Ver. 1. Eight years. After he had reigned other eight, being still but a boy, he began more seriously to seek the Lord, and purified his dominions, and the neighbouring country, from all the vestiges of idolatry. 2 Par. xxxiii. 3. He was one of the three most excellent kings of Juda, (H.) and might be said to be the last; as those who followed were displaced at pleasure by Egypt, &c. D.
Ver. 3. Scribe of. Heb. "to the temple." Chal. Syr. &c. It is not certain that there was such an officer as scribe of the temple; but the king's secretary was ordered by Joas to take an account of the money contributed, C. xii. 10. C.
--- Josias followed the same plan. T.
Ver. 4. Together, so as to be reduced into a mass, and refined by fire. Pagnin.
--- Sept. "seal up the money." Prot. "that he may sum the silver which," &c. H.
--- Let him make all be paid up that is due, (Piscat.) and cease to demand any more.
--- Door-keepers. Their office was of some consequence. 1 Par. ix. 26. 29. C.
Ver. 5. Overseers, or undertakers. Grotius.
--- People of the great respectability were selected, so that no reckoning with them was requisite, v. 7. H.
--- They were thus encouraged to do the work with greater perfection. C.
Ver. 8. The book of the law, (that is, Deuteronomy. Ch. --- S. Chrys. hom. 9. in Mat.) or the Pentateuch. Joseph.
--- Achaz, Manasses, and Amon, had burnt (R. Solomon) as many copies as they could, (H.) but some zealous priests had concealed this copy, in a box, in the wall of the temple, (Lyran) or in the treasury adjoining it. The very hand writing of Moses, containing the record of the covenant, (or the 28, 29, 30, and 31st chapters of Deuteronomy) which was placed in (C.) or beside the ark, was now happily discovered. H.
--- It seems it had been misplaced, as the ark itself had been removed, 2 Par. xxiv. 14. and xxxv. 3. This venerable monument, and the dreadful menaces which it denounced, made the deepest impression upon all, as we should read the autographs of S. Matthew, &c. with far greater respect and emotion than we do the printed copies. It is not at all probably that all the books of Scripture had been destroyed, as there were always some religious souls in both kingdoms; and if some kings had already made the impious attempt, (H.) of which, however, they are never accused in Scripture, they would not have been able to carry their malicious designs into effect. Josias had, before his 18th year, made many excellent regulations, conformably to the law, which was well understood, and carefully preserved by the priests and prophets. C. 2 Par. xvii. 9.
--- Read it. Scribes were generally chosen from among the Levites. C.
Ver. 11. Garments, through zeal for God's honour, and fear of his indignation. M.
Ver. 14. Holda. She is known only by this honourable embassy. It is rather wonderful that Jeremias was not consulted, as he had began to prophesy five years before. But he probably resided at Anathoth. Sophonias appeared, perhaps, only towards the end of the reign of Josias. C.
--- The Second, a street, or part of the city so called; in Hebrew, Massem. Ch.
--- The Sept. retain this word, (M.) or rather, "in Masena;" Heb. mishne. H.
--- Manasses inclosed Jerusalem with a second wall, (2 Par. xxxiii. 14. C.) unless this was done by his father, ib. xxxii. 5. T.
--- Here Holda is said to have kept a school. C.
--- Chal. "the house of doctrine," a lace next in importance to the temple. Vatab.
--- S. Jerom speaks of this Second, as of a gate, or part of Jerusalem, between the inner and the outer wall. C. Pelag, 2 Irad. in 2 Par. and in Sophon. i. 10. M.
Ver. 20. Peace, before these horrors overtake the city. Josias was interred with all the usual honours, have fallen in battle. C. xxiii. 29. C.
--- Instead of peace, the Alex. Sept. reads, "in Jerusalem," to which city Josias was brought from Mageddo, where he had perhaps rashly attacked the king of Egypt, with whom he had not been engaged in war. H.
--- This last good king was given to Juda, that he people might not pretend that they were forced to embrace idolatry by the royal power. S. Jer. D.