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Josiah Keeps Pesach

35 Josiah celebrated Passover unto Adonai in Jerusalem. They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the first month. He reinstated the kohanim to their duties and encouraged them in the service of the House of Adonai. He said to the Levites who taught all Israel and who were consecrated to Adonai, “Put the holy Ark in the House which Solomon the son of King David of Israel built. Since it is no longer a burden on your shoulders now, serve Adonai your God and His people Israel. Prepare youselves by your ancestral houses in your divisions, according to the writing of King David of Israel and according to the writing of his son Solomon. Stand in the holy place by the divisions of the ancestral houses, by sons of the people and by divisions of ancestral houses of the Levites. Now sanctify yourselves, slaughter the Passover lamb and prepare it for your kinsmen, according to the word of Adonai by the hand of Moses.”

Josiah provided for all the people who were present, flocks of lambs and goats totaling 30,000, all for the Passover offerings, as well as 3,000 bulls—all from the king’s possessions.

His officials also gave a freewill offering to the people, the kohanim and the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah and Jehiel—the administrators of the House of God—donated to the kohanim 2,600 Passover offerings, and 300 bulls. Likewise, Conaniah along with Shemaiah and Nethaniel, his brothers, and Hashabiah, Jeiel and Jozabad, leaders of the Levites, provided 5,000 Passover lambs for the Levites and 500 bulls.

10 So the avodah was prepared and the kohanim stood at their posts with the Levites in their divisions according to the king’s command. 11 They slaughtered the Passover lambs and while the kohanim sprinkled the blood handed to them, the Levites flayed them. 12 Then they removed the portions to be burnt to give them to the divisions of ancestral houses of the people to present to Adonai, as it is written in the book of Moses. They did the same with the bulls. 13 They roasted the Passover lambs with fire according to the ordinance, then boiled the sacred parts in pots, caldrons and pans, and brought them quickly to all the people. 14 Afterward, they made preparations for themselves and for the kohanim, because the kohanim, the sons of Aaron, were busy sacrificing the burnt offerings and the fat until nightfall. So the Levites made preparations for themselves and for the kohanim, the sons of Aaron.

15 The singers, the descendants of Asaph, were at their stations according to the commandment of David, Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun, the king’s seer. The gatekeepers were at every gate. They did not need to depart from their posts for their fellow Levites provided for them.

16 So on that day the entire service of Adonai was prepared to keep the Passover and to offer burnt offerings upon the altar of Adonai according to the command of King Josiah. 17 The Bnei-Yisrael present celebrated the Passover at that time and observed the Feast of Matzot for seven days. 18 Passover had not been celebrated like that in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet, and none of the kings of Israel had ever celebrated such a Passover as Josiah did with the kohanim, the Levites, all Judah and Israel who were present and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19 This Passover was celebrated in the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah.

Death of Josiah

20 After all this, when Josiah had set the House in order, King Neco of Egypt came up to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates and Josiah went out to engage him. 21 But Neco sent messengers to him saying, “What is there between me and you, king of Judah? I am not coming against you today but against the house that wars with me and God has ordered me to hurry. Stop for your sake from meddling with God who is with me, so that He will not destroy you!”

22 Josiah, however, would not turn away from him but disguised himself in order to fight him. He did not listen to Neco’s words from the mouth of God and went to fight him in the plain of Megiddo. 23 Archers shot King Josiah and the king said to his servants, “Take me away, for I am seriously wounded.” 24 So his servants carried him out of the chariot and put him in the second chariot that he had. They brought him to Jerusalem where he died and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned over Josiah.

25 Now Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the singers, male and female, commemorated Josiah in their laments. And they made them an ordinance in Israel and behold, they are written in the lamentations. 26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah and his deeds of devotion as written in the Torah of Adonai, 27 and his acts, the first and the last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.