Judean king noted for his reforms of Israel's worship in the time of Jeremiah is another of the Chronicler’s model kings. Much more space is allotted to his faithfulness in seeking God, his extensive reforms, and his Passover commemorates the deliverance of the Hebrew people from Egypt as described in the book of Exodus. It is celebrated with worship and a meal on the fourteenth day of the month called Nisan, which is the first month of the Jewish year. The time... celebration than in 2 Kings.
In 2 Kings, Josiah is a model king, second only to Second king of Israel, David united the northern and southern kingdoms. and Third king of Israel who was known for wisdom and building the first Temple, who reunites the people, divided since the days of The son of Solomon during whose reign the kingdom divided into north and south, and restores worship in the The Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged... following the apostasy of Amon. In Chronicles, however, Judean king noted for his reforms in time of Isaiah is the reforming king who reunites the people. Thus, while Josiah is praised, he is not as significant a ruler in Chronicles as he is in 2 Kings. Many of his earlier accomplishments, such as his celebration of the Passover, are seen as merely organizing and systematizing the innovative work of Hezekiah. Significantly, of the three-pronged religious reforms of 2 Kings 23:4-20–the cleansing of the temple, the destruction of the high places in Jerusalem and the south, and the smashing of the northern sanctuaries–the Chronicler has already transferred the cleansing of the temple back into Manasseh’s reforms (33:15-16); consequently, there is little mention of Josiah’s cleansing of the temple in Chronicles. Since the impact of the discovery of the “book of the law” (some form of Deuteronomy) is very similar to the account in 2 Kings, three characteristic features of the Chronicler’s presentation follow–the early dating of Josiah’s reform, the expanded description of the Passover, and the curious nature of Josiah’s death:
- The most conspicuous difference is the Chronicler’s earlier dating of Josiah’s reforms. Immediately following the accession formula, 2 Kings moves to the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign and his initial repairs to the temple (v. 3) that led to the discovery of the “book of the law,” which in turn led to Josiah’s purge of the land and purification of the temple. The Chronicler may have wondered why such a pious king (as portrayed in 2 Kings 22:2) would wait so long to begin temple repairs. This would account for his introduction of Josiah’s cultic reforms in the eighth year of his reign (2 Chronicles 34:3a), while he was still a boy. The purging of the land continued in his twelfth year (v. 3b), and then in his eighteenth year (v. 8a) the law book is discovered, which leads to a renewal of the A covenant is a promise or agreement. In the Bible the promises made between God and God's people are known as covenants; they state or imply a relationship of commitment and obedience. and the Passover celebrations. While effectively presenting Josiah as a faithful king from his youth, this sequence destroys the connection between Josiah’s cultic reforms and the discovery of the book that is so important in 2 Kings.
- The Chronicler takes nineteen verses to describe Josiah’s Passover (2 Chronicles 35:1-19) where 2 Kings had taken only three (23:21-23). The expansions are mostly due to the increased prominence of the Levites and the Chronicler’s concern to establish their importance in his own postexilic temple hierarchy, as well as references to the prior work of David and Solomon. Since Hezekiah had already reinstituted the Passover and invited all Israel to attend, Josiah’s task is portrayed as one of organizing the proceedings.
- The death of Josiah posed theological problems for the Chronicler. How could a pious, reforming king die in battle, especially after Huldah had prophesied that he would die in peace? He found a partial answer in Josiah’s failure to heed God’s word (2 Chronicles 35:21-22). The artificial nature of this rationale, however, is evident from a number of points: In this instance, God’s word was delivered by Pharaoh Neco with no indication as to how Josiah might have known that Neco was speaking for God (vv. 20-21). Josiah’s ruse, disguising himself in order to engage Neco in battle, a random arrow that kills the king, and Josiah’s plea to remove him from battle because of his wounds, are obviously drawn from the King of Israel who opposed Elijah story (2 Chronicles 18:28-34).
Nevertheless, Josiah’s refusal to heed God’s word does not diminish the Chronicler’s respect for him. The lament offered by Prophet who condemned Judah's infidelity to God, warned of Babylonian conquest, and promised a new covenant (35:25)–while not the book of Lamentations, which deals with The fall refers specifically to the disobedience of Adam and Eve when they listened to Satan rather than adhering to God's command not to eat the fruit from the tree. When people act contrary to God's will, they are said to fall from from grace... of Jerusalem to Babylon–is unparalleled in Chronicles and testifies to the high esteem in which Josiah was held.