Josiah's Reforms

23 (A)Then the king sent, and all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem were gathered to him. And the king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the prophets, all the people, both small and great. And (B)he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant (C)that had been found in the house of the Lord. And the king stood (D)by the pillar and (E)made a covenant before the Lord, (F)to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people joined in the covenant.

And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests (G)of the second order and the keepers of the threshold to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels made for (H)Baal, for (I)Asherah, and for all the host of heaven. (J)He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel. And he deposed the priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to make offerings in the high places at the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and the moon and the constellations (K)and all the host of the heavens. And he brought out (L)the Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, (M)and burned it at the brook Kidron (N)and beat it to dust and cast the dust of it upon the graves (O)of the common people. And he broke down the houses of (P)the male cult prostitutes who were in the house of the Lord, (Q)where the women wove hangings for (R)the Asherah. And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had made offerings, from (S)Geba to Beersheba. And he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on one's left at the gate of the city. (T)However, the priests of the high places did not come up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers. 10 And he defiled (U)Topheth, which is (V)in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, (W)that no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to (X)Molech.[a] 11 And he removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the precincts.[b] And he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. 12 And the altars (Y)on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars (Z)that Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, he pulled down and broke in pieces[c] and cast the dust of them (AA)into the brook Kidron. 13 And the king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, to the south of (AB)the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for (AC)Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for (AD)Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for (AE)Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 14 And he broke in pieces the (AF)pillars and cut down the Asherim and filled their places with the bones of men.

15 Moreover, the altar at Bethel, the high place erected (AG)by Jeroboam the son of Nebat, (AH)who made Israel to sin, (AI)that altar with the high place he pulled down and burned,[d] reducing it to dust. He also burned the Asherah. 16 And as Josiah turned, he saw the tombs there on the mount. And he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar and defiled it, (AJ)according to the word of the Lord that the man of God proclaimed, who had predicted these things. 17 Then he said, “What is that monument that I see?” And the men of the city told him, (AK)“It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and predicted[e] these things that you have done against the altar at Bethel.” 18 And he said, “Let him be; let no man move his bones.” So they let his bones alone, with the bones (AL)of the prophet who came out of Samaria. 19 And Josiah removed all the shrines also of the high places that were (AM)in the cities of Samaria, which kings of Israel had made, provoking the Lord to anger. He did to them according to all that he had done at Bethel. 20 And (AN)he sacrificed all the priests of the high places who were there, on the altars, (AO)and burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

Josiah Restores the Passover

21 And the king commanded all the people, (AP)“Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, (AQ)as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.” 22 (AR)For no such Passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, or during all the days of the kings of Israel or of the kings of Judah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem.

24 Moreover, Josiah put away (AS)the mediums and the necromancers and (AT)the household gods and (AU)the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might establish (AV)the words of the law that were written in the book (AW)that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord. 25 (AX)Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.

26 Still the Lord did not turn from the burning of his great wrath, by which his anger was kindled against Judah, (AY)because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked him. 27 And the Lord said, “I will remove Judah also out of my sight, (AZ)as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city that I have chosen, Jerusalem, (BA)and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.”

Josiah's Death in Battle

28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 29 (BB)In his days (BC)Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates. King Josiah went to meet him, and Pharaoh Neco killed him at (BD)Megiddo, as soon as he saw him. 30 (BE)And his servants carried him dead in a chariot from (BF)Megiddo and brought him to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. (BG)And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father's place.

Jehoahaz's Reign and Captivity

31 (BH)Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother's name was (BI)Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, (BJ)according to all that his fathers had done. 33 And (BK)Pharaoh Neco put him in bonds at (BL)Riblah in the land of (BM)Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem, and laid on the land a tribute of a hundred talents[f] of silver and a talent of gold. 34 And (BN)Pharaoh Neco made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the place of Josiah his father, and (BO)changed his name to Jehoiakim. But he took Jehoahaz away, (BP)and he came to Egypt and died there. 35 And Jehoiakim (BQ)gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh, but he taxed the land to give the money according to the command of Pharaoh. He exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, from everyone according to his assessment, to give it to Pharaoh Neco.

Jehoiakim Reigns in Judah

36 (BR)Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, (BS)according to all that his fathers had done.


  1. 2 Kings 23:10 Hebrew might cause his son or daughter to pass through the fire for Molech
  2. 2 Kings 23:11 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
  3. 2 Kings 23:12 Hebrew pieces from there
  4. 2 Kings 23:15 Septuagint broke in pieces its stones
  5. 2 Kings 23:17 Hebrew called
  6. 2 Kings 23:33 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms

Josiah Keeps the Passover

35 (A)Josiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem. And they slaughtered the Passover lamb (B)on the fourteenth day of the first month. He appointed the priests to their offices (C)and encouraged them in the service of the house of the Lord. And he said to the Levites (D)who taught all Israel and who were holy to the Lord, “Put the holy ark in the house that Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built. You need not carry it on your shoulders. Now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel. Prepare yourselves (E)according to your fathers' houses by your divisions, (F)as prescribed in the writing of David king of Israel (G)and the document of Solomon his son. And (H)stand in the Holy Place (I)according to the groupings of the fathers' houses of your brothers the lay people, and according to the division of the Levites by fathers' household. And slaughter the Passover lamb, and (J)consecrate yourselves, and prepare for your brothers, to do according to the word of the Lord by[a] Moses.”

Then Josiah contributed to the lay people, as Passover offerings for all who were present, lambs and young goats from the flock to the number of 30,000, and 3,000 bulls; (K)these were from the king's possessions. And his officials contributed willingly to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. (L)Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the chief officers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings 2,600 Passover lambs and 300 bulls. Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethanel his brothers, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, the chiefs of the Levites, gave to the Levites for the Passover offerings 5,000 lambs and young goats and 500 bulls.

10 When the service had been prepared for, the priests (M)stood in their place, (N)and the Levites in their divisions according to the king's command. 11 (O)And they slaughtered the Passover lamb, and the priests (P)threw the blood that they received from them (Q)while the Levites flayed the sacrifices. 12 And they set aside the burnt offerings that they might distribute them according to the groupings of the fathers' houses of the lay people, to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the Book of Moses. And so they did with the bulls. 13 (R)And they roasted the Passover lamb with fire according to the rule; and they (S)boiled the holy offerings in pots, in cauldrons, and in pans, and carried them quickly to all the lay people. 14 And afterward they prepared for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the sons of Aaron, were offering the burnt offerings and the fat parts until night; so the Levites prepared for themselves and for the priests, the sons of Aaron. 15 The singers, the sons of Asaph, were in their place (T)according to the command of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king's (U)seer; (V)and the gatekeepers were at each gate. They did not need to depart from their service, for their brothers the Levites prepared for them.

16 So all the service of the Lord was prepared that day, to keep the Passover and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, according to the command of King Josiah. 17 And the people of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, (W)and the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days. 18 (X)No Passover like it had been kept in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet. None of the kings of Israel had kept such a Passover as was kept by Josiah, and the priests and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah this Passover was kept.

Josiah Killed in Battle

20 (Y)After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Neco king of Egypt went up to fight at (Z)Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah went out to meet him. 21 But he sent envoys to him, saying, “What have we to do with each other, king of Judah? I am not coming against you this day, but against the house with which I am at war. And God has commanded me to hurry. Cease opposing God, who is with me, lest he destroy you.” 22 Nevertheless, Josiah did not turn away from him, but (AA)disguised himself in order to fight with him. He did not listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but came to fight in the plain of (AB)Megiddo. 23 And the archers shot King Josiah. And the king said to his servants, (AC)“Take me away, for I am badly wounded.” 24 So his servants took him out of the chariot and carried him in his second chariot and brought him to Jerusalem. And he died and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. (AD)All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. 25 (AE)Jeremiah also uttered a lament for Josiah; and all (AF)the singing men and singing women have spoken of Josiah in their laments to this day. They made these a rule in Israel; behold, they are written in the Laments. 26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his good deeds according to what is written in the Law of the Lord, 27 and his acts, first and last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.


  1. 2 Chronicles 35:6 Hebrew by the hand of

The Jerusalem Council

15 (A)But some men came down from Judea and were teaching (B)the brothers, “Unless you are (C)circumcised (D)according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and (E)debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and (F)some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to (G)the apostles and the elders about this question. So, (H)being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, (I)describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and (J)brought great joy to all (K)the brothers.[a] (L)When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and (M)the apostles and the elders, and (N)they declared all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to (O)the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, (P)“It is necessary (Q)to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”

(R)The (S)apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much (T)debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, (U)that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear (V)the word of (W)the gospel and believe. And God, (X)who knows the heart, (Y)bore witness to them, (Z)by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and (AA)he made no distinction between us and them, (AB)having cleansed their hearts (AC)by faith. 10 Now, therefore, why (AD)are you putting God to the test (AE)by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples (AF)that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we (AG)believe that we will be (AH)saved through (AI)the grace of the Lord Jesus, (AJ)just as they will.”

12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul (AK)as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they finished speaking, (AL)James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 (AM)Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them (AN)a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,

16 (AO)“‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins,
     and I will restore it,
17 that the remnant[b] of mankind (AP)may seek the Lord,
    and all the Gentiles (AQ)who are called by my name,
     says the Lord, who makes these things 18 (AR)known from of old.’

19 Therefore (AS)my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who (AT)turn to God, 20 but should write to them (AU)to abstain from (AV)the things polluted by idols, and from (AW)sexual immorality, and from (AX)what has been strangled, and from (AY)blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, (AZ)for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”

The Council's Letter to Gentile Believers

22 Then it seemed good to (BA)the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called (BB)Barsabbas, and (BC)Silas, leading men among (BD)the brothers, 23 with the following letter: (BE)“The brothers, both (BF)the apostles and the elders, to the brothers[c] who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, (BG)greetings. 24 Since we have heard that (BH)some persons have gone out from us and (BI)troubled you[d] with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, 25 it has seemed good to us, having come (BJ)to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our (BK)beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 (BL)men who have (BM)risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent (BN)Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it has seemed good (BO)to the Holy Spirit and (BP)to us (BQ)to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: 29 (BR)that you abstain from (BS)what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”

30 So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 And Judas and Silas, who were themselves (BT)prophets, encouraged and (BU)strengthened (BV)the brothers with many words. 33 And after they had spent some time, they were sent off (BW)in peace by (BX)the brothers to those who had sent them.[e] 35 But (BY)Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

Paul and Barnabas Separate

36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit (BZ)the brothers (CA)in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them (CB)John called Mark. 38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one (CC)who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 And there arose (CD)a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. (CE)Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, (CF)having been commended by (CG)the brothers to (CH)the grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, (CI)strengthening the churches.


  1. Acts 15:3 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 22
  2. Acts 15:17 Or rest
  3. Acts 15:23 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 32, 33, 36
  4. Acts 15:24 Some manuscripts some persons from us have troubled you
  5. Acts 15:33 Some manuscripts insert verse 34: But it seemed good to Silas to remain there

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