Josiah led them in celebrating the Passover Festival
1 Josiah commanded that the people should celebrate the Passover Festival to honor Yahweh in Jerusalem. So they slaughtered the lambs for the Passover Festival at the end of March. 2 Josiah assigned to the priests the tasks that they should perform at the temple and encouraged them to do their work well. 3 The other descendants of Levi were the ones who taught all the Israeli people; they had been dedicated to serve Yahweh. Josiah said to them, “Put the Sacred Chest in the temple that the workers of David’s son King Solomon of Israel built. But carry it on poles; do not carry it on your shoulders. And do your your work well for Yahweh your God and for his Israeli people. 4 Divide yourselves into clans, obeying the instructions that King David and his son Solomon wrote.
5 Then stand in the temple, with one group of the descendants of Levi to help each clan of the people when they bring their offerings to the temple. 6 Slaughter the lambs for the Passover Festival. Perform the rituals to cause yourselves to be acceptable to Yahweh for doing this work. Prepare the sacrifices, doing what Yahweh told Moses to tell you that you should do.”
7 Josiah provided from his own flocks and herds 30,000 sheep and goats for the Passover sacrifices.
8 His officials also voluntarily contributed animals for the people and the priests and the other descendants of Levi. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the officials who were in charge of the temple, gave to the priests 2,600 lambs and 300 cattle to be sacrifices for the Passover. 9 And Conaniah along with his younger brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, and Hashabiah, Jeiel, and Jozabad, the leaders of the other descendants of Levi, provided 5,000 lambs and 500 cattle for the other descendants of Levi, to be sacrifices for the Passover.
10 Everything for the Passover was arranged: The priests and the other descendants of Levi stood in their places in their groups, like the king had commanded. 11 Then they slaughtered the Passover lambs. The priests sprinkled the blood from the bowls that were handed to them, while the other descendants of Levi removed the skins from the animals. 12 They set aside the animals to be completely burned on the altar, in order to give them to the various family groups to offer to Yahweh, obeying the instructions that were written in the laws God gave Moses. They did the same thing with the cattle. 13 Obeying those regulations, they roasted the lambs for the Passover over the fire. And they boiled the meat of the sacred offerings in pots and kettles and pans, and served the meat immediately to all the people who were there. 14 After that, they prepared meat for themselves and for the priests, because the priests were busy until nighttime, sacrificing the offerings to be completely burned and burning the fat parts of the offerings. So the other descendants of Levi prepared meat for themselves and for the priests, who were descendants of Aaron, the first Supreme Priest.
15 The musicians, who were descendants of Asaph, stood in their places, as King David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s prophet had commanded. The men who guarded the gates of the temple did not need to leave their places, because their fellow descendants of Levi prepared food for them to eat.
16 So on that day everything that needed to done for worshiping Yahweh was done. They celebrated the Passover Festival, and they presented offerings to be completely burned on the altar, which was what Josiah had commanded. 17 The Israelis who were there celebrated the Passover Festival on that day, and for seven days they celebrated the Festival of Eating Unleavened Bread. 18 The Passover Festival had not been celebrated like that in Israel since the time that the prophet Samuel lived. None of the other kings of Israel had ever celebrated the Passover like Josiah did, along with the priests, the other descendants of Levi, and all the other people of Judah and Israel who were there with the people who lived in Jerusalem. 19 They celebrated this Passover Festival when Josiah had been ruling for almost 18 years.
The end of Josiah’s life
20 After Josiah had done all those things to restore the worship at the temple, King Neco of Egypt went with his army to attack Carchemish city alongside the Euphrates River, and Josiah marched with his army to fight against them. 21 Neco sent some messengers to Josiah, to tell him, “You are the king of Judah, and there is certainly no quarrel between you and me. My army is not attacking you people; we are attacking another army, the army of Babylonia. God has told me to hurry. So stop opposing God, who is for me. If you do not stop, God will get rid of you.”
22 But Josiah would not pay attention to him. Instead, he disguised himself in order to be able to attack the army of Egypt without anyone recognizing him. He did not pay any attention to what God had told Neco to say. Instead, he and his army went to fight Neco’s army at the plain of Megiddo.
23 Some Egyptian archers shot King Josiah. He told his officers, “Take me away from here because I am badly wounded.” 24 So they took him out of his chariot and put him in another chariot that he had brought with him, and they took him to Jerusalem, where he died. He was buried in the tombs where his ancestors had been buried, and all the people of Jerusalem and other places in Judah mourned for him.
25 The prophet Jeremiah composed a song to mourn for Josiah, and all the men and women singers in Israel still mourn for Josiah by singing that song. That became a custom in Israel; the words of that song are written in a scroll of funeral songs.
26-27 A record of the other things that happened while Josiah ruled, from the time he started to rule until he died, including how he faithfully honored God by obeying everything that was written in the laws of Yahweh, is in the scroll called ‘The History of the Kings of Israel and Judah’.