The Most Admirable Monarch in Jewish History? (It's Not David.)

Josiah left a permanent stamp on Judaism, leading, for the first time in generations, an all-out battle against idolatry.

The Death of King Josiah by Antonio Zanchi c. 1660. Wikimedia.

The Death of King Josiah by Antonio Zanchi c. 1660. Wikimedia.

Observation
Nov. 20 2019
About the author

David Wolpe is rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and the author of, among other books, Why be Jewish? and Why Faith Matters. He can be found on Twitter @RabbiWolpe.


A sufficiently imaginative historian might conjure up a mischievous collector who, holding under the earth all the artifacts of the past, every now and then selects one to toss up into the dirt and confound some eager archaeologist. For who could imagine that, out of a religious revolution 2,700 years ago that changed Israelite history, we would find nothing of the king behind it and yet suddenly retrieve from the dirt the seal of one of his officials, mentioned but once in the Bible?

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More about: Babylonian Jewry, Book of Kings, Chronicles, Hebrew Bible, Josiah, Lesser-Known Figures in Jewish History, Religion & Holidays