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Hezekiah Succeeds Ahaz(A)

29 Hezekiah began his reign at the age of 25. He reigned for 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah, Zechariah’s daughter. He practiced what the Lord considered to be right, following all of the examples set by his ancestor David.

Hezekiah’s Temple Restoration Project(B)

In the first month of the first year of his reign he repaired and reopened the doors of the Lord’s Temple. Then he brought in the priests and descendants of Levi, gathered them into the square in the eastern part of the Temple,[a] and told them,

“Pay attention to me, you descendants of Levi! Consecrate yourselves and the Temple of the Lord God of your ancestors by taking out from the Holy Place whatever is unclean. Our ancestors have been unfaithful. They practiced what the Lord considers to be evil, abandoned him, turned their faces away from the place where the Lord resides, and turned their backs to him. They shut the doors to the vestibule[b] of the Temple,[c] extinguished its lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel in the Holy Place. That’s why the Lord was angry with Judah and Jerusalem and made them an object of terror, horror, and derision, as you’ve seen with your own eyes. Now look! Our ancestors have been killed with swords and our sons, daughters, and wives are being held captive because of all of this. 10 I’m intending to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel so his burning anger may turn away from us. 11 Please don’t be careless, you descendants of Aaron,[d] because the Lord has chosen you to minister in his presence, to serve him, to be his ministers, and to burn incense.”

12 Here are the names of the descendants of Levi who made themselves available to God: Amasai’s son Mahath and Azariah’s son Joel from the descendants of Kohath; Abdi’s son Kish and Jehallelel’s son Azariah from the descendants of Merari; Zimmah’s son Joah and Joah’s son Eden from the descendants of Gershon; 13 Elizaphan’s sons Shimri and Jeiel; Asaph’s sons Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 Heman’s sons Jehiel and Shimei; and Jeduthun’s sons Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15 They also brought together their brothers, consecrated themselves, and proceeded to cleanse the Lord’s Temple, just as the king had ordered in accordance with what the Lord had told him. 16 The priests entered the inner courts of the Lord’s Temple to cleanse it, and they brought out everything unclean that they found there to the outer court of the Lord’s Temple. Then the descendants of Levi carried everything from there out to the Kidron Valley. 17 They began their consecration duties on the first day of the first month and finished at the Lord’s outer vestibule[e] on the eighth day of the month. Another eight days was used to consecrate the Lord’s Temple, so they completed the work on the sixteenth day of the first month.

18 After this, they went to King Hezekiah and told him, “We have cleansed all of the Lord’s Temple, including the altar for burnt offerings, all of its utensils, the table of showbread, and all of its utensils. 19 In addition, we have prepared and rededicated all of the utensils that King Ahaz threw away during his unfaithful reign, and now they’re back in service at the Lord’s altar.”

Temple Worship is Restored

20 Early the next morning, King Hezekiah got up and assembled the city officials and went up to the Lord’s Temple, 21 where they brought seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats for a sin offering on behalf of the kingdom, the Holy Place, and Judah. He ordered that the priests, as descendants of Aaron, place the offerings[f] on the Lord’s altar. 22 So they slaughtered the bulls and the priests sprinkled the blood on the altar. They also slaughtered the rams and sprinkled the blood on the altar, and they also slaughtered the lambs and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23 They brought the male goats for the sin offering to the king within the assembled gathering, laid their hands on them, 24 and then the priests slaughtered them and purged the altar with their blood as a sin offering to atone for all Israel, because the king ordered that the burnt offering and the sin offering be made for all Israel.

25 Hezekiah[g] stationed descendants of Levi in the Lord’s Temple to play cymbals and stringed instruments, just as David, Gad the seer,[h] and Nathan the prophet[i] had directed, because the command to do so was from the Lord through those prophets. 26 The descendants of Levi played instruments that had been crafted by David and the priests sounded trumpets.

27 Hezekiah gave a command to offer burnt offerings on the altar, and when the burnt offerings began, a song to the Lord also began with trumpets sounding and with the instruments that King David of Israel had crafted. 28 Everybody in the assembly worshipped, the singers sang, and the trumpets sounded. They continued doing this until the burnt offering sacrifice was completed. 29 When the sacrifices had been offered, the king and everyone else who was present with him bowed down and worshipped. 30 King Hezekiah and his officials ordered the descendants of Levi to sing praises to the Lord based on psalms that had been written by David and Asaph the seer.[j] So they all joyfully sang praises, bowed low, and worshipped.

31 After this, Hezekiah announced, “Now that you’ve consecrated yourselves to the Lord, come near and bring your sacrifices and thanksgiving offerings to the Lord’s Temple.” So the assembly brought sacrifices and thanksgiving offerings, and everyone who was willing to do so brought burnt offerings. 32 The number of burnt offerings brought by the assembly was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs. All of these were burnt offerings to the Lord. 33 The consecrated offerings numbered 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. 34 Because there weren’t enough priests, they were unable to prepare all the burnt offerings until other priests came forward after having consecrated themselves, so their descendant of Levi relatives assisted them until the services were complete. (The descendants of Levi had been more conscientious in consecrating themselves than had been the priests.) 35 Furthermore, there were also many burnt offerings, fat from peace offerings, and drink offerings. And that’s how the service of the Lord’s Temple was restored. 36 Hezekiah and all of the people were ecstatic with joy because of what God had done for the people, since everything had come about so suddenly.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 29:4 The Heb. lacks part of the temple
  2. 2 Chronicles 29:7 Or the outer courtyard
  3. 2 Chronicles 29:7 The Heb. lacks of the temple
  4. 2 Chronicles 29:11 The Heb. lacks of Aaron
  5. 2 Chronicles 29:17 Or courtyard
  6. 2 Chronicles 29:21 The Heb. lacks the offerings
  7. 2 Chronicles 29:25 Lit. He
  8. 2 Chronicles 29:25 Cf. 2Sam 24:11
  9. 2 Chronicles 29:25 Cf. 2Sam 7:2
  10. 2 Chronicles 29:30 I.e. portions of the book of Psalms; cf. Prov25:1

Hezekiah Purifies the Temple(A)

29 Hezekiah(B) was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David(C) had done.

In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the Lord and repaired(D) them. He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side and said: “Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate(E) yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary. Our parents(F) were unfaithful;(G) they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him. They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense(H) or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel. Therefore, the anger of the Lord has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of dread and horror(I) and scorn,(J) as you can see with your own eyes. This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity.(K) 10 Now I intend to make a covenant(L) with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger(M) will turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before him and serve him,(N) to minister(O) before him and to burn incense.”

12 Then these Levites(P) set to work:

from the Kohathites,

Mahath son of Amasai and Joel son of Azariah;

from the Merarites,

Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel;

from the Gershonites,

Joah son of Zimmah and Eden(Q) son of Joah;

13 from the descendants of Elizaphan,(R)

Shimri and Jeiel;

from the descendants of Asaph,(S)

Zechariah and Mattaniah;

14 from the descendants of Heman,

Jehiel and Shimei;

from the descendants of Jeduthun,

Shemaiah and Uzziel.

15 When they had assembled their fellow Levites and consecrated themselves, they went in to purify(T) the temple of the Lord, as the king had ordered, following the word of the Lord. 16 The priests went into the sanctuary of the Lord to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of the Lord’s temple everything unclean that they found in the temple of the Lord. The Levites took it and carried it out to the Kidron Valley.(U) 17 They began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and by the eighth day of the month they reached the portico of the Lord. For eight more days they consecrated the temple of the Lord itself, finishing on the sixteenth day of the first month.

18 Then they went in to King Hezekiah and reported: “We have purified the entire temple of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the table for setting out the consecrated bread, with all its articles. 19 We have prepared and consecrated all the articles(V) that King Ahaz removed in his unfaithfulness while he was king. They are now in front of the Lord’s altar.”

20 Early the next morning King Hezekiah gathered the city officials together and went up to the temple of the Lord. 21 They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven male lambs and seven male goats(W) as a sin offering[a](X) for the kingdom, for the sanctuary and for Judah. The king commanded the priests, the descendants of Aaron, to offer these on the altar of the Lord. 22 So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests took the blood and splashed it against the altar; next they slaughtered the rams and splashed their blood against the altar; then they slaughtered the lambs and splashed their blood(Y) against the altar. 23 The goats(Z) for the sin offering were brought before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands(AA) on them. 24 The priests then slaughtered the goats and presented their blood on the altar for a sin offering to atone(AB) for all Israel, because the king had ordered the burnt offering and the sin offering for all Israel.(AC)

25 He stationed the Levites in the temple of the Lord with cymbals, harps and lyres in the way prescribed by David(AD) and Gad(AE) the king’s seer and Nathan the prophet; this was commanded by the Lord through his prophets. 26 So the Levites stood ready with David’s instruments,(AF) and the priests with their trumpets.(AG)

27 Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. As the offering began, singing to the Lord began also, accompanied by trumpets and the instruments(AH) of David king of Israel. 28 The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the musicians played and the trumpets sounded. All this continued until the sacrifice of the burnt offering(AI) was completed.

29 When the offerings were finished, the king and everyone present with him knelt down and worshiped.(AJ) 30 King Hezekiah and his officials ordered the Levites to praise the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness and bowed down and worshiped.

31 Then Hezekiah said, “You have now dedicated yourselves to the Lord. Come and bring sacrifices(AK) and thank offerings to the temple of the Lord.” So the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all whose hearts were willing(AL) brought burnt offerings.

32 The number of burnt offerings(AM) the assembly brought was seventy bulls, a hundred rams and two hundred male lambs—all of them for burnt offerings to the Lord. 33 The animals consecrated as sacrifices amounted to six hundred bulls and three thousand sheep and goats. 34 The priests, however, were too few to skin all the burnt offerings;(AN) so their relatives the Levites helped them until the task was finished and until other priests had been consecrated,(AO) for the Levites had been more conscientious in consecrating themselves than the priests had been. 35 There were burnt offerings in abundance, together with the fat(AP) of the fellowship offerings(AQ) and the drink offerings(AR) that accompanied the burnt offerings.

So the service of the temple of the Lord was reestablished. 36 Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced at what God had brought about for his people, because it was done so quickly.(AS)

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 29:21 Or purification offering; also in verses 23 and 24

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