2 Kings 23 Amplified Bible (AMP)
23 King Josiah sent word and they brought to him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. 2 The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house (temple) of the Lord. 3 The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep His commandments, His testimonies, and His statutes with all his heart and soul, to confirm the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people entered into the covenant.
Reforms under Josiah
4 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second rank and the doorkeepers to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal, for [the goddess] Asherah, and for all the [starry] host of heaven; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel [where Israel’s idolatry began]. 5 He got rid of the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense [to pagan gods] in the high places in Judah’s cities and all around Jerusalem—also those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to the constellations [of the zodiac], and to all the [starry] host of heaven. 6 Josiah brought out the Asherah from the house of the Lord to the Brook Kidron outside Jerusalem, and burned it there, and ground it to dust, and threw its dust on the graves of the common people [who had sacrificed to it]. 7 And he tore down the houses of the [male] cult prostitutes, which were at the house (temple) of the Lord, where the women were weaving [tent] hangings for the Asherah [shrines]. 8 Then Josiah brought all the [idolatrous] priests from the cities of Judah, and desecrated the high places where the priests had burned incense [to idols], from Geba to Beersheba, [that is, north to south]; and he tore down the high places of the gates which were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on one’s left at the city gate. 9 However, the priests of the high places were not allowed to go up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem [to serve], but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers. 10 Josiah also defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of Ben-hinnom (son of Hinnom), so that no man could make his son or his daughter pass through the fire [as a burnt offering] for Molech. 11 And he got rid of the horses that the kings of Judah had given [in worship] to the sun at the entrance of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the official, which was in the annex; and he burned the chariots of the sun. 12 The altars [dedicated to the starry host of heaven] which were on the roof, the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courtyards of the house of the Lord, the king tore down; and he smashed them there and threw their dust into the Brook Kidron. 13 The king desecrated the high places which were opposite [east of] Jerusalem, which were on the right (south) of the mount of corruption which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the repulsiveness of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the repulsiveness of Moab, and for Milcom the repulsiveness of the sons (descendants) of Ammon. 14 He broke in pieces the sacred pillars (cultic memorial stones, images) and cut down the Asherim and replaced them with human bones [to desecrate the places forever].
15 Further, the altar that was at Bethel, the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, had made, even that altar and the high place he tore down. Then he demolished its stones, ground them to dust, and burned the Asherah. 16 And as Josiah turned, he saw the graves that were there on the mountain, and he sent men and had the bones taken from the graves, and burned them on the altar and [thereby] desecrated it, in accordance with the word of the Lord which the man of God prophesied, who proclaimed these things [about this altar, naming Josiah before he was born]. 17 Then Josiah said, “What is this monument (gravestone) that I see?” The men of the city told him, “It is the grave of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things which you have done to the altar of Bethel.” 18 He said, “Let him alone; let no one disturb his bones.” So they left his bones undisturbed, with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria. 19 Josiah also removed all the houses of the high places which were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made provoking the Lord [to anger]; and he did to them just as he had done [to those] in Bethel. 20 All the priests of the high places who were there he slaughtered on the altars, and burned human bones on them [to desecrate the places forever]. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
21 Then the king commanded all the people, saying, “Celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God as it is written in this book of the covenant.” 22 Indeed, such a Passover as this had not been held since the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, this Passover to the Lord was kept in Jerusalem.
24 Moreover, Josiah removed the mediums and the soothsayers and the teraphim (household gods) and the idols and all the repulsive things that were seen in Judah and in Jerusalem, so that he might fulfill the words of the law written in the book which Hilkiah the priest found in the house (temple) of the Lord. 25 Before him there was no king like Josiah who turned to the Lord with all his heart and all his soul and all his might, in accordance with all the Law of Moses; nor did anyone like him arise after him.
26 However, the Lord did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath which was kindled against Judah because of all the [a]despicable acts with which Manasseh had provoked Him. 27 The Lord said, “I will also remove Judah from My sight, just as I have removed Israel; and will reject this city which I have chosen, this Jerusalem, and the house, of which I said, ‘My Name [and the pledge of My Presence] shall be there.’”
Jehoahaz Succeeds Josiah
28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, everything that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 29 In his days Pharaoh Neco (Necho) king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates [to help him fight Nabopolassar the king of Babylon]. King Josiah went out to meet him, but Pharaoh killed Josiah at Megiddo when he saw him. 30 Josiah’s servants carried his dead body in a chariot from Megiddo, brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own tomb. Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah and anointed him and made him king in his father’s place.
31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned for [only] three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, in accordance with everything that his forefathers had done. 33 Pharaoh Neco imprisoned him at Riblah in the land of Hamath, so that he would not reign in Jerusalem, and imposed a fine on the land of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.
Jehoiakim Made King by Pharaoh
34 Pharaoh Neco made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in place of his father Josiah, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But he took Jehoahaz and brought him to Egypt, where he died. 35 Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh, but he taxed the land to give the money as Pharaoh commanded. He collected the silver and gold from the people of the land, from everyone according to his assessment, to give it to Pharaoh Neco.
36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zebidah daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, in accordance with everything that his forefathers had done.
2 Kings 23 New International Version (NIV)
Josiah Renews the Covenant
23 Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2 He went up to the temple of the Lord with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. 3 The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.
4 The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley and took the ashes to Bethel. 5 He did away with the idolatrous priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem—those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts. 6 He took the Asherah pole from the temple of the Lord to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem and burned it there. He ground it to powder and scattered the dust over the graves of the common people. 7 He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes that were in the temple of the Lord, the quarters where women did weaving for Asherah.
8 Josiah brought all the priests from the towns of Judah and desecrated the high places, from Geba to Beersheba, where the priests had burned incense. He broke down the gateway at the entrance of the Gate of Joshua, the city governor, which was on the left of the city gate. 9 Although the priests of the high places did not serve at the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, they ate unleavened bread with their fellow priests.
10 He desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice their son or daughter in the fire to Molek. 11 He removed from the entrance to the temple of the Lord the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court[a] near the room of an official named Nathan-Melek. Josiah then burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.
12 He pulled down the altars the kings of Judah had erected on the roof near the upper room of Ahaz, and the altars Manasseh had built in the two courts of the temple of the Lord. He removed them from there, smashed them to pieces and threw the rubble into the Kidron Valley. 13 The king also desecrated the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption—the ones Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the people of Ammon. 14 Josiah smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles and covered the sites with human bones.
15 Even the altar at Bethel, the high place made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had caused Israel to sin—even that altar and high place he demolished. He burned the high place and ground it to powder, and burned the Asherah pole also. 16 Then Josiah looked around, and when he saw the tombs that were there on the hillside, he had the bones removed from them and burned on the altar to defile it, in accordance with the word of the Lord proclaimed by the man of God who foretold these things.
17 The king asked, “What is that tombstone I see?”
The people of the city said, “It marks the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and pronounced against the altar of Bethel the very things you have done to it.”
18 “Leave it alone,” he said. “Don’t let anyone disturb his bones.” So they spared his bones and those of the prophet who had come from Samaria.
19 Just as he had done at Bethel, Josiah removed all the shrines at the high places that the kings of Israel had built in the towns of Samaria and that had aroused the Lord’s anger. 20 Josiah slaughtered all the priests of those high places on the altars and burned human bones on them. Then he went back to Jerusalem.
21 The king gave this order to all the people: “Celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.” 22 Neither in the days of the judges who led Israel nor in the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah had any such Passover been observed. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, this Passover was celebrated to the Lord in Jerusalem.
24 Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the Lord. 25 Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.
26 Nevertheless, the Lord did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger, which burned against Judah because of all that Manasseh had done to arouse his anger. 27 So the Lord said, “I will remove Judah also from my presence as I removed Israel, and I will reject Jerusalem, the city I chose, and this temple, about which I said, ‘My Name shall be there.’[b]”
28 As for the other events of Josiah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?
29 While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went up to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to meet him in battle, but Necho faced him and killed him at Megiddo. 30 Josiah’s servants brought his body in a chariot from Megiddo to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah and anointed him and made him king in place of his father.
Jehoahaz King of Judah
31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah. 32 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as his predecessors had done. 33 Pharaoh Necho put him in chains at Riblah in the land of Hamath so that he might not reign in Jerusalem, and he imposed on Judah a levy of a hundred talents[c] of silver and a talent[d] of gold. 34 Pharaoh Necho made Eliakim son of Josiah king in place of his father Josiah and changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. But he took Jehoahaz and carried him off to Egypt, and there he died. 35 Jehoiakim paid Pharaoh Necho the silver and gold he demanded. In order to do so, he taxed the land and exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land according to their assessments.
Jehoiakim King of Judah
36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother’s name was Zebidah daughter of Pedaiah; she was from Rumah. 37 And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as his predecessors had done.