|The account of Hezekiah's reign continues through chapter 32. The parallel account is 2ki18-20. Here the emphasis is on spiritual reformation with chapter 32 There, the emphasis is on civil activities.|
¶ Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and
he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was
Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.
2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.
| 1 -
Hezekiah See the note above.
1 - Abijah Here, as well as in 2ki1802. "Abi" is a short name for Abijah.
He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors
of the house of the LORD, and repaired them.
4 And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street,
.5 And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.
6 For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs.
.7 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 unto the God of Israel.
| 3 -
First month This was the month of Nisan, the beginning of the yearly
3 - Opened the doors The temple had been closed by Ahaz. 2ch2824.
4 - Brought in "He found Judah low and naked, yet did not make it his first business to revive the civil interests of his kingdom, but to restore religion to a good posture. Those that begin with God, begin at the right end of their work; and it will prosper accordingly." (John Wesley's Notes).
5 - Sanctify yourselves Hezekiah called for a revival of the appointed spiritual leaders as clarified by verse 6.
Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath
delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with
9 For, lo, 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 mine heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us.
11 My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.
| 8 -
Wrath of the Lord upon Because of their apostasy 2ch2806,8.
9 - Fathers have fallen 2ch2801 and onward.
| 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 Jehalelel: and of the Gershonites; Joah the son of Zimmah,
and Eden the son of Joah:
13 And of the sons of Elizaphan; Shimri, and Jeiel: and of the sons of Asaph; Zechariah, and Mattaniah:
|12 - Levites arose "Fourteen chiefs undertook the duty of collecting and preparing their brethren for the important work of cleansing the Lord's house. Beginning with the outer courts--that of the priests and that of the people--the cleansing of these occupied eight days, after which they set themselves to purify the interior; but as the Levites were not allowed to enter within the walls of the temple, the priest brought all the sweepings out to the porch, where they were received by the Levites and thrown into the brook Kedron. This took eight days more. At the end of this period they repaired to the palace and announced that not only had the whole of the sacred edifice, within and without, undergone a thorough purification, but all the vessels which the late king had taken away and applied to a common use in his palace, had been restored, 'and sanctified.'" (JFB commentary).|
And of the sons of Heman; Jehiel, and Shimei: and of the sons of Jeduthun;
Shemaiah, and Uzziel.
15 And they gathered their brethren, and sanctified themselves, and came, according to the commandment of the king, by the words of the LORD, to cleanse the house of the LORD.
And the priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD, to cleanse
it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of
the LORD into the court of the house of the LORD. And the Levites took
it, to carry it out abroad into 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 came they to the porch of the LORD: so they sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end.
- Priests ... inner part "The priests and Levites cleansed first
the courts both of the priests and of the people. On this labour they spent
eight days. Then they cleansed the interior of the temple; but as the Levites
had no right to enter the temple, the priests carried all the dirt and
rubbish to the porch, whence they were collected by the Levites, carried
away, and cast into the brook Kidron; in this work eight days more were
occupied, and thus the temple was purified in sixteen days." (Clarke)
17 - Into ... Kidron Which had been a place for trash 1ki1513, 2ki2312, 2ch1516, 2ch3014. Elijah slew the false prophets there 1ki1840.
Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We have cleansed all
the house of the LORD, and the altar of burnt offering, with all the vessels
thereof, and the shewbread table, with all the vessels thereof.
19 Moreover all the vessels, which king Ahaz in his reign did cast away in his transgression, have we prepared and sanctified, and, behold, they are before the altar of the LORD.
|19 - Vessels ... sanctified "The Targum says, 'All the vessels which King Ahaz had polluted and rendered abominable by strange idols, when he reigned in his transgression against the WORD of the Lord, we have collected and hidden; and others have we prepared to replace them; and they are now before the Lord.'" (Clarke).|
|20 ¶ Then Hezekiah the king rose early, and gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the LORD.||-|
| 21 And they brought seven
bullocks, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven he goats, for a sin
offering for the kingdom, and for the sanctuary, and for Judah. And he
commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on the altar of the
22 So they killed the bullocks, and the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the altar: likewise, when they had killed the rams, they sprinkled the blood upon the altar: they killed also the lambs, and they sprinkled the blood upon the altar.
23 And they brought forth the he goats for the sin offering before the king and the congregation; and they laid their hands upon them:
- Seven bullocks ... rams ... "The number seven is customary in
sacred matters, and is here used in regard of the vast numbers and various
kinds of sins, the guilt whereof yet lay upon the kingdom, which was now
to be expiated [atoned for]. Indeed, in case of one particular sin of ignorance
done by the people, there was but one bullock to be offered, but here the
sins were many and presumptuous. Kingdom-To make atonement for the
sins of the king and the royal family, and the court. Sanctuary-For
all the idolatry and uncleanness wherewith the temple had been polluted.
They thought it not enough to lament and forsake their sins, but they brought
a sin-offering. Even our repentance and reformation will not obtain pardon,
but thro' Christ, who was made sin, that is, a sin-offering for us." (JW
23 - Laid hands Compare le0404, le0415, le0424,29.
| 24 And the priests killed
them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar, to
make an atonement for all Israel: for the king commanded that the burnt
offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel.
25 And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the LORD by his prophets.
26 And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.
- Priests killed ... atonement for... See le0420,
25 - Set the Levites ... with He assigned places in the temple for these musicians as ordained by David 1ch2501.
25 - Of Gad ... Nathan David had ordered musical instruments. "the author of this book states he had the commandment of the prophet Nathan, and Gad the king's seer; and this is stated to have been the commandment of the Lord by his prophets: but the Syriac and Arabic give this a different turn-"Hezekiah appointed the Levites in the house of the Lord, with instruments of music, and the sound of harps, and with the HYMNS of DAVID, and the HYMNS of GAD, the king's prophet, and of NATHAN, the king's prophet: for David sang the praises of the Lord his God, as from the mouth of the prophets." It was by the hand or commandment of the Lord and his prophets that the Levites should praise the Lord; for so the Hebrew text may be understood:" (Clarke)
Perhaps both versions are correct.
26 - Instruments of David See 1ch2305, am0605.
26 - With the trumpets Compare nu1008, 1ch1524, 2ch0512.
And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And
when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD began also with the
trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by David king of Israel.
28 And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.
| 29 And when they had made
an end of offering, the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves,
.30 Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.
|30 - Asaph the seer He is credited for several psalms. See ps050, ps070 and psalms 73-83 ps073.|
|31 Then Hezekiah answered and said, Now ye have consecrated yourselves unto the LORD, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the LORD. And the congregation brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a free heart burnt offerings.||31 - Consecrated yourselves ... Come near Literally "ye have filled your hand" apparently being ready for service. "This address was made to the priests as being now, by the sacrifice of the expiation offerings, anew consecrated to the service of God and qualified to resume the functions of their sacred office (Ex 28:41; 29:32)." (JFB).|
| 32 And the number of the burnt
offerings, which the congregation brought, was threescore and ten bullocks,
an hundred rams, and two hundred lambs: all these were for a burnt offering
to the LORD.
33 And the consecrated things were six hundred oxen and three thousand sheep.
.34 But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings: wherefore their brethren the Levites did help them, till the work was ended, and until the other priests had sanctified themselves: for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests.
35 And also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings, and the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of the house of the LORD was set in order.
|34 - Priests too few 34-36 "The skins of beasts intended as peace offerings might be taken off by the officers, because, in such cases, the carcass was not wholly laid upon the altar; but animals meant for burnt offerings which were wholly consumed by fire could be flayed by the priests alone, not even the Levites being allowed to touch them, except in cases of unavoidable necessity (2Ch 35:11). The duty being assigned by the law to the priests (Le 1:6), was construed by consuetudinary practice as an exclusion of all others not connected with the Aaronic family." (JFB Commentary)|
|36 And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.||Hezekiah "Both he and the people rejoiced that God had prepared their hearts to bring about so great a reformation in so short a time; for, it is added, the thing was done suddenly. The king's example and influence were here, under God, the grand spring of all those mighty and effectual movements. What amazing power and influence has God lodged with kings! They can sway a whole empire nearly as they please; and when they declare themselves in behalf of religion, they have the people uniformly on their side. Kings, on this very ground, are no indifferent beings; they must be either a great curse or a great blessing to the people whom they govern." (Clarke).|