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Saturday, June 28 2014
2 Kings 23: Josiah's Restoration Of The Covenant
"Like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him"
Josiah was one of the seven kings of Judah who reigned after the Kingdom of Israel had been destroyed and taken away by the Assyrian Empire (see The Seven Kings Of Judah On The Samaritan Frontier). Josiah was one of the most righteous kings that the kingdoms of Judah or Israel (see The First Kings Of Israel and Judah), or the united kingdom of Israel (see How Many Kings Reigned In The United Kingdom?) had ever known.
Josiah brought about the restoration of the Law of the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) after the Law was "discovered" in the Temple by the negligent High Priest of the time (see 2 Kings 22: What Did Moses Prophesy About The Law Of Salvation?).
"23:1 And the king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. 23:2 And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD. 23:3 And the king stood by a pillar, 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 their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant." (2 Kings 23:1-3 KJV)
"23:4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel. 23:5 And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven. 23:6 And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people. 23:7 And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.
Josiah's purge extended beyond the border of Judah into the former territory of the Kingdom of Israel - which by then was inhabited by the "Samaritans" (see The Origin Of The Samaritans).
"23:15 Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the grove. 23:16 And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.
Josiah then commanded the resumption of the LORD's Holy Days (see Leviticus: The Prophecies Of Christianity), while "the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away."
"23:21 And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto the LORD your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant. 23:22 Surely there was not holden such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah; 23:23 But in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, wherein this passover was holden to the LORD in Jerusalem.
Josiah's great restoration slowed, but did not stop, Judah's fall. Josiah cleaned up the putrefied country, but most of the people failed to clean up their corrupt hearts at the same time. The "progressive" liberal rot was too deep to repair (see Forward, Not Froward).
"23:26 Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal. 23:27 And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there." (2 Kings 23:26-27 KJV)
Josiah was killed in battle with "Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt" - a battle that was not Josiah's to fight (see 2 Chronicles 35:20-25 and The Battles Of Megiddo). "And his servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre."
"23:28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
Judah's self-destructive slide then continued with the next two kings, Jehoahaz, who "did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD," and Jehoiakim, who "did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD."
"23:31 Jehoahaz was twenty and three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 23:32 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done. 23:33 And Pharaohnechoh put him in bands at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute of an hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold. 23:34 And Pharaohnechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to Egypt, and died there. 23:35 And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his taxation, to give it unto Pharaohnechoh.
Fact Finder: When and where did the LORD's covenant with "Israel" actually originate?
This Day In History, June 28
1389: The Ottoman (a ruling dynasty of Turkey) Empire victory at the Battle of Kosovo; a turning point for the Ottomans in the development of their European empire, and a tragedy for the medieval kingdom of Serbia because it began for the Serbs more than 4 centuries under Ottoman rule (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire and see the entry for 1914, below).
1461: Edward IV was crowned King of England.
1519: Charles I of Spain became Holy Roman Emperor.
1629: The Peace of Alais. Peace settlement between French royal forces and the Huguenots by which the Huguenots retained their religious and civil liberties but lost their military power.
1635: The French colony of Guadeloupe was established in the Caribbean.
1838: The official coronation of Queen Victoria took place in Westminster Abbey, a year after she had ascended the throne.
1846: The saxophone was patented by Adolphe Sax (the instrument was named after its inventor) in Paris, France.
1914: Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, 51, nephew of Emperor Franz Josef and heir apparent to the Habsburg throne of Austria-Hungary, and his wife Sophia were assassinated by a Bosnian, Gavrilo Princip, in Sarajevo, setting off the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars). The assassination took place on the anniversary of the defeat of the Serbs by the Ottomans at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 (see the entry for 1389, above).
1919: At the end of the First World War, the Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles Palace, near Paris. Germany was stripped of all its overseas colonies, demilitarized, and ordered to pay heavy reparations (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1940: Italo Balbo was killed at age 44. The Italian airman and Fascist leader, who was decisive in developing Benito Mussolini's air force, was killed by "friendly fire" when his own anti-aircraft gunners mis-identified their commander's aircraft and shot it down in Tobruk harbor.
1951: The first color-TV broadcast.
1967: Israel annexed East Jerusalem (see A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).
1968: Daniel Ellsberg was indicted for leaking the "Pentagon Papers."
1989: On the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo (see the entries for 1389 and 1914, above), Serbian leader Slobodan Miloševic delivered the Gazimestan speech at the site of the historic battle.
2001: Slobodan Milosevic (see the entry for 1989, above) was deported to stand trial for war crimes.
2006: The Republic of Montenegro was admitted as the 192nd Member of the United Nations.