2 Kings 22

Josiah Succeeds Amon

1 1Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one * years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of 2Bozkath.
2 He did right in the sight of the LORD and walked in all the way of his father David, nor did he 3turn aside to the right or to the left.
3 Now 4in the eighteenth * year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan, the son of Azaliah the son of Meshullam the scribe, to the house of the LORD saying,
4 "5Go up to Hilkiah the high priest that he may count the money brought in to the house of the LORD which the doorkeepers have gathered from the people.
5 "6Let 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 damages of the house,
6 to the carpenters and the builders and the masons and for buying timber and hewn stone to repair the house.
7 "Only 7no accounting shall be made with them for the money delivered into their hands, for they deal faithfully."

The Lost Book

8 Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, "8I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD." And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan who read it.
9 Shaphan the scribe came to the king and brought back word to the king 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 Moreover, Shaphan the scribe told the king saying, "Hilkiah the priest has given me a book." And Shaphan read it in the presence of the king.
11 When the king heard the words of the book of the law, 9he tore his clothes.
12 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, 10Ahikam the son of Shaphan, 11Achbor the son of Micaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king's servant saying,
13 "Go, inquire of the LORD for me and the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found, for 12great is the wrath of the LORD that burns against us, because * our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us."

Huldah Predicts

14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of 13Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the 14Second Quarter); and they spoke to her.
15 She said to them, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'Tell the man who sent you to me,
16 thus says the LORD, "Behold, I 15bring evil on this place and on its inhabitants, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read.
17 "16Because * 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 burns against this place, and it shall not be quenched."'
18 "But to 17the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the LORD thus shall you say to him, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel, "Regarding the words which you have heard,
19 18because your heart was tender and 19you humbled yourself before * the LORD when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants that they should become 20a desolation and a 21curse, and you have 22torn your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you," declares the LORD.
20 "Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and 23you will be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes will not see all the evil which I will bring on this place.""' So they brought back 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.

Cross References 23

  • 1. 2 Chronicles 34:1
  • 2. Joshua 15:39
  • 3. Deuteronomy 5:32; Joshua 1:7
  • 4. 2 Chronicles 34:8
  • 5. 2 Kin 12:4, 9, 10
  • 6. 2 Kings 12:11-14
  • 7. 2 Kings 12:15; 1 Corinthians 4:2
  • 8. Deuteronomy 31:24-26; 2 Chronicles 34:14, 15
  • 9. Genesis 37:34; Joshua 7:6
  • 10. 2 Kings 25:22; Jeremiah 26:24
  • 11. 2 Chronicles 34:20
  • 12. Deuteronomy 29:23-28; Deuteronomy 31:17, 18
  • 13. 2 Chronicles 34:22
  • 14. Zephaniah 1:10
  • 15. Deuteronomy 29:27; Daniel 9:11-14
  • 16. Deuteronomy 29:25, 26; 2 Kings 21:22
  • 17. 2 Chronicles 34:26
  • 18. 1 Samuel 24:5; Psalms 51:17
  • 19. Exodus 10:3; 1 Kings 21:29
  • 20. Leviticus 26:31
  • 21. Jeremiah 26:6
  • 22. 2 Kings 22:11
  • 23. 2 Kings 23:30

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Or "total"
  • [b]. Lit "breach"
  • [c]. In 2 Chr 34:20, "Abdon, son of Micah"
  • [d]. In 2 Chr 34:22, "Tokhath, son of Hasrah"

Chapter Summary


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

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