Contents 
Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut




The Lost Book Found in the Temple


Manasseh, the fourteenth king of Judah, followed the sins of his grandfather Ahaz, and not the good deeds of his father Hezekiah. He was only twelve years old when he began to reign, too young for so great a care as the kingdom; and in his youth he turned away from the teachings of the prophet Isaiah and from the service of the Lord. He built again the altars to Baal and the Asherah, which his father Hezekiah had thrown down; he worshipped the sun, and moon, and stars; he set up images even in the Temple, the house of the Lord. When Manasseh grew older, and had children of his own, he made them go through the fire, seeking to please the false gods. He would not listen to the prophets whom the Lord sent to warn him; and there is reason to believe,—though the Bible does not say it,—that he put to death the good prophet Isaiah.

And Manasseh in his wickedness reigned a long time, longer than any of the wicked kings who had gone before him; so that he led his people further away from God than even Ahaz, who had been as wicked as Manasseh. Because of Manasseh's sins, and the sins of his people, the Lord brought upon the land the generals of the Assyrian army with their host. They took Manasseh a prisoner, and bound him with chains, and carried him to the city of Babylon, where the king of Assyria was then living. There Manasseh was kept a prisoner for a time.

While he was in prison Manasseh saw how wicked he had been, and he sought the Lord. He prayed to be forgiven for his sins, and the Lord heard him. Afterward, the king of Assyria allowed Manasseh to rule over his land again. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was the only true God; and from that time he worshipped the Lord only. He took the altars and the images of the false gods out of the Temple, and built again the altar of the Lord, and caused the offerings to be laid upon it. He commanded his people to worship the Lord, and to leave the idols; but they had gone too far to come back, and only a few of them followed their king's example in seeking the Lord. He could easily lead his people into sin, but he could not bring them back to God.

After a long reign of fifty-five years Manasseh died, and his son Amon became king. He reigned only two years, but they were years of wickedness and of worshipping idols. Then his servants in his own house killed Amon; but the people killed them in turn, and made his son Josiah king.

Josiah, the sixteenth king, was only eight years old when his father Amon was slain. At first he was too young to rule over the land, and the princes of his court governed in his name. But when Josiah was sixteen years old he chose the Lord God of his father David, the God whom Hezekiah had worshipped; and he served the Lord more fully than any of the kings who had gone before him. When he was twenty years old, he began to clear away the idols and the idol-temples from the land of Judah. He did this work more thoroughly than it had ever been done before, by Jehoshaphat or by Hezekiah; for he left in all the land not a single place where idols were worshipped. He went even beyond his own borders, into the land that had been the land of Israel, from which most of the people had been carried away captive long before: and in every place he broke down the altars, and burned the images, and even dug up the bones of the idol-priests, and burned them with their images.

He came to Bethel, twelve miles north of Jerusalem, where Jeroboam of Israel had built the temple for the worship of the golden calves, two hundred years before. (See Story Two in Part Fourth.) There, as he was burning the bones of the idol-priests upon the ruins of their own altars, he found a tomb, and asked who was buried there. They said, "This is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah, and warned King Jeroboam of one who would do these very things that you are doing."

"Let his bones rest," said King Josiah. "Let no man touch the bones of the prophet."

While the men of King Josiah were at work in the Temple on Mount Moriah, taking away the idols, and making the house pure once more, they found an old book, written upon rolls of leather. It was the book of the law of the Lord, given by Moses, but it had been hidden so long that men had forgotten it. They brought the book, and read from it aloud to the king.

The words of the law are read before the king

THE WORDS OF THE LAW ARE READ BEFORE THE KING


And when King Josiah heard the words of the law, and the warning of the woes that were to come upon the people for disobeying them, the king was filled with alarm. He said to the rulers: "Go and ask of the Lord for me and for all the people. Great is the anger of the Lord against us, because our fathers have disobeyed the words of the Lord written in this book." They sought for a prophet to give them the word of the Lord, and they found a woman named Huldah, living in Jerusalem, to whom the word of the Lord came. She was called "a prophetess," and they brought to her the message of King Josiah. And the prophetess Huldah said to them, "Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, 'Go and tell the man who has sent you, Behold, I will bring evil on this place and on the people living in it, because they have forsaken the Lord and have worshipped other gods. My anger will fall upon this city and upon this land. But because King Josiah has sought the Lord, and has done God's will, and has called upon the Lord, therefore the Lord says that he will hold back his anger against this city and this land as long as Josiah lives, and he shall go down to his grave before all these evils come upon Judah and Jerusalem,'"

When Josiah heard this he called all the princes and the priests and the people to meet in the Temple of the Lord. There the king stood by a pillar and read to all the people the words of the book that had been found. Then the king and all his people made a promise to serve the Lord and to do his will, and to keep his law with all their hearts. And this promise they kept while Josiah lived; but that was only a few years.

All this time the kingdom of Judah, like all the kingdoms around, was a part of the greater kingdom or empire of Assyria. But the great kings of Assyria had passed away, and now the kingdom or empire of Assyria was becoming weak and falling apart. Pharaoh-nechoh, the king of Egypt, went to war with the Assyrians, and on his way passed through the land of Judah and what had once been Israel before its people were carried away captive. Josiah throught that as the king of Assyria was his over-lord, he must fight against the king of Egypt, who was coming against him.

Pharaoh-nechoh, the king of Egypt, sent a message to King Josiah, saying, "I have nothing against you, O king of Judah, and I am not coming to make war on you, but on the king of Assyria. God has sent me, and commanded me to make haste. Do not stand in my way, or you may be destroyed."

But Josiah would not heed the message of the king of Egypt. He went out against him with his army, and met him in battle on the great plain of Esdraelon, where so many battles had been fought before and have been fought since. There the Egyptians won a victory, and in the fight the archers shot King Josiah. He died in his chariot, and they brought his dead body to Jerusalem. And all the land mourned and wept for the king whom they loved because he had ruled wisely and well. And with the good King Josiah died the last hope of the kingdom of Judah.