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2 Kings 22:8

    2 Kings 22:8 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of Jehovah. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Then Hilkiah, the chief priest, said to Shaphan the scribe, I have made discovery of the book of the law in the house of the Lord. So Hilkiah gave it to Shaphan;

    Webster's Revision

    And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of Jehovah. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

    World English Bible

    Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, "I have found the book of the law in the house of Yahweh." Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

    Clarke's Commentary on 2 Kings 22:8

    I have found the book of the law - Was this the autograph of Moses? It is very probable that it was, for in the parallel place; 2 Chronicles 34:14, it is said to be the book of the law of the Lord by Moses. It is supposed to be that part of Deuteronomy (28, 29, 30, and 31), which contains the renewing of the covenant in the plains of Moab, and which contains the most terrible invectives against the corrupters of God's word and worship.

    The rabbins say that Ahaz, Manasseh, and Amon endeavored to destroy all the copies of the law, and this only was saved by having been buried under a paving-stone. It is scarcely reasonable to suppose that this was the only copy of the law that was found in Judea; for even if we grant that Ahaz, Manasseh, and Amon had endeavored to destroy all the books of the law, yet they could not have succeeded so as to destroy the whole. Besides, Manasseh endeavored after his conversion to restore every part of the Divine worship, and in this he could have done nothing without the Pentateuch; and the succeeding reign of Amon was too short to give him opportunity to undo every thing that his penitent father had reformed. Add to all these considerations, that in the time of Jehoshaphat teaching from the law was universal in the land, for he set on foot an itinerant ministry, in order to instruct the people fully: for "he sent to his princes to teach in the cities of Judah; and with them he sent Levites and priests; and they went about through all the cities of Judah, and taught the people, having the book of the Lord with them;" see 2 Chronicles 17:7-9. And if there be any thing wanting to show the improbability of the thing, it must be this, that the transactions mentioned here took place in the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah, who had, from the time he came to the throne, employed himself in the restoration of the pure worship of God; and it is not likely that during these eighteen years he was without a copy of the Pentateuch. The simple fact seems to be this, that this was the original of the covenant renewed by Moses with the people in the plains of Moab, and which he ordered to be laid up beside the ark; (Deuteronomy 31:26); and now being unexpectedly found, its antiquity, the occasion of its being made, the present circumstances of the people, the imperfect state in which the reformation was as yet, after all that had been done, would all concur to produce the effect here mentioned on the mind of the pious Josiah.

    Barnes' Notes on 2 Kings 22:8

    Some have concluded from this discovery, either that no "book of the law" had ever existed before, the work now said to have been "found" having been forged for the occasion by Hilkiah; or that all knowledge of the old "book" had been lost, and that a work of unknown date and authorship having been at this time found was accepted as the Law of Moses on account of its contents, and has thus come down to us under his name. But this is to see in the narrative far more than it naturally implies. If Hilkiah had been bold enough and wicked enough to forge, or if he had been foolish enough to accept hastily as the real "book of the law" a composition of which he really knew nothing, there were four means of detecting his error or his fraud:

    (1) The Jewish Liturgies, which embodied large portions of the Law;

    (2) The memory of living men, which in many instances may have extended to the entire five books, as it does now with the modern Samaritans;

    (3) Other copies, entire or fragmentary, existing among the more learned Jews, or in the Schools of the prophets; and

    (4) Quotations from the Law in other works, especially in the Psalmists and prophets, who refer to it on almost every page.

    The copy of the Book of the Law found by Hilkiah was no doubt that deposited, in accordance with the command of God, by Moses, by the side of the ark of the covenant, and kept ordinarily in the holy of holies (marginal reference). It had been lost, or secreted, during the desecration of the temple by Manasseh, but had not been removed out of the temple building.