2 Kings 23
Josiah’s Reforms1 aThen the king sent, and all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem were gathered to him. 2And 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 bhe read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant cthat had been found in the house of the Lord. 3And the king stood dby the pillar and emade a covenant before the Lord, fto 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.
4And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests gof the second order and the keepers of the threshold to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels made for hBaal, for iAsherah, and for all the host of heaven. jHe burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel. 5And he deposed the priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to make offerings in the high places at the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and the moon and the constellations kand all the host of the heavens. 6And he brought out lthe Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, mand burned it at the brook Kidron nand beat it to dust and cast the dust of it upon the graves oof the common people. 7And he broke down the houses of pthe male cult prostitutes who were in the house of the Lord, qwhere the women wove hangings for rthe Asherah. 8And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had made offerings, from sGeba to Beersheba. 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 tHowever, 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 brothers. 10And he defiled uTopheth, which is vin the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, wthat no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to xMolech. ▼
▼Hebrew might cause his son or daughter to pass through the fire for Molech11And 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. ▼
▼The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertainAnd he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. 12And the altars aaon the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars abthat Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, he pulled down and broke in pieces ▼
▼Hebrew pieces from thereand cast the dust of them adinto the brook Kidron. 13And the king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, to the south of aethe mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for afAshtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for agChemosh the abomination of Moab, and for ahMilcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 14And he broke in pieces the aipillars and cut down the Asherim and filled their places with the bones of men.
15Moreover, the altar at Bethel, the high place erected ajby Jeroboam the son of Nebat, akwho made Israel to sin, althat altar with the high place he pulled down and burned ▼
▼Septuagint broke in pieces its stonesreducing it to dust. He also burned the Asherah. 16And as Josiah turned, he saw the tombs there on the mount. And he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar and defiled it, anaccording to the word of the Lord that the man of God proclaimed, who had predicted these things. 17Then he said, “What is that monument that I see?” And the men of the city told him, ao“It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and predicted ▼
▼Hebrew calledthese things that you have done against the altar at Bethel.” 18And he said, “Let him be; let no man move his bones.” So they let his bones alone, with the bones aqof the prophet who came out of Samaria. 19And Josiah removed all the shrines also of the high places that were arin the cities of Samaria, which kings of Israel had made, provoking the Lord to anger. He did to them according to all that he had done at Bethel. 20And ashe sacrificed all the priests of the high places who were there, on the altars, atand burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
Josiah Restores the Passover21And the king commanded all the people, au“Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, avas it is written in this Book of the Covenant.” 22 awFor 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. 23But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem.
24Moreover, Josiah put away axthe mediums and the necromancers and aythe household gods and azthe idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might establish bathe words of the law that were written in the book bbthat Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord. 25 bcBefore 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.
26Still the Lord did not turn from the burning of his great wrath, by which his anger was kindled against Judah, bdbecause of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked him. 27And the Lord said, “I will remove Judah also out of my sight, beas I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city that I have chosen, Jerusalem, bfand the house of which I said, My name shall be there.”
Josiah’s Death in Battle28Now the rest of the acts of Josiah and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 29 bgIn his days bhPharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates. King Josiah went to meet him, and Pharaoh Neco killed him at biMegiddo, as soon as he saw him. 30 bjAnd his servants carried him dead in a chariot from bkMegiddo and brought him to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. blAnd the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father’s place.
Jehoahaz’s Reign and Captivity31 bmJehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was bnHamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, boaccording to all that his fathers had done. 33And bpPharaoh Neco put him in bonds at bqRiblah in the land of brHamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem, and laid on the land a tribute of a hundred talents ▼
▼A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilogramsof silver and a talent of gold. 34And btPharaoh Neco made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the place of Josiah his father, and buchanged his name to Jehoiakim. But he took Jehoahaz away, bvand he came to Egypt and died there. 35And Jehoiakim bwgave 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 everyone according to his assessment, to give it to Pharaoh Neco.
Jehoiakim Reigns in Judah36 bxJehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, byaccording to all that his fathers had done.
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