1. The next bright waters which you observed is the purity of the time of Josiah, king of Judah, who alone submitted himself to the Mighty One with all his mind and soul.
2. He cleansed the idols from the land, and cleansed the polluted vessels in the Temple, restoring the offerings to the altar, and raised the raised the power of the holy, exalted those who were righteous, glorified the wise, and restored the priests to their ministry. He also removed the magicians, the enchanters, and the fortune tellers from the land.
3. Not only did he slay wicked ones, but he took the bones of those former wicked prophets already dead and burned them with fire.
4. He established again the feasts and sabbaths in the holy way they were to be observed. The polluted sinners were burnt with fire, the lying prophets were burnt with fire, and the ones who had chosen to believe those lying prophets were cast into the brook Cedron, and heaped stones upon their bodies.
5. He was zealous with the zeal of the Mighty One, and he alone was firm that the law should be observed, and he caused all to be circumcised, and allowed none to choose to be unholy.
6. For such acts, Josiah shall receive eternal reward, and be glorified much in eternity.
7. For on his account, and on account of those like him, God has prepared unknown glories.
8. These are those bright waters that you there observed.
Jeremiah was born about the same time as was Josiah. Jeremiah began to prophesy in the 13th year of Josiah's reign, and since Josiah began to reign at 8 years of age, that would have made Jeremiah and Josiah only 21 years old at the time.
In an ancient history book written by Jesus Sirach called "Praise of Famous Men" (Sir. 49:1-4) is a statement about Josiah:
"in the days of wicked men, he made godliness to prevail."
Josiah, at 16 (after ruling for 8 years), "began to seek after the God of David his father (forefather)." At 20 years of age, Josiah began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the false worship. In the 18th year of his reign, Josiah sent Shaphan to the High Priest, Hilkiah, to arrange for Temple repairs. Hilkiah showed him a book of the law that had been found in the broken foundation of the Temple.
It was read to the King, and is purported to have been the hand written copy of Deuteronomy, written by Moses himself.
Evil, idolatrous priests had likely destroyed other copies of the book of the law, but the original, hidden under orders of Solomon in the Temple walls was now found.
Josiah sent to a prophetess, Huldah, for her idea on the book, and she confirmed its validity and truth. Therefore, Josiah read the book before the elders, prophets, priests, and people. All made a solemn promise to obey it, and Josiah began with zeal to purge the nation of the false worship of Belial, Asherah, etc.
Josiah's zeal did not stop with Jerusalem, but he went up to Bethel and chief sanctuary of the now-defunct Northern kingdom. There he fulfilled the prophecy of II Kings 23:17:
"Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel."
I Kings 13:1-2
"And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord unto Bethel; and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
And he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee."
Josiah re-instituted the observance of the passover, and attempted to bring upon the nation another time of mercy. God knew that the nation was following this Godly man, Josiah.
Jeremiah was preaching in the countryside, and having revival, but it was because at the time, the king was telling them to turn to Jehovah from their former idols and false worship. God knew the hearts and continued the path toward judgment.
II Kings 23:26-27
"Notwithstanding, the Lord turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith His anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal. And the Lord said, I will remove Judah also out of My sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.
God therefore chose to remove this godly king, Josiah, and allow the people to again choose who they wanted to serve. Josiah went forth with a small army to confront an Egyptian invasion, and was killed.
Jeremiah was heartbroken with the death of Josiah:
II Chronicles 35:25
"And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah."
"Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them. Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him; but weep sore for him (Shallum, son of Josiah) that goeth away; for he shall return no more."
It did not take long for the nation to fail the test of God. The word of God had been found, read, known, and heeded by the leader. They pretended to follow, but as soon as Josiah was dead, they wanted to go back to worshipping Belial and his cohorts. How utterly weak and stupid they were.