1Josiah was eight years old when he became king. He was king for 31 years in Jerusalem. 2Josiah did what was right. He did the things the Lord wanted him to do. He did good things like David his ancestor. Josiah did not turn from doing right things. 3When Josiah was in his eighth year as king, he began to follow the God that David his ancestor followed. Josiah was still young when he began to obey God. When Josiah was in his twelfth year as king he began to destroy the high places, the Asherah Poles, and idols that were carved and idols that were made from molds from Judah and Jerusalem. 4The people broke down the altars for the Baal gods. They did this in front of Josiah. Then Josiah cut down the incense altars that stood high above the people. He broke the idols that were carved and the idols that were made from molds. He beat those idols into powder. Then Josiah sprinkled the powder on the graves of the people that had offered sacrifices to the Baal gods. 5Josiah even burned the bones of the priests that had served the Baal gods on their own altars. This is how Josiah destroyed idols and idol worship from Judah and Jerusalem. 6Josiah did the same for the towns in the areas of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and all the way to Naphtali. He did the same for the ruins near all those towns. 7Josiah broke down the altars and the Asherah Poles. He beat the idols into powder. He cut down all the incense altars used for Baal worship in all the country of Israel. Then Josiah went back to Jerusalem. 8When Josiah was in his 18th year as king of Judah he sent Shaphan, Maaseiah, and Joah to build again and fix the temple of the Lord his God. Shaphan’s father’s name was Azaliah. Maaseiah was the city leader, and Joah’s father’s name was Jehoahaz. Joah was the man that wrote about the things that happened. So Josiah commanded the temple to be fixed so he could make Judah and the temple clean. 9Those men came to Hilkiah the high priest. They gave him the money that people gave for God’s temple. The Levite doorkeepers had collected this money from the people of Manasseh, Ephraim, and from all the Israelites that were left. They also collected this money from all Judah, Benjamin, and all the people living in Jerusalem. 10Then the Levites paid the men that supervised the work on the Lord’s temple. And the supervisors paid the workers that fixed the Lord’s temple. 11They gave the money to carpenters and builders to buy large rocks that were already cut, and to buy wood. The wood was used to build again the buildings and to make beams for the buildings. In the past, the kings of Judah did not take care of the temple buildings. Those buildings had become old and ruined. 12- 13The men worked faithfully. Their supervisors were Jahath and Obadiah. Jahath and Obadiah were Levites, and they were descendants of Merari. Other supervisors were Zechariah and Meshullam. They were descendants of Kohath. The Levites that were skilled in playing instruments of music also supervised the laborers and all the other workers. Some Levites worked as secretaries, officials, and doorkeepers. 14The Levites brought out the money that was in the Lord’s temple. At that time Hilkiah the priest found the Book of The Law of the Lord that was given through Moses. 15Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, “I found the Book of the Law in the Lord’s house!” Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan. 16Shaphan brought the book to King Josiah. Shaphan reported to the king, “Your servants are doing everything you told them to do. 17They got the money that was in the Lord’s temple and are paying the supervisors and the workers.” 18Then Shaphan said to King Josiah, “Hilkiah the priest gave a book to me.” Then Shaphan read from the book. He was in front of the king as he was reading. 19When King Josiah heard the words of the law being read, he tore his clothes. 20Then the king gave a command to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the servant. 21The king said, “Go, ask the Lord for me, and for the people that are left in Israel and in Judah. Ask about the words in the book that was found. The Lord is very angry with us because our ancestors did not obey the Lord’s word. They did not do all the things this book says to do!” 22Hilkiah and the king’s servants went to Huldah the prophetess. Huldah was Shallum’s wife. Shallum was Tokhath’s son, Tokhath was Hasrah’s son. Hasrah took care of the king’s clothes. Huldah lived in the newer part of Jerusalem. Hilkiah and the king’s servants told Huldah what had happened. 23Huldah said to them, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: Tell King Josiah: 24This is what the Lord says, 'I will bring trouble to this place and to the people living here! I will bring all the terrible things that are written in the book that was read in front of the king of Judah. 25I will do this because the people left me and burned incense to other gods. Those people made me angry because of all the bad things they have done. So I will pour out my anger on this place. Like a hot burning fire, my anger will not be put out!’ 26“But tell this to King Josiah of Judah. He sent you to ask the Lord: This is what the Lord God of Israel says about the words you heard a little while ago: 27'Josiah, you repented and you humbled yourself, and tore your clothes. You cried before me. So, because your heart was tender, 28I will take you to be with your ancestors. You will go to your grave in peace. You won’t have to see any of the trouble that I will bring on this place and on the people living here.’” Hilkiah and the king’s servants brought back this message to King Josiah. 29Then King Josiah called for all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem to come and meet with him. 30The king went up to the Lord’s temple. All the people from Judah, the people living in Jerusalem, the priests, the Levites, and all the people, both important and not important, were with Josiah. Josiah read to them all the words in the Book of the Agreement. That book was found in the Lord’s temple. 31Then the king stood up in his place. He made an agreement with the Lord. He agreed to follow the Lord, and to obey the Lord’s commands, laws, and rules. Josiah agreed to obey with all his heart and soul. He agreed to obey the words of the Agreement written in this book. 32Then Josiah made all the people in Jerusalem and Benjamin promise to accept the Agreement. The people of Jerusalem obeyed the Agreement of God, the God their ancestors obeyed. 33The people of Israel had idols from many different countries. But Josiah destroyed all of those terrible idols. Josiah made all the people in Israel serve the Lord their God. And as long as Josiah was alive, the people continued to serve the Lord, the God of their ancestors.
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