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Josiah Reigns over Judah

34 (A)Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. (B)And he did what was right in the sight of Yahweh and walked in the ways of his father David and did not turn aside to the right or to the left. Now in the eighth year of his reign while he was still a youth, he began to (C)seek the God of his father David; and in the twelfth year he began (D)to cleanse Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, the graven images, and the molten images. And they tore down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and (E)the incense altars that were high above them he cut in pieces; also the Asherim, the graven images, and the molten images he broke in pieces and (F)ground to powder and scattered it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. Then (G)he burned the bones of the priests on their altars and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. (H)And in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, even as far as Naphtali, in their surrounding [a]ruins, he also tore down the altars and (I)beat the Asherim and the graven images into powder, and cut in pieces all the incense altars throughout the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

Josiah Repairs the House of Yahweh

(J)Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had cleansed the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah (K)an official of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of Yahweh his God. And they came to (L)Hilkiah the high priest and gave him the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites, the [b]doorkeepers, had gathered from the hand of (M)Manasseh and Ephraim, and from all the remnant of Israel, and from all Judah and Benjamin and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 Then they gave it into the hand of [c]those who did the work, who had the oversight of the house of Yahweh; and those who did the work, who were doing this in the house of Yahweh, [d]used it to restore and repair the house. 11 They in turn gave it to the craftsmen and to the builders to buy hewn stone and timber for clamps and to make beams for the houses (N)which the kings of Judah had let go to ruin. 12 (O)And the men did the work faithfully with foremen over them to direct: Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites of the sons of Merari, Zechariah and Meshullam of the sons of the Kohathites, and (P)the Levites, all who were skillful with musical instruments. 13 They were also over (Q)those who carried loads, and directed all those who did the work from service to service; and some of the Levites were scribes and officials and gatekeepers.

Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law

14 When they were taking out the money which had been brought into the house of Yahweh, (R)Hilkiah the priest found the book of the law of Yahweh given by the hand of Moses. 15 So Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the book of the law in the house of Yahweh.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan. 16 Then Shaphan brought the book to the king and furthermore [e]responded to the king with a word, saying, “Everything that was given to the hand of your servants they are doing. 17 They have also poured out the money that was found in the house of Yahweh, and have given it into the hand of the supervisors and those who did the work.” 18 Moreover, Shaphan the scribe told the king saying, “Hilkiah the priest gave me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.

19 Now it happened that when the king heard (S)the words of the law, (T)he tore his clothes. 20 Then the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, [f]Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying, 21 “Go, inquire of Yahweh for me and those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book which has been found, for (U)great is the wrath of Yahweh which is poured out against us, because our fathers have not kept the word of Yahweh, to do according to all that is written in this book.”

Josiah Will Not See Yahweh’s Wrath

22 So Hilkiah and those whom the king [g]had told went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of [h]Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter); and they spoke to her regarding this. 23 And she said to them, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘Say to the man who sent you to Me, 24 thus says Yahweh, “Behold, (V)I am bringing evil on this place and on its inhabitants, even all (W)the curses written in the book which they have read in the presence of the king of Judah. 25 (X)Because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands, therefore My wrath will be poured out against this place, and it shall not be quenched.”’ 26 But to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of Yahweh, thus you shall say to him, ‘Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, “Regarding the words which you have heard, 27 (Y)because your heart was soft and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and because you humbled yourself before Me, tore your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,” declares Yahweh. 28 “Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace, so your eyes will not see all the evil which I will bring on this place and on its inhabitants.”’” So they brought back word to the king.

29 (Z)Then the king sent and gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 And the king went up to the house of Yahweh and (AA)all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests and the Levites and all the people, from the greatest to the least; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of Yahweh.

Josiah Cuts a Covenant with Yahweh

31 Then the king (AB)stood in his place and (AC)cut a covenant before Yahweh, to walk after Yahweh, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and with all his soul, to do the words of the covenant that were written in this book. 32 Moreover, he made all who were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand with him. So the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33 And Josiah (AD)took away all the abominations from all the lands belonging to the sons of Israel, and made all who were present in Israel to serve Yahweh their God. Throughout his [i]lifetime they did not turn away from following Yahweh, the God of their fathers.


  1. 2 Chronicles 34:6 Or waste places
  2. 2 Chronicles 34:9 Lit guardians of the threshold
  3. 2 Chronicles 34:10 Lit the one who did
  4. 2 Chronicles 34:10 Lit gave
  5. 2 Chronicles 34:16 Lit returned
  6. 2 Chronicles 34:20 In 2 Kin 22:12, Achbor, son of Micaiah
  7. 2 Chronicles 34:22 As in Gr
  8. 2 Chronicles 34:22 In 2 Kin 22:14 Tikvah, son of Harhas
  9. 2 Chronicles 34:33 Lit days