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2 Kings 23:1-20

Josiah's Reforms

1 1Then the king sent, and all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem were gathered to him.
2 And the king went up to the house of the LORD, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the prophets, all the people, both small and great. And 2he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant 3that had been found in the house of the LORD.
3 And the king stood 4by the pillar and 5made a covenant before the LORD, 6to 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 this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people joined in the covenant.
4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests 7of the second order and the keepers of the threshold to bring out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels made for 8Baal, for 9Asherah, and for all the host of heaven. 10He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel
5 And he deposed the priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to make offerings in the high places at the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and the moon and the constellations 11and all the host of the heavens.
6 And he brought out 12the Asherah from the house of the LORD, outside Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, 13and burned it at the brook Kidron 14and beat it to dust and cast the dust of it upon the graves 15of the common people.
7 And he broke down the houses of 16the male cult prostitutes who were in the house of the LORD, 17where the women wove hangings for 18the Asherah.
8 And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had made offerings, from 19Geba to Beersheba. And he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on one's left at the gate of the city.
9 20However, the priests of the high places did not come up to the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers.
10 And he defiled 21Topheth, which is 22in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, 23that no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to 24Molech.a
11 And he removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the precincts.b And he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.
12 And the altars 25on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars 26that Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, he pulled down and broke in piecesc and cast the dust of them 27into the brook Kidron.
13 And the king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, to the south of 28the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for 29Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for 30Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for 31Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
14 And he broke in pieces the 32pillars and cut down the Asherim and filled their places with the bones of men
15 Moreover, the altar at Bethel, the high place erected 33by Jeroboam the son of Nebat, 34who made Israel to sin, 35that altar with the high place he pulled down and burned,d reducing it to dust. He also burned the Asherah.
16 And as Josiah turned, he saw the tombs there on the mount. And he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar and defiled it, 36according to the word of the LORD that the man of God proclaimed, who had predicted these things.
17 Then he said, "What is that monument that I see?" And the men of the city told him, 37"It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and predictede these things that you have done against the altar at Bethel."
18 And he said, "Let him be; let no man move his bones." So they let his bones alone, with the bones 38of the prophet who came out of Samaria.
19 And Josiah removed all the shrines also of the high places that were 39in the cities of Samaria, which kings of Israel had made, provoking the LORD to anger. He did to them according to all that he had done at Bethel
20 And 40he sacrificed all the priests of the high places who were there, on the altars, 41and burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
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