The Book of the Law Found(A)

22 Josiah(B) was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath.(C) He did what was right(D) in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right(E) or to the left.

In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan(F) son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the temple of the Lord. He said: “Go up to Hilkiah(G) the high priest and have him get ready the money that has been brought into the temple of the Lord, which the doorkeepers have collected(H) from the people. Have them entrust it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. And have these men pay the workers who repair(I) the temple of the Lord the carpenters, the builders and the masons. Also have them purchase timber and dressed stone to repair the temple.(J) But they need not account for the money entrusted to them, because they are honest in their dealings.”(K)

Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law(L) in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan, who read it. Then Shaphan the secretary went to the king and reported to him: “Your officials have paid out the money that was in the temple of the Lord and have entrusted it to the workers and supervisors at the temple.” 10 Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.(M)

11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law,(N) he tore his robes. 12 He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam(O) son of Shaphan, Akbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant:(P) 13 “Go and inquire(Q) of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger(R) that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”

14 Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Akbor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to the prophet(S) Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter.

15 She said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster(T) on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book(U) the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they have forsaken(V) me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all the idols their hands have made,[a] my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.’ 18 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire(W) of the Lord, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: 19 Because your heart was responsive and you humbled(X) yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people—that they would become a curse[b](Y) and be laid waste(Z)—and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. 20 Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace.(AA) Your eyes(AB) will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.’”

So they took her answer back to the king.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 22:17 Or by everything they have done
  2. 2 Kings 22:19 That is, their names would be used in cursing (see Jer. 29:22); or, others would see that they are cursed.

Judah and Jerusalem Judged Along With the Nations

Judah Summoned to Repent

Gather together,(A) gather yourselves together,
    you shameful(B) nation,
before the decree takes effect
    and that day passes like windblown chaff,(C)
before the Lord’s fierce anger(D)
    comes upon you,
before the day of the Lord’s wrath(E)
    comes upon you.
Seek(F) the Lord, all you humble of the land,
    you who do what he commands.
Seek righteousness,(G) seek humility;(H)
    perhaps you will be sheltered(I)
    on the day of the Lord’s anger.

Philistia

Gaza(J) will be abandoned
    and Ashkelon(K) left in ruins.
At midday Ashdod will be emptied
    and Ekron uprooted.
Woe to you who live by the sea,
    you Kerethite(L) people;
the word of the Lord is against you,(M)
    Canaan, land of the Philistines.
He says, “I will destroy you,
    and none will be left.”(N)
The land by the sea will become pastures
    having wells for shepherds
    and pens for flocks.(O)
That land will belong
    to the remnant(P) of the people of Judah;
    there they will find pasture.
In the evening they will lie down
    in the houses of Ashkelon.
The Lord their God will care for them;
    he will restore their fortunes.[a](Q)

Moab and Ammon

“I have heard the insults(R) of Moab(S)
    and the taunts of the Ammonites,(T)
who insulted(U) my people
    and made threats against their land.(V)
Therefore, as surely as I live,”
    declares the Lord Almighty,
    the God of Israel,
“surely Moab(W) will become like Sodom,(X)
    the Ammonites(Y) like Gomorrah—
a place of weeds and salt pits,
    a wasteland forever.
The remnant of my people will plunder(Z) them;
    the survivors(AA) of my nation will inherit their land.(AB)

10 This is what they will get in return for their pride,(AC)
    for insulting(AD) and mocking
    the people of the Lord Almighty.(AE)
11 The Lord will be awesome(AF) to them
    when he destroys all the gods(AG) of the earth.(AH)
Distant nations will bow down to him,(AI)
    all of them in their own lands.

Cush

12 “You Cushites,[b](AJ) too,
    will be slain by my sword.(AK)

Assyria

13 He will stretch out his hand against the north
    and destroy Assyria,(AL)
leaving Nineveh(AM) utterly desolate
    and dry as the desert.(AN)
14 Flocks and herds(AO) will lie down there,
    creatures of every kind.
The desert owl(AP) and the screech owl(AQ)
    will roost on her columns.
Their hooting will echo through the windows,
    rubble will fill the doorways,
    the beams of cedar will be exposed.
15 This is the city of revelry(AR)
    that lived in safety.(AS)
She said to herself,
    “I am the one! And there is none besides me.”(AT)
What a ruin she has become,
    a lair for wild beasts!(AU)
All who pass by her scoff(AV)
    and shake their fists.(AW)

Footnotes

  1. Zephaniah 2:7 Or will bring back their captives
  2. Zephaniah 2:12 That is, people from the upper Nile region

26 Like snow in summer or rain(A) in harvest,
    honor is not fitting for a fool.(B)
Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
    an undeserved curse does not come to rest.(C)
A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,(D)
    and a rod for the backs of fools!(E)
Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
    or you yourself will be just like him.(F)
Answer a fool according to his folly,
    or he will be wise in his own eyes.(G)
Sending a message by the hands of a fool(H)
    is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison.
Like the useless legs of one who is lame
    is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.(I)
Like tying a stone in a sling
    is the giving of honor to a fool.(J)
Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand
    is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.(K)
10 Like an archer who wounds at random
    is one who hires a fool or any passer-by.
11 As a dog returns to its vomit,(L)
    so fools repeat their folly.(M)
12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?(N)
    There is more hope for a fool than for them.(O)

13 A sluggard says,(P) “There’s a lion in the road,
    a fierce lion roaming the streets!”(Q)
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
    so a sluggard turns on his bed.(R)
15 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
    he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.(S)
16 A sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
    than seven people who answer discreetly.

Read full chapter