2 Chronicles 34 New Life Version (NLV)
Josiah Rules Judah
34 Josiah was eight years old when he became king. And he ruled thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David. He did not turn aside to the right or to the left. 3 For in the eighth year of his rule while he was still young, he began to look for the God of his father David. In the twelfth year he began to take the sinful things out of Judah and Jerusalem. He took away the high places, the objects of the false goddess Asherah, and all the objects made to look like gods. 4 They tore down the altars of the false gods of Baal in front of him. And he cut down the special perfume altars which stood above them. He broke in pieces the objects of the false goddess Asherah and all the objects made to look like gods. Then he ground them to dust and spread it on the graves of those who had given gifts in worship to them. 5 He burned the bones of their religious leaders on their altars, and made Judah and Jerusalem free from worshiping false gods. 6 And in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and as far as Naphtali, in the broken down places around them, 7 Josiah tore down the altars and beat to dust the objects of Asherah and the objects made to look like gods. He cut down all the special perfume altars through all the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
The Book of the Law Is Found
8 Now it was the eighteenth year of his rule, and Josiah had made the land and the Lord’s house free from worshiping false gods. At that time he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the leader of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz, who wrote down the things that happened, to do the work needed on the house of the Lord his God. 9 They came to Hilkiah the head religious leader and gave him the money that was brought into the house of God. The Levites who watched the door had received this money from Manasseh and Ephraim and from all those who were left of Israel, and from all Judah and Benjamin and the people of Jerusalem. 10 Then they gave the money to the workmen who watched over the work of the Lord’s house. And the workmen who were working in the Lord’s house used it to make the house like new. 11 They gave the money to those who work with wood and to the builders to buy cut stone and wood for joints and building-pieces for the houses. The kings of Judah had not had the needed work done on them. 12 And the men were faithful in doing the work. Watching over them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites of the sons of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam of the sons of the Kohathites. The Levites who were good at playing music 13 watched over those who carried loads and those who did work in every kind of duty. Some of the Levites were writers and leaders and gate-keepers.
14 When they were bringing out the money which had been brought into the Lord’s house, Hilkiah the religious leader found the book of the Law of the Lord given by Moses. 15 Hilkiah told Shaphan the writer, “I have found the book of the Law in the Lord’s house.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan. 16 Then Shaphan brought the book to the king, and said to him, “Your servants are doing all the work that they have been given to do. 17 They have taken all the money that was found in the Lord’s house and have given it to the leaders and the workmen.” 18 Then Shaphan the writer said to the king, “Hilkiah the religious leader gave me a book.” And Shaphan read it in front of the king. 19 When King Josiah heard the words of the Law, he tore his clothes. 20 Then the king called Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the writer, and Asaiah the king’s servant. He told them, 21 “Go, ask the Lord for me, and for those who are left in Israel and Judah, about the words of the book which have been found. For much of the Lord’s anger has been poured out on us because our fathers have not obeyed the Word of the Lord. They have not done all that is written in this book.”
22 So Hilkiah and those whom the king had sent went to Huldah the woman who spoke for God. She was the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, who watched over the clothing. (She lived in Jerusalem in the second part of the city.) They spoke to her about this. 23 And she said to them, “The Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘Tell the man who sent you to Me 24 what I say. See, I am bringing much trouble to this place and to its people. I am allowing all the curses to come which are written in the book they have read in front of the king of Judah. 25 They have left Me and have burned special perfume to other gods, that they might make Me angry with all the work of their hands. So My anger will be poured out on this place, and it will not be stopped. 26 But tell the king of Judah who sent you to the Lord, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says about the words which you have heard: 27 ‘Your heart was broken and you had no pride before God when you heard His words against this place and its people. And because you came before Me with no pride, tore your clothes, and cried before Me, I have heard you,’ says the Lord. 28 ‘Your eyes will not see all the much trouble that I will bring on this place and its people. It will come after you die. You will be taken to your grave in peace.’”’” The men brought back this word to the king.
Josiah Brings Back True Worship
29 Then the king sent and gathered together all the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 The king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the religious leaders, the Levites, and all the people from the greatest to the least. And he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the agreement which was found in the Lord’s house. 31 Then the king stood in his place and made an agreement before the Lord. He agreed to follow the Lord, to obey His Laws with all his heart and soul, and to do what is written in the agreement in this book. 32 And he made all who were there in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand with him. So the people of Jerusalem promised to obey the agreement of God, the God of their fathers. 33 Josiah took away all the hated false gods from all the lands belonging to the sons of Israel. He made all who were in Israel worship the Lord their God. While Josiah was alive, they did not turn from following the Lord God of their fathers.