There is a story that Josiah discovers scriptures. What scriptures did he discover?

  1. Was it a Torah scroll?
  2. Which book of Torah was it, or was it all of them?
  3. Was it the last copy?
  4. If it wasn't the last copy and many other Jews also keep their copies, what's so significant with what Josiah found anyway?
  5. If it wasn't the last copy, how had so many things been forgotten?
  • This question would be better if it weren't clearly a polemic.
    – Shmuel
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 5:58

1 Answer 1


I think you are referring to the (re)discovery of the Torah scroll by Chilkiyahu the High Priest in the time of Yoshiyahu (Josiah?) (mentioned in Kings II chap. 22, and Chronicles II chap. 34), in the course of renovations to the Temple. (If I'm mistaken, please cite a source).

You are quite correct that there were many copies of the Torah. This particular scroll was unique because it was written by Moses' hand (see Chronicles) -- the one in which Moses recorded the Torah as it was dictated to him by Hashem.

Yoshiyau tore his clothes in fear on hearing about it, because it was opened to the section in Deuteronomy of the punishments, particularly 28:36 - "Hashem will lead you and the king which you will set over you to a nation which neither you or your forefathers know" (free translation) (see Yoma 52b).

  • 1
    Your last sentence is simply not true. For example, note how Be'or is spelled in this Torah and then go check what it looks like in your shul's Torah.
    – Double AA
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 1:23
  • How do you know there were other scrolls around?
    – Double AA
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 1:23
  • 1
    See here for a list of differences between Yemenite scrolls and Ashkenazik/Sefardic scrolls: saad.org.il/elihu/nusah.html
    – Menachem
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 1:41
  • All torah scrolls are exactly the same? That must be a legend by it self. I thought we have masoretic, qumran, samaritan torah, and septuagint (not in hebrew). And all those masoretict texts are exactly the same.
    – user4951
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 5:05
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    @DoubleAA I stand corrected, and have revised appropriately. The point regarding the remarkable commonality of all the sifrei Torah in the world is still valid (some 20-odd differences, all מלא/חסר or larger/smaller letters), but it may not be germane to the question.
    – Zev Spitz
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 6:51

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