2 Chronicles 34

1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2 He did that which was right in the LORD’s eyes, and walked in the ways of David his father, and didn’t turn aside to the right hand or 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 Asherah poles, the engraved images, and the molten images. 4 They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence; and he cut down the incense altars that were on high above them. He broke the Asherah poles, the engraved images, and the molten images in pieces, made dust of them, and scattered it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. 5 He burnt the bones of the priests on their altars, and purged Judah and Jerusalem. 6 He did this in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, even to Naphtali, around in their ruins. 7 He broke down the altars, and beat the Asherah poles and the engraved images into powder, and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel, then 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, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the LORD his God’s house. 9 They came to Hilkiah the high priest, and delivered the money that was brought into God’s house, which the Levites, the keepers of the threshold, had gathered from the hands of Manasseh, Ephraim, of all the remnant of Israel, of all Judah and Benjamin, and of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They delivered it into the hands of the workmen who had the oversight of the LORD’s house; and the workmen who laboured in the LORD’s house gave it to mend and repair the house. 11 They gave it to the carpenters and to the builders, to buy cut stone and timber for couplings, and to make beams for the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed. 12 The men did the work faithfully. Their overseers were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to give direction; and others of the Levites, who were all skilful with musical instruments. 13 Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and directed all who did the work in every kind of service. Of the Levites, there were scribes, officials, and gatekeepers. 14 When they brought out the money that was brought into the LORD’s house, Hilkiah the priest found the book of the LORD’s law given by Moses. 15 Hilkiah answered Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the book of the law in the LORD’s house.” So Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. 16 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. 17 They have emptied out the money that was found in the LORD’s house, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and into the hand of the workmen.” 18 Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, “Hilkiah the priest has delivered me a book.” Shaphan read from it to the king. 19 When the king had heard the words of the law, he tore his clothes. 20 The king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant, 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 LORD’s wrath that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the LORD’s word, to do according to all that is written in this book.” 22 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. 23 She said to them, “the LORD, the God of Israel says: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, 24 “the LORD says, ‘Behold, I will bring evil on this place, and on 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 burnt incense to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath is poured out on this place, and it will not be quenched.’”’ 26 But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, you shall tell him this, ‘the LORD, the God of Israel says: “About 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 have humbled yourself before me, and have torn your clothes, and wept before me, I also have heard you,” says the LORD. 28 “Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace. Your eyes won’t see all the evil that I will bring on this place and on its inhabitants.”’” They brought back word to the king. 29 Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 The king went up to the LORD’s house, with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the Levites, and all the people, both great and small; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the LORD’s house. 31 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. 32 He caused all who were found in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand. The inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33 Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that belonged to the children of Israel, and made all who were found in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. All his days they didn’t depart from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-33

As the years of infancy cannot be useful to our fellow-creatures, our earliest youth should be dedicated to God, that we may not waste any of the remaining short space of life. Happy and wise are those who seek the Lord and prepare for usefulness at an early age, when others are pursuing sinful pleasures, contracting bad habits, and forming ruinous connexions. Who can express the anguish prevented by early piety, and its blessed effects? Diligent self-examination and watchfulness will convince us of the deceitfulness and wickedness of our own hearts, and the sinfulness of our lives. We are here encouraged to humble ourselves before God, and to seek unto him, as Josiah did. And believers are here taught, not to fear death, but to welcome it, when it takes them away from the evil to come. Nothing hastens the ruin of a people, nor ripens them for it, more than their disregard of the attempts made for their reformation. Be not deceived, God is not mocked. The current and tide of affections only turns at the command of Him who raises up those that are dead in trespasses and sins. We behold peculiar loveliness, in the grace the Lord bestows on those, who in tender years seek to know and to love the Saviour. Hath Jesus, the Day-spring from on high, visited you? Can you trace your knowledge of this light and life of man, like Josiah, from your youth? Oh the unspeakable happiness of becoming acquainted with Jesus from our earliest years!

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