he tore down the altars and the Asherah poles and crushed the idols to powder1 and cut to pieces all the incense altars throughout Israel. Then he went back to Jerusalem.
In the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign, to purify the land and the temple, he sent Shaphan son of Azaliah and Maaseiah the ruler of the city, with Joah son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair the temple of the LORD his God.
They went to Hilkiah2 the high priest and gave him the money that had been brought into the temple of God, which the Levites who were the doorkeepers had collected from the people of Manasseh, Ephraim and the entire remnant of Israel and from all the people of Judah and Benjamin and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Then they entrusted it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the LORD's temple. These men paid the workers who repaired and restored the temple.
They also gave money3 to the carpenters and builders to purchase dressed stone, and timber for joists and beams for the buildings that the kings of Judah had allowed to fall into ruin.412
The men did the work faithfully.5 Over them to direct them were Jahath and Obadiah, Levites descended from Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, descended from Kohath. The Levites--all who were skilled in playing musical instruments--613
had charge of the laborers7 and supervised all the workers from job to job. Some of the Levites were secretaries, scribes and doorkeepers.
While they were bringing out the money that had been taken into the temple of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the LORD that had been given through Moses.
Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, "I have found the Book of the Law8 in the temple of the LORD." He gave it to Shaphan.
Then Shaphan took the book to the king and reported to him: "Your officials are doing everything that has been committed to them.
They have paid out the money that was in the temple of the LORD and have entrusted it to the supervisors and workers."