“And when the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his clothes” (34:19). King Josiah had already begun cleansing the land and restoring the Temple, just as his ancestor Hezekiah had done. But the previous years had been so chaotic that the book of God’s Law had disappeared; when Josiah heard God’s commands concerning life and worship, he was devastated. He committed himself and the people to repentance and righteousness “with all his heart and soul” (34:31).
The Law was precious because it was God’s gift to Israel. Jeremiah prophesied that one day, God’s Law, read by kings and priests, would become the living Way written on our hearts in Jesus (Jer 31:3).