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Jehovah’s Witnesses


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The Bible in Living English

2 Kings 23:1-37

23*  And the king sent and brought together to him all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem; 2  and the king went up to Jehovah’s house, and all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests and the prophets and all the people from smallest to greatest, and he read to them all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in Jehovah’s house. 3  And the king stood by the pillar and ratified the covenant before Jehovah, to follow Jehovah and keep his commandments and his lessons and his usages unreservedly and heartily, making good the provisions of this covenant which are recorded in this book; and all the people stood as participants in the covenant. 4  And the king ordered Hilkijah and the second priest and the threshold-keepers to take out of Jehovah’s temple all the things that had been used for the Baal and the asherah and all the legions of the sky, and he burned them outside Jerusalem on the terraces of Kidron and carried their dust away to Bethel; 5**  and he made an end of the komers whom the kings of Judah had installed and who made burnings on the heights in the cities of Judah and the environs of Jerusalem, and of the burners to the Baal and the sun and the moon and the mazzaloth and all the legions of the sky, 6  and took the asherah from Jehovah’s house outside Jerusalem to Kidron Arroyo and burned it in Kidron Arroyo and reduced it to dust and threw the dust of it on the public burying-ground; 7**  and he pulled down the kiosk for religious prostitution that there was in Jehovah’s house, where the women wove cases for the asherah. 8*  And he brought in all the priests from the cities of Judah, and desecrated the heights where the priests had made burnings, from Gebaʽ to Beer-Shebaʽ, and pulled down the Gate Heights at the gate of Joshuaʽ the captain of the city, on the left of a man entering the city gate. 9  Only the height-priests did not go up Jehovah’s altar at Jerusalem; but they ate matzoth among their brothers. 10  And he desecrated the fire-pit that was in Ben-Hinnom’s Valley for a man to send his child over through the fire to Melec, 11**  and made an end of the ponies the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of Jehovah’s house, putting them in the vestry of Eunuch Nathan-Melec, in the addition; and the chariot of the sun he burned up. 12*  And the altars on the roof, Ahaz’s upper story, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars Manasseh had made in the two courts of Jehovah’s house, the king pulled down; and he smashed them up on the spot, and threw the dust of them into Kidron Arroyo. 13*  And the heights along to the east of Jerusalem, south of the Mount of Olives, which King Solomon of Israel had built to ʽAshtart the goddess of the Phenicians and to Kemosh the god of Moab and to Melec the god of the Bene-ʽAmmon, the king desecrated, 14  and broke up the obelisks and cut down the asherahs and filled their places full of human bones. 15**  And the altar at Bethel too, the height Jeroboam the son of Nebat had made, he who made Israel sin, that altar too and the height the king pulled down, and broke up its stones, pounding them to dust, and burned its asherah. 16*  And Josiah turned and saw the graves there on the mountainside, and sent and took the bones out of the graves and burned them on the altar and defiled it, in accordance with Jehovah’s prediction which the man of God had proclaimed when Jeroboam was standing by the altar at the feast; and he turned and raised his eyes toward the grave of the man of God who had proclaimed these things, and said 17**  “What is yonder marker that I see?” and the men of the city said to him “The grave is the grave of the man of God who came out of Judah and proclaimed these things that you have done against the altar.” 18  And he said “Leave it alone; let nobody disturb his bones”; and they left his bones in security, with the bones of the prophet that came from Samaria. 19  And Josiah also cleared away all the height-houses in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made by way of provocation, and did to them just such things as he had at Bethel. 20  And he killed on the altars like sacrificed animals all the height-priests there, and burned human bones on them, and came back to Jerusalem. 21  And the king gave orders to all the people “Celebrate a passover to your God Jehovah in accordance with what is written in this book of the code”; 22  for the like of that passover had not been celebrated since the time of the judges who had judged Israel, and all the time of the kings of Israel and of Judah, 23  but in the year eighteen of King Josiah this passover was celebrated in Jehovah’s honor at Jerusalem. 24  And the spirit-mediums of different kinds too, and the teraphim and the fetishes, and all the disgustments that were to be seen in the country of Judah and in Jerusalem, Josiah routed out, in order to put in effect the words of the code, written in the book that Priest Hilkijah had found in Jehovah’s house. 25  And there had not been the like of him before him, a king who went back to Jehovah with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his being, in full accordance with the code of Moses, nor did there arise another the like of him after him. 26  Yet Jehovah did not turn back from his great anger which he had conceived against Judah for all the provocations Manasseh had given him. 27  And Jehovah thought “I will remove Judah too from before my face, as I did Israel, and reject this city that I chose, Jerusalem, and the house of which I said ‘My name shall be there.’” 28  And as to the rest of the history of Josiah, and all that he did, it is recorded in the chronicles of the kings of Judah. 29  In his time King Pharaoh Necoh of Egypt went up the river Euphrates against the king of Assyria, and King Josiah went to meet him, and he killed him at Megiddo when he saw him. 30  And his officers set him in his chariot dead and took him away from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem and buried him in his own grave; and the populace took Josiah’s son Jehoahaz and anointed him, and installed him as his father’s successor. 31  Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old at his accession to the throne, and reigned three months at Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah, from Libnah. 32  And he did what displeased Jehovah, just as his fathers had. 33***  And Pharaoh Necoh put, him under arrest at Riblah in the country of Hamath, and gave the country a fine of a hundred hundredweight of silver and a hundredweight of gold; 34  and Pharaoh Necoh installed Josiah’s son Eljakim as successor to his father Josiah, and renamed him Jehojakim. And Jehoahaz he took and brought to Egypt, and he died there; 35*  and the silver and the gold Jehojakim gave to the Pharaoh, but he assessed the country to give the silver, by the Pharaoh’s directions—each man in accordance with his assessment exacted the silver and gold to give to Pharaoh Necoh. 36  Jehojakim was twenty-five years old at his accession to the throne, and reigned eleven years at Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zebidah the daughter of Pedajah, from Rumah. 37  And he did what displeased Jehovah, just as his fathers had.


23:1 Var. and they brought together (conj.* and all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem came together)
23:5 Komers were heathen priests
23:5 Mazzaloth were perhaps nearly the same as our signs of the zodiac
23:7 Var. kiosks Unc.
23:7 Or* pulled down the sacred kiosk that there was
23:8 Conj. Satyr Heights Var. Gate House Conj. Gate Height or Satyr Height
23:11 Lit. made an end . . . into the vestry Var. stopped the ponies . . . from entering Jehovah’s house, to the vestry Unc.
23:11 (addition) Unc.
23:12 Codd.* smashed up from there, and threw
23:13 Codd. south of Ravager’s Mountain
23:15 Conj. the altar at Bethel too, which Jeroboam . . . that altar too the king
23:15 Codd. pulled down, and burned the height, reducing it to dust
23:16 Var. the graves there in the city, and sent
23:17 Codd. The grave is the man of God
23:17 Codd. against the altar at Bethel
23:33 Var. Pharaoh Necoh deposed him at Riblah
23:33 After Hamath codd. add in reigning at Jerusalem or from reigning at Jerusalem
23:33 Var. and ten talents of gold
23:35 Codd. exacted the populace the silver and gold