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Josiah, King of Judah(A)

34 And Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he was king for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. And he did what was correct in the eyes of the Lord, and he walked in the ways of David his father and did not turn either to the right or left.

And in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still a young boy, he began to seek out the God of David his father; and in the twelfth year he began to cleanse Judah and Jerusalem from high places, Asherah poles, idols, and carved and cast images. So they tore down the altars for the Baals, and he cut down the incense altars that were above them and smashed the Asherah poles and carved and cast images. And he crushed them to dust and scattered them before the graves of those who sacrificed to them. Then he burned the bones of the priests on their altars and so cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. In the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, and as far as Naphtali, in their ruins all around, he broke down the altars, beat Asherah poles and the images into powder, and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

In the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God.

When they came to Hilkiah the high priest, they delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites, the keepers of the door, had collected from the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and from all the remnant of Israel, and from all Judah and Benjamin, and from the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 And they gave it to those appointed to do the work in the house of the Lord. And those who were doing the work on the house gave it to repair and restore the house. 11 And they gave it to the craftsmen and builders to acquire quarried stones and timber for joists and beams for the buildings that the kings of Judah had ruined.

12 So the men did the work faithfully. Their overseers were Jahath and Obadiah the Levites, of the sons of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, as supervisors. And other Levites, all skillful with musical instruments, 13 were over those laborers and supervised all those doing the work in every type of service, and other Levites were scribes, officials, and gatekeepers.

The Book of the Law Found(B)

14 When they brought out the money that had been given to the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord from Moses. 15 Then Hilkiah said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan.

16 Shaphan brought the book to the king and reported, “Everything that has been designated to your servants, they are doing. 17 They have given out the money that was in the house of the Lord and have allocated to those who are supervisors and those who are doing the work.” 18 Then Shaphan the scribe also declared to the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it to the king.

19 And it happened that when the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his garments. 20 Then the king ordered Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the attendant of the king: 21 “Go and seek the Lord on my behalf and on the behalf of the remnant in Israel and Judah concerning what is written in the book that was found, for the wrath of the Lord that is poured out on us is great because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do everything that is written in this book.”

22 So Hilkiah and those with the king went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, son of Hasrah, who kept the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter, and they spoke to her about this.

23 And she said to them, “So says the Lord God of Israel: Speak to the man who sent you all to Me, 24 Thus says the Lord: I am bringing disaster on this place and all who dwell in it, even all the curses that are written in the book that they read before the king of Judah. 25 Because they have abandoned Me and offered sacrifices to other gods in order to provoke Me with everything they have made with their hands, so My rage will be poured out on this place, and it will not be quenched. 26 And the king of Judah who sent you all to seek out the Lord, so you will speak to him: So says the Lord God of Israel: The words that you have heard, 27 because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and those who dwell here, and you have brought yourself low before Me and torn your clothes and wept before Me, I have heard you, declares the Lord. 28 I am bringing you to be with your fathers, and you will be brought to your grave in peace, and your eyes will not see all the disaster that I am bringing on this place and on those who dwell here.”

So they returned this word to the king.

Josiah Restores True Worship

29 Then the king sent for all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 Then the king went up to the house of the Lord with men from Judah and those living in Jerusalem, even the priests and Levites and all the people from the greatest to the least, and he read within their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that was found in the house of the Lord. 31 Then the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant written in this book.

32 Then he appointed all who were in Jerusalem and Benjamin to carry this out, and those living in Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.

33 So Josiah took away all the detestable things from the lands that belonged to the people of Israel and caused all who were found in Israel to serve their Lord God. And all his days they did not turn away from the Lord God of their fathers.