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2 Chronicles Chapter 34 | Parsha:

1Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2He did what was pleasing to the Lord, following the ways of his father David without deviating to the right or to the left. 3In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David, and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the shrines, the sacred posts, the idols, and the molten images. 4At his bidding, they demolished the altars of the Baals, and he had the incense stands above them cut down; he smashed the sacred posts, the idols, and the images, ground them into dust, and strewed it onto the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. 5He burned the bones of priests on their altars and purged Judah and Jerusalem. 6In the towns of Manasseh and Ephraim and Simeon, as far as Naphtali, [lying] in ruins on every side, 7he demolished the altars and the sacred posts and smashed the idols and ground them into dust; and he hewed down all the incense stands throughout the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

8In the eighteenth year of his reign, after purging the land and the House, he commissioned Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah son of Joahaz the recorder to repair the House of the Lord his God. 9They came to the high priest Hilkiah and delivered to him the silver brought to the House of God, which the Levites, the guards of the threshold, had collected from Manasseh and Ephraim and from all the remnant of Israel and from all Judah and Benjamin and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10They delivered it into the custody of the overseers who were in charge at the House of the Lord, and the overseers who worked in the House of the Lord spent it on examining and repairing the House. 11They paid it out to the artisans and the masons to buy quarried stone and wood for the couplings and for making roof-beams for the buildings that the kings of Judah had allowed to fall into ruin. 12The men did the work honestly; over them were appointed the Levites Jahath and Obadiah, of the sons of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of Kohath, to supervise; while other Levites, all the master musicians, 13were over the porters, supervising all who worked at each and every task; some of the Levites were scribes and officials and gatekeepers.

14As they took out the silver that had been brought to the House of the Lord, the priest Hilkiah found a scroll of the Lord’s Teaching given by Moses. 15Hilkiah spoke up and said to the scribe Shaphan, “I have found a scroll of the Teaching in the House of the Lord“; and Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan. 16Shaphan brought the scroll to the king and also reported to the king, “All that was entrusted to your servants is being done; 17they have melted down the silver that was found in the House of the Lord and delivered it to those who were in charge, to the overseers.” 18The scribe Shaphan also told the king, “The priest Hilkiah has given me a scroll”; and Shaphan read from it to the king. 19When the king heard the words of the Teaching, he tore his clothes. 20The king gave orders to Hilkiah, and Ahikam son of Shaphan, and Abdon son of Micah, and the scribe Shaphan, and Asaiah the king’s minister, saying, 21“Go, inquire of the Lord on my behalf and on behalf of those who remain in Israel and Judah concerning the words of the scroll that has been found, for great indeed must be the wrath of the Lord that has been poured down upon us because our fathers did not obey the word of the Lord and do all that is written in this scroll.”

22Hilkiah and those whom the king [had ordered] went to the prophetess Huldah, wife of Shallum son of Tokhath son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe, who was living in Jerusalem in the Mishneh, and spoke to her accordingly. 23She responded to them: “Thus said the Lord God of Israel: Say to the man who sent you to Me, 24‘Thus said the Lord: I am going to bring disaster upon this place and its inhabitants—all the curses that are written in the scroll that was read to the king of Judah— 25because they forsook Me and made offerings to other gods in order to vex Me with all the works of their hands; My wrath shall be poured out against this place and not be quenched.’ 26But say this to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the Lord: ‘Thus said the Lord God of Israel: As for the words which you have heard, 27since your heart was softened and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words concerning this place and its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me and tore your clothes and wept before Me, I for My part have listened, declares the Lord. 28Assuredly, I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be laid in your grave in peace; your eyes shall see nothing of the disaster that I will bring upon this place and its inhabitants.’” They reported this back to the king.

29Then the king sent word and assembled all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30The king went up to the House of the Lord with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the Levites—all the people, young and old—and he read to them the entire text of the covenant scroll that was found in the House of the Lord. 31The king stood in his place and solemnized the covenant before the Lord: to follow the Lord and observe His commandments, His injunctions, and His laws with all his heart and soul, to fulfill all the terms of the covenant written in this scroll. 32He obligated all the men of Jerusalem and Benjamin who were present; and the inhabitants of Jerusalem acted in accord with the Covenant of God, God of their fathers. 33Josiah removed all the abominations from the whole territory of the Israelites and obliged all who were in Israel to worship the Lord their God. Throughout his reign they did not deviate from following the Lord God of their fathers.

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