JOSIAH was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem.
And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and he turned neither to the right hand nor to the left.
For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still a little boy, he began to pray to the LORD the God of David his father;
and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Moreover he began to demolish altars, idols, carved images, and idol temples,
And the decorations, necklaces, bells, and all the trees that were made for idols, he broke in pieces and ground them to dust and scattered their ashes upon the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.
And the bones of the priests who served them, he dug out of their graves and brought them and burned them, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.
And so did he in the cities of Manasseh and Ephraim and Simeon and Naphtali, in their streets round about.
And when he had broken down the altars and smashed in pieces the images, and ground them into dust and scattered it throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem.
¶ Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land of Israel and his own house, he sent for Shaphan the son of Azaliah and Maasiah the scribe of the city, and said to them, Go, repair the house of the LORD your God.
And when they came to Hilkiah the high priest, they delivered the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, which the Levites the keepers of the doors had collected from Manasseh and Ephraim and from all the remnant of Israel and from all Judah and Benjamin and from all the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
And they delivered it into the hands of the workmen who had the oversight of the house of the LORD, and they gave it to the workmen who did the work in the house of the LORD, to repair and to plaster the house;
And they gave it also to the carpenters and to the masons and to those who bought precious stones and timber for the repairing and for the plastering of the house which the kings of Judah had destroyed.
And the men did the work of the sanctuary faithfully;
and the overseers over them were Nahat and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari;
and Zechariah and Shallum, of the sons of the Kohathites, and the singers and the Levites who played with the instruments of music,
And all those who did the work in any manner of service;
and of the Levites there were scribes and officers and porters who acted as overseers.
¶ And when they carried out the money that had been brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses.
And Hilkiah the priest said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD.
And Hilkiah the priest gave the book to Shaphan.
And Shaphan the scribe told the king what Hilkiah had told him, and brought him word, saying, All that you have committed to your servants, they do.
And they have spent the money for the repair of the house of the LORD, and have given account to the overseers and to the workmen.
Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.
And Shaphan read it before the king.
And it came to pass when the king had heard the words of the law, he tore his clothes.
Then the king commanded Hilkiah and Ahikam the son of Shaphan and Abchor the son of Micah and Shaphan the scribe and Asaiah the steward of the king’s household, saying,
Go, pray before the LORD for me and for the people of Israel and Judah concerning the words of this book that is found;
for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not hearkened to the words of the LORD to do after all that is written concerning us in this book.
So Hilkiah and those whom the king had appointed, went to Huldi the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Hisdah the keeper of the vessels (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in meditation) and they spoke to her according to the king’s command.
And she said to them.
Thus says the LORD God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you to me,
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,
Because they have forsaken me and have worshipped other gods and have provoked me to anger with the works of their hands;
therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched.
And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, SO shall you say to him: Thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the words which you have heard:
Because your heart was humbled, and you did tremble before the LORD when you heard these things which I will bring against this place and against its inhabitants, and have humbled yourself before me and have rent your clothes and wept before me;
I have heard you also, says the LORD.
Therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the evil that I will bring upon this place and upon its inhabitants.
So they brought back the word to the king.
Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.
And the king went up into 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, great and small;
and he read before them all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD.
And 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 statutes and his testimonies, with all his heart and with his whole soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.
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 the LORD God of their fathers.
And Josiah took away all the abominations which the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel, and he made all the people who were found in Israel to serve the LORD their God.
And they did not go astray from following the LORD God of their fathers.