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[68] After these things, Josiah went also to such other Israelites as had escaped captivity and slavery under the Assyrians, and persuaded them to desist from their impious practices, and to leave off the honors they paid to strange gods, but to worship rightly their own Almighty God, and adhere to him. He also searched the houses, and the villages, and the cities, out of a suspicion that somebody might have one idol or other in private; nay, indeed, he took away the chariots [of the sun] that were set up in his royal palace, 1 which his predecessors had framed, and what thing soever there was besides which they worshipped as a god. And when he had thus purged all the country, he called the people to Jerusalem, and there celebrated the feast of unleavened bread, and that called the passover. He also gave the people for paschal sacrifices, young kids of the goats, and lambs, thirty thousand, and three thousand oxen for burnt-offerings. The principal of the priests also gave to the priests against the passover two thousand and six hundred lambs; the principal of the Levites also gave to the Levites five thousand lambs, and five hundred oxen, by which means there was great plenty of sacrifices; and they offered those sacrifices according to the laws of Moses, while every priest explained the matter, and ministered to the multitude. And indeed there had been no other festival thus celebrated by the Hebrews from the times of Samuel the prophet; and the plenty of sacrifices now was the occasion that all things were performed according to the laws, and according to the custom of their forefathers. So when Josiah had after this lived in peace, nay, in riches and reputation also, among all men, he ended his life in the manner following.

2

1 It is hard to reconcile the account in the Second Book of Kings (ch. 23:11) with this account in Josephus, and to translate this passage truly in Josephus, whose copies are supposed to be here imperfect. However, the general sense of both seems to be this: That there were certain chariots, with their horses, dedicated to the idol of the sun, or to Moloch; which idol might be carried about in procession, and worshipped by the people; which chariots were now "taken away," as Josephus says, or, as the Book of Kings says, "burnt with fire, by Josiah."

2 HOW JOSIAH FOUGHT WITH NECO [KING OF EGYPT.] AND WAS WOUNDED AND DIED IN A LITTLE TIME AFTERWARD; AS ALSO HOW NECO CARRIED JEHOAHAZ, WHO HAD BEEN MADE KING INTO EGYPT AND DELIVERED THE KINGDOM TO JEHOIAKIM; AND [LASTLY] CONCERNING JEREMIAH AND EZEKIEL.

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