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Reframe: Hilkiah and the Lost Book of the Law of the Lord

Here is the story of king Josiah and Hilkiah and the lost book of the law of the Lord. After the death of king Amon of Judah and after his conspirators were killed by the people; they put his son Josiah on the throne. Josiah was eighteen years of age when he began to rule in Judah. He ruled Judah and Jerusalem for thirty-one years and was reared by his mother Jedidah (the daughter of Adaiah from Boscath).

Hilkiah and the Lost Book of the Law of the Lord

Josiah did what was right and pleasant before the Sovereign Lord, obeying the Lord in the ways his ancestor king David had done. He neither turned to the right or left hand in all his ways. The king ruled well for seventeen years, and in the eighteenth year, he had one of his highest officials, Shaphan, run a message to the high priest of the land.

Josiah sent Shaphan to the house of the Lord to number the sum of silver offered by the people. The command was for the keepers to number the amount of silver and give it to those who were doing the work. The work was to repair the breaches of house of the Lord.

Josiah ordered the money to be given to the carpenters, the builders, and masons to make purchases. They needed to purchase timber and hewn stone, all to repair the house of the Lord. Josiah commanded Shaphan to allow them to do this since they were the priest, honest and faithful.

…I have found the book…

Also, the king’s administration would not keep track of the silver collected. When Shaphan spoke to the high priest Hilkiah, Hilkiah responded to Shaphan that a true prize was found in the house of the Lord. “I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord,” Hilkiah exclaimed!

Hilkiah gave the book to the scribe Shaphan, who read the words. Shaphan immediately returned to the king with word of their great find and the results of his original mission there. “Your officials have gathered the sum of money found in the house of the Lord,” he reported.

He continued, “They have given it to those who are and will do the work, as well as the managers of the house of the Lord.” At last Shaphan pulled the book of the Law of the Lord out of his bag and showed it to the king. He told Josiah what Hilkiah the priest had found in the temple.

Go enquire of the Lord…

Shaphan also read the book to the king. When Josiah heard the words of the book of the Law of the Lord, he immediately tore his royal clothing. He summoned Hilkiah, Shaphan, Shaphan’s son, Ahikam, Achbor (Michaiah’s son), and Asahiah one of the king’s stewards.

He told them to enquire of the Lord on his behalf and for the people as well as all of Judah concerning the words of this book. Great wrath was written of the Lord against the people of Judah because of their ancestors. “Our ancestors have refused to listen and obey the Lord and do what is written in this book, we must find out what we must do,” the king commanded.

Those five officials left and found a woman named Huldah. She was a prophetess, and was married to Shallum (Tikvah’s son, Harhas’s son), they kept the wardrobe for the king. She stayed in Jerusalem in the college quarters; that is where they met and spoke.

Hilkiah and the Lost Book of the Law of the Lord

The men prepped her on everything but did not let her know the king sent them. She responded by saying, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says, tell the man that sent you to me, these words.” Huldah proceeded, “This is what the Lord says, see, I will bring much evil upon this place and the people who dwell therein, everything written in the book that the king of Judah has read will be fulfilled.

Because the people of Judah have abandoned Me, burning incense to other gods to provoke Me to anger with the worthless works of their hands. My indignation will be released against this place and I will not hold back.

However, the king of Judah that has sent you to ask of the Lord, this is what you will say to him; the Sovereign Lord God of Israel will show him mercy. Only because he had a humble and tender heart before the Lord when he heard what I spoke against this place and this people.

Judah is Safe… For Now!

When he heard that I will make this place a desolation and a curse, he rent his clothes and cried before Me. Therefore, I have heard him and will have mercy on him. He can see to it that I will allow him to rest peacefully with his ancestors and the former kings of Judah. His eyes will not witness the evil that will come upon this place,” Huldah concluded. The kings officials brought the word back to the king.

Selah (this article is based on 2 Kings chapter 22)

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