2 Kings 23
Revised Standard Version
23 Then the king sent, and all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem were gathered to him. 2 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 he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which had been found in the house of the Lord. 3 And the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, 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.
4 And the king commanded Hilki′ah, the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the threshold, to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels made for Ba′al, for Ashe′rah, and for all the host of heaven; he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. 5 And he deposed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places at the cities of Judah and round about Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Ba′al, to the sun, and the moon, and the constellations, and all the host of the heavens. 6 And he brought out the Ashe′rah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and beat it to dust and cast the dust of it upon the graves of the common people. 7 And he broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes which were in the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the Ashe′rah. 8 And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beer-sheba; 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. 9 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 brethren. 10 And he defiled To′pheth, which is in the valley of the sons of Hinnom, that no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to Molech. 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;[a] and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. 12 And the altars on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manas′seh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, he pulled down and broke in pieces,[b] and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron. 13 And the king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, to the south of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ash′toreth the abomination of the Sido′nians, and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 14 And he broke in pieces the pillars, and cut down the Ashe′rim, and filled their places with the bones of men.
15 Moreover the altar at Bethel, the high place erected by Jerobo′am the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, that altar with the high place he pulled down and he broke in pieces its stones,[c] crushing them to dust; also he burned the Ashe′rah. 16 And as Josi′ah turned, he saw the tombs there on the mount; and he sent and took the bones out of the tombs, and burned them upon the altar, and defiled it, according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who had predicted these things. 17 Then he said, “What is yonder monument that I see?” And the men of the city told him, “It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and predicted these things which 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 of the prophet who came out of Samar′ia. 19 And all the shrines also of the high places that were in the cities of Samar′ia, which kings of Israel had made, provoking the Lord to anger, Josi′ah removed; he did to them according to all that he had done at Bethel. 20 And he slew all the priests of the high places who were there, upon the altars, and burned the bones of men upon them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
The Passover Celebrated
21 And the king commanded all the people, “Keep the passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this book of the covenant.” 22 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 Josi′ah this passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem.
24 Moreover Josi′ah put away the mediums and the wizards and the teraphim and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might establish the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilki′ah the priest found in the house of the Lord. 25 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 fierceness of his great wrath, by which his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manas′seh had provoked him. 27 And the Lord said, “I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city which I have chosen, Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.”
Josiah Dies in Battle
28 Now the rest of the acts of Josi′ah, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 29 In his days Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphra′tes. King Josi′ah went to meet him; and Pharaoh Neco slew him at Megid′do, when he saw him. 30 And his servants carried him dead in a chariot from Megid′do, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own tomb. And the people of the land took Jeho′ahaz the son of Josi′ah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father’s stead.
Reign and Captivity of Jehoahaz
31 Jeho′ahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamu′tal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done. 33 And Pharaoh Neco put him in bonds at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem, and laid upon the land a tribute of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 34 And Pharaoh Neco made Eli′akim the son of Josi′ah king in the place of Josi′ah his father, and changed his name to Jehoi′akim. But he took Jeho′ahaz away; and he came to Egypt, and died there. 35 And Jehoi′akim 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 every one according to his assessment, to give it to Pharaoh Neco.
Jehoiakim Reigns over Judah
36 Jehoi′akim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zebi′dah the daughter of Pedai′ah of Rumah. 37 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done.