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2 Kings 23:24:25
Josiah also got rid of the mediums and psychics, the household gods, the idols, and every other kind of detestable practice, both in Jerusalem and throughout the land of Judah. He did this in obedience to the laws written in the scroll that Hilkiah the priest had found in the Lord’s Temple. Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since.

My Comment: I was just a little puzzled by the sudden death of Josiah today so I found the below and it helped explain it. Thought it might help someone else.

2 Kings 23:29
While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, went to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah and his army marched out to fight him, but King Neco killed him when they met at Megiddo.


a. In his days Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went to the aid of the king of Assyria: This was part of the geopolitical struggle between the declining Assyrian Empire and the emerging Babylonian Empire. The Assyrians made an alliance with the Egyptians to protect against the growing power of the Babylonians.

b. King Josiah went against him . . . Pharaoh Necho killed him: 2 Chronicles 35:20-25 tells us more about this. Pharaoh warned Josiah against battling against him saying, What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day. Josiah stubbornly refused to hear this warning (which was actually from God) and disguised himself in battle – yet he was still shot by archers and died. This was a sad end to one of the great kings of Judah.

i. “It was not of faith, else why ‘disguise’ himself? There is no record of any prayer before the battle, as in the case of so many of his godly ancestors; and this rash act of Josiah seems unaccountable.” (Knapp)
ii. “The exact place of the battle seems to have been Hadadrimmon, in the valley of Megiddo, for there Zechariah tells us, chapter 12:11, was the great mourning for Josiah. (Clarke)

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Only a remnant get it any more......

"And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “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."

Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

22:1-10 The different event of Josiah's early succession from that of Manasseh, must be ascribed to the distinguishing grace of God; yet probably the persons that trained him up were instruments in producing this difference. His character was most excellent. Had the people joined in the reformation as heartily as he persevered in it, blessed effects would have followed. But they were wicked, and had become fools in idolatry. We do not obtain full knowledge of the state of Judah from the historical records, unless we refer to the writings of the prophets who lived at the time. In repairing the temple, the book of the law was found, and brought to the king. It seems, this book of the law was lost and missing; carelessly mislaid and neglected, as some throw their Bibles into corners, or maliciously concealed by some of the idolaters. God's care of the Bible plainly shows his interest in it. Whether this was the only copy in being or not, the things contained in it were new, both to the king and to the high priest. No summaries, extracts, or collections out of the Bible, can convey and preserve the knowledge of God and his will, like the Bible itself. It was no marvel that the people were so corrupt, when the book of the law was so scarce; they that corrupted them, no doubt, used arts to get that book out of their hands. The abundance of Bibles we possess aggravates our national sins; for what greater contempt of God can we show, than to refuse to read his word when put into our hands, or, reading it, not to believe and obey it? By the holy law is the knowledge of sin, and by the blessed gospel is the knowledge of salvation. When the former is understood in its strictness and excellence, the sinner begins to inquire, What must I do to be saved? And the ministers of the gospel point out to him Jesus Christ, as the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 8-14. - Discovery of the book of the Law. When Shaphan had transacted with Hilkiah the business entrusted to him by the king, Hilkiah took the opportunity of sending word by him to the king with respect to a discovery that he had recently made, during the investigations connected with the repairs. He had found a book, which he called without any doubt or hesitation, "the book of the Law" - סֵפֶר הַתּורָה - and this book he put into the hands of Shaphan, who "read it," i.e. some of it, and found it of such importance that he took it back with him to the palace, and read a portion to the king. Hereupon the king "rent his clothes," and required that special inquiry should be made of the Lord concerning the words of the book, and particularly concerning the threatenings contained in it. The persons entrusted with this task thought it best to lay the matter before Huldah, a prophetess, who lived in Jerusalem at the time, and pro-seeded to confer with her at her residence. Verse 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. There has been great difference of opinion as to what it was which Hilkiah had found. Ewald believes it to have been the Book of Deuteronomy, which had, he thinks, been composed some thirty or forty years before in Egypt by a Jewish exile, and had found its way, by a sort of chance, into Palestine, where "some priest" had placed a copy of it in the temple ('History of Israel,' vol. 4. pp. 233-235). Thenius suggests "a collection of the laws and ordinances of Moses, which was afterwards worked up into the Pentateuch;" Bertheau, "the three middle books of the Pentateuch, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers;" Gramberg, "Exodus by itself." But there seem to be no sufficient grounds for questioning the ancient opinion - that of Josephus, and of the Jews generally - that it was a copy of the entire Pentateuch. (So De Wette, 'Einleitung in das Alt. Test.,' § 162 a; Keil, 'Commentary on Kings,' pp. 477, 478; Bahr, 'Commentary,' vol. 6. p. 257; and others). The words, סֵפֶר הַתּורָה, "the book of the Law," are really sufficient to decide the point; since, as Keil says, they "cannot mean anything else, either grammatically or historically, than the Mosaic book of the Law (the Pentateuch), which is so designated, as is generally admitted, in the Chronicles and the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah." The same conclusion follows from the expression, "the book of the covenant" (סֵפֶר הַּבְןןרִית), in 2 Kings 23:2, and also from 2 Kings 23:24, 25, and 2 Chronicles 34:14. Whether or no the copy was the actual original deposited in the ark of the covenant by Moses (Deuteronomy 31:26), as Keil believes, is doubtful. As Egyptian manuscripts which are from three to four thousand years old still exist in good condition, there can be no reason why a manuscript of Moses' time should not have been found and have been legible in Josiah's. But, if not the actual handwriting of Moses, it was probably its lineal descendant - the copy made for the temple service, and kept ordinarily "in the side of the ark" - which may well have been lost in the time of Manasseh or Amen, and which was now happily "found." And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. We need not suppose that Shaphan read the whole. But he read enough to show him how important the work was, and how necessary it was to make it known to the king.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe,.... Not at the first time of his message to him, but afterwards that he attended on him upon the same business; after the high priest had examined the temple to know what repairs it wanted, and where:

I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord; some think this was only the book of Deuteronomy, and some only some part of that; rather the whole Pentateuch, and that not a copy of it, but the very autograph of Moses, written with his own hand, as it seems from 2 Chronicles 34:14. Some say he found it in the holy of holies, on the side of the ark; there it was put originally; but, indeed, had it been there, he might have found it before, and must have seen it, since, as high priest, he entered there once every year; more probably some pious predecessor of his had taken it from thence in a time of general corruption, as in the reign of Manasseh, and hid it in some private place, under a lay of stones, as Jarchi, in some hole in the wall, which upon search about repairs was found there:

and Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it; and though there might be some copies of it in private hands, yet scarce; and perhaps Shaphan had never seen one, at least a perfect one, or however had never read it through, as now he did.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2Ki 22:8-15. Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law.

8-11. Hilkiah said … I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord, &c.—that is, the law of Moses, the Pentateuch. It was the temple copy which, had been laid (De 31:25, 26) beside the ark in the most holy place. During the ungodly reigns of Manasseh and Amon—or perhaps under Ahaz, when the temple itself had been profaned by idols, and the ark also (2Ch 35:3) removed from its site; it was somehow lost, and was now found again during the repair of the temple [Keil]. Delivered by Hilkiah the discoverer to Shaphan the scribe [2Ki 22:8], it was by the latter shown and read to the king. It is thought, with great probability, that the passage read to the king, and by which the royal mind was so greatly excited, was a portion of Deuteronomy, the twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth, and thirtieth chapters, in which is recorded a renewal of the national covenant, and an enumeration of the terrible threats and curses denounced against all who violated the law, whether prince or people. The impressions of grief and terror which the reading produced on the mind of Josiah have seemed to many unaccountable. But, as it is certain from the extensive and familiar knowledge displayed by the prophets, that there were numbers of other copies in popular circulation, the king must have known its sacred contents in some degree. But he might have been a stranger to the passage read him, or the reading of it might, in the peculiar circumstances, have found a way to his heart in a manner that he never felt before. His strong faith in the divine word, and his painful consciousness that the woeful and long-continued apostasies of the nation had exposed them to the infliction of the judgments denounced, must have come with overwhelming force on the heart of so pious a prince.

That is all.....

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