1Then the king summoned all the elders of Jerusalem and of the other places in Judah.
2They went together to the temple, along with the priests and the prophets, and many other HYP people, from the most important people to the least important people. And while they listened, the king read to them all of the laws that Moses had written. He read from the scroll that had been found in the temple.
3Then the king stood next to the pillar where the kings stood when they made important announcements, and while Yahweh was listening, he repeated his promise to sincerely obey DOU all of Yahweh's commands and regulations DOU. He also promised to ◄fulfill the conditions of/do what was written in► the agreement he made with Yahweh. And all the people also promised to obey the agreement.
4Then the king commanded Hilkiah the Supreme Priest and all the other priests who assisted him and the men who guarded the entrance to the temple to bring out from the temple all the items that people had been using to worship Baal, the goddess Asherah, and the stars. After they carried them out, they burned all those things outside the city near the Kidron Valley. Then they took all the ashes to Bethel, because that city was already considered to be desecrated/unholy.
5There were many pagan priests that the previous kings of Judah had appointed to burn incense on the altars on the tops of hills in Judah. They had been offering sacrifices to Baal, to the sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars. The king stopped them from doing those things.
6He commanded that the statue of the goddess Asherah be taken out of the temple. Then they took it outside Jerusalem, down to the Kidron Brook, and burned it. Then they pounded the ashes to powder and scattered that over the graves in the public cemetery.
7He also destroyed the rooms in the temple where the temple male prostitutes lived. That was where women wove robes that were used to worship the goddess Asherah.
8Josiah also brought to Jerusalem all the priests who were offering sacrifices in the other cities of Judah. He also desecrated the places on the tops of hills where the priests had burned incense to honor idols, from Geba in the north to Beersheba in the south. Those priests were not allowed to offer sacrifices in the temple, but they were allowed to eat the unleavened bread that the priests who worked in the temple ate. He also commanded that the altars that were dedicated to the goat demons near the gate built by Joshua, the mayor of Jerusalem, be destroyed. Those altars were at the left of the main gate into the city.
10Josiah also desecrated the place named Topheth, in the Hinnom Valley, in order that no one could offer his son or daughter there to be completely burned for a sacrifice to the god Molech.
11He also removed the horses that the previous kings of Judah had dedicated to worshiping the sun, and he burned the chariots that were used in that worship. Those horses and chariots were kept in the courtyard outside the temple, near the entrance to the temple, and near the room where one of Josiah's officials, whose name was Nathan-Melech, lived.
12Josiah also commanded his servants to tear down the altars that the previous kings of Judah had built on the roof of the palace, above the room where King Ahaz had stayed. They also tore down the altars that had been built by King Manasseh in the two courtyards outside the temple. He commanded that they be smashed to pieces and thrown down into the Kidron Valley.
13He also commanded that the altars that King Solomon had built east of Jerusalem, south of Olive Tree Hill, be desecrated. Solomon had built them for the worship of the disgusting idols—the statue of the goddess Astarte worshiped by the people in Sidon city, Chemosh the god of the Moab people-group, and Molech the god of the Ammon people-group.
14They also broke into pieces the stone pillars that the Israeli people worshiped, and cut down the pillars that honored the goddess Asherah, and they scattered the ground there with human bones to desecrate it.
15Furthermore, he commanded them to tear down the place of worship at Bethel which had been built by King Jeroboam #1, the king who persuaded the people of Israel to sin. They tore down the altar. Then they broke its stones into pieces and pounded them to become powder. They also burned the statue of the goddess Asherah.
16Then Josiah looked around and saw some tombs there on the hill. He commanded his men to take the bones out of those tombs and burn them on the altar. By doing that, he desecrated the altar. That was what a prophet had predicted many years before when Jeroboam #1 was standing close to that altar at a festival. Then Josiah looked up and saw the tomb of the prophet who had predicted that.
17Josiah asked, “Whose tomb is that?” The people of Bethel replied, “It is the tomb of the prophet who came from Judah and predicted that these things that you have just now done to this altar would happen.”
18Josiah replied, “Allow his tomb to remain as it is. Do not remove the prophet's bones from the tomb.” So the people did not remove those bones, or the bones of the other prophet, the one who had come from Samaria.
19In every city in Israel, at Josiah's command, they tore down the shrines that had been built by the previous kings of Israel, which had caused Yahweh to become very angry. He did to all those shrines/altars the same thing that he had done to the altars at Bethel.
20He ordered that all the priests who offered sacrifices on the altars on the tops of hills must be killed on those altars. Then he burned human bones on every one of those altars to desecrate them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
21Then the king commanded all the people to celebrate the Passover Festival to honor Yahweh their God, which was written in the law of Moses that they should do every year.
22During all the years that leaders ruled Israel and during all the years that kings had ruled Israel and Judah, they had not celebrated that festival.
23But now, after Josiah had been ruling for almost eighteen years, to honor Yahweh they celebrated the Passover Festival in Jerusalem.
24Furthermore, Josiah got rid of all the people in Jerusalem and other places in Judah who practiced sorcery and those who requested the spirits of dead people to tell them what they should do. He also removed from Jerusalem and from the other places in Judah all the household idols and all the other idols and abominable things. He did those things in order to obey what had been written in the scroll that Hilkiah had found in the temple.
25Josiah was totally devoted to Yahweh. There had never been in Judah or Israel a king like him. He obeyed all the laws of Moses. And there has never since then been a king like Josiah.
26But Yahweh had become extremely angry with the people of Judah because of all the things that King Manasseh had done to infuriate him, and he continued to be very angry.
27He said, “I will do to Judah what I have done to Israel. I will banish the people of Judah, with the result that they will never enter my presence again. And I will reject Jerusalem, the city that I chose to belong to me, and I will abandon the temple, the place where I said that I MTY should be worshiped.”
28If you want to know more about RHQ all the other things that Josiah did, they are written in the scroll called ❛The History of the Kings of Judah❜.
29While Josiah was the king of Judah, King Neco of Egypt led his army north to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah tried to stop the army of Egypt at Megiddo city, but Josiah was killed in a battle there.
30His officials placed his corpse in a chariot and took it back to Jerusalem, where it was buried in his own tomb, a tomb where the other previous kings had not been buried. Then the people of Judah poured olive oil on the head of Josiah's son Joahaz, to appoint him to be the new king.
31Joahaz was 23 years old when he became the king of Judah, but he ruled from Jerusalem for only three months. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah city.
32Joahaz did many things that Yahweh said were evil, just like many of his ancestors had done.
33King Neco's army came from Egypt and captured him and tied him up with chains and took him as a prisoner to Riblah town in Hamath district, to prevent him from continuing to rule in Jerusalem. Neco forced the people of Judah to pay to him ◄7,500 pounds/3,400 kg.► of silver and ◄75 pounds/34 kg.► of gold.
34King Neco appointed another son of Josiah, Eliakim, to be the new king, and he changed Eliakim's name to Jehoiakim. Then he took Joahaz to Egypt, and later Joahaz died there in Egypt.
35King Jehoiakim collected a tax from the people of Judah. He collected more from the rich people and less from the poor people. He collected silver and gold from them, in order to pay to the king of Egypt what he commanded them to give.
36Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became the king of Judah, and he ruled from Jerusalem for eleven years. His mother was Zebidah, the daughter of Pedaiah from Rumah town.
37He did many things that Yahweh says are evil, like his ancestors had done.