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Hezekiah Restores Proper Worship of the Lord

31 When all this was finished, all the Israelites who were present went out to the cities of Judah. They broke the sacred memorial pillars into pieces, chopped down the Asherah poles, and smashed the high places and the altars throughout Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh until the task was finished. Then all the people of Israel returned to their cities, each of them to his own property.

Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and Levites, assigning each man to his area of service according to his division. The priests and Levites were responsible for burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, in order to minister and to give thanks and praise in the gates of the camps[a] of the Lord.

The king’s contribution from his own personal property was designated for the morning and evening burnt offerings, as well as for burnt offerings on the sabbaths, the new moons, and the designated festivals, as it is written in the Law of the Lord. He commanded the people living in Jerusalem to contribute the portion designated for the priests and the Levites, so that they could hold tightly to the Law of the Lord.

As soon as the order was made public, the people of Israel gave their firstfruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and all the produce of the field in abundance. They brought an abundant tithe of everything.

All the people of Israel and Judah who lived in the cities of Judah also brought their tithe of the cattle and sheep, and a tithe of the holy things dedicated for the Lord their God. They piled up one heap on top of another. In the third month they began to accumulate it, and they finished by the seventh month.

When Hezekiah and the officials came, they saw the piles and blessed the Lord and his people Israel. Hezekiah asked the priests and Levites about the piles. 10 Azariah, the head priest of the house of Zadok, answered, “Ever since they began bringing their contributions into the House of the Lord, the people have had plenty to eat and drink, enough to be full, with plenty left over. The Lord has blessed his people, and this great amount is left over.”

11 Hezekiah told them to prepare rooms in the House of the Lord, and they did so. 12 They faithfully brought the special contributions, tithes, and dedicated things. Konaniah the Levite was the chief officer over them, and his brother Shimei was second in command. 13 Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismakiah, Mahath, and Benaiah were administrators under the supervision of Konaniah and his brother Shimei, by the appointment of King Hezekiah. Azariah was the chief officer of the House of God. 14 Kore son of Imnah the Levite, the keeper of the East Gate, was in charge of the voluntary offerings to God. He was responsible for distributing the special contribution given to the Lord[b] and the most holy offerings. 15 Faithfully assisting him in the cities of the priests were Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shekaniah, who were making distributions to their brothers, according to their divisions, the same to old and young alike.

16 Besides that, they gave support to all those enrolled by genealogy, to the males from three years old and up, to all who came to the House of the Lord for their daily service in their assigned offices in their divisions. 17 They also gave support to those enrolled as priests on the basis of the house of their fathers, also to the Levites from twenty years old and older, according to their assigned offices in their divisions, 18 to those enrolled with all their dependents, their wives and their sons and daughters—to the entire group—because they were faithfully keeping themselves holy. 19 For the descendants of Aaron, those priests who were living in the fields of the common pastureland around their cities, in every city, men designated by name were assigned to give portions to every male among the priests and to all the enrolled Levites.

20 Hezekiah carried this out in all Judah. He did what was good, right, and faithful before the Lord his God. 21 In all the work which he began in service to the House of God, to the law, and to the commandment, he sought his God and acted with all his heart, and he prospered.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 31:2 A nostalgic term, reaching back to the time of the Dwelling
  2. 2 Chronicles 31:14 Or offerings that are lifted up to the Lord

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