of Levi and gatekeepers had collected from Manasseh, Ephraim, the surviving Israelis, Judah, Benjamin, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They paid it to the workmen who supervised the Lord’s Temple, and the workmen who were employed in the Lord’s Temple to supervise restoration and repair of the Temple. 11 They, in turn, paid the carpenters and builders to purchase quarried stone and timber for binders and beams for the buildings that previous[f] kings of Judah had let deteriorate. 12 The workmen did their duties faithfully with these foremen supervising them: Jahath and Obadiah, descendants of Levi who were Merari’s sons, Zechariah and Meshullam, descendants of Kohath, and various descendants of Levi, who were skilled musicians. 13 These men also supervised the heavy lift workers and supervised all the workmen from job to job, while some of the descendants of Levi served as scribes, officials, and gatekeepers.

The Book of the Law is Discovered

14 While they were bringing out the money that had come in as gifts to the Lord’s Temple, Hilkiah the priest discovered the Book of the Law of the Lord that had been handed down by Moses. 15 Hilkiah reported his finding to Shaphan the scribe, telling him, “I found the Book of the Law in the Lord’s Temple. Then he gave the book to Shaphan. 16 Shaphan took the book to the king and gave an additional report to the king, telling him “Everything that you’ve entrusted to your servants is being carried out. 17 They’ve removed the money that was found in the Lord’s Temple and have passed it on to the supervisors and the workmen.” 18 Shaphan the scribe also informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest gave me a book.” Shaphan read from its contents to the king.

19 As soon as he heard what the Law said, he tore his clothes. 20 He issued these orders to Hilkiah, Shaphan’s son Ahikam, Micah’s son Abdon, Shaphan the scribe, and the king’s personal assistant Asaiah: 21 “Go ask the Lord for me and for those who survive in Israel and in Judah about the words that we’ve read in this book that we found, because the wrath of the Lord that we deserve to have poured out on us is very great, since our ancestors haven’t obeyed the command from[g] the Lord that required us to do everything that is written in this book.”

Hilkiah Consults with Huldah, the Woman Prophet

22 So Hilkiah and the others who had received orders from the king went to visit Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Tokhath’s son Shallum, grandson of Hasrah. She was the king’s wardrobe supervisor, and she lived in Jerusalem’s Second Quarter. They asked her about what had happened. 23 In response, she replied:

“This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, 24 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Pay attention! I’m bringing evil to visit this place and its inhabitants—every single curse written in the book that they’ve been reading to the King of Judah. 25 Because they abandoned me and have burned incense to other gods, provoking me to become angry at everything they’re doing,[h] therefore my wrath is about to be poured out on this place, and it won’t be quenched.’”’

26 “Now tell the king of Judah who sent you to ask the Lord about this: ‘This is what the Lord God of Israel says about what you’ve heard: 27 “Because your heart was sensitive, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he had to say about this place and its inhabitants—indeed, because you humbled yourself before me, tore your clothes, and cried out to me, I have heard you,” declares the Lord. 28 “Look! I’m going to take you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in your grave in peace so that you won’t have to see all the evil that I’m going to bring to this place and to its inhabitants.”’”

So they all brought back this message to the king.

The Covenant is Renewed

29 The king sent word to gather all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 Then the king went up to the Lord’s Temple, accompanied by the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and descendants of Levi, and everyone else from the most important to the least important, and he read out loud[i] all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the Lord’s Temple. 31 While standing in his appointed place, the king made a public covenant with the Lord to follow the Lord, to keep his commandments, his testimonies, and his statutes, and to do so with all of his heart and soul, and to carry out what was written in the covenant contained in the book. 32 He also made everyone who was present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand in agreement with him. As a result, the inhabitants of Jerusalem reconfirmed the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors. 33 Josiah also removed all the detestable things from the territories that belonged to the people of Israel, and made everyone who lived in Israel to serve the Lord their God. For the rest of his life, they didn’t abandon their quest to follow the Lord God of their ancestors.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 34:2 Lit. right, walking in the ways
  2. 2 Chronicles 34:3 The Heb. lacks of his reign
  3. 2 Chronicles 34:7 The Heb. lacks grinding them
  4. 2 Chronicles 34:8 Lit. governor
  5. 2 Chronicles 34:8 Lit. of the city
  6. 2 Chronicles 34:11 The Heb. lacks previous
  7. 2 Chronicles 34:21 Lit. the word of
  8. 2 Chronicles 34:25 Lit. doing with their hands
  9. 2 Chronicles 34:30 Lit. read in their hearing
International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

2 Chronicles 34New International Version (NIV)

Josiah’s Reforms

34 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.

In 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. Under 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. He burned the bones of the priests on their altars, and so he purged Judah and Jerusalem. In the towns of Manasseh, Ephraim and Simeon, as far as Naphtali, and in the ruins around them, he 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.

In 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 his God.

They 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. 10 Then 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 temple. 11 They 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.

12 The workers labored 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— 13 had charge of the laborers and supervised all the workers from job to job. Some of the Levites were secretaries, scribes and gatekeepers.

The Book of the Law Found

14 While 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. 15 Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan.

16 Then Shaphan took the book to the king and reported to him: “Your officials are doing everything that has been committed to them. 17 They have paid out the money that was in the temple of the Lord and have entrusted it to the supervisors and workers.” 18 Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.

19 When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes. 20 He gave these orders to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah,[a] Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: 21 “Go and inquire 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 this book.”

22 Hilkiah and those the king had sent with him[b] went to speak to the prophet Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath,[c] the son of Hasrah,[d] keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter.

23 She said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, 24 ‘This 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. 25 Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all that their hands have made,[e] my anger will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched.’ 26 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: 27 Because 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. 28 Now 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.’”

So they took her answer back to the king.

29 Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 He went 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 read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. 31 The king stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to 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.

32 Then he had 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.

33 Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 34:20 Also called Akbor son of Micaiah
  2. 2 Chronicles 34:22 One Hebrew manuscript, Vulgate and Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts do not have had sent with him.
  3. 2 Chronicles 34:22 Also called Tikvah
  4. 2 Chronicles 34:22 Also called Harhas
  5. 2 Chronicles 34:25 Or by everything they have done
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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