2 Kings 23
Legacy Standard Bible►► 

Josiah Reads the Book of the Covenant

1Then the king sent, and they gathered to him all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2And the king went up to the house of Yahweh and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of Yahweh. 3Then the king stood by the pillar and cut a covenant before Yahweh, to walk after Yahweh, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to establish the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people [†]entered into the covenant.

4Then the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second order and the [†]doorkeepers, to bring out of the temple of Yahweh all the vessels that were made for Baal, for [†]Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. 5And he did away with the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed and who burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah and in the surrounding area of Jerusalem, as well as those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and to the moon and to the constellations and to all the host of heaven. 6And he brought out the Asherah from the house of Yahweh outside Jerusalem to the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and ground it to dust, and threw its dust on the graves of the [†]common people. 7He also tore down the houses of the male cult prostitutes which were in the house of Yahweh, where the women were weaving [†]hangings for the Asherah. 8Then he brought all the priests from the cities of Judah and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba; and he tore down the high places of the gates which were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the ruler of the city, which were on one’s left at the city gate. 9Nevertheless the priests of the high places did not go up to the altar of Yahweh in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers. 10He also defiled [†]Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire for Molech. 11And he did away with the horses which the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of Yahweh, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the official, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. 12Also, the altars which were on the roof, the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of Yahweh, the king tore down; and he [†]crushed them there and threw their dust into the brook Kidron. 13And the high places which were before Jerusalem, which were on the right of the mount of destruction which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the detestable idol of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the sons of Ammon, the king defiled. 14And he broke in pieces the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherim and filled their places with human bones.

15Furthermore, the altar that was at Bethel and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, had made, even that altar and the high place he tore down. Then he [†]demolished its stones, ground them to dust, and burned the Asherah. 16Then Josiah turned, and he saw the graves that were there on the mountain, and he sent and took the bones from the graves and burned them on the altar and defiled it according to the word of Yahweh which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these things. 17Then he said, “What is this monument that I see?” And the men of the city told him, “It is the grave of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things which you have done against the altar of Bethel.” 18And he said, “Let him alone; let no one move his bones.” So they [†]left his bones undisturbed with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria. 19And also all the houses of the high places which were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made provoking [†]Yahweh to anger, Josiah removed; and he did to them [†]just as he had done in Bethel. 20And all the priests of the high places who were there he [†]slaughtered on the altars and burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

Josiah Celebrates the Passover

21Then the king commanded all the people saying, “Celebrate the Passover to Yahweh your God as it is written in this book of the covenant.” 22For such a Passover had not been celebrated from the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel and of the kings of Judah. 23But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, this Passover was celebrated to Yahweh in Jerusalem.

24Moreover, the mediums and the spiritists and the teraphim and the idols and all the detestable things that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, Josiah purged in order that he might [†]establish the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of Yahweh. 25And before him there was no king like him who turned to Yahweh 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.

26However, Yahweh did not turn from His great burning anger, His anger which burned against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked Him to anger. 27And Yahweh said, “I will remove Judah also from My presence, as I have removed Israel. And I will reject Jerusalem, this city which I have chosen, and the [†]house of which I said, ‘My name shall be there.’”

Jehoahaz Reigns Over Judah

28Now 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? 29In his days Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates. And King Josiah went to meet him, and when Pharaoh Neco saw him he put him to death at Megiddo. 30And his servants drove [†]his body in a chariot from Megiddo and brought him to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah and anointed him and made him king in place of his father.

Jehoahaz’s Reign and Imprisonment

31Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32And he did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that his fathers had done. 33And Pharaoh Neco imprisoned him at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and he imposed on the land a fine of one hundred [†]talents of silver and one talent of gold.

Jehoiakim Made King by Pharaoh

34Then Pharaoh Neco made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the place of Josiah his father and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But he took Jehoahaz and [†]brought him to Egypt, and he died there. 35So Jehoiakim gave the silver and gold to Pharaoh, but he taxed the land in order to give the money at the [†]command of Pharaoh. He exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land, each according to his valuation, to give it to Pharaoh Neco.

36Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37And he did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that his fathers had done.

3 Lit took a stand in
4 Lit keepers of the threshold
4 A wooden symbol of a female deity, so in ch
6 Lit sons of the people
7 Or tents; lit houses
10 Lit place of burning
12 Or ran from there
15 As in Gr; Heb burned the high place
18 Lit let his bones escape
19 As in ancient versions
19 Lit according to all the acts
20 Lit sacrificed
24 Or perform
27 Or temple
30 Lit him, dead
33 A talent was approx. 75 lb. or 34 kg
34 As in Gr; Heb he came
35 Lit mouth

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