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The Bible in Living English
34 Josiah was eight years old at his accession to the throne, and reigned thirty-one years at Jerusalem. 2 And he did what Jehovah approved, and went by the paths of his father David, and did not turn off to right or to left. 3 And in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still a boy, he began to devote himself to the God of his father David; and in the twelfth year he began to cleanse Judah and Jerusalem from the heights and the asherahs and the carvings and the bronze statues, 4 and they pulled down before him the altars of the Baals, and he chopped down the hammans that were up over them and broke up the asherahs and carvings and bronzes and reduced them to powder and threw it over the graves of those who had sacrificed on them, 5 and burned priests’ bones on their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem; 6* and in the cities of Manasseh and Ephraim and Simeon and up to Naphtali he went round among their ruins 7 and pulled down the altars, and pounded fine the asherahs and the carvings, and chopped down all the hammans throughout the Israelite country, and came back to Jerusalem. 8 And in the year eighteen of his reign, to cleanse the country and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Asaliah and Maʽasejah the captain of the city and Joah the son of Joahaz the king’s private secretary to repair the house of his God Jehovah; 9 and they came to High Priest Hilkijah and delivered the money that had been brought into the house of God, that the Levites who kept the thresholds had collected from the hands of Manasseh and Ephraim and from all the remainder of Israel and from all Judah and Benjamin and the inhabitants of Jerusalem,— 10 gave it into the hands of the contractors employed on Jehovah’s house, and the contractors working on Jehovah’s house gave it for mending and strengthening the house, 11 gave it to the carpenters and builders to buy dressed stone and wood for the ties and for retimbering the houses that the kings of Judah had allowed to break down. 12 And the men worked on honor on the job, and had over them commissioners, Jahath and ʽObadiah the Levites, sons of Merari, and Zecariah and Meshullam, Kehathites, to give directions; and the Levites, all who were proficient with instruments of song, 13 were over the carriers and giving directions for one and another piece of work to all who worked on the job; and some of the Levites were account-keepers and marshals and gatemen. 14 And while they were getting out the money that had been brought into Jehovah’s house, Priest Hilkijah found the code Jehovah had given through Moses; 15 and so Hilkijah said to Secretary Shaphan “I have found the Code in Jehovah’s house”; and Hilkijah gave the book to Shaphan. 16 And Shaphan brought the book to the king, and, besides, made his report to the king, “Everything that was put into your servants’ hands they are doing; 17 and they have poured out the money that was found in Jehovah’s house and given it into the hands of the commissioners and the contractors.” 18 And Secretary Shaphan told the king “Priest Hilkijah has given me a book”; and Shaphan read from it before the king; 19 and when the king heard the words of the Code he tore his clothes. 20 And the king gave Hilkijah and Ahikam the son of Shaphan and ʽAbdon the son of Micah and Secretary Shaphan and King’s Sergeant ʽAsajah the order 21 “Go inquire of Jehovah on my behalf and on behalf of what remains of Israel and Judah about the words of the book that has been found, because it is a great ire of Jehovah’s that is poured out on us for our fathers’ not having observed the words of this book, and acted in accordance with all that is written in this book.” 22* And Hilkijah and those whom the king had named went to the prophetess Huldah the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath the son of Hasrah the keeper of the wardrobe (she lived in Jerusalem, in the second quarter), and spoke to her to this effect. 23 And she said to them “Says Israel’s God Jehovah, Say to the man who sent you to me 24 ‘Says Jehovah, I am bringing mischief upon this place and its inhabitants, all the maledictions written in the book that they have read before the king of Judah. 25 In return for their having left me and made burnings to other gods, provoking me with all their manufactures, my ire is poured out upon this place and will not die down.’ 26 And to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of Jehovah you shall say ‘Says Israel’s God Jehovah, the words which you have heard. 27 Since your heart quailed and you humbled yourself before God when you heard my words against this place and its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before me and tore your clothes and wept before me, I on my part have heard it, quoth Jehovah. 28 I am taking you home to your fathers, and you shall be taken home to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not look upon all the mischief I am bringing on this place and its inhabitants.’” And they reported it to the king. 29 And the king sent and brought together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem, 30 and the king went up to Jehovah’s house, and all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the Levites and all the people from the greatest to the smallest, and he read to them all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in Jehovah’s house. 31 And the king stood at his place and ratified the covenant before Jehovah, to follow Jehovah and keep his commandments and his lessons and his usages unreservedly and heartily, living up to the provisions of the covenant, which are recorded in this book. 32* And he had all who were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin stand. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem lived up to their covenant with God, their fathers’ God. 33 And Josiah removed everything abominable out of all the countries that belonged to the sons of Israel, and reformed all who were found in Israel to worship their fathers’ God Jehovah; all his lifetime they did not turn aside from following their fathers’ God Jehovah.
34:6 Codd.* he chose (conj. routed out) their houses on all sides Var. with their sharp tools (conj.* in their ruins Var. in their public squares) on all sides he pulled down
34:22 Var. and those whom the king went Conj. and the king’s men went
34:32 Conj. present in Jerusalem stand as participants in the covenant. And the