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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.

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