2 Kings 23

1 So the king sent word, and they summoned all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.

2 After that the king went up to the house of Jehovah with all the men of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, and the prophets—all the people, from small to great. He read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of Jehovah.

3 The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before Jehovah, that he would follow Jehovah and keep his commandments, his reminders, and his statutes with all his heart and with all his soul by carrying out the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people agreed to the covenant.

4 The king then ordered Hilkiʹah the high priest, the priests of the second rank, and the doorkeepers to bring out from the temple of Jehovah all the utensils made for Baʹal, for the sacred pole, and for all the army of the heavens. Then he burned them outside Jerusalem on the terraces of Kidʹron, and he took their ashes to Bethʹel.

5 So he put out of business the foreign-god priests, whom the kings of Judah had appointed to make sacrificial smoke on the high places in the cities of Judah and the surroundings of Jerusalem, as well as those making sacrificial smoke to Baʹal, to the sun, to the moon, to the constellations of the zodiac, and to all the army of the heavens.

6 He brought the sacred pole out from the house of Jehovah to the outskirts of Jerusalem, to the Kidʹron Valley, and he burned it in the Kidʹron Valley and ground it to dust and scattered its dust on the graves of the common people.

7 He also tore down the houses of the male temple prostitutes, which were in the house of Jehovah and where the women were weaving tent shrines for the sacred pole.

8 Then he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and he made unfit for worship the high places where the priests had been making sacrificial smoke, from Geʹba to Beʹer-sheʹba. He also tore down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the chief of the city, which were on the left as one entered the city gate.

9 The priests of the high places did not serve at the altar of Jehovah in Jerusalem, but they did eat unleavened bread along with their brothers.

10 He also made unfit for worship Toʹpheth, which is in the Valley of the Sons of Hinʹnom, so that no one could make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Moʹlech.

11 And he prohibited the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun from entering the house of Jehovah by the chamber of Naʹthan-melʹech the court official, which was in the porticoes; and he burned the chariots of the sun in the fire.

12 The king also tore down the altars that the kings of Judah had set up on the roof of Aʹhaz’s upper chamber, as well as the altars that Manasʹseh had set up in two courtyards of the house of Jehovah. He crushed them and scattered their dust in the Kidʹron Valley.

13 And the king made unfit for worship the high places in front of Jerusalem that were to the south of the Mount of Ruination, which Solʹomon the king of Israel had built to Ashʹtoreth the disgusting goddess of the Sidoʹnians; and to Cheʹmosh the disgusting god of Moʹab; and to Milʹcom the detestable god of the Amʹmonites.

14 He broke the sacred pillars to pieces and cut down the sacred poles and filled their places with human bones.

15 He also tore down the altar in Bethʹel, the high place that Jeroboʹam the son of Neʹbat had made that caused Israel to sin. After tearing down that altar and the high place, he burned the high place, ground it to dust, and burned the sacred pole.

16 When Josiʹah turned and saw the graves on the mountain, he had the bones taken from the graves and burned them on the altar, making it unfit for worship, according to Jehovah’s word that had been proclaimed by the man of the true God who foretold that these things would happen.

17 Then he said: “What is the gravestone over there that I am looking at?” At this the men of the city said to him: “It is the grave of the man of the true God from Judah who foretold these things that you have done against the altar of Bethʹel.”

18 So he said: “Let him rest. Do not let anyone disturb his bones.” So they left his bones undisturbed, as well as the bones of the prophet who had come from Samarʹia.

19 Josiʹah also removed all the houses of worship on the high places that were in the cities of Samarʹia, which the kings of Israel had built to offend God, and he did the same thing to them that he had done at Bethʹel.

20 So he sacrificed on the altars all the priests of the high places who were there, and he burned human bones on them. After that he returned to Jerusalem.

21 The king now commanded all the people: “Hold a Passover to Jehovah your God as is written in this book of the covenant.”

22 No Passover like this had been held since the days when the judges had judged Israel or in all the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah.

23 But in the 18th year of King Josiʹah, this Passover to Jehovah was held in Jerusalem.

24 Josiʹah also cleared out the spirit mediums, the fortune-tellers, the teraphim statues, the disgusting idols, and all the disgusting things that had appeared in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, in order to carry out the words of the Law that were written in the book that Hilkiʹah the priest had found in the house of Jehovah.

25 There was no king like him prior to him, who returned to Jehovah with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, according to all the Law of Moses; nor did anyone like him rise up after him.

26 Nevertheless, Jehovah did not turn away from his burning anger that blazed against Judah because of all the offensive things that Manasʹseh had done to offend Him.

27 Jehovah said: “I will also remove Judah from my sight, just as I removed Israel; and I will reject this city that I chose, Jerusalem, and the house about which I said, ‘My name will continue there.’”

28 As for the rest of the history of Josiʹah, all that he did, is it not written in the book of the history of the times of the kings of Judah?

29 In his days Pharʹaoh Neʹchoh the king of Egypt came to meet the king of Assyrʹia by the Euphraʹtes River, and King Josiʹah went out to confront him; but when Neʹchoh saw him, he put him to death at Megidʹdo.

30 So his servants transported his dead body in a chariot from Megidʹdo and brought him to Jerusalem and buried him in his grave. Then the people of the land took Josiʹah’s son Jehoʹahaz and anointed him and made him king in place of his father.

31 Jehoʹahaz was 23 years old when he became king, and he reigned for three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamuʹtal the daughter of Jeremiah from Libʹnah.

32 He began to do what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes, according to all that his forefathers had done.

33 Pharʹaoh Neʹchoh imprisoned him at Ribʹlah in the land of Haʹmath, to keep him from reigning in Jerusalem, and then imposed on the land a fine of 100 silver talents and a gold talent.

34 Furthermore, Pharʹaoh Neʹchoh made Josiʹah’s son Eliʹakim king in place of his father Josiʹah and changed his name to Jehoiʹakim; but he took Jehoʹahaz and brought him to Egypt, where he eventually died.

35 Jehoiʹakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharʹaoh, but he had to tax the land to give the silver that Pharʹaoh demanded. He exacted an assessed amount of silver and gold from each of the people of the land to give to Pharʹaoh Neʹchoh.

36 Jehoiʹakim was 25 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 11 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zebiʹdah the daughter of Pedaiʹah from Ruʹmah.

37 He continued to do what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes, according to all that his forefathers had done.

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