Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath.
A. M. 3363-3394. B.C. 641-610. Josiah. This prince was one of the best, if not the best, of all the Jewish kings since the time of David. He began well, continued well, and ended well
eight years old
This was a city in the plain country of the tribe of Judah; and is mentioned in the parallel passage along with Lachish and Eglon.
And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.
And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the LORD, saying,
A. M. 3380. B.C. 642. in the
Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people:
that he may
Ten years seem to have elapsed since the people began to present the accustomed offerings; yet no one had taken an account of them, nor were they applied to the purpose for which they were given.
sum the silver
And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD: and let them give it to the doers of the work which is in the house of the LORD, to repair the breaches of the house,
Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully.
they dealt faithfully
And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.
I have found
This certainly was a genuine copy of the divine law, and probably the autograph of Moses, as it is said, in the parallel place of Chronicles, to be the book of the law of the Lord by Moses. It is not probable that this was the only copy of the law in the land, or that Josiah had never before seen the book of Moses; but the fact seems to be, that this was the original of the covenant renewed by Moses in the plains of Moab, and now being unexpectedly found, its antiquity, the occasion of its being made, the present circumstances of the people, the imperfect state in which the reformation was as yet, after all that had been done, would all concur to produce the effect here mentioned on the mind of the pious Josiah.
And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD.
And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.
And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.
that he rent
And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king's, saying,
Michaiah. or, Micah.
Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.
because our fathers
So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her.
wardrobe. Heb. garments.
or, second part.
And she said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me,
Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read:
all the words
Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.
shall not be
But to the king of Judah which sent you to enquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard;
thus shall ye
Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD.
I also have
Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.
I will gather
During thy life, none of these calamities shall fall upon thee nor thy people; no adversary shall be permitted to disturb the peace of Judea; and thou shalt at last "be gathered into thy grave in peace." Now, though it is stated that Pharaoh-Necho slew him at Megiddo, yet the Assyrians and the Jews were at peace; and though Josiah might feel it his duty to oppose the Egyptian king's going against his friend and ally, and that, in his endeavours to oppose him, he was mortally wounded at Megiddo, yet certainly he was not killed there, but was brought to Jerusalem, where he died in peace.