The effect of reading the book (2 Kings 22:11-22:13)

“When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes. Then the king commanded the priest Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary, and the king’s servant Asaiah, saying. ‘Go! Inquire of Yahweh for me, for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. Great is the wrath of Yahweh that is kindled against us, because our ancestors did not obey the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.’”

After listening to the reading of this book, King Josiah tore his clothes, the sign of anguish, being upset, or mourning. He then called in a group of people to find out more about this book from Yahweh. This group included the priest Hilkiah, the king’s secretary Shaphan, his son Ahikam, who will later be governor of Judea and a friend of Jeremiah the prophet, as well as Achbor and Asaiah. There were other biblical people with these last 2 names, but these 2 men seem to be the friends or servants of King Josiah. The king felt that the wrath of Yahweh was upon them because they and their ancestors had not followed what was written in this book.