2 Kings 22

Josiah Becomes King in Judah

1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. The name of his mother [was] Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah from Bozkath.
2 He did right in the eyes of Yahweh, and he walked in all of the way of David his ancestor and did not turn aside to the right or to the left.
3 It happened in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent [word to] Shaphan the son of Azaliah the son of Meshullam, the secretary of the temple of Yahweh, saying,
4 "Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, and let them count the money being brought to the temple of Yahweh which the keepers of the threshold have collected from the people,
5 and let them give it into the hand of those appointed doers of the work at the temple of Yahweh. Let them give it to the doers of the work who [are] at the temple of Yahweh to repair the breach of the temple:
6 to the skilled craftsmen, to the builders, to the masons, and to buy timber and hewing stones to repair the temple.
7 Only the money being given to them is not to be accounted for by them, for they [are] dealing with honesty."

A Scroll of the Torah Discovered in the Temple

8 Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, "I have found the scroll of the Torah in the temple of Yahweh," and Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan and he read it.
9 Shaphan the secretary came to the king and returned the king a word, and he said, "Your servant poured out the money found in the temple, and they have given it into the hand of the doers of the work appointed [over] the temple of Yahweh."
10 Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king saying, "Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll." Then Shaphan read before the king.
11 When the king heard the words of the scroll of the Torah, he tore his clothes.
12 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Acbor the son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the servant of the king, saying,
13 "Go, inquire of Yahweh for me and for the people and for all of Judah concerning the words of this scroll [that was] found. For the wrath of Yahweh that is kindled against us [is] great because our ancestors did not listen to the words of this scroll to do according to all that is written concerning us!"

The Prophetess Huldah Predicts Doom for Judah

14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah the son of Harhas, the keeper of the robes. Now she [was] living in Jerusalem in the second district. Then they spoke to her,
15 and she said to them, "Thus says Yahweh the God of Israel, 'Say to the man who sent you to me,
16 "Thus says Yahweh, 'Look I am bringing evil to this place and upon its inhabitants, [according to] all of the words of that scroll that the king of Judah has read
17 because they have abandoned me and they have burned incense to other gods, provoking me to anger with all of the works of their hands. My wrath shall be kindled against this place and not be quenched.'"
18 And to the king of Judah who sent all of you to inquire of Yahweh, thus you shall say to him, "Thus says Yahweh the God of Israel, '[Concerning] the words that you have heard,
19 because you have a responsive heart, and you humbled yourself before Yahweh when you heard how I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants to become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before my face, I have also heard, declares Yahweh.
20 Therefore look, I am gathering you to your ancestors, and you shall be gathered to your tombs in peace. Your eyes will not see all of the disaster that I am bringing onto this place.'" '" Then they {reported the word} 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 4

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