King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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2 Kings 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)

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Josiah’s good reign, His care for repairing the temple, The book of the law found

1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath.

2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.

3 And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the LORD, saying,

4 Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people:

5 And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD: and let them give it to the doers of the work which is in the house of the LORD, to repair the breaches of the house,

6 Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house.

7 Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully.

8 And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

9 And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD.

10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.

Josiah consults Huldah the prophetess

11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.

12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying,

13 Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.

14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her.

15 And she said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me,

16 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read:

17 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.

18 But to the king of Judah which sent you to enquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard;

19 Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD.

20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Eight years. After he had reigned other eight, being still but a boy, he began more seriously to seek the Lord, and purified his dominions, and the neighbouring country, from all the vestiges of idolatry. 2 Par. xxxiii. 3. He was one of the three most excellent kings of Juda, (H.) and might be said to be the last; as those who followed were displaced at pleasure by Egypt, &c. D.

Ver. 3. Scribe of. Heb. “to the temple.” Chal. Syr. &c. It is not certain that there was such an officer as scribe of the temple; but the king’s secretary was ordered by Joas to take an account of the money contributed, C. xii. 10. C. — Josias followed the same plan. T.

Ver. 4. Together, so as to be reduced into a mass, and refined by fire. Pagnin. — Sept. “seal up the money.” Prot. “that he may sum the silver which,” &c. H. — Let him make all be paid up that is due, (Piscat.) and cease to demand any more. — Door-keepers. Their office was of some consequence. 1 Par. ix. 26. 29. C.

Ver. 5. Overseers, or undertakers. Grotius. — People of the great respectability were selected, so that no reckoning with them was requisite, v. 7. H. — They were thus encouraged to do the work with greater perfection. C.

Ver. 8. The book of the law, (that is, Deuteronomy. Ch. — S. Chrys. hom. 9. in Mat.) or the Pentateuch. Joseph. — Achaz, Manasses, and Amon, had burnt (R. Solomon) as many copies as they could, (H.) but some zealous priests had concealed this copy, in a box, in the wall of the temple, (Lyran) or in the treasury adjoining it. The very hand writing of Moses, containing the record of the covenant, (or the 28, 29, 30, and 31st chapters of Deuteronomy) which was placed in (C.) or beside the ark, was now happily discovered. H. — It seems it had been misplaced, as the ark itself had been removed, 2 Par. xxiv. 14. and xxxv. 3. This venerable monument, and the dreadful menaces which it denounced, made the deepest impression upon all, as we should read the autographs of S. Matthew, &c. with far greater respect and emotion than we do the printed copies. It is not at all probably that all the books of Scripture had been destroyed, as there were always some religious souls in both kingdoms; and if some kings had already made the impious attempt, (H.) of which, however, they are never accused in Scripture, they would not have been able to carry their malicious designs into effect. Josias had, before his 18th year, made many excellent regulations, conformably to the law, which was well understood, and carefully preserved by the priests and prophets. C. 2 Par. xvii. 9. — Read it. Scribes were generally chosen from among the Levites. C.

Ver. 11. Garments, through zeal for God’s honour, and fear of his indignation. M.

Ver. 14. Holda. She is known only by this honourable embassy. It is rather wonderful that Jeremias was not consulted, as he had began to prophesy five years before. But he probably resided at Anathoth. Sophonias appeared, perhaps, only towards the end of the reign of Josias. C. — The Second, a street, or part of the city so called; in Hebrew, Massem. Ch. — The Sept. retain this word, (M.) or rather, “in Masena;” Heb. mishne. H. — Manasses inclosed Jerusalem with a second wall, (2 Par. xxxiii. 14. C.) unless this was done by his father, ib. xxxii. 5. T. — Here Holda is said to have kept a school. C. — Chal. “the house of doctrine,” a lace next in importance to the temple. Vatab. — S. Jerom speaks of this Second, as of a gate, or part of Jerusalem, between the inner and the outer wall. C. Pelag, 2 Irad. in 2 Par. and in Sophon. i. 10. M.

Ver. 20. Peace, before these horrors overtake the city. Josias was interred with all the usual honours, have fallen in battle. C. xxiii. 29. C. — Instead of peace, the Alex. Sept. reads, “in Jerusalem,” to which city Josias was brought from Mageddo, where he had perhaps rashly attacked the king of Egypt, with whom he had not been engaged in war. H. — This last good king was given to Juda, that he people might not pretend that they were forced to embrace idolatry by the royal power. S. Jer. D.