Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The Word of God is the one factor in your life that will determine your level of blessing. David wrote that the person whose delight is in the law of the Lord would find that whatever he does prospers (Psalm 1:2-3).

Josiah's life turned completely around the moment the high priest said he had located the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord. Reading the Word sparked a righteous indignation in Josiah's spirit, and he cleansed both Judah and Israel of their false gods with a determination unsurpassed in biblical history.

Your heart may be predisposed to serving God, but hearing the Word in your heart will light the fire of conviction. If you devote your life to reading and meditating on the Word, you will remain continually opposed to sin. You will also be disposed to God and to fulfilling the destiny He has for you.

In this second half of the year, devote yourself fully to the Word of God. Read and devour it as would a hungry person, and put whatever you read into practice. When you do, the Lord promises that you will be blessed!

2 Kings 22:3-23:30

In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan2Ch 34:20; Jer 39:14 son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the temple of the Lord. He said:“Go up to HilkiahEzr 7:1 the high priest and have him get ready the money that has been brought into the temple of the Lord, which the doorkeepers have collected2Ki 12:4-5 from the people.Have them entrust it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. And have these men pay the workers who repair2Ki 12:5, 11-14 the temple of the Lordthe carpenters, the builders and the masons. Also have them purchase timber and dressed stone to repair the temple.2Ki 12:11-12But they need not account for the money entrusted to them, because they are honest in their dealings.”S 2Ki 12:15

Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the LawS Dt 28:61; S 31:24; Gal 3:10 in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan, who read it.Then Shaphan the secretary went to the king and reported to him: “Your officials have paid out the money that was in the temple of the Lord and have entrusted it to the workers and supervisors at the temple.”10 Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.Jer 36:21

11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law,ver 8 he tore his robes.12 He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam2Ki 25:22; Jer 26:24; 39:14 son of Shaphan, Akbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant:1Sa 8:1413 “Go and inquireS Ge 25:22; S 1Sa 9:9 of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s angerDt 29:24-28; S 31:17; Isa 5:25; 42:25; Am 2:4 that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”

14 Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Akbor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to the prophetS Ex 15:20 Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter.

15 She said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me,16 ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disasterS Dt 31:29; S Jos 23:15; Jer 6:19; 11:11; 18:11; 35:17 on this place and its people, according to everything written in the bookDa 9:11 the king of Judah has read.17 Because they have forsakenS 1Ki 9:9 me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all the idols their hands have made,Or by everything they have done my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.’18 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquireJer 21:2; 37:3, 7 of the Lord, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard:19 Because your heart was responsive and you humbledS Ex 10:3; Isa 57:15; 61:1; Mic 6:8 yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people—that they would become a curseThat is, their names would be used in cursing (see Jer. 29:22); or, others would see that they are cursed.Jer 24:9; 25:18; 26:6 and be laid wasteLev 26:31—and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord.20 Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace.Isa 47:11; 57:1; Jer 18:11 Your eyesS 1Ki 21:29 will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.’”

So they took her answer back to the king.

Josiah Renews the Covenant23:1-3pp — 2Ch 34:29-3223:4-20Ref — 2Ch 34:3-7, 3323:21-23pp — 2Ch 35:1, 18-1923:28-30pp — 2Ch 35:20–36:1

23 Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.He went up to the temple of the Lord with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. He readS Dt 31:11 in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant,S Ex 24:7 which had been found in the temple of the Lord.The king stood by the pillarS 1Ki 7:15 and renewed the covenantS 2Ki 11:12 in the presence of the Lord—to followS Dt 13:4 the Lord and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.

The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers2Ki 25:18; Jer 35:4 to removeS 2Ki 21:7 from the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley and took the ashes to Bethel.He did away with the idolatrous priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem—those who burned incenseS 2Ki 16:4 to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts.Jer 8:2; 43:13He took the Asherah pole from the temple of the Lord to the Kidron ValleyJer 31:40 outside Jerusalem and burned it there. He ground it to powderS Ex 32:20 and scattered the dust over the gravesS Nu 19:16 of the common people.Jer 26:23He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutesS Ge 38:21; 1Ki 14:24; Eze 16:16 that were in the temple of the Lord, the quarters where women did weaving for Asherah.

Josiah brought all the priests from the towns of Judah and desecrated the high places, from GebaS Jos 18:24; S 1Ki 15:22 to Beersheba, where the priests had burned incense. He broke down the gateway at the entrance of the Gate of Joshua, the city governor, which was on the left of the city gate.Although the priests of the high places did not serveEze 44:10-14 at the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, they ate unleavened bread with their fellow priests.

10 He desecrated Topheth,Isa 30:33; Jer 7:31, 32; 19:6 which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom,S Jos 15:8 so no one could use it to sacrifice their sonS Lev 18:21; S Dt 18:10 or daughter in the fire to Molek.11 He removed from the entrance to the temple of the Lord the horses that the kings of Judahver 5, 19; Ne 9:34; Jer 44:9 had dedicated to the sun. They were in the courtThe meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain. near the room of an official named Nathan-Melek. Josiah then burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.S Dt 4:19

12 He pulled down2Ch 33:15 the altars the kings of Judah had erected on the roofJer 19:13; Zep 1:5 near the upper room of Ahaz, and the altars Manasseh had built in the two courtsS 2Ki 21:5 of the temple of the Lord. He removed them from there, smashed them to pieces and threw the rubble into the Kidron Valley.S 2Sa 15:2313 The king also desecrated the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption—the ones Solomon1Ki 11:7 king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molek the detestableS Dt 27:15 god of the people of Ammon.Jer 11:1314 Josiah smashedS Ex 23:24 the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles and covered the sites with human bones.S Nu 19:16; S Ps 53:5

15 Even the altarS Jos 7:2; 1Ki 13:1-3 at Bethel, the high place made by JeroboamS 1Ki 12:33 son of Nebat, who had caused Israel to sin—even that altar and high place he demolished. He burned the high place and ground it to powder, and burned the Asherah pole also.16 Then JosiahS 1Ki 13:2 looked around, and when he saw the tombs that were there on the hillside, he had the bones removed from them and burned on the altar to defile it, in accordance1Ki 13:32 with the word of the Lord proclaimed by the man of God who foretold these things.

17 The king asked, “What is that tombstone I see?”

The people of the city said, “It marks the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and pronounced against the altar of Bethel the very things you have done to it.”

18 “Leave it alone,” he said. “Don’t let anyone disturb his bones1Ki 13:31.” So they spared his bones and those of the prophet1Ki 13:29 who had come from Samaria.

19 Just as he had done at Bethel, Josiah removed all the shrines at the high places that the kings of Israel had built in the towns of Samaria and that had aroused the Lord’s anger.20 Josiah slaughteredS Ex 22:20; S 2Ki 11:18 all the priests of those high places on the altars and burned human bonesS 1Ki 13:2 on them. Then he went back to Jerusalem.

21 The king gave this order to all the people: “Celebrate the PassoverS Ex 12:11; Dt 16:1-8 to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.”S Ex 24:722 Neither in the days of the judges who led Israel nor in the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah had any such Passover been observed.23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, this Passover was celebrated to the Lord in Jerusalem.S Ex 12:11; S Nu 28:16

24 Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists,S Lev 19:31; S Dt 18:11 the household gods,S Ge 31:19 the idols and all the other detestableDt 7:26; 2Ki 16:3 things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the Lord.25 Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turnedS 1Sa 7:3 to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.Jer 22:15

26 Nevertheless, the Lord did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger,2Ki 21:6; Jer 23:20; 30:24 which burned against Judah because of all that ManassehS 2Ki 21:12 had done to arouse his anger.27 So the Lord said, “I will remove2Ki 21:13 Judah also from my presenceS Ex 33:15; 2Ki 24:3 as I removed Israel, and I will rejectJer 27:10; 32:31 Jerusalem, the city I chose, and this temple, about which I said, ‘My Name shall be there.’1 Kings 8:29

28 As for the other events of Josiah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?

29 While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Nechover 33-35; Jer 46:2 king of Egypt went up to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to meet him in battle, but Necho faced him and killed him at Megiddo.2Ki 9:2730 Josiah’s servants brought his body in a chariotS 2Ki 9:28 from Megiddo to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah and anointed him and made him king in place of his father.

In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent Shaphan son of Azaliah and grandson of Meshullam, the court secretary, to the Temple of the Lord. He told him,“Go to Hilkiah the high priest and have him count the money the gatekeepers have collected from the people at the Lord’s Temple.Entrust this money to the men assigned to supervise the restoration of the Lord’s Temple. Then they can use it to pay workers to repair the Temple.They will need to hire carpenters, builders, and masons. Also have them buy the timber and the finished stone needed to repair the Temple.But don’t require the construction supervisors to keep account of the money they receive, for they are honest and trustworthy men.”

Hilkiah Discovers God’s Law

Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the court secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the Lord’s Temple!” Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it.

Shaphan went to the king and reported, “Your officials have turned over the money collected at the Temple of the Lord to the workers and supervisors at the Temple.”10 Shaphan also told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” So Shaphan read it to the king.

11 When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair.12 Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser:13 “Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah. Inquire about the words written in this scroll that has been found. For the Lord’s great anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll. We have not been doing everything it says we must do.”

14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to the New QuarterOr the Second Quarter, a newer section of Jerusalem. Hebrew reads the Mishneh. of Jerusalem to consult with the prophet Huldah. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, the keeper of the Temple wardrobe.

15 She said to them, “The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken! Go back and tell the man who sent you,16 ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this cityHebrew this place; also in 22:19, 20. and its people. All the words written in the scroll that the king of Judah has read will come true.17 For my people have abandoned me and offered sacrifices to pagan gods, and I am very angry with them for everything they have done. My anger will burn against this place, and it will not be quenched.’

18 “But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the Lord and tell him: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard:19 You were sorry and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I said against this city and its people—that this land would be cursed and become desolate. You tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord.20 So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace. You will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city.’”

So they took her message back to the king.

Josiah’s Religious Reforms

23 Then the king summoned all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.And the king went up to the Temple of the Lord with all the people of Judah and Jerusalem, along with the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. There the king read to them the entire Book of the Covenant that had been found in the Lord’s Temple.The king took his place of authority beside the pillar and renewed the covenant in the Lord’s presence. He pledged to obey the Lord by keeping all his commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul. In this way, he confirmed all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll, and all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.

Then the king instructed Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second rank and the Temple gatekeepers to remove from the Lord’s Temple all the articles that were used to worship Baal, Asherah, and all the powers of the heavens. The king had all these things burned outside Jerusalem on the terraces of the Kidron Valley, and he carried the ashes away to Bethel.He did away with the idolatrous priests, who had been appointed by the previous kings of Judah, for they had offered sacrifices at the pagan shrines throughout Judah and even in the vicinity of Jerusalem. They had also offered sacrifices to Baal, and to the sun, the moon, the constellations, and to all the powers of the heavens.The king removed the Asherah pole from the Lord’s Temple and took it outside Jerusalem to the Kidron Valley, where he burned it. Then he ground the ashes of the pole to dust and threw the dust over the graves of the people.He also tore down the living quarters of the male and female shrine prostitutes that were inside the Temple of the Lord, where the women wove coverings for the Asherah pole.

Josiah brought to Jerusalem all the priests who were living in other towns of Judah. He also defiled the pagan shrines, where they had offered sacrifices—all the way from Geba to Beersheba. He destroyed the shrines at the entrance to the gate of Joshua, the governor of Jerusalem. This gate was located to the left of the city gate as one enters the city.The priests who had served at the pagan shrines were not allowed to serve atHebrew did not come up to. the Lord’s altar in Jerusalem, but they were allowed to eat unleavened bread with the other priests.

10 Then the king defiled the altar of Topheth in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, so no one could ever again use it to sacrifice a son or daughter in the fireOr to make a son or daughter pass through the fire. as an offering to Molech.11 He removed from the entrance of the Lord’s Temple the horse statues that the former kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were near the quarters of Nathan-melech the eunuch, an officer of the court.The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. The king also burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.

12 Josiah tore down the altars that the kings of Judah had built on the palace roof above the upper room of Ahaz. The king destroyed the altars that Manasseh had built in the two courtyards of the Lord’s Temple. He smashed them to bitsOr He quickly removed them. and scattered the pieces in the Kidron Valley.13 The king also desecrated the pagan shrines east of Jerusalem, to the south of the Mount of Corruption, where King Solomon of Israel had built shrines for Ashtoreth, the detestable goddess of the Sidonians; and for Chemosh, the detestable god of the Moabites; and for Molech,Hebrew Milcom, a variant spelling of Molech. the vile god of the Ammonites.14 He smashed the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah poles. Then he desecrated these places by scattering human bones over them.

15 The king also tore down the altar at Bethel—the pagan shrine that Jeroboam son of Nebat had made when he caused Israel to sin. He burned down the shrine and ground it to dust, and he burned the Asherah pole.16 Then Josiah turned around and noticed several tombs in the side of the hill. He ordered that the bones be brought out, and he burned them on the altar at Bethel to desecrate it. (This happened just as the Lord had promised through the man of God when Jeroboam stood beside the altar at the festival.)

Then Josiah turned and looked up at the tomb of the man of GodAs in Greek version; Hebrew lacks when Jeroboam stood beside the altar at the festival. Then Josiah turned and looked up at the tomb of the man of God. who had predicted these things.17 “What is that monument over there?” Josiah asked.

And the people of the town told him, “It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and predicted the very things that you have just done to the altar at Bethel!”

18 Josiah replied, “Leave it alone. Don’t disturb his bones.” So they did not burn his bones or those of the old prophet from Samaria.

19 Then Josiah demolished all the buildings at the pagan shrines in the towns of Samaria, just as he had done at Bethel. They had been built by the various kings of Israel and had made the LordAs in Greek and Syriac versions and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew lacks the Lord. very angry.20 He executed the priests of the pagan shrines on their own altars, and he burned human bones on the altars to desecrate them. Finally, he returned to Jerusalem.

Josiah Celebrates Passover

21 King Josiah then issued this order to all the people: “You must celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, as required in this Book of the Covenant.”22 There had not been a Passover celebration like that since the time when the judges ruled in Israel, nor throughout all the years of the kings of Israel and Judah.23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign, this Passover was celebrated to the Lord in Jerusalem.

24 Josiah also got rid of the mediums and psychics, the household gods, the idols,The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung. and every other kind of detestable practice, both in Jerusalem and throughout the land of Judah. He did this in obedience to the laws written in the scroll that Hilkiah the priest had found in the Lord’s Temple.25 Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since.

26 Even so, the Lord was very angry with Judah because of all the wicked things Manasseh had done to provoke him.27 For the Lord said, “I will also banish Judah from my presence just as I have banished Israel. And I will reject my chosen city of Jerusalem and the Temple where my name was to be honored.”

28 The rest of the events in Josiah’s reign and all his deeds are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah.

29 While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, went to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah and his army marched out to fight him,Or Josiah went out to meet him. but King NecoHebrew he. killed him when they met at Megiddo.30 Josiah’s officers took his body back in a chariot from Megiddo to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. Then the people of the land anointed Josiah’s son Jehoahaz and made him the next king.

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,

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:

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,

Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house.

Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because 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.

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.

10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.

11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.

12 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,

13 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.

14 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.

15 And she said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me,

16 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:

17 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.

18 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;

19 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.

20 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.

23 And the king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem.

And the king went up into the house of the Lord, 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 was found in the house of the Lord.

And the king stood by a pillar, 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 their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant.

And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel.

And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.

And he brought out the grove from the house of the Lord, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people.

And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the grove.

And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba, and brake down the high places of the gates that were in the entering in of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man's left hand at the gate of the city.

Nevertheless the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but they did eat of the unleavened bread among their brethren.

10 And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.

11 And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

12 And the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, did the king beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.

13 And 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 builded 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.

14 And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down the groves, and filled their places with the bones of men.

15 Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the grove.

16 And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.

17 Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel.

18 And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria.

19 And all the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke the Lord to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel.

20 And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men's bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem.

21 And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto the Lord your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant.

22 Surely 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;

23 But in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, wherein this passover was holden to the Lord in Jerusalem.

24 Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord.

25 And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord 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 any like him.

26 Notwithstanding the Lord turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal.

27 And the Lord said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.

28 Now 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?

29 In his days Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him.

30 And 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.

Acts 21:37-22:16

Paul Speaks to the Crowd22:3-16pp — Ac 9:1-22; 26:9-18

37 As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks,S ver 34 he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?”

“Do you speak Greek?” he replied.38 “Aren’t you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the wildernessMt 24:26 some time ago?”Ac 5:36

39 Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from TarsusS Ac 9:11 in Cilicia,S Ac 6:9 a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.”

40 After receiving the commander’s permission, Paul stood on the steps and motionedS Ac 12:17 to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in AramaicOr possibly Hebrew; also in 22:2:S Jn 5:222 “Brothers and fathers,Ac 7:2 listen now to my defense.”

When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic,Ac 21:40; S Jn 5:2 they became very quiet.

Then Paul said:“I am a Jew,Ac 21:39 born in TarsusS Ac 9:11 of Cilicia,S Ac 6:9 but brought up in this city. I studied underLk 10:39 GamalielAc 5:34 and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors.Ac 26:5 I was just as zealous1Ki 19:10; S Ac 21:20 for God as any of you are today.I persecutedS Ac 8:3 the followers of this WayS Ac 9:2 to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison,ver 19, 20as the high priest and all the CouncilLk 22:66 can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associatesS Ac 1:16; 2:29; 13:26; 23:1; 28:17, 21; S Ro 7:1; 9:3 in Damascus,Ac 9:2 and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.

“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me.Ac 9:3I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’

“‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.

‘I am Jesus of Nazareth,S Mk 1:24 whom you are persecuting,’ he replied.My companions saw the light,Ac 26:13 but they did not understand the voiceAc 9:7 of him who was speaking to me.

10 “‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.

‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’Ac 16:3011 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.Ac 9:8

12 “A man named Ananias came to see me.Ac 9:17 He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there.Ac 10:2213 He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.

14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestorsS Ac 3:13 has chosen you to know his will and to seeS 1Co 15:8 the Righteous OneAc 7:52 and to hear words from his mouth.15 You will be his witnessAc 23:11; 26:16 to all people of what you have seenver 14 and heard.16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptizedS Ac 2:38 and wash your sins away,Lev 8:6; Ps 51:2; Eze 36:25; Jn 3:5; 1Co 6:11; Eph 5:26; Tit 3:5; Heb 10:22; 1Pe 3:21 calling on his name.’Ro 10:13

Paul Speaks to the Crowd

37 As Paul was about to be taken inside, he said to the commander, “May I have a word with you?”

“Do you know Greek?” the commander asked, surprised.38 “Aren’t you the Egyptian who led a rebellion some time ago and took 4,000 members of the Assassins out into the desert?”

39 “No,” Paul replied, “I am a Jew and a citizen of Tarsus in Cilicia, which is an important city. Please, let me talk to these people.”40 The commander agreed, so Paul stood on the stairs and motioned to the people to be quiet. Soon a deep silence enveloped the crowd, and he addressed them in their own language, Aramaic.Or Hebrew.

22 “Brothers and esteemed fathers,” Paul said, “listen to me as I offer my defense.”When they heard him speaking in their own language,Greek in Aramaic, or in Hebrew. the silence was even greater.

Then Paul said, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, and I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. As his student, I was carefully trained in our Jewish laws and customs. I became very zealous to honor God in everything I did, just like all of you today.And I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prison.The high priest and the whole council of elders can testify that this is so. For I received letters from them to our Jewish brothers in Damascus, authorizing me to bring the followers of the Way from there to Jerusalem, in chains, to be punished.

“As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me.I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’

“‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.

“And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene,Or Jesus of Nazareth. the one you are persecuting.’The people with me saw the light but didn’t understand the voice speaking to me.

10 “I asked, ‘What should I do, Lord?’

“And the Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything you are to do.’

11 “I was blinded by the intense light and had to be led by the hand to Damascus by my companions.12 A man named Ananias lived there. He was a godly man, deeply devoted to the law, and well regarded by all the Jews of Damascus.13 He came and stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’ And that very moment I could see him!

14 “Then he told me, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak.15 For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard.16 What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.’

37 And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek?

38 Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers?

39 But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.

40 And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying,

22 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.

(And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)

I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.

And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.

And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.

And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.

11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.

12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,

13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.

14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.

15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.

16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Psalm 1:1-6

BOOK I

Psalms 1–41

Psalm 1

Blessed is the oneS Dt 33:29; Ps 40:4; 128:4

who does not walkPs 89:15 in step with the wickedS Job 21:16; Ps 10:2-11

or stand in the wayS Ge 49:6 that sinners takePs 26:9; 37:38; 51:13; 104:35

or sitPs 26:4 in the company of mockers,S Job 11:3; Pr 1:22; Isa 28:14; Hos 7:5

but whose delightPs 112:1; 119:16, 35; Ro 7:22 is in the law of the Lord,Ps 19:7; 119:1; Eze 11:20; 18:17

and who meditatesS Ge 24:63 on his law day and night.

That person is like a treePs 52:8; 92:12; 128:3; Jer 11:16; Zec 4:3 planted by streamsPs 46:4; 65:9; Isa 33:21; Jer 31:9 of water,S Nu 24:6; S Job 14:9; S Eze 17:5

which yields its fruitPs 92:14; Eze 47:12 in season

and whose leafIsa 1:30; 64:6 does not wither—

whatever they do prospers.S Ge 39:3

Not so the wicked!

They are like chaffS Job 13:25; Isa 40:24; Jer 13:24

that the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked will not standPs 5:5 in the judgment,S Job 19:29

nor sinners in the assemblyPs 26:12; 35:18; 82:1; 89:5; 107:32; 111:1; 149:1 of the righteous.

For the Lord watches overPs 37:18; 121:5; 145:20; Na 1:7 the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.S Lev 26:38; Ps 9:6

Book one (Psalms 1–41)

Psalm 1

Oh, the joys of those who do not

follow the advice of the wicked,

or stand around with sinners,

or join in with mockers.

But they delight in the law of the Lord,

meditating on it day and night.

They are like trees planted along the riverbank,

bearing fruit each season.

Their leaves never wither,

and they prosper in all they do.

But not the wicked!

They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.

They will be condemned at the time of judgment.

Sinners will have no place among the godly.

For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,

but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Proverbs 18:11-12

11 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;Pr 10:15

they imagine it a wall too high to scale.

12 Before a downfall the heart is haughty,

but humility comes before honor.S Pr 11:2; 15:33; S 16:18

11 The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense;

they imagine it to be a high wall of safety.

12 Haughtiness goes before destruction;

humility precedes honor.

11 The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.

12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.

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