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The Second Book of the Chronicles: Chapter 35

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1Josiah kept a Passover to the LORD in Jerusalem, the Passover lamb being killed on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2He appointed the priests to their offices and encouraged them in the service of the house of the LORD. 3He said to the Levites, who instructed Israel and were dedicated to the LORD, ‘Put the sacred Ark in the house which Solomon son of David king of Israel built. As it is not to be carried about on your shoulders, you are now to serve the LORD your God and his people Israel: 4prepare yourselves by families according to your divisions, following the written instructions of David king of Israel and those of Solomon his son. 5Stand in the Holy Place as representatives of the family groups of the lay people, your brothers, one division of Levites to each family group. 6Kill the Passover lamb and hallow yourselves, and prepare for your brothers to fulfil the word of the LORD given through Moses.’

7Josiah contributed on behalf of all the lay people present thirty thousand small livestock, that is young rams and goats, for the Passover, in addition to three thousand bulls; all these were from the king's own resources. 8His officers contributed willingly for the people, the priests, and the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the chief officers of the house of God, gave on behalf of the priests two thousand six hundred small livestock for the Passover, in addition to three hundred bulls. 9Conaniah, Shemaiah and Nethanel his brothers, and Hashabiah, Jeiel, and Jozabad, the chiefs of the Levites, gave on behalf of the Levites for the Passover five thousand small livestock in addition to five hundred bulls.

10When the service had been arranged, the priests stood in their places and the Levites in their divisions according to the king's command. 11The Levites killed the Passover victims, and the priests flung the blood a 35:11 the blood: so Syriac; Heb. from their hand. against the altar, while the Levites flayed the animals. 12Then they removed the fat flesh b 35:12 fat flesh: or whole-offering. , which they allocated to the people by groups of families for them to offer to the LORD, as prescribed in the book of Moses; and so with the bulls. 13They cooked the Passover victims over the fire according to custom, and boiled the holy offerings in pots, cauldrons, and pans, and served them quickly to all the people.

14After that they made the necessary preparations for themselves and the priests, because the priests of Aaron's line were engaged till nightfall in offering whole-offerings and the fat portions; so the Levites made the necessary preparations for themselves and for the priests of Aaron's line. 15The Asaphite singers were in their places according to the rules laid down by David and by Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, the king's seers c 35:15 seers: so some MSS; others seer. . The door-keepers stood, each at his gate; there was no need for them to leave their posts, because their kinsmen the Levites had made the preparations for them.

16In this manner all the service of the LORD was arranged that day, to keep the Passover and to offer whole-offerings on the altar of the LORD, according to the command of King Josiah. 17The people of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time and the pilgrim-feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. 18No Passover like it had been kept in Israel since the days of the prophet Samuel; none of the kings of Israel had ever kept such a Passover as Josiah kept, with the priests and Levites and all Judah and Israel who were present and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19This Passover was kept in the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign.

20Some time after Josiah had thus organized the entire service of the house of the LORD, King Necho marched up from Egypt to attack Carchemish on the Euphrates; Josiah went out to confront him. 21Necho sent envoys, saying, ‘King of Judah, what do you want with me? I have no quarrel with you today, only with those with whom I am at war. God has purposed, to speed me on my way, and God is on my side. Do not stand in his way, or he will destroy you.’ 22Josiah would not be deflected from his purpose but determined to fight; he refused to listen to Necho's words spoken at God's command, and he sallied out to join battle in the vale of Megiddo. 23The archers shot at him; he was severely wounded and told his bodyguard to take him away. 24They lifted him out of his chariot and conveyed him in his viceroy's chariot to Jerusalem. There he died and was buried among the tombs of his ancestors, and all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him. 25Jeremiah also made a lament for Josiah; and to this day the minstrels, both men and women, commemorate Josiah in their lamentations. Such laments have become traditional in Israel, and they are found in the written collections.

26The other events of Josiah's reign, and his works of piety, all performed in accordance with what is laid down in the law of the LORD, 27and his acts from first to last are recorded in the annals of the kings of Israel and Judah.

Notes:

a 35:11 the blood: so Syriac; Heb. from their hand.

b 35:12 fat flesh: or whole-offering.

c 35:15 seers: so some MSS; others seer.

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