2 Kings 22

1 Yoshiyahu was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned thirty-one years in Yerushalayim: and his mother's name was Yedidah the daughter of `Adayah of Botzkat.
2 He did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and didn't turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
3 It happened in the eighteenth year of king Yoshiyahu, that the king sent Shafan, the son of Atzalyahu the son of Meshullam, the Sofer, to the house of the LORD, saying,
4 Go up to Hilkiyah the Kohen Gadol, that he may sum the money which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the threshold have gathered of the people:
5 and let them deliver it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the LORD; and let them give it to the workmen who are in the house of the LORD, to repair the breaches of the house,
6 to the carpenters, and to the builders, and to the masons, and for buying timber and hewn stone to repair the house.
7 However there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand; for they dealt faithfully.
8 Hilkiyah the Kohen Gadol said to Shafan the Sofer, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. Hilkiyah delivered the book to Shafan, and he read it.
9 Shafan the Sofer came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the LORD.
10 Shafan the Sofer told the king, saying, Hilkiyah the Kohen has delivered me a book. Shafan read it before the king.
11 It happened, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he tore his clothes.
12 The king commanded Hilkiyah the Kohen, and Achikam the son of Shafan, and `Akhbor the son of Mikhayahu, and Shafan the Sofer, and `Asayah the king's servant, saying,
13 Go you, inquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Yehudah, concerning the words of this book that is found; for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that which is written concerning us.
14 So Hilkiyah the Kohen, and Achikam, and `Akhbor, and Shafan, and `Asayah, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harchas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Yerushalayim in the second quarter); and they talked with her.
15 She said to them, Thus says the LORD, the God of Yisra'el: Tell you the man who sent you to me,
16 Thus says the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil on this place, and on the inhabitants of it, even all the words of the book which the king of Yehudah has read.
17 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and it shall not be quenched.
18 But to the king of Yehudah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, thus shall you tell him, Thus says the LORD, the God of Yisra'el: As touching the words which you have heard,
19 because your heart was tender, and you did humble yourself before the LORD, when you heard what I spoke against this place, and against the inhabitants of it, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and have torn your clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard you, says the LORD.
20 Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in shalom, neither shall your eyes see all the evil which I will bring on this place. They brought the king word again.

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.

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