2 Chronicles 34

Listen to 2 Chronicles 34

Josiah Reigns in Judah

1 1Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem.
2 And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father; and he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a boy, he began to seek the God of David his father, and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the 2Asherim, and the carved and the metal images.
4 And they chopped down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and he cut down the 3incense altars that stood above them. And he broke in pieces the 4Asherim and the carved and the metal images, and he made dust of them and 5scattered it over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.
5 6He also burned the bones of the priests on their altars and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.
6 And in the 7cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, and as far as Naphtali, in their ruins[a] all around,
7 he broke down the altars and beat the 8Asherim and the images 9into powder and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

The Book of the Law Found

8 10Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had cleansed the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the 11governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz, 12the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his God.
9 They came to 13Hilkiah the high priest and gave him the money that had been brought into the house of God, which the Levites, the keepers of the threshold, had collected from 14Manasseh and Ephraim and from all the remnant of Israel and from all Judah and Benjamin and from the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
10 And they gave it to the workmen who were working in the house of the LORD. And the workmen who were working in the house of the LORD gave it for repairing and restoring the house.
11 They gave it to the carpenters and the builders to buy quarried stone, and timber for binders and 15beams for the buildings that the kings of Judah had let go to ruin.
12 And the men did the work faithfully. Over them were set Jahath and Obadiah the Levites, of the sons of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to have oversight. 16The Levites, all who were skillful with instruments of music,
13 were over 17the burden-bearers and directed all who did work in every kind of service, and some of the Levites were scribes and officials and gatekeepers.
14 While they were bringing out the money that had been brought into the house of the LORD, 18Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the LORD given through Moses.
15 Then Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the secretary, "I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD." And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan.
16 Shaphan brought the book to the king, and further reported to the king, "All that was committed to your servants they are doing.
17 They have emptied out the money that was found in the house of the LORD and have given it into the hand of the overseers and the workmen."
18 Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, "Hilkiah the priest has given me a book." And Shaphan read from it before the king.
19 And when the king heard the words of the Law, 19he tore his clothes.
20 And the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying,
21 "Go, inquire of the LORD for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found. For great is 20the wrath of the LORD that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do according to all that is written in this book."

Huldah Prophesies Disaster

22 So Hilkiah and those whom the king had sent[b] went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter) and spoke to her to that effect.
23 And she said to them, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: 'Tell the man who sent you to me,
24 Thus says the LORD, Behold, I will bring disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the curses that are written in the book that was read before the king of Judah.
25 Because they have forsaken me and 21have made offerings to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands, therefore 22my wrath will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched.
26 But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, thus shall you say to him, Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard,
27 because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me and have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the LORD.
28 Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place and its inhabitants.'" And they brought back word to the king.
29 23Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.
30 And the king went up to the house of the LORD, with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the Levites, all the people both great and small. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the LORD.
31 And the king 24stood in his place 25and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book.
32 Then he made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin join in it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.
33 And Josiah took away 26all the abominations from all the territory that belonged to the people of Israel and made all who were present in Israel serve the LORD their God. All his days they did not turn away from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.

2 Chronicles 34 Commentary

Chapter 34

Josiah's good reign in Judah.

- As the years of infancy cannot be useful to our fellow-creatures, our earliest youth should be dedicated to God, that we may not waste any of the remaining short space of life. Happy and wise are those who seek the Lord and prepare for usefulness at an early age, when others are pursuing sinful pleasures, contracting bad habits, and forming ruinous connexions. Who can express the anguish prevented by early piety, and its blessed effects? Diligent self-examination and watchfulness will convince us of the deceitfulness and wickedness of our own hearts, and the sinfulness of our lives. We are here encouraged to humble ourselves before God, and to seek unto him, as Josiah did. And believers are here taught, not to fear death, but to welcome it, when it takes them away from the evil to come. Nothing hastens the ruin of a people, nor ripens them for it, more than their disregard of the attempts made for their reformation. Be not deceived, God is not mocked. The current and tide of affections only turns at the command of Him who raises up those that are dead in trespasses and sins. We behold peculiar loveliness, in the grace the Lord bestows on those, who in tender years seek to know and to love the Saviour. Hath Jesus, the Day-spring from on high, visited you? Can you trace your knowledge of this light and life of man, like Josiah, from your youth? Oh the unspeakable happiness of becoming acquainted with Jesus from our earliest years!

Cross References 26

  • 1. For ver. 1, 2, see 2 Kings 22:1, 2
  • 2. See 2 Chronicles 14:3
  • 3. [2 Kings 23:6]
  • 4. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 5. [2 Kings 23:6]
  • 6. 2 Kings 23:20; [1 Kings 13:2]
  • 7. 2 Kings 23:15, 19
  • 8. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 9. [Deuteronomy 9:21]
  • 10. For ver. 8-28, see 2 Kings 22:3-20
  • 11. 2 Chronicles 18:25
  • 12. 2 Samuel 8:16
  • 13. 2 Chronicles 35:8
  • 14. [See ver. 6 above]
  • 15. Nehemiah 2:8
  • 16. 1 Chronicles 23:5
  • 17. 2 Chronicles 2:2, 18; Nehemiah 4:10
  • 18. [See ver. 9 above]
  • 19. See Joshua 7:6
  • 20. 2 Chronicles 12:7
  • 21. 2 Chronicles 28:3, 4, 25
  • 22. [See ver. 21 above]
  • 23. For ver. 29-32, see 2 Kings 23:1-3
  • 24. 2 Chronicles 6:13; 2 Kings 11:14; [2 Chronicles 30:16]
  • 25. See 2 Chronicles 15:12
  • 26. 2 Chronicles 28:3; 2 Chronicles 33:2

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  • [b]. Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew lacks had sent

Chapter Summary


This chapter begins with the good reign of Josiah, the reformation he made in the land, purging it from idolatry, 2Ch 34:1-7, relates the orders he gave to repair the house of the Lord, which was accordingly done, 2Ch 34:8-13, when the book of the law was found and brought to him, which greatly affected him, 2Ch 34:12-19, upon which he deputed some persons to inquire of the Lord, who did of Huldah the prophetess, to whom she gave an answer, which they returned to the king, 2Ch 34:20-28 and the chapter is concluded with an account of reading the book in the ears of all the people, and of the king, and then making a covenant with the Lord to serve him, 2Ch 34:27-33.

Of these two verses, \\see Gill on "2Ki 22:1"\\, \\see Gill on "2Ki 22:2"\\. 19893-950128-2136-2Ch34.2

2 Chronicles 34 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.