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Reframe: King Josiah Reforms Judah and Jerusalem

King Josiah reforms Judah and Jerusalem, harshly and with detail. The word of the Lord was brought back to king Josiah by the mouth of Huldah the prophetess. The king immediately began to act on what he received.

The king sent for and gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. They had a meeting at the house of the Lord; the agenda was the agenda of the Lord for the land. The priests, prophets, and all people (great and small) convened to listen to the words of the book of the covenant.

The same book that was found in the house of the Lord by Hilkiah the high priest. Prior to the finding of the book of the law, the people operated by oral tradition. Perhaps they also operated by the word of the king and high priest.

King Josiah Reforms Judah and Jerusalem

When the reading was complete, the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant of peace before the Lord God of Israel. The king vowed to walk after the Sovereign Lord and to keep His commandments, testimonies, statutes, and ordinances.

Josiah did this on behalf of the people that they will observe all the law with their full heart and soul. The king and the people vowed to perform the words of the covenant written in the book of the law. Everyone agreed to the covenant.

Josiah, the king, then ordered Hilkiah, the high priest, as well as the priests of the second order, the porters, and guards to discard any vessels in the house of the Lord made after or for Baal the pagan god. In addition, they were to discard anything made for the grove, for the host or stars of heaven.

Good by Sun, moon, and Star worshippers

the evening and the morning

Josiah ordered they be thrown and burned in the fields of Kidron. King Josiah also got rid of idolatrous priests the former kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in high places in the cities of Judah and Jerusalem.

He discarded things burned to Baal, the sun, the moon, the planets, and to all the host of heaven. The groves in the house of the Lord, he removed; not just from the temple, but from Jerusalem. He crushed it in the fields of Kidron, grinded it to powder, and sprinkled the powder on the graves of the common people.

Josiah was not finished.

He tore down the houses of the sodomites that were near the house of the Lord where the women wove vestments used in honoring Asherah’s grove. Josiah then gathered all the pagan priests from the cities of Judah and defiled their local hill shrines where they made sacrifices.

From Geba to Beersheba, Josiah destroyed the altars of the demons that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua. These local priests could no longer serve at the Lord’s altar in Jerusalem, but were allowed to eat unleavened bread with their brothers.

The king defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom. This stopped men from sacrificing their children in fire to Molech. Josiah got rid of the horses that former unrighteous kings used in ceremonies to worship the sun god.

Crushing, breaking, and grinding to powder

They used to do this at the entering of the house of the Lord by the chamber of Nathan-Melech, the Chamberlain. This was in the suburbs, Josiah burned the chariots of the sun with fire. There were altars on the top of the higher chamber of Ahaz.

The former unrighteous kings of Judah made these; Manasseh also made two courts of the house of the Lord with these altars. Josiah crushed them down, broke them to pieces, and then grinded them to powder. He then put the powder in the brook Kidron.

Josiah still was not finished with his reforms. The high places that were before Jerusalem on the right side of the mount of corruption (Solomon built for Ashtoreth (Astarte), the abomination of the Zidonians), the king defiled. He defiled Chemosh, the offensive awful god of the Moabites, as well as Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites.

Digging up unrighteous bones…

The king of Judah broke in pieces the images of these nations gods, cut down their groves, and filled their places with the bones of men. He was not finished! The altar at Bethel and the high place that Jeroboam, the son of Nebat made (who seduced Israel to sin) he broke them down.

Again, he burned it, stamped it into powder and tossed into the brook of Kidron. As the king looked for more things to reform, he saw graves on a hillside. He had the bones of these people dug up and burned to ashes on the altar to pollute the altar.

This was in accordance to the word of the Sovereign Lord that the man of God proclaimed would happen to such men. Josiah saw another grave and it was reported to him that it was the grave of the man of God who said these things would happen at the altar of Bethel.

Bringing  the Passover Back!

Memorial of the Passover 2017

Josiah left his grave and bones as well as the bones of any prophet with the man of God that came out of Samaria. Josiah then did the same thing in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel built pagan shrines there to provoke the Lord. The king, Josiah, destroyed them as he did in Bethel.

The king of Judah took it a step further by killing all the priests of the high places who served on the altars. He burned men’s bones on those altars before returning to Jerusalem. Josiah the king ordered all the people of Judah to keep the Passover to the Lord their God, as written and commanded in the book of the covenant.

The Passover had not been celebrated or held in this way since the days of the judges that judged Israel. Neither was it held in this fashion since the days of the kings of Israel or Judah. However, in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, the Passover was held in Jerusalem to the Sovereign Lord.

Full Force with the Keeping of the Law

Josiah implemented spies, who watched for people who attempted to continue practicing evil works. Works such as those with familiar spirits, wizards, images, idols, and all other abominations. Josiah had spies watching in the land of Judah and Jerusalem.

Anyone caught, Josiah put them away so he would perform the words of the law that were written in the book of the law. The same book that Hilkiah found in the house of the Lord that Moses left for the children of Israel. No king before or after Josiah turned to the Sovereign Lord with all his mind, body, and might as Josiah did. He did as close to all the law of Moses as anyone and any king possibly could.

Still in all of this, the Lord God of Israel was not convinced Israel would maintain, and the Lord did not fully turn His anger and vengeance from them. The Lord’s vengeance was strong against Judah because of all that Manasseh had done in the land.

The Reform was not enough to keep Israel

The Lord said still that He will remove Judah out of His sight as He’d done with Israel, removing them from the city of Jerusalem, which the Lord had chosen. The Lord would still remove them and the house, which He said His name will be there, because Judah saw what happened to Israel and yet they still chose to follow them.

The remainder of the acts performed by Josiah during his reign and all he did are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. Also, in the latter days of Josiah, Pharaoh-Necho, the king of Egypt, went up to war with the king of Assyria at the Euphrates river.

When Josiah heard this, he went out to stop the pharaoh, in an attempt to stop him from passing through the land of Judah. When he did this, he was struck, wounded, and later died from his wounds. Josiah was killed at Megiddo.

Jehoahaz Coronated King in place of Josiah

Josiah’s stewards took his body out from Megiddo and brought back his corpse to Jerusalem. He was buried in his own grave. The people of Judah then anointed Jehoahaz, Josiah’s son, and made him their king in place of his father. Jehoahaz was twenty-three years of age when he was coronated as king.

He only ruled three months in Jerusalem. His mother was Hamutal, she was the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. Jehoahaz did evilly as king of Judah before the Lord God of Israel. He did not do as Josiah did but as the unrighteous kings of Judah had done before him.

The king of Egypt, Pharaoh-Nechoh arrested Jehoahaz and imprisoned him at Riblah by the way of Hamath. Jehoahaz was no longer ruler of the kingdom of Judah. Instead, the king of Egypt set up Josiah’s other son, Eliakim, and changed his name to Jehoiakim.

He did evil in the sight of the Lord

He also made the kingdom of Judah pay tribute of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. Jehoahaz was taken to Egypt, arraigned, and jailed where he died. The new king of Judah, Jehoiakim paid the silver and gold tax to the king of Egypt.

However, he had to tax the land of Judah pretty harsh in order to come up with that money. He taxed the people much silver and gold in order to give it to the king of Egypt. Jehoiakim was twenty-five years of age when he began to rule.

He ruled eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zebudah, she was the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. He also did evil in the sight of the Lord as his ancestors had done.

Selah (this chapter is based on 2 Kings chapter 23)

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