Hezekiah Organizes the Priests
31 Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and nbroke in pieces the opillars and cut down pthe Asherim and broke down the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, and in Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all the people of Israel returned to their cities, every man to his possession.
2 And Hezekiah appointed qthe divisions of the priests and of the Levites, division by division, each according to his service, the priests and the Levites, rfor burnt offerings and peace offerings, to minister in the gates of the camp of the Lord and to give thanks and praise. 3 sThe contribution of the king from his own possessions was for the burnt offerings: the burnt offerings of morning and evening, and the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths, the new moons, and the appointed feasts, tas it is written in the Law of the Lord. 4 And he commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give uthe portion due to the priests and the Levites, that they might give themselves to the Law of the Lord. 5 As soon as the command was spread abroad, the people of Israel gave in abundance the firstfruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field. And they brought in abundantly vthe tithe of everything. 6 And the people of Israel and Judah who lived in the cities of Judah also brought in the tithe of cattle and sheep, and wthe tithe of the dedicated things that had been dedicated to the Lord their God, and laid them in heaps. 7 In the third month they began to pile up the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month. 8 When Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the Lord and his people Israel. 9 And Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites about the heaps. 10 Azariah the chief priest, who was xof the house of Zadok, answered him, “Since they began to bring the contributions into the house of the Lord, we have eaten and had enough and have plenty left, yfor the Lord has blessed his people, so that we have this large amount left.”
11 Then Hezekiah commanded them to prepare zchambers in the house of the Lord, and they prepared them. 12 And they faithfully brought in the contributions, the tithes, and the dedicated things. The chief officer ain charge of them was Conaniah the Levite, with bShimei his brother as second, 13 bwhile Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, bMahath, and Benaiah were overseers assisting Conaniah and Shimei his brother, by the appointment of Hezekiah the king and xAzariah the chief officer of the house of God. 14 And Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, keeper of the east gate, was over the freewill offerings to God, to apportion the contribution reserved for the Lord and the most holy offerings. 15 bEden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah were faithfully assisting him in dthe cities of the priests, to distribute the portions to their brothers, old and young alike, by divisions, 16 except those enrolled by genealogy, males from three years old and upward—all who entered the house of the Lord eas the duty of each day required—for their service according to their offices, by their divisions. 17 The enrollment of the priests was according to their fathers’ houses; that of the Levites ffrom twenty years old and upward was according to their offices, by their divisions. 18 They were enrolled with all their little children, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, the whole assembly, for they were faithful in keeping themselves holy. 19 And for the sons of Aaron, the priests, who were in the fields of common land belonging to their cities, there were men in the several cities who were gdesignated by name to distribute portions to every male among the priests and to everyone among the Levites who was enrolled.
20 Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, hand he did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God. 21 And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered.
Sennacherib Invades Judah
32 iAfter these things and these acts of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah and encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them for himself. 2 And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and intended to fight against Jerusalem, 3 he planned with his officers and his mighty men to stop the water of the springs that were outside the city; and they helped him. 4 A great many people were gathered, and they stopped all the springs and jthe brook that flowed through the land, saying, “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find much water?” 5 He set to work resolutely and built up kall the wall that was broken down and raised towers upon it,1 and outside it he built another wall, and he strengthened the lMillo in the city of David. He also made weapons and shields in abundance. 6 And he set combat commanders over the people and gathered them together to him in the square at the gate of the city and spoke mencouragingly to them, saying, 7 n“Be strong and courageous. oDo not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, pfor there are more with us than with him. 8 With him is qan arm of flesh, rbut with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
9 After this, Sennacherib king of Assyria, who was besieging Lachish with all his forces, sent his servants to Jerusalem to Hezekiah king of Judah and to all the people of Judah who were in Jerusalem, saying, 10 “Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria, ‘On what are you trusting, that you endure the siege in Jerusalem? 11 Is not Hezekiah misleading you, that he may give you over to die by famine and by thirst, when he tells you, “The Lord our God will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria”? 12 sHas not this same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, “Before one altar you shall worship, and on it you shall burn your sacrifices”? 13 Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of other lands? Were the gods of the nations of those lands at all able to deliver their lands out of my hand? 14 Who among all the gods of those nations that my fathers devoted to destruction was able to deliver his people from my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you from my hand? 15 Now, therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you in this fashion, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you out of my hand!’”
16 And his servants said still more against the Lord God and against his servant Hezekiah. 17 And he wrote letters to cast contempt on the Lord, the God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, “Like the gods of the nations of the lands who have not delivered their people from my hands, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver his people from my hand.” 18 And they shouted it with a loud voice in the language of Judah to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten and terrify them, in order that they might take the city. 19 And they spoke of the God of Jerusalem as they spoke of the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of men’s hands.
The Lord Delivers Jerusalem
20 Then Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed because of this and cried to heaven. 21 And the Lord sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with tshame of face to his own land. And when he came into the house of his god, some of his own sons struck him down there with the sword. 22 So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all his enemies, and he provided for them on every side. 23 And many ubrought gifts to the Lord to Jerusalem and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from that time onward.
Hezekiah’s Pride and Achievements
24 vIn those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death, and he prayed to the Lord, and he answered him and gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah wdid not make return according to the benefit done to him, for xhis heart was proud. Therefore ywrath came upon him and Judah and Jerusalem. 26 But Hezekiah zhumbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.
27 And Hezekiah had very great riches and honor, and he made for himself treasuries for silver, for gold, for precious stones, for spices, for shields, and for all kinds of acostly vessels; 28 storehouses also for the yield of grain, wine, and oil; and stalls for all kinds of cattle, and sheepfolds. 29 He likewise provided cities for himself, and flocks and herds in abundance, for God had given him very great possessions. 30 This same Hezekiah bclosed the upper outlet of the waters of cGihon and directed them down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. 31 And so in the matter of the envoys of the princes of Babylon, dwho had been sent to him to inquire about ethe sign that had been done in the land, God left him to himself, fin order to test him and to know all that was in his heart.
32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and his good deeds, behold, they are written gin the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, hin the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 33 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the iupper part of the tombs of the sons of David, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honor at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his place.
Manasseh Reigns in Judah
33 jManasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to kthe abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. 3 For he rebuilt the high places lthat his father Hezekiah had broken down, and he erected altars to the Baals, and made mAsheroth, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. 4 And he built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, n“In Jerusalem shall my name be forever.” 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in othe two courts of the house of the Lord. 6 pAnd he burned his sons as an offering qin the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and rused fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with smediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 7 And tthe carved image of the idol that he had made he set in the house of God, of which God said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, nI will put my name forever, 8 and I will no more remove the foot of Israel from the land uthat I appointed for your fathers, if only they will be careful to do all that I have commanded them, all the law, the statutes, and the rules given through Moses.” 9 Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray, to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the people of Israel.
10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention. 11 vTherefore the Lord brought upon them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria, who captured Manasseh with hooks and wbound him with chains of bronze and brought him to Babylon. 12 And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God xand humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 He prayed to him, and yGod was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. zThen Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.
14 Afterward he built an outer wall for the city of David west of aGihon, in the valley, and for the entrance into bthe Fish Gate, and carried it around cOphel, and raised it to a very great height. He also put commanders of the army in all the fortified cities in Judah. 15 And dhe took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he had built on the mountain of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem, and he threw them outside of the city. 16 He also restored the altar of the Lord and offered on it sacrifices of peace offerings and of thanksgiving, and he commanded Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel. 17 eNevertheless, the people still sacrificed at the high places, but only to the Lord their God.
18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and fhis prayer to his God, and the words of gthe seers who spoke to him in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, behold, they are in the hChronicles of the Kings of Israel. 19 And his prayer, and how yGod was moved by his entreaty, and all his sin and his faithlessness, and the sites ion which he built high places and set up the iAsherim and the images, before xhe humbled himself, behold, they are written in the Chronicles of the Seers.1 20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his house, and Amon his son reigned in his place.
Amon’s Reign and Death
21 jAmon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. 22 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as Manasseh his father had done. Amon sacrificed to all the images kthat Manasseh his father had made, and served them. 23 And he did not humble himself before the Lord, las Manasseh his father had humbled himself, but this Amon incurred guilt more and more. 24 And his servants conspired against him and put him to death in his house. 25 But the people of the land struck down all those who had conspired against King Amon. And the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place.
Josiah Reigns in Judah
34 mJosiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father; and he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a boy, he began to seek the God of David his father, and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the nAsherim, and the carved and the metal images. 4 And they chopped down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and he cut down the oincense altars that stood above them. And he broke in pieces the nAsherim and the carved and the metal images, and he made dust of them and oscattered it over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. 5 pHe also burned the bones of the priests on their altars and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. 6 And in the qcities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, and as far as Naphtali, in their ruins1 all around, 7 he broke down the altars and beat the nAsherim and the images rinto powder and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
The Book of the Law Found
8 sNow in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had cleansed the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the tgovernor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz, uthe recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God. 9 They came to vHilkiah the high priest and gave him the money that had been brought into the house of God, which the Levites, the keepers of the threshold, had collected from qManasseh and Ephraim and from all the remnant of Israel and from all Judah and Benjamin and from the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 And they gave it to the workmen who were working in the house of the Lord. And the workmen who were working in the house of the Lord gave it for repairing and restoring the house. 11 They gave it to the carpenters and the builders to buy quarried stone, and timber for binders and wbeams for the buildings that the kings of Judah had let go to ruin. 12 And the men did the work faithfully. Over them were set Jahath and Obadiah the Levites, of the sons of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to have oversight. xThe Levites, all who were skillful with instruments of music, 13 were over ythe burden-bearers and directed all who did work in every kind of service, and some of the Levites were scribes and officials and gatekeepers.
14 While they were bringing out the money that had been brought into the house of the Lord, vHilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord given through2 Moses. 15 Then Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan. 16 Shaphan brought the book to the king, and further reported to the king, “All that was committed to your servants they are doing. 17 They have emptied out the money that was found in the house of the Lord and have given it into the hand of the overseers and the workmen.” 18 Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it before the king.
19 And when the king heard the words of the Law, zhe tore his clothes. 20 And the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying, 21 “Go, inquire of the Lord for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found. For great is athe wrath of the Lord that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do according to all that is written in this book.”
Huldah Prophesies Disaster
22 So Hilkiah and those whom the king had sent3 went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter) and spoke to her to that effect. 23 And she said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, 24 Thus says the Lord, Behold, I will bring disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the curses that are written in the book that was read before the king of Judah. 25 Because they have forsaken me and bhave made offerings to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands, therefore amy wrath will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched. 26 But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall you say to him, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, 27 because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me and have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. 28 Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place and its inhabitants.’” And they brought back word to the king.
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. 2 He appointed the priests to their offices iand encouraged them in the service of the house of the Lord. 3 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. 4 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. 5 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. 6 And slaughter the Passover lamb, and pconsecrate yourselves, and prepare for your brothers, to do according to the word of the Lord by1 Moses.”
7 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. 8 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. 9 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.
Josiah Killed in Battle
20 eAfter all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Neco king of Egypt went up to fight at fCarchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah went out to meet him. 21 But he sent envoys to him, saying, “What have we to do with each other, king of Judah? I am not coming against you this day, but against the house with which I am at war. And God has commanded me to hurry. Cease opposing God, who is with me, lest he destroy you.” 22 Nevertheless, Josiah did not turn away from him, but gdisguised himself in order to fight with him. He did not listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but came to fight in the plain of hMegiddo. 23 And the archers shot King Josiah. And the king said to his servants, i“Take me away, for I am badly wounded.” 24 So his servants took him out of the chariot and carried him in his second chariot and brought him to Jerusalem. And he died and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. jAll Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. 25 kJeremiah also uttered a lament for Josiah; and all lthe singing men and singing women have spoken of Josiah in their laments to this day. They made these a rule in Israel; behold, they are written in the Laments. 26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his good deeds according to what is written in the Law of the Lord, 27 and his acts, first and last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.