1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath.
2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.
3 And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the LORD, saying,
4 Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people:
5 And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD: and let them give it to the doers of the work which is in the house of the LORD, to repair the breaches of the house,
6 Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house.
7 Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully.
8 And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.
9 And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD.
10 And Shaphan the scribe showed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.
11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.
12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king's, saying,
13 Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.
14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her.
15 And she said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me,
16 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read:
17 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.
18 But to the king of Judah which sent you to enquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard;
19 Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD.
20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.
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Chapter 22 of 2 Kings is a continuation of the story of the kings of Judah, specifically focusing on the reign of King Josiah. This chapter highlights Josiah's efforts to reform the religious practices of the people of Judah and his discovery of the Book of the Law in the temple. It also reveals the fulfillment of prophecies of destruction and exile for the people of Judah due to their disobedience to God.
The chapter begins by introducing Josiah as a righteous king who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed in the ways of his ancestor King David. He was only eight years old when he became king and reigned for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. Josiah's reign was marked by his efforts to restore the worship of God and eliminate idolatry in Judah.
Under the guidance of the high priest Hilkiah, Josiah began to repair the temple that had been neglected and fallen into disrepair due to the previous ungodly kings. In the process of repairing the temple, Hilkiah discovered the Book of the Law, which was believed to be the book of Deuteronomy. This discovery was of great significance as the Book of the Law contained the laws and commandments of God that had been neglected and forgotten by the people of Judah.
Upon reading the Book of the Law, Josiah realized that the people of Judah had strayed far from the ways of God and were in great danger of facing the consequences of their disobedience. He immediately took action to restore the worship of God and eliminate all forms of idolatry in the land.
Josiah gathered all the people of Judah and read the Book of the Law to them, renewing the covenant between God and His people. He also ordered the destruction of all the idols and altars of foreign gods that were present in the land. He even went as far as to desecrate the high places where the people had been offering sacrifices to false gods.
Josiah's reforms were not limited to the religious practices of the people, but he also made efforts to improve the social and economic conditions of the people. He abolished the practice of child sacrifice and provided support for the priests and Levites who were responsible for the worship of God in the temple.
After the discovery of the Book of the Law, Josiah sent his officials to consult with a prophet about the words written in the book. The prophetess Huldah was consulted, and she confirmed that the words in the Book of the Law were indeed from God and that the destruction and exile prophesied in the book would come upon the people of Judah because of their disobedience.
However, she also assured Josiah that because of his repentance and efforts to follow the ways of God, he would not see the destruction that would come upon the land during his lifetime.
Despite Josiah's efforts to reform the religious practices of the people of Judah, the chapter concludes with the fulfillment of the prophecies of destruction and exile for the people. Josiah's son, Jehoahaz, became king after his death and continued in the ways of his ungodly ancestors, leading the people further away from God.
Eventually, the kingdom of Judah was conquered by the Babylonians, and the people were taken into exile, just as it had been prophesied in the Book of the Law. This event marked the end of the kingdom of Judah and the beginning of the Babylonian captivity.
Chapter 22 of 2 Kings carries several key themes that are relevant to the story of the people of Judah and their relationship with God. These themes include the consequences of disobedience, the importance of repentance, and the faithfulness of God.
The story of the people of Judah in 2 Kings is a cautionary tale of the consequences of disobedience to God. The people had turned away from God and followed after false gods, leading to the neglect of His laws and commandments. As a result, they faced the fulfillment of the prophecies of destruction and exile that had been foretold in the Book of the Law.
This serves as a reminder that there are consequences for our actions, and disobedience to God will ultimately lead to destruction. It also highlights the importance of following God's laws and commands and staying true to our covenant with Him.
King Josiah's actions in this chapter demonstrate the importance of repentance and turning back to God. Upon discovering the Book of the Law, he immediately took action to reform the religious practices of the people and restore the worship of God in Judah. His actions were a clear sign of his repentance and desire to follow God's ways.
Repentance is a key theme throughout the Bible, and this chapter serves as a reminder that it is never too late to turn back to God and seek forgiveness for our sins. God's mercy and grace are always available to those who truly repent and turn to Him.
Despite the disobedience of the people of Judah and the fulfillment of the prophecies of destruction and exile, this chapter also highlights the faithfulness of God. He remained faithful to His covenant with the people and did not bring about the destruction during Josiah's lifetime because of his repentance and efforts to follow God's ways.
This serves as a reminder that even in the midst of our disobedience and the consequences that follow, God is still faithful and merciful. He will always provide a way for us to return to Him and seek forgiveness.
Chapter 22 of 2 Kings is a significant chapter in the Bible as it highlights the reign of King Josiah and his efforts to reform the religious practices of the people of Judah. It also reveals the fulfillment of prophecies of destruction and exile for the people due to their disobedience to God. The chapter carries important themes of the consequences of disobedience, the importance of repentance, and the faithfulness of God, serving as a reminder of the importance of staying true to our covenant with God and seeking His forgiveness when we stray from His ways.