Old Testament Lesson #30
Hezekiah witnessed the destruction of the Northern Kingdom and tried to be a righteous leader. He instituted reforms to Temple worship and instructed the people to worship only Yahweh. Isaiah and Micah were his contemporaries. His son Manassah and grandson Amon were wicked kings, but great–grandson Josiah brought about another reformation to Jewish religious practices.
"Amos through Malachi: Major Teachings of the Twelve Prophets," Blair G. Van Dyke and D. Kelly Ogden, Religious Educator 4, no. 3 (2003): 61–88
"King Hezekiah of Judah (715–687 BC) rebelled against the overwhelming power of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, during the ministries of Isaiah and Micah. The result was that the forces of Sennacherib pummeled every major stronghold of Judah except one. With those victories behind him, Sennacherib turned his armies toward Jerusalem. With destruction seemingly imminent, Isaiah prophesied that Sennacherib would not even shoot an arrow in Jerusalem, let alone conquer her (see 2 Kings 19:6–7, 32–33)."
"Great Are the Words of Isaiah," Hugh W. Nibley, Sperry Symposium Classics: The Old Testament, (2005): 177–195
"By a great miracle King Hezekiah of Judah was snatched from death and given fifteen more years of life. In an outburst of joy and gratitude, he voiced his thanks and his infinite relief at knowing that God was able to give whatever one asked of Him, even life itself; what is the security of all the world's wealth in comparison to that? And then a significant thing happened. Ambassadors arrived from Babylon, and Hezekiah simply could not resist showing them through his treasury, displaying his wealth and power. "Then came Isaiah the prophet unto King Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from . . . Babylon. Then said he, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All that is in mine house have they seen. Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house . . . shall be carried to Babylon" (Isaiah 39:3–6). The man couldn't resist showing off, and by his vanity he only whetted their greed. They liked what they saw and came back later to fetch it. He had played right into their hands."
"The Restoration as Covenant Renewal," David Rolph Seely, Sperry Symposium Classics: The Old Testament, (2005): 311–336
"Another instructive example of a covenant–renewal ceremony can be found in the account of the reforms of Josiah in 622 B.C. (see 2 Kings 22–23). During the course of renovation of the temple, Hilkiah, the high priest, found "the book of the law" in the house of the Lord (2 Kings 22:8), which had apparently been lost or forgotten. King Josiah, upon hearing the contents of the book, was distressed and sent for a representative of the Lord–the prophetess Huldah–to ascertain the validity of the covenant contained in the law. In a sense, Huldah provides the Preamble to the covenant ceremony when she declared that in fact the Lord was the author of the Stipulations contained therein (see 2 Kings 22:16). Furthermore, Huldah prophesied the destruction of Israel, declaring that the Blessings and Curses associated with the stipulations "even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read" would stand as a Witness against Israel's disobedience and would all be fulfilled (2 Kings 22:16–17). Josiah immediately gathered the people "both small and great" to Jerusalem, where he Publicly Read "the words of the book of the covenant" (2 Kings 23:1–2) to the people. Then the king led the people in covenanting before the Lord to "perform the words of the covenant that were written in the book" (2 Kings 23:3). Israel's apostasy and the need for covenant renewal are graphically illustrated in the almost incredible description of the abominable objects that were brought out of the temple of the Lord and the idolatrous and immoral practices that were once again outlawed (see 2 Kings 23:4–20)."
"Josiah's Reform: An Introduction," Benjamin L. McGuire, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 4 (2013): 161–163
"The discovery of the Book of the Law during King Josiah's reign (from 640 to 609 BC) jump–started a reform movement within Judaism. As part of this reform, Josiah carried out an aggressive shift within the popular religion–removing pagan religious institutions, eliminating sites of worship throughout Judah in order to centralize all worship at the Temple in Jerusalem, and attempting to reestablish the covenant between the Jewish people and God. These events are particularly noteworthy for LDS students of the scriptures since they occurred within the early lifetimes of the prophets Jeremiah and Lehi, and these events influenced both their ministries and their theology. The scriptures that were being used in Jerusalem at the end of Josiah's reign, including some of the prophecies of Jeremiah and the Book of Deuteronomy (the Book of the Law) appear in the Brass Plates taken by Lehi to the New World. And both Jeremiah and the Book of Mormon quote and allude to Deuteronomy frequently."
"The Great Jerusalem Temple Prophecy: Latter–day Context and Likening unto Us," Jeffrey R. Chadwick, Ascending the Mountain of the Lord: Temple, Praise, and Worship in the Old Testament (2013 Sperry Symposium): 367–83
"The great Jerusalem temple prophecy, found in Isaiah 2:1–3, is one of the most remarkable passages in the Hebrew Bible, or indeed, in all of ancient scripture. At some point in early Jewish history, perhaps around 620 BC, during the reign of King Josiah, the admonitions that now constitute Isaiah 1 were placed in their current position as "the Lord's preface" to the entire book of Isaiah."