Josiah began his reign as king at the age of 8, after his father Amon died. He was a great king, and “walked in all the way of David his father.” As he had the temple repaired, the “Book of the law” was found (that term is used in the Pentateuch to mean the Book of Deuteronomy). Having been raised in a time when the king himself and the people of the land were at the depths of apostasy, Josiah may have not heard the commandments of the Lord; and the reference to them finding it could well mean that Manasseh had hidden it. When it was read to him, he tore his clothes in grief.
Although Jeremiah and Zephaniah both prophesied during the time of Josiah’s reign (Jeremiah 1:1-2, Zephaniah:1), Josiah sent his people to a fairly unknown (to us, at least) prophetess named Huldah. She confirmed the prophecy of disaster for Jerusalem that we read in 2 Kings 21:11-12. But verses 18-20, the Lord declares that He will spare Josiah from seeing that disaster.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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