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The Reign of Josiah

34 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of Yahweh, and he walked in the ways of David his ancestor[a] and did not deviate to the right or to the left. In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still a boy, he began to seek the God of David his ancestor.[b] And in the twelfth year he began to cleanse Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherahs, the idols, and the images. And 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. And he burned the bones of the priests on the altars and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. And in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and as far as Naphtali, in their ruins all around, he 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

Now 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. And 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. 10 And 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. 11 And they dispensed[c] 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. 12 And 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, 13 were over the porters and were directing all who worked on each task.[d] And some of the Levites were scribes, officials, and gatekeepers.

14 And 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. 15 And 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. 16 And Shaphan brought the scroll to the king and also informed[e] the king, saying, “All that was put into the hand of your servants they are doing. 17 They have dispensed[f] 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.” 18 Then Shaphan the scribe reported to the king, “Hilkiah the priest gave to me a scroll.” Then Shaphan read from it before the king. 19 And when the king heard the words of the law, he tore his garments, 20 and 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[g] have not kept the word of Yahweh, to do all that is written in this scroll.”

22 Then 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. 23 And 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— 25 because 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.’ 26 But 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, 27 because 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[h] Yahweh. 28 ‘Behold, I will gather you to your ancestors,[i] 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.’”’”

29 Then they sent word to the king, and he gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 And 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. 31 And 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. 32 Then he obligated[j] 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.[k] 33 And Josiah removed all the detestable things from the whole land that belonged to the Israelites[l] and obligated[m] all who were found in Israel to serve Yahweh their God. All his days they did not turn aside from following[n] Yahweh, the God of their ancestors.[o]


  1. 2 Chronicles 34:2 Or “father”
  2. 2 Chronicles 34:3 Or “father”
  3. 2 Chronicles 34:11 Or “gave”
  4. 2 Chronicles 34:13 Literally “for service and service”
  5. 2 Chronicles 34:16 Literally “returned again a word to”
  6. 2 Chronicles 34:17 Or “emptied out”
  7. 2 Chronicles 34:21 Or “fathers”
  8. 2 Chronicles 34:27 Literally “declaration of”
  9. 2 Chronicles 34:28 Or “fathers”
  10. 2 Chronicles 34:32 Or “stood”
  11. 2 Chronicles 34:32 Or “fathers”
  12. 2 Chronicles 34:33 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  13. 2 Chronicles 34:33 Or “made”
  14. 2 Chronicles 34:33 Or “after”
  15. 2 Chronicles 34:33 Or “fathers”