2 Kings 23:1–28; 2 Chronicles 34:29–35:19; Nahum 1–3

Josiah's Reforms

23 wThen the king sent, and all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem were gathered to him. And the king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the prophets, all the people, both small and great. And xhe read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant ythat had been found in the house of the Lord. And the king stood zby the pillar and amade a covenant before the Lord, bto walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people joined in the covenant.

And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests cof the second order and the keepers of the threshold to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels made for dBaal, for eAsherah, and for all the host of heaven. fHe burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel. And he deposed the priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to make offerings in the high places at the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and the moon and the constellations gand all the host of the heavens. And he brought out hthe Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, iand burned it at the brook Kidron jand beat it to dust and cast the dust of it upon the graves kof the common people. And he broke down the houses of lthe male cult prostitutes who were in the house of the Lord, mwhere the women wove hangings for hthe Asherah. And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had made offerings, from nGeba to Beersheba. And he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on one's left at the gate of the city. oHowever, the priests of the high places did not come up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers. 10 And he defiled pTopheth, which is qin the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, rthat no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to sMolech.1 11 And he removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the precincts.2 And he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. 12 And the altars ton the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars uthat Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, he pulled down and broke in pieces3 and cast the dust of them vinto the brook Kidron. 13 And the king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, to the south of wthe mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for xAshtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for yChemosh the abomination of Moab, and for zMilcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 14 And he broke in pieces the apillars and cut down the Asherim and filled their places with the bones of men.

15 Moreover, the altar at Bethel, the high place erected bby Jeroboam the son of Nebat, cwho made Israel to sin, dthat altar with the high place he pulled down and burned,4 reducing it to dust. He also burned the Asherah. 16 And as Josiah turned, he saw the tombs there on the mount. And he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar and defiled it, eaccording to the word of the Lord that the man of God proclaimed, who had predicted these things. 17 Then he said, What is that monument that I see? And the men of the city told him, fIt is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and predicted5 these things that you have done against the altar at Bethel. 18 And he said, Let him be; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones gof the prophet who came out of Samaria. 19 And Josiah removed all the shrines also of the high places that were hin the cities of Samaria, which kings of Israel had made, provoking the Lord to anger. He did to them according to all that he had done at Bethel. 20 And ihe sacrificed all the priests of the high places who were there, on the altars, jand burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

Josiah Restores the Passover

21 And the king commanded all the people, kKeep the Passover to the Lord your God, las it is written in this Book of the Covenant. 22 mFor no such Passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, or during all the days of the kings of Israel or of the kings of Judah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem.

24 Moreover, Josiah put away nthe mediums and the necromancers and othe household gods and pthe idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might establish qthe words of the law that were written in the book rthat Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord. 25 sBefore him there was no king like him, who 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, nor did any like him arise after him.

26 Still the Lord did not turn from the burning of his great wrath, by which his anger was kindled against Judah, tbecause of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked him. 27 And the Lord said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, uas I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city that I have chosen, Jerusalem, vand the house of which I said, My name shall be there.

Josiah's Death in Battle

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 cThen the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 And the king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the Levites, all the people both great and small. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. 31 And the king dstood in his place eand 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 all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. 32 Then he made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin join in it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33 And Josiah took away fall the abominations from all the territory that belonged to the people of Israel and made all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. All his days they did not turn away from following the Lord, the God of their fathers.

Josiah Keeps the Passover

35 gJosiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem. And they slaughtered the Passover lamb hon the fourteenth day of the first month. He appointed the priests to their offices iand encouraged them in the service of the house of the Lord. And he said to the Levites jwho taught all Israel and who were holy to the Lord, Put the holy ark in the house that Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built. You need not carry it on your shoulders. Now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel. Prepare yourselves kaccording to your fathers' houses by your divisions, las prescribed in the writing of David king of Israel mand the document of Solomon his son. And nstand in the Holy Place oaccording to the groupings of the fathers' houses of your brothers the lay people, and according to the division of the Levites by fathers' household. And slaughter the Passover lamb, and pconsecrate yourselves, and prepare for your brothers, to do according to the word of the Lord by1 Moses.

Then Josiah contributed to the lay people, as Passover offerings for all who were present, lambs and young goats from the flock to the number of 30,000, and 3,000 bulls; qthese were from the king's possessions. And his officials contributed willingly to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. rHilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the chief officers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings 2,600 Passover lambs and 300 bulls. Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethanel his brothers, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, the chiefs of the Levites, gave to the Levites for the Passover offerings 5,000 lambs and young goats and 500 bulls.

10 When the service had been prepared for, the priests sstood in their place, tand the Levites in their divisions according to the king's command. 11 uAnd they slaughtered the Passover lamb, and the priests vthrew the blood that they received from them wwhile the Levites flayed the sacrifices. 12 And they set aside the burnt offerings that they might distribute them according to the groupings of the fathers' houses of the lay people, to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the Book of Moses. And so they did with the bulls. 13 xAnd they roasted the Passover lamb with fire according to the rule; and they yboiled the holy offerings in pots, in cauldrons, and in pans, and carried them quickly to all the lay people. 14 And afterward they prepared for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the sons of Aaron, were offering the burnt offerings and the fat parts until night; so the Levites prepared for themselves and for the priests, the sons of Aaron. 15 The singers, the sons of Asaph, were in their place zaccording to the command of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king's aseer; band the gatekeepers were at each gate. They did not need to depart from their service, for their brothers the Levites prepared for them.

16 So all the service of the Lord was prepared that day, to keep the Passover and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, according to the command of King Josiah. 17 And the people of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, cand the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days. 18 dNo Passover like it had been kept in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet. None of the kings of Israel had kept such a Passover as was kept by Josiah, and the priests and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah this Passover was kept.


Nahum Illustration

Nahum

aAn oracle concerning bNineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.

God's Wrath Against Nineveh

cThe Lord is a jealous and avenging God;

the Lord is avenging and wrathful;

dthe Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries

and ekeeps wrath for his enemies.

fThe Lord is slow to anger and ggreat in power,

and hthe Lord will by no means clear the guilty.

iHis way is in whirlwind and storm,

and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

jHe rebukes the sea and makes it dry;

he dries up all the rivers;

kBashan and lCarmel wither;

the bloom of kLebanon withers.

mThe mountains quake before him;

nthe hills melt;

the earth heaves before him,

othe world and all who dwell in it.

pWho can stand before his indignation?

Who can endure the heat of his anger?

His wrath qis poured out like fire,

and rthe rocks are broken into pieces by him.

sThe Lord is good,

ta stronghold in the day of trouble;

uhe knows those who take refuge in him.

But vwith an overflowing flood

he will make a complete end of the adversaries,1

and wwill pursue his enemies into darkness.

What xdo you plot against the Lord?

yHe will make a complete end;

trouble will not rise up a second time.

10  For they are zlike entangled thorns,

like drunkards as they drink;

athey are consumed like stubble fully dried.

11  From you came one

bwho plotted evil against the Lord,

a worthless counselor.

12  Thus says the Lord,

Though they are at full strength and many,

cthey will be cut down and pass away.

dThough I have afflicted you,

I will afflict you no more.

13  And now eI will break his yoke from off you

and will burst your bonds apart.

14  The Lord has given commandment about you:

fNo more shall your name be perpetuated;

from gthe house of your gods I will cut off

the carved image and the metal image.

hI will make your grave, ifor you are vile.

15  2 jBehold, upon the mountains, kthe feet of him

who brings good news,

who publishes peace!

lKeep your feasts, O Judah;

mfulfill your vows,

nfor never again shall the worthless pass through you;

he is utterly cut off.

The Destruction of Nineveh

oThe scatterer has come up against you.

pMan the ramparts;

watch the road;

dress for battle;3

collect all your strength.

For qthe Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob

as the majesty of Israel,

for plunderers have plundered them

and rruined their branches.

The shield of his mighty men is red;

shis soldiers are clothed in scarlet.

The chariots come with flashing metal

on the day he musters them;

the cypress spears are brandished.

tThe chariots race madly through the streets;

they rush to and fro through the squares;

they gleam like torches;

they dart like lightning.

He remembers uhis officers;

vthey stumble as they go,

they hasten to the wall;

the siege tower4 is set up.

wThe river gates are opened;

the palace xmelts away;

its mistress5 is ystripped;6 she is carried off,

her slave girls zlamenting,

moaning like doves

and beating their breasts.

bNineveh is like a pool

whose waters run away.7

Halt! Halt! they cry,

but cnone turns back.

Plunder the silver,

plunder the gold!

There is no end of the treasure

or of the wealth of all precious things.

10  dDesolate! Desolation and ruin!

eHearts melt and fknees tremble;

ganguish is in all loins;

hall faces grow pale!

11  Where is the lions' den,

the feeding place of ithe young lions,

where the lion and lioness went,

where his cubs were, with jnone to disturb?

12  kThe lion tore enough for his cubs

and lstrangled prey for his lionesses;

he filled his caves with prey

and his dens with torn flesh.

13 mBehold, I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts, and nI will burn your8 chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions. I will cut off your prey from the earth, and othe voice of your messengers shall no longer be heard.

Woe to Nineveh

Woe to pthe bloody city,

all full of lies and plunder

qno end to the prey!

The crack of the whip, and rrumble of the wheel,

sgalloping horse and tbounding chariot!

Horsemen charging,

flashing sword and uglittering spear,

vhosts of slain,

heaps of corpses,

dead bodies without end

they stumble over the bodies!

And all for the countless whorings of the wprostitute,

xgraceful and of deadly charms,

who betrays nations with her whorings,

and peoples with her charms.

mBehold, I am against you,

declares the Lord of hosts,

and ywill lift up your skirts over your face;

and I will make nations look at zyour nakedness

and kingdoms at your shame.

I will throw filth at you

and atreat you with contempt

and make you ba spectacle.

And all who look at you cwill shrink from you and say,

Wasted is dNineveh; ewho will grieve for her?

fWhere shall I seek comforters for you?

gAre you better than hThebes9

that sat iby the Nile,

with water around her,

her rampart a sea,

and water her wall?

jCush was her strength;

Egypt too, and that without limit;

kPut and the lLibyans were her10 helpers.

10  mYet she became an exile;

she went into captivity;

nher infants were dashed in pieces

at the head of every street;

for her honored men olots were cast,

pand all her great men were bound in chains.

11  qYou also will be drunken;

you will go into hiding;

ryou will seek a refuge from the enemy.

12  All your fortresses are slike fig trees

with first-ripe figs

if shaken they fall

into the mouth of the eater.

13  Behold, your troops

tare women in your midst.

The gates of your land

are wide open to your enemies;

fire has devoured your bars.

14  uDraw water for the siege;

rstrengthen your forts;

go into the clay;

tread the mortar;

take hold of the brick mold!

15  There will the fire devour you;

the sword will cut you off.

It will vdevour you wlike the locust.

Multiply yourselves wlike the locust;

multiply wlike the grasshopper!

16  You increased xyour merchants

more than the stars of the heavens.

wThe locust spreads its wings and flies away.

17  Your zprinces are wlike grasshoppers,

ayour scribes11 like clouds of locusts

settling on the fences

in a day of cold

when the sun rises, they fly away;

no one knows where they are.

18  Your shepherds bare asleep,

O king of Assyria;

cyour nobles slumber.

Your people dare scattered on the mountains

with none to gather them.

19  There is no easing your hurt;

eyour wound is grievous.

All who hear the news about you

fclap their hands over you.

For gupon whom has not come

your unceasing evil?