2 Kings Chapter 23  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on 2 Kng 23
 
Covenant Renewal

1The king sent, and they gathered to him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem.
  2The 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 ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of Yahweh.
  3The 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 confirm the words of this covenant that were written in this book; and all the people stood to the covenant.
 

Josiah's Reforms

4The king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second rank and the keepers of the threshold to bring forth out of Yahweh’s temple all the vessels that were made for Baal and for the Asherah and for all the army of heaven, and he burned them outside of Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel.
  5He did away with the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense into smoke-perfume in the high places in the cities of Judah and in the places around Jerusalem, as well as those who burned incense into smoke-perfume to Baal, to the sun and to the moon and to the planets and to all the army of heaven.
  6He brought out the Asherah from the house of Yahweh outside of Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron and beat it to dust and cast its dust on the graves of the common people.
  7He broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes that were in the house of Yahweh where the women wove hangings for the Asherah.
 

8He brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah and defiled the high places from Geba to Beer-sheba, where the priests had burned incense into smoke-perfume. 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 that were on a man’s left hand at the gate of the city.
  9Nevertheless the priests of the high places didn’t come up to the altar of Yahweh in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers.
 

10He defiled Topheth which is in the valley of the sons of Hinnom, so that no man could make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.
  11He took away the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun at the entrance of the house of Yahweh, by the room of Nathan-Melech the court officer that was in the suburbs, and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.
 

12The king broke down the altars that were on the roof of the upper room of Ahaz that the kings of Judah had made, and the altars that Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of Yahweh. He smashed them there and cast their dust into the brook Kidron.
  13The king defiled the high places that were before Jerusalem that were on the right hand of the mountain of corruption that Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon.
  14And he broke in pieces the standing-stones and cut down the Asherah poles and filled their places with the bones of men.
 

15Moreover the altar that was at Bethel and the high place that Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, even that altar and the high place he broke down; and he burned the high place and beat it to dust and burned the Asherah.
  16As Josiah turned himself, he spied the tombs that were there in the mountain; and he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar and defiled it, according to the word of Yahweh that the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these things.
  17Then he said, “What monument is that which I see?”

The men of the city told him, “It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things that you have done against the altar of Bethel.”
 

18He said, “Let him be! Let no man move his bones.” So they let his bones alone, along with the bones of the prophet who came out of Samaria.
 

19And also, all the housesa of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria that the kings of Israel had made, making Yahweh angry, Josiah took away and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel.
  20He killed all the priests of the high places that were there, on the altars and burned men’s bones on them; and he returned to Jerusalem.
 

Josiah Restores the Passover

21The king commanded all the people, saying, “Keep the Passover to Yahweh your God as it is written in the scroll of the covenant.”
  22Surely there was not kept such a Passover from the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah;
  23but in the 18th year of king Josiah was this Passover kept to Yahweh in Jerusalem.
 

24Moreover Josiah removed those who inquired of spirits or had familiar spirits, and the teraphimb and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, in order to fulfill the words of the law that were written in the scroll that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of Yahweh.
  25Like him was there no king before 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; neither after him arose there any like him.
 

26Notwithstanding, Yahweh did not turn from the fierceness of his great wrath with which his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocation with which Manasseh had made him angry.
  27Yahweh said, “I will remove Judah also out of my sight as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city that I have chosen, even Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, ‘My name will be there.’”
 

Josiah's Death in Battle

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 Necoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates, and king Josiah went out against him; but Pharaoh Necoh killed him at Megiddo when he saw him.
  30His servants carried him, dead, in a chariot from Megiddo and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own tomb. 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 Captivity

31Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
  32He did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh, just as all that his fathers had done.
  33Pharaoh Necoh took him prisoner at Riblah in the land of Hamath, to keep him from reigning in Jerusalem, and imposed a fine on the land of 100 talents of silver and a talent of gold.
 

34Pharaoh Necoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the place of Josiah his father and changed his name to Jehoiakim; but he took Jehoahaz away and brought him to Egypt, and he died there.
  35And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh, but at the command of Pharoah he taxed the land to give the money; he exacted the silver and the gold from the people of the land, from each one according to his valuation, to give it to Pharaoh Necoh.
 

Jehoiakim Reigns in Judah

36Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he began to reign, and he reigned 11 years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah.
  37And he did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh just as all that his fathers had done.
 


a[19]
The “temples.”
b[24]
Teraphim were household gods

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