Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years.
A. M. 3363-3394. B.C. 641-610. Josiah
And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.
right in the sight
For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.
A. M. 3370. B.C. 634. while he
the high places
And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.
or, sun images.
Heb. face of the graves.
And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.
And so did he in the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their mattocks round about.
And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem.
Heb. to make powder. he returned.
Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his God.
A. M. 3380. B.C. 624. the eighteenth
And when they came to Hilkiah the high priest, they delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites that kept the doors had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin; and they returned to Jerusalem.
and they returned
Instead of wyyashuvoo, "and they returned," as the Keri has, we should, with the Kethiv, read weyoshevey, "and the inhabitants of;" a reading which is supported by many MSS,; printed editions, and all the versions, as well as necessity and common sense.
And they put it in the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of the LORD, and they gave it to the workmen that wrought in the house of the LORD, to repair and amend the house:
in the hand
Even to the artificers and builders gave they it, to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to floor the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed.
or, rafter. the kings.
And the men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to set it forward; and other of the Levites, all that could skill of instruments of musick.
The verb skill is now obsolete: the meaning is, "every one who is skilful, maiveen, on instruments of music."
Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and were overseers of all that wrought the work in any manner of service: and of the Levites there were scribes, and officers, and porters.
and of the Levites
And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses.
Literally, "a book of the law of the Lord, by the hand of Moses," i.e, as Dr. Kennicott understands it, "in the handwriting of Moses;" for, says he, though there are fifteen places in the Old Testament which mention the "Law of Moses," and "book of Moses," yet this one place only mentions "the book of the law in, or by, the hand of Moses."
Heb. the hand of Moses.
And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and brought the king word back again, saying, All that was committed to thy servants, they do it.
Heb. the hand of thy servants.
And they have gathered together the money that was found in the house of the LORD, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and to the hand of the workmen.
Heb. poured out, or melted.
Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.
And Shaphan read
Heb. in it.
And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes.
that he rent
And the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king's, saying,
This person seems to have borne both the name of Achbor and Abdon.
This variation only exists in the translation; the original being uniformly Asaiah, or rather, Asayah.
Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book.
that are left
And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college:) and they spake to her to that effect.
Hasrah is most probably a mistake for Harhas; as the Septuagint reads, both here and in the parallel place, [Aras.]
Heb. garments. college. or, school, or second part. It is probable that Mishneh was either the name of a street, or a particular part of the city of Jerusalem.
And she answered them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell ye the man that sent you to me,
Tell ye the man
Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah:
I will bring
all the curses
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 poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched.
And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to enquire of the LORD, so shall ye say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel concerning the words which thou hast heard;
Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD.
"Because," says the Targumist, "thy heart was melted, and thou hast humbled thyself in the sight of the word of the Lord, meymra dyya, when thou didst hear His words, yath pithgamoi, against this place." Here meymra, the personal word, is plainly distinguished from pithgam, a word spoken.
I have even
Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same. So they brought the king word again.
I will gather
Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.
And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD.
great and small
Heb. from great even to small.
And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.
In his place
Instead of ‚l Ùmdo, "in his place," the parallel passage 2 Ki 23:3, has ‚l h‰‚mmood, "by the pillar;" which is probably the true reading, as the LXX. in both places read [ton stylon] "the pillar."
made a covenant
This was expressed, 1. In general, To walk after Jehovah; to have no gods beside him. 2. To take this law for the regulation of their conduct. 3. In particular, To bend their whole heart and soul to the performance of it; so that they might not only have religion without, but piety within.
and his testimonies
And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.
And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. And all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.
all his days
Heb. from after.