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The Young Josiah And The Book Of





Josiah was eight years old when he began to rule, and he ruled
thirty-one years in Jerusalem. In the eighteenth year of his rule he
sent Shaphan, the scribe, to the temple of Jehovah with the command, "Go
up to Hilkiah, the chief priest, and see that, when he has taken the
money that is brought into the temple of Jehovah and that which the
doorkeepers have gathered from the people, they give it to the workmen
who have charge of the temple of Jehovah. Then let them give it to the
carpenters, the builders, and the masons who are in the temple of
Jehovah, to repair the breaks in it and to buy timber and cut stone to
restore it." But no account was asked of them for the money that was
given to them, for they dealt honestly.

Then Hilkiah, the chief priest, said to Shaphan, the scribe, "I have
found the book of the law in the temple of Jehovah." And Hilkiah gave
the book to Shaphan, and he read it. Then Shaphan went to Josiah and
told him, "Your servants have taken the money that was found in the
temple and have turned it over to the workmen who have charge of the
temple of Jehovah." Shaphan, the scribe, also said to Josiah, "Hilkiah,
the priest, has given me a book." And Shaphan read it to him.

When Josiah had heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his
clothes. Then he gave this command to Hilkiah, the priest, to Ahikam,
the son of Shaphan, to Achbor, the son of Micaiah, to Shaphan, the
scribe, and to Asaiah, his servant, "Go, ask of Jehovah for me and for
the people and for all Judah about the words of this book that has been
found; for Jehovah must be very angry with us, because our fathers have
not listened to the words of this book nor done all that we are there
commanded to do."

So Hilkiah, the priest, and Ahikam and Achbor went to Huldah, the
prophetess, who lived in Jerusalem and talked with her. She said to
them, "This is the message of Jehovah, the God of Israel: 'Tell the man
who sent you to me, Jehovah says, I am now about to bring evil upon this
place and upon its people even all that is written in the book which the
ruler of Judah has read. But you shall say to him who sent you to ask of
Jehovah, Jehovah the God of Israel declares, Because you listened and
humbled yourself before Jehovah and have wept before me, I also have
heard you,'" So they brought back word to Josiah.

Then at his command they got together all the leaders of Judah and of
Jerusalem. And Josiah went up to the temple of Jehovah, and with him all
the men of Judah and all the people of Jerusalem, as well as the priests
and the prophets and all the people, including the children. And he read
to them all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the
temple of Jehovah. And Josiah stood by the pillar and made a solemn
promise before Jehovah to obey all the commands and carry out the rules
written in this book. And all the people also agreed to do so.

Then Josiah commanded Hilkiah, the chief priest, and the second priest
and the doorkeepers to bring out from the temple of Jehovah all the
things that were made for Baal and for the Canaanite goddess of fortune,
and for the Babylonian star gods. And he burned them outside Jerusalem
in the lime-kilns by the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. He
also put away the idolatrous priests, whom the rulers of Judah had
appointed to offer sacrifice at the temples on the heights in the towns
of Judah and in the places about Jerusalem; those also who offered
sacrifices to Baal, to the sun, the moon, and the planets and all the
starry host.

He also destroyed Topheth, which is in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, so that
no man could ever make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to
Molech. He removed the horses at the entrance of the temple of Jehovah,
which the rulers of Judah had given to the sun, and burned the chariots
of the sun. Josiah broke down and crushed in pieces the altars that were
on the roof, which the rulers of Judah had made.

Josiah also tore down the altar and the old temple at Bethel, broke its
stones in pieces, and beat it to dust.

Then he gave this command to all the people: "Keep the passover to
Jehovah your God, as is commanded in this book of the covenant." Such a
passover as this had not been kept from the days of the judges who ruled
Israel and during the period of the rulers of Israel and of Judah; but
this passover was kept in Jehovah's honor in Jerusalem for the first
time in the eighteenth year of Josiah's rule.

Josiah put away all the mediums, the wizards, the idols and all the evil
things that were discovered in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that
he might carry out the words of the law which were written in the book
that Hilkiah, the priest, found in the temple of Jehovah. Josiah was the
first ruler who turned to Jehovah with all his heart, with all his soul,
and with all his strength in exact accord with the law of Moses, nor
were any of the rulers that followed like him.





Next: The Writing Of An Ancient Book

Previous: Jeremiahs Call To Do A Hard Tas



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