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2 Kings 23Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

23 Then the king summoned all the leaders of Y’hudah and Yerushalayim, and they assembled with him. The king went up to the house of Adonai with all the men of Y’hudah, all those living in Yerushalayim, the cohanim, the prophets and all the people, both small and great; and he read in their hearing everything written in the scroll of the covenant that had been found in the house of Adonai. The king stood on the platform and made a covenant in the presence of Adonai to live following Adonai, observing his mitzvot, instructions and regulations wholeheartedly and with all his being, so as to confirm the words of the covenant written in this scroll. All the people stood, pledging themselves to keep the covenant.

Then the king ordered Hilkiyahu the cohen hagadol, the cohanim of the second rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the sanctuary of Adonai all the articles that had been made for Ba‘al, for the asherah and for the entire army of heaven; and he burned them up outside Yerushalayim in the fields of Kidron and carried their ashes to Beit-El.

He deposed the idolatrous priests the kings of Y’hudah had ordained to offer on the high places by the cities of Y’hudah and in the places surrounding Yerushalayim; he also deposed those who offered to Ba‘al, the sun, the moon, the constellations and the whole army of heaven.

He took the asherah from the house of Adonai to Vadi Kidron outside Yerushalayim and burned it in Vadi Kidron, stamped the ashes to powder and threw the powder onto the burial-ground for the common people.

He smashed the houses of the cult prostitutes that were in the house of Adonai, where the women also wove garments for the asherah.

He removed the cohanim from the cities of Y’hudah; then, from Geva to Be’er-Sheva, he desecrated the high places where the cohanim had been making offerings. He also smashed the High Places of the Gates that were at the entrance of the Gate of Y’hoshua the governor of the city, on the left as one enters the city. But although the cohanim who had been at the high places did not come up to the altar of Adonai in Yerushalayim, nevertheless they did share matzah with their kinsmen.

10 He desecrated the Tofet fire pit in the Ben-Hinnom Valley, so that no one could cause his son or daughter to pass through fire [as a sacrifice] to Molekh.

11 He confiscated the horses which the kings of Y’hudah had given to the sun, at the entrance to the house of Adonai near the room of the officer N’tan-Melekh, in the side-courtyard; and he burned up the chariots of the sun.

12 The king smashed the altars on the roof of the upper room of Achaz, which the kings of Y’hudah had made, and the altars which M’nasheh had made in the two courtyards of the house of Adonai. He broke them into pieces and threw the rubble into Vadi Kidron.

13 The king desecrated the high places facing Yerushalayim south of the Mount of Destruction, which Shlomo the king of Isra’el had built for ‘Ashtoret the abomination of the Tzidonim, K’mosh the abomination of Mo’av and Milkom the abomination of the people of ‘Amon. 14 He smashed the standing-stones, chopped down the sacred poles and covered their remains with human bones.

15 He smashed the altar that was at Beit-El and the high place made by Yarov‘am the son of N’vat, who caused Isra’el to sin. Yes, he smashed that altar and the high place; he burned the high place, stamped the ashes to powder, and burned up the asherah. 16 Then, as Yoshiyahu was turning around, he noticed the burial caves that were there on the mountain; so he sent and had the bones taken out of the burial caves and burned them on the altar, thus desecrating it, in keeping with the word of Adonai which the man of God had proclaimed, foretelling that these things would happen. 17 Then he asked, “This monument here that I’m looking at, what is it?” The men of the city told him, “It marks the burial cave of the man of God who came from Y’hudah and foretold the very things you have done to the altar of Beit-El.” 18 He replied, “Let him be; no one is to move his bones.” So they left his bones undisturbed, along with the bones of the prophet who had come from Shomron.

19 Yoshiyahu also removed all the shrines of the high places in the cities of Shomron, which the kings of Isra’el had made in order to provoke [Adonai] to anger, and treated them the same as in Beit-El. 20 He put to death all the priests of those high places on the altars there, then burned human bones on them. Finally he returned to Yerushalayim.

21 The king issued this order to all the people: “Observe Pesach to Adonai your God, as written in this scroll of the covenant.” 22 For Pesach had not been so observed since the days when the judges ruled Isra’el — not during the times of any of the kings of Isra’el or of the kings of Y’hudah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Yoshiyahu this Pesach was observed to Adonai in Yerushalayim.

24 Yoshiyahu got rid of the mediums and the people using spirit guides, as well as the household gods, the idols and all the disgusting things spotted anywhere in Y’hudah and Yerushalayim. He did this in order to establish the words of the Torah written in the scroll Hilkiyahu the cohen had found in the house of Adonai.

25 No previous king was like him; because he turned to Adonai with all his heart, with all his being and with all his power, in accordance with all the Torah of Moshe; nor did any king like him arise afterwards. 26 Nevertheless, Adonai did not turn away from his fiercely raging, furious anger that burned against Y’hudah because of all the things M’nasheh had done to provoke him. 27 Adonai said, “Just as I removed Isra’el, I will also remove Y’hudah out of my sight; and I will reject this city, which I chose, Yerushalayim, and the house concerning which I said, ‘My name will be there.’”

28 Other activities of Yoshiyahu and all his accomplishments are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Y’hudah.

29 During his time Pharaoh N’khoh king of Egypt went up toward the Euphrates River to attack the king of Ashur. King Yoshiyahu went out to oppose him; but at Megiddo, Pharaoh spotted Yoshiyahu and killed him. 30 His servants carried his dead body from Megiddo to Yerushalayim in a chariot and buried him in his own tomb. The people of the land took Y’ho’achaz the son of Yoshiyahu, anointed him, and made him king in his father’s place.

31 Y’ho’achaz was twenty-three years old when he began his reign, and he ruled for three months in Yerushalayim. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Yirmeyahu from Livnah. 32 He did what was evil from Adonai’s perspective, following the example of everything his ancestors had done. 33 Pharaoh N’khoh imprisoned him at Rivlah in the land of Hamat, so that he would not be able to rule in Yerushalayim. He also imposed a penalty on the land of three-and-a-quarter tons of silver and sixty-six pounds of gold. 34 Then Pharaoh N’khoh made Elyakim the son of Yoshiyahu king in place of Yoshiyahu his father and changed his name to Y’hoyakim. He also carried Y’ho’achaz off to Egypt, where he died. 35 Y’hoyakim remitted the silver and gold to Pharaoh; but in order to pay the money Pharaoh demanded, he had to levy a tax on the land. He taxed the people of the land, each according to his means, to pay the silver and gold to Pharaoh N’khoh.

36 Y’hoyakim was twenty-five years old when he began his reign, and he ruled for eleven years in Yerushalayim. His mother’s name was Z’vudah the daughter of P’dayah, from Rumah. 37 He did what was evil from the perspective of Adonai, following the example of everything his ancestors had done.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

2 Kings 23New International Version (NIV)

Josiah Renews the Covenant

23 Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 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. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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.

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. 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.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 23:11 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  2. 2 Kings 23:27 1 Kings 8:29
  3. 2 Kings 23:33 That is, about 3 3/4 tons or about 3.4 metric tons
  4. 2 Kings 23:33 That is, about 75 pounds or about 34 kilograms
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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