Josiahs Passover Observance
1 Josiah observed the Lord's Passover and slaughtered the Passover [lambs] on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2 He appointed the priests to their responsibilities and encouraged them to serve in the Lord's temple. 3 He said to the Levites who taught all Israel the holy things of the Lord, "Put the holy ark in the temple built by Solomon son of David king of Israel. Since you do not have to carry it on your shoulders, now serve the Lord your God and His people Israel.
4 "Organize your ancestral houses by your divisions according to the written instruction of David king of Israel and that of his son Solomon. 5 Serve in the holy place by the divisions of the ancestral houses for your brothers, the lay people, and the distribution of the tribal household of the Levites. 6 Slaughter the Passover [lambs], consecrate yourselves, and make preparations for your brothers to carry out the word of the Lord through Moses."
7 Then Josiah donated 30,000 sheep, lambs, and kid goats, plus 3,000 bulls from his own possessions, for the Passover sacrifices for all the lay people who were present.
8 His officials also donated willingly for the people, the priests, and the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, leaders of God's temple, gave 2,600 Passover sacrifices and 300 bulls for the priests. 9 Conaniah and his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, and Hashabiah, Jeiel, and Jozabad, officers of the Levites, donated 5,000 Passover sacrifices for the Levites, plus 500 bulls.
10 So the service was established; the priests stood at their posts and the Levites in their divisions according to the king's command. 11 Then they slaughtered the Passover [lambs], and while the Levites were skinning the [animals], the priests sprinkled the blood they had been given. 12 They removed the burnt offerings so that they might be given to the divisions of the ancestral houses of the lay people to offer to the Lord, according to what is written in the book of Moses; [they did] the same with the bulls. 13 They roasted the Passover [lambs] with fire according to regulation. They boiled the holy [sacrifices] in pots, in kettles, and in bowls; and they quickly brought [them] to the lay people. 14 Afterwards, they made preparations for themselves and for the priests, since the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were busy offering up burnt offerings and fat until night. So the Levites made preparations for themselves and for the priests, the descendants of Aaron.
15 The singers, the descendants of Asaph, were at their stations according to the command of David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun the king's seer. Also, the gatekeepers were at each gate. Because their Levite brothers had made preparations for them, none of them left their tasks.
16 So all the service of the Lord was established that day for observing the Passover and for offering burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, according to the command of King Josiah. 17 The Israelites who were present [in Judah] also observed the Passover at that time and the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days. 18 No Passover had been observed like it in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet. None of the kings of Israel ever observed a Passover like the one that Josiah observed with the priests, the Levites, all Judah, the Israelites who were present [in Judah], and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19 In the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign, this Passover was observed.
Josiahs Last Deeds and Death
20 After all this that Josiah had prepared for the temple, Neco king of Egypt marched up to fight at Carchemish by the Euphrates, and Josiah went out to confront him. 21 But Neco sent messengers to him, saying, "What is [the issue] between you and me, king of Judah? I have not come against you today but to the dynasty I am fighting. God told me to hurry. Stop opposing God who is with me; don't make Him destroy you!"
22 But Josiah did not turn away from him; instead, in order to fight with him he disguised himself. He did not listen to Neco's words from the mouth of God, but went to the Valley of Megiddo to fight. 23 The archers shot King Josiah, and he said to his servants, "Take me away, for I am severely wounded!" 24 So his servants took him out of the war chariot, carried him in his second chariot, and brought him to Jerusalem. Then he died, and they buried him in the tomb of his fathers. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. 25 Jeremiah chanted a dirge over Josiah, and all the singing men and singing women still speak of Josiah in their dirges to this very day. They established them as a statute for Israel, and indeed they are written in the Dirges.