Reading 109/341, 2 Kings 21.19-24.7

...2 Kings...

Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem, and his mother's name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as did Manasseh his father. He walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshiped them, and he forsook the Lord, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the Lord. The servants of Amon conspired against him, and put the king to death in his own house. But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against king Amon, and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place. Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, are not they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza, and Josiah his son reigned in his place. Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem, and his mother's name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. It happened 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, Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the money which is brought into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the threshold have gathered of the people, and let them deliver it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord, and let them give it to the workmen who are in the house of the Lord, to repair the breaches of the house, to the carpenters, and to the builders, and to the masons, and for buying timber and hewn stone to repair the house. However there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand; for they dealt faithfully. Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord. Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan, and he read it. Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord. Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest has delivered me a book. Shaphan read it before the king. It happened, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he tore his clothes. The king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying, Go you, inquire 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 listened to the words of this book, to do according to all what is written concerning us. So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the second quarter), and they talked with her. She said to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, Tell you the man who sent you to me, Thus says the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil on this place, and on the inhabitants of it, all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read. Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and it shall not be quenched. But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall you tell him, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, As touching the words which you have heard, because your heart was tender, and you did humble yourself before the Lord, when you heard what I spoke against this place, and against the inhabitants of it, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and have torn your clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard you, says the Lord. Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, nor shall your eyes see all the evil which I will bring on this place. They brought the king word again. The king sent, and they gathered to him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. The king went up to the house of the Lord, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great, and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and all his soul, to confirm the words of this covenant that were written in this book, and all the people stood to the covenant. The king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the threshold, to bring forth out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the Asherah, and for all the army of the sky, and he burned them outside of Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried the ashes of them to Bethel. He put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the army of the sky. He brought out the Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside of Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and beat it to dust, and cast the dust of it on the graves of the common people. He broke down the houses of the sodomites, that were in the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the Asherah. He brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba, and he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man's left hand at the gate of the city. Nevertheless the priests of the high places did not come up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers. He defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech. He took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan Melech the officer, who was in the court, and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. The altars that were on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, did the king break down, and beat them down from there, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron. The high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mountain of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile. He broke in pieces the pillars, and cut down the Asherim, and filled their places with the bones of men. Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, that altar and the high place he broke down, and he burned the high place and beat it to dust, and burned the Asherah. As Josiah turned himself, he spied the tombs that were there in the mountain, and he sent, and took the bones out of the tombs, and burned them on the altar, and defiled it, according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these things. Then he said, What monument is what I see? The men of the city told him, It is the tomb of the man of God, who came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that you have done against the altar of Bethel. He said, Let him be; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet who came out of Samaria. All the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke the Lord to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel. He killed all the priests of the high places that were there, on the altars, and burned men's bones on them, and he returned to Jerusalem. The king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this book of the covenant. Surely there was not kept such a Passover from the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah; but in the eighteenth year of king Josiah was this Passover kept to the Lord in Jerusalem. Moreover those who had familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the teraphim, and the idols, and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might confirm the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord. Like him was there no king before him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor after him arose there any like him. Notwithstanding, the Lord did not turn from the fierceness of his great wrath, with which his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocation with which Manasseh had provoked him. The Lord said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city which I have chosen, Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there. Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, are not they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? In his days Pharaoh Necoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates, and king Josiah went against him, and Pharaoh Necoh killed him at Megiddo, when he had seen him. His servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own tomb. The people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father's place. Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem, and his mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done. Pharaoh Necoh put him in bonds at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem, and put the land to a tribute of one hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold. Pharaoh Necoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and changed his name to Jehoiakim, but he took Jehoahaz away, and he came to Egypt, and died there. Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh, he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of everyone according to his taxation, to give it to Pharaoh Necoh. Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem, and his mother's name was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done. In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years, then he turned and rebelled against him. The Lord sent against him bands of the Chaldeans, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servants the prophets. Surely at the commandment of the Lord came this on Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did, and also for the innocent blood that he shed; for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord would not pardon. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, are not they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers, and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place. The king of Egypt did not come again out of his land any more; for the king of Babylon had taken, from the brook of Egypt to the river Euphrates, all that pertained to the king of Egypt.

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