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29 Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. He did that which was right in Yahweh’s eyes, according to all that David his father had done. In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of Yahweh’s house, and repaired them. He brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the wide place on the east, and said to them, “Listen to me, you Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the house of Yahweh, the God of your fathers, and carry the filthiness out of the holy place. For our fathers were unfaithful, and have done that which was evil in Yahweh our God’s sight, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of Yahweh, and turned their backs. Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. Therefore Yahweh’s wrath was on Judah and Jerusalem, and he has delivered them to be tossed back and forth, to be an astonishment, and a hissing, as you see with your eyes. For, behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with Yahweh, the God of Israel, that his fierce anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, don’t be negligent now; for Yahweh has chosen you to stand before him, to minister to him, and that you should be his ministers, and burn incense.”

12 Then the Levites arose, Mahath, the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites; and of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; and of the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah; 13 and of the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeuel; and of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 and of the sons of Heman, Jehuel and Shimei; and of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15 They gathered their brothers, sanctified themselves, and went in, according to the commandment of the king by Yahweh’s words, to cleanse Yahweh’s house. 16 The priests went into the inner part of Yahweh’s house to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in Yahweh’s temple into the court of Yahweh’s house. The Levites took it from there to carry it out to the brook Kidron. 17 Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month they came to Yahweh’s porch. They sanctified Yahweh’s house in eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished. 18 Then they went in to Hezekiah the king within the palace, and said, “We have cleansed all Yahweh’s house, including the altar of burnt offering with all its vessels, and the table of show bread with all its vessels. 19 Moreover, we have prepared and sanctified all the vessels which king Ahaz threw away in his reign, when he was unfaithful. Behold, they are before Yahweh’s altar.”

20 Then Hezekiah the king arose early, gathered the princes of the city, and went up to Yahweh’s house. 21 They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats, for a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. He commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on Yahweh’s altar. 22 So they killed the bulls, and the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the altar. They killed the rams, and sprinkled the blood on the altar. They also killed the lambs, and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23 They brought near the male goats for the sin offering before the king and the assembly; and they laid their hands on them. 24 Then the priests killed them, and they made a sin offering with their blood on the altar, to make atonement for all Israel; for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel.

25 He set the Levites in Yahweh’s house with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet; for the commandment was from Yahweh by his prophets. 26 The Levites stood with David’s instruments, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, Yahweh’s song also began, along with the trumpets and instruments of David king of Israel. 28 All the assembly worshiped, the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded. All this continued until the burnt offering was finished.

29 When they had finished offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshiped. 30 Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praises to Yahweh with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. They sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped.

31 Then Hezekiah answered, “Now you have consecrated yourselves to Yahweh. Come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into Yahweh’s house.” The assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings, and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings. 32 The number of the burnt offerings which the assembly brought was seventy bulls, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs. All these were for a burnt offering to Yahweh. 33 The consecrated things were six hundred head of cattle and three thousand sheep. 34 But the priests were too few, so that they could not skin all the burnt offerings. Therefore their brothers the Levites helped them, until the work was ended, and until the priests had sanctified themselves; for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests. 35 Also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings, and with the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of Yahweh’s house was set in order. 36 Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced, because of that which God had prepared for the people; for the thing was done suddenly.

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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