And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.
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George Leo Haydock
The book of the law, (that is, Deuteronomy.; Challoner.; St. Chrysostom, hom. 9. in Matthew) or the Pentateuch. (Josephus)
Achaz, Manasses, and Amon, had burnt (R. Solomon) as many copies as they could, (Haydock) but some zealous priests had concealed this copy, in a box, in the wall of the temple, (Lyranus) or in the treasury adjoining it. The very hand writing of Moses, containing the record of the covenant, (or the 28, 29, 30, and 31st chapters of Deuteronomy) which was placed in (Calmet) or beside the ark, was now happily discovered. (Haydock)
It seems it had been misplaced, as the ark itself had been removed, 2 Paralipomenon xxiv. 14., and xxxv. 3. This venerable monument, and the dreadful menaces which it denounced, made the deepest impression upon all, as we should read the autographs of St. Matthew, with far greater respect and emotion than we do the printed copies. It is not at all probably that all the books of Scripture had been destroyed, as there were always some religio...