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2 Kings 22

Josiah becomes the king of Judah

1 Josiah was 8 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 31 years. His mother's name was Jedidah, who was the daughter of Adaiah. Adaiah came from Bozkath. 2 The LORD saw that Josiah did what was right. He lived like his ancestor David did. He did not fail to obey the LORD in any way.

Hilkiah finds the Law Book

3 When Josiah had been king for nearly 18 years, he sent Shaphan to the house of the LORD. Shaphan was the son of Azaliah, who was the son of Meshullam. Shaphan wrote everything for the king. Josiah said, 4 ‘Go up to Hilkiah, the leader of the priests. Ask him to get ready the money that people have brought into the house of the LORD. The people gave it to the men by the doors of the house of the LORD. 5 The priests must give the money to the men who will be leaders for the work in the house of the LORD. These leaders must pay the men who will mend the house of the LORD. 6 These men will work with wood, and they will build with stones. So they must buy wood. And they must buy stones that people have cut. They must buy them to mend the house of the LORD. 7 But the priests do not need to ask how the workers used the money. The workers will use the money that the priests gave them in the right way.’

8 Hilkiah, the leader of the priests, said this to Shaphan, who wrote everything for the king. ‘I have found the Law Book in the house of the LORD.’ He gave the book to Shaphan, who read it. 9 Then Shaphan, who wrote everything, went to the king. He said to him, ‘Your officers have paid all the money that was in the house of the LORD. They have given it to the workers and their leaders in the house of the LORD.’ 10 Then Shaphan, who wrote everything for the king, said to the king, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.’ And Shaphan read from the book in front of the king.

11 When the king heard the words from the Law Book, he tore his own clothes. 12 He said that Hilkiah, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan and Asaiah must do this. Hilkiah was the priest and Ahikam was the son of Shaphan. Acbor was the son of Micaiah and Shaphan wrote everything for the king. Asaiah was the king's helper. 13 ‘Go. And ask the LORD about what is in this book. Ask on my behalf, on behalf of the people in Jerusalem and on behalf of all the people in Judah. Ask about this book that Hilkiah found. The LORD is very, very angry with us. He is so angry that it is like a fire! This is because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this book. They have not done everything that is in the book. And it is the same for us.’

14 So Hilkiah, the priest, and Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to Huldah. Huldah was a prophetess. She was the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah. Tikvah was the son of Harhas, who kept the king's clothes. Huldah lived in the north part of Jerusalem. 15 She said to them, ‘The LORD is the God of Israel. This is what the LORD says. “Tell this to the man who sent you to me.” 16 This is what the LORD is saying. “I will bring much trouble to this place and to its people. It is all in the book that the king of Judah has read. 17 This is because they have gone away from me. They have burned incense to other gods. All the false gods that they made with their hands have made me very, very angry. I am so angry with this place that it is like a fire. Nobody will put out the fire.” 18 The king of Judah sent you to ask for an answer from the LORD. Give this answer to the king. “The LORD, the God of Israel, says this. He says it about the words that you heard.

19 I heard you when you prayed to me,” says the LORD. “I heard you for these reasons:

You knew that you needed to do something.

You made yourself humble in front of the LORD.

You tore your clothes and you wept in front of me.

You did all that when you heard my words. I spoke against this place and its people. I said that bad things would happen to them. An enemy will destroy them.

20 So I will bring you to your ancestors. And they will bury you in your grave in peace. You yourself will never see all the bad things that I will cause to happen to this place.” ’ That was the answer that they took back to the king.