19 Oct. 2 Kings 22:1-13

19 Oct. King Josiah rediscovers the Book of the Law

“Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he ruled for 31 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah, who was from Bozkath.”

“Josiah did what the LORD said was right. He lived as his ancestor David had lived, and he did not stop doing what was right.”

“In Josiah’s eighteenth year as king, he sent Shaphan to the Temple of the LORD. Shaphan son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullum, was the royal secretary. Josiah said, ‘Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, and have him empty out the money the gatekeepers have gathered from the people. Have him give the money to the supervisors of the work on the Temple of the LORD.’”

“’They must pay the workers who repair the Temple of the LORD – the carpenters, builders and bricklayers. Also use the money to buy timber and cut stone to repair the Temple. They do not need to report how they use the money given to them, because they are working honestly.’”

“Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the royal secretary, ‘I’ve found the Book of the Teachings in the Temple of the LORD.’ He gave it to Shaphan, who read it.”

“Then Shaphan the royal secretary went to the king and reported to Josiah, ‘Your officers have paid out the money that was in the Temple of the LORD. They have given it to the workers and supervisors at the Temple.’ Then Shaphan the royal secretary told the king, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.’ And Shaphan read from the book to the king.”

“When the king heard the words of the Book of the Teachings, he tore his clothes to show how upset he was. He gave orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the royal secretary and Asaiah the king’s servant. These were the orders: ‘Go and ask the LORD about the words in the book that was found. Ask for me, for all the people and for all Judah. The LORD’s anger is burning against us, because our ancestors did not obey the words of this book; they did not do all the things written for us to do.’”

          (2 Kings 22:1-13)

 

 

Manasseh succeeded his father Hezekiah as King of Judah in 698BC. He ruled for over fifty years, during which time he re-built the ‘high places’ of pagan worship with their altars to Baal and Asherah.

He worshipped the stars, killed hundreds of innocent people, sacrificed his own son to the god Moloch, and put an ‘Asherah pole’ in the LORD’s Temple. As a result of his idolatry, the prophets - including Isaiah - foretold the destruction of Jerusalem (see 2 Kings 21:1-18). 

In 644BC, Manasseh was succeeded by his son Amon, who followed in his father’s evil ways. After two years, his officials assassinated him and made his young son Josiah king in his place. King Josiah reigned for thirty one years (642-610BC), during which Judah enjoyed a religious renaissance (see 2 Kings 21:19-26).

In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign (in 624BC), the high priest, Hilkiah, re-discovered the Book of the Law in the Temple in Jerusalem. Josiah was greatly moved when the Law of Moses was read to him, and he determined to bring in religious reforms in order to follow the teachings of the Covenant agreement (see 2 Kings 22:1-20).   

The photo shows a depiction of Josiah hearing the book of the law (1873, unknown artist).

You can read more about Josiah’s religious reforms @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/33-judah-after-the-fall-of-israel/king-josiah-ushers-in-religious-reforms/


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