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2 Chronicles - Chapter 34

1 Josiah was eight years old when he came to the throne, and he reigned for thirty-one years in Jerusalem.

2 He did what is pleasing to Yahweh, and followed the example of his ancestor David, not deviating from it to right or to left.

3 In the eighth year of his reign, when he was still a youth, he began to seek the God of his ancestor David. In the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the sacred poles and the sculpted and cast images.

4 He superintended the smashing of the altars of Baal, he broke up the incense altars standing above them, he shattered the sacred poles and the sculpted and cast images and reduced them to powder, scattering the powder on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.

5 He burned the bones of their priests on their altars and so purified Judah and Jerusalem.

6 In the towns of Manasseh, Ephraim and Simeon, as far as Naphtali, and round their open spaces,

7 he smashed the altars and sacred poles, reduced the sculpted images to powder and broke up all the incense altars throughout the territory of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

8 In the eighteenth year of his reign, after purging the country and the Temple, he commissioned Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah governor of the city and the herald Joah son of Joahaz, to repair the Temple of Yahweh his God.

9 When they came to the high priest Hilkiah, they handed over the money contributed to the Temple of God and collected by the levitical guardians of the threshold from Manasseh and Ephraim, from all the rest of Israel, from all Judah and Benjamin, and from the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

10 They handed it over to the masters of works attached to the Temple of Yahweh, and these gave it to the men working on the Temple of Yahweh to repair and restore the Temple;

11 they gave it to the craftsmen and builders for buying dressed stone and timber for beams, to underpin the buildings which the kings of Judah had allowed to fall into decay.

12 The men were conscientious in doing their work; their foremen were Jahath and Obadiah, Levites descended from Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, descended from Kohath, who supervised. The Levites -- all of whom were skilled instrumentalists-

13 were in charge of the carriers and supervised all the workmen at their various jobs, while some of the Levites acted as secretaries, book-keepers and gatekeepers.

14 While bringing out the money contributed to the Temple of Yahweh, the priest Hilkiah found the book of the Law of Yahweh given through Moses.

15 Hilkiah then said to Shaphan the secretary, 'I have found the Book of the Law in the Temple of Yahweh.' And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan.

16 Shaphan took the book to the king, reporting furthermore to him as follows, 'Your servants have done everything entrusted to them.

17 They have melted down the silver which was in the Temple of Yahweh and have handed it over to the supervisors and the masters of works.'

18 Shaphan the secretary also informed the king, 'The priest Hilkiah has given me a book'; and Shaphan read extracts from it in the king's presence.

19 On hearing the words of the Law, the king tore his clothes.

20 Then the king gave the following order to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king's minister,

21 'Go and consult Yahweh on behalf of me and of those left in Israel and Judah about the words of the book that has been discovered: for Yahweh's furious wrath has been pouring down on us because our ancestors did not obey the word of Yahweh by doing what this book says they ought to have done.'

22 Hilkiah and those whom the king had designated went to the prophetess Huldah wife of Shallum, son of Tokhath, son of Hasrah, the keeper of the wardrobe; she lived in Jerusalem in the new town. They spoke to her about this,

23 and she replied, 'Yahweh, God of Israel, says this, "To the man who sent you to me reply:

24 Yahweh says this: I am going to bring disaster on this place and the people who live in it -- all the curses set down in the book read in the king of Judah's presence.

25 Because they have abandoned me and burnt incense to other gods, so as to provoke my anger by their every action, my wrath is about to be poured down on this place, and nothing can stop it.

26 As for the king of Judah who sent you to consult Yahweh, say this to him: Yahweh, God of Israel, says this: The words you have heard . . .

27 But since your heart has been touched and you have humbled yourself before God on hearing what he has decreed against this place and the people who live in it, have torn your clothes and wept before me, I too have heard"-Yahweh says this.

28 "Look, when I gather you to your ancestors, you will be gathered into your grave in peace; you will not live to see the great disaster that I am going to bring on this place and on the people who live in it." ' They took this answer to the king.

29 The king then had all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem summoned,

30 and the king went up to the temple of Yahweh, with all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, priests, Levites and all the people, high and low. In their hearing he read out the entire contents of the Book of the Covenant discovered in the Temple of Yahweh.

31 The king then, standing on the dais, bound himself by the covenant before Yahweh, to follow Yahweh, to keep his commandments, decrees and laws with all his heart and soul and to carry out the terms of the covenant as written in this book.

32 He made all those present in Jerusalem and Benjamin pledge their allegiance to it. The citizens of Jerusalem took action in keeping with the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors,

33 while Josiah removed all the abominations throughout the territories belonging to the Israelites and required all inhabitants of Israel to serve Yahweh their God; throughout his lifetime they did not deviate from following Yahweh, God of their ancestors.

Book of 2 Chronicles Chapters

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