II Kings 22
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1  Yoshiahu was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned thirty and one years in Yerushalayim; and his mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath.

א  בֶּן שְׁמֹנֶה שָׁנָה יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ בְמָלְכוֹ וּשְׁלֹשִׁים וְאַחַת שָׁנָה מָלַךְ בִּירוּשָׁלִָם וְשֵׁם אִמּוֹ יְדִידָה בַת עֲדָיָה מִבָּצְקַת.

2  And he did that which was right in the eyes of Hashem, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.

ב  וַיַּעַשׂ הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה וַיֵּלֶךְ בְּכָל דֶּרֶךְ דָּוִד אָבִיו וְלֹא סָר יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאול.

3  And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Yoshiahu, that the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of Hashem, saying.

ג  וַיְהִי בִּשְׁמֹנֶה עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה לַמֶּלֶךְ יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ שָׁלַח הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת שָׁפָן בֶּן אֲצַלְיָהוּ בֶן מְשֻׁלָּם הַסֹּפֵר בֵּית יְהוָה לֵאמֹר.

4  ‘Go up to Hilkiah the Kohen Gadol, that he may sum the money which is brought into the house of Hashem, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people;

ד  עֲלֵה אֶל חִלְקִיָּהוּ הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדוֹל וְיַתֵּם אֶת הַכֶּסֶף הַמּוּבָא בֵּית יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר אָסְפוּ שֹׁמְרֵי הַסַּף מֵאֵת הָעָם.

5  and let them deliver it into the hand of the workmen that have the oversight of the house of Hashem; and let them give it to the workmen that are in the house of Hashem, to repair the breaches of the house;

ה  ויתנה (וְיִתְּנוּהוּ) עַל יַד עֹשֵׂי הַמְּלָאכָה הַמֻּפְקָדִים בבית (בֵּית) יְהוָה וְיִתְּנוּ אֹתוֹ לְעֹשֵׂי הַמְּלָאכָה אֲשֶׁר בְּבֵית יְהוָה לְחַזֵּק בֶּדֶק הַבָּיִת.

6  unto the carpenters, and to the builders, and to the masons; and for buying timber and hewn stone to repair the house.’–

ו  לֶחָרָשִׁים וְלַבֹּנִים וְלַגֹּדְרִים וְלִקְנוֹת עֵצִים וְאַבְנֵי מַחְצֵב לְחַזֵּק אֶת הַבָּיִת.

7  Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand; for they dealt faithfully.

ז  אַךְ לֹא יֵחָשֵׁב אִתָּם הַכֶּסֶף הַנִּתָּן עַל יָדָם כִּי בֶאֱמוּנָה הֵם עֹשִׂים.

8  And Hilkiah the Kohen Gadol said unto Shaphan the scribe: ‘I have found the Sefer Torah in the house of Hashem.’ And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

ח  וַיֹּאמֶר חִלְקִיָּהוּ הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדוֹל עַל שָׁפָן הַסֹּפֵר סֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה מָצָאתִי בְּבֵית יְהוָה וַיִּתֵּן חִלְקִיָּה אֶת הַסֵּפֶר אֶל שָׁפָן וַיִּקְרָאֵהוּ.

9  And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought back word unto the king, and said: ‘Thy servants have poured out the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen that have the oversight of the house of Hashem.’

ט  וַיָּבֹא שָׁפָן הַסֹּפֵר אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיָּשֶׁב אֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּבָר וַיֹּאמֶר הִתִּיכוּ עֲבָדֶיךָ אֶת הַכֶּסֶף הַנִּמְצָא בַבַּיִת וַיִּתְּנֻהוּ עַל יַד עֹשֵׂי הַמְּלָאכָה הַמֻּפְקָדִים בֵּית יְהוָה.

10  And Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying: ‘Hilkiah the Kohen hath delivered me a book.’ And Shaphan read it before the king.

י  וַיַּגֵּד שָׁפָן הַסֹּפֵר לַמֶּלֶךְ לֵאמֹר סֵפֶר נָתַן לִי חִלְקִיָּה הַכֹּהֵן וַיִּקְרָאֵהוּ שָׁפָן לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ.

11  And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the Sefer Torah, that he rent his clothes.

vai-HEE kish-MO-a ha-ME-lekh et div-RAY SAY-fer ha-to-RAH va-yik-RA et b’-ga-DAV

יא  וַיְהִי כִּשְׁמֹעַ הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת דִּבְרֵי סֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה וַיִּקְרַע אֶת בְּגָדָיו.

22:11   When the king had heard the words of the Sefer Torah, that he rent his clothes

In Jewish tradition, tearing one’s garment is a symbol of intense mourning. For the first time, King Josiah hears the words of God’s Torah, which has been hidden away for many years. He becomes aware of how low the People of Israel have sunk. This is the beginning of his resolve to lead a campaign of repentance and bring the nation back to God. Though God had already declared that He was going to exile the nation as a result of Manasseh’s sins (II Kings 21:10-15), He gives them another chance. Through the uncovered Torah scroll He sends them the message that though they have turned their backs on Him, He has not given up on His people. Instead of sending them away, what he really wants is for them to repent and remain with Him in the Holy Land.

Comment

12  And the king commanded Hilkiah the Kohen, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying:

יב  וַיְצַו הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת חִלְקִיָּה הַכֹּהֵן וְאֶת אֲחִיקָם בֶּן שָׁפָן וְאֶת עַכְבּוֹר בֶּן מִיכָיָה וְאֵת שָׁפָן הַסֹּפֵר וְאֵת עֲשָׂיָה עֶבֶד הַמֶּלֶךְ לֵאמֹר.

13  ‘Go ye, inquire of Hashem for me, and for the people, and for all Yehuda, concerning the words of this book that is found; for great is the wrath of Hashem that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.’

יג  לְכוּ דִרְשׁוּ אֶת יְהוָה בַּעֲדִי וּבְעַד הָעָם וּבְעַד כָּל יְהוּדָה עַל דִּבְרֵי הַסֵּפֶר הַנִּמְצָא הַזֶּה כִּי גְדוֹלָה חֲמַת יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר הִיא נִצְּתָה בָנוּ עַל אֲשֶׁר לֹא שָׁמְעוּ אֲבֹתֵינוּ עַל דִּבְרֵי הַסֵּפֶר הַזֶּה לַעֲשׂוֹת כְּכָל הַכָּתוּב עָלֵינוּ.

14  So Hilkiah the Kohen, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah, went unto Huldah the N’viah, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe–now she dwelt in Yerushalayim in the second quarter–and they spoke with her.

יד  וַיֵּלֶךְ חִלְקִיָּהוּ הַכֹּהֵן וַאֲחִיקָם וְעַכְבּוֹר וְשָׁפָן וַעֲשָׂיָה אֶל חֻלְדָּה הַנְּבִיאָה אֵשֶׁת שַׁלֻּם בֶּן תִּקְוָה בֶּן חַרְחַס שֹׁמֵר הַבְּגָדִים וְהִיא יֹשֶׁבֶת בִּירוּשָׁלִַם בַּמִּשְׁנֶה וַיְדַבְּרוּ אֵלֶיהָ.

15  And she said unto them: ‘Thus saith Hashem, the God of Yisrael: Tell ye the man that sent you unto me:

טו  וַתֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִמְרוּ לָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר שָׁלַח אֶתְכֶם אֵלָי.

16  Thus saith Hashem: Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Yehuda hath read;

טז  כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה הִנְנִי מֵבִיא רָעָה אֶל הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה וְעַל יֹשְׁבָיו אֵת כָּל דִּבְרֵי הַסֵּפֶר אֲשֶׁר קָרָא מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה.

17  because they have forsaken Me, and have offered unto other gods, that they might provoke Me with all the work of their hands; therefore My wrath shall be kindled against this place, and it shall not be quenched.

יז  תַּחַת אֲשֶׁר עֲזָבוּנִי וַיְקַטְּרוּ לֵאלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים לְמַעַן הַכְעִיסֵנִי בְּכֹל מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵיהֶם וְנִצְּתָה חֲמָתִי בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה וְלֹא תִכְבֶּה.

18  But unto the king of Yehuda, who sent you to inquire of Hashem, thus shall ye say to him: Thus saith Hashem, the God of Yisrael: As touching the words which thou hast heard,

יח  וְאֶל מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה הַשֹּׁלֵחַ אֶתְכֶם לִדְרֹשׁ אֶת יְהוָה כֹּה תֹאמְרוּ אֵלָיו כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר שָׁמָעְתָּ.

19  because thy heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before Hashem, when thou heardest what I spoke against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become an astonishment and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before Me, I also have heard thee, saith Hashem.

יט  יַעַן רַךְ לְבָבְךָ וַתִּכָּנַע מִפְּנֵי יְהוָה בְּשָׁמְעֲךָ אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתִּי עַל הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה וְעַל יֹשְׁבָיו לִהְיוֹת לְשַׁמָּה וְלִקְלָלָה וַתִּקְרַע אֶת בְּגָדֶיךָ וַתִּבְכֶּה לְפָנָי וְגַם אָנֹכִי שָׁמַעְתִּי נְאֻם יְהוָה.

20  Therefore, behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil which I will bring upon this place.’ And they brought back word unto the king.

כ  לָכֵן הִנְנִי אֹסִפְךָ עַל אֲבֹתֶיךָ וְנֶאֱסַפְתָּ אֶל קִבְרֹתֶיךָ בְּשָׁלוֹם וְלֹא תִרְאֶינָה עֵינֶיךָ בְּכֹל הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי מֵבִיא עַל הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה וַיָּשִׁבוּ אֶת הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּבָר.

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II Kings 22