34 1JOSIAH WAS eight years old when he began his thirty-one-year reign in Jerusalem. 2He did right in the sight of the Lord and walked in the ways of David his father [forefather] and turned aside neither to the right hand nor to the left. 3For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young [sixteen], he began to seek after and yearn for the God of David his father [forefather]; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, and the carved and molten images. 4They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence; the sun-images that were high above them he hewed down; the Asherim and the graven images and the molten images he broke in pieces and made dust of them and strewed it upon the graves of those who sacrificed to them. 5Josiah burned the bones of the [idolatrous] priests upon their altars, and so cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. 6So he did in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, even to Naphtali, in their ruins round about [with their axes], 7He broke down the altars and the Asherim and beat the graven images into powder and hewed down all the sun-images throughout all the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem. 8In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, when he had purged the land and the [Lord’s] house, he sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah governor of the city, and Joah son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God. 9When they came to Hilkiah the high priest, they delivered the money that had been brought into the house of God, which the Levites who kept the doors had collected from Manasseh, Ephraim, all the remnant of Israel, and from all Judah, Benjamin, and Jerusalem. 10They delivered it to the workmen who had oversight of the Lord’s house, who gave it to repair and restore the temple: 11To the carpenters and builders to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings and beams for the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed [by neglect]. 12The men did the work faithfully. Their overseers were Jahath and Obadiah, Levites of the sons of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites. The Levites--all who were skillful with instruments of music-- 13Also had oversight of the burden bearers and all who did work in any kind of service; and some of the Levites were scribes, officials, and gatekeepers. 14When they were bringing out the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord given by Moses. 15Hilkiah told Shaphan the scribe, I have found the Book of the Law in the Lord’s house. And [he] gave the book to Shaphan. 16Shaphan took the book to King Josiah, but [first] reported to him, All that was committed to your servants they are doing. 17They have emptied out the money that was found in the house of the Lord and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers and the workmen. 18Then Shaphan the scribe said to the king, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 19When King Josiah had heard the words of the Law, he rent his clothes. 20And the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king, saying, 21Go, inquire of the Lord for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah about the words of the book that is found. For great is the Lord’s wrath that is poured out on us because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do according to all that is written in this book. 22And Hilkiah and they whom the king had appointed went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe. She dwelt in Jerusalem, in the Second Quarter. They spoke to her to that effect. 23And she answered them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you to me, 24Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will bring evil upon this place and upon its inhabitants, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah. 25Because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands, therefore My wrath shall be poured out upon this place and shall not be quenched. 26But say to King Josiah of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the words which you have heard: 27Because your heart was tender and penitent and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and its inhabitants, and humbled yourself before Me and rent your clothes and wept before Me, I have heard you, says the Lord. 28Behold, 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 that I will bring upon this place and its inhabitants. So they brought the king word again. 29Then King Josiah sent and gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30And [he] went up into the house of the Lord, as did all the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the Levites, and all the people, great and small; and he [the king] read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that was found in the Lord’s house. 31Then the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord--to walk after the Lord and to keep His commandments, His testimonies, and His statutes with all his heart and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that are written in this book. 32And he caused all who were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand in confirmation of it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33Josiah removed all the [idolatrous] abominations from all the territory that belonged to the Israelites, and made all who were in Israel serve the Lord their God. All his days they did not turn from following the Lord, the God of their fathers.
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