2 Chronicles 34 New International Version (NIV)
34 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. 2 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.
3 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. 4 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. 5 He burned the bones of the priests on their altars, and so he purged Judah and Jerusalem. 6 In the towns of Manasseh, Ephraim and Simeon, as far as Naphtali, and in the ruins around them, 7 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.
8 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.
9 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.
2 Chronicles 34 The Voice (VOICE)
Amon’s horrible reign makes his burial unimportant. No one knows if his bones are with his ancestors in the kings’ tomb or outside the city walls with his father’s discarded altars and icons. With a reign as destructive as his, it is appropriate that, like his bones, Amon is forgotten.
34 Josiah was 8 years old when he became king, and he reigned 31 years in Jerusalem. 2 He was one of the few great kings of Israel, who determinedly obeyed the Eternal and followed the example of his ancestor David. 3-4 His zeal for the True God of David began in the 8th year of his reign while he was still a child of 16, but he did not begin his reforms of Judah and Jerusalem until he was 20 years old. Then he removed the high places, chopped down the sacrificial altars and incense altars of the Baals, and smashed the carved and molten images of Asherah and other gods. He then took the broken pieces of the icons, crushed them into powder, and sprinkled that powder on the graves of the people who had worshiped them. 5 He even burned the bones of the priests who had served those gods on the cultic altars to completely purge Judah and Jerusalem. 6 He then continued his reforms throughout the region, including Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and Naphtali and their surrounding villages, 7 where he personally smashed the carved images of Asherah and other gods into powder and chopped down the incense altars. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
8 By the 18th year of his reign, Josiah had cleansed the nation and the temple. Now it was time to repair them both by rebuilding the temple. He sent Shaphan (son of Azaliah), Maaseiah (a city official), and Joah (son of Joahaz the recorder) to the temple of the True God, the Eternal, in order to organize repairs there. 9 First, they took the money from the temple coffers and gave it to Hilkiah, the high priest, so he could oversee the funds for the temple repairs. The money had been collected at the temple by the Levite doorkeepers from those remaining in the Northern Kingdom, including Manasseh and Ephraim, and from all those in the Southern Kingdom, including Judah, Benjamin, and the city of Jerusalem. 10 The money went to the Eternal’s temple construction supervisors who then subcontracted the work to tradesmen and craftsmen. 11 Those subcontractors purchased cut stone, timber, and couplings to rebuild the portions of the temple that had become ruined because of the neglect by the kings of Judah. 12 The subcontractors were dependable workers, following the guidance of their supervisors: Jahath and Obadiah (Levites from the clan of Merari), Zechariah and Meshullam (Levites from the clan of Kohath), and the Levite musicians. 13 These supervisors guided everyone on the job, from the subcontractors and foremen to the unskilled laborers, while performing their regular duties of record keepers, officials, and gatekeepers.
14 As Josiah’s three servants were bringing out the money from the Eternal’s treasury, Hilkiah the priest made an unexpected discovery. Deep inside the temple storerooms, long forgotten, was the Eternal’s law book, rules He had given to the Israelites through Moses.
Hilkiah (to Shaphan the scribe): 15 Look at what I have found. This is the Eternal’s law book, which was buried inside the temple.
Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, 16 who took it to the king and affirmed that they were proceeding with the temple repairs.
Shaphan (to Josiah): All the repairs you planned for the temple are going well. 17 Your three servants have taken the money from the Eternal’s temple treasury and allocated it to the supervisors and subcontractors. In the midst of temple restoration works, 18 Hilkiah the priest made a discovery. He found this book.
Shaphan then read these laws in the presence of the king.
This is the first time God’s law has been in the palace in generations.
19 When the king heard those words, he realized how far his nation had drifted from God’s path, and he tore his clothes in mourning. 20 He then summoned five of his high-ranking officials: Hilkiah, Ahikam (son of Shaphan), Abdon (son of Micah), Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant.
Josiah: 21 You must intercede for me and for all those who remain in Israel and Judah. Ask the Lord about these laws which we have just found. The Eternal must be furious with us because our ancestors disobeyed His laws in this book. Soon He will unleash that anger and punish us all.
22 The four men including Hilkiah went straight to Huldah the prophetess in Jerusalem’s Second Quarter because they knew He would speak through her. Huldah was the wife of Shallum (son of Tokhath, son of Hasrah, the keeper of the wardrobe).
Huldah: 23-24 These are the words of the Eternal God of Israel: “Tell Josiah, king of Judah, that I will indeed curse this nation and these people, just as the book says I will, 25 because they have disobeyed Me and made sacrifices to other gods intending to infuriate Me by their actions. The pain and suffering you are about to experience will be unbearable and unending.
26 “But to the king of Judah who sent you to Me, I, the Eternal God of Israel, have noticed your reforms. 27 Because you recognized the True God’s laws, which convicted your nation of their sins, and you humbled yourself and mourned your nation’s actions by tearing your clothing, I have heard you and will have mercy on you. 28 You will die and lie with your ancestors in peace before I unleash My anger on this nation, so your eyes will not witness the great disaster that I am about to bring forth on this place and those dwelling here.”
The four servants gave the king this message, 29 and he immediately summoned all the elders in Judah and Jerusalem. 30 The entire nation (great and small, priest and layman, man and woman) went up to the Eternal’s temple where Josiah read to them the laws from the book of the covenant that was found in the Eternal’s temple. 31-32 There, the king and the entire assembly in Jerusalem, people from Benjamin and Judah, stood and renewed Israel’s covenant with the Eternal, promising to follow His ways, obey His laws with all diligence, and perform the duties of the covenant described in the book. Then all the people in Jerusalem respected their covenant with the True God, the God of their ancestors, 33 and Josiah purged all the lands of Israel of false worship, making certain everyone in Israel served the Eternal God. The people remained faithful to the Eternal God of their ancestors throughout Josiah’s reign.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.