2 Kings 23:1-20 Expanded Bible (EXB)
The People Hear the Agreement
23 Then the king ·gathered [summoned] all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem together. 2 He went up to the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord, and all the people from Judah and Jerusalem went with him. The priests, prophets, and all the people—·from the least important to the most important [both small/low and great/high]—went with him. He read to them all the words of the Book of the ·Agreement [Treaty; Covenant] that was found in the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. 3 The king stood by the pillar and made an ·agreement [covenant; treaty] ·in the presence of [before] the Lord to follow the Lord and obey his commands, rules, and laws with his whole being, and to obey the words of the ·agreement [covenant; treaty] written in this ·book [scroll]. Then all the people ·promised to obey [pledged themselves to; entered into] the ·agreement [covenant; treaty].
Josiah Destroys the Places for Idol Worship
4 The king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the ·next rank [second order] and the ·gatekeepers [doorkeepers] to bring out of the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord ·everything [all the vessels/articles] made for Baal, Asherah, and all the ·stars of the sky [powers/hosts of heaven]. Then Josiah burned them outside Jerusalem in the ·open country [fields; terraces] of the Kidron Valley and carried their ashes to Bethel. 5 The kings of Judah had ·chosen [appointed] priests for these gods. These priests burned incense in the ·places where gods were worshiped [L high places; 12:3] in the cities of Judah and the ·towns [area] around Jerusalem. They burned incense to Baal, the sun, the moon, the ·planets [constellations], and all the ·stars of the sky [hosts/powers of heaven]. But Josiah ·took those priests away [did away with/or exterminated those priests]. 6 He removed the Asherah ·idol [pole; C a sacred tree or pole dedicated to the goddess Asherah; 13:6] from the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord and took it outside Jerusalem to the Kidron Valley, where he burned it and ·beat [ground] it into dust. Then he threw the dust on the graves of the common people. 7 He also tore down the houses of the male prostitutes [1 Kin. 14:24] who were in the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord, where the women ·did weaving [wove hangings/coverings/veils] for Asherah.
8 King Josiah brought all the false priests from the cities of Judah. He ·ruined [desecrated; defiled] the ·places where gods were worshiped [L high places; 12:3], where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba. He destroyed the ·places of worship [L high places; 12:3] at the entrance to the Gate of Joshua, the ·ruler [governor] of the city, on the left side of the city gate. 9 The priests at the ·places where gods were worshiped [L high places; 12:3] were not allowed to ·serve [officiate; L go up] at the Lord’s altar in Jerusalem. But they could eat ·bread made without yeast [unleaven bread] with their ·brothers [fellow priests].
10 Josiah ·ruined [desecrated; defiled] Topheth, in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could ·sacrifice [L pass through the fire] his son or daughter to Molech. 11 Judah’s kings had ·placed [dedicated] horses to the sun at the front door of the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord in the courtyard near the room of Nathan-Melech, an ·officer [official]. Josiah removed them and burned the chariots that were ·for sun worship also [dedicated to the sun].
12 The kings of Judah had built altars on the ·roof [C roofs were flat and served as an extra room] of the ·upstairs [upper] room of Ahaz. Josiah ·broke down [destroyed] these altars and the altars Manasseh had made in the two courtyards of the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. Josiah smashed them to pieces and threw their ·dust [rubble] into the Kidron Valley. 13 King Josiah ·ruined [desecrated; defiled] the ·places where gods were worshiped [L high places; 12:3] east of Jerusalem, south of the Mount of ·Olives [or Corruption; or Destruction; C so called because of the pagan sites]. Solomon king of Israel had built these places. One was for Ashtoreth, the ·hated goddess [detestable thing; T abomination] of the Sidonians. One was for Chemosh, the ·hated god [detestable thing; T abomination] of Moab. And one was for Molech, the ·hated god [detestable thing; T abomination] of the Ammonites. 14 Josiah smashed to pieces the ·stone [sacred] pillars they worshiped, and he cut down the Asherah ·idols [poles; C a sacred tree or pole dedicated to the goddess Asherah; 13:6]. Then he covered the places with human bones.
15 Josiah also ·broke down [demolished] the altar at Bethel—the ·place of worship [high place; 12:3] made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had led Israel to sin. Josiah burned that place, broke the stones of the altar into pieces, then ·beat [ground] them into dust. He also burned the Asherah ·idol [pole; 13:6]. 16 When he turned around, he saw the ·graves [tombs] on the ·mountain [hillside]. He had the bones taken from the graves, and he burned them on the altar to ·ruin [desecrate; defile] it. This happened ·as the Lord had said it would [L in accordance with the word of the Lord proclaimed] through the man of God [1 Kin. 13:1–3].
17 Josiah asked, “What is that monument I see?”
The people of the city answered, “It’s the grave of the man of God who came from Judah. This prophet announced the things you have done against the altar ·of [at] Bethel.”
18 Josiah said, “Leave the grave alone. No one may ·move [disturb] this man’s bones.” So they left his bones and the bones of the prophet who had come from Samaria.
19 The kings of Israel had built ·temples for worshiping gods [shrines/L houses at the high places; 12:3] in the cities of Samaria, which had ·caused the Lord to be angry [aroused/provoked the Lord to anger]. Josiah removed all those ·temples [shrines; L houses] and did the same things as he had done at Bethel. 20 He ·killed [slaughtered] all the priests of ·those places of worship [the high places; 12:3]; he killed them on the altars and burned human bones on the altars. Then he went back to Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 34:4-7 Expanded Bible (EXB)
4 The people tore down the altars for the Baal gods ·as Josiah directed [or in his presence]. Then Josiah cut down the incense altars that were above them. He broke up the Asherah ·idols [poles; 14:3] and the wooden and ·metal [cast; molten] idols and ·beat [ground; crushed] them into powder. Then he sprinkled the powder on the ·graves [tombs] of the people who had ·offered [sacrificed] sacrifices to these gods. 5 He burned the bones of their priests on their own altars. So Josiah ·removed idol worship from [purged; purified] Judah and Jerusalem, 6 and from the towns in the areas of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon all the way to Naphtali, and in the ·ruins [or regions] near these towns. 7 Josiah broke down the altars and Asherah ·idols [poles; 14:3] and ·beat [ground; crushed] the ·idols [carved images] into powder. He ·cut down [chopped up; smashed] all the incense altars in all of Israel. Then he went back to Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 34:29-33 Expanded Bible (EXB)
29 Then the king ·gathered [summoned] all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem together. 30 He went up to the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord, and all the people from Judah and from Jerusalem went with him. The priests, the Levites, and all the people—·from the most important to the least important [both great and small; or from the oldest to the youngest]—went with him. He read to them all the words in the ·Book [scroll] of the ·Agreement [covenant; treaty] that was found in the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. 31 The king stood by his pillar [C a place of authority] and made an ·agreement [covenant; treaty] ·in the presence of [before] the Lord to follow the Lord and ·obey [keep] his commands, rules, and laws with ·his whole being [all his heart] and to obey the words of the ·agreement [covenant; treaty] written in this ·book [scroll]. 32 Then Josiah ·made [required] all the people in Jerusalem and Benjamin ·promise to accept [stand with him regarding] the ·agreement [covenant; treaty]. So the people of Jerusalem ·obeyed [acted in accordance with] the ·agreement [covenant; treaty] of God, the God of their ·ancestors [fathers].
33 And Josiah threw out the [detestable; abominable] idols from all the land that belonged to the Israelites. He ·led [forced; caused] everyone in Israel to serve the Lord their God. While Josiah lived, the people ·obeyed [did not turn from] the Lord, the God of their ·ancestors [fathers].