Josiah, Who Heard the Unearthed Word of God

Open Your Bible

2 Kings 21:19-25, 2 Kings 22:1-20, 2 Kings 23:1-3, 2 Kings 23:24-30

Start each day by reading the passages listed above. Then use the summary and reflection provided here to guide discussion around the daily reading.

Josiah became the fifteenth king of Judah at eight years old, following the death of his father. Throughout his reign, he instituted religious reforms meant to bring about repentance and lead God’s people back to faithfulness. 

Consider the details of Josiah’s story. What aspects are surprising or unexpected?

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34 thoughts on "Josiah, Who Heard the Unearthed Word of God"

  1. Terri Baldwin says:

    37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

    The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Heb 11:37–38.

    Isaiah, whose name means “the Lord is salvation,” is the masterful author of the book of Isaiah. His 55-to-60-year prophetic ministry presented the hope of salvation to the people of Judah in the reigns of the kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Ancient Jewish-Christian tradition suggests that Isaiah was martyred by King Manasseh, son of Hezekiah. According to the tradition, Isaiah was tied inside a sack, placed within the hollow of a tree trunk, and then sawed in two. This story traces back to a first-century, noncanonical book called the Ascension of Isaiah, which claims to tell the story of Isaiah’s death.

    I found this as I was digging deeper and thought it was interesting story and wanted to share ; it definitely sounds like Manasseh. Check it out.

  2. Terri Baldwin says:

    What abundance of wickedness in Judah and Jerusalem! One would not have believed it possible, that in Judah, where God was known, in Israel, where his name was great, in Salem, in Zion, where his dwelling-place was, such abominations should be found. Josiah had reigned eighteen years, and had himself set the people a good example, and kept up religion according to the Divine law; yet, when he came to search for idolatry, the depth and extent were very great. Both common history, and the records of God’s word, teach, that all the real godliness or goodness ever found on earth, is derived from the new-creating Spirit of Jesus Christ.

  3. Chelsea Wilson says:

    Josiah’s age was surprising to me. At 8 years old he would have desperately been seeking the council of others order to understand how to rule the kingdom. He may have had some godly advice, but I would think most of the advice would be patterned after his fathers rule. So how did this 8 year old boy King rule in a way that was pleasing to the Lord? But God! God used Josiah in a mighty way. I am seeing some comparisons of how Josiah pointed us to Jesus, but the big difference between Josiah and Jesus (rather than the big one sin/ no sin) is Josiah followed the Lord, but the people still would have to deal with the consequences of all the evil decisions that were made prior to his rule, but when Jesus came He paid for all the consequences that our sin was leading us to. He paid the price so we wouldn’t have to pay for our sins. As a believer I will never have to feel the pain for my sin, because Jesus already did that! This was something Josiah could never do for his people no matter how straight and narrow his path. Thank you Jesus for paying for the sins of the world!

  4. Jeanie Mclellan says:


  5. Jenn B says:

    I love this comment, @Adrianne. It reminds me that even my children can hear the Word of God and do big things for Him and I should encourage them in this!

  6. K ♡ says:

    He earned a title no other king earned, but his end of life shows us Jesus alone is the perfect, blameless king.

  7. Ashley White says:


  8. Claire B says:


  9. Darlena Branch says:

    I have always enjoyed reading about Josiah. The statement that he did not move to the right or left has always struck me with how faithful he was even though his father and many of the other kings were so evil.

  10. Adrianne says:

    His age is the most surprising!! Eight years old and King…that’s heavy! But to know that he reigned justly in the Lord’s sight. That a child King brought about the reforms needed to turn his people back to the righteous way of the Lord…Wow!! And he did it after so much evil was done in the Lord’s sight. It has been refreshing to read about the good Kings interspersed between all of the bad.

  11. Alayna P. says:

    I really enjoyed reading about King Josiah. There are so many awful Kings so to read about one who was not only considered good but considered one of the best Kings of Judah is refreshing. I think what surprised me is that Josiah is the son of a wicked king but he did the complete opposite of his father. He is a wonderful example of what a leader can be. He worked so hard to get the kingdom right with God again even when he knew judgement was still coming. I’m grateful that we live in a time when we can have God’s Word right at our fingertips.

  12. GramsieSue says:

    I’m just catching up with the weekend prayer requests.
    RhondaJ – praying over your family, your grandson, granddaughter, their parents…satan is always trying to break families apart. Praying that hearts will be turned to God and see His goodness.
    Lizzie – lifting you up in prayer
    praying for others as well.
    And for those who don’t mention them but still need the prayers.
    so thankful for this group of sisters
    Hugs to all ❤️

  13. Patti Griffin says:

    Beautiful word

  14. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    How hopeful it is when I read that not every king was evil! Unlike some before him Josiah did not do evil in the sight of the Lord as his father had. God always leaves a remnant, He always gives an opportunity for repentance, He wants us to choose Him and live…Not only was Josiah Godly, he was surrounded by faithful men – the company we keep is so important! Thank God for Hilkiah who found the hidden Book, that Josiah wanted to know what it said, that he repented once he heard and that he humbled himself before the Lord. The writer of 2 Kings stressed twice, that Josiah followed the Lord with ALL his heart, with ALL his soul and with ALL his strength! (2 Kings 23:3,25) God does not take pleasure in half-hearted, half- committed believers. He wants us to love and obey Him with everything we’ve got!

    @Lizzie K. – praying for you today! You are seen, you are loved. Father God please let your peace rest upon Lizzie. She is so overwhelmed and troubled. Give peace to her heart and mind – in the name of Jesus, may Satan flee. Come to her rescue, come to her aid, answer her prayers – according to your will. In Jesus Name, amen.
    @Rhonda J. – my heart goes out to you as you hurt for your grandson. I lift him to God in prayer, that God would rescue him from his troubled mind, protect him while he’s in the hospital and that he might encounter believers while he is there. Prayers for you Rhonda, his parents and his sister.
    @Michelle – prayers for confirmation and continued direction from the Lord. Moving is hard, especially when things are uncertain – just always remember, God goes before you. Keep seeking Him and He will make your paths straight.

    Praying for all my SRT sisters today. May you all have a blessed day & remember God’s presence through out it!

  15. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

  16. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    I love this story so much I had to keep reading. It’s so sad that a godly king such as Josiah had to be followed by such evil children.
    I just read in my NLT that ”during Manasseh’s massive slaughter, Isaiah was sawed in two when trying to hide in a hollow log.” It sounds like many prophets were killed during his reign. For Josiah to to be pleasing in the Lord’s sight after all of that is just amazing.

  17. lisa chapek says:

    The part where the king takes the money from the treasury to give to the carpenters and masons to repair the temple stuck out to me. Jesus was a carpenter by trade..wonder if his ancestors worked on the temple in Josiah’s day. Regardless, I’m so thankful that the Father paid the price of His precious Son so that Jesus, the ultimate carpenter, could repair the temple (me) to its former glory (free from sin) for His dwelling place. There is no word, phrase or story in scripture that doesn’t point to our Savior.

  18. Cheryl Blow says:

    25 Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him. – 2 Kings 23:25

    What a statement from God about him! No king like him! His commitment and faithfulness to God!

  19. Kristen says:

    I too have liked reading and learning about Josiah’s story. The church I attend, once did services Friday to Sunday, and this story was a focus! I read in the study notes in my Bible that Mannasseh’s reign was the longest of any Judean king. He presided over the worst period of faithfulness in Judah’s history. He even introduced pagan elements that never occurred in the history of the monarchy before. Yikes! Thankfully, Josiah did not follow in the steps of his grandfather or father. There is more of his story in 2 Chronicles 34-35. He started cleaning house and the land! I love the details these Scripture give!According to the notes, he did this even before the Book of the Law was found! I also read the Josiah was the last godly king of Judah before the exile. When he heard the Word, he tore his clothes. He sought to find out what the Lord says. He proclaims the law of God to the people and vows to obey it and calls the people to join him in this public renewal of God’s relationship with them. Although, they join him, the consequences will still be given after his death. This shows that sin is serious! God will not be mocked. So many good points made by you ladies! Yes, Josiah knew the right thing to do before even hearing the Book of the Law as AmieD-R pointed out! Just like in Romans, man is without excuse. God reveals Himself. Allison, love the story of your journey and your son being named Josiah! You both heard the Word of God and were changed! That’s what His Word can do! The Gospel should be our greatest treasure! In agreement with the prayers for our country and everyone today. We must repent and turn before it’s too late! Also, prayers for: Lillie K., Rhonda, Melanie, Ella, and all of you.

  20. Susie H says:

    Have you noticed how often we are told who the King’s mother is? I think this is a significant nod to what the son was taught. The mother probably had much more influence than the king had.

  21. Linda J says:

    Reminds me how blessed we are to have God’s word literally at our fingertips.

  22. Tanya Evans says:

    One commentary I read said Josiah was not just a hearer of the word but a doer.
    My big take away what is my response to God’s Word? Am I a just a passive Sunday morning listener? Am I just a conference or Bible study junkie? Could learn from Josiah’s response and make radical reforms in my own life?

  23. Michelle Patire says:

    @Theresa- thank you for your encouragement! That was definitely needed. I have moved before (from NJ to PA & PA to NYC) but never like out of the country. I do feel I am headed in the direction of marriage. God has gave me words and confirmations of that, at least. But we will see where He leads me bc I have no idea where or how! Lol
    Thank you for the prayers everyone :)

    I was thinking about how in America we pride ourselves in freedom. Freedom is good, but the kind of freedom that exists in America is ugly at times. In this story, Josiah ordered that mediums and spiritists be put away, household idols, images of idolatry… The king’s word was final. In America, if you tried to destroy idols, people would riot and claim the first Constitutional amendment. Of course, it is a reflection of our free will with the Lord. We can choose to follow Him or not. But it does create chaos for those of us who are following the Lord who have to deal with the consequences of the sins of our fellow neighbors. Lol. Just a thought. Praise God we are closer to His return than yesterday!

    @Rhonda J – thinking of you, today :)

  24. Libby K says:

    I think of Josiah breaking generational curses. There was no one before him that would have taught him anything about the Lord. However, when he heard the words of God, his heart was tender. I’m sure he was thinking ‘I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m sure going to try!’ It’s amazing that that is all God needs. A tender, willing heart. He is soooo good to us!

  25. Maria Baer says:

    Allison— I love this story about how your family became believers. It is beautiful.

  26. Maria Baer says:

    The finding of the Book of the Law stuck with me today because I immediately equate it to “What if someone hid all the Bibles of the world?” Josiah’s world growing up was wicked, partly because someone purposely had hidden the Book. And I shudder to think the state of this world if we did not have the Word of God. As it is, people are hardening their hearts to Scripture and destroying bibles, even though it is readily available in every possible format and for free. I sometimes wonder if God looks down and thinks “What are you doing? I am giving you every possible opportunity.” This part of Josiah’s story made me think of Amos 8:11-12—- “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.” We must pray for the softening of hardened hearts, that due to culture and trends, have not accepted God. Their salvation depends on it before it is too late. Because at some point God will say “time is up.”

  27. ERB says:

    2 Kings 22:19 **tender, humble and penitent.. Wow!! Amazing what these three words do!! May our hearts always carry and practice these words. Amen.

    2 Kings 23:2-3 **I get excited reading these verses!! A willing committed heart changes everything and everyone around it!!! I absolutely LOVE that ALL the people, from highest to lowest, youngest to oldest, foolish to wise, were gathered together to hear the word of God and His covenant!! I also really love that the king led by example and that the people united together and agreed!! Every one of them committed to God’s covenant, choosing to live the Way He wanted!! May we choose to live His Way too!! To God be all the GLORY!!! Amen!!

    Prayers and blessings for all of you dear sisters!! Xoxo

  28. Searching says:

    2 Kings 23:25 Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him. NKJV
    ALLISON – thank you for pointing this out.

    There is more detail on Josiah in 2 Chronicles, chapters 34-35. Surprising and unexpected – that he sought after God at a typically rebellious age (16). Maybe seeking God was his rebellion towards good, after seeing the evilness of his father.
    2 Chronicles 34: 3 In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles and idols. NKJV

    Continuing to pray for your requests, sisters.

  29. Theresa says:

    God was clearly drawing Josiah to himself, since Josiah’s heart was softened towards him even before hearing scripture. Although Judah kept turning away from God, he was still calling them. Even in his anger over their unfaithfulness, he was still working in the hearts of their kings so that they would tune back to him as a nation.

    RHONDA J- praying for Brayden, for your granddaughter and for their parents. What an unbelievably hard situation.

    MICHELLE PATIRE – praying for you as you work to discern if God is calling you to move. When I finished college, I started to feel God calling me to move about 2,000 miles away from my family and my home. I ended up leaving two days after Christmas and moving far away to a town I’d only visited once. I didn’t know anyone and I had no idea why I was really there. Following God in that moment changed the entire trajectory of my life! I met my husband there. Found my grad school there. Found my ministry calling and career there. I met friends who I am still close to even though we’ve all moved to other places since then. It was scary, it was lonely at times, but God was so faithful to me and if this move if his will, he will be faithful to you too!

  30. Kristine Loughman says:

    What a relief to read about a king following God again. I wonder how the people dealt which rulers who were constantly changing who and how the kingdom worshipped.

  31. Kelly (NEO) says:

    Josiah was young enough that he may not have known how wickedly his granfather, Mannasah had been before he repented. Yet his heart rebelled against the evil ways of his father Amon.

    What strikes me is how the Lord gives each leader his own chance to serve Him. Each one rests on his own response, not the actions of his father(good or bad).

    RHONDA J – so sorry about Brayden. Praying the Lord will send a godly intervention and will bring comfort to your granddaughter

    ELLA – continued prayer for you. May you sense you are not alone.

    MELANIE MAYER – continued prayers for the Lord’s peace to flood your heart, mind, and home

    DOROTHY – continued prayers for you as you work with Jake on your sister’s estate

    TRACI GENDRON – did Tanner’s house sell?

  32. Erica Chiarelli says:

    It is usually surprising when a king does not follow in his father’s footsteps to anger and despise God. Most of the kings in Judah + Israel did not follow God. When they do, it is beautiful. Unfortunately most of the time directly after we see their.sons disobeying God again. As much as we can teach and prepare our children to follow God themselves, it must be their own relationship. I pray I would leave a godly legacy for my children. I pray they would run and go further with God than I ever could!

  33. Aimee D-R says:

    That he was called in his heart to do what was right even before hearing the Words of the Book of Laws! You cannot say you don’t know God…

  34. Allison says:

    This story has always been so dear to me. It is because of it that my oldest son’s name is Josiah. My husband and I both come from unbelieving families. But, just like Josiah, once we heard the word of the Lord we wanted to turn away from the ways of our fathers. His story shows that no matter what you come from, you can still call upon the Lord, and turn to him and he will be there!

    It has always struck me how it says that no king before or after him turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might according to the Law of Moses. That means that not even King David himself did that. And that is a big deal!