The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Paralipomena
And now Josias proclaimed a paschal feast at Jerusalem; the victims should be duly slain on the fourteenth day of the first month.
To the priests, he assigned their several tasks, and put heart into them for their long ministrations in the Lord’s house.
And he had his word for the Levites, too, that must teach all Israel and hallow it to the Lord’s service: Let the ark of God rest in its shrine, in the temple David’s son Solomon, that was king of all Israel, built for it; no need any longer for you to carry it this way and that.✻ You have tasks to perform for the Lord your God, and for his people of Israel.
Range yourselves by the order of your clans and families, as David king of Israel and his son Solomon prescribed,
each household, each company of Levites ready to do its own office in the sanctuary.
Rid yourselves of defilement, to keep the pasch, and make all in readiness for your brethren, so that they can carry out the commands which the Lord gave them through Moses.
For those who were present at this paschal feast, Josias provided the flocks they had need of, thirty thousand lambs and kids, as well as three thousand bulls, all of the king’s bounty.
Other gifts had been promised, for priests, Levites and people, by the men of his court; the controllers of the Lord’s house, Helcias, Zacharias and Jahiel, gave the priests, for their paschal victims, two thousand six hundred lambs and kids, and three hundred bulls;
and there were five thousand lambs and kids and five hundred bulls for the Levites’ pasch, from Chonenias, his brothers Semeias and Nathanael, and the Levite chiefs Hasabias, Jehiel and Jozabad.
Thus preparation was made for the ceremony, and the priests stood ready for their task, with the Levites to aid them, ranged at the king’s bidding in their several companies.
The paschal victims were killed; blood was sprinkled from priestly hands, Levites flayed the burnt-sacrifice,
and victims were distributed to all the worshippers, clan by clan, household by household, ready to be offered to the Lord as Moses commanded, the bulls with the rest.
The paschal victim itself was roasted over the fire, as the law enjoins; the welcome-offerings were cooked in pan and pot and caldron, and so divided among the people without more ado.
This done, the Levites had still the paschal feast to make ready for themselves and for the priests; these had been busy over the burnt-sacrifice up to night-fall, so that Aaron’s sons must be served last, and the Levites with them.
All the musicians had kept their ranks, as David would have them, and his royal spokesmen Asaph, Heman and Idithun; all the door-keepers had remained on guard at their several gates, never released from duty for an instant; for these, too, their brother Levites must needs make ready the feast.
Nothing of due observance was left unfulfilled that day; the pasch was kept, and burnt-sacrifice, too, was offered to the Lord on his altar, at king Josias’ bidding.
And all the Israelites who were present kept, at this time, not only the pasch but the feast of unleavened bread, for seven days together.
Never was such a paschal feast as this in all Israel’s history since the days of the prophet Samuel; never a king, of all who reigned in Israel, so kept it as Josias did, with priests and Levites and pilgrims from Juda and Israel, besides the citizens of Jerusalem.
It was the eighteenth year of his reign when the pasch was so kept.
After Josias’ restoration of the temple was finished, news came that Nechao, king of Egypt, was on his way to attack Charcamis, on the Euphrates.
Josias marched out to bar his way, whereupon he sent him a message, Nay, king of Juda, I have no quarrel with thee. At God’s bidding I march, and with all speed, against another kingdom, not thine; God is on my side; cross his will, and he will slay thee.
But there was no turning Josias back from his warlike intent; listen to Nechao he would not, though it was God’s own lips that warned him; he was for offering battle in the plain of Mageddo.
And there, wounded by a volley from the archers, he bade his men carry him out of the fight; My hurt, said he, is grievous.
He had a second chariot, as kings will, that followed behind him; into this they removed him out of his own chariot, and bore him away to Jerusalem. So he died, and was buried where his fathers lay. All Juda and Jerusalem mourned for him, but none so grievously as Jeremias;
to this day man and maid, singing the dirge for Josias, say …,✻ till it has become a custom in Israel; it is all to be found in the book of Dirges.
What else Josias did, all his acts of piety in carrying out the terms of the divine law,
all his history, first and last, is set down in the Record of the kings of Juda and Israel.
The Holy Bible