2 Kings 21:18-25:30 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
18 And Manas′seh slept with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his house, in the garden of Uzza; and Amon his son reigned in his stead.
Amon Reigns over Judah
19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Meshul′lemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 20 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as Manas′seh his father had done. 21 He walked in all the way in which his father walked, and served the idols that his father served, and worshiped them; 22 he forsook the Lord, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the Lord. 23 And the servants of Amon conspired against him, and killed the king in his house. 24 But the people of the land slew all those who had conspired against King Amon, and the people of the land made Josi′ah his son king in his stead. 25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 26 And he was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza; and Josi′ah his son reigned in his stead.
Josiah Reigns over Judah
22 Josi′ah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedi′dah the daughter of Adai′ah of Bozkath. 2 And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law
3 In the eighteenth year of King Josi′ah, the king sent Shaphan the son of Azali′ah, son of Meshul′lam, the secretary, to the house of the Lord, saying, 4 “Go up to Hilki′ah the high priest, that he may reckon the amount of the money which has been brought into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the threshold have collected from the people; 5 and let it be given into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord; and let them give it to the workmen who are at the house of the Lord, repairing the house, 6 that is, to the carpenters, and to the builders, and to the masons, as well as for buying timber and quarried stone to repair the house. 7 But no accounting shall be asked from them for the money which is delivered into their hand, for they deal honestly.”
8 And Hilki′ah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilki′ah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. 9 And Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord.” 10 Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilki′ah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king.
11 And when the king heard the words of the book of the law, he rent his clothes. 12 And the king commanded Hilki′ah the priest, and Ahi′kam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Micai′ah, and Shaphan the secretary, and Asai′ah the king’s servant, saying, 13 “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”
14 So Hilki′ah the priest, and Ahi′kam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asai′ah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter); and they talked with her. 15 And she said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 Thus says the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they have forsaken me and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore my wrath will be kindled against this place, and it will not be quenched. 18 But as to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall you say to him, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Regarding the words which you have heard, 19 because your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the Lord, when you heard how I spoke against this place, and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have rent your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, says the Lord. 20 Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place.’” And they brought back word to the king.
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.
Judah Overrun by Enemies
24 In his days Nebuchadnez′zar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoi′akim became his servant three years; then he turned and rebelled against him. 2 And the Lord sent against him bands of the Chalde′ans, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the Ammonites, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord which he spoke by his servants the prophets. 3 Surely this came upon Judah at the command of the Lord, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manas′seh, according to all that he had done, 4 and also for the innocent blood that he had shed; for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord would not pardon. 5 Now the rest of the deeds of Jehoi′akim, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 6 So Jehoi′akim slept with his fathers, and Jehoi′achin his son reigned in his stead. 7 And the king of Egypt did not come again out of his land, for the king of Babylon had taken all that belonged to the king of Egypt from the Brook of Egypt to the river Euphra′tes.
Reign and Captivity of Jehoiachin
8 Jehoi′achin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Nehush′ta the daughter of Elna′than of Jerusalem. 9 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father had done.
Capture of Jerusalem
10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnez′zar king of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11 And Nebuchadnez′zar king of Babylon came to the city, while his servants were besieging it; 12 and Jehoi′achin the king of Judah gave himself up to the king of Babylon, himself, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his palace officials. The king of Babylon took him prisoner in the eighth year of his reign, 13 and carried off all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold in the temple of the Lord, which Solomon king of Israel had made, as the Lord had foretold. 14 He carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths; none remained, except the poorest people of the land. 15 And he carried away Jehoi′achin to Babylon; the king’s mother, the king’s wives, his officials, and the chief men of the land, he took into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 And the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon all the men of valor, seven thousand, and the craftsmen and the smiths, one thousand, all of them strong and fit for war. 17 And the king of Babylon made Mattani′ah, Jehoi′achin’s uncle, king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedeki′ah.
Zedekiah Reigns over Judah
18 Zedeki′ah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamu′tal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoi′akim had done. 20 For because of the anger of the Lord it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence.
The Fall and Captivity of Judah
And Zedeki′ah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 25 1 And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnez′zar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and laid siege to it; and they built siegeworks against it round about. 2 So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedeki′ah. 3 On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 4 Then a breach was made in the city; the king with all the men of war fled[d] by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, though the Chalde′ans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. 5 But the army of the Chalde′ans pursued the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him. 6 Then they captured the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, who passed sentence upon him. 7 They slew the sons of Zedeki′ah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedeki′ah, and bound him in fetters, and took him to Babylon.
8 In the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month—which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnez′zar, king of Babylon—Nebu′zarad′an, the captain of the bodyguard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 9 And he burned the house of the Lord, and the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. 10 And all the army of the Chalde′ans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 And the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon, together with the rest of the multitude, Nebu′zarad′an the captain of the guard carried into exile. 12 But the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen.
13 And the pillars of bronze that were in the house of the Lord, and the stands and the bronze sea that were in the house of the Lord, the Chalde′ans broke in pieces, and carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 And they took away the pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the dishes for incense and all the vessels of bronze used in the temple service, 15 the firepans also, and the bowls. What was of gold the captain of the guard took away as gold, and what was of silver, as silver. 16 As for the two pillars, the one sea, and the stands, which Solomon had made for the house of the Lord, the bronze of all these vessels was beyond weight. 17 The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and upon it was a capital of bronze; the height of the capital was three cubits; a network and pomegranates, all of bronze, were upon the capital round about. And the second pillar had the like, with the network.
18 And the captain of the guard took Serai′ah the chief priest, and Zephani′ah the second priest, and the three keepers of the threshold; 19 and from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the men of war, and five men of the king’s council who were found in the city; and the secretary of the commander of the army who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land who were found in the city. 20 And Nebu′zarad′an the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 And the king of Babylon smote them, and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land.
Gedaliah Made Governor of Judah
22 And over the people who remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnez′zar king of Babylon had left, he appointed Gedali′ah the son of Ahi′kam, son of Shaphan, governor. 23 Now when all the captains of the forces in the open country[e] and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedali′ah governor, they came with their men to Gedali′ah at Mizpah, namely, Ish′mael the son of Nethani′ah, and Joha′nan the son of Kare′ah, and Serai′ah the son of Tanhu′meth the Netoph′athite, and Ja-azani′ah the son of the Ma-ac′athite. 24 And Gedali′ah swore to them and their men, saying, “Do not be afraid because of the Chalde′an officials; dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.” 25 But in the seventh month, Ish′mael the son of Nethani′ah, son of Elish′ama, of the royal family, came with ten men, and attacked and killed Gedali′ah and the Jews and the Chalde′ans who were with him at Mizpah. 26 Then all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the forces arose, and went to Egypt; for they were afraid of the Chalde′ans.
Jehoiachin Released from Prison
27 And in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoi′achin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, Evil-mer′odach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, graciously freed Jehoi′achin king of Judah from prison; 28 and he spoke kindly to him, and gave him a seat above the seats of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 So Jehoi′achin put off his prison garments. And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king’s table; 30 and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, every day a portion, as long as he lived.