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Chapter 23

1And the king sent, and they gathered to him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. 2And the king went up into the house of Jehovah, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which had been found in the house of Jehovah. 3And the king stood on the dais, and made a covenant before Jehovah, to walk after Jehovah, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all [his] heart, and with all [his] soul, to establish the words of this covenant that are written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant. 4And the king commanded Hilkijah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the doorkeepers, to bring forth out of the temple of Jehovah all the vessels that had been made for Baal, and for the Asherah, and for all the host of the heavens; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them to Bethel. 5And he abolished the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense on the high places in the cities of Judah, and the environs of Jerusalem; and them that burned incense to Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the constellations, and to all the host of heaven. 6And he brought out the Asherah from the house of Jehovah, outside Jerusalem, to the torrent of Kidron, and burned it at the torrent of Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder upon the graves of the children of the people. 7And he broke down the houses of the sodomites, which were in the house of Jehovah, where the women wove tents for the Asherah. 8And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba even to Beer-sheba; and he broke down the high places of the gates, those at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, [and] those on the left hand of any [going in] at the gate of the city. 9Nevertheless the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of Jehovah in Jerusalem, but they ate of the unleavened bread among their brethren. 10And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the sons of Hinnom, that no man might cause his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech. 11And he abolished the horses that the kings of Judah had appointed to the sun at the entrance of the house of Jehovah, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun, with fire. 12And the king broke down the altars that were on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars that Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of Jehovah, and he shattered them, [removing them] from thence, and cast the powder of them into the torrent of Kidron. 13And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile. 14And he broke in pieces the columns, and cut down the Asherahs, and filled their place with the bones of men. 15Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, the high place that Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he broke down; and burned the high place, stamped it small to powder, and burned the Asherah. 16And Josiah turned himself, and saw the sepulchres that were there on the mount; and he sent and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned [them] upon the altar, and defiled it, according to the word of Jehovah, that the man of God had proclaimed, who proclaimed these things. 17Then he said, What tombstone is that which I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things which thou hast done against the altar of Bethel. 18And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. And they saved his bones, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria. 19And all the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke [Jehovah] to anger, Josiah removed, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel. 20And he sacrificed upon the altars all the priests of the high places that were there, and burned men`s bones upon them. And he returned to Jerusalem. 21And the king commanded all the people saying, Hold the passover to Jehovah your God, as it is written in this book of the covenant. 22For there was not holden such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah; 23but in the eighteenth year of king Josiah was this passover holden to Jehovah in Jerusalem. 24Moreover the necromancers and the soothsayers, and the teraphim and the idols, and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, Josiah took away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkijah the priest had found in the house of Jehovah. 25And before him there had been no king like him that turned to Jehovah with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there his like. 26But Jehovah turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked him. 27And Jehovah said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will reject this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there. 28And the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 29In his days Pharaoh-Nechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates; and king Josiah went against him; but [Nechoh] slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him. 30And his servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father`s stead. 31Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem; and his mother`s name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32And he did evil in the sight of Jehovah, according to all that his fathers had done. 33And Pharaoh-Nechoh had him bound at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and laid a tribute upon the land of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 34And Pharaoh-Nechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king instead of Josiah his father, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. And he took Jehoahaz; and he came to Egypt, and died there. 35And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he laid a proportional tax on the land to give the money according to the command of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his estimation, to give it to Pharaoh-Nechoh. 36Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and his mother`s name was Zebuddah, daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37And he did evil in the sight of Jehovah, according to all that his fathers had done.

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