Religion cannot flourish if the passover is neglected. Christ, our passover, is sacrificed for us and it is well for us to be continually put in mind of His atoning death through the ordinances of the church.
II Chronicles 35
1 Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto the LORD in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.
2 And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the LORD,
3 And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the LORD, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the LORD your God, and his people Israel,
4 And prepare yourselves by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son.
5 And stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the families of the fathers of your brethren the people, and after the division of the families of the Levites.
6 So kill the passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses.
7 And Josiah gave to the people, of the flock, lambs and kids, all for the passover offerings, for all that were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bullocks: these were of the king’s substance.
8 And his princes gave willingly unto the people, to the priests, and to the Levites: Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave unto the priests for the passover offerings two thousand and six hundred small cattle, and three hundred oxen.
9 Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethaneel, his brethren, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chief of the Levites, gave unto the Levites for passover offerings five thousand small cattle, and five hundred oxen.
10 So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their courses, according to the king’s commandment.
11 And they killed the passover, and the priests sprinkled the blood from their hands, and the Levites flayed them.
12 And they removed the burnt offerings, that they might give according to the divisions of the families of the people, to offer unto the LORD, as it is written in the book of Moses. And so did they with the oxen.
13 And they roasted the passover with fire according to the ordinance: but the other holy offerings sod they in pots, and in caldrons, and in pans, and divided them speedily among all the people.
14 And afterward they made ready for themselves, and for the priests: because the priests the sons of Aaron were busied in offering of burnt offerings and the fat until night; therefore the Levites prepared for themselves, and for the priests the sons of Aaron.
15 And the singers the sons of Asaph were in their place, according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s seer; and the porters waited at every gate; they might not depart from their service; for their brethren the Levites prepared for them.
16 So all the service of the LORD was prepared the same day, to keep the passover, and to offer burnt offerings upon the altar of the LORD, according to the commandment of king Josiah.
17 And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days.
18 And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
19 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this passover kept.
20 ¶ After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.
21 But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not.
22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.
23 And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded.
24 His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.
25 ¶ And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations.
26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness, according to that which was written in the law of the LORD,
27 And his deeds, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
II Chronicles 35 – J. Vernon McGee
2 Chronicles 35:1-15 – A Memorable Passover
This Passover was memorable, not only for the imposing grandeur of the ceremonial, and the concourse of worshipers, but because of the strict adherence, even in minute particulars, to the prescriptions of the Law. Josiah was the soul and life of the movement. First the Levites were addressed, and reminded that as they were not required to carry the Ark from place to place, as in the days of the Exodus, they might fitly undertake other work and assist the priests, who were likely to be overwhelmed by the demands of the approaching celebration. Let us not cling to stereotyped conditions, but adapt ourselves cheerfully to new demands. One of their first duties was to bring the Ark out of the side chamber to which neglect had relegated it, and re-establish it in the Most Holy Place.
Vast preparations were made for the poor and those unable to provide for themselves. Munificent offerings were made by the king and the princes. True love to God is always accompanied by unselfish care for others. If you really love God, you will desire to promote the knowledge of, and participation in, His love. Never forget to leave a place for worship and praise! —Through the Bible Day by Day
2 Chronicles 35:4, 6, 10, 14-16 – Prepare
No great court function can be carried through successfully, without careful preparation. And Josiah’s passover was so vast and rare a success because of the large amount of previous preparation, as is described in this chapter. The priests and Levites were prepared by careful washings and ceremonial rites. The course of the sacrifices was ordered according to the law of Moses. The routine of sacred song and praise was also provided for. Nothing was left to haphazard or chance.
We are taught to rely on the promptings and inspirations of the Holy Spirit; and it is certain that He would use us more on special errands, if we were to trust and obey Him better. But these extraordinary ministries should not lead us to a life of haphazard. We should prepare ourselves for service so far as we may, laying our plans, anticipating the calls and exigencies of coming days, and preparing for the demand which almost certainly will be made on us. We may have to give our special words and addresses and arrangements to the winds; but we shall always need that preparedness of heart which is necessary for those who are to be used of God.
Remember what is said of the vessels that were purged from uncleanness, sanctified, meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Be always in your own place, clean so far as you can be, filled with the Holy Ghost, with the handle of your life turned toward the Master’s hand, that at any moment He may take hold of you, and use you for His holy service. By the diligent study of His Word, as well as by earnest prayer and waiting upon God, you will be prepared to do His will. —Our Daily Homily
2 Chronicles 35:16-27 – A Fatal Conflict
The huge masses of people were admitted according to their families into the sacred courts, and the gates were closed as soon as these were filled. Thus all the fathers’ houses came, one after another, in solemn procession to the altar, offering such part of the sacred victims as was required and receiving part for their own use. While this was in progress the Levite choir chanted Psalms 113-118.
What a misfortune that so auspicious a reign should end so disastrously! Josiah opposed Pharaoh, because Palestine was under the tutelage of Babylon, and had become the cockpit of the two warring nations, which were then contending for the mastery of the world. It would seem from II Chronicles 35:21, as if the Egyptian kings acknowledged the supremacy of one over-ruling Deity and considered that they were inspired by him. Blame appears to be attached to Josiah for not recognizing the voice of God. The lamentation over his death became proverbial for its excessive grief, Zechariah 12:11. Josiah’s reign was the last gleam of light in his doomed country, but it was good for him to be removed before the storm burst. —Through the Bible Day by Day