34:2 And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD,
and walked in the ways of a David his father, and
declined [neither] to the right hand, nor to the left.
(a) He followed David in all points that he followed the
34:3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet b
young, he began to seek after the God of David his father:
and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and
Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the
carved images, and the molten images.
(b) When he was but sixteen years old he showed himself
zealous of God's glory, and at twenty years old he
abolished idolatry and restored the true religion.
34:4 And they brake down c the altars of Baalim in his
presence; and the images, that [were] on high above them,
he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the
molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust [of them],
and strowed [it] upon the graves of them that had
sacrificed unto them.
(c) Which shows that he would see the reformation with his
34:5 And he burnt the d bones of the priests upon their
altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.
34:7 And when he had d broken down the altars and the groves,
and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down
all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he
returned to Jerusalem.
(d) This great zeal of this godly king the Holy Spirit sets
forth as an example and pattern to other kings and
rulers, to teach them what God requires of them.
34:10e And they put [it] in the hand of the workmen that had
the oversight of the house of the LORD, and they gave it
to the workmen that wrought in the house of the LORD, to
repair and amend the house:
(e) Meaning Shaphan, etc.
34:11 Even to the artificers and builders gave they [it], to buy
hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to floor the f
houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed.
(f) For there were many portions and pieces annexed to the
34:12 And the men did the work g faithfully: and the overseers
of them [were] Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the
sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons
of the Kohathites, to set [it] forward; and [other of] the
Levites, all that could skill of instruments of musick.
(g) Meaning that they were in such credit for their
fidelity that they made no accounts of that which they
received, (2Ki 22:7,9).
34:14 And when they brought out the money that was brought into
the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found a h book
of the law of the LORD [given] by Moses.
34:16 And Shaphan carried the book to i the king, and brought
the king word back again, saying, All that was committed
to thy servants, they do [it].
(i) For the king was commanded to continually have a copy
of this book and to read in it day and night,
34:19 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of
the law, that he k rent his clothes.
(k) For sorrow that the word of God had been so long
suppressed and the people kept in ignorance,
considering also the curses contained in it against
34:21 Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left
in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book
that is found: for great [is] the wrath of the LORD that
is poured out upon us, because our l fathers have not
kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written
in this book.
(l) Thus the godly not only lament their own sins, but
also that their fathers and predecessors have offended
34:22 And Hilkiah, and [they] that the king [had appointed],
went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son
of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the m wardrobe;
(now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the n college:) and they
spake to her to that [effect].
(m) Meaning, either of the priests apparel or the kings.
(n) Read (2Ki 22:15).
34:23 And she answered them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel,
Tell ye o the man that sent you to me,
(o) That is, to the king.
34:25 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense
unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with
all the works of their p hands; therefore my wrath shall
be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched.
(p) This she speaks in contempt of the idolaters, who
contrary to reason and nature call a god that which
they have made and framed with their own hands.
34:27 Because thine heart was q tender, and thou didst humble
thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against
this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and
humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes,
and weep before me; I have even heard [thee] also, saith
(q) This declares the end of God's threatenings, to call
his to repentance, and to assure the unrepentant of
34:28 Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt
be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine
eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this r
place, and upon the inhabitants of the same. So they
brought the king word again.
(r) It may appear that very few were touched with true
repentance, seeing that God spared them for a time
only for the king's sake.
34:30 And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all
the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and
the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great
and s small: and he read in their ears all the words of
the book of the covenant that was found in the house of
(s) Though neither young nor old could be exempted from
the curses contained in it, if they did transgress, he
knew it pertained to all and was his duty to see it
read to all sorts, that everyone might learn to avoid
those punishments by serving God correctly.
34:33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the
countries that [pertained] to the children of Israel, and
made all t that were present in Israel to serve, [even]
to serve the LORD their God. [And] all his days they
departed not from following the LORD, the God of their
(t) Because he had charge over all, and must answer for
everyone that perished: he thought it his duty to see
that all should make profession to receive the word of