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2 Kings



The second book of the Kings commonly called, the fourth book of the Kings, chapter 23, New English Translation and King James Version

Chapter 23

New English Translation


   The King Institutes Religious Reform
   1 The king summoned all the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2 The king went up to the LORD's temple, accompanied by all the people of Judah, all the residents of Jerusalem, the priests, and the prophets. All the people were there, from the youngest to the oldest. He read aloud all the words of the scroll of the covenant that had been discovered in the LORD's temple. 3 The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant before the LORD, agreeing to follow the LORD and to obey his commandments, laws, and rules with all his heart and being, by carrying out the terms of this covenant recorded on this scroll. All the people agreed to keep the covenant.
   4 The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the high-ranking priests, and the guards to bring out of the LORD's temple all the items that were used in the worship of Baal, Asherah, and all the stars of the sky. The king burned them outside of Jerusalem in the terraces of Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. 5 He eliminated the pagan priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed to offer sacrifices on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the area right around Jerusalem. (They offered sacrifices to Baal, the sun god, the moon god, the constellations, and all the stars in the sky.) 6 He removed the Asherah pole from the LORD's temple and took it outside Jerusalem to the Kidron Valley, where he burned it. He smashed it to dust and then threw the dust in the public graveyard. 7 He tore down the quarters of the male cultic prostitutes in the LORD's temple, where women were weaving shrines for Asherah.
   8 He brought all the priests from the cities of Judah and ruined the high places where the priests had offered sacrifices, from Geba to Beer Sheba. He tore down the high place of the goat idols situated at the entrance of the gate of Joshua, the city official, on the left side of the city gate. 9 (Now the priests of the high places did not go up to the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, but they did eat unleavened cakes among their fellow priests.) 10 The king ruined Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that no one could pass his son or his daughter through the fire to Molech. 11 He removed from the entrance to the LORD's temple the statues of horses that the kings of Judah had placed there in honor of the sun god. (They were kept near the room of Nathan Melech the eunuch, which was situated among the courtyards.) He burned up the chariots devoted to the sun god. 12 The king tore down the altars the kings of Judah had set up on the roof of Ahaz's upper room, as well as the altars Manasseh had set up in the two courtyards of the LORD's temple. He crushed them up and threw the dust in the Kidron Valley. 13 The king ruined the high places east of Jerusalem, south of the Mount of Destruction, that King Solomon of Israel had built for the detestable Sidonian goddess Astarte, the detestable Moabite god Chemosh, and the horrible Ammonite god Milcom. 14 He smashed the sacred pillars to bits, cut down the Asherah pole, and filled those shrines with human bones.
   15 He also tore down the altar in Bethel at the high place made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who encouraged Israel to sin. He burned all the combustible items at that high place and crushed them to dust; including the Asherah pole. 16 When Josiah turned around, he saw the tombs there on the hill. So he ordered the bones from the tombs to be brought; he burned them on the altar and defiled it. This fulfilled the LORD's announcement made by the prophet while Jeroboam stood by the altar during a festival. King Josiah turned and saw the grave of the prophet who had foretold this. 17 He asked, "What is this grave marker I see?" The men from the city replied, "It's the grave of the prophet who came from Judah and foretold these very things you have done to the altar of Bethel." 18 The king said, "Leave it alone! No one must touch his bones." So they left his bones undisturbed, as well as the bones of the Israelite prophet buried beside him.
   19 Josiah also removed all the shrines on the high places in the cities of Samaria. The kings of Israel had made them and angered the LORD. He did to them what he had done to the high place in Bethel. 20 He sacrificed all the priests of the high places on the altars located there, and burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
   21 The king ordered all the people, "Observe the Passover of the LORD your God, as prescribed in this scroll of the covenant." 22 He issued this edict because a Passover like this had not been observed since the days of the judges; it was neglected for the entire period of the kings of Israel and Judah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah's reign, such a Passover of the LORD was observed in Jerusalem.
   24 Josiah also got rid of the ritual pits used to conjure up spirits, the magicians, personal idols, disgusting images, and all the detestable idols that had appeared in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem. In this way he carried out the terms of the law recorded on the scroll that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the LORD's temple. 25 No king before or after repented before the LORD as he did, with his whole heart, soul, and being in accordance with the whole law of Moses.
   26 Yet the LORD's great anger against Judah did not subside; he was still infuriated by all the things Manasseh had done. 27 The LORD announced, "I will also spurn Judah, just as I spurned Israel. I will reject this city that I chose - both Jerusalem and the temple, about which I said, "I will live there."
   28 The rest of the events of Josiah's reign and all his accomplishments are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 29 During Josiah's reign Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt marched toward the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to fight him, but Necho killed him at Megiddo when he saw him. 30 His servants transported his dead body from Megiddo in a chariot and brought it to Jerusalem, where they buried him in his tomb. The people of the land took Josiah's son Jehoahaz, poured olive oil on his head, and made him king in his father's place.
   Jehoahaz's Reign over Judah
   31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah, from Libnah. 32 He did evil in the sight of the LORD as his ancestors had done. 33 Pharaoh Necho imprisoned him in Riblah in the land of Hamath and prevented him from ruling in Jerusalem. He imposed on the land a special tax of one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 34 Pharaoh Necho made Josiah's son Eliakim king in Josiah's place, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. He took Jehoahaz to Egypt, where he died. 35 Jehoiakim paid Pharaoh the required amount of silver and gold, but to meet Pharaoh's demands Jehoiakim had to tax the land. He collected an assessed amount from each man among the people of the land in order to pay Pharaoh Necho.
   Jehoiakim's Reign over Judah
   36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah, from Rumah. 37 He did evil in the sight of the LORD as his ancestors had done.

King James Version


   1 And the king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem.
   2 And the king went up into 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.
   3 ¶ And the king stood by a 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 their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant.
   4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Beth-el.
   5 And 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; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.
   6 And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people.
   7 And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.
   8 And 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 Beer-sheba, and brake down the high places of the gates that were in the entering in of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man's left hand at the gate of the city.
   9 Nevertheless the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, but they did eat of the unleavened bread among their brethren.
   10 And 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.
   11 And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.
   12 And the altars that were on the top 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 beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.
   13 And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile.
   14 And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down the groves, and filled their places with the bones of men.
   15 ¶ Moreover the altar that was at Beth-el, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the grove.
   16 And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.
   17 Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Beth-el.
   18 And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria.
   19 And 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 Beth-el.
   20 And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men's bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem.
   21 ¶ And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto the LORD your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant.
   22 Surely there was not holden such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah;
   23 But in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, wherein this passover was holden to the LORD in Jerusalem.
   24 ¶ Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD.
   25 And like unto him was there no king before him, that 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; neither after him arose there any like him.
   26 ¶ Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal.
   27 And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.
   28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
   29 ¶ In his days Pharaoh-nechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him.
   30 And his servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father's stead.
   31 ¶ Jehoahaz was twenty and 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.
   32 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.
   33 And Pharaoh-nechoh put him in bands at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute of an hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold.
   34 And Pharaoh-nechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to Egypt, and died there.
   35 And 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 every one according to his taxation, to give it unto Pharaoh-nechoh.
   36 ¶ Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah.
   37 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.
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