Money for repairing the temple (2 Kings 22:3-22:7)

“In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, the secretary, to the house of Yahweh, saying. ‘Go up to the high priest Hilkiah. Have him count the entire sum of the money that has been brought into the house of Yahweh, which the keepers of the threshold have collected from the people. Let it be given into the hand of the workers who have the oversight of the house of Yahweh. Let them give it to the workers who are at the house of Yahweh, repairing the house, that is, to the carpenters, to the builders, and to the masons. Let them use it to buy timber and quarried stone to repair the house. But no accounting shall be asked from them for the money that is delivered into their hand, for they deal honestly.’”

All this happens in the 18th year of King Josiah, which would put him at age 25. Shaphan, the secretary of King Josiah will play a major role here. Instead of a military leader or a religious leader, it is this secretary who carries out the orders of King Josiah. There are 7 biblical figures with the name of Hilkiah, but this is the high priest who is responsible for many of the religious reforms under King Josiah. He was to count the money that had been collected from the people as they entered the temple. This money, in turn, was to be given to the workers at the temple, the house of Yahweh. Thus the carpenters and builders were to get timber and stones to repair the house of Yahweh with no questions asked about the money because there was a presumed honesty.


 

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