1. The king summoned to his side all the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem.
2. Then he went up to the House of Yahweh followed by all the people of Judah and Jerusalem. The priests with the prophets and all the people went with him, from the youngest to the oldest. When all were gathered, he read to them the book of the Law found in the House of Yahweh.
3. The king stood by the pillar; he made a covenant in the presence of Yahweh, promising to follow him, to keep his commandments and laws, and to respect his ordinances. He promised to keep this covenant according to what was written in the book with all his heart and with all his soul. And all the people promised with him.
4. Then the king commanded the high priest Hilkiah as well as the priests of lesser rank and all the gatekeepers to bring out all the objects which had been made for Baal, Asherah and for all the stars of heaven. He had them burned outside Jerusalem, in the idle land of Kidron, and had their ashes brought to Bethel.
5. The kings of Judah had appointed pagan priests who offered sacrifices in the sanctuaries on the hills, in the different cities of Judah and in the suburbs of Jerusalem. Josiah did away with them and with those who offered incense to Baal, to the sun, the moon, the stars and all the heavenly host.
6. The Sacred Pillar that was in the House of Yahweh was brought out of Jerusalem and was taken to the brook Kidron, where it was burned and its ashes thrown on the public grave.
7. The king demolished the house of the effeminate men who dedicated themselves to prostitution (as was done in the cult of Asherah). This was within the courtyards of the House of Yahweh, and in this house too the women wove veils for Asherah.
8. Right after this he made all the priests from the cities of Judah come to Jerusalem, and he destroyed all the sanctuaries on the hills where they had offered sacrifice from Beersheba in the south to Geba in the north. He destroyed the Sanctuary of the Gates that was at the entrance of the gate of Joshua, the city governor. It was on the left side of the entrance gate to the city.
9. The priests who had served in the sanctuaries on the hills could not offer sacrifices in the House of Yahweh; they only ate the unleavened bread with the priests of Jerusalem.
10. The king had the place for burning human sacrifices in the valley of Ben-hinnom destroyed, so that no one could sacrifice his sons or daughters in the fire according to the ritual of Molech.
11. The horses which the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun were removed from the entrance of the House of Yahweh; these were in the atrium, near the house of the palace official, Nathanmelech. And the chariots of the sun were burned.
12. There were altars which the kings of Judah had built on the roof of the palace of Ahaza. There were also altars built by Manasseh in the two courtyards of the House of Yahweh. Josiah had them all destroyed and reduced to dust, which was thrown into the brook Kidron.
13. The king destroyed the sanctuaries on the hills facing Jerusalem, to the south of the Mount of Olives. Solomon, king of Israel, had built them for Ashtoreth the idol of the Sidonians, for Chemosh, the idol of Moab, and for Milcom, the idol of the Ammonites.
14. The king broke in pieces the images of the false gods, cut down the sacred pillars, and filled the places in which these had been with human bones to make them unclean.
15. There was also the sanctuary of Bethel, with the altar which Jeroboam, king of Israel, had made. This cult had been the sin of Israel. The king destroyed it. He set the sanctuary on fire and burned the sacred pillar.
16. Looking around on all sides, Josiah saw the tombs on the mountain; he had the bones taken out of the tomb and burned on the altar. So the word of Yahweh was fulfilled which the man of God had proclaimed when Jeroboam was standing by the altar during a feast. Josiah noticed the tomb of this man of God,
17. and he said, "What is that monument that I see?" The people of the city said to him, "That is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah to announce what you have just done with the altar of Bethel."
18. The king commanded, "Leave the tomb in peace, and let no one touch his bones." And his bones, together with the bones of the prophet of Samaria, were not touched.
19. Josiah also removed all the sanctuaries on the hills in the cities of Samaria. These sanctuaries had been made by the kings of Israel and they had provoked the anger of Yahweh. The king destroyed them and did to them as he had done to the temple of Bethel.
20. He slaughtered upon the altars all the priests of the sanctuaries on the hills who were found there, and he burned human bones on the altars. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
21. The king gave this order to all the people, "Celebrate the Passover in honor of Yahweh, our God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant."
22. A Passover like this had not been celebrated since the days of the Judges who had governed Israel, or during the time when the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah reigned.
23. This Passover was celebrated in Jerusalem in the eighteenth year of King Josiah.
24. Josiah obeyed all the words of the Law written in the book which the priest Hilkiah had found in the House of Yahweh. He immediately did away with the mediums and seers, the small household gods and the idols, and all those loathsome things seen in the lands of Judah and Jerusalem.
25. There had never before been a king like him who returned to Yahweh with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his strength, observing all the Law of Moses, nor was another like him seen again.
26. In spite of this, Yahweh did not turn from the fire of his anger. He was angry with Judah because of all the evils Manasseh had done.
27. So Yahweh declared, "I shall also cast Judah away from my presence as I have cast Israel; I shall no longer take Jerusalem into consideration, though it is the city I have chosen and there is the House of which I have said: My Name dwells here."
28. The rest regarding Josiah and all that he did is written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah.
29. In those days, the Pharaoh Neco crossed the river Euphrates and went to join the king of Asshur. King Josiah set out to confront him, but Neco killed him in Megiddo when he saw him.
30. Josiah's servants brought his body in a chariot from Megiddo to Jerusalem, and they buried him in his tomb. Then the people took Jehoahaz, son of Josiah, to anoint him and make him king in place of his father.
31. Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for three months in Jerusalem. His mother was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
32. He did what displeases Yahweh, imitating his fathers.
33. The Pharaoh Neco bound Jehoahaz in chains in Riblah, in the land of Hamath, since he did not want him to reign in Jerusalem. Then he imposed on the land a contribution of one hundred talents of silver and ten of gold.
34. And he installed as king another son of Josiah, Eliakim, as the successor to his father, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But he took Jehoahaz away and brought him to Egypt, where Jehoahaz died.
35. Jehoiakim gave the silver and gold to the Pharaoh to pay the contribution which the Pharaoh himself exacted from him, through a tax imposed on all the land. Everyone had to pay his quota according to what he possessed. So Jehoiakim collected from all the people the gold and silver demanded by the Pharaoh.
36. Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother was Zebidha, daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah.
37. He did what displeased Yahweh, imitating his fathers.