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The People Hear the Agreement(A)

23 Then the king ·gathered [summoned] all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem together. He went up to the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord, and all the people from Judah and Jerusalem went with him. The priests, prophets, and all the people—·from the least important to the most important [both small/low and great/high]—went with him. He read to them all the words of the Book of the ·Agreement [Treaty; Covenant] that was found in the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and made an ·agreement [covenant; treaty] ·in the presence of [before] the Lord to follow the Lord and obey his commands, rules, and laws with his whole being, and to obey the words of the ·agreement [covenant; treaty] written in this ·book [scroll]. Then all the people ·promised to obey [pledged themselves to; entered into] the ·agreement [covenant; treaty].

Josiah Destroys the Places for Idol Worship

The king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the ·next rank [second order] and the ·gatekeepers [doorkeepers] to bring out of the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord ·everything [all the vessels/articles] made for Baal, Asherah, and all the ·stars of the sky [powers/hosts of heaven]. Then Josiah burned them outside Jerusalem in the ·open country [fields; terraces] of the Kidron Valley and carried their ashes to Bethel. The kings of Judah had ·chosen [appointed] priests for these gods. These priests burned incense in the ·places where gods were worshiped [L high places; 12:3] in the cities of Judah and the ·towns [area] around Jerusalem. They burned incense to Baal, the sun, the moon, the ·planets [constellations], and all the ·stars of the sky [hosts/powers of heaven]. But Josiah ·took those priests away [did away with/or exterminated those priests]. He removed the Asherah ·idol [pole; C a sacred tree or pole dedicated to the goddess Asherah; 13:6] from the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord and took it outside Jerusalem to the Kidron Valley, where he burned it and ·beat [ground] it into dust. Then he threw the dust on the graves of the common people. He also tore down the houses of the male prostitutes [1 Kin. 14:24] who were in the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord, where the women ·did weaving [wove hangings/coverings/veils] for Asherah.

King Josiah brought all the false priests from the cities of Judah. He ·ruined [desecrated; defiled] the ·places where gods were worshiped [L high places; 12:3], where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba. He destroyed the ·places of worship [L high places; 12:3] at the entrance to the Gate of Joshua, the ·ruler [governor] of the city, on the left side of the city gate. The priests at the ·places where gods were worshiped [L high places; 12:3] were not allowed to ·serve [officiate; L go up] at the Lord’s altar in Jerusalem. But they could eat ·bread made without yeast [unleaven bread] with their ·brothers [fellow priests].

10 Josiah ·ruined [desecrated; defiled] Topheth, in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could ·sacrifice [L pass through the fire] his son or daughter to Molech. 11 Judah’s kings had ·placed [dedicated] horses to the sun at the front door of the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord in the courtyard near the room of Nathan-Melech, an ·officer [official]. Josiah removed them and burned the chariots that were ·for sun worship also [dedicated to the sun].

12 The kings of Judah had built altars on the ·roof [C roofs were flat and served as an extra room] of the ·upstairs [upper] room of Ahaz. Josiah ·broke down [destroyed] these altars and the altars Manasseh had made in the two courtyards of the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. Josiah smashed them to pieces and threw their ·dust [rubble] into the Kidron Valley. 13 King Josiah ·ruined [desecrated; defiled] the ·places where gods were worshiped [L high places; 12:3] east of Jerusalem, south of the Mount of ·Olives [or Corruption; or Destruction; C so called because of the pagan sites]. Solomon king of Israel had built these places. One was for Ashtoreth, the ·hated goddess [detestable thing; T abomination] of the Sidonians. One was for Chemosh, the ·hated god [detestable thing; T abomination] of Moab. And one was for Molech, the ·hated god [detestable thing; T abomination] of the Ammonites. 14 Josiah smashed to pieces the ·stone [sacred] pillars they worshiped, and he cut down the Asherah ·idols [poles; C a sacred tree or pole dedicated to the goddess Asherah; 13:6]. Then he covered the places with human bones.

15 Josiah also ·broke down [demolished] the altar at Bethel—the ·place of worship [high place; 12:3] made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had led Israel to sin. Josiah burned that place, broke the stones of the altar into pieces, then ·beat [ground] them into dust. He also burned the Asherah ·idol [pole; 13:6]. 16 When he turned around, he saw the ·graves [tombs] on the ·mountain [hillside]. He had the bones taken from the graves, and he burned them on the altar to ·ruin [desecrate; defile] it. This happened ·as the Lord had said it would [L in accordance with the word of the Lord proclaimed] through the man of God [1 Kin. 13:1–3].

17 Josiah asked, “What is that monument I see?”

The people of the city answered, “It’s the grave of the man of God who came from Judah. This prophet announced the things you have done against the altar ·of [at] Bethel.”

18 Josiah said, “Leave the grave alone. No one may ·move [disturb] this man’s bones.” So they left his bones and the bones of the prophet who had come from Samaria.

19 The kings of Israel had built ·temples for worshiping gods [shrines/L houses at the high places; 12:3] in the cities of Samaria, which had ·caused the Lord to be angry [aroused/provoked the Lord to anger]. Josiah removed all those ·temples [shrines; L houses] and did the same things as he had done at Bethel. 20 He ·killed [slaughtered] all the priests of ·those places of worship [the high places; 12:3]; he killed them on the altars and burned human bones on the altars. Then he went back to Jerusalem.

Josiah Celebrates the Passover(B)

21 The king commanded all the people, “·Celebrate [Observe] the Passover to the Lord your God as it is written in this Book of the ·Agreement [Treaty; Covenant; Ex. 12].” 22 The Passover had not been ·celebrated [observed] like this since the judges ·led [ruled; judged] Israel. Nor had one like it happened ·while there were [in all the days/years of the] kings of Israel and kings of Judah. 23 This Passover was ·celebrated [observed] to the Lord in Jerusalem in the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s rule.

24 Josiah ·destroyed [removed; got rid of] the mediums, ·fortune-tellers [spiritualists], house gods, and idols. He also ·destroyed [removed; got rid of] all the ·hated gods [detestable/abominable practices] seen in the land of Judah and Jerusalem. This was to ·obey [fulfill; confirm] the words of the ·teachings [law; L torah] written in the ·book [scroll] Hilkiah the priest had found in the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord.

25 There was no king like Josiah before or after him. He ·obeyed [L turned to] the Lord with all his heart, soul, and strength [cf. Mark 12:30, 33; Luke 10:27], following all the ·Teachings [Law; L torah] of Moses.

26 Even so, the Lord did not ·stop [L turn from] ·his strong and terrible [L the heat of his great] anger. His anger burned against Judah because of all Manasseh had done to ·make him angry [provoke/arouse him to anger]. 27 The Lord said, “I will ·send [remove] Judah out of my sight, as I have ·sent Israel away [removed Israel]. I will ·reject [cast away] Jerusalem, which I chose. And I will take away the ·Temple [L house] about which I said, ‘·I will be worshiped [L My name will be] there.’”

28 Everything else Josiah did ·is [L is it not…?] written in the book of the ·history [chronicles; annals; 1:18] of the kings of Judah.

29 While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went to help the king of Assyria at the Euphrates River. King Josiah marched out to fight against Neco, but at Megiddo, Neco ·faced [met] him and killed him. 30 Josiah’s ·servants [officers] carried his body in a chariot from Megiddo to Jerusalem and buried him in his own ·grave [tomb]. Then the people of Judah ·chose [took] Josiah’s son Jehoahaz and ·poured olive oil on [anointed] him to make him king in his father’s place.

Jehoahaz King of Judah(C)

31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he ·was king [reigned] in Jerusalem for three months. His mother’s name was Hamutal, who was the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. 32 Jehoahaz did ·what the Lord said was wrong [L evil in the eyes/sight of the Lord], just as his ·ancestors [fathers] had done.

33 ·King [L Pharaoh] Neco took Jehoahaz prisoner at Riblah in the land of Hamath so that Jehoahaz could not ·rule [reign] in Jerusalem. Neco ·made the people of Judah pay about [imposed a tribute of] ·seventy-five hundred pounds [L one hundred talents] of silver and ·about seventy-five pounds [L a talent] of gold.

34 ·King [L Pharaoh] Neco made Josiah’s son Eliakim the king in place of Josiah his father. Then Neco changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim [C Eliakim means “God has established”; Jehoiakim means “Yahweh has established”; changing Eliakim’s name was a way Pharaoh asserted his authority over him]. But Neco took Jehoahaz to Egypt, where he died. 35 Jehoiakim gave ·King Neco [L Pharaoh] the silver and gold he demanded. Jehoiakim taxed the land and took silver and gold from the people of the land to give to ·King [L Pharaoh] Neco. Each person had to pay ·his share [according to his wealth/assessment].

Jehoiakim King of Judah

36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he was king in Jerusalem for eleven years. His mother’s name was Zebidah daughter of Pedaiah, who was from Rumah. 37 Jehoiakim did ·what the Lord said was wrong [L evil in the eyes/sight of the Lord], just as his ·ancestors [fathers] had done.