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Josiah Restores the Temple

34 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned 31 years in Jerusalem. He did right in the eyes of Adonai, and walked in the ways of his father David. He did not turn aside to the right or to the left. In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek after the God of his father David. In the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, the Asherah poles, and the carved and molten images. They tore down the altars of the Baal in his presence and chopped down the sun-images that were above them. Also the Asherah poles and the carved and molten images he smashed into pieces, ground into dust, and scattered upon the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. Then he burned the bones of the priests on their altars—so he purged Judah and Jerusalem. In the towns of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and as far as Naphtali, with their surrounding ruins, he broke down the altars, the Asherah poles, crushed the carved images into powder, and chopped down all the sun-images throughout all the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, after purging the land and the House, he sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the House of Adonai his God. They came to Hilkiah the kohen gadol and handed over the silver money that was brought into the House of God, which the Levites, the gatekeepers, had collected from Manasseh, Ephraim and all the remnant of Israel, as well as from all Judah and Benjamin and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 Then they put it in the hands of the workmen who were in charge of the House of Adonai. The workmen who were working in the House of Adonai spent it on repairing and restoring the House. 11 They in turn gave it to the carpenters and the builders to buy quarried stone as well as timber—for joining and making beams—for the buildings that the kings of Judah had let fall into ruin. 12 The men did the work faithfully. Over them were appointed Jahath and Obadiah, Levites from the sons of Merari, along with Zechariah and Meshullam from the sons of Kohath, to supervise, while other Levites—all skilled musicians— 13 were over the burden-bearers and supervised all who worked from task to task. Some of the Levites were also scribes, overseers and gatekeepers.

Torah Scroll Found in the Temple

14 While they were bringing out the silver that had been brought into the House of Adonai, Hilkiah the kohen found a Torah scroll of Adonai given by Moses. 15 Hilkiah responded by telling Shaphan the scribe, “I have found a scroll of the Torah in the House of Adonai.” Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan.

16 Then Shaphan brought the scroll to the king and moreover returned a report to the king, saying, “Your servants are doing everything that was committed to them. 17 They have melted down the silver that was found in the House of Adonai and handed it over to the overseers and into the hand of the workmen.” 18 Shaphan the scribe also said to the king, “Hilkiah the kohen has given me a scroll.” Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.

19 When the king heard the words of the Torah, he tore his clothes. 20 The king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying, 21 “Go! Inquire of Adonai for me and for the remnant in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found. For great is the wrath of Adonai that will be poured out upon us—because our fathers did not observe the word of Adonai to do according to all that is written in this scroll.”

Huldah the Prophetess

22 So Hilkiah, and those whom the king commanded, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum son of Tokahath, son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe—now she was living in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter—and spoke to her about this.

23 She said to them, “Thus says Adonai, the God of Israel: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, 24 “Thus says Adonai, ‘Behold, I am bringing disaster on this place and on its inhabitants—all the curses that are written in the book that they have read before the king of Judah. 25 For they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods in order to provoke Me with all the works of their hands. Therefore, My wrath will be poured out upon this place and it will not be quenched.’” 26 But to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of Adonai, thus you will say to him, “Thus says Adonai the God of Israel, ‘Regarding the words which you have heard, 27 because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against the inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, tore your clothes, and wept before Me, I have heard you,’ says Adonai. 28 ‘Behold, I will gather you to your fathers and you will be buried in your grave in shalom. Your eyes will not see all the evil that I will bring upon this place and upon the inhabitants.’”

So they brought her word back to the king.

29 Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 The king went up to the House of Adonai with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the kohanim, the Levites, and all the people from the oldest to the youngest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that was found in the House of Adonai.

31 Then the king stood in his place and made a covenant before Adonai—to follow Adonai and to observe His mitzvot, His regulations and His decrees with all his heart and with all his soul and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book. 32 Moreover, he made all that were found in Jerusalem and Benjamin stand with him. The inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33 Josiah removed all the abominations from the whole territory of Bnei-Yisrael and made all who were found in Israel to worship Adonai their God. All his days they did not turn away from following Adonai, the God of their fathers.