2 Kings 22
Image from … Smith, J. E. (1995). The Books of History (2 Ki 22:3–2 Ch 34:30). Joplin, MO: College Press.
The Reign of Josiah (JUDAH)
The Restoration of the Temple (1-7)
The nation of Judah was doomed under Manasseh. Their determined fate was set; the only thing which would keep them from being given over to the Assyrians was Yahweh's grace.
Josiah, the eight year old who was made king, was also a young lad who responded to Yahweh and embraced His grace. He pleased the Lord and decided to use David as his example for ruling, not his father (1-2).
When Josiah was just sixteen years old, he began to seek Yahweh and started the spiritual reformations of the nation (2 Chronicles 34:3-7). When Josiah was just twenty-one years old, a young prophet by the name of Jeremiah was sent to him, giving his reformations even more fire and inspiration (Jeremiah 1:2). In the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign, he sent a three-man spiritual review board (2 Chronicles 34:8) to go count the money which had been gathered for ten years, from the time Josiah was sixteen years old. The money was counted and given to Hilkiah the high priest and then the money was entrusted to the Levitical project managers who were assigned to supervise the restoration of the Temple. The money obviously was used to pay the skilled labor force and the materials (3-6). It was noted that the men who were hired to manage the project were so impeccably honest that they did not need to make an account of the money they received (7).
The Finding of the Law (8-10)
While reorganizing the archives, Hilkiah the High Priest found something he had not ever seen: the book of the Law. He gave the scroll to Shaphan, the man who led the king's three-man spiritual review board, and Shaphan read it.
Shaphan then reported to the king, informing him that his orders had been carried out and in the midst of the renovation, a nation-changing discovery had been found (9). Shaphan then told the king of Hilkiah's discovery and began reading the Book of the Law to Josiah (10).
Josiah's Response to Hearing the Book of the Law Read (11-14)
When Josiah heard the Law, he ripped up his clothes in an act of grave concern. He then called five men to go to and inquire of Yahweh and discern whether or not the Book they found was authentic and whether the words written in it were to be fulfilled immediately or if they were for the future.
The Book gave Josiah concern that, as a people, they had been for generations practicing ancestral disobedience and they stood condemned by the law, and the threats of Moses against apostasy were indeed grave. Josiah wondered if he might need immediate help from Yahweh so he dispatched his five-man praying crew to go get a word from Yahweh (11-13). The five-man prayer crew ended up in the second city or the lower quarter of Jerusalem in the home of Huldah the prophet. She would have been on equal prophetic footing with Jeremiah and Zephaniah but was likely sought because of her close proximity to the five-man prayer crew and to the temple, for she was in charge of the priests' garments (14).
Huldah's Prophecy (15-20)
Huldah examined the scroll and sent the five-man praying crew back to Josiah (15) informing him that his fears were justified—disaster had been divinely determined for Jerusalem—the matter was settled; the words of the scroll were accurate and true (16). Huldah then listed the reasons the destruction of Jerusalem had been unchangeably or unquenchably determined.
a) Judah had abandoned Yahweh, meaning they had ditched Yahweh for a god they found better looking and more desirable.
b) Judah had given themselves to sacrifice to foreign gods, meaning they had given themselves to sacrificing their lives for their own lusts (17).
She then told the crew of five that Yahweh had taken notice of the king's humility and sorrow when he heard Yahweh's Book was read, and Josiah understood concerning the land becoming cursed and barren because Israel had strayed from Yahweh's covenant of grace.
Huldah told the crew of five to tell Josiah his heart-wrenching sorrow and immediate change in thinking was not changing Yahweh from keeping His promise to remove Judah and Israel from the land, but it was changing the timing of when such a disaster would take place for Judah. Josiah was told he would not see the destruction of the nation; it would come after he would die in peace (18-20).