This week we will study the life of Josiah, the last Godly king of Judah. Our text will be 2 Chronicles 34:1-28, 35:1-27, and 2 Kings 23:25-27.
Josiah was the son of King Amon, whom the people made king of Judah after Amon’s assassination (639 B.C.). Josiah’s reign began when he was only eight years old and lasted 31 years, three decades of peace, prosperity, and reform. King Josiah devoted himself to pleasing God and reinstituting Israel’s observance of the Mosaic Law. The Bible focuses almost exclusively on Josiah’s spiritual reforms, which climaxes in the eighteenth year of his reign with the discovery of the Book of the Law (621 B.C.)
Passover kept (2 Chronicles 35:1-19)
Preparation for the passover (1-6)
“Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto the Lord in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.2 And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the Lord,3 And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the Lord, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the Lord your God, and his people Israel,4 And prepare yourselves by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son.5 And stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the families of the fathers of your brethren the people, and after the division of the families of the Levites.6 So kill the passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.”
Josiah supplies the passover (7-10)
“And Josiah gave to the people, of the flock, lambs and kids, all for the passover offerings, for all that were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bullocks: these were of the king’s substance.8 And his princes gave willingly unto the people, to the priests, and to the Levites: Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave unto the priests for the passover offerings two thousand and six hundred small cattle and three hundred oxen.9 Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethaneel, his brethren, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chief of the Levites, gave unto the Levites for passover offerings five thousand small cattle, and five hundred oxen.10 So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their courses, according to the king’s commandment.”
Passover for the people (11-13)
“And they killed the passover, and the priests sprinkled the blood from their hands, and the Levites flayed them.12 And they removed the burnt offerings, that they might give according to the divisions of the families of the people, to offer unto the Lord, as it is written in the book of Moses. And so did they with the oxen.13 And they roasted the passover with fire according to the ordinance: but the other holy offerings sod they in pots, and in caldrons, and in pans, and divided them speedily among all the people.”
Passover for the Levites, Priests, singers, and porters (14-15)
“And afterward they made ready for themselves, and for the priests: because the priests the sons of Aaron were busied in offering of burnt offerings and the fat until night; therefore the Levites prepared for themselves, and for the priests the sons of Aaron.15 And the singers the sons of Asaph were in their place, according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s seer; and the porters waited at every gate; they might not depart from their service; for their brethren the Levites prepared for them.”
Passover kept (16-19)
“So all the service of the Lord was prepared the same day, to keep the passover, and to offer burnt offerings upon the altar of the Lord, according to the commandment of king Josiah.17 And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days.18 And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this passover kept.”
The Passover was commanded to be celebrated every year. However, it was not. Josiah obeyed the Book of the Law.
It was a great Passover. Better than any from the time of Samuel the prophet.
Josiah documents exactly what was done. All the rules for the Passover were followed.
When God tells us to do something, do we follow completely?
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001