1Then the king called together all of the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.2He went up to the LORD's temple. The people of Judah and Jerusalem went with him. So did the priests and prophets. All of them went, from the least important of them to the most important. The king had all of the words of the Scroll of the Covenant read to them. The scroll had been found in the LORD's temple.3The king stood next to his pillar. He agreed to the terms of the covenant in front of the Lord. He promised to follow him and obey his commands, directions and rules. He promised to obey them with all his heart and with all his soul. So he agreed to the terms of the covenant that were written down in that scroll. Then all of the people committed themselves to the covenant.4Certain articles that were in the LORD's temple had been made to honor the god Baal and the goddess Asherah and all of the stars in the sky. The king ordered the high priest Hilkiah to remove those articles. He ordered the priests who were under him and the men who guarded the doors to help Hilkiah. Josiah burned the articles outside Jerusalem. He burned them in the fields in the Kidron Valley. And he took the ashes to Bethel5He got rid of the priests who served other gods. The kings of Judah had appointed them to burn incense. They burned the incense on the high places of the towns of Judah. And they burned it on the high places around Jerusalem. They burned incense to honor Baal and the sun and moon. They burned it to honor all of the stars.6Josiah removed the Asherah pole from the LORD's temple. It had been used to worship Asherah. He took it to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem. There he burned it. He ground it into powder. And he scattered it over the graves of the ordinary people.7He also tore down the rooms where the male temple prostitutes stayed. Those rooms were in the LORD's temple. The women had made cloth for Asherah in them.8Josiah brought all of the priests from the towns of Judah and destroyed the high places. He destroyed them from Geba all the way to Beersheba. The priests had burned incense on them. Josiah broke down the high places at the gates. That included the high place at the entrance of the Gate of Joshua. It was on the left side of one of Jerusalem's gates. Joshua was the city governor.9The priests of the high places didn't serve at the LORD's altar in Jerusalem. In spite of that, they ate with the other priests. All of them ate bread that was made without yeast.10Josiah destroyed the high places at Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom. He didn't want anyone to use them to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to the god Molech.11He removed the statues of horses from the entrance to the LORD's temple. The kings of Judah had set them apart to honor the sun. The statues were in the courtyard. They were near the room of an official named Nathan-Melech. Josiah burned the chariots that had been set apart to honor the sun.12He pulled down the altars the kings of Judah had set up. They had put them on the palace roof near the upstairs room of Ahaz. Josiah also pulled down the altars Manasseh had built. They were in the two courtyards of the LORD's temple. Josiah removed the altars from there. He smashed them to pieces. Then he threw the broken pieces into the Kidron Valley.13The king also destroyed the high places that were east of Jerusalem. They were at the southern end of the Mount of Olives. They were the ones Solomon, the king of Israel, had built. He had built a high place for worshiping Ashtoreth. She was the evil goddess of the people of Sidon. Solomon had also built one for worshiping Chemosh. He was the evil god of Moab. And Solomon had built one for worshiping Molech. He was the god of the people of Ammon. The LORD hated that god.14Josiah smashed the sacred stones. He cut down the poles that were used to worship the goddess Asherah. Then he covered all of those places with human bones15There was an altar at Bethel. It was at the high place that had been made by Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit sin. Even that altar and high place were destroyed by Josiah. He burned the high place. He ground it into powder. He also burned the Asherah pole.16Then Josiah looked around. He saw the tombs that were on the side of the hill. He had the bones removed from them. And he burned them on the altar to make it "unclean." That's what the LORD had said would happen. He had spoken that message through a man of God. The man had announced those things long before they took place.17The king asked, "What's that stone on the grave over there?" The men of the city said, "It marks the tomb where the body of a man of God is buried. He came from Judah. He spoke against the altar at Bethel. He announced the very things you have done to it."18"Leave it alone," Josiah said. "Don't let anyone touch his bones." So they spared his bones. They also spared the bones of the prophet who had come from the northern kingdom of Israel.19Josiah did in the rest of the northern kingdom the same things he had done at Bethel. He removed all of the small temples at the high places. He made them "unclean." The kings of Israel had built them in the towns of the northern kingdom. The people in those towns had made the LORD very angry20Josiah killed all of the priests of those high places on the altars. He burned human bones on the altars. Then he went back to Jerusalem.21The king gave an order to all of the people. He said, "Celebrate the Passover Feast to honor the LORD your God. Do what is written in this Scroll of the Covenant.22A Passover Feast like that one had not been held for a long time. There hadn't been any like it since the days of the judges who led Israel. And there hadn't been any like it during the whole time the kings of Israel and Judah were ruling.23King Josiah celebrated the Passover in Jerusalem to honor the Lord. It was in the 18th year of his rule.24And that's not all. Josiah got rid of those who got messages from people who had died. He got rid of those who talked to the spirits of the dead. He got rid of the statues of family gods and the statues of other gods. He got rid of everything else the LORD hates that was in Judah and Jerusalem. He did it to carry out what the law required. That law was written in the scroll the priest Hilkiah had found in the LORD's temple.25There was no king like Josiah either before him or after him. None of them turned to the LORD as he did. He followed the LORD with all his heart and all his soul. He followed him with all his strength. He did everything the Law of Moses required.26In spite of that, the LORD didn't turn away from his burning anger. It blazed out against Judah. That's because of everything Manasseh had done to make him very angry.27So the LORD said, "I will remove Judah from my land. I will do to them what I did to Israel. I will turn my back on Jerusalem. It is the city I chose. I will also turn my back on this temple. I spoke about it. I said, 'I will put my Name here.' "(1 Kings 8:29)28The other events of the rule of Josiah are written down. Everything he did is written down. All of those things are written in the official records of the kings of Judah.29Pharaoh Neco was king of Egypt. He marched up to the Euphrates River. He went there to help the king of Assyria. It happened while Josiah was king. Josiah marched out to meet Neco in battle. When Neco saw him at Megiddo, he killed him.30Josiah's servants brought his body in a chariot from Megiddo to Jerusalem. They buried his body in his own tomb. Then the people of the land went and got Jehoahaz. They anointed him as king in place of his father Josiah.31Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for three months. His mother's name was Hamutal. She was the daughter of Jeremiah. She was from Libnah.32Jehoahaz did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did just as the kings who had ruled before him had done.33Pharaoh Neco put him in chains at Riblah in the land of Hamath. That kept him from ruling in Jerusalem. Neco made the people of Judah pay him a tax of almost four tons of silver and 75 pounds of gold.34Pharaoh Neco made Eliakim king in place of his father Josiah. He changed Eliakim's name to Jehoiakim. But he took Jehoahaz with him to Egypt. And that's where Jehoahaz died.35Jehoiakim paid Pharaoh Neco the silver and gold he required. To get the money, Jehoiakim taxed the land. He forced the people to give him the silver and gold. He made each one pay him what he required.36Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 11 years. His mother's name was Zebidah. She was the daughter of Pedaiah. She was from Rumah37Jehoiakim did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did just as the kings who had ruled before him had done.
1During Jehoiakim's rule, Nebuchadnezzar marched into the land and attacked it. He was king of Babylonia. He became Jehoiakim's master for three years. But then Jehoiakim decided he didn't want to remain under Nebuchadnezzar's control.2The LORD sent robbers against Jehoiakim from Babylonia, Aram, Moab and Ammon. He sent them to destroy Judah. That's what the LORD had said would happen. He had spoken that message through his servants the prophets.3Those things happened to Judah in keeping with what the LORD had commanded. He brought enemies against his people in order to remove them from his land. He removed them because of all of the sins Manasseh had committed.4He had spilled the blood of many people who weren't guilty of doing anything wrong. In fact, he spilled so much of their blood that he filled Jerusalem with it. So the LORD refused to forgive him.5The other events of the rule of Jehoiakim are written down. Everything he did is written down. All of those things are written in the official records of the kings of Judah.6Jehoiakim joined the members of his family who had already died. His son Jehoiachin became the next king after him.7The king of Egypt didn't march out from his own country again. That's because the king of Babylonia had taken so much of his territory. That territory reached from the Wadi of Egypt all the way to the Euphrates River.8Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for three months. His mother's name was Nehushta. She was the daughter of Elnathan. She was from Jerusalem.9Jehoiachin did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did just as his father Jehoiakim had done.10At that time the officers of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia, marched to Jerusalem. They surrounded it and got ready to attack it.11Nebuchadnezzar himself came up to the city. He arrived while his officers were attacking it.12Jehoiachin, the king of Judah, handed himself over to him. Jehoiachin's mother did the same thing. And so did all of his attendants, nobles and officials. The king of Babylonia took Jehoiachin away as his prisoner. It was in the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar's rule.13He removed all of the treasures from the LORD's temple. He also removed all of the treasures from the royal palace. He took away all of the gold articles that Solomon, the king of Israel, had made for the temple. That's what the LORD had announced would happen.14Nebuchadnezzar took all of the people of Jerusalem to Babylonia as prisoners. That included all of the officers and fighting men. It also included all of the skilled workers. The total number of prisoners was 10,000. Only the poorest people were left in the land.15Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin to Babylon as his prisoner. He also took the king's mother from Jerusalem to Babylon. And he took Jehoiachin's wives, his officials and the most important men in the land.16The king also forced the whole army of 7,000 soldiers to go away to Babylonia. Those men were strong and able to go to war. And the king forced 1,000 skilled workers to go to Babylonia.17Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin's uncle Mattaniah king in his place. And he changed Mattaniah's name to Zedekiah.18Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 11 years. His mother's name was Hamutal. She was the daughter of Jeremiah. She was from Libnah.19Zedekiah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did just as Jehoiakim had done.20The enemies of Jerusalem and Judah attacked them because the LORD was angry. In the end he threw them out of his land. Zedekiah also refused to remain under the control of Nebuchadnezzar.
1Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylonia. He marched out against Jerusalem. All of his armies went with him. It was in the ninth year of the rule of Zedekiah. It was on the tenth day of the tenth month. Nebuchadnezzar set up camp outside the city. He brought in war machines all around it.2It was surrounded until the 11th year of King Zedekiah's rule.3By the ninth day of the fourth month, there wasn't any food left in the city. So the people didn't have anything to eat.4Then the Babylonians broke through the city wall. Judah's whole army ran away at night. They went out through the gate between the two walls that were near the king's garden. They escaped even though the Babylonians surrounded the city. Judah's army ran toward the Arabah Valley.5But the armies of Babylonia chased King Zedekiah. They caught up with him in the flatlands near Jericho. All of his soldiers were separated from him. They had scattered in every direction.6The king was captured. He was taken to the king of Babylonia at Riblah. That's where Nebuchadnezzar decided how he would be punished.7His men killed the sons of Zedekiah. They forced him to watch it with his own eyes. Then they poked out his eyes. They put him in bronze chains. And they took him to Babylon.8Nebuzaradan was an official of the king of Babylonia. In fact, he was commander of the royal guard. He came to Jerusalem. It was in the 19th year that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylonia. It was on the seventh day of the fifth month.9Nebuzaradan set the LORD's temple on fire. He also set fire to the royal palace and all of the houses in Jerusalem. He burned down every important building.10The armies of Babylonia broke down the walls around Jerusalem. That's what the commander told them to do.11Some people still remained in the city. But the commander Nebuzaradan took them away as prisoners. He also took the rest of the people of the land. That included those who had joined the king of Babylonia.12But the commander left some of the poorest people of the land behind. He told them to work in the vineyards and fields.13The armies of Babylonia destroyed the LORD's temple. They broke the bronze pillars into pieces. They broke up the bronze stands that could be moved around. And they broke up the huge bronze bowl. Then they carried the bronze away to Babylon.14They also took away the pots, shovels, wick cutters and dishes. They took away all of the bronze articles that were used for any purpose in the temple.15The commander of the royal guard took away the shallow cups for burning incense. He took away the sprinkling bowls. So he took away everything that was made out of pure gold or silver.16The bronze was more than anyone could weigh. It included the bronze from the two pillars. It also included the bronze from the huge bowl and the stands. Solomon had made all of those things for the LORD's temple.17Each pillar was 27 feet high. The bronze top of one pillar was four and a half feet high. It was decorated with a set of bronze chains and pomegranates all around it. The other pillar was just like it. It also had a set of chains.18The commander of the guard took some prisoners. They included the chief priest Seraiah and the priest Zephaniah who was under him. They also included the three men who guarded the temple doors.19Some people were still left in the city. The commander took as a prisoner the officer who was in charge of the fighting men. He took the five men who gave advice to the king. He also took the secretary who was the chief officer in charge of getting the people of the land to serve in the army. And he took 60 of the secretary's men who were still in the city.20The commander Nebuzaradan took all of them away. He brought them to the king of Babylonia at Riblah.21There the king had them put to death. Riblah was in the land of Hamath. So the people of Judah were taken as prisoners. They were taken far away from their own land.22Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia, appointed Gedaliah to be over the people he had left behind in Judah. Gedaliah was the son of Ahikam. Ahikam was the son of Shaphan.23All of Judah's army officers and their men heard about what had happened. They heard that the king had appointed Gedaliah as governor. So they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, came. So did Johanan, the son of Kareah. Seraiah, the son of Tanhumeth, also came. And so did Jaazaniah, the son of the Maacathite. All of their men came too. Seraiah was from Netophah.24Gedaliah took an oath to give hope to all of those men. He spoke in a kind way to them. He said, "Don't be afraid of the officials from Babylonia. Settle down in the land of Judah. Serve the king of Babylonia. Then things will go well with you."25But in the seventh month Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, came with ten men. He killed Gedaliah. He also killed the people of Judah and Babylonia who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah. Nethaniah was the son of Elishama. Ishmael was a member of the royal family.26After he had killed Gedaliah, all of the people ran away to Egypt. Everyone from the least important of them to the most important ran away. The army officers went with them. All of them went to Egypt because they were afraid of the Babylonians.27Evil-Merodach set Jehoiachin, the king of Judah, free from prison. It was in the 37th year after Jehoiachin had been taken away to Babylon. It was also the year Evil-Merodach became king of Babylonia. It was on the 27th day of the 12th month.28Evil-Merodach spoke kindly to Jehoiachin. He gave him a place of honor. Other kings were with Jehoiachin in Babylon. But his place was more important than theirs.29So Jehoiachin put his prison clothes away. For the rest of Jehoiachin's life the king provided what he needed.30The king did that for Jehoiachin day by day as long as he lived.