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Haftarah for Second Day of Pesah

II Kings 23:1-25

This translation was taken from the JPS Tanakh

Chapter 23
1 At the king's summons, all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem assembled before him. 2 The king went up to the House of the Lord, together with all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests and prophets — all the people, young and old. And he read to them the entire text of the covenant scroll which had been found in the House of the Lord. 3 The king stood by the pillar and solemnized the covenant before the Lord: that they would follow the Lord and observe His commandments, His injunctions, and His laws with all their heart and soul; that they would fulfill the terms of this covenant as inscribed upon the scroll. And all the people entered into the covenant.

4 Then the king ordered the high priest Hilkiah, the priests of the second rank, and the guards of the threshold to bring out of the Temple of the Lord all the objects made for Baal and Asherah and all the host of heaven. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and he removed the ashes to Bethel. 5 He suppressed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed to make offerings at the shrines in the towns of Judah and in the environs of Jerusalem, and those who made offerings to Baal, to the sun and moon and constellations — all the host of heaven. 6 He brought out the [image of] Asherah from the House of the Lord to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem, and burned it in the Kidron Valley; he beat it to dust and scattered its dust over the burial ground of the common people. 7 He tore down the cubicles of the male prostitutes in the House of the Lord, at the place where the women wove coverings for Asherah.

8 He brought all the priests from the towns of Judah [to Jerusalem] and defiled the shrines where the priests had been making offerings — from Geba to Beer-sheba. He also demolished the shrines of the gates, which were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua, the city prefect — which were on a person's left [as he entered] the city gate. 9 The priests of the shrines, however, did not ascend the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread along with their kinsmen. 10 He also defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of Ben-hinnom, so that no one might consign his son or daughter to the fire of Molech. 11 He did away with the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance of the House of the Lord, near the chamber of the eunuch Nathan-melech, which was in the precincts. He burned the chariots of the sun. 12 And the king tore down the altars made by the kings of Judah on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, and the altars made by Manasseh in the two courts of the House of the Lord. He removed them quickly from there and scattered their rubble in the Kidron Valley. 13 The king also defiled the shrines facing Jerusalem, to the south of the Mount of the Destroyer, which King Solomon of Israel had built for Ashtoreth, the abomination of the Sidonians, for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom, the detestable thing of the Ammonites. 14 He shattered their pillars and cut down their sacred posts and covered their sites with human bones.

15 As for the altar in Bethel [and] the shrine made by Jeroboam son of Nebat who caused Israel to sin — that altar, too, and the shrine as well, he tore down. He burned down the shrine and beat it to dust, and he burned the sacred post.

16 Josiah turned and saw the graves that were on the hill; and he had the bones taken out of the graves and burned on the altar. Thus he defiled it, in fulfillment of the word of the Lord foretold by the man of God who foretold these happenings. 17 He asked, "What is the marker I see there?" And the men of the town replied, "That is the grave of the man of God who came from Judah and foretold these things that you have done to the Altar of Bethel." 18 "Let him be," he said, "let no one disturb his bones." So they left his bones undisturbed together with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria.

19 Josiah also abolished the cult places in the towns of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had built vexing [the Lord]. He dealt with them just as he had done to Bethel: 20 He slew on the altars all the priests of the shrines who were there, and he burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

21 The king commanded all the people, "Offer the passover sacrifice to the Lord your God as prescribed in this scroll of the covenant." 22 Now the passover sacrifice had not been offered in that manner in the days of the chieftains who ruled Israel, or during the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah. 23 Only in the eighteenth year of King Josiah was such a passover sacrifice offered in that manner to the Lord in Jerusalem. 24 Josiah also did away with the necromancers and the mediums, the idols and the fetishes — all the detestable things that were to be seen in the land of Judah and Jerusalem. Thus he fulfilled the terms of the Teaching recorded in the scroll that the priest Hilkiah had found in the House of the Lord. 25 There was no king like him before who turned back to the Lord with all his heart and soul and might, in full accord with the Teaching of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.

Taken from Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society) 1985.
Used by permission of The Jewish Publication Society. Copyright ©1962, 1992
Third Edition by the Jewish Publication Society. No part of this text can be reproduced or forwarded without written permission.
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