Josiah, yo-shi-YA-hu, יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ
Josiah (Wikipedia)
King of Judah
Reign640 to 609 BCE
PredecessorAmon of Judah
SuccessorJehoahaz of Judah
Bornc. 648 BCE
probably Jerusalem
DiedTammuz (July/August) 609 BCE (aged 38–39)
HouseHouse of David
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Josiah (/ˈs.ə/ or /əˈz.ə/) or Yoshiyahu was a seventh-century BCE king of Judah (c. 649–609) who, according to the Hebrew Bible, instituted major religious reforms. Josiah is credited by most biblical scholars with having established or compiled important Hebrew Scriptures during the "Deuteronomic reform" which probably occurred during his rule. Josiah became king of Judah at the age of eight, after the assassination of his father, King Amon, and reigned for thirty-one years, from 641/640 to 610/609 BCE. Josiah is known only from biblical texts; no reference to him exists in surviving texts of the period from Egypt or Babylon, and no clear archaeological evidence, such as inscriptions bearing his name, has ever been found. Nevertheless, most scholars believe he existed and that the absence of documents is due to few documents of any sort surviving from this very early period, and to Jerusalem having been occupied, conquered, and rebuilt for thousands of years.

The Bible describes him as a very righteous king, a king who "walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left" (2 Kings 22:2). He is also one of the kings mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew's gospel, one of the two divergent genealogies of Jesus in the New Testament.

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