2 Kings 22

1 A son of eight years [is] Josiah in his reigning, and thirty and one years he hath reigned in Jerusalem, and the name of his mother [is] Jedidah daughter of Adaiah of Boskath,
2 and he doth that which is right in the eyes of Jehovah, and walketh in all the way of David his father, and hath not turned aside -- right or left.
3 And it cometh to pass, in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, the king hath sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of Jehovah, saying,
4 `Go up unto Hilkiah the high priest, and he doth complete the silver that is brought into the house of Jehovah, that the keepers of the threshold have gathered from the people,
5 and they give it into the hand of the doers of the work, the overseers, in the house of Jehovah, and they give it to the doers of the work that [is] in the house of Jehovah, to strengthen the breach of the house,
6 to artificers, and to builders, and [to repairers of] the wall, and to buy wood and hewn stones to strengthen the house;
7 only, the silver that is given into their hand is not reckoned with them, for in faithfulness they are dealing.
8 And Hilkiah the high priest saith unto Shaphan the scribe, `A book of the law I have found in the house of Jehovah;' and Hilkiah giveth the book unto Shaphan, and he readeth it.
9 And Shaphan the scribe cometh in unto the king, and bringeth the king back word, and saith, `Thy servants have poured out the silver that hath been found in the house, and give it into the hand of the doers of the work, the inspectors, in the house of Jehovah.'
10 And Shaphan the scribe declareth to the king, saying, `A book hath Hilkiah the priest given to me;' and Shaphan readeth it before the king.
11 And it cometh to pass, at the king's hearing the words of the book of the law, that he rendeth his garments,
12 and the king commandeth Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam son of Shaphan, and Achbor son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah servant of the king, saying,
13 `Go, seek Jehovah for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found, for great [is] the fury of Jehovah that is kindled against us, because that our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according to all that is written for us.'
14 And Hilkiah the priest goeth, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, unto Huldah the prophetess, wife of Shallum, son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the garments, and she is dwelling in Jerusalem in the second, and they speak unto her.
15 And she saith unto them, `Thus said Jehovah, God of Israel, Say to the man who hath sent you unto me:
16 Thus said Jehovah, Lo, I am bringing in evil unto this place and on its inhabitants, all the words of the book that the king of Judah hath read,
17 because that they have forsaken Me, and make perfume to other gods, so as to provoke Me to anger with every work of their hands, and My wrath hath been kindled against this place, and it is not quenched.
18 `And unto the king of Judah, who is sending you to seek Jehovah, thus do ye say unto him, Thus said Jehovah, God of Israel, The words that thou hast heard --
19 because thy heart [is] tender, and thou art humbled because of Jehovah, in thy hearing that which I have spoken against this place, and against its inhabitants, to be for a desolation, and for a reviling, and dost rend thy garments, and weep before Me -- I also have heard -- the affirmation of Jehovah --
20 therefore, lo, I am gathering thee unto thy fathers, and thou hast been gathered unto thy grave in peace, and thine eyes do not look on any of the evil that I am bringing in on this place;' and they bring the king back word.

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