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In this chapter we have a graphic account of the reformation following the discovery of the book of the Law. It was carried out by the splendid enthusiasm and energy of Josiah, and it is interesting to note its process. First came the public reading of the book of the Law. This was followed by a covenant into which all entered to restore the lost order. Immediately succeeding, the work went forward, and a simple reading of the story shows how thoroughly, so far as the king was concerned, the work was done. The Temple was cleansed of all the vessels of false religions, and also of the priests. From one end of the country to the other, the idolatrous idols and altars were swept away.
Following this drastic cleansing of the land, the Passover feast, long neglected, was observed with all its ancient glory. As we have said, as far as Josiah was concerned, this whole procedure was the outcome of sincerity and loyalty. The people, however, were simply following the lead of the king, not under any sense of penitence or return to Jehovah. Therefore God did not turn from His necessary judgment. Josiah had done all he was able to do, and in fulfilment of the prophecy of Huldah was gathered to rest before the final stroke fell. Thus, with fine discrimination God moves forward, delivering the godly from the midst of judgment as it falls upon the godless.
And now, in rapid succession, the judgments fell. Jehoahaz succeeded to the throne, and notwithstanding all that had been done during the reign of Josiah, returned immediately to evil ways in his brief reign of three months. The king of Egypt deposed him, and set Jehoiakim on the throne. However, he reigned only as tributary to Pharaoh. The lesson of righteousness was not learned, and for eleven years this man, no longer king but only the vassal of Egypt, continued his evil way.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on 2 Kings 23". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent