2 Kings 23
Josiah, the intolerant king of Judah
And the king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and
And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the
prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their
ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house
of the LORD.
And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to
walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and
his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words
of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to
Josiah made a covenant with God, promising that he and the people would obey all of the laws in the book.
And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the
second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple
of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and
for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the
fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel.
Then he burned all the vessels that were made for Baal, the grove, and the stars.
And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had
ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in
the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal,
to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of
He removed the priests who burned incense in the high places, to Baal, or to the sun, moon, planets, and stars.
And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without
Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and
stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of
the children of the people.
He burned the grove, ground the ashes into powder, and threw the powder on graves.
And he brake down the
houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD,
where the women wove hangings for the grove.
And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the
high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba,
and brake down the high places of the gates that were in the entering in of
the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man's left hand
at the gate of the city.
Nevertheless the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of
the LORD in Jerusalem, but they did eat of the unleavened bread among their
And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom,
that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to
And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun,
at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech
the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the
sun with fire.
And the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which
the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the
two courts of the house of the LORD, did the king beat down, and brake them
down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.
And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right
hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had
builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the
abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children
of Ammon, did the king defile.
He destroyed the houses of the sodomites [1
] that were by God's house.
And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down the groves, and filled
their places with the bones of men.
Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam
the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the
high place he brake down, and burned the high place, and stamped it small to
powder, and burned the grove.
He broke images and groves, and filled them with human bones.
And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in
the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned
them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD
which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.
Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told
him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and
proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel.
And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his
bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria.
And all the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of
Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke the Lord to anger,
Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done
He took bones from graves and burned them on the altar, according to the word of God.
And he slew all the
priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men's
bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem.
And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto the
LORD your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant.
Surely there was not holden such a passover from the days of the judges
that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the
kings of Judah;
But in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, wherein this passover was
holden to the LORD in Jerusalem.
And he killed all the priests of the high places and burned their bones on their altars. [2
Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the
images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land
of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the
words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest
found in the house of the LORD.
Josiah continued to persecute people with familiar spirits, wizards, and anyone with other religious beliefs.
And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD
with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according
to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.
Josiah was more faithful to God than any king before or after him. [3
LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger
was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had
provoked him withal.
God was still angry against Judah, because of what Manasseh did. [4
And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have
removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen,
and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.
So God said,
I will abandon Jerusalem, just like I did to Israel.
Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, are they not
written in the book of the chronicles of the
kings of Judah?
In his days Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of
Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew
him at Megiddo,
when he had seen him.
And his servants
carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem,
and buried him in his own sepulchre. And the people of the land took
Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his
Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign; and he
reigned three months in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the
daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
King Josiah was killed in battle at Megiddo [5
], and his son Jehoahaz became king of Judah.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all
that his fathers had done.
Jehoahaz did what was evil in God's sight.
And Pharaohnechoh put him in bands at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that
he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute of an hundred
talents of silver, and a talent of gold.
Jehoahaz was imprisoned by the king of Egypt, who made Jehoahaz's brother, Jehoiakim, king.
And Pharaohnechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of
Josiah his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away:
and he came to Egypt, and died there.
Jehoahaz died in Egypt.
And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the
land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted
the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to
his taxation, to give it unto Pharaohnechoh.
Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign; and he
reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Zebudah, the
daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all
that his fathers had done.
Jehoaiakim did what was evil in God's sight.
- He brake down the houses of the sodomites. (v.7)
Although there is some debate about the meaning of "sodomites" here, most anti-gay Christians believe it
refers to homsexuals.
- He slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men's bones
upon them. (v.20)
Josiah, apparently with God's approval,
kills "all the priests of the high places" and sacrifices them to God on their
altars. Note that this is a guy who "did what was right in the eyes of the
Lord" (2 Kings 22:2).
Does God approve of human sacrifice?
DWB: Josiah killed all the priests of the high places
- And like unto him was there no king before him ... neither after him arose there any like him.
Not even David, Solomon, or Jesus?
- The LORD turned not from the fierceness of
his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him
Even though Josiah did all that God asked of him, God still punished him and all Jerusalem for the acts of his grandfather,
- Josiah went against him; and he slew
him at Megiddo ... And his servants
carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem (vv.29-30)
Where did Josiah die? Megiddo or Jerusalem? Well, whichever it might have been, it
certainly wasn't the peaceful death that God promised him in 22:20.
Where did Josiah die?
How did King Josiah die?