When the king heard the words of the Law,1 he tore2 his robes.
He gave these orders to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan3, Abdon son of Micah,a Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king's attendant:
"Go and inquire of the LORD for me and for the remnant in Israel and Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the LORD's anger that is poured out4 on us because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written in this book."
Hilkiah and those the king had sent with himb went to speak to the prophetess5 Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath,c the son of Hasrah,d keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the Second District.
She said to them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me,
'This is what the LORD says: I am going to bring disaster6 on this place and its people7--all the curses8 written in the book that has been read in the presence of the king of Judah.
Because they have forsaken me9 and burned incense to other gods and provoked me to anger by all that their hands have made,e my anger will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched.'
Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, 'This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard:
Because your heart was responsive10 and you humbled11 yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD.
Now I will gather you to your fathers,12 and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place and on those who live here.' "13 So they took her answer back to the king.
Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.
He went up to the temple of the LORD 14 with the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the priests and the Levites--all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the LORD.
The king stood by his pillar15 and renewed the covenant16 in the presence of the LORD--to follow17 the LORD and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book.
Then he had everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin pledge themselves to it; the people of Jerusalem did this in accordance with the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.
Josiah removed all the detestable18 idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the LORD their God. As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the LORD, the God of their fathers.