4 Kings Chapter 23
Josias readeth the law before all the people. They promise to observe it. He abolisheth all idolatry, celebrateth the phase: is slain in battle by the king of Egypt. The short reign of Joachaz, in whose place Joakim is made king.
23:1. And they brought the king word again what she had said. And he sent: and all the ancients of Juda and Jerusalem were assembled to him.
23:2. And the king went up to the temple of the Lord, and all the men of Juda, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both little and great: and in the hearing of them all he read all the words of the book of the covenant, which was found in the house of the Lord.
23:3. And the king stood upon the step: and he made a covenant with the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his ceremonies, with all their heart, and with all their soul, and to perform the words of this covenant, which were written in that book: and the people agreed to the covenant.
The king stood upon the step. . .That is, his tribune, or tribunal, a more eminent place, from whence he might be seen and heard by the people.
23:4. And the king commanded Helcias, the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the doorkeepers, to cast out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that had been made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burnt them without Jerusalem, in the valley of Cedron, and he carried the ashes of them to Bethel.
23:5. And he destroyed the soothsayers, whom the kings of Juda had appointed to sacrifice in the high places in the cities of Juda, and round about Jerusalem: them also that burnt incense to Baal, and to the sun, and to the moon, and to the twelve signs, and to all the host of heaven.
23:6. And he caused the grove to be carried out from the house of the Lord, without Jerusalem, to the valley of Cedron, and he burnt it there, and reduced it to dust, and cast the dust upon the graves of the common people.
23:7. He destroyed also the pavilions of the effeminate, which were in the house of the Lord, for which the women wove as it were little dwellings for the grove.
23:8. And he gathered together all the priests out of the cities of Juda: and he defiled the high places, where the priests offered sacrifice, from Gabaa to Bersabee: and he broke down the altars of the gates that were in the entering in of the gate of Josue, governor of the city, which was on the left hand of the gate of the city.
23:9. However, the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of the Lord, in Jerusalem: but only eat of the unleavened bread among their brethren.
23:10. And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Ennom: that no man should consecrate there his son, or his daughter, through fire, to Moloch.
23:11. And he took away the horses which the kings of Juda had given to the sun, at the entering in of the temple of the Lord, near the chamber of Nathanmelech the eunuch, who was in Pharurim: and he burnt the chariots of the sun with fire.
23:12. And the altars that were upon the top of the upper chamber of Achaz, which the kings of Juda had made, and the altars which Manasses had made in the two courts of the temple of the Lord, the king broke down: and he ran from thence, and cast the ashes of them into the torrent Cedron.
23:13. The high places also that were at Jerusalem, on the right side of the Mount of Offence, which Solomon, king of Israel, had built to Astaroth, the idol of the Sidonians, and to Chamos, the scandal of Moab, and to Melchom, the abomination of the children of Ammon, the king defiled.
23:14. And he broke in pieces the statues, and cut down the groves: and he filled their places with the bones of dead men.
23:15. Moreover, the altar also that was at Bethel, and the high place, which Jeroboam, the son of Nabat, who made Israel to sin, had made: both the altar, and the high place, he broke down and burnt, and reduced to powder, and burnt the grove.
23:16. And as Josias turned himself, he saw there the sepulchres that were in the mount: and he sent and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burnt them upon the altar, and defiled it according to the word of the Lord, which the man of God spoke, who had foretold these things.
23:17. And he said: What is that monument which I see? And the men of that city answered: It is the sepulchre of the man of God, who came from Juda, and foretold these things which thou hast done upon the altar of Bethel.
23:18. And he said: Let him alone, let no man move his bones. So his bones were left untouched with the bones of the prophet, that came out of Samaria.
23:19. Moreover all the temples of the high places which were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke the Lord, Josias took away: and he did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel.
23:20. And he slew all the priests of the high places, that were there, upon the altars; and he burnt men's bones upon them: and returned to Jerusalem.
23:21. And he commanded all the people, saying: Keep the Phase to the Lord your God, according as it is written in the book of this covenant.
23:22. Now there was no such a Phase kept from the days of the judges, who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, and of the kings of Juda,
23:23. As was this Phase, that was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem, in the eighteenth year of king Josias.
23:24. Moreover the diviners by spirits, and soothsayers, and the figures of idols, and the uncleannesses, and the abominations, that had been in the land of Juda and Jerusalem, Josias took away: that he might perform the words of the law, that were written in the book, which Helcias the priest had found in the temple of the Lord.
23:25. There was no king before him like unto him, that returned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his strength, according to all the law of Moses: neither after him did there arise any like unto him.
23:26. But yet the Lord turned not away from the wrath of his great indignation, wherewith his anger was kindled against Juda: because of the provocations, wherewith Manasses had provoked him.
23:27. And the Lord said: I will remove Juda also from before my face, as I have removed Israel: and I will cast off this city Jerusalem, which I chose, and the house, of which I said: My name shall be there.
23:28. Now the rest of the acts of Josias, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the words of the days of the kings of Juda?
23:29. In his days Pharao Nechao, king of Egypt, went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josias went to meet him: and was slain at Mageddo, when he had seen him.
23:30. And his servants carried him dead from Mageddo: and they brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre. And the people of the land took Joachaz, the son of Josias: and they anointed him, and made him king in his father's stead.
23:31. Joachaz was three and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem: the name of his mother was Amital, the daughter of Jeremias, of Lobna.
23:32. And he did evil before the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done.
23:33. And Pharao Nechao bound him at Rebla, which is in the land of Emath, that he should not reign in Jerusalem: and he set a fine upon the land, of a hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold.
23:34. And Pharao Nechao made Eliacim, the son of Josias, king in the room of Josias his father: and turned his name to Joakim. And he took Joachaz away and carried him into Egypt, and he died there.
23:35. And Joakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharao, after he had taxed the land for every man, to contribute according to the commandment of Pharao: and he exacted both the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every man according to his ability: to give to Pharao Nechao.
23:36. Joakim was five and twenty years old when he began to reign: and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: the name of his mother was Zebida, the daughter of Phadaia, of Ruma.
23:37. And he did evil before the Lord according to all that his fathers had done.