The Second Book of the Chronicles

Chapter 34

Josiah's good reign, 1, 2. He destroys idolatry, 3-7. He takes order for the repair of the temple, 8-13. Hilkiah, having found a book of the law, Josiah sends to Huldah to inquire of the Lord, 14-22. Huldah prophesies the destruction of Jerusalem, but respite thereof in Josiah's time, 23-28. Josiah, causing it to be read in a solemn assembly, renews the covenant with God, 29-33.

1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD and walked in the ways of David his father and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left. 3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father. And in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, the groves, the carved images, and the molten images. 4 And they broke down the altars of Baalim in his presence, and he cut down the images that were on high above them. And the groves, the carved images, and the molten images, he broke in pieces and made dust of them and strewed it upon the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. 5 And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. 6 And he did the same in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and even to Naphtali, with their mattocks around. 7 And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, beaten the engraved images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem.

8 Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder to repair the house of the LORD his God. 9 And when they came to Hilkiah the high priest, they delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites who kept the doors had collected from the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, from all the remnant of Israel, from all Judah and Benjamin, and from the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 And they put it in the hand of the workmen who had the oversight of the house of the LORD, and they gave it to the workmen who wrought in the house of the LORD to repair and mend the house. 11 They even gave it to the carpenters and builders to buy hewn stone and timber for couplings and to floor the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed. 12 And the men did the work faithfully. And their overseers were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to superintend it; and others of the Levites, all who had skill in instruments of music. 13 They were also over the bearers of burdens and were overseers of all who wrought the work in any manner of service. And of the Levites there were scribes, officers, and gatekeepers.

14 And 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. 15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, "I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD." And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. 16 And Shaphan carried the book to the king and brought the king word back again, saying, "All that was committed to your servants, they perform. 17 And they have collected the money that was found in the house of the LORD and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers and to the hand of the workmen." 18 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, "Hilkiah the priest has given me a book." And Shaphan read it before the king.

19 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes. 20 And the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king, saying, 21 "Go, 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 upon us because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book."

22 And Hilkiah and those whom the king had appointed went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the second quarter), and they spoke to her to that effect. 23 And she answered them, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'Tell the man who sent you to me, 24 "Thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will bring evil upon this place and upon its inhabitants, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah. 25 Because they have forsaken me and have burned incense to other gods in order to provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands, therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place and shall not be quenched.'"' 26 And as for the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the LORD, thus you shall say to him: 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the words which you have heard: 27 "Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and against its inhabitants, and humbled yourself before me and rent your clothes and wept before me, I have even heard you also," says the LORD. 28 "Behold, I will gather you to your fathers and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, neither shall your eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place and upon the inhabitants of the same."'" So they brought the king word again.

29 Then the king sent and convened all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 And the king went into the house of the LORD, with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the Levites, and all the people, 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.

31 And the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD and to keep his commandments, his testimonies, and his statutes with all his heart and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book. 32 And he caused all who were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel and made all who were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. And all his days they did not depart from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 2nd Chronicles, Chapter 34[➚]