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Josiah

(1) King of Judah, 641–610 B.C. (see 2 Kgs. 22–24; 2 Chr. 34–35). While still young, he made, under the guidance of Hilkiah, a thorough religious reformation, which extended to the northern tribes. He restored the temple, destroyed idolatrous images and the high places, put down the idolatrous priests, and celebrated a great Passover (2 Kgs. 23:21–23). During this reformation a book of the law was found by Hilkiah (2 Kgs. 22:8–9; 2 Chr. 34:15–16). It made at once a great impression and led to the centralizing of all sacrificial worship at Jerusalem and the abolition of local idolatrous sanctuaries or high places. Josiah became involved in the war between Assyria and Egypt, and, though Pharaoh Necho disclaimed enmity, Josiah met him in battle at Megiddo and was defeated and slain (2 Chr. 35:20–25; see also 2 Kgs. 23:29–30; Jer. 22:10–12, 18; Zech. 12:11).

(2) Son of Zephaniah (Zech. 6:10).