2 Kings 22

Josiah rules Judah

1 Josiah was 8 years old when he became king, and he ruled for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jedidah; she was Adaiah's daughter and was from Bozkath.
2 He did what was right in the LORD's eyes, and walked in the ways of his ancestor David-not deviating from it even a bit to the right or left.
3 In the eighteenth year of King Josiah's rule, he sent the secretary Shaphan, Azaliah's son and Meshullam's grandson, to the LORD's temple with the following orders:
4 "Go to the high priest Hilkiah. Have him carefully count the money that has been brought to the LORD's temple and that has been collected from the people by the doorkeepers.
5 It should be given to the supervisors in charge of the LORD's temple, who in turn should pay it to those who are in the LORD's temple, repairing the temple—
6 the carpenters, the builders, and the masons. It should be used to pay for lumber and quarried stone to repair the temple.
7 But there's no need to check on them regarding the money they receive, because they are honest workers."
8 The high priest Hilkiah told Shaphan the secretary: "I have found the Instruction scroll in the LORD's temple." Then Hilkiah turned the scroll over to Shaphan, who read it.
9 Shaphan the secretary then went to the king and reported this to him: "Your officials have released the money that was found in the temple and have handed it over to those who supervise the work in the LORD's temple."
10 Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, "Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll," and he read it out loud before the king.
11 As soon as the king heard what the Instruction scroll said, he ripped his clothes.
12 The king ordered the priest Hilkiah, Shaphan's son Ahikam, Micaiah's son Achbor, Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the royal officer as follows:
13 "Go and ask the LORD on my behalf, and on behalf of the people, and on behalf of all Judah concerning the contents of this scroll that has been found. The LORD must be furious with us because our ancestors failed to obey the words of this scroll and do everything written in it about us."
14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to the prophetess Huldah. She was married to Shallum, Tikvah's son and Harhas' grandson, who was in charge of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem in the second district. When they spoke to her,
15 she replied, "This is what the LORD, Israel's God, says: Tell this to the man who sent you to me:
16 This is what the LORD says: I am about to bring disaster on this place and its citizens-all the words in the scroll that Judah's king has read!
17 My anger burns against this place, never to be quenched, because they've deserted me and have burned incense to other gods, angering me by everything they have done.
18 But also say this to the king of Judah, who sent you to question the LORD: This is what the LORD, Israel's God, says about the message you've just heard:
19 Because your heart was broken and you submitted before the LORD when you heard what I said about this place and its citizens—that they will become a horror and a curse—and because you ripped your clothes and cried before me, I have listened to you, declares the LORD.
That's why I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will go to your grave in peace. You won't experience the disaster I am about to bring on this place."

Josiah’s reform

20 When they reported Huldah's words to the king,

2 Kings 22 Commentary

Chapter 22

Josiah's good reign, His care for repairing the temple, The book of the law found. (1-10) Josiah consults Huldah the prophetess. (11-20)

Verses 1-10 The different event of Josiah's early succession from that of Manasseh, must be ascribed to the distinguishing grace of God; yet probably the persons that trained him up were instruments in producing this difference. His character was most excellent. Had the people joined in the reformation as heartily as he persevered in it, blessed effects would have followed. But they were wicked, and had become fools in idolatry. We do not obtain full knowledge of the state of Judah from the historical records, unless we refer to the writings of the prophets who lived at the time. In repairing the temple, the book of the law was found, and brought to the king. It seems, this book of the law was lost and missing; carelessly mislaid and neglected, as some throw their Bibles into corners, or maliciously concealed by some of the idolaters. God's care of the Bible plainly shows his interest in it. Whether this was the only copy in being or not, the things contained in it were new, both to the king and to the high priest. No summaries, extracts, or collections out of the Bible, can convey and preserve the knowledge of God and his will, like the Bible itself. It was no marvel that the people were so corrupt, when the book of the law was so scarce; they that corrupted them, no doubt, used arts to get that book out of their hands. The abundance of Bibles we possess aggravates our national sins; for what greater contempt of God can we show, than to refuse to read his word when put into our hands, or, reading it, not to believe and obey it? By the holy law is the knowledge of sin, and by the blessed gospel is the knowledge of salvation. When the former is understood in its strictness and excellence, the sinner begins to inquire, What must I do to be saved? And the ministers of the gospel point out to him Jesus Christ, as the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Verses 11-20 The book of the law is read before the king. Those best honour their Bibles, who study them; daily feed on that bread, and walk by that light. Convictions of sin and wrath should put us upon this inquiry, What shall we do to be saved? Also, what we may expect, and must provide for. Those who are truly apprehensive of the weight of God's wrath, cannot but be very anxious how they may be saved. Huldah let Josiah know what judgments God had in store for Judah and Jerusalem. The generality of the people were hardened, and their hearts unhumbled, but Josiah's heart was tender. This is tenderness of heart, and thus he humbled himself before the Lord. Those who most fear God's wrath, are least likely to feel it. Though Josiah was mortally wounded in battle, yet he died in peace with God, and went to glory. Whatever such persons suffer or witness, they are gathered to the grave in peace, and shall enter into the rest which remaineth for the people of God.

Footnotes 2

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 KINGS 22

This chapter begins with the age and character of Josiah king of Judah, 2Ki 22:1-2, relates his orders for repairing the temple, 2Ki 22:3-7, his attention to the book of the law, which was found, and read to him, and the effect it had upon him, 2Ki 22:8-11, the command he gave to certain persons to inquire of the Lord about it, who applied to Huldah the prophetess, 2Ki 22:12-14, who returned an answer by them to the king, foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem, and giving the reason of it, and at the same time assuring the king it should not be in his days, 2Ki 22:15-20.

2 Kings 22 Commentaries