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2 Kings 22:3-20

Context

22:3 In the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign, the king sent the scribe Shaphan son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, to the Lord’s temple with these orders: 1  22:4 “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him melt down 2  the silver that has been brought by the people to the Lord’s temple and has been collected by the guards at the door. 22:5 Have them hand it over to the construction foremen 3  assigned to the Lord’s temple. They in turn should pay the temple workers to repair it, 4  22:6 including craftsmen, builders, and masons, and should buy wood and chiseled stone for the repair work. 5  22:7 Do not audit the foremen who disburse the silver, for they are honest.” 6 

22:8 Hilkiah the high priest informed Shaphan the scribe, “I found the law scroll in the Lord’s temple.” Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan and he read it. 22:9 Shaphan the scribe went to the king and reported, 7  “Your servants melted down the silver in the temple 8  and handed it over to the construction foremen assigned to the Lord’s temple.” 22:10 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” Shaphan read it out loud before the king. 22:11 When the king heard the words of the law scroll, he tore his clothes. 22:12 The king ordered Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant, 22:13 “Go, seek an oracle from 9  the Lord for me and the people – for all Judah. Find out about 10  the words of this scroll that has been discovered. For the Lord’s fury has been ignited against us, 11  because our ancestors have not obeyed the words of this scroll by doing all that it instructs us to do.” 12 

22:14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shullam son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, the supervisor of the wardrobe. 13  (She lived in Jerusalem in the Mishneh 14  district.) They stated their business, 15  22:15 and she said to them: “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘Say this to the man who sent you to me: 22:16 “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 the king of Judah has read. 16  22:17 This will happen because they have abandoned me and offered sacrifices 17  to other gods, angering me with all the idols they have made. 18  My anger will ignite against this place and will not be extinguished!’” 22:18 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: 22:19 ‘You displayed a sensitive spirit 19  and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard how I intended to make this place and its residents into an appalling example of an accursed people. 20  You tore your clothes and wept before me, and I have heard you,’ says the Lord. 22:20 ‘Therefore I will allow you to die and be buried in peace. 21  You will not have to witness 22  all the disaster I will bring on this place.’”’” Then they reported back to the king.

2 Kings 23:21-27

Context

23:21 The king ordered all the people, “Observe the Passover of the Lord your God, as prescribed in this scroll of the covenant.” 23:22 He issued this edict because 23  a Passover like this had not been observed since the days of the judges; it was neglected for the entire period of the kings of Israel and Judah. 24  23:23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign, such a Passover of the Lord was observed in Jerusalem.

23:24 Josiah also got rid of 25  the ritual pits used to conjure up spirits, 26  the magicians, personal idols, disgusting images, 27  and all the detestable idols that had appeared in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem. In this way he carried out the terms of the law 28  recorded on the scroll that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the Lord’s temple. 23:25 No king before or after repented before the Lord as he did, with his whole heart, soul, and being in accordance with the whole law of Moses. 29 

23:26 Yet the Lord’s great anger against Judah did not subside; he was still infuriated by all the things Manasseh had done. 30  23:27 The Lord announced, “I will also spurn Judah, 31  just as I spurned Israel. I will reject this city that I chose – both Jerusalem and the temple, about which I said, “I will live there.” 32 

1 tn Heb “with these orders, saying.”

2 tc The MT has וְיַתֵּם (vÿyattem), “and let them add up” (Hiphil of תָּמָם [tammam], “be complete”), but the appearance of הִתִּיכוּ (hitikhu), “they melted down” (Hiphil of נָתַךְ [natakh], “pour out”) in v. 9 suggests that the verb form should be emended to וְיַתֵּךְ (vÿyattekh), “and let him melt down” (a Hiphil of נָתַךְ [natakh]). For a discussion of this and other options see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 281.

3 tn Heb “doers of the work.”

4 tn Heb “and let them give it to the doers of the work who are in the house of the Lord to repair the damages to the house.”

5 tn Heb “and to buy wood and chiseled stone to repair the house.”

6 tn Heb “only the silver that is given into their hand should not be reckoned with them, for in faithfulness they are acting.”

7 tn Heb “returned the king a word and said.”

8 tn Heb “that was found in the house.”

9 tn Or “inquire of.”

10 tn Heb “concerning.”

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

12 tn Heb “by doing all that is written concerning us.” Perhaps עָלֵינוּ (’alenu), “concerning us,” should be altered to עָלָיו (’alav), “upon it,” in which case one could translate, “by doing all that is written in it.”

13 tn Heb “the keeper of the clothes.”

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

15 tn Heb “and they spoke to her.”

16 tn Heb “all the words of the scroll which the king of Judah has read.”

17 tn Or “burned incense.”

18 tn Heb “angering me with all the work of their hands.” The translation assumes that this refers to idols they have manufactured (note the preceding reference to “other gods,” as well as 19:18). 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.”

19 tn Heb “Because your heart was tender.”

20 tn Heb “how I said concerning this place and its residents to become [an object of] horror and [an example of] a curse.” The final phrase (“horror and a curse”) refers to Judah becoming a prime example of an accursed people. In curse formulations they would be held up as a prime example of divine judgment. For an example of such a curse, see Jer 29:22.

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

22 tn Heb “your eyes will not see.”

23 tn The Hebrew text has simply “because.” The translation attempts to reflect more clearly the logical connection between the king’s order and the narrator’s observation. Another option is to interpret כִּי (ki) as asseverative and translate, “indeed.”

24 tn Heb “because there had not been observed [one] like this Passover from the days of the judges who judged Israel and all the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah.”

25 tn Here בִּעֵר (bier) is not the well attested verb “burn,” but the less common homonym meaning “devastate, sweep away, remove.” See HALOT 146 s.v. בער.

26 sn See the note at 2 Kgs 21:6.

27 sn See the note at 1 Kgs 15:12.

28 tn Heb “carrying out the words of the law.”

29 tn Heb “and like him there was not a king before him who returned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his being according to all the law of Moses, and after him none arose like him.”

sn The description of Josiah’s devotion as involving his whole “heart, soul, and being” echoes the language of Deut 6:5.

30 tn Heb “Yet the Lord did not turn away from the fury of his great anger, which raged against Judah, on account of all the infuriating things by which Manasseh had made him angry.”

31 tn Heb “Also Judah I will turn away from my face.”

32 tn Heb “My name will be there.”



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