Son of Amon and great-grandson of Hezekiah, a pious king of Judah, who introduced great reforms in the temple worship, and in the religious character of the nation in general. No king set himself more earnestly to destroy every vestige of idolatry out of the land. Among other things, he defiled the altars of the idols at Bethel by burning upon them the bones from the tombs of their deceased priests; as had been foretold more than three centuries before, 1 Kings 13:2. While cleaning and repairing the temple at his command, the priests found the temple copy of the five books of the law, perhaps the original copy from Moses’ own hand. The sacred book was too much neglected in those days of declension; and even the pious Josiah seems to have been impressed by the closing chapters of Deuteronomy as though he had never read them before. To avert the judgments there threatened, he humbled himself before God, and sought to bring the people to repentance. He caused them to renew their covenant with Jehovah, and celebrated the Passover with a solemnity like that of its first institution. The repentance of the people was heartless, and did not avert the divine judgments. Josiah, however, was taken away from the evil to come. He met death in battle with Pharaohnecho, whose passage across his territory to attack the king of Assyria, Josiah felt obliged to resist. The death of this wise and pious king was deeply lamented, by the prophet Jeremiah and all the people, Zechariah 12:11. He began to reign B. C. 641, at the age of eight years, and reigned thirty-one years, 2 Kings 22:1-23:37 2 Chronicles 34:1-35:27.