1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king. He was king for thirty-one years in Jerusalem.
2 He did what Jehovah considered right. He lived in the ways of his ancestor David and never stopped living this way.
3 It was the eighth year of his reign. He was still a boy when he dedicated his life to service of the God of his ancestor David. In his twelfth year as king he purged Judah and Jerusalem by destroying the illegal places of worship, poles dedicated to the goddess Asherah, carved idols, and metal idols.
4 He tore down the altars of the Baal gods. He cut down the incense altars that were above them. He destroyed the Asherah poles, carved idols, and metal idols. He ground them into powder and scattered the powder over the tombs of those who had sacrificed to them.
5 He burned the bones of the priests on their altars. Thus he made Judah and Jerusalem clean.
6 In the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and as far as Naphtali, he removed all their temples.
7 Then he tore down the altars, beat the Asherah poles and idols into powder, and cut down all the incense altars everywhere in Israel. Then he went back to Jerusalem.
8 In his eighteenth year as king as he was making the land and the temple clean, Josiah sent Shaphan, son of Azaliah, Maaseiah, the mayor of the city, and Joah, the royal historian and son of Joahaz, to repair the Temple of Jehovah his God.
9 They came to the chief priest Hilkiah and gave him the money that had been brought into Gods Temple. It was the money that the Levite doorkeepers had collected from the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, from all who were left in Israel, from everyone in the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and from the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
10 They gave the money to the foremen who were in charge of Jehovahs Temple. These foremen gave it to the workmen who were restoring and repairing the Temple.
11 These workers included carpenters and builders. They were to buy quarried stones and wood for the fittings and beams of the buildings that the kings of Judah had allowed to become run-down.
12 The men did their work faithfully under the supervision of Jahath and Obadiah; Levites descended from Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam descendants of Kohath. The Levites, who were skilled musicians,
13 also supervised the workers and directed all the workmen on the various jobs. Some of the Levites served as scribes, officials, or gatekeepers.
14 At the time they brought out the money that had been deposited in Jehovahs Temple, the priest Hilkiah found the book of Jehovahs Law written by Moses.
15 Hilkiah told the scribe Shaphan: »I have found the book of the Law in Jehovahs Temple.« Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan.
16 Shaphan took the book to the king and reported: »We are doing everything you told us to do.
17 »We took the money that was donated in Jehovahs Temple and gave it to the supervisors and the workmen.«
18 The scribe Shaphan told the king: »The priest Hilkiah has given me a book.« Shaphan read it to the king.
19 As soon as the king heard what the Law said, he tore his clothes in distress.
20 Then the king gave an order to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, the scribe Shaphan, and the royal official Asaiah. He said:
21 »On behalf of those who are left in Israel and Judah and me, ask Jehovah about the words in this book that was found. Jehovahs fierce anger has been poured on us because our ancestors did not obey the word of Jehovah by doing everything written in this book.«
22 Hilkiah and the kings officials went to talk to the prophet Huldah about this matter. She was the wife of Shallum, son of Tokhath and grandson of Hasrah. Shallum was in charge of the royal wardrobe. Huldah was living in the Second Part of Jerusalem.
23 She told them: »This is what Jehovah the God of Israel says: »Tell the man who sent you to me,
24 »This is what Jehovah says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and on the people living here. This is according to the curses written in the book that was read to the king of Judah.
25 »I will do this because they have abandoned me. They have sacrificed to other gods in order to make me furious. Therefore, my anger will be poured on this place and it will not be extinguished.«
26 Huldah continued: »Tell Judahs king who sent you to me to ask Jehovah a question: This is what Jehovah the God of Israel says about the words you heard:
27 »»You had a change of heart and humbled yourself in front of God when you heard my words against this place and those who live here. You humbled yourself, tore your clothes in distress, and cried in front of me. So I will listen to you, proclaims Jehovah.
28 »That is why I am going to bring you to your ancestors. I am going to bring you to your grave in peace. Your eyes will not see any of the disaster I am going to bring on this place and those who live here.« « They reported this to the king.
29 The king sent for all the respected leaders of Judah and Jerusalem to join him.
30 The king, everyone in Judah, everyone living in Jerusalem, the priests, the Levites, and all the people, young and old, went up to Jehovahs Temple. He read everything written in the Book of the Covenant found in Jehovahs Temple so that they could hear it.
31 The king stood in his place and made a promise to Jehovah that he would follow Jehovah and obey his commandments, instructions, and laws with his entire heart and being. He said he would live by the terms of the covenant promise written in this book.
32 He also made all those found in Jerusalem and Benjamin join with him in the covenant. Then the people of Jerusalem lived according to the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors.
33 Josiah got rid of all the disgusting idols throughout Israelite territory. He required all people in Israel to serve Jehovah their God. As long as he lived, they did not stop following Jehovah the God of their ancestors.