Josiah Renews the Covenant(A)(B)(C)(D)

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(E) in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant,(F) which had been found in the temple of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar(G) and renewed the covenant(H) in the presence of the Lord—to follow(I) 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(J) to remove(K) 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(L) to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts.(M) He took the Asherah pole from the temple of the Lord to the Kidron Valley(N) outside Jerusalem and burned it there. He ground it to powder(O) and scattered the dust over the graves(P) of the common people.(Q) He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes(R) that were in the temple of the Lord, the quarters where women did weaving for Asherah.

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21 The king gave this order to all the people: “Celebrate the Passover(A) to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.”(B) 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.(C)

24 Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists,(D) the household gods,(E) the idols and all the other detestable(F) 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(G) 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.(H)

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