Josiah Succeeds Amon
1Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and reigned for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 2 He did what was right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the ways of his father (ancestor) David, and did not turn aside to the right or to the left.
3 In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, 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, so that he may count the entire amount of money brought into the house of the Lord, which the doorkeepers have collected from the people. 5 And have them deliver it to the hands of the workmen who have been appointed over the house of the Lord, and have them give it to the workmen who are in the house of the Lord to repair the damages of the house— 6 that is, [have them give the money] to the carpenters and the builders and the masons—and to buy timber and cut stones to repair the house (temple). 7 However, no accounting shall be required of them for the money placed in their hands, because they act faithfully.”
The Lost Book
8 Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house (temple) of the Lord.” Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. 9 Shaphan the scribe came to the king and brought back word to him: “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have placed it in the hands of the workmen who have been appointed over the house of the Lord.” 10 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it [aloud] before the king.
11 Now when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. 12 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Micaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the servant of the king, saying, 13 “Go, inquire of the Lord for my sake and for the sake of the people and for all Judah concerning the words of this book which has been found, for great is the wrath of the Lord which has been kindled against us, because our fathers have not listened to and obeyed the words of this book, so as to act in accordance with everything that is written concerning us.”
14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (she was living in Jerusalem, in the Second Quarter [the new part of the city]); and they spoke to her. 15 She said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am bringing a catastrophe on this place (Judah) and on its inhabitants, [according to] all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they have abandoned (rejected) 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 burns against this place, and it will not be quenched.”’ 18 But to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the Lord, you shall say this to him: ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel, “Regarding the words which you have heard, 19 because your heart was tender (receptive, penitent) and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I said against this place and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and because you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I have heard you,” declares the Lord. 20 “Therefore, behold, [King Josiah,] I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be taken to your grave in peace, and your eyes will not see all the evil (catastrophe) which I will bring on this place.”’” So they brought back word to the king.