2 Kings 23:1-37, NLT
2 Kings 23
Josiah’s Religious Reforms
1Then the king summoned all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.
4Then the king instructed Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second rank and the Temple gatekeepers to remove from the Lord’s Temple all the articles that were used to worship Baal, Asherah, and all the powers of the heavens. The king had all these things burned outside Jerusalem on the terraces of the Kidron Valley, and he carried the ashes away to Bethel.
8Josiah brought to Jerusalem all the priests who were living in other towns of Judah. He also defiled the pagan shrines, where they had offered sacrifices—all the way from Geba to Beersheba. He destroyed the shrines at the entrance to the gate of Joshua, the governor of Jerusalem. This gate was located to the left of the city gate as one enters the city.
10Then the king defiled the altar of Topheth in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, so no one could ever again use it to sacrifice a son or daughter in the fire*23:10 Or to make a son or daughter pass through the fire. as an offering to Molech.
12Josiah tore down the altars that the kings of Judah had built on the palace roof above the upper room of Ahaz. The king destroyed the altars that Manasseh had built in the two courtyards of the Lord’s Temple. He smashed them to bits*23:12 Or He quickly removed them. and scattered the pieces in the Kidron Valley.
15The king also tore down the altar at Bethel—the pagan shrine that Jeroboam son of Nebat had made when he caused Israel to sin. He burned down the shrine and ground it to dust, and he burned the Asherah pole.
Then Josiah turned and looked up at the tomb of the man of God*23:16 As in Greek version; Hebrew lacks when Jeroboam stood beside the altar at the festival. Then Josiah turned and looked up at the tomb of the man of God. who had predicted these things.
And the people of the town told him, “It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and predicted the very things that you have just done to the altar at Bethel!”
18Josiah replied, “Leave it alone. Don’t disturb his bones.” So they did not burn his bones or those of the old prophet from Samaria.
19Then Josiah demolished all the buildings at the pagan shrines in the towns of Samaria, just as he had done at Bethel. They had been built by the various kings of Israel and had made the Lord*23:19 As in Greek and Syriac versions and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew lacks the Lord. very angry.
Josiah Celebrates Passover
21King Josiah then issued this order to all the people: “You must celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, as required in this Book of the Covenant.”
24Josiah also got rid of the mediums and psychics, the household gods, the idols,*23:24 The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung. and every other kind of detestable practice, both in Jerusalem and throughout the land of Judah. He did this in obedience to the laws written in the scroll that Hilkiah the priest had found in the Lord’s Temple.
26Even so, the Lord was very angry with Judah because of all the wicked things Manasseh had done to provoke him.
28The rest of the events in Josiah’s reign and all his deeds are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah.
29While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, went to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah and his army marched out to fight him,*23:29a Or Josiah went out to meet him. but King Neco*23:29b Hebrew he. killed him when they met at Megiddo.
Jehoahaz Rules in Judah
31Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah.
33Pharaoh Neco put Jehoahaz in prison at Riblah in the land of Hamath to prevent him from ruling*23:33a The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. in Jerusalem. He also demanded that Judah pay 7,500 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold*23:33b Hebrew 100 talents [3,400 kilograms] of silver and 1 talent [34 kilograms] of gold. as tribute.
Jehoiakim Rules in Judah
34Pharaoh Neco then installed Eliakim, another of Josiah’s sons, to reign in place of his father, and he changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. Jehoahaz was taken to Egypt as a prisoner, where he died.
35In order to get the silver and gold demanded as tribute by Pharaoh Neco, Jehoiakim collected a tax from the people of Judah, requiring them to pay in proportion to their wealth.
36Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother was Zebidah, the daughter of Pedaiah from Rumah.