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2 Reis 23

1 Then the king sent for all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem to join him.

2 The king went up to the Temple of Jehovah. All the inhabitants of Judah young and old also went to Jehovah’s Temple. Josiah read everything written in the Book of the Promise found in Jehovah’s Temple so they could all hear it.

3 The king stood beside the pillar and made a promise to Jehovah that he would follow Jehovah and obey his commands, instructions, and laws with all his heart and mind. He confirmed the terms of the promise written in this book. All the people joined in the promise.

4 Then the king ordered the high priest Hilkiah, the priests who served under Hilkiah, and the doorkeepers to remove from Jehovah’s Temple all utensils that had been made for Baal, Asherah, and the entire army of heaven. Josiah burned the utensils outside Jerusalem. It was in an open field near the Kidron Brook. Then he carried their ashes to Bethel.

5 He got rid of the pagan priests. The kings of Judah appointed them to sacrifice at the illegal places of worship in the cities of Judah and all around Jerusalem. They had been sacrificing to Baal, the sun god, the moon god, the constellations of the zodiac (Mazzalohth Constellation-Job 38:32), and the entire army of heaven.

6 He removed the pole dedicated to the goddess Asherah from the temple. He took it to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem. There he burned it in the Kidron Valley, ground it to dust, and threw its ashes on the tombs of the common people.

7 He tore down the houses of the male temple cult prostitutes who were in Jehovah’s Temple. This is where women did weaving for Asherah.

8 He brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah from Geba to Beersheba and made the places where those priests sacrificed unclean. He tore down the worship site at the entrance of the Gate of Joshua, the gate named after the mayor of the city. The worship site was to the left of anyone going through the city gate.

9 The priests of the illegal worship sites had never gone to Jehovah’s altar in Jerusalem. Instead, they ate their unleavened bread among the other worshipers.

10 Josiah also made Topheth in the valley of Ben Hinnom unclean so that people would never again sacrifice their sons or daughters by burning them to the god Molech.

11 He also removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the worship of the sun. He burned the chariots used in this worship.

12 The altars the kings of Judah built on the palace roof above King Ahaz' quarters, King Josiah tore down, along with the altars put up by King Manasseh in the two courtyards of the Temple. He smashed the altars to bits and threw them into Kidron Valley.

13 The king made the illegal places of worship east of Jerusalem unclean. They were on the southern part of the Hill of Destruction. King Solomon of Israel built them for Astarte the disgusting goddess of the Sidonians. Also made unclean were references to Chemosh the disgusting god of Moab, and Milcom the disgusting god of the Ammonites.

14 Josiah crushed the sacred stones. He cut down the poles dedicated to Asherah. And he filled their places with human bones.

15 He also tore down the altar at Bethel the place of worship made by Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin. He tore down both the altar and the place of worship. They burned the worship site. They crushed it into powder and burned the pole dedicated to Asherah.

16 Josiah turned and saw the tombs on the hill. He sent men to take the bones out of the tombs and burn them on the altar to make it unclean. This fulfilled the word of Jehovah announced by the man of God.

17 »What is that headstone I see over there?« Josiah asked. The men of the town said: »It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah. The one who foretold all these things you have done to the altar of Bethel.«

18 He said: »Let him be. Do not move his bones.« So they let his bones be with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria.

19 Josiah removed all the houses of the high places the kings of Israel built in the towns of Samaria. This provoked Jehovah to anger and he did with them as he had done in Bethel.

20 He killed all the priests of the high places on the altars. Their bones were burned on the altars. Then the king went back to Jerusalem.

21 The king gave orders to all the people. He said: »Keep the Passover to Jehovah your God, as it says in this book of the law.«

22 Truly, such a Passover had not been kept in all the days of the judges of Israel or of the kings of Israel or the kings of Judah.

23 In the eighteenth year of the rule of King Josiah this Passover was kept to Jehovah in Jerusalem.

24 Josiah removed all the spirit mediums, the foretellers, the images, and the false gods, and all the disgusting things seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem. That way he could establish the words of the agreement recorded in the book Hilkiah the priest discovered in the Temple of Jehovah.

25 Never before had there been a king like him. He turned to Jehovah with all his heart and his entire mind and all his power. As the Law of Moses says: and after him there was no king like him.

26 Still the heat of Jehovah’s anger was not turned back from Judah. This is because of all Manasseh had done in moving him to anger.

27 Jehovah said: »I will send Judah away from before my face, as I have sent Israel. I will have nothing more to do with this town. It is Jerusalem my town. And the holy house of which I said: ‘My name will be there.’«

28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah and all he did are recorded in the book of the History of the Kings of Judah.

29 In his days, Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt, sent his armies against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates. King Josiah went out against him. Josiah was killed when he saw him at Megiddo.

30 His servants took his body in a carriage from Megiddo to Jerusalem. They buried him there. The people of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah, and put the holy oil on him and made him king in place of his father.

31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for three months. His mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.

32 He did evil in the eyes of Jehovah, as his fathers had done.

33 And Pharaoh Necho put him in chains at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So that he was not king in Jerusalem. Pharaoh Necho extracted from the land a tax of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.

34 Then Pharaoh Necho made Eliakim son of Josiah king in place of Josiah his father. He changed his name to Jehoiakim. He took Jehoahaz away to Egypt, where he remained till he died.

35 Jehoiakim gave the silver and gold to Pharaoh. He ordered that the land be taxed to get the money. All the people of the land had to give silver and gold in order to make the payment to Pharaoh Necho.

36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for eleven years. His mother's name was Zebidah daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah.

37 He did evil in the eyes of Jehovah as his fathers had done.

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