New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:


Video presentations on this chapter:


Other material relevant to this chapter:


Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 35 Nov.6 
Josiah’s Passover
Josiah kept a Passover to Yahweh in Jerusalem: and they killed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2He set the priests in their offices, and encouraged them to the service of the house of Yahweh. 3He said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to Yahweh, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel built. There shall no more be a burden on your shoulders. Now serve Yahweh your God and His people Israel. 4Prepare yourselves after your fathers’ houses by your divisions, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son. 5Stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the fathers’ houses of your brothers the children of the people, and let there be for each a portion of a father’s house of the Levites. 6Kill the Passover and sanctify yourselves, and prepare for your brothers, to do according to the word of Yahweh by Moses. 7Josiah gave to the children of the people of the flock, lambs and young goats, all of them for the Passover offerings, to all who were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bulls. These were of the king’s substance. 8His princes gave for a freewill offering to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, the rulers of God’s house, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings two thousand and six hundred small livestock, and three hundred head of cattle. 9Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethanel, his brothers, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, the chiefs of the Levites, gave to the Levites for the Passover offerings five thousand small livestock, and five hundred head of cattle. 10So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites by their divisions, according to the king’s commandment. 11They killed the Passover, and the priests sprinkled the blood which they received of their hand, and the Levites flayed them. 12They removed the burnt offerings, that they might give them according to the divisions of the fathers’ houses of the children of the people, to offer to Yahweh, as it is written in the book of Moses. So they did with the cattle. 13They roasted the Passover with fire according to the ordinance. They boiled the holy offerings in pots, in caldrons and in pans, and carried them quickly to all the children of the people. 14Afterward they prepared for themselves, and for the priests, because the priests the sons of Aaron were busy with offering the burnt offerings and the fat until night; therefore the Levites prepared for themselves, and for the priests the sons of Aaron. 15The singers the sons of Asaph were in their place, according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s prophet. The porters were at every gate: they didn’t need to depart from their service; for their brothers the Levites prepared for them. 16So all the service of Yahweh was prepared the same day, to keep the Passover, and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of Yahweh, according to the commandment of king Josiah. 17The children of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days. 18There was no Passover like that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did any of the kings of Israel keep such a Passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this Passover kept.
Josiah’s Death
20After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Neco king of Egypt went up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him. 21But he sent ambassadors to him saying, What have I to do with you, you king of Judah? I come not against you this day, but against the house with which I have war. God has commanded me to make haste. Beware and know that it is God who is with me, that he not destroy you. 22Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and didn’t listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. 23The archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Take me away, because I am seriously wounded! 24So his servants took him out of the chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had, and brought him to Jerusalem; and he died, and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. 25Jeremiah lamented for Josiah. All the singing men and singing women spoke of Josiah in their lamentations to this day; and they made them an ordinance in Israel. These are written in the lamentations. 26Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his good deeds, according to that which is written in the law of Yahweh, 27and his acts, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.


35:3 Serve Yahweh your God and His people- We serve God through serving His people; our attitude to them, our care for them, is effectively our attitude to the Lord, and will be the basis upon which we are judged at the last day (Mt. 25:40). We can’t simply believe in God from the isolation of our own homes or computer screens, and not get involved with actively serving His people.
35:11 Flayed them– This seems to imply that the skin was flayed off the lambs, in uncanny prediction of Christ’s whipping and scourging before His offering as the ultimate Passover lamb.
35:18 Neither did any of the kings of Israel keep such a Passover as Josiah kept- Kings like David and Solomon were more prosperous than Josiah was, and yet he was the more generous in his Passover celebration. Seeing that God isn’t impressed by numbers of sacrifices, this may not necessarily be an indication of Josiah’s spirituality; he should’ve learnt the lesson from the success of David and the failure of Solomon, that God seeks a broken heart rather than physical sacrifice. In any case, the people of Judah were soon taken into captivity because of their wickedness; Josiah gave them sacrifices to offer, whereas ideally they should’ve brought their own. We simply can’t give spirituality to others. 
35:21 This spirit of seeking a fight was his destruction; he should’ve learnt the lessons from Abijah in 13:3 who made the same mistake. God’s history is written so that we might learn from it; but whilst it remains in our minds as mere history for the sake of it and doesn’t become a living word speaking to us personally, it won’t fulfil its intention. Perhaps Josiah’s zeal for God had lifted him up in pride, and he thought that he could show his zeal for God by aggression towards ‘the world’, represented as always by Egypt. But aggression for the sake of it is so displeasing to God; God gave His Son to die for this world, this Egypt, rather than to try to destroy it for the sake of it. And it cost Josiah his life. Spiritual superiority, arrogance and aggression are simply so abhorrent to God.
35:22 The words of Neco from the mouth of God- The words of pagan Neco weren’t inspired by God but were indirectly from Him, just as the words of Caiaphas were in Jn. 12:49-51. We mustn’t think that unbelievers have nothing to teach us; God may be trying to communicate with us through them, although this doesn’t make the channel of His communication righteous.