G18 B 34:1,2. Introduction. C 34:3-35:19. Events. Ecclesiastical. C 35:20-25. Events. Military. B 35:36,27. Conclusion.
1 Josiah (= to whom Yahaveh hastens, i.e. to help) was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years.
2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father, and turned aside neither to the right hand, nor to the left.
C D1 34:3-33. Reformation made. D1 35:1-19. Passover kept.
D1 E G 3-7. Judah and Jerusalem. The purging. H p1 8-13. Temple. Repair. q12 14-16-. Book found and delivered. p -16,17. Temple. Repair. q2 18,19. Book found and read. F r 20,21. Yahaveh. Inquiry. Consequences. s 22. Servant's obedience. " F r 23-28-. Yahaveh. Answer. " s -28. Servant's return. " E G 29. Judah and Jerusalem. The assembling. H p3 30-. Temple. Entry of Josiah. q3 -30. Book read. p4 31-. Temple. Station of Josiah. q4 -31-33. Book obeyed.
3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father (doubtless Zephaniah and Jeremiah were used in influencing Josiah. Both prophesied during his reign. Zephaniah began in the 1st year of Josiah; Jeremiah in the 13th year, i.e. 510 B.C.): and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves (the 'Ashērah), and the carved images (same as Deut. 7:5), and the molten images.
4 And they broke down (the words are heaped together to impress us with the thoughtfulness of the work: e.g. "broke down", "cut down", broke in pieces", "made dust of them", "stowed it", and "burnt". The "ands" connecting the particulars in vv.4,5. 7 = spiritual perfection) the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and sprinkled it upon the burial place of them that had sacrificed to them.
5 And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. (Thus fulfilling 1 Kings 13:2)
6 And so did he in the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even to Naphtali, in their ruins round about.
7 And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem.
8 Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent (this is supplementary to 2 Kings 22:3) Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God. (This had been done before by Joash [2 Kings 12:4-15])
9 And when they came to Hilkiah the high priest (cp. 1 Chron. 6:13), they delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites that kept the doors had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin; and they returned to Jerusalem.
10 And they put it in the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of the Lord, and they gave it to the workmen that wrought in the house of the Lord, to repair and amend the house:
11 Even to the artificers and builders gave they it, to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to floor the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed.
12 And the men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to set it forward; and other of the Levites, all that that had understanding of instruments of music.
13 Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and were overseers of all that wrought the work in any manner of service: and of the Levites there were scribes, and officers, and porters.
14 And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the Lord given by the hand of Moses. (Written without doubt the book which Moses himself wrote, the original copy of the Pentateuch. Cp. 2 Kings 22:8)
15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, "I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord." And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan.
16 And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and brought the king word back again,>p> saying, "All that was committed to the hand of your servants, they do it.
17 And they have melted down the money that was found in the house of the Lord, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and to the hand of the workmen."
18 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, "Hilkiah the priest has given to me a book." And Shaphan read it before the king.
19 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he tore his clothes.
20 And the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon (or Achbor. Cp. 2 Kings 22:12. See 1 Chron. 25:11) the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king's, saying,
21 "Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do after all that is written in this book."
22 And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college (or second quarter [of the city]):) and they spake to her to that effect.
23 And she answered them, "Thus has said the Lord God of Israel, 'You tell the man that sent you to me,
24 'Thus says the Lord, 'Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book (see v.14 and 35:12) which they have read before the king of Judah:
25 Because 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 (cp. 2 Kings 22:17); therefore My wrath has been poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched.' ' '
26 And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, so shall you say to him, 'Thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning the words which you have heard;
27 Because your heart was tender, and you didst humble yourself before God, when you heard My words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbled yourself before Me, and did tear your clothes, and weep before Me; I have even heard you also,' saith the Lord.
28 Behold, I will gather you to your fathers (this is explained by the next sentence. See 2 Sam. 12:23), and you shall be gathered to your grave (euphemism for dying) in peace, neither shall your eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same.' ' "
So they brought the king word again.
29 Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.
30 And the king went up into the house of the Lord, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites (and prophets [2 Kings 23:2), and all the people, great and small:
and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the Lord.
31 And the king stood in his place (or stood in his stand),
and made the 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 with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.
32 And he caused all that were found in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.
33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the sons of Israel, and made all that were found in Israel to serve, even to serve the Lord their God. And all his days they departed not from following the Lord, the God of their fathers. (Significant words, showing that in their hearts the people were still inclined to worship other gods, as Jeremiah testifies [Jer. 25:30. See also Jer. 11 and 13)