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Tuesday, September 2 2014

2 Chronicles 35: Josiah's Great Passover Celebration

"There was no Passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a Passover as Josiah kept"

Josiah was one of the few steadfastly-righteous Israelite kings, including of the united kingdom (How Many Kings Reigned In The United Kingdom? and When Will The United Kingdom Be Restored?), the Kingdom of Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah and Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes), as well as Josiah's own Kingdom of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah; also Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).

Being truly righteous means following the true LORD (see What Did Jesus Christ Write In The Ark Of Moses?) and observing His true Holy Days that were established for all of humanity (see The True Christian Holy Days). Passover is the first Holy Day of the annual cycle (see the Fact Finder question below). Josiah observed it as a national celebration, just as everyone will do in the Kingdom of God (see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?, Who Can Be Saved? and Christ Died For Repentant Sinners).

Passover

"35:1 Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto the LORD in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. 35:2 And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the LORD, 35:3 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, 35:4 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.

35:5 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. 35:6 So kill the passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses." (2 Chronicles 35:1-6 KJV)

It was a time when everyone came together before the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) Who had created them as a people (see Where Jacob Became Israel and The Origin Of Israelites And Jews) and as a nation (see I Will There Make Of Thee A Great Nation) - a prophecy of how all of humanity (i.e. those who choose to repent and obey the LORD) will do so in the Kingdom of God (see Revelation: Thy Kingdom Come and The Church: Mission Accomplished).

"35:7 And Josiah gave to the people, of the flock, 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.

35:8 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 offerings two thousand and six hundred small cattle, and three hundred oxen. 35:9 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.

35:10 So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their courses, according to the king's commandment. 35:11 And they killed the passover, and the priests sprinkled the blood from their hands, and the Levites flayed them. 35:12 And they removed the burnt offerings, that they might give according to the divisions of the families of the people, to offer unto the LORD, as it is written in the book of Moses. And so did they with the oxen. 35:13 And they roasted the passover with fire according to the ordinance: but the other holy offerings sod they in pots, and in caldrons, and in pans, and divided them speedily among all the people. 35:14 And afterward they made ready for themselves, and for the priests: because the priests the sons of Aaron were busied in offering of burnt offerings and the fat until night; therefore the Levites prepared for themselves, and for the priests the sons of Aaron.

35:15 And the singers the sons of Asaph were in their place, according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king's seer; and the porters waited at every gate; they might not depart from their service; for their brethren the Levites prepared for them.

35:16 So all the service of the LORD was prepared the same day, to keep the passover, and to offer burnt offerings upon the altar of the LORD, according to the commandment of king Josiah. 35:17 And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days. 35:18 And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 35:19 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this passover kept." (2 Chronicles 35:7-19 KJV)

Josiah's reign was the end of an era. Josiah was needlessly killed in battle with the Egyptian army that was seeking only to pass through Judah on their way to the Assyrian-Babylonian war. The Assyrian Empire (that had conquered and exiled "the lost ten tribes of Israel"; see Jonah: Three Days And Three Nights and Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes) was then beginning to be superseded by the Babylonian Empire (which would eventually conquer Judah); Egypt came into the war on the side of Assyria. It was actually in Josiah's own national interest to allow Egypt, Assyria and Babylon to maul each other, and in particular for Egypt and Assyria to defeat Babylon, as a means to weaken their ability to threaten Judah, but Josiah apparently looked only to the immediate situation - he regarded a simple passage of non-hostile foreign troops as a violation of his sovereignty. The prophet "Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day."

"35:20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. 35:21 But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not.

35:22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.

35:23 And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded. 35:24 His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.

35:25 And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations.

35:26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness, according to that which was written in the law of the LORD, 35:27 And his deeds, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah." (2 Chronicles 35:20-27 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) Why was the Messiah sacrificed on the fourteenth of Nisan, at the same time that the Passover lambs were being sacrificed? (b) What annual Holy Day was observed on the fifteenth of Nisan?
(a) See Why Did The Messiah Observe Passover On Nisan 14?
(b) See The Two Sabbaths Of Passover Week


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This Day In History, September 2

490 BC: The Greek hero Pheidippides died (see Demigod to understand the origin of the term "hero").

47 BC: Cleopatra VII of Egypt declared her son to be co-ruler, with the name Ptolemy XV Caesarion (see The Cleopatra Connection).

31 BC: Octavian, later known as Caesar Augustus (as he is also recorded in the Bible i.e. Luke 2:1-7) defeated Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium. Some historians regard this date to be the end of the Roman Republic (see The Politics Of Rome) and the beginning of the Roman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

Battle of Actium 1547: Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes died at age 62. The "Conqueror" battled Aztec emperor Montezuma in Mexico.

1649: Castro, Italy was destroyed by military forces at the behest of Pope Innocent X.

1752: The last day that the Julian Calendar (named after Roman emperor Julius Caesar) was used in Britain and its colonies. The present Gregorian calendar (named after Roman Catholic Pope Gregory XIII) began in use the next day.

1807: The British began bombarding Copenhagen to stop Napoleon from using the Danish fleet against Britain.

1859: A solar storm caused outages in telegraph service.

1864: During the U.S. Civil War, Atlanta, Georgia fell to Federal troops.

1870: During the Franco-Prussian War, France suffered a devastating defeat at Sedan when the Germans captured an entire French army along with emperor Napoleon III. The new German Reich chose September 2 - in commemoration of the German victory and French humiliation - as a national holiday. The French response to the German victory was the deposition of Napoleon III and a proclamation of a republican Government of National Defense.

1901: U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt stated his famous imperial policy that the then-emerging U.S. empire (ironically, the U.S. has become what its founders rebelled, and warned, against) should "speak softly and carry a big stick."

1935: The "Labor Day Hurricane of 1935" killed over 400 people in the Florida Keys.

1944: Anne Frank, at age 15, was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. The Dutch-Jewish girl, famous for her Diary of Anne Frank died at the Belsen concentration camp the next year, shortly before it was liberated by Allied troops near the end of the Second World War.

1945: "VJ Day" at the end of the Second World War. Japanese officials signed the terms of surrender with Allied leaders in Tokyo Bay.

1945: Vietnam declared its independence, forming the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The country was later divided into North and South by French imperial forces, triggering the later Vietnam civil war that the U.S. became involved in during the 1960s, before the Vietnamese people were again unified into a single country in the 1970s, free of foreign interference.

1969: At the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), computer researchers made the first working connection between two huge, primitive computers. Some regard that event as the birth of the computer network that became the Internet.

1980: Terry Fox (who lost a leg to cancer) was forced to stop his cross-Canada "Marathon of Hope" run at Thunder Bay, Ontario, after he learned that his cancer had returned.

1998: The UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found Jean Paul Akayesu guilty of genocide.

2001: South African heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard died at age 78. In 1967, he became the first to perform a heart transplant on a live human.


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