2 Chronicles 34Expanded Bible (EXB)
Josiah King of Judah
34 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he ·ruled [reigned] thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2 He did what ·the Lord said was right [L was pleasing/proper in the eyes/sight of the Lord]. He lived as his ·ancestor [father] David had lived, and he did not ·stop doing what was right [L turn aside/deviate to the right or the left].
3 In his eighth year as king while he was still young, Josiah began to ·obey [seek] the God of his ·ancestor [father] David. In his twelfth year as king, Josiah began to ·remove [purge; rid] from Judah and Jerusalem the ·places for worshiping gods [L high places; 11:15], the Asherah ·idols [poles; 14:3], and the ·wooden [carved] and ·metal [cast; molten] ·idols [images]. 4 The people tore down the altars for the Baal gods ·as Josiah directed [or in his presence]. Then Josiah cut down the incense altars that were above them. He broke up the Asherah ·idols [poles; 14:3] and the wooden and ·metal [cast; molten] idols and ·beat [ground; crushed] them into powder. Then he sprinkled the powder on the ·graves [tombs] of the people who had ·offered [sacrificed] sacrifices to these gods. 5 He burned the bones of their priests on their own altars. So Josiah ·removed idol worship from [purged; purified] Judah and Jerusalem, 6 and from the towns in the areas of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon all the way to Naphtali, and in the ·ruins [or regions] near these towns. 7 Josiah broke down the altars and Asherah ·idols [poles; 14:3] and ·beat [ground; crushed] the ·idols [carved images] into powder. He ·cut down [chopped up; smashed] all the incense altars in all of Israel. Then he went back to Jerusalem.
8 In Josiah’s eighteenth year ·as king [of reigning], ·he made [he continued to make; or after he had made…] ·Judah [L the land] and the ·Temple [L house] pure. He sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the city ·leader [official; governor], and Joah son of Joahaz the ·recorder [royal historian] to ·repair [restore] the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord, the God of Josiah. 9 These men went to Hilkiah the high priest and ·gave him [delivered] the money the Levite gatekeepers had gathered from the people of Manasseh, Ephraim, and all the ·Israelites who were left alive [L remnant of Israel], and also from all the people of Judah, Benjamin, and Jerusalem. This is the money they had brought into the ·Temple [L house] of God. 10 Then the Levites gave it to the ·supervisors [overseers; foremen] of the work on the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord, and they paid the workers who ·rebuilt [restored] and repaired the ·Temple [L house]. 11 They gave money to carpenters and builders to buy ·cut [quarried; finished] stone and ·wood [timber]. The ·wood [timber] was used ·to rebuild [for rafters/joists/braces for] the buildings and to make beams for them, because the kings of Judah had let the buildings fall into ruin. 12 The men did their work ·well [faithfully]. Their ·supervisors [overseers; foremen] were Jahath and Obadiah, who were Levites from the ·family [clan] of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, who were from the ·family [clan] of Kohath. ·These [or Other] Levites were all skilled musicians. 13 They were also ·in charge [supervisors; overseers; foremen] of the ·workers who carried loads [burden bearers; laborers] and all the other workers. Some Levites worked as ·secretaries [scribes], ·officers [officials], and gatekeepers.
The Book of the Teachings Is Found
14 The Levites brought out the money that was in the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. As they were doing this, Hilkiah the priest found the ·Book [scroll] of the Lord’s ·Teachings [instructions; laws] that had been given through Moses. 15 Hilkiah said to Shaphan the royal ·secretary [scribe] , “I’ve found the ·Book [scroll] of the ·Teachings [instructions; laws] in the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord!” Then he gave it to Shaphan.
16 Shaphan took the ·book [scroll] to the king and reported to Josiah, “Your ·officers [officials] are doing everything you ·told [assigned; entrusted] them to do. 17 They have paid out the ·money [silver] that was in the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord and have ·given [delivered; entrusted] it to the ·supervisors [overseers] and the workers.” 18 Then Shaphan the royal ·secretary [scribe] told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a ·book [scroll].” And Shaphan read from the ·book [scroll] to the king.
19 When the king heard the words of the ·Teachings [instructions; laws], he tore his clothes [C a sign of mourning or distress]. 20 He gave orders to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the royal ·secretary [scribe], and Asaiah, the king’s servant. These were the orders: 21 “Go and ·ask [inquire of] the Lord about the words in the ·book [scroll] that was found. Ask for me and for the ·people who are left alive in [remnant of] Israel and Judah. The Lord is ·very angry with [L pouring out/igniting his wrath on] us, because our ·ancestors [fathers] did not ·obey [seek] the Lord’s word; they did not ·do [act in accordance with] everything this ·book [scroll] says to do.”
22 So Hilkiah and those the king sent with him went to talk to Huldah the prophetess. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, ·who took care of the king’s clothes [keeper of the wardrobe]. Huldah lived in Jerusalem, in the ·new area of the city [second quarter].
23 She said to them, “·This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says [T Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel]: Tell the man who sent you to me, 24 ‘This is what the Lord says: I will bring ·trouble to [disaster/L evil on] this place and ·to [on] the people living here. I will bring all the curses that are written in the ·book [scroll] that was read to the king of Judah [Deut. 27–28]. 25 The people of Judah have ·left [abandoned; forsaken] me and have burned incense to other gods. They have ·made me angry [L provoked/aroused me to anger] by all the evil things [C idols] they have made. So ·I will punish them in my anger [L my wrath will be poured out on this place], which will not be ·put out [quenched; extinguished].’ 26 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to ·ask [inquire of] the Lord, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the ·words [message] you heard: 27 When you heard my words against this place and its people, ·you became sorry for what you had done [your heart was tender/responsive/sensitive] and you humbled yourself before me. You tore your clothes [C a sign of mourning or distress], and you cried in my presence. This is why I have heard you, says the Lord. 28 So I will ·let you die and be buried [L gather you to your ancestors/fathers and to your grave/tomb] in peace. You won’t see all the ·trouble [disaster; L evil] I will bring to this place and the people living here.’”
So they took her ·message [response; answer] back to the king.
29 Then the king ·gathered [summoned] all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem together. 30 He went up to the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord, and all the people from Judah and from Jerusalem went with him. The priests, the Levites, and all the people—·from the most important to the least important [both great and small; or from the oldest to the youngest]—went with him. He read to them all the words in the ·Book [scroll] of the ·Agreement [covenant; treaty] that was found in the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. 31 The king stood by his pillar [C a place of authority] and made an ·agreement [covenant; treaty] ·in the presence of [before] the Lord to follow the Lord and ·obey [keep] his commands, rules, and laws with ·his whole being [all his heart] and to obey the words of the ·agreement [covenant; treaty] written in this ·book [scroll]. 32 Then Josiah ·made [required] all the people in Jerusalem and Benjamin ·promise to accept [stand with him regarding] the ·agreement [covenant; treaty]. So the people of Jerusalem ·obeyed [acted in accordance with] the ·agreement [covenant; treaty] of God, the God of their ·ancestors [fathers].
33 And Josiah threw out the [detestable; abominable] idols from all the land that belonged to the Israelites. He ·led [forced; caused] everyone in Israel to serve the Lord their God. While Josiah lived, the people ·obeyed [did not turn from] the Lord, the God of their ·ancestors [fathers].
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