The Weekly Haftorah
By: Reuben Ebrahimoff - The Haftorahman
King Josiah being Coroneted by Chilkiyahu the Kohen Gadol
The connection of the Haftorah to Pesach: The Haftorah relates a very special Pesach season during the reign of King Yoshiyahu.
The storyline of this week’s Haftorah: The Haftorah is only 14 pesukim long. The Haftorah describes how King Yoshiyahu who ruled over the Kingdom of Yehuda destroyed all the idols in Israel. It then describes the Pesach that followed these events. When the month of Nissan arrived, Yoshiyahu commanded that every Jew come to Yerushalayim to give their Pesach offering. This Pesach was unique as the Jews’ sincerity was so much greater. Also special about this particular Pesach was the overwhelming number of Jews who were bringing their offerings. In the past, the kingdom had been split, and now, every Jew was participating. The royal family also donated sheep for people to use for their offerings.
Background: King Yoshiyahu’s two predecessors were both reshaim, evil people. His grandfather, King Menashe, set up an idol in the Bais Hamikdash and also erased the name of Hashem in the Torah, replacing it with the name baal (an idol). King Menashe’s son, Amon, placed an idol in the Holiest of Holies. After two years of reign, Amon was assassinated by his ministers, and his eight year old son, Yoshiyahu, succeeded him. Yoshiyahu had all of the idols destroyed outside of Yerushalaim in the valley of Kidron. He then ordered the ashes to be moved to Bais Ail. Yoshiyahu also got rid of all the wizards, and priests.
King Josiah cleaned out Jerusalem of its Idols
King Yoshiyahu’s Biography: King Yoshiyahu was Bnai Yisroel's last gasp — the last good thing that happened to the Israelites before their kingdom was destroyed. Yoshiyahu became king as a child of only eight, and soon took an interest in Hashem, contrary to his father King Amon. Early in life he instituted reforms and took steps against idol worship. At 25 years of age, Yoshiyahu decided to rebuild the Temple, deteriorated with age. As the workers were cleaning, they found an obscure book that no one had ever heard of — the Torah, forgotten by previous generations. As the king listened to his secretary read the Torah, he was struck with grief and terror, certain that Hashem was furious with him and his people for their disobedience. Immediately, Yoshiyahu set upon a system to eliminate idol worship and renew the worship to Hashem. He toured the land, destroying idol shrines, and celebrated the Passover for the first time in decades. The revival was wonderful. But as soon as Yoshiyahu died, the people returned to their evil ways.
Famous Phrases: Kings 2, 23:25, “V’chamohu lo hayah melech asher shav el Hashem b’chol livavo uv’chal nafsho, uv’chol m’odo” “ Before him there was no king like him (Yoshiyahu) who turned to Hashem with all his heart and all his soul and all his resources” Yoshiahu fulfilled the exhortation we say three times a day in Keriat shema , “V’ahavta et Hashem Elokecha b’chal l’vavcha uv’chal nafshicha u’vchal m’odecha” “And you shall love Hashem, with all your heart and all your sould and all your resources”
Josiah was killed by Pharaoh Necho in Megiddo
Written by: Reuven Gavriel ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5769-2009