The Passover Observed Again

Josiah celebrated the Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem; they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month. He appointed the priests to their positions and encouraged them in the service of the house of the Lord. To the Levites who taught all Israel and were holy to the Lord he said, “Put the holy ark in the house (temple) which Solomon the son of David king of Israel built; it shall not be a burden [carried] on your shoulders any longer. Now serve the Lord your God and His people Israel. Prepare yourselves according to your fathers’ (ancestors’) households by your divisions, in accordance with the instructions of David king of Israel, and the instructions of his son Solomon. And stand in the holy place [of the priests] according to the sections of the fathers’ households of your fellow kinsmen the lay people, and according to the Levites, by division of [the families of] a father’s household. Slaughter the Passover lambs and consecrate yourselves, and prepare for your fellow countrymen to carry out (obey) the word of the Lord given by Moses.”

Then Josiah contributed to the lay people, to all who were present, flocks of lambs and young goats numbering 30,000, all as Passover offerings, and 3,000 bulls—these were from the king’s property. His officers also contributed a voluntary offering to the people, the priests and the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the officials of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings 2,600 from the flocks [of lambs and young goats], and 300 bulls. Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethanel, his brothers, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, officers of the Levites, contributed to the Levites for the Passover offerings 5,000 from the flocks [of lambs and young goats], and 500 bulls.

10 When the service was ready, the priests stood in their [assigned] places and the Levites by their divisions, in accordance with the king’s command. 11 They slaughtered the Passover lambs, and while the priests sprinkled the blood received from their hand, the Levites skinned the animals. 12 Then they removed the burnt offerings, to distribute them to the sections of the fathers’ households of the lay people to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the Book of Moses. They did the same with the bulls. 13 So they roasted the Passover lambs on the fire according to the ordinance; and they cooked the holy offerings in pots, in kettles, and in pans, and quickly brought them to all the lay people. 14 Afterward the Levites prepared for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the sons of Aaron, were busy offering the burnt offerings and the fat until night; so the Levites prepared for themselves and for the priests, the sons of Aaron. 15 The singers, the sons of Asaph, were also in their places in accordance with the command of David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s seer; and the gatekeepers at each gate did not need to leave their service, because their kinsmen the Levites prepared for them.

16 So all the service of the Lord was prepared on that day to celebrate the Passover, and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, in accordance with the command of King Josiah. 17 Thus the sons of Israel who were present celebrated the Passover at that time, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. 18 No Passover like it had been celebrated in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet; nor had any of the kings of Israel celebrated such a Passover as Josiah did with the priests, the Levites, all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19 In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign this Passover was celebrated.

Josiah Dies in Battle

20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Neco king of Egypt came up to make war at Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah went out to meet him. 21 But Neco sent messengers to Josiah, saying, “What business do we have with each other, O King of Judah? I am not coming against you today, but against the house with which I am at war, and God has ordered me to hurry. Stop for your own sake from interfering with God who is with me, so that He will not destroy you.” 22 Yet Josiah would not turn away from him, but disguised himself in order to fight against him. He did not listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but came to fight against him on the plain of Megiddo. 23 The archers shot King Josiah, and the king said to his servants, “Take me away, for I am badly wounded.” 24 So his servants took him out of the chariot and carried him in the second chariot which he had, and brought him to Jerusalem where he died and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. 25 Then Jeremiah sung a lament (funeral song) for Josiah, and all the male and female singers have spoken about Josiah in their laments to this day. They made the songs an ordinance in Israel; behold, they are written in the Lamentations.(A) 26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah and his deeds of devotion and godly achievements as written in the Law of the Lord, 27 and his acts, from the first to the last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.

Cross references

  1. 2 Chronicles 35:25 : Lam 4:20