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2 Chronicles 30:1--35:27

Context
Hezekiah Observes the Passover

30:1 Hezekiah sent messages throughout Israel and Judah; he even wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, summoning them to come to the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem 1  and observe a Passover celebration for the Lord God of Israel. 30:2 The king, his officials, and the entire assembly in Jerusalem decided to observe the Passover in the second month. 30:3 They were unable to observe it at the regular 2  time because not enough priests had consecrated themselves and the people had not assembled in Jerusalem. 30:4 The proposal seemed appropriate to 3  the king and the entire assembly. 30:5 So they sent an edict 4  throughout Israel from Beer Sheba to Dan, summoning the people 5  to come and observe a Passover for the Lord God of Israel in Jerusalem, for they had not observed it on a nationwide scale as prescribed in the law. 6  30:6 Messengers 7  delivered the letters from the king and his officials throughout Israel and Judah.

This royal edict read: 8  “O Israelites, return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, so he may return 9  to you who have been spared from the kings of Assyria. 10  30:7 Don’t be like your fathers and brothers who were unfaithful to the Lord God of their ancestors, 11  provoking him to destroy them, 12  as you can see. 30:8 Now, don’t be stubborn 13  like your fathers! Submit 14  to the Lord and come to his sanctuary which he has permanently consecrated. Serve the Lord your God so that he might relent from his raging anger. 15  30:9 For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and sons will be shown mercy by their captors and return to this land. The Lord your God is merciful and compassionate; he will not reject you 16  if you return to him.”

30:10 The messengers journeyed from city to city through the land of Ephraim and Manasseh as far as Zebulun, but people mocked and ridiculed them. 17  30:11 But some men from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 30:12 In Judah God moved the people to unite and carry out the edict the king and the officers had issued at the Lord’s command. 18  30:13 A huge crowd assembled in Jerusalem to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month. 19  30:14 They removed the altars in Jerusalem; they also removed all the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley. 20 

30:15 They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and Levites were ashamed, so they consecrated themselves and brought burnt sacrifices to the Lord’s temple. 30:16 They stood at their posts according to the regulations outlined in the law of Moses, the man of God. The priests were splashing the blood as the Levites handed it to them. 21  30:17 Because many in the assembly had not consecrated themselves, the Levites slaughtered 22  the Passover lambs of all who were ceremonially unclean and could not consecrate their sacrifice to the Lord. 23  30:18 The majority of the many people from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun were ceremonially unclean, yet they ate the Passover in violation of what is prescribed in the law. 24  For Hezekiah prayed for them, saying: “May the Lord, who is good, forgive 25  30:19 everyone who has determined to follow God, 26  the Lord God of his ancestors, even if he is not ceremonially clean according to the standards of the temple.” 27  30:20 The Lord responded favorably 28  to Hezekiah and forgave 29  the people.

30:21 The Israelites who were in Jerusalem observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great joy. The Levites and priests were praising the Lord every day with all their might. 30  30:22 Hezekiah expressed his appreciation to all the Levites, 31  who demonstrated great skill in serving the Lord. 32  They feasted for the seven days of the festival, 33  and were making peace offerings and giving thanks to the Lord God of their ancestors.

30:23 The entire assembly then decided to celebrate for seven more days; so they joyfully celebrated for seven more days. 30:24 King Hezekiah of Judah supplied 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep 34  for the assembly, while the officials supplied them 35  with 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep. Many priests consecrated themselves. 30:25 The celebration included 36  the entire assembly of Judah, the priests, the Levites, the entire assembly of those who came from Israel, the resident foreigners who came from the land of Israel, and the residents of Judah. 30:26 There was a great celebration in Jerusalem, unlike anything that had occurred in Jerusalem since the time of King Solomon son of David of Israel. 37  30:27 The priests and Levites got up and pronounced blessings on the people. The Lord responded favorably to them 38  as their prayers reached his holy dwelling place in heaven.

31:1 When all this was over, the Israelites 39  who were in the cities of Judah went out and smashed the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherah poles, and demolished 40  all the high places and altars throughout Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh. 41  Then all the Israelites returned to their own homes in their cities. 42 

The People Contribute to the Temple

31:2 Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and Levites to do their assigned tasks 43  – to offer burnt sacrifices and present offerings and to serve, give thanks, and offer praise in the gates of the Lord’s sanctuary. 44 

31:3 The king contributed 45  some of what he owned for burnt sacrifices, including the morning and evening burnt sacrifices and the burnt sacrifices made on Sabbaths, new moon festivals, and at other appointed times prescribed 46  in the law of the Lord. 31:4 He ordered 47  the people living in Jerusalem 48  to contribute the portion prescribed for the priests and Levites so they might be obedient 49  to the law of the Lord. 31:5 When the edict was issued, 50  the Israelites freely contributed 51  the initial portion of their grain, wine, olive oil, honey, and all the produce of their fields. They brought a tenth of everything, which added up to a huge amount. 31:6 The Israelites and people of Judah 52  who lived in the cities of Judah also contributed a tenth of their cattle and sheep, as well as a tenth of the holy items consecrated to the Lord their God. They brought them and placed them in many heaps. 53  31:7 In the third month they began piling their contributions in heaps 54  and finished in the seventh month. 31:8 When Hezekiah and the officials came and saw the heaps, they praised the Lord and pronounced blessings on his people Israel. 55 

31:9 When Hezekiah asked the priests and Levites about the heaps, 31:10 Azariah, the head priest from the family of Zadok, said to him, “Since the contributions began arriving in the Lord’s temple, we have had plenty to eat and have a large quantity left over. For the Lord has blessed his people, and this large amount remains.” 31:11 Hezekiah ordered that storerooms be prepared in the Lord’s temple. When this was done, 56  31:12 they brought in the contributions, tithes, 57  and consecrated items that had been offered. 58  Konaniah, a Levite, was in charge of all this, assisted by his brother Shimei. 31:13 Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismakiah, Mahath, and Benaiah worked under the supervision of Konaniah and his brother Shimei, as directed by King Hezekiah and Azariah, the supervisor of God’s temple.

31:14 Kore son of Imnah, a Levite and the guard on the east side, was in charge of the voluntary offerings made to God and disbursed the contributions made to the Lord and the consecrated items. 31:15 In the cities of the priests, Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah faithfully assisted him in making disbursements to their fellow priests 59  according to their divisions, regardless of age. 60  31:16 They made disbursements to all the males three years old and up who were listed in the genealogical records – to all who would enter the Lord’s temple to serve on a daily basis and fulfill their duties as assigned to their divisions. 61  31:17 They made disbursements to the priests listed in the genealogical records by their families, and to the Levites twenty years old and up, according to their duties as assigned to their divisions, 31:18 and to all the infants, wives, sons, and daughters of the entire assembly listed in the genealogical records, for they faithfully consecrated themselves. 31:19 As for the descendants of Aaron, the priests who lived in the outskirts of all their cities, 62  men were assigned 63  to disburse portions to every male among the priests and to every Levite listed in the genealogical records.

31:20 This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah. He did what the Lord his God considered good and right and faithful. 31:21 He wholeheartedly and successfully reinstituted service in God’s temple and obedience to the law, in order to follow his God. 64 

Sennacherib Invades Judah

32:1 After these faithful deeds were accomplished, King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah. He besieged the fortified cities, intending to seize them. 65  32:2 When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had invaded and intended to attack Jerusalem, 66  32:3 he consulted with his advisers and military officers about stopping up the springs 67  outside the city, and they supported him. 32:4 A large number of people gathered together and stopped up all the springs and the stream that flowed through the district. 68  They reasoned, 69  “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?” 32:5 Hezekiah 70  energetically rebuilt 71  every broken wall. He erected towers and an outer wall, 72  and fortified the terrace of the City of David. 73  He made many weapons and shields.

32:6 He appointed military officers over the army 74  and assembled them in the square at the city gate. He encouraged them, 75  saying, 32:7 “Be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic 76  because of the king of Assyria and this huge army that is with him! We have with us one who is stronger than those who are with him. 77  32:8 He has with him mere human strength, 78  but the Lord our God is with us to help us and fight our battles!” The army 79  was encouraged by the words of King Hezekiah of Judah.

32:9 Afterward King Sennacherib of Assyria, while attacking Lachish with all his military might, sent his messengers 80  to Jerusalem. The message was for King Hezekiah of Judah and all the people of 81  Judah who were in Jerusalem. It read: 32:10 “This is what King Sennacherib of Assyria says: ‘Why are you so confident that you remain in Jerusalem while it is under siege? 82  32:11 Hezekiah says, “The Lord our God will rescue us from the power 83  of the king of Assyria.” But he is misleading you and you will die of hunger and thirst! 84  32:12 Hezekiah is the one who eliminated 85  the Lord’s 86  high places and altars and then told Judah and Jerusalem, “At one altar you must worship and offer sacrifices.” 32:13 Are you not aware of what I and my predecessors 87  have done to all the nations of the surrounding lands? Have the gods of the surrounding lands actually been able to rescue their lands from my power? 88  32:14 Who among all the gods of these nations whom my predecessors annihilated was able to rescue his people from my power? 89  32:15 Now don’t let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you like this. Don’t believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to rescue his people from my power or the power of my predecessors. So how 90  can your gods rescue 91  you from my power?’”

32:16 Sennacherib’s 92  servants further insulted 93  the Lord God and his servant Hezekiah. 32:17 He wrote letters mocking the Lord God of Israel and insulting him with these words: 94  “The gods of the surrounding nations could not rescue their people from my power. Neither can Hezekiah’s god rescue his people from my power.” 95  32:18 They called out loudly in the Judahite dialect to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, trying to scare and terrify them so they could seize the city. 32:19 They talked about the God of Jerusalem as if he were one of the man-made gods of the nations of the earth.

32:20 King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz prayed about this and cried out to heaven. 32:21 The Lord sent a messenger 96  and he wiped out all the soldiers, princes, and officers in the army of the king of Assyria. So Sennacherib 97  returned home humiliated. 98  When he entered the temple of his god, some of his own sons 99  struck him down with the sword. 32:22 The Lord delivered Hezekiah and the residents of Jerusalem from the power of King Sennacherib of Assyria and from all the other nations. 100  He made them secure on every side. 101  32:23 Many were bringing presents 102  to the Lord in Jerusalem and precious gifts to King Hezekiah of Judah. From that time on he was respected by 103  all the nations.

Hezekiah’s Shortcomings and Accomplishments

32:24 In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness. 104  He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a sign confirming that he would be healed. 105  32:25 But Hezekiah was ungrateful; he had a proud attitude, provoking God to be angry at him, as well as Judah and Jerusalem. 106  32:26 But then Hezekiah and the residents of Jerusalem humbled themselves and abandoned their pride, and the Lord was not angry with them for the rest of Hezekiah’s reign. 107 

32:27 Hezekiah was very wealthy and greatly respected. He made storehouses for his silver, gold, precious stones, spices, and all his other valuable possessions. 108  32:28 He made storerooms for the harvest of grain, wine, and olive oil, and stalls for all his various kinds of livestock and his flocks. 109  32:29 He built royal cities 110  and owned a large number of sheep and cattle, for God gave him a huge amount of possessions.

32:30 Hezekiah dammed up the source of the waters of the Upper Gihon and directed them down to the west side of the City of David. 111  Hezekiah succeeded in all that he did. 32:31 So when the envoys arrived from the Babylonian officials to visit him and inquire about the sign that occurred in the land, 112  God left him alone to test him, in order to know his true motives. 113 

32:32 The rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign, including his faithful deeds, are recorded in the vision of the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz, included in the Scroll of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 114  32:33 Hezekiah passed away 115  and was buried on the ascent of the tombs of the descendants of David. All the people of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem buried him with great honor. 116  His son Manasseh replaced him as king.

Manasseh’s Reign

33:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 117  33:2 He did evil in the sight of 118  the Lord and committed the same horrible sins practiced by the nations 119  whom the Lord drove out ahead of the Israelites. 33:3 He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he set up altars for the Baals and made Asherah poles. He bowed down to all the stars in the sky 120  and worshiped 121  them. 33:4 He built altars in the Lord’s temple, about which the Lord had said, “Jerusalem will be my permanent home.” 122  33:5 In the two courtyards of the Lord’s temple he built altars for all the stars in the sky. 33:6 He passed his sons through the fire 123  in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom and practiced divination, omen reading, and sorcery. He set up a ritual pit to conjure up underworld spirits and appointed magicians to supervise it. 124  He did a great amount of evil in the sight of the Lord and angered him. 125  33:7 He put an idolatrous image he had made in God’s temple, about which God had said to David and to his son Solomon, “This temple in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will be my permanent home. 126  33:8 I will not make Israel again leave the land I gave to their ancestors, 127  provided that they carefully obey all I commanded them, the whole law, the rules and regulations given to Moses.” 33:9 But Manasseh misled the people of 128  Judah and the residents of Jerusalem so that they sinned more than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed ahead of the Israelites.

33:10 The Lord confronted 129  Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 33:11 So the Lord brought against them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria. They seized Manasseh, put hooks in his nose, 130  bound him with bronze chains, and carried him away to Babylon. 33:12 In his pain 131  Manasseh 132  asked the Lord his God for mercy 133  and truly 134  humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. 135  33:13 When he prayed to the Lord, 136  the Lord 137  responded to him 138  and answered favorably 139  his cry for mercy. The Lord 140  brought him back to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh realized that the Lord is the true God.

33:14 After this Manasseh 141  built up the outer wall of the City of David 142  on the west side of the Gihon in the valley to the entrance of the Fish Gate and all around the terrace; he made it much higher. He placed army officers in all the fortified cities in Judah.

33:15 He removed the foreign gods and images from the Lord’s temple and all the altars he had built on the hill of the Lord’s temple and in Jerusalem; he threw them outside the city. 33:16 He erected the altar of the Lord and offered on it peace offerings and thank offerings. He told the people of 143  Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel. 33:17 The people continued to offer sacrifices at the high places, but only to the Lord their God.

33:18 The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign, including his prayer to his God and the words the prophets 144  spoke to him in the name of the Lord God of Israel, are recorded 145  in the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 33:19 The Annals of the Prophets include his prayer, give an account of how the Lord responded to it, record all his sins and unfaithful acts, and identify the sites where he built high places and erected Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself. 146  33:20 Manasseh passed away 147  and was buried in his palace. His son Amon replaced him as king.

Amon’s Reign

33:21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned for two years in Jerusalem. 148  33:22 He did evil in the sight of 149  the Lord, just like his father Manasseh had done. He offered sacrifices to all the idols his father Manasseh had made, and worshiped 150  them. 33:23 He did not humble himself before the Lord as his father Manasseh had done. 151  Amon was guilty of great sin. 152  33:24 His servants conspired against him and killed him in his palace. 33:25 The people of the land executed all who had conspired against King Amon, and they 153  made his son Josiah king in his place.

Josiah Institutes Religious Reforms

34:1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 154  34:2 He did what the Lord approved 155  and followed in his ancestor David’s footsteps; 156  he did not deviate to the right or the left.

34:3 In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his ancestor 157  David. In his twelfth year he began ridding 158  Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, Asherah poles, idols, and images. 34:4 He ordered the altars of the Baals to be torn down, 159  and broke the incense altars that were above them. He smashed the Asherah poles, idols and images, crushed them up and sprinkled the dust over the tombs of those who had sacrificed to them. 34:5 He burned the bones of the pagan priests 160  on their altars; he purified Judah and Jerusalem. 34:6 In the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, as far as Naphtali, and in the ruins 161  around them, 34:7 he tore down the altars and Asherah poles, demolished the idols, and smashed all the incense altars throughout the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

34:8 In the eighteenth year of his reign, he continued his policy of purifying the land and the temple. 162  He sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the city official, and Joah son of Joahaz the secretary to repair the temple of the Lord his God. 34:9 They went to Hilkiah the high priest and gave him the silver that had been brought to God’s temple. The Levites who guarded the door had collected it from the people of 163  Manasseh and Ephraim and from all who were left in Israel, as well as from all the people of 164  Judah and Benjamin and the residents of 165  Jerusalem. 34:10 They handed it over to the construction foremen 166  assigned to the Lord’s temple. They in turn paid the temple workers to restore and repair it. 167  34:11 They gave money to the craftsmen and builders to buy chiseled stone and wood for the braces and rafters of the buildings that the kings of Judah had allowed to fall into disrepair. 168  34:12 The men worked faithfully. Their supervisors were Jahath and Obadiah (Levites descended from Merari), as well as Zechariah and Meshullam (descendants of Kohath). The Levites, all of whom were skilled musicians, 34:13 supervised the laborers and all the foremen on their various jobs. 169  Some of the Levites were scribes, officials, and guards.

34:14 When they took out the silver that had been brought to the Lord’s temple, Hilkiah the priest found the law scroll the Lord had given to Moses. 34:15 Hilkiah informed Shaphan the scribe, “I found the law scroll in the Lord’s temple.” Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan. 34:16 Shaphan brought the scroll to the king and reported, 170  “Your servants are doing everything assigned to them. 34:17 They melted down the silver in the Lord’s temple 171  and handed it over to the supervisors of the construction foremen.” 34:18 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” Shaphan read it out loud before the king. 34:19 When the king heard the words of the law scroll, he tore his clothes. 34:20 The king ordered Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, 172  Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant, 34:21 “Go, seek an oracle from 173  the Lord for me and those who remain in Israel and Judah. Find out about 174  the words of this scroll that has been discovered. For the Lord’s fury has been ignited against us, 175  because our ancestors 176  have not obeyed the word of the Lord by doing all that this scroll instructs!” 177 

34:22 So Hilkiah and the others sent by the king 178  went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, 179  the supervisor of the wardrobe. 180  (She lived in Jerusalem in the Mishneh 181  district.) They stated their business, 182  34:23 and she said to them: “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘Say this to the man who sent you to me: 34:24 “This is what the Lord says: ‘I am about to bring disaster on this place and its residents, the details of which are recorded in the scroll which they read before the king of Judah. 34:25 This will happen because they have abandoned me and offered sacrifices 183  to other gods, angering me with all the idols they have made. 184  My anger will ignite against this place and will not be extinguished!’” 34:26 Say this to the king of Judah, who sent you to seek an oracle from the Lord: “This is what the Lord God of Israel says concerning the words you have heard: 34:27 ‘You displayed a sensitive spirit 185  and humbled yourself before God when you heard his words concerning this place and its residents. You humbled yourself before me, tore your clothes and wept before me, and I have heard you,’ says the Lord. 34:28 ‘Therefore I will allow you to die and be buried in peace. 186  You will not have to witness all the disaster I will bring on this place and its residents.’”’” Then they reported back to the king.

34:29 The king summoned all the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem. 187  34:30 The king went up to the Lord’s temple, accompanied by all the people of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem, the priests, and the Levites. All the people were there, from the oldest to the youngest. He read aloud all the words of the scroll of the covenant that had been discovered in the Lord’s temple. 34:31 The king stood by his pillar 188  and renewed 189  the covenant before the Lord, agreeing to follow 190  the Lord and to obey his commandments, laws, and rules with all his heart and being, 191  by carrying out the terms 192  of this covenant recorded on this scroll. 34:32 He made all who were in Jerusalem and Benjamin agree to it. 193  The residents of Jerusalem acted in accordance with the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors. 34:33 Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the areas belonging to the Israelites and encouraged 194  all who were in Israel to worship the Lord their God. Throughout the rest of his reign 195  they did not turn aside from following the Lord God of their ancestors.

Josiah Observes the Passover

35:1 Josiah observed a Passover festival for the Lord in Jerusalem. 196  They slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month. 35:2 He appointed the priests to fulfill their duties and encouraged them to carry out their service in the Lord’s temple. 35:3 He told the Levites, who instructed all Israel about things consecrated to the Lord, “Place the holy ark in the temple which King Solomon son of David of Israel built. Don’t carry it on your shoulders. Now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel! 35:4 Prepare yourselves by your families according to your divisions, as instructed 197  by King David of Israel and his son Solomon. 35:5 Stand in the sanctuary and, together with the Levites, represent the family divisions of your countrymen. 198  35:6 Slaughter the Passover lambs, consecrate yourselves, and make preparations for your countrymen to do what the Lord commanded through Moses.” 199 

35:7 From his own royal flocks and herds, Josiah supplied the people with 30,000 lambs and goats for the Passover sacrifice, as well as 3,000 cattle. 200  35:8 His officials also willingly contributed to the people, priests, and Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the leaders of God’s temple, supplied 2,600 Passover sacrifices and 300 cattle. 35:9 Konaniah and his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, along with Hashabiah, Jeiel, and Jozabad, the officials of the Levites, supplied the Levites with 5,000 Passover sacrifices and 500 cattle. 35:10 Preparations were made, 201  and the priests stood at their posts and the Levites in their divisions as prescribed by the king. 35:11 They slaughtered the Passover lambs and the priests splashed the blood, 202  while the Levites skinned the animals. 35:12 They reserved the burnt offerings and the cattle for the family divisions of the people to present to the Lord, as prescribed in the scroll of Moses. 203  35:13 They cooked the Passover sacrifices over the open fire as prescribed and cooked the consecrated offerings in pots, kettles, and pans. They quickly served them to all the people. 35:14 Afterward they made preparations for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were offering burnt sacrifices and fat portions until evening. The Levites made preparations for themselves and for the priests, the descendants of Aaron. 35:15 The musicians, the descendants of Asaph, manned their posts, as prescribed by David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s prophet. 204  The guards at the various gates did not need to leave their posts, for their fellow Levites made preparations for them. 35:16 So all the preparations for the Lord’s service were made that day, as the Passover was observed and the burnt sacrifices were offered on the altar of the Lord, as prescribed by King Josiah. 35:17 So the Israelites who were present observed the Passover at that time, as well as the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. 35:18 A Passover like this had not been observed in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet. None of the kings of Israel had observed a Passover like the one celebrated by Josiah, the priests, the Levites, all the people of Judah and Israel who were there, and the residents of Jerusalem. 35:19 This Passover was observed in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign.

Josiah’s Reign Ends

35:20 After Josiah had done all this for the temple, 205  King Necho of Egypt marched up to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River. 206  Josiah marched out to oppose him. 35:21 Necho 207  sent messengers to him, saying, “Why are you opposing me, O king of Judah? 208  I am not attacking you today, but the kingdom with which I am at war. 209  God told me to hurry. Stop opposing God, who is with me, or else he will destroy you.” 210  35:22 But Josiah did not turn back from him; 211  he disguised himself for battle. He did not take seriously 212  the words of Necho which he had received from God; he went to fight him in the Plain of Megiddo. 213  35:23 Archers shot King Josiah; the king ordered his servants, “Take me out of this chariot, 214  for I am seriously wounded.” 35:24 So his servants took him out of the chariot, put him in another chariot that he owned, and brought him to Jerusalem, 215  where he died. He was buried in the tombs of his ancestors; 216  all the people of Judah and Jerusalem mourned Josiah. 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah which all the male and female singers use to mourn Josiah to this very day. It has become customary in Israel to sing these; they are recorded in the Book of Laments.

35:26 The rest of the events of Josiah’s reign, including the faithful acts he did in obedience to what is written in the law of the Lord 217  35:27 and his accomplishments, from start to finish, are recorded 218  in the Scroll of the Kings of Israel and Judah.

1 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

2 tn Heb “at that time.”

3 tn Heb “and the thing was proper in the eyes of.”

4 tn Heb “and they caused to stand a word to cause a voice to pass through.”

5 tn The words “summoning the people” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

6 tn Heb “because not for abundance had they done as written.”

7 tn Heb “the runners.”

8 tn Heb “and according to the command of the king, saying.”

9 tn The jussive with vav conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.

10 tn Heb “to the survivors who are left to you from the palm of the kings of Assyria.”

11 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 19, 22).

12 tn Heb “and he made them a devastation” (or, perhaps, “an object of horror”).

13 tn Heb “don’t stiffen your neck” (a Hebrew idiom for being stubborn).

14 tn Heb “give a hand.” On the meaning of the idiom here, see HALOT 387 s.v. I יָד 2.

15 tn Heb “so that the rage of his anger might turn from you.” The jussive with vav conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.

16 tn Heb “turn [his] face from you.”

17 tn Heb “and they were mocking them and ridiculing them.”

18 tn Heb “also in Judah the hand of God was to give to them one heart to do the command of the king and the officials by the word of the Lord.”

19 tn The Hebrew text adds here, “a very large assembly.” This has not been translated to avoid redundancy with the expression “a huge crowd” at the beginning of the verse.

20 tn Heb “and they arose and removed the altars which were in Jerusalem, and all the incense altars they removed and threw into the Kidron Valley.”

21 tn Heb “from the hand of the Levites.”

22 tn Heb “were over the slaughter of.”

23 tn Heb “of everyone not pure to consecrate to the Lord.”

24 tn Heb “without what is written.”

25 tn Heb “make atonement for.”

26 tn Heb “everyone [who] has prepared his heart to seek God.”

27 tn Heb “and not according to the purification of the holy place.”

28 tn Heb “listened.”

29 tn Heb “healed.”

30 tn Heb “and they were praising the Lord day by day, the Levites and the priests with instruments of strength to the Lord.” The phrase בִּכְלֵי־עֹז (bikhley-oz, “with instruments of strength”) might refer to loud sounding musical instruments (NASB “with loud instruments”; NEB “with unrestrained fervour”). The present translation assumes an emendation to בְּכָל־עֹז (bÿkhol-oz, “with all strength”); see 1 Chr 13:8, as well as HALOT 805 s.v. I עֹז and BDB 739 s.v. עֹז).

31 tn Heb “and Hezekiah spoke to the heart of all the Levites.” On the meaning of the idiom “speak to the heart of” here, see HALOT 210 s.v. II דבר 8.d.

32 tn Heb “who demonstrated skill [with] good skill for the Lord.”

33 tn Heb “and they ate [during] the appointed time [for] seven days.” מוֹעֵד (moed, “appointed time”) is probably an adverbial accusative of time referring to the festival. However, some understand it as metonymically referring to the food eaten during the festival. See BDB 417 s.v.

34 tn The Hebrew term צֹאן (tson, translated “sheep” twice in this verse) denotes smaller livestock in general; depending on context it can refer to sheep only or goats only, but their is nothing in the immediate context here to specify one or the other.

35 tn Heb “the assembly.” The pronoun “them” has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy.

36 tn Heb “they rejoiced.”

37 tn Heb “and there was great joy in Jerusalem, for from the days of Solomon son of David, king of Israel, there was nothing like this in Jerusalem.”

38 tn Heb “and it was heard with their voice.” BDB 1034 s.v. שָׁמַע Niph.4 interprets this to mean “hearing was granted to their voice.” It is possible that the name יְהוָה (yÿhvah, “the Lord”) has been accidentally omitted.

39 tn Heb “all Israel.”

40 tn Or “tore down.”

41 tn Heb “the high places and the altars from all Judah and Benjamin and in Ephraim and in Manasseh until finished.”

42 tn Heb “and the sons of Israel returned, each to his possession to their cities.”

43 tn Heb “and Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and the Levites according to their divisions, each in accordance with his service for the priests and for the Levites.”

44 tn Heb “in the gates of the encampments of the Lord.”

45 tn Heb “the portion of the king [was].”

46 tn Heb “as written.”

47 tn Heb “said to.”

48 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

49 tn Heb “might hold firmly.”

50 tn Heb “and when the word spread out.”

51 tn Heb “the sons of Israel multiplied.”

52 tn Heb “and the sons of Israel and Judah.”

53 tn Heb “heaps, heaps.” Repetition of the noun draws attention to the large number of heaps.

54 tn Heb “they began the heaps, to establish.”

55 tn Heb “they blessed the Lord and his people Israel.”

56 tn Heb “and they prepared.”

57 tn Heb “tenth.”

58 tn Heb “and holy things in faithfulness.”

59 tn Heb “to their brothers.”

60 tn Heb “like great, like small” (i.e., old and young alike).

61 tn Heb “in addition enrolling them by males from a son of three years and upwards, to everyone who enters the house of the Lord for a matter of a day in its day, for their service by their duties according to their divisions.”

62 tn Heb “the priests in the fields of the pastureland of their cities in every city and city.”

63 tn Heb “designated by names.”

64 tn Heb “and in all the work which he began with regard to the service of the house of God and with respect to the law and with respect to the commandment, to seek his God; with all his heart he acted and he succeeded.”

65 tn Heb “and he said to break into them for himself.”

66 tn Heb “and his face was for war against Jerusalem.”

map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

67 tn Heb “the waters of the springs.”

68 tn Heb “and they closed up all the springs and the stream that flows in the midst of the land.” Here אָרֶץ (’arets, “land”) does not refer to the entire land, but to a smaller region like a district.

69 tn Heb “land, saying.”

70 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Hezekiah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

71 tn Heb “strengthened himself and built.”

72 tn Heb “and outside the wall another one.”

73 sn The phrase the City of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7.

74 tn Heb “and he placed officers of war over the people.”

75 tn Heb “he spoke to their heart[s].”

76 tn Or perhaps, “and don’t be discouraged.”

77 tn Heb “for with us [is] a greater [one] than with him.”

78 tn Heb “With him is an arm of flesh.”

79 tn Or “people.”

80 tn Heb “servants.”

81 tn Heb “all Judah.” The words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the name “Judah” here by metonymy for the people of Judah.

82 tn Heb “On what are you trusting that [you] are living during the siege in Jerusalem.”

83 tn Heb “hand.”

84 tn Heb “Is not Hezekiah misleading you to give you over to die by hunger and thirst, saying, ‘The Lord our God will rescue us from the hand of the king of Assyria’?’

85 tn Heb “Did not he, Hezekiah, eliminate…?” This rhetorical question presupposes a positive reply (“yes, he did”) and so has been translated here as a positive statement.

86 tn Heb “his”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

87 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 14, 15), but in this context the term does not necessarily refer to Sennacherib’s ancestors, but to his predecessors on the Assyrian throne.

88 tn Heb “hand.”

89 tn Heb “hand.”

90 tn Heb “how much less.”

91 tn The verb is plural, suggesting that the preceding אֱלֹהֵיכֶם (’elohekhem) be translated “your gods,” rather than “your God.”

92 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Sennacherib) has been specified in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

93 tn Heb “spoke against.”

94 tn Heb “and speaking against him, saying.”

95 tn Heb “Like the gods of the nations of the lands who did not rescue their people from my hand, so the god of Hezekiah will not rescue his people from my hand.”

96 tn Or “an angel.”

97 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Sennacherib) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

98 tn Heb “and he returned with shame of face to his land.”

99 tn Heb “and some from those who went out from him, from his inward parts.”

100 tn Heb “and from the hand of all.”

101 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “and he led him from all around.” However, the present translation assumes an emendation to וַיָּנַח לָהֶם מִסָּבִיב (vayyanakh lahem missaviv, “and he gave rest to them from all around”). See 2 Chr 15:15 and 20:30.

102 tn Or perhaps, “offerings.”

103 tn Heb “lifted up in the eyes of.”

104 tn Heb “was sick to the point of dying.”

105 tn Heb “and he spoke to him and a sign he gave to him.”

106 tn Heb “but not according to the benefit [given] to him did Hezekiah repay, for his heart was high, and there was anger against him and against Judah and Jerusalem.”

map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

107 tn Heb “and Hezekiah humbled himself in the height of his heart, he and the residents of Jerusalem, and the anger of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.”

108 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “and shields and all the desirable items.” The present translation assumes an emendation of מָגִנִּים (maginnim, “shields”) to מִגְדָּנִים (migdanim, “precious items”). See v. 23.

109 tn Heb “and stalls for all beasts and beasts, and flocks for the stalls.” The repetition of בְהֵמָה (bÿhemah, “beast”) here indicates various kinds of livestock.

110 tn Heb “and cities he made for himself.”

111 sn The phrase the City of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7.

112 tn Heb “and when the envoys of the officials of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire concerning the sign which was in the land, [arrived].”

113 tn Heb “to know all [that was] in his heart.”

114 tn Heb “and the rest of the deeds of Hezekiah and his faithful acts, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah son of Amoz the prophet upon the scroll of the kings of Judah and Israel.”

115 tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”

116 tn Heb “and honor they did to him in his death, all Judah and the residents of Jerusalem.”

117 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

118 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”

119 tn Heb “like the abominable practices of the nations.”

120 tn The phrase כָל צְבָא הֲַשָּׁמַיִם (khol tsÿvahashamayim), traditionally translated “all the host of heaven,” refers to the heavenly lights, including stars and planets. In 1 Kgs 22:19 these heavenly bodies are pictured as members of the Lord’s royal court or assembly, but many other texts view them as the illegitimate objects of pagan and Israelite worship.

121 tn Or “served.”

122 tn Heb “In Jerusalem my name will be permanently.”

123 tn Or “he sacrificed his sons in the fire.” This may refer to child sacrifice, though some interpret it as a less drastic cultic practice (NEB, NASV “made his sons pass through the fire”; NIV “sacrificed his sons in the fire”; NRSV “made his sons pass through fire”). For discussion see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 266-67.

124 tn Heb “and he set up a ritual pit, along with a conjurer.” Hebrew אוֹב (’ov, “ritual pit”) refers to a pit used by a magician to conjure up underworld spirits. In 1 Sam 28:7 the witch of Endor is called a בַּעֲלַת אוֹב (baalatov, “owner of a ritual pit”). See H. Hoffner, “Second Millennium Antecedents to the Hebrew ’OñBù,” JBL 86 (1967): 385-401.

125 tn Heb “and he multiplied doing what is evil in the eyes of the Lord, angering him.”

126 tn Heb “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I chose from all the tribes of Israel, I will place my name permanently” (or perhaps “forever”).

127 tn Heb “I will not again make the feet of Israel wander from the land which I established for their fathers.”

128 tn Heb “misled Judah.” The words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the name “Judah” here by metonymy for the people of Judah.

129 tn Heb “spoke to.”

130 tn Heb “and they seized him with hooks.”

131 tn Or “distress.”

132 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Manasseh) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

133 tn Heb “appeased the face of the Lord his God.”

134 tn Or “greatly.”

135 tn Heb “fathers.”

136 tn Heb “him”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

137 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

138 tn Heb “was entreated by him,” or “allowed himself to be entreated by him.”

139 tn Heb “heard.”

140 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

141 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Manasseh) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

142 sn The phrase the City of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7.

143 tn Heb “told Judah.” The words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the name “Judah” here by metonymy for the people of Judah.

144 tn Or “seers.”

145 tn Heb “look, they are.”

146 tn Heb “and his prayer and being entreated by him, and all his sin and his unfaithfulness and the places where he built high places and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself – behold, they are written on the words of his seers.”

147 tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”

148 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

149 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”

150 tn Or “served.”

151 tn Heb “as Manasseh his father had humbled himself.”

152 tn Heb “for he, Amon, multiplied guilt.”

153 tn Heb “and the people of the land.”

154 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

155 tn Heb “he did what was proper in the eyes of the Lord.”

156 tn Heb “and walked in the ways of David his father.”

157 tn Heb “father.”

158 tn Heb “purifying.”

159 tn Heb “and they tore down before him the altars of the Baals.”

160 tn Heb “the priests”; the qualifying adjective “pagan” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

161 tn “In their ruins” is the marginal reading (Qere) of the Hebrew text.

162 tn Heb “to purify the land and the house.”

163 tn Heb “from Manasseh and Ephraim.” The words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the names “Manasseh and Ephraim” here by metonymy for the people of Manasseh and Ephraim.

164 tn Heb “all Judah and Benjamin.” The words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the names “Judah and Benjamin” here by metonymy for the people of Judah and Benjamin.

165 tc The Hebrew consonantal text (Kethib) assumes the reading, “and the residents of.” The marginal reading (Qere) is “and they returned.”

166 tn Heb “doer[s] of the work.”

167 tn Heb “and they gave it to the doers of the work who were working in the house of the Lord to restore and to repair the house.”

168 tn Heb “of the houses that the kings of Judah had destroyed.”

169 tn Heb “[were] over the laborers and were directing every doer of work for work assignment and work assignment.”

170 tn Heb “returned still the king a word, saying.”

171 tn Heb “that was found in the house of the Lord.”

172 tn The parallel account in 2 Kgs 22:12 has the variant spelling “Acbor son of Micaiah.”

173 tn Or “inquire of.”

174 tn Heb “concerning.”

175 tn Heb “for great is the anger of the Lord which has been ignited against us.”

176 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 32, 33).

177 tn Heb “by doing according to all that is written on this scroll.”

178 tn Heb “and those who [were sent by] the king.”

179 tn The parallel account in 2 Kgs 22:14 has the variant spelling “son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas.”

180 tn Heb “the keeper of the clothes.”

181 tn Or “second.” For a discussion of the possible location of this district, see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 283.

182 tn Heb “and they spoke to her like this.”

183 tn Or “burned incense.”

184 tn Heb “angering me with all the work of their hands.” The present translation assumes this refers to idols they have manufactured (note the preceding reference to “other gods”). However, it is possible that this is a general reference to their sinful practices, in which case one might translate, “angering me by all the things they do.”

185 tn Heb “Because your heart was tender.”

186 tn Heb “Therefore, behold, I am gathering you to your fathers, and you will be gathered to your tomb in peace.”

187 tn Heb “and the king sent and gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.”

188 tc This assumes an emendation to עַמּוּדוֹ (’ammudo), see 23:13. The MT reads “at his place.”

189 tn Heb “cut,” that is, “made” or “agreed to.”

190 tn Heb “walk after.”

191 tn Or “soul.”

192 tn Heb “words.”

193 tn Heb “and he caused to stand everyone who was found in Jerusalem and Benjamin.”

194 tn Or “caused, forced.”

195 tn Heb “all his days.”

196 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

197 tn Heb “written.”

198 tn Heb “and stand in the sanctuary by the divisions of the house of the fathers for your brothers, the sons of the people, and a division of the house of a father for the Levites.”

199 tn Heb “according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.”

200 tn Heb “and Josiah supplied for the sons of the people sheep, lambs and sons of goats, the whole for the Passover sacrifices for everyone who was found according to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand cattle. These were from the property of the king.”

201 tn Heb “and the service was prepared.”

202 tn Heb “from their hand.”

203 tn Heb “and they put aside the burnt offering[s] to give them to the divisions of the house of the fathers for the sons of the people to bring near to the Lord as it is written in the scroll of Moses – and the same with the cattle.”

204 tn Or “seer.”

205 tn Heb “After all this, [by] which Josiah prepared the temple.”

206 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

207 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Neco) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

208 tn Heb “What to me and to you, king of Judah?”

209 tn Heb “Not against you, you, today, but against the house of my battle.”

210 tn Heb “Stop yourself from [opposing] God who is with me and let him not destroy you.”

211 tn Heb “and Josiah did not turn his face from him.”

212 tn Heb “listen to.”

213 map For location see Map1 D4; Map2 C1; Map4 C2; Map5 F2; Map7 B1.

214 tn Heb “carry me away.”

215 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

216 tn Heb “fathers.”

217 tn Heb “and his faithful acts according to what is written in the law of the Lord.”

218 tn Heb “look, they are written.”



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