Melachim II Twenty-Two: King Josiah

“Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath (Kings II 22:1).” Josiah is a good king, and God approves of his actions. He seems to stick to the middle of the road, not aligning with either the right or the left. Ten years into his reign, Josiah sends a messenger to the Temple to ask that the high priest gather up all of the silver that has been given to God’s house. “And let them give it into the hands of the foremen of the work, who are appointed in the house of the Lord, and let them give it to the workers who are in the house of the Lord, to repair the damage of the Temple (Kings II 22:5).”

The workers are paid. “And Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, ‘Hilkiah the priest gave me a scroll,’ And Shaphan read it before the king (Kings II 22:10).” The king tears his clothes upon hearing the words in the scroll. I’m not quite clear on what the scroll says that merits this reaction, but the king springs into action, commanding the priests. It turns out that the scroll indicates that God will bring further destruction to the people because of their pagan tendencies. However, because Josiah is a good and just king, He will wait until he dies naturally to bring this calamity, so that he isn’t forced to see it.

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