1Josiah held a Passover for the Lord in Jerusalem, and the Passover lamb was killed on the fourteenth day of the first month.
2He assigned the priests to their respective duties and encouraged them in their ministry at the Lord's Temple.
3Josiah told the Levites who taught all Israel and were holy to the Lord, “Place the holy Ark in the Temple built by Solomon, son of David, king of Israel. It's not necessary for you to carry it around on your shoulders any more. Your responsibility now is to serve the Lord your God and his people Israel.
4Get yourselves ready for service in your divisions, by families, according to the instructions given by David, king of Israel, and his son Solomon.
5Then you are to stand in the sanctuary to assist the lay people according to family divisions, following the assignments according to your Levite family divisions.
6Sacrifice the Passover lambs, purify yourselves, and be ready to help the people who come to fulfill the requirements given by the Lord through Moses.”
7Josiah contributed as Passover offerings for all the people who were present 30,000 lambs and goats, and 3,000 bulls, all from his own flocks and herds.
8His officials contributed freely to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, who were in charge of God's Temple, gave the priests as Passover offerings 2,600 Passover lambs and 300 bulls.
9The leaders of the Levites, Conaniah, and Shemaiah and Nethanel his brothers, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, gave the Levites as Passover offerings 5,000 lambs and young goats and 500 bulls.
10Once the preparations had been completed, the priests stood where they had been assigned and the Levites took their places in their divisions as the king had ordered.
11They killed the Passover lambs, the priests sprinkled the blood they were given on the altar, while the Levites skinned the sacrifices.
12They put to one side the burnt offerings to be given to the families of the lay people, by division, to offer to the Lord, as required in the Book of Moses. They did the same thing with the bulls.
13They roasted the Passover sacrifices on the fire as requires, and they boiled the holy offerings in pots, caldrons, and pans, and took them quickly to the lay people.
14After that they prepared food from the offerings for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were busy presenting burnt offerings and fat until night came. So the Levites did this work for themselves and for the priests, the descendants of Aaron.
15The singers, the descendants of Asaph, were in their places following the instructions given by David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, the king's seer. The gatekeepers in charge at each gate did not need to leave, because their fellow Levites provided for them.
16So on that day the whole Passover service of the Lord was took place, including the presenting of burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, as King Josiah had ordered.
17The Israelites who were there also celebrated Passover at that time, and also the Feast of Unleavened Bread for the following seven days.
18No Passover like this had been held in Israel since the time of Samuel the prophet. None of the kings of Israel had ever held a Passover like the one that Josiah observed with the priests, the Levites, all of Judah, the Israelites who were there, and the people of Jerusalem.
19This Passover was observed in the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah.
20After all this work that Josiah had carried out in restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt was leading his army to fight at Carchemish near the Euphrates, and Josiah went to confront him.
21Neco sent messengers to him, saying, “What argument is there between you and me, king of Judah? I have not come to attack you today, because I'm fighting with another kingdom. God told me I should hurry, so stop obstructing God, who is with me, or he'll destroy you!”
22But Josiah did not turn away and leave. Instead, he disguised himself so he could fight Neco in battle. He ignored Neco's message that came from God, and went to fight him on the Plain of Megiddo.
23There archers shot King Josiah. He called out those beside him, “Get me out of the battle, because I'm badly wounded!”
24So they carried him out of his chariot, and took him back in his second chariot to Jerusalem, where he died. Josiah was buried in the tomb of his forefathers. All Judah and Jerusalem wept for him.
25Then Jeremiah wrote a lament over Josiah, and to this day male and female choirs sing sad songs about Josiah. They have become a part of what is regularly sung in Israel, and they are recorded in the Book of Laments.
26The rest of what Josiah did, along with his acts of loyalty following what is written in the Law of the Lord,
27all his actions, from beginning to end, are recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.