A reading from the second book of Kings

Then the king sent, and all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem were gathered to him.  And the king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests and the prophets, all the people, both small and great; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which had been found in the house of the Lord.  And the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book; and all the people joined in the covenant.

And the king commanded Hilkiah, the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the threshold, to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel.  And he deposed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places at the cities of Judah and round about Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, and the moon, and the constellations, and all the host of the heavens.  And he brought out the Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem, to the brook of Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and beat it to dust and cast the dust of it upon the graves of the common people.  And he broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes which were in the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the Asherah.  And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba; and he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on one's left at the gate of the city.  However, the priests of the high places did not come up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brethren.  And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the sons of Hinnom, that no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to Molech.  And he removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.  And the altars on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, he pulled down and broke in pieces, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.  And the king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, to the south of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for Chermosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.  And he broke in pieces the pillars, and cut down the Asherim, and filled their places with the bones of men.

--2 Kings 23:1-14 (RSV)

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