Josiah was 8 years old when he began to rule, and he was king for 31 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jedidah, daughter of Adaiah from Bozkath.
Josiah did what the LORD considered right. He lived in the ways of his ancestor David and never stopped.
In Josiah's eighteenth year as king of Judah, he sent the scribe Shaphan, son of Azaliah and grandson of Meshullam, to the LORD's temple with these instructions:
"Go to the chief priest Hilkiah. Have him count the money that has been brought into the LORD's temple, [the money] that the doorkeepers have collected from the people.
Give [some of] it to the foremen who are in charge of the LORD's temple. They should give it to the workmen who are making repairs on the LORD's temple.
(These workers include the carpenters, builders, and masons.) Also, use [the rest of] the money to buy lumber and quarried stones to repair the temple.
Since the workmen are honest, don't require them to account for the money you give them."
The chief priest Hilkiah told the scribe Shaphan, "I have found the Book of Moses' Teachings in the LORD's temple." Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, who then read it.
The scribe Shaphan went to the king and reported, "We have taken the money donated in the temple and have given it to the workmen who are in charge of the LORD's temple."
Then the scribe Shaphan told the king, "The priest Hilkiah has given me a book." And Shaphan read it to the king.
When the king heard what the book of the Teachings said, he tore his clothes [in distress].
Then the king gave an order to the priest Hilkiah, to Ahikam (son of Shaphan), Achbor (son of Micaiah), the scribe Shaphan, and the royal official Asaiah. He said,
"On behalf of the people, all of Judah, and me, ask the LORD about the words in this book that has been found. The LORD's fierce anger is directed towards us because our ancestors did not obey the things in this book or do everything written [in it]."
So the priest Hilkiah, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to talk to the prophet Huldah. She was the wife of Shallum, son of Tikvah and grandson of Harhas. Shallum was in charge of the [royal] wardrobe. Huldah was living in the Second Part of Jerusalem.
She told them, "This is what the LORD God of Israel says: Tell the man who sent you to me,
'This is what the LORD says: I'm going to bring disaster on this place and on the people living here according to everything written in the book that the king of Judah has read.
I will do this because they have abandoned me and sacrificed to other gods in order to make me furious. Therefore, my burning anger directed at this place will never be extinguished.'"
[Huldah added,] "But tell Judah's king who sent you to me to ask the LORD a question, 'This is what the LORD God of Israel says about the words you heard:
You had a change of heart and humbled yourself in front of the LORD when you heard my words against this place and those who live here. I had said that those who live here will be destroyed and cursed. You also tore your clothes [in distress] and cried in front of me. So I will listen [to you], declares the LORD.
That is why I'm going to bring you to your ancestors. I'm going to bring you to your grave in peace, and your eyes will not see any of the disaster I'm going to bring on this place.'" So they reported this to the king.