“Josiah Was Eight Years Old When He Began to Reign, and He Reigned Thirty and One Years . . . and He Did That Which Was Right in the Sight of the Lord”

(See 2 Kings 22:1-20.)

Dr. Ellis T. Rasmussen wrote:

“The young son and grandson of wicked kings, Josiah was religious and righteous and became a great reformer in Judah. Early in his reign he arranged that the money collected at the door of the temple be used for its intended purpose to repair and maintain the temple.

“Josiah’s reforms increased after a scribe found the book of the law in the temple. When the king heard words from the book, telling what people should do and what would befall them if they did evil instead, he rent his clothes in repentance and asked his scribes and Hilkiah the priest to inquire of the Lord whether His wrath would fall upon all for their many violations. They may have read warnings in the books of Moses (Lev. 18:26-28; 26:21-46; Deut. 4:23-30; 28:58-68) and feared they were applicable to Israel in their time. Rather than making a direct inquiry by prayer or going to the holy place in the temple, the priest and scribes went to ‘Huldah the prophetess’ for her interpretation. She confirmed that the wrath of God would surely fall if the people of Judah continued their wickedness; but because the young king was a true reformer, it would not happen in his reign. Huldah was a ‘wise woman’ like those of earlier accounts [2 Kgs. 22:18-20; Judg. 4:4-5; 2 Sam. 14:2; Topical Guide, “Prophetess”].

“The prophet Jeremiah began his ministry in the thirteenth year of King Josiah, but no contact between them is mentioned in his early days (Jer. 1:2). The prophet Zephaniah also lived in that period (Zeph. 1:1).”

(A Latter-day Saint Commentary on the Old Testament [1993], 322.)

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