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Josiah was only eight years old when he began to reign, he reigned in Jerusalem for thirty-one years ( 2 Chronicles 34:1 ).
Josiah instituted reformations.
In the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, [which means he was sixteen years old] he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images ( 2 Chronicles 34:3 ).
So eight years old when he started to reign. By the time he was sixteen, he started seeking the Lord. By the time he was twenty, he began to purge the land of the false images. When he was twenty-one years old, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet. And so now you're into the period of Jeremiah. For in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah, the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the prophet, calling Jeremiah. So Jeremiah was about seventeen years old when the word of the Lord came to him. So it means that he was about four years difference between Jeremiah and Josiah this king. And Josiah did institute spiritual reforms among the people.
And yet, Jeremiah the prophet of God at this time could see that the spiritual reforms were only surface reforms. It was only because the king was serving God that the people followed, but not with their whole heart. And Jeremiah cried out against the superficiality of their conversion and of their worship of God, declaring that they had only turned in a surface way but not with all of their hearts to the Lord. So Jeremiah, if you can remember now, this period of history when you get to Jeremiah, you'll really understand the prophecy of Jeremiah so much better, because Jeremiah began his prophecy right at this point. The purging of Jerusalem, the re-establishing of the temple worship and so forth by Josiah, that's when Jeremiah began his period of prophecy and he prophesied through the rest of the history of the nation prior to the Babylonian captivity. So from II Chronicles here on is the period of Jeremiah's ministry.
So he broke down the altars of Baalim; the images, he cut down the groves. He burnt the bones of the priests and their altars. And so he did up in the cities of the north, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali. And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem ( 2 Chronicles 34:4-7 ).
They began the repairing of the temple in the eighteenth year of his reign after he had purged the land. Jeremiah now had been prophesying for five years. They sent out a message to prepare the temple. They hired the workmen to come in and they began to restore the building that had fallen into great disrepair under his father Amon and his grandfather Manasseh.
Now as they were cleaning out the temple, they found a book of the law of the Lord. One of the scrolls upon which the law of God was written and the priest brought it out to Josiah and he began to read to him out of this scroll. And as he read to him, and of course, no doubt the portion of Deuteronomy really got to him where God pronounced the curses that would come upon the people should they turn away from God. And Josiah cried out and he said, "Oh, this is terrible." He realized that because of the iniquity and the sin of these people who had been called by God to be a special people and because of their failure that these are the curses God said that I will bring upon the land. And so when they read this scroll to Josiah, it came to pass when he heard the words that he tore his clothes and he said,
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 all that is written in this book. And so they came to Huldah the prophetess, (who was there in the college of prophets in Jerusalem;) ( 2 Chronicles 34:21-22 )
And she said, yes, the nation was going to fall but that it would not fall during the reign of Josiah because of his righteousness and turning unto the Lord. And so he was promised that he would be brought to the grave in peace. So then he had the law of the Lord read to the people. And he read in their ears all of the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the Lord.
And the king stood in his place, and he made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all of his heart, and with all of his soul, and to perform the words of the covenant which are written in the book. And Josiah took away all of the abominations out of the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and he 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 ( 2 Chronicles 34:31 , 2 Chronicles 34:33 ).
And then he instituted a tremendous Passover that even superseded that of his great grandfather's Hezekiah. In fact, there was no Passover in all of the land as great as this one since the time of Samuel. Now in Hezekiah, he had the biggest ones from Solomon, but Josiah even superseded those of Solomon, David's period, nothing like this since the time of Samuel.
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 34". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20