2 Chronicles 34-36 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Josiah Succeeds Amon in Judah
34 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2 He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father (forefather) and did not turn aside either to the right or to the left. 3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young (sixteen), he began to seek after and inquire of the God of his father David; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, and the carved and cast images. 4 They tore down the altars of the Baals in his presence; he cut to pieces the incense altars that were high above them; he also smashed the Asherim and the carved images and the cast images to pieces, and ground them to dust and scattered it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. 5 Then Josiah burned the bones of the [pagan] priests on their altars and purged and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. 6 In the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and as far as Naphtali, in their surrounding ruins, 7 he tore down the altars and beat and crushed the Asherim and the carved images into powder, and cut to pieces all the incense altars throughout the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
Josiah Repairs the Temple
8 In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, when he had purged the land and the [Lord’s] house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder (secretary), to repair the house of the Lord his God. 9 When they came to Hilkiah the high priest, they delivered the money that had been brought into the house of God, which the Levites, who guarded the doors, had collected from 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 to the workmen who were appointed over the house of the Lord, and the workmen who were working in the house of the Lord gave it [to others] to repair and restore the house (temple). 11 They in turn gave it to the carpenters and builders to buy quarried stone and timber for couplings (trusses, braces) and to make beams for the houses which the kings of Judah had let go to ruin. 12 The men did the work faithfully with foremen over them to supervise and inspect [their work]: Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites of the sons of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam of the sons of the Kohathites, and the Levites, all who were skillful with musical instruments. 13 They were also in charge of the burden bearers [who carried heavy loads], and supervised all the workmen in any kind of service; and some of the Levites were scribes and officials and gatekeepers.
Hilkiah Discovers Lost Book of the Law
14 When they were bringing out the money which had been brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord given by Moses. 15 Hilkiah told Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And he gave the book to Shaphan. 16 Shaphan brought the book to the king, but [first] reported further to him, “Your servants are doing everything that was entrusted to them. 17 They have emptied out the money that was found in the house of the Lord, and have delivered it into the hands of the overseers and the workmen.” 18 Then Shaphan the scribe told 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 clothes. 20 Then the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king, saying, 21 “Go, inquire of the Lord for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah in regard to the words of the book which has been found; for great is the wrath of the Lord which has been poured out on us because our fathers have not kept and obeyed the word of the Lord, to act in accordance with everything that is written in this book.”
Huldah, the Prophetess, Speaks
22 So Hilkiah and those whom the king had told went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem, in the Second Quarter); and they spoke to her about this. 23 And she answered them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, 24 thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am bringing evil on this place and on its inhabitants, all the curses that are written in the book which they have read in the presence of the king of Judah. 25 Because they have abandoned (rejected) Me and have burned incense to other gods, in order to provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands, [a]My wrath will be poured out on this place and it will not be extinguished.”’ 26 But you shall say the following to King Josiah of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord: ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel, concerning the words which you have heard, 27 “Because your heart was gentle and penitent and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and its inhabitants, and humbled yourself before Me, and tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” declares the Lord. 28 “Behold, I will gather you to your fathers [in death], and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the evil which I am going to bring on this place and on its inhabitants.”’” So they brought back word to the king.
29 Then the king sent word and gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 And the king went up to the house of the Lord with all the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the Levites, and all the people, from the greatest to the least; and he read aloud so they could hear all the words of the Book of the Covenant which was found in the house of the Lord.
Josiah’s Good Reign
31 Then the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord—to walk after (obey) the Lord, and to keep His commandments, His testimonies, and His statutes with all his heart and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant written in this book. 32 Further, he made all who were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin stand [with him, in confirmation of it]. So the inhabitants of Jerusalem acted in accordance with the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33 Josiah removed all the [pagan] repulsive things from all the lands belonging to the sons (descendants) of Israel, and made all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. Throughout his lifetime they did not turn from following the Lord God of their fathers.
The Passover Observed Again
35 Josiah celebrated the Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem; they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2 He appointed the priests to their positions and encouraged them in the service of the house of the Lord. 3 To the Levites who taught all Israel and were holy to the Lord he said, “Put the holy ark in the house (temple) which Solomon the son of David king of Israel built; it shall not be a burden [carried] on your shoulders any longer. Now serve the Lord your God and His people Israel. 4 Prepare yourselves according to your fathers’ (ancestors’) households by your divisions, in accordance with the instructions of David king of Israel, and the instructions of his son Solomon. 5 And stand in the holy place [of the priests] according to the sections of the fathers’ households of your fellow kinsmen the lay people, and according to the Levites, by division of [the families of] a father’s household. 6 Slaughter the Passover lambs and consecrate yourselves, and prepare for your fellow countrymen to carry out (obey) the word of the Lord given by Moses.”
7 Then Josiah contributed to the lay people, to all who were present, flocks of lambs and young goats numbering 30,000, all as Passover offerings, and 3,000 bulls—these were from the king’s property. 8 His officers also contributed a voluntary offering to the people, the priests and the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the officials of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings 2,600 from the flocks [of lambs and young goats], and 300 bulls. 9 Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethanel, his brothers, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, officers of the Levites, contributed to the Levites for the Passover offerings 5,000 from the flocks [of lambs and young goats], and 500 bulls.
10 When the service was ready, the priests stood in their [assigned] places and the Levites by their divisions, in accordance with the king’s command. 11 They slaughtered the Passover lambs, and while the priests sprinkled the blood received from their hand, the Levites skinned the animals. 12 Then they removed the burnt offerings, to distribute them to the sections of the fathers’ households of the lay people to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the Book of Moses. They did the same with the bulls. 13 So they roasted the Passover lambs on the fire according to the ordinance; and they cooked the holy offerings in pots, in kettles, and in pans, and quickly brought them to all the lay people. 14 Afterward the Levites prepared for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the sons of Aaron, were busy offering the burnt offerings and the fat until night; so the Levites prepared for themselves and for the priests, the sons of Aaron. 15 The singers, the sons of Asaph, were also in their places in accordance with the command of David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s seer; and the gatekeepers at each gate did not need to leave their service, because their kinsmen the Levites prepared for them.
16 So all the service of the Lord was prepared on that day to celebrate the Passover, and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, in accordance with the command of King Josiah. 17 Thus the sons of Israel who were present celebrated the Passover at that time, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. 18 No Passover like it had been celebrated in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet; nor had any of the kings of Israel celebrated such a Passover as Josiah did with the priests, the Levites, all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19 In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign this Passover was celebrated.
Josiah Dies in Battle
20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Neco king of Egypt came up to make war at Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah went out to meet him. 21 But Neco sent messengers to Josiah, saying, “What business do we have with each other, O King of Judah? I am not coming against you today, but against the house with which I am at war, and God has ordered me to hurry. Stop for your own sake from interfering with God who is with me, so that He will not destroy you.” 22 Yet Josiah would not turn away from him, but disguised himself in order to fight against him. He did not listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but came to fight against him on the plain of Megiddo. 23 The archers shot King Josiah, and the king said to his servants, “Take me away, for I am badly wounded.” 24 So his servants took him out of the chariot and carried him in the second chariot which he had, and brought him to Jerusalem where he died and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. 25 Then Jeremiah sung a lament (funeral song) for Josiah, and all the male and female singers have spoken about Josiah in their laments to this day. They made the songs an ordinance in Israel; behold, they are written in the Lamentations. 26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah and his deeds of devotion and godly achievements as written in the Law of the Lord, 27 and his acts, from the first to the last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.
Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, then Jehoiachin Rule
36 Then the people of the land took Joahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in Jerusalem in place of his father. 2 Joahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned [only] three months in Jerusalem. 3 Then the king of Egypt deposed him at Jerusalem, and imposed a fine on the land of a hundred talents of silver and one talent of gold. 4 The king of Egypt made Eliakim, the brother of Joahaz, king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But Neco took Joahaz his brother, and brought him to Egypt.
5 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem; and he did evil in the sight of the Lord his God. 6 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against him and bound him with bronze [chains] to take him to Babylon. 7 Nebuchadnezzar also brought some of the articles of the house (temple) of the Lord to Babylon and put them in his temple there. 8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim and the repulsive acts which he committed, and what was found against him, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. And his son Jehoiachin became king in his place.
9 Jehoiachin was eight[teen] years old when he became king, and he reigned for three months and ten days in Jerusalem, and he did evil in the sight of the Lord.
Captivity in Babylon Begun
10 Now at the turn of the year [in the spring], King Nebuchadnezzar sent word and had him brought to Babylon with the valuable articles of the house of the Lord, and made his brother Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem.
Zedekiah Rules in Judah
11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem. 12 He did evil in the sight of the Lord his God; he did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke for the Lord. 13 He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar who had made him swear allegiance by God. He stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord God of Israel. 14 Also, all the officials of the priests and the people were very unfaithful, following all the repulsive acts of the [pagan] nations; and they defiled the house of the Lord which He had sanctified in Jerusalem.
15 The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. 16 But they kept mocking the messengers of God and despising His words and scoffing at His prophets until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, until there was no remedy or healing. 17 Therefore He brought the king of the Chaldeans against them, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or infirm; He gave them all into his hand. 18 And as for all the articles of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and of his officials, he brought them all to Babylon. 19 Then they burned the house of God and tore down the wall of Jerusalem, and burned all its fortified buildings with fire, and destroyed all its valuable articles. 20 He deported to Babylon those who had escaped from the sword; and they were servants to him and to his sons until the kingdom of Persia was established there, 21 to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had restored its Sabbaths; for as long as the land lay desolate it kept Sabbath until seventy years were complete.
Cyrus Permits Return
22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia—in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah—the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, 23 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up [to Jerusalem]!’”
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