Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

2 Kings 21-23; 2 Chronicles 34-35

Story Summary

Josiah was one of the kings of Judah (the Southern Kingdom). The kings of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) were pretty much universally evil kings and we will learn about how God judged them because of their sin.

Josiah's father (Amon) and grandfather (Manasseh) were kings before him and were generally evil kings, leading Judah astray, having them worship false gods and other evil things. His father, Amon, was assassinated by his own officials and they set up Josiah to become king when he was only 8 years old!

As Josiah grew, he began to lead Judah back to the Lord, driving out evil people from the temple and removing the items they were using to worship other gods.

When he was 26 (18 years into his reign), he took money that had been collected at the temple to pay skilled workers to repair and renovated it. When they were working, they came across the Scroll of the Law. We don't know exactly what part of the law this was, but it was probably the book of Deuteronomy or part of it.

Josiah asked a prophetess what it meant. She said that God was going to judge Judah for all the wickedness they had done, but because Josiah had repented and led Judah to come back to the Lord, he would not see the destruction God had planned for Judah as a consequence of their sin.

So, Josiah brought together everyone in Judah, priests, prophets, and everyone who lived in Jerusalem for a special service. Josiah read out loud what was writing the Scroll of the Law and publicly recommitted Judah to following God's law.

He also had them celebrated Passover for the first time in a long time.  He finished removing all the items from the temple they used to worship false gods. 

Josiah was a very important king in Judah because of how he brought them back to the Lord. He was even listed in Jesus' genealogy in Matthew 1:10.

(Note: the story of Josiah actually occurs chronologically much later in Old Testament history, but is presented here as part of the unit on Kings)

What You Will Need

Video Options

God's Story - Josiah

From Crossroads Kids Club


From Saddleback Kids

Josiah the Kid King

From Kids on the Move

Resource Sheet

Boy King Josiah Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts King Josiah reading the scroll to the people of Judah


1. Warm Up get your kids talking and engaged

What do you want to be when you grow up? What if you could already be that by the time you were 8 years old?

Today, we're going to learn about a boy who became king of Judah when he was only 8 years old.

2. Teach the Story teach a holistic story

Consider using the "Child Teacher" reinforcement activity before you teach the lesson.

Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.

For older children, read story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or tell the story yourself.

3. Bible Mastery give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud 2 Kings 22:1-11; 23:1-3; 23:21-25

4. Comprehension Questions make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • Which kingdom was Josiah king of?
  • Judah, the Southern Kingdom
  • Were Josiah's father and grandfather good kings or bad kings?
  • Bad
  • How old was Josiah when he became king?
  • 8 years old
  • What did Josiah want to do with the money that had been collected in the temple?
  • He wanted to repair the temple
  • What did the workers find when they were repairing the temple?
  • A Scroll or Book of the Law, probably Deuteronomy
  • What did Josiah do with the scroll?
  • He read it to all of Judah and recommitted them to the Lord
  • What celebration did Josiah read about in the scroll that he had Judah celebrate?
  • The Passover feast
  • What did he do with all the items they used to worship false gods?
  • He removed them from the temple and destroyed them

5. Faith Questions open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer

  • God gave us the Bible as his word to us.
  • Do you read the Bible?

6. Memory Verse hide God's Word in their heart

Your heart will be where your riches are. Luke 12:34

Reinforcement Activities

Child Teacher

Scripture Josiah was eight years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 31 years. 2 Kings 22:1
  • Josiah was made king at the age of 8.
  • Josiah was young, but had a big job.
  • He turned away from the path his father and grandfather had been leading the people. Josiah led the people back to God.
  • Choose a student in your class to be in charge.
  • Choose wisely. A student that is fairly calm, but willing to speak up.
  • (You don't want a student that will yell at the other students.)

Fix your Church

Scripture And they gave it to the workmen who were working in the house of the Lord. And the workmen who were working in the house of the Lord gave it for repairing and restoring the house. 2 Chonicles 34:10
Supplies varies, depending on project
  • Find a project your students can do to help work on their church building.
  • It can be a small project, such as a small cleaning project or a large project, like painting.
  • The ideas will vary depending on the age of your students.

Making Matzah

Heads up! This is a repeat lesson from lesson 14. Repeating these activities can help children draw connections from past lessons.
Scripture And the king commanded all the people, "Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant." 22 For no such Passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, or during all the days of the kings of Israel or of the kings of Judah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem.
Supplies flour, water, oven
  • Matzah is the Jewish name for unleavened bread. It is a thin, wafer-like cracker. The process of making Matzah should be completed in no more than 18 minutes from start to finish, including baking time. This is to represent the dough that didn't have time to rise as the Hebrews quickly left Egypt. They put the dough on their backs, and while they were walking, the sun baked in into hard crackers. Matzah is eaten by Jews during the week-long celebration of Passover.
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup water (more , if needed)
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Place flour in bowl
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in water, Mix.
  • Add more water, as needed until flour in mixed. Knead dough until soft, not sticky
  • Roll into a ball. Divide into quarters.
  • Roll each quarter into a circle. Place matzah on baking sheet and prick all over with a fork.
  • Bake for 5 minutes on each side, or until edges are golden.

Hide and Seek Scroll

Scripture While they were bringing out the money that had been brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord given through Moses. 2 Chronicles 34:14
Supplies scroll or Bible
  • Hide the scroll or Bible and have the students find it.

Paper Bag Scroll

Scripture The high priest Hilkiah spoke to the secretary Shaphan. He said, "I've found the Scroll of the Law in the Lord's temple." He gave it to Shaphan, who read it. 2 Kings 22:8
Supplies Rectangular sections of brown paper bags, strips of paper with 10 commandments, pre-written for each student, glue, ribbon or string
  • Give each student a piece of the paper bag.
  • Have students crumble the paper to make it look worn.
  • Glue 10 commandments paper strips to the crumbled paper bag.
  • Wait for it to dry .
  • Roll up scroll.
  • Tie with ribbon or string.

Judah, Judah (to tune of Teddy bear, Teddy bear)

Scripture 2 Kings 34-35
  • Sing to the tune of teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around.

    Judah, Judah, turn around.
    Judah, Judah, don't fall down.
    Judah, Judah, read the scroll,
    Judah, Judah, do what you're told.

    Judah, Judah, eat the feast.
    Judah, Judah, don't use yeast!
    Judah, Judah, do what's right.
    Love The Lord with all your might!

Make Scrolls

Scripture The high priest Hilkiah spoke to the secretary Shaphan. He said, "I've found the Scroll of the Law in the Lord's temple." He gave it to Shaphan, who read it. 2 Kings 22:8
Supplies white paper, dowel rods, glue, ribbon
  • Other versions refer to the found material as being the Book of Law. The Ten Commandments were part of the Book of Law.
  • Print 10 commandments onto white paper.
  • Glue dowel rods to the top and bottom of the scroll.
  • Wait for it to dry and roll it up.
  • Tie a ribbon around the scroll to hold it closed.