May 26
     2 Chronicles 34:14 — 36:23

14 Now while they were bringing out the money that was being brought to the house of Jehovah, Hilkiah the priest found the book of Jehovah’s law by the hand of Moses. 15 So Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the secretary: “The very book of the law I have found in the house of Jehovah.” With that Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan. 16 Then Shaphan brought the book to the king and replied further to the king, saying: “All that has been put in the hand of your servants they are doing. 17 And they pour out the money that is found in the house of Jehovah and put it in the hand of the appointed men and into the hand of the doers of the work.” 18 And Shaphan the secretary went on to report to the king, saying: “There is a book that Hilkiah the priest gave me.” And Shaphan began to read out of it before the king.

19 And it came about that as soon as the king heard the words of the law, he immediately ripped his garments apart. 20 Then the king commanded Hilkiah and Ahikam the son of Shaphan and Abdon the son of Micah and Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying: 21 “Go, inquire of Jehovah in my own behalf and in behalf of what is left in Israel and in Judah concerning the words of the book that has been found, for great is Jehovah’s rage that must be poured out against us because of the fact that our forefathers did not keep the word of Jehovah by doing according to all that is written in this book.”

22 Accordingly Hilkiah along with those whom the king [had said] went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah the son of Harhas the caretaker of the garments, as she was dwelling in Jerusalem in the second quarter; and they proceeded to speak to her like this. 23 In turn she said to them:

“This is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said, ‘SAY to the man that sent YOU to me: 24 “This is what Jehovah has said, ‘Here I am bringing calamity upon this place and its inhabitants, all the curses that are written in the book that they read before the king of Judah, 25 due to the fact that they have left me and gone making sacrificial smoke to other gods, in order to offend me with all the doings of their hands and that my rage may pour forth upon this place and not be extinguished.’” 26 And to the king of Judah, who is sending YOU to inquire of Jehovah, this is what YOU should say to him: “This is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said, ‘As regards the words that you have heard, 27 for the reason that your heart was soft so that you humbled yourself because of God at your hearing his words concerning this place and its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before me and ripped your garments apart and wept before me, I, even I, have heard, is the utterance of Jehovah. 28 Here I am gathering you to your forefathers, and you will certainly be gathered to your graveyard in peace, and your eyes will not look upon all the calamity that I am bringing upon this place and its inhabitants.’”’”

Then they brought the reply to the king. 29 And the king proceeded to send and gather all the older men of Judah and of Jerusalem. 30 The king now went up to the house of Jehovah with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the Levites and all the people, the great as well as the small; and he began to read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant, which had been found at the house of Jehovah. 31 And the king kept standing in his place and proceeded to conclude the covenant before Jehovah to go following Jehovah and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his regulations with all his heart and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. 32 Furthermore, he had all those who were found in Jerusalem and Benjamin to take their stand [to it]. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem proceeded to do according to the covenant of God, the God of their forefathers. 33 After that Josiah removed all the detestable things out of all the lands that belonged to the sons of Israel, and he had all who were found in Israel take up service, to serve Jehovah their God. All his days they did not turn aside from following Jehovah the God of their forefathers.

35 Then Josiah held in Jerusalem a passover to Jehovah and they slaughtered the passover victim on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2 So he stationed the priests over the things under their care and encouraged them in the service of the house of Jehovah. 3 And he went on to say to the Levites, the instructors of all Israel, those holy to Jehovah: “Put the holy Ark in the house that Solomon the son of David the king of Israel built; it is not YOURS as a burden upon the shoulder. Now serve Jehovah YOUR God and his people Israel. 4 And make preparation by the house of YOUR forefathers according to YOUR divisions, by the writing of David the king of Israel and by the writing of Solomon his son. 5 And stand in the holy place by the classes of the house of the forefathers for YOUR brothers, the sons of the people, and the portion of a paternal house belonging to the Levites. 6 And slaughter the passover victim and sanctify yourselves and make preparation for YOUR brothers to do according to the word of Jehovah by means of Moses.”

7 Josiah now contributed to the sons of the people flocks, male lambs and male kids, the whole for the passover victims for all who were to be found, to the number of thirty thousand, and cattle, three thousand. These were from the goods of the king. 8 And his princes themselves made a contribution as a voluntary offering for the people, for the priests and for the Levites. Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel themselves as leaders of the house of the [true] God gave to the priests for the passover victims two thousand six hundred, and three hundred cattle. 9 And Conaniah and Shemaiah and Nethanel his brothers and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, the chiefs of the Levites, contributed to the Levites for passover victims five thousand, and five hundred cattle.

10 And the service was prepared and the priests kept standing at their places, and the Levites by their divisions, according to the king’s commandment. 11 And they proceeded to slaughter the passover victim and the priests sprinkled [the blood] from their hand, while the Levites were stripping the skins off. 12 Further, they prepared the burnt offerings so as to give them to the classes by the paternal house, to the sons of the people, so as to make a presentation to Jehovah according to what is written in the book of Moses; and thus also with the cattle. 13 And they went boiling the passover offering over the fire according to the custom; and the things made holy they boiled in cooking pots and in round-bottomed pots and in banquet bowls, after which they brought it quickly to all the sons of the people. 14 And afterward they prepared for themselves and for the priests, because the priests the sons of Aaron were engaged in offering up the burnt sacrifices and the fat pieces until night, and the Levites, for their part, prepared for themselves and for the priests the sons of Aaron.

15 And the singers the sons of Asaph were at their office according to the commandment of David and of Asaph and of Heman and of Jeduthun the visionary of the king; and the gatekeepers were at the different gates. There was no need for them to turn aside from their service, because their brothers the Levites themselves prepared for them. 16 And all the service of Jehovah was prepared on that day to hold the passover and to offer up the burnt offerings upon the altar of Jehovah, according to the commandment of King Josiah.

17 And the sons of Israel that were to be found proceeded to hold the passover at that time and also the festival of the unfermented cakes for seven days. 18 And there had never been held a passover like it in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet, neither had any of the other kings of Israel themselves held a passover like that which Josiah and the priests and the Levites and all Judah and Israel that were to be found and the inhabitants of Jerusalem held. 19 In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign this passover was held.

20 After all this when Josiah had prepared the house, Necho the king of Egypt came up to fight at Carchemish by the Euphrates. Then Josiah went out to an encounter with him. 21 At that he sent messengers to him, saying: “What do I have to do with you, O king of Judah? It is not against you that I am coming today, but it is against another house that my fight is and that God himself said that I should cause disturbance. Refrain for your own sake because of God, who is with me, and do not let him bring you to ruin.” 22 And Josiah did not turn his face away from him, but to fight against him he disguised himself and did not listen to the words of Necho from the mouth of God. So he came to fight in the valley plain of Megiddo.

23 And the shooters got to shoot at King Josiah, so that the king said to his servants: “Take me down, for I have been very severely wounded.” 24 Accordingly his servants took him down from the chariot and had him ride in the second war chariot that was his and brought him to Jerusalem. Thus he died and was buried in the graveyard of his forefathers; and all Judah and Jerusalem were mourning over Josiah. 25 And Jeremiah began to chant over Josiah; and all the male singers and female singers keep talking about Josiah in their dirges down till today; and they have them set as a regulation over Israel, and there they are written among the dirges.

26 As for the rest of the affairs of Josiah and his acts of loving-kindness, according to what is written in the law of Jehovah, 27 and his affairs, the first and the last, there they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.

36 Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah and made him king in the place of his father in Jerusalem. 2 Twenty-three years old was Jehoahaz when he began to reign, and for three months he reigned in Jerusalem. 3 However, the king of Egypt removed him in Jerusalem and fined the land a hundred silver talents and a gold talent. 4 Furthermore, the king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem and changed his name to Jehoiakim; but his brother Jehoahaz, Necho took and brought to Egypt.

5 Twenty-five years old was Jehoiakim when he began to reign, and for eleven years he reigned in Jerusalem; and he continued to do what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah his God. 6 Against him Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon came up that he might bind him with two fetters of copper to carry him off to Babylon. 7 And some of the utensils of the house of Jehovah Nebuchadnezzar brought to Babylon and then put them in his palace in Babylon. 8 As for the rest of the affairs of Jehoiakim and his detestable things that he did and what was to be found against him, there they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah; and Jehoiachin his son began to reign in place of him.

9 Eighteen years old was Jehoiachin when he began to reign, and for three months and ten days he reigned in Jerusalem; and he continued to do what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes. 10 And at the return of the year King Nebuchadnezzar sent and proceeded to bring him to Babylon with desirable articles of the house of Jehovah. Further, he made Zedekiah his [father’s] brother king over Judah and Jerusalem.

11 Twenty-one years old was Zedekiah when he began to reign, and for eleven years he reigned in Jerusalem. 12 And he continued to do what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah his God. He did not humble himself on account of Jeremiah the prophet at the order of Jehovah. 13 And even against King Nebuchadnezzar he rebelled, who had made him swear by God; and he kept stiffening his neck and hardening his heart so as not to return to Jehovah the God of Israel. 14 Even all the chiefs of the priests and the people themselves committed unfaithfulness on a large scale, according to all the detestable things of the nations, so that they defiled the house of Jehovah which he had sanctified in Jerusalem.

15 And Jehovah the God of their forefathers kept sending against them by means of his messengers, sending again and again, because he felt compassion for his people and for his dwelling. 16 But they were continually making jest at the messengers of the [true] God and despising his words and mocking at his prophets, until the rage of Jehovah came up against his people, until there was no healing.

17 So he brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who proceeded to kill their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, neither did he feel compassion for young man or virgin, old or decrepit. Everything He gave into his hand. 18 And all the utensils, great and small, of the house of the [true] God and the treasures of the house of Jehovah and the treasures of the king and of his princes, everything he brought to Babylon. 19 And he proceeded to burn the house of the [true] God and pull down the wall of Jerusalem; and all its dwelling towers they burned with fire and also all its desirable articles, so as to cause ruin. 20 Furthermore, he carried off those remaining from the sword captive to Babylon, and they came to be servants to him and his sons until the royalty of Persia began to reign; 21 to fulfill Jehovah’s word by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had paid off its sabbaths. All the days of lying desolated it kept sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.

22 And in the first year of Cyrus the king of Persia, that Jehovah’s word by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, Jehovah roused the spirit of Cyrus the king of Persia, so that he caused a cry to pass through all his kingdom, and also in writing, saying: 23 “This is what Cyrus the king of Persia has said, ‘All the kingdoms of the earth Jehovah the God of the heavens has given me, and he himself has commissioned me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among YOU of all his people, Jehovah his God be with him. So let him go up.’”