Josiah was eight years old when he became king; he reigned 31 years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah; [she was] from Bozkath.
He did what was right in the Lord's sight and walked in all the ways of his ancestor David; he did not turn to the right or the left.a
In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent the court secretary Shaphan son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, to the Lord's temple, saying,
"Go up to Hilkiah the high priest so that he may total up the money brought into the Lord's temple-[the money] the doorkeepers have collected from the people.
It is to be put into the hands of those doing the work-those who oversee the Lord's temple. They [in turn] are to give it to the workmen in the Lord's temple to repair the damage.
[They are to give it] to the carpenters, builders, and masons to buy timber and quarried stone to repair the temple.
But no accounting is to be required from them for the money put into their hands since they work with integrity."b
Hilkiah the high priest told Shaphan the court secretary, "I have found the book of the law in the Lord's temple,"c and he gave the book to Shaphan, who read it.
Then Shaphan the court secretary went to the king and reported,d "Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the temple and have put it into the hand of those doing the work-those who oversee the Lord's temple."
Then Shaphan the court secretary told the king, "Hilkiah the priest has given me a book," and Shaphan read it in the presence of the king.e11
When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes.
Then he commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Achbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and the king's servant Asaiah:
"Go and inquire of the Lord for me, the people, and all Judah about the instruction in this book that has been found. For great is the Lord's wrath that is kindled against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words of this book in order to do everything written about us."f
So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to the prophetess Huldah, wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, son of Harhas,g keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem in the Second District. They spoke with her.
She said to them, "This is what the Lord God of Israel says, 'Say to the man who sent you to Me:
This is what the Lord says: I am about to bring disaster on this place and on its inhabitants, [fulfilling] all the words of the book that the king of Judah has read,
because they have abandoned Me and burned incense to other gods in order to provoke Me with all the work of their hands. My wrath will be kindled against this place, and it will not be quenched.h18
Say this to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the Lord: This is what the Lord God of Israel says: As for the words that you heard,
because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse,i and because you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I Myself have heard you-declares the Lord.
Therefore, I will indeed gather you to your fathers, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster that I am bringing on this place.'"j Then they reportedk to the king.l