Josiah celebrates a passover, 2 Chronicles 35:1; regulates the courses of the priests; assigns them, the Levites, and the people, their portions; and completes the greatest passover ever celebrated since the days of Solomon, vv. 2-19. Pharaoh Necho passes with his army through Judea, 2 Chronicles 35:20. Josiah meets and fights with him at Megiddo, and is mortally wounded, 2 Chronicles 35:21-23. He is carried to Jerusalem, where he dies, 2 Chronicles 35:24. Jeremiah laments for him, 2 Chronicles 35:25. Of his acts and deeds, and where recorded, 2 Chronicles 35:26, 2 Chronicles 35:27.
Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto the LORD in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.
And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the LORD,
And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the LORD, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the LORD your God, and his people Israel,Put the holy ark in the house - It is likely that the priests had secured this when they found that the idolatrous kings were determined to destroy every thing that might lead the people to the worship of the true God. And now, as all appears to be well established, the ark is ordered to be put into its own place.
For an ample account of this passover and the reformation that was then made, see on 2 Kings 23:1 (note), etc., and the places marked in the margin.
And prepare yourselves by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son.
And stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the families of the fathers of your brethren the people, and after the division of the families of the Levites.
So kill the passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses.
And Josiah gave to the people, of the flock, lambs and kids, all for the passover offerings, for all that were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bullocks: these were of the king's substance.
And his princes gave willingly unto the people, to the priests, and to the Levites: Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave unto the priests for the passover offerings two thousand and six hundred small cattle, and three hundred oxen.
Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethaneel, his brethren, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chief of the Levites, gave unto the Levites for passover offerings five thousand small cattle, and five hundred oxen.
So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their courses, according to the king's commandment.
And they killed the passover, and the priests sprinkled the blood from their hands, and the Levites flayed them.They killed the passover - The people themselves might slay their own paschal lambs, and then present the blood to the priests, that they might sprinkle it before the altar; and the Levites flayed them, and made them ready for dressing.
And they removed the burnt offerings, that they might give according to the divisions of the families of the people, to offer unto the LORD, as it is written in the book of Moses. And so did they with the oxen.
And they roasted the passover with fire according to the ordinance: but the other holy offerings sod they in pots, and in caldrons, and in pans, and divided them speedily among all the people.
And afterward they made ready for themselves, and for the priests: because the priests the sons of Aaron were busied in offering of burnt offerings and the fat until night; therefore the Levites prepared for themselves, and for the priests the sons of Aaron.
And the singers the sons of Asaph were in their place, according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king's seer; and the porters waited at every gate; they might not depart from their service; for their brethren the Levites prepared for them.
So all the service of the LORD was prepared the same day, to keep the passover, and to offer burnt offerings upon the altar of the LORD, according to the commandment of king Josiah.
And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days.
And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.There was no passover like to that - "That which distinguished this passover from all the former was," says Calmet, "the great liberality of Josiah, who distributed to his people a greater number of victims than either David or Solomon had done."
In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this passover kept.
After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.Necho king of Egypt - Pharaoh the lame, says the Targum.
But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not.God commanded me to make haste - The Targum gives a curious turn to this and the following verse: "My idol commanded me to make haste; refrain therefore from me and my idol which is with me, that he betray thee not. When he heard him mention his idol, he would not go back; and he hearkened not unto the words of Necho, which he spake concerning his idol." Here is the rabbinical excuse for the conduct of Josiah.
Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.
And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded.
His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.The second chariot - Perhaps this means no more than that they took Josiah out of his own chariot and put him into another, either for secrecy, or because his own had been disabled. The chariot into which he was put might have been that of the officer or aid-de-camp who attended his master to the war. See the note on 2 Kings 22:20.
And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations.Behold, they are written in the lamentations - The Hebrews had poetical compositions for all great and important events, military songs, songs of triumph, epithalamia or marriage odes, funeral elegies, etc. Several of these are preserved in different parts of the historical books of Scripture, and these were generally made by prophets or inspired men. That composed on the tragical end of this good king by Jeremiah is now lost. The Targum says, "Jeremiah bewailed Josiah with a great lamentation; and all the chiefs and matrons sing these lamentations concerning Josiah to the present day, and it was a statute in Israel annually to bewail Josiah. Behold, these are written in the book of Lamentations, which Baruch wrote down from the mouth of Jeremiah.
Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness, according to that which was written in the law of the LORD,
And his deeds, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.And his deeds, first and last - "The former things which he did in his childhood, and the latter things which he did in his youth; and all the judgments which he pronounced from his eighth year, when he came to the kingdom, to his eighteenth, when he was grown up, and began to repair the sanctuary of the Lord; and all that he brought of his substance to the hand of judgment, purging both the house of Israel and Judah from all uncleanness; behold, they are written in the book of the Kings of the house of Israel, and of the house of Judah." - Targum. These general histories are lost; but in the books of Kings and Chronicles we have the leading facts.