King Josiah name means “healed by Jehovah” and during his reign he helped the people to remain faithful to the Lord. Josiah became king at the age of eight. He ruled from the seventh century B.C., which is where he appears on the Bible Timeline with World History. His father, King Amon was assassinated because he led the people of Judah astray.
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When Josiah turned twelve years old, he began reform the land of Judah. He started this reform by removing all of the pagan shrines and temples from the land. He tore down the altars that were dedicated to the pagan deities, and he removed carved idols. This was the beginning of his campaign to remake Judah into a better place for the people to serve God. He didn’t just reform the city of Jerusalem he also reformed other cities and towns such as Ephraim and Simeon.
Josiah also reinstituted the worship services at Solomon’s Temple, which had been abandoned for many years. He appointed Levite leaders and officials to govern the temple and hired workers to restore the parts of the building. He made sure that all of the pagan idols and altars were removed from the temple’s area. During the restoration project, a high priest named Hilkiah found the Book of the Law which was created by Moses.
The high priest then read the book back to King Josiah, who then tore his clothes in despair. The reason he ripped his garments is because he realized that the people were not living in the right way. He then sent Hilkiah and some other officials to find a person who could read the Book of the Law in detail. Josiah’s representatives found a female prophetess named Huldah. Huldah revealed to them that Judah was going to be brought into captivity for their sins. Especially for the sins of Manasseh, who murdered innocent people during his reign. God would not forgive him for committing these acts.
Huldah told Josiah’s officials about the judgments that God was going to bring on the land. She also told Josiah that he wasn’t going to have to experience that ordeal. King Josiah then preserves the discovered Book of the Law. He then throws a spectacular Passover feast that is considered one the best in all of the history of Judah. About this time an Egyptian king named Neco was crossing into a region near Judah’s territory.
For some reason, King Josiah wanted to go to war with him. Neco wasn’t in the area to fight against Judah, and he told King Josiah that he was sent by God to fight against another army. King Neco also informed King Josiah that he should not interfere with his battle plans because the Lord was on his side. Once again, King Josiah didn’t listen to him.
So the two forces went to battle and during the conflict King Josiah was killed by Neco’s archers. The prophet Jeremiah made songs about his Josiah after he had passed. These songs are known as the Lamentations, and they can be found in the Old Testament of the Bible. His son, Jehoahaz becomes the next ruler of Judah. He ruled Judah for 31 years.
- 2 Chronicles 34: 1 -2 Background information on Josiah.
- 2 Chronicles 34: 3 – 5 Josiah makes reforms at the age of 12, follows in the ways of King David. Destroyed pagan shrines and idols in Judah.
- 2 Chronicles 34: 6, 7 King Josiah reforms various town surrounding Jerusalem as well.
- 2 Chronicles 34: 8 – 13 King Josiah assigns various positions within the kingdom and made renovations to the temple.
- 2 Chronicles 34: 14 Hilkiah, the high priest, finds one of the books of the Law that was written by Moses.
- 2 Chronicles 34: 18 Hilkiah reads the Book of the Law to Josiah, who then rips his clothes in despair.
- 2 Chronicles 34: 19 -21 King Josiah realized that they had not been obeying God and that the Lord was angry with them for this reason. As a result, he had his priests this book to the people.
- 2 Chronicles 34: 22 – 28 King Josiah’s officials pay a visit to a female prophetess named Huldah. She tells the king that God is going to punish Judah for their sins, but it isn’t going to happen in King Josiah’s lifetime.
- 2 Chronicles 34: 29 -33 Josiah makes necessary reforms.
- 2 Chronicles 34: 1 – 19 King Josiah throws a super spectacular Passover Celebration.
- 2 Chronicles 34: 20 – 26 King Josiah fights against King Neco of Egypt even though he should not have. God was on Neco’s side, and King Josiah lost his life because he should not have interfered with Neco’s business. The Prophet Jeremiah recorded Lamentation songs about Josiah, and they are found in the Book of Lamentations.
- 2 Kings 22 – 24: 29 An alternate account of King Josiah’s rule with more detail on certain events that occurred in his life.