2 Kings 22

1 Josias was eight years old when he began to reign: he reigned one and thirty years in Jerusalem: the name of his mother was Idida, the daughter of Hadaia, of Besecath.
2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of David, his father: he turned not aside to the right hand, or to the left.
3 And in the eighteenth year of king Josias, the king sent Saphan, the son of Assia, the son of Messulam, the scribe of the temple of the Lord, saying to him:
4 .Go to Helcias, the high priest, that the money may be put together which is brought into the temple of the Lord, which the doorkeepers of the temple have gathered of the people.
5 And let it be given to the workmen by the overseers of the house of the Lord: and let them distribute it to those that work in the temple of the Lord, to repair the temple:
6 That is, to carpenters and masons, and to such as mend breaches: and that timber may be bought, and stones out of the quarries, to repair the temple of the Lord.
7 But let there be no reckoning made with them of the money which they receive, but let them have it in their power, and in their trust.
8 And Helcias, the high priest, said to Saphan, the scribe: I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord: and Helcias gave the book to Saphan, and he read it.
9 And Saphan, the scribe, came to the king, and brought him word again concerning that which he had commanded, and said: Thy servants have gathered together the money that was found in the house of the Lord: and they have given it to be distributed to the workmen, by the overseers of the works of the temple of the Lord.
10 And Saphan, the scribe, told the king, saying: Helcias, the priest, hath delivered to me a book. And when Saphan had read it before the king,
11 And the king had heard the words of the law of the Lord, he rent his garments.
12 And he commanded Helcias, the priest, and Ahicam, the son of Saphan, and Achobor, the son of Micha, and Saphan, the scribe, and Asaia, the king’s servant, saying:
13 Go and consult the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Juda, concerning the words of this book which is found: for the great wrath of the Lord is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened to the words of this book, to do all that is written for us.
14 So Helcias, the priest, and Ahicam, and Achobor, and Sapham, and Asaia, went to Holda, the prophetess, the wife of Sellum, the son of Thecua, the son of Araas, keeper of the wardrobe, who dwelt in Jerusalem, in the Second: and they spoke to her.
15 And she said to them: Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel: Tell the man that sent you to me:
16 Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will bring evils upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, all the words of the law which the king of Juda hath read:
17 Because they have forsaken me, and have sacrificed to strange gods, provoking me by all the works of their hands: therefore my indignation shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.
18 But to the king of Juda, who sent you to consult the Lord, thus shall you say: Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel: for as much as thou hast heard the words of the book,
19 And thy heart hath been moved to fear, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, hearing the words against this place, and the inhabitants thereof, to wit, that they should become a wonder and a curse: and thou hast rent thy garments, and wept before me; I also have heard thee; saith the Lord.
20 Therefore I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy sepulchre in peace; that thy eyes may not see all the evils which I will bring upon this place.

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