Josiah

Stay in Your Own Lane

Egyptian War Chariot

Josiah was one of the better kings.

But he didn’t stay in his lane.  That was his one fatal flaw.

The Egyptian king Necho, of whom we have no information otherwise regarding his relationship with the God of Israel, did know that the Lord had sent him against Charchemish.  The Bible states that Josiah hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God.

It was Josiah’s fatal flaw, his Achilles heel, that led to his death.

Necho tried to dissuade him…But he [Necho] sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah [Josiah]?    I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not.

In other words, in today’s vernacular, it might be…Josiah, you don’t have a dog in this fight.  Don’t do it.

Or we might say today that Josiah didn’t stay in his lane.

But Josiah persisted, and it led to his death.

You can read about the story in the actual verses below.

Information about Josiah is given in both II Chronicles and II Kings. Because more detailed information about King Josiah and King Necho is in II Chronicles, that will be listed first. His general biography is after that in II Kings.  Some of the same biographical information is also in II Chronicles and is not repeated here.

II Chronicles 35:18  (KJV)  And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

19 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this passover kept.

20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Charchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.

21 But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not.

22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.

23 And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded.

24 His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.

25 And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations.

26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness, according to that which was written in the law of the Lord,

27 And his deeds, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.

 

II Kings 22:1 22 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath.

2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.

3 And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the Lord, saying,

4 Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people:

5 And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the Lord: and let them give it to the doers of the work which is in the house of the Lord, to repair the breaches of the house,

6 Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house.

7 Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully.

8 And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

9 And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the Lord.

10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.

11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.

12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying,

13 Go ye, enquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.

14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her.

15 And she said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me,

16 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read:

17 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.

18 But to the king of Judah which sent you to enquire of the Lord, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard;

19 Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the Lord.

20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.

II Kings 23:1 And the king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem.

2 And the king went up into the house of the Lord, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the Lord.

3 And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant.

4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel.

5 And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.

6 And he brought out the grove from the house of the Lord, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people.

7 And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the grove.

8 And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba, and brake down the high places of the gates that were in the entering in of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man’s left hand at the gate of the city.

9 Nevertheless the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but they did eat of the unleavened bread among their brethren.

10 And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.

11 And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

12 And the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, did the king beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.

13 And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile.

14 And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down the groves, and filled their places with the bones of men.

15 Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the grove.

16 And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.

17 Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel.

18 And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria.

19 And all the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke the Lord to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel.

20 And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men’s bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem.

21 And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto the Lord your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant.

22 Surely there was not holden such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah;

23 But in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, wherein this passover was holden to the Lord in Jerusalem.

24 Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord.

25 And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.

26 Notwithstanding the Lord turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal.

27 And the Lord said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.

28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

29 In his days Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him.

30 And his servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own sepulchre. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father’s stead.


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Who Were Jesus’s Brothers? Who was Jesus Brother?

Regardless of anyone’s personal conclusion, since this can cause a lot of controversy, and in the interest of unity, consider this.

Honor thy father and mother.  Honor Mary, as the mother of Jesus.

When there is another part of the body of Christ that has a different theology regarding this issue,  consider the wisdom given in Acts.

Acts 5:33 But they, when they heard this, were cut to the heart, and were determined to kill them. 34 But one stood up in the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, honored by all the people, and commanded to put the apostles out for a little while. 35 He said to them, “You men of Israel, be careful concerning these men, what you are about to do. 36 For before these days Theudas rose up, making himself out to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves. He was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were dispersed, and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the enrollment, and drew away some people after him. He also perished, and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered abroad. 38 Now I tell you, withdraw from these men, and leave them alone. For if this counsel or this work is of men, it will be overthrown. 39 But if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow it, and you would be found even to be fighting against God!”

 

Romans 14:22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who doesn’t judge himself in that which he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because it isn’t of faith; and whatever is not of faith is sin.

 

There is a debate about whether Jesus had brothers.  Some believe he did.  Some believe he did not.

I will explain both positions and also tell you what I believe and why.

There are places where translators translate words from phrases using the word “brothers” or “brother”.  Some say this means physical natural brother(s).  Others say that the word “brother” could mean something different in the original language.

Here is one scripture, there are others.

John 7:3  His brothers therefore said to him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that your disciples also may see your works which you do.

 

There are Bible commentators who have pointed out that  “brothers” can have other meanings.

In Peloubet’s Bible Dictionary it states of brotherThe Hebrew  word is used in various senses in the Old Testament as Any kinsman, and not a mere brother…nephew…husband…one of the same tribe…of the same people…any friend…one of the same office…a fellow man.  The Word has a similar range of meanings in the New Testament.

Here is an example in the King James Version (KJV).  If you read enough of the Bible and also read various versions, you can see where this kind of translation is used, where someone who is not an actual brother is called a brother. (in the sense that we normally use the term in English)

Genesis 29:12  And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, and that he was Rebekah’s son: and she ran and told her father.

 

In this case, Rachel’s father was named Laban.  Laban lived in Paddam-Aram, which was not next door to Jacob.  Jacob was not a brother of Laban.  They did not have a common mother and father or even a common mother and step-father or even a common step-mother and father.  They were of two distinct families.  Yes, they were relatives, but not brothers.  But in this case, Jacob says he is Laban’s brother.

So the meaning of “brother” is different.  When there is no translatable word, a translator will choose a best English word.   And there can be a certain amount of translator interpretation in the choosing of a word.   This is why it is good to read several translations, one of which should be a literal translation or at least look up the word in question in the KJV and then use a corresponding Strong’s concordance.  You can study commentaries as well.  These are written by scholars with extensive knowledge of the original languages and customs of the time.

You can also use an old-fashioned dictionary to learn more about the word.  I say “old fashioned” because society is in the midst of trying to change definitions of words when it suits a particular political agenda.  Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.  Try to find an older dictionary with the more traditional meaning of the word in question, not a politically altered dictionary.

In any case, this type of use of “brother” has led to the confusion about whether Jesus had brothers.

Genesis 29:12  And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, and that he was Rebekah’s son: and she ran and told her father.

 

Here is another example.  In this case, Jacob, his wives (this is prior to the law where a man had one wife) and Jacob’s children have left Laban,  (Laban is Jacob’s father-in-law), to return to Jacob’s home country.  Laban finds out that Jacob has left, catches up with him and says this about not saying “good-bye” to everyone.

Genesis 31:28  And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? thou hast now done foolishly in so doing.

 

While Laban did have two actual daughters, Rachel and Leah, there is no record of Laban having any physical sons that left on the journey with Jacob.  These “sons” would have been his eleven grandsons.  And as for the daughters, at this point, Laban only had one granddaughter, Dinah, and two daughters, Rachel and Leah.

Even today in English we have phrases like,
“my brother from another mother”
or
“how are you doing, Bro?”

Here is another instance of how familial terms are used differently than today.  This passage of scripture refers to Josiah.  King David was the first king of Judah.  Josiah was the 16th king of Judah.  Yet the passage refers to “David his father”.  The point is, the Bible refers to family lines differently than we do.

II (2) Chronicles 34:2 (KJV)  And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.

 

I personally believe that Jesus did not have flesh-and-blood brothers, but that this was a translated assumption.

Here is a Bible study that goes into that topic in more depth.

But beyond the question of translation, I believe there is another reason why we can know that Jesus did not have a flesh-and-blood brother.

Jesus, as firstborn, was responsible for taking care of his mother after Joseph’s death.   We can assume Joseph died earlier because we never see him the whole time of Jesus’s ministry, not even once after Jesus started his ministry.  Also, Joseph was not at the foot of the cross at Jesus’s death.

Joseph was not Jesus’s flesh-and-blood father, as Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary’s womb.  However, Joseph was given, as foster-father, the job of protecting and providing for Jesus and Mary.  Joseph took them to Egypt when the angel told him to and brought them back when instructed to by God.  Joseph provided for the family by working as a carpenter.

At the cross, Jesus, as a son who followed the Ten Commandments, as a Son who never sinned,  as a Son who always did the will of the Father, even unto death on the cross, that same Son, Jesus, knowing he was dying on the cross, his responsibility as a firstborn son would have been to transfer the responsibility of taking care of his mother to the next familial male sibling, if there had been one.  If Jesus had a flesh-and-blood brother, he would have transferred the responsibility to that man.  However, Jesus did not.  Instead, he transferred that responsibility to John, one of the 12 disciples.

In regards to the word “firstborn”, Ellicott’s commentary here states this:

Till she had brought forth her first-born son.–The word “firstborn” is not found in the best MSS*. The questions which meet us here, unprofitable as they are, cannot be altogether passed over. What bearing have these words on the widespread belief of Christendom in the perpetual maidenhood of Mary? On what grounds does that belief itself rest?

*MSS is an abbreviation for “manuscripts”, meaning the orginal documents in the original languages

The Pulpit Commentary states this:

“firstborn,” which suggested to a Jew rather consecration (Luke 2:23) than the birth of other children (comp. Bishop Lightfoot on Galatians, p. 270, edit. 1890); yet it is a reasonable inference from the passage as a whole that the οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν was not continued after the birth of the Son. Whether, however, other children were born to Mary or not, the true text of this passage gives no hint.

 

Dying on the cross, Jesus transfers responsibility of the care of his mother to the disciple John, who later wrote the gospel of John; as well as First, Second, and Third  (I, II, and III) John; and the Book of Revelation.

John 19:26  Therefore when Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour, the disciple took her to his own home.

 

As stated in the beginning of this post, there can be controversy over this question which becomes a point of disunity.

In my opinion, the bigger question, in the interest of unity within the body of Christ, is that regardless of anyone’s personal opinion on the matter, Mother Mary needs to be respected.

She is the mother of Jesus.  For unity in the body of Christ, all believers and denominations  should  respect Mother Mary.  All peoples should respect Mother Mary.

Again, regarding anything else:

Acts 5:33 But they, when they heard this, were cut to the heart, and were determined to kill them. 34 But one stood up in the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, honored by all the people, and commanded to put the apostles out for a little while. 35 He said to them, “You men of Israel, be careful concerning these men, what you are about to do. 36 For before these days Theudas rose up, making himself out to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves. He was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were dispersed, and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the enrollment, and drew away some people after him. He also perished, and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered abroad. 38 Now I tell you, withdraw from these men, and leave them alone. For if this counsel or this work is of men, it will be overthrown. 39 But if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow it, and you would be found even to be fighting against God!”

 

Romans 14:22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who doesn’t judge himself in that which he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because it isn’t of faith; and whatever is not of faith is sin.

 

While to some these questions are a matter of curiosity, to others a matter of theology, the most important question for any of us is if we are born again and doing what the Lord God wants of each of us to do individually within the body of Christ.

I John 2:17 (Darby) And the world is passing, and its lust, but he that does the will of God abides for eternity.


A blog post can only introduce a topic, but not cover it in depth. For more study on various topics, click here for links to Christian bookstores and other Christian sites.

The link above will take you to links to sites that teach on faith, prayer, confession, healing and more. They have church services, podcasts, bookstores, and further resources and teaching.
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