Reading 127/341, 2 Chronicles 34.14-36.23

...2 Chronicles

When they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the book of the law of the Lord given by Moses. Hilkiah answered Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord. Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. Shaphan carried the book to the king, and moreover brought back word to the king, saying, All that was committed to your servants, they are doing. They have emptied out the money that was found in the house of the Lord, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and into the hand of the workmen. Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest has delivered me a book. Shaphan read therein before the king. It happened, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he tore his clothes. The king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying, Go you, inquire of the Lord for me, and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do according to all that is written in this book. So Hilkiah, and they whom the king had commanded, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she lived in Jerusalem in the second quarter;) and they spoke to her to that effect. 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 curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah. Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore is my wrath poured out on 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 God, when you heard his words against this place, and against the inhabitants of it, and have humbled yourself before me, and have torn your clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard you, says the Lord. 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 that I will bring on this place, and on the inhabitants of it. They brought back word to the king. Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. The king went up to the house of the Lord, and all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, both great and small, and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the Lord. The king stood in his place, 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 with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. He caused all who were found in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. The inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all who were found in Israel to serve, to serve the Lord their God. All his days they did not depart from following the Lord, the God of their fathers. Josiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem, and they killed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. He set the priests in their offices, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the Lord. He said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to the Lord, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; there shall no more be a burden on your shoulders, now serve the Lord your God, and his people Israel. Prepare yourselves after your fathers' houses by your divisions, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son. Stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the fathers' houses of your brothers the children of the people, and let there be for each a portion of a fathers' house of the Levites. Kill the Passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare for your brothers, to do according to the word of the Lord by Moses. Josiah gave to the children of the people, of the flock, lambs and kids, all of them for the Passover offerings, to all who were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bulls, these were of the king's substance. His princes gave for a freewill offering to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, the rulers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings two thousand and six hundred small livestock, and three hundred oxen. Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethanel, his brothers, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, the chiefs of the Levites, gave to the Levites for the Passover offerings five thousand small livestock, and five hundred oxen. So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites by their divisions, according to the king's commandment. They killed the Passover, and the priests sprinkled the blood which they received of their hand, and the Levites flayed them. They removed the burnt offerings, that they might give them according to the divisions of the fathers' houses of the children of the people, to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the book of Moses. So did they with the oxen. They roasted the Passover with fire according to the ordinance, and the holy offerings boiled they in pots, and in caldrons, and in pans, and carried them quickly to all the children of the people. Afterward they prepared for themselves, and for the priests, because the priests the sons of Aaron were busied in offering the burnt offerings and the fat until night, therefore the Levites prepared for themselves, and for the priests the sons of Aaron. The singers the sons of Asaph were in their place, according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king's seer, and the porters were at every gate, they did not need to depart from their service; for their brothers the Levites prepared for them. So all the service of the Lord was prepared the same day, to keep the Passover, and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, according to the commandment of king Josiah. The children of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days. There was no Passover like that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; nor did any of the kings of Israel keep such a Passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this Passover kept. After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Neco king of Egypt went up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates, and Josiah went out against him. But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with you, you king of Judah? I come not against you this day, but against the house with which I have war, and God has commanded me to make haste, forbear you from meddling with God, who is with me, that he not destroy you. Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and did not listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. The archers shot at king Josiah, and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded. So his servants took him out of the chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had, and brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. Jeremiah lamented for Josiah, and all the singing men and singing women spoke of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and they made them an ordinance in Israel, and behold, they are written in the lamentations. Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his good deeds, according to what is written in the law of the Lord, and his acts, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father's place in Jerusalem. Joahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. The king of Egypt deposed him at Jerusalem, and fined the land one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. The king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. Neco took Joahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt. Jehoiakim was Twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem, and he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God. Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of the Lord to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and what was found in him, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place. Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem, and he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. At the return of the year king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of the Lord, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem. Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem, and he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God; he did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the Lord. He also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God, but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord, the God of Israel. Moreover all the chiefs of the priests, and the people, trespassed very greatly after all the abominations of the nations, and they polluted the house of the Lord which he had made holy in Jerusalem. The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent to them by his messengers, rising up early and sending, because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place, but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and scoffed at his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, until there was no remedy. Therefore he brought on them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or gray-headed, he gave them all into his hand. All the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes, all these he brought to Babylon. They burnt the house of God, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces of it with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels of it. He carried those who had escaped from the sword away to Babylon, and they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths, for as long as it lay desolate it kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years. Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth has the Lord, the God of heaven, given me, and he has charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.

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