Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto the LORD in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.CHAPTER 35 The Keeping of the Passover and Josiah’s Death
1. The Passover kept (2Chronicles 35:1-19)
2. The death of Josiah (2Chronicles 35:20-27)
In the eighteenth year of his reign, Josiah, like his great-grandfather Hezekiah, kept the Passover. No doubt the reading of the law had made this feast once more an urgent necessity. Moreover they had made a solemn covenant “to walk after the LORD, to keep His commandments, His testimonies and His statutes, and to perform the words of the covenant written in the book.” Therefore in the appointed time, on the fourteenth day of the first month, they kept the memorial feast, the last before the house of Judah was carried into captivity. (Hezekiah’s Passover was kept in the second month. See 2Chronicles 30:2-3.) And all was done by the godly king “according to the word of the LORD”--”as it is written in the book of Moses.” It was obedience to the Word. And such an obedience is needed in the days of decline in the professing Church. It is this which pleases God. The Passover kept was even greater than that of Hezekiah (verse 18). All Judah and Israel (those who were still left) kept the great feast.
The death of this excellent man and king of Judah has its lessons. The king of Egypt, who was Necho, also called Pharaoh-Necho, came up to fight against Charchemish by Euphrates. Josiah went out against him. But did Josiah ask counsel of the LORD? Was the good man guided by the LORD when he went out against Necho, who did not intend to attack Judah? The evidence is conclusive that Josiah acted of himself and was not directed by the LORD. The Egyptian king rebuked him. Necho had not come against Judah. God had commanded him to make haste and fight against Assyria. Josiah should have known what the prophets had announced about Assyria and its overthrow. Thus Necho sent his ambassadors to give a warning. Necho was on a mission which he knew was of God. Josiah opposed him. “Forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that He destroy thee not.” But he gave no heed. The king who had cleansed Jerusalem and Judah, who had repaired the temple, obeyed the word and kept the Passover, neglected to ask the LORD in this matter and then continued in the wrong course. Perhaps pride played here also an important part. It would have greatly humbled him if he had desisted from his uncalled for warfare. How all this has been repeated and is being repeated in the individual experience of Christians needs hardly to be pointed out. Many who were much used like Josiah, stumbled and fell, when they ceased to depend on the Lord and acted in self will. Like Ahab (2Chronicles 18:29) he disguised himself. The arrow found him as it was with Ahab. He was pierced in the valley of Megiddo; he died in Jerusalem. There was great lamentation. The lamentations of Jeremiah are not the lamentations as we possess them in the book which bears that name. Jeremiah, however, refers to him (Jeremiah 22:10-13; Lamentations 4:20). In Zechariah 12:10-14 the lamentation in the valley of Meggido is mentioned. It is connected there prophetically with another lamentation for another son of David, who was pierced. And He, our Lord, was pierced and wounded for our transgression. When He comes again to fill the throne of His father David, the people shall mourn for Him, but in a different way as they mourned for Josiah. Josiah was the last good king of the house of David who reigned. But there is another one coming who shall rule in righteousness (Isaiah 32:1).