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Josias(jōsī`əs), in the Bible. 1 King of Judah, son and successor of Amon. The great event of his reign came in its 18th year, when the book of the law, apparently DeuteronomyDeuteronomy
, book of the Bible, literally meaning "second law," last of the five books (the Pentateuch or Torah) ascribed by tradition to Moses. Deuteronomy purports to be the final words of Moses to the people of Israel on the eve of their crossing the Jordan to take
..... Click the link for more information. , was found in the Temple. Josiah had it read publicly, and a reform movement began, led by the young king. The basis of the reforms, which extended to the northern kingdom of Israel, was the removal of all outlying religious centers so as to concentrate everything in worship at Jerusalem. When the pharaoh Necho set out to help the Assyrians in Haran, Josiah opposed him and fell, at Megiddo. He was succeeded by his son Jehoahaz. 2 Man at whose house the prophet Zechariah was to crown the high priest.
Born circa 647 B.C. died 609 B.C. in Megiddo. King of Judah from 639 to 609.
By taking advantage of the weakening of Assyria and of a favorable international situation, Josiah was able to liberate Judah from dependence on Assyria, which had lasted more than 70 years, and to annex a considerable portion of the former Kingdom of Israel. In 628 B.C., Josiah began to carry out a religious-political reform, manifested in the centralization of the worship of Yahweh at the temple in Jerusalem and the struggle against local religions. In 622, in the course of his reform, Josiah promulgated what was called the Book of the Covenant or Book of the Law, which is identified as part of the Book of Deuteronomy in the redaction of the beginning of the seventh century B.C. In the modern canon it appears in a later redaction. There are facts indicating that Josiah took measures to improve the conditions of the lower social classes.