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SECOND CHRONICLES XXXIV—JOSIAH'S SORROW
20 And the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king's, saying,
21 Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book.
22 And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college:') and they spake to her to that effect.
23 | And she answered them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell ye the man that sent you to me,
24 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and
upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah:
25 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 poured out upon
this place, and shall not be quenched.
26 And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, so shall ye say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel concerning the words which thou hast heard;
27 Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD.
28 Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of
So they brought the king word again. 29 ( Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.
30 And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD.
31 And the king stood in his place, 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 his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.
'Or "second quarter" of the city.
SECOND CHRONICLES XXXV—JOSIAH'S PASSOVER
32 And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.
33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. And all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.
20 He, provoking Pharaoh-necho, is slain at Megiddo. 25 Lamera
1 Josinh kee peth a most solemn passover. tations for Josiah.
OREOVER Josiah kept a passover unto the LORD in Jerusa
lem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of
the first month. 2 And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the LORD,
3 And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the LORD, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the LORD your God, and his people Israel,
4 And prepare yourselves by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son.
5 And stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the families of the fathers of your brethren the people, and after the division of the families of the Levites.
6 So kill the passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the word of the LORD the hand of Moses.
7 And Josiah gave to the people, of the flocks, lambs and kids, all for the passover offerings, for all that were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bullocks: these were of the king's substance. 8 And his princes gave willingly unto the people, to the priests
, and to the Levites: Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave unto the priests for the passover offering two thousand and six hundred small cattle, and three hundred oxen.
9 Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethaneel, his brethren, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chief of the Levites, gave unto the Levites for passover offerings five thousand small cattle, and five hundred oxen.
10 So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their courses, according to the king's commandment.
Judah Defeats Israel
FROM THE BIBLICAL SERIES BY GUSTAVE DORÉ.
“And when Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind: and they cried unto the Lord.”—II. Chron., 13, 14.
O AMID tumult and irreligion, civic disruption and
foreign invasion and disaster, did the downfall of
the Hebrew race proceed. A tragic story, an awful warning! Rehoboam, the foolish son of Solomon, died; and his strife against Jeroboam was continued by his son Abijah or Abijam. King Abijah did what bis father had avoided doing; he invaded the northern kingdom with all the strength of his army, challenging Jeroboam to put their differences to the test of the sword. Thus at last Israelites fought against Israelites, or Judahites, as we must call them henceforth. The former power of the race was wiped out in fratricidal blood.
Jeroboam, forced into unwilling conflict, marshalled his people against Judah. King Abijah made a long address to the northern Israelites, exhorting them to return to him. This, Jeroboam craftily permitted, meanwhile encircling the army of Judah with his forces to catch them in a trap. At the end of his wasted oration, Abijah suddenly discovered his danger, and cried out to his men to do their best. So they prayed to God, and fought; and “God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah." Great was the disaster to Israel, great the slaughter. The northern kingdom never wholly recovered its strength; and Jeroboam, "struck" by God, died soon after, having accomplished all the evil that he could.