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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 22

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

Second Kings Chapter 22

2 Kings 22:1 "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."

This is an unusually young age to begin the reign as king. Someone will have a great influence upon him, perhaps his mother. It appears, his mother was Hebrew. "Jedidah" means beloved. "Adaiah" means whom Jehovah adorns. Boscath was a city of Judah. He reigned, until he was 39.

2 Kings 22:2 "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."

This is high praise of any of the kings, but is even more so because of the king’s age. The last king of Judah, that this had been said of, was Hezekiah. The land was full of idolatry and he made a stand for God. He was a man after God’s heart. It was wonderful how he broke the chain of sins of his father and grandfather, and lived for the LORD.

2 Kings 22:3 "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,"

In the book of 2 Chronicles, there is a more extensive list of the things that Josiah did. 2 Chronicles 34:3 "For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, 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 34:4 "And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that [were] on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust [of them], and strowed [it] upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them." 2 Chronicles 34:5 "And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem." In verse 3 above, he would be 26 years old. He had begun to cleanse the land, when he was 16. He had been a good king, doing what was right in God’s sight. Shaphan was a very prominent officer in the service of Josiah. Josiah sent him to the temple for him.

2 Kings 22:4 "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:"

We see there was, now, a high priest in the temple. It appears, that Josiah had been gathering silver for the temple. He wanted an accounting of that silver. 2 Kings 22:5 "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 309 give it to the doers of the work which [is] in the house of the LORD, to repair the breaches of the house," The house of the LORD had been allowed to fall into need of repair under the evil kings. They had done much damage, as well, with their evil altars and statues of idols. Josiah had already had the evil removed, but now the building and its furnishings were in need of repair. Josiah had them to gather silver from the people to pay for it. He, now, has the silver distributed to the overseers, and they could in turn pay the actual workmen.

2 Kings 22:6 "Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house."

2 Kings 22:7 "Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully."

There was no need for a reckoning since they were all men chosen by Josiah for their honesty. It appears, that Josiah had removed those, who were not worshippers of Jehovah. The silver was used, not only for the wages of the laborers, but for the materials for building, such as stone and wood.

2 Kings 22:8 "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."

This book of the law is, probably, speaking of the Pentateuch {five books of Moses}. At one time, there was a copy kept at the side of the ark. I would not say they found this by chance. I believe God planned this, for this young king to know fully the law of God, that he loved. The high priest would have been in the area where the book would have been kept. Shaphan, being the record keeper, checked it to see, if he thought it was a true work. He would have to tell the king his opinion, of whether this is the law, or not.

2 Kings 22:9 "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."

2 Kings 22:10 "And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king."

Shaphan had carried out the request of his king to count the funds and distribute it for the re-building of the temple. In the process, of seeing what needed to be done to the temple, the high priest had found the book of the law. Shaphan read the law to the king, for his approval.

2 Kings 22:11 "And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes."

King Josiah accepted this book as the truth from the beginning. After hearing the book, he knew that Judah had greatly sinned against God, when they committed all of the sins during his father’s time. He, also, realized that there were definite things to be observed in the temple. The tearing of his clothes, showed his grief in seeing how Judah had failed God. He knew the wrath of God should fall upon them.

2 Kings 22:12 "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,"

2 Kings 22:13 "Go ye, inquire 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."

These were people of importance in the kingdom. The high priest represented the religious in this. The Urim and the Thummim of the high priest, in the days of Moses, was the way the LORD spoke to the people. The temple had been so desecrated from time to time and the priesthood reduced to a puppet situation, that the king would inquire of God through a prophet, or a prophetess, now. Isaiah is dead. Manasseh killed him. King Josiah wanted to hear from God to know what to do, to save Judah. Whatever God wanted him to do, is what they would do.

2 Kings 22:14 "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."

Jeremiah was a prophet in these days. We are not told why he was not consulted on this matter. There is a confirmation in this following Scripture, that these men of authority in the temple and the civil government went to inquire of this prophetess. Her husband was not a prophet. This one verse in Chronicles and in Kings defeats the complaint about women ministers. 2 Chronicles 34:22 "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]." "Huldah" means weasel. This lets us know that her prophetic ability had been underground, perhaps, to save her life. She was not a feminist. She was married. It appears, that she was a teacher of the prophets in the school of the prophets. That is the school that is meant here. It appears, that she was held in high esteem as a prophetess by the king, and his government officials, and by the temple authorities, as well. Hilkiah was the high priest.

2 Kings 22:15 "And she said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me,"

She was unusual amongst women. She spoke as an oracle of God. As Isaiah and Jeremiah and prophets of that stature, she spoke the Words of God to the people {Thus saith the LORD}. Notice, she wanted these people to realize that the king was not diety. She called him man.

2 Kings 22:16 "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:"

She boldly brought the judgment of God to the ears of these listeners. She said the things in the book, they had found, were true and God will bring judgment upon Judah for their unfaithfulness to God.

2 Kings 22:17 "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."

"The burning of incense" symbolizes prayer. To burn incense to a false god, means they were praying to that false god. God’s wrath was kindled against Judah, because they had been unfaithful and turned to false gods. There had been so much worship of false gods before the reign of Josiah, that God’s wrath would not be quenched.

2 Kings 22:18 "But to the king of Judah which sent you to inquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, [As touching] the words which thou hast heard;"

This king had not gone unnoticed by the LORD. In all of this land of evil, Josiah stood out as someone who truly loved God. This part of the message was specifically to him. Shaphan had read Josiah the law, and that was when he rent his clothes in horror.

2 Kings 22:19 "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."

Josiah loved the LORD. The tearing of the clothes by Josiah, was an act of humiliating himself before the LORD. It was as if Josiah were saying, "I am at your mercy LORD". God heard the prayer of Josiah because it was from an humble, loving heart. God will not lift the curse off this evil land, but there was no curse on Josiah.

2 Kings 22:20 "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."

The destruction of Jerusalem in particular, and Judah in general, will be delayed, until after the death of Josiah. God will not punish the righteous with the wicked. In the lifetime of Josiah, there would be peace in the land. What a wonderful report to take back to the king. Huldah explained that the destruction of Judah was ordained of God and would come, but Josiah would be dead when it came.

2 Kings 22 Questions

1. How old was Josiah, when he began to reign?

2. Who was his mother?

3. What does "Jedidah" mean?

4. How long did he reign?

5. And he did that which was __________ in the sight of the LORD.

6. Who was the last king of Judah, before him, this had been said of?

7. Who did Josiah send to the house of the Lord for him?

8. What was his reason for sending him?

9. Read 2 Chronicles 34:3-5.

10. Who was the high priest?

11. What had the silver been gathered for?

12. What was Josiah having done to the temple?

13. What did they have to buy to repair the house?

14. What had Hilkiah found in the house of the LORD?

15. Who read it?

16. What was this book of the law?

17. When Shaphan read it to the king, what did the king do?

18. Where did the king send the high priest and the high officers in his government, to get Word from the LORD?

19. What had Josiah realized, that had disturbed him?

20. Who was a prominent prophet at that time?

21. Was Huldah’s husband a prophet?

22. What was he?

23. Where was Huldah living?

24. What did it appear that she was doing at the college?

25. How do we know that she spoke as an oracle of God?

26. What message did she have for the king that was distressing?

27. What does the "burning of incense" symbolize?

28. Why was God’s wrath kindled against Judah?

29. What exception did the LORD make in His condemnation of Judah?

30. Why did He make this exception?

31. When will the wrath of God be poured out on Judah?

Verse 1

2Ki 22:1

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Kings 22". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/2-kings-22.html.
 
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