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2 Chronicles 29 - 32

Hezekiah Reigns over Judah

Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.
2 And he did what was right in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that David his father had done. 3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of Yahweh and repaired them. 4 And he brought in the priests and the Levites and gathered them into the square on the east.

Hezekiah Sets the House of God as Holy

5 Then he said to them, “Listen to me, O Levites. Set yourselves apart now as holy, and set apart as holy the house of Yahweh, the God of your fathers, and bring out the impurity from the holy place.
6 For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done what is evil in the sight of Yahweh our God, and have forsaken Him and turned their faces away from the dwelling place of Yahweh, and have turned their backs. 7 They have also shut the doors of the porch and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore the wrath of Yahweh was against Judah and Jerusalem, and He has made them an object of terror, of horror, and of hissing, as you see with your own eyes. 9 And 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 cut a covenant with Yahweh, the God of Israel, that His burning anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be at ease now, for Yahweh has chosen you to stand before Him, to minister to Him, and to be His ministers and offer offerings up in smoke.” 12 Then the Levites arose:
Mahath, the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah, from the sons of the Kohathites;
and from the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi and Azariah the son of Jehallelel;
and from the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah and Eden the son of Joah;
and from the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeiel;
and from the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah;
and from the sons of Heman, Jehiel and Shimei;
and from the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel.
15 And they gathered their brothers, set themselves apart as holy, and went in to cleanse the house of Yahweh, according to the commandment of the king by the words of Yahweh. 16 So the priests went in to the inner part of the house of Yahweh to cleanse it, and every unclean thing which they found in the temple of Yahweh they brought out to the court of the house of Yahweh. Then the Levites received it to bring out to the Kidron valley, to an outer area. 17 Then they began to set it apart as holy on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they entered the porch of Yahweh. Then they set apart the house of Yahweh as holy in eight days, and completed it on the sixteenth day of the first month. 18 Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed the whole house of Yahweh, the altar of burnt offering with all of its utensils, and the table of showbread with all of its utensils. 19 Moreover, all the utensils which King Ahaz had rejected during his reign in his unfaithfulness, we have prepared and set apart as holy; and behold, they are before the altar of Yahweh.”

Hezekiah Brings an Offering

20 Then King Hezekiah arose early and gathered the princes of the city and went up to the house of Yahweh.
21 And they brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom, the sanctuary, and Judah. And he ordered the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of Yahweh. 22 So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests took the blood and splashed it on the altar. They also slaughtered the rams and splashed the blood on the altar; they slaughtered the lambs also and splashed the blood on the altar. 23 Then they had the male goats of the sin offering approach before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them. 24 And the priests slaughtered them and purged the altar with their blood to atone for all Israel, for the king ordered the burnt offering and the sin offering for all Israel. 25 He then caused the Levites to stand in the house of Yahweh with cymbals, with harps, and with lyres, according to the command of David and of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for the command was from Yahweh by the hand of His prophets. 26 And the Levites stood with the musical instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 Then Hezekiah said to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song to Yahweh also began with the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David, king of Israel. 28 While the whole assembly worshiped, the singers also sang and the trumpets sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was completed. 29 Now at the completion of the burnt offerings, the king and all who were present with him bowed down and worshiped. 30 Moreover, King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to sing praises to Yahweh with the words of David and Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness, and bowed down and worshiped. 31 Then Hezekiah answered and said, “Now that you have become ordained to Yahweh, approach and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of Yahweh.” And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all those who were willing of heart brought burnt offerings. 32 And the number of the burnt offerings which the assembly brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to Yahweh. 33 And the holy things were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. 34 But the priests were too few, so that they were unable to skin all the burnt offerings; therefore their brothers the Levites helped them until the work was completed and until the other priests had set themselves apart as holy. For the Levites were more upright of heart to set themselves apart as holy than the priests. 35 There were also many burnt offerings with the fat of the peace offerings and with the drink offerings for the burnt offerings. Thus the service of the house of Yahweh was established again. 36 Then Hezekiah and all the people were glad over what God had prepared for the people, because the thing came about suddenly.

Hezekiah Celebrates the Passover

And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of Yahweh at Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover to Yahweh, the God of Israel.
2 And the king and his princes and all the assembly in Jerusalem had taken counsel to celebrate the Passover in the second month, 3 since they could not celebrate it at that time, because the priests had not set themselves apart as holy in sufficient numbers, nor had the people been gathered to Jerusalem. 4 Thus the thing was right in the eyes of the king and in the eyes of all the assembly. 5 So they established a decree to make a proclamation pass throughout all Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to celebrate the Passover to Yahweh, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem. For they had not celebrated it in great numbers as it was written. 6 And the couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the hand of the king and his princes, even according to the commandment of the king, saying, “O sons of Israel, return to Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that He may return to those of you who escaped and remain from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 Now do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were unfaithful to Yahweh, the God of their fathers, so that He made them an object of horror, as you see. 8 Now do not stiffen your neck like your fathers, but give your hand to Yahweh and enter His sanctuary which He has set apart as holy forever, and serve Yahweh your God, that His burning anger may turn away from you. 9 For when you return to Yahweh, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive and will return to this land. For Yahweh your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.” 10 So the couriers passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but they were laughing at them to scorn and mocking them. 11 Nevertheless some men of Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of Yahweh. 13 Now many people were gathered at Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month, a very large assembly. 14 And they arose and took away the altars which were in Jerusalem; they also took away all the incense altars and cast them into the brook Kidron. 15 Then they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth of the second month. And the priests and Levites were ashamed of themselves, and set themselves apart as holy and brought burnt offerings to the house of Yahweh. 16 And they stood at their stations according to the legal judgment for them, according to the law of Moses the man of God; the priests splashed the blood which they received from the hand of the Levites. 17 For there were many in the assembly who had not set themselves apart as holy; therefore, the Levites were over the slaughter of the Passover lambs for everyone who was unclean, in order to set them apart as holy to Yahweh. 18 For a multitude of the people, even many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than what was written. For Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May Yahweh, who is good, atone 19 for everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, Yahweh, the God of his fathers, though not according to the rules of cleansing of the sanctuary.” 20 So Yahweh heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 21 And the sons of Israel present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great gladness, and the Levites and the priests praised Yahweh day after day with loud instruments to Yahweh. 22 Then Hezekiah spoke to the hearts of all the Levites who showed good insight in the things of Yahweh. So they ate for the appointed seven days, sacrificing peace offerings and giving thanks to Yahweh, the God of their fathers. 23 Then the whole assembly took counsel to determine to celebrate the feast another seven days, so they celebrated the seven days with gladness. 24 For Hezekiah king of Judah had contributed to the assembly 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep, and the princes had contributed to the assembly 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep; and a large number of priests set themselves apart as holy. 25 And all the assembly of Judah were glad, with the priests and the Levites and all the assembly that came from Israel, both the sojourners who came from the land of Israel and those living in Judah. 26 So there was great gladness in Jerusalem, because there was nothing like this in Jerusalem since the days of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel. 27 Then the Levitical priests arose and blessed the people; and their voice was heard and their prayer came to His holy habitation, to heaven.

Now when all this was completed, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah, shattered the pillars, cut the Asherim in pieces, and tore down the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, as well as in Ephraim and Manasseh, until the destruction was completed. Then all the sons of Israel returned to their cities, each to his possession.

Hezekiah Sets Up Priests for Service

2 And Hezekiah set up the divisions of the priests and the Levites by their divisions, each according to his service, both the priests and the Levites, for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister and to give thanks and to praise in the gates of the camp of Yahweh.
3 He also appointed the king’s portion of his goods for the burnt offerings, namely, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths and for the new moons and for the appointed times, as it is written in the law of Yahweh. 4 Also he said to the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion due to the priests and the Levites, that they might be strong in the law of Yahweh. 5 As soon as the word spread forth, the sons of Israel provided in abundance the first fruits of grain, new wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of all. 6 Now the sons of Israel and Judah who lived in the cities of Judah also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of the holy gifts which were made holy to Yahweh their God, and put them in heaps. 7 In the third month they began to make the heaps, and completed them by the seventh month. 8 Then Hezekiah and the rulers came and saw the heaps, and they blessed Yahweh and His people Israel. 9 Then Hezekiah inquired of the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps. 10 And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok said to him, “Since the contributions began to be brought into the house of Yahweh, there has been much to eat and be satisfied with and have left over, for Yahweh has blessed His people, and this great quantity is left over.” 11 Then Hezekiah ordered them to prepare rooms in the house of Yahweh, and they prepared them. 12 And they faithfully brought in the contribution and the tithe and the holy things; and Conaniah the Levite was the officer over them and his brother Shimei was second. 13 Now Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath, and Benaiah were overseers assisting at the hand of Conaniah and Shimei his brother by the appointment of King Hezekiah, and Azariah was the chief officer of the house of God. 14 And Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the keeper of the eastern gate, was over the freewill offerings of God, to distribute the contributions for Yahweh and the most holy things. 15 Now assisting by his hand were Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah in the cities of the priests, to distribute faithfully their portions to their brothers by divisions, whether great or small, 16 without regard to their genealogical record, to the males from thirty years old and upward—everyone who entered the house of Yahweh for his daily obligations—for their service in their responsibilities according to their divisions; 17 as well as the priests who were recorded genealogically according to their fathers’ households, and the Levites from twenty years old and upwards, by their responsibilities and their divisions. 18 The genealogical record included all their little ones, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, for the whole assembly, for they set themselves apart faithfully in holiness. 19 Also for the sons of Aaron the priests who were in the pasture lands of their cities, or in each and every city, there were men who were designated by name to distribute portions to every male among the priests and to everyone genealogically recorded among the Levites. 20 Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah; and he did what was good, right, and true before Yahweh his God. 21 And every work which he began in the service of the house of God in law and in commandment—to seek his God—he did with all his heart and succeeded.

Sennacherib Invades Judah

After these acts of faithfulness Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah and encamped against the fortified cities, and thought to break into them for himself.
2 Then Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he had set his face to make war on Jerusalem, 3 and he took counsel with his commanders and his warriors to stop up the supply of water from the springs which were outside the city, and they helped him. 4 So many people gathered and stopped up all the springs and the stream which flowed in the midst of the land, saying, “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find abundant water?” 5 And he strengthened himself and rebuilt all the wall that had been broken down and erected towers on it, and built another outside wall and strengthened the Millo in the city of David, and made weapons and shields in great number. 6 He also put military commanders over the people and gathered them to him in the square at the city gate, and spoke to their hearts, saying, 7 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria nor because of all the multitude that is with him; for the one with us is greater than the one with him. 8 With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is Yahweh our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people were sustained by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

Sennacherib Reproaches Yahweh

9 After this Sennacherib king of Assyria sent his servants to Jerusalem while he was besieging Lachish with all his forces with him, against Hezekiah king of Judah and against all Judah who were at Jerusalem, saying,
10 “Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria, ‘On what are you trusting that you are remaining in Jerusalem under siege? 11 Is not Hezekiah inciting you to give yourselves over to die by hunger and by thirst, saying, “Yahweh our God will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria”? 12 Has not the same Hezekiah taken away His high places and His altars, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, “You shall worship before one altar, and on it you shall offer offerings up in smoke”? 13 Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of the lands? Were the gods of the nations of the lands able at all to deliver their land from my hand? 14 Who was there among all the gods of these nations which my fathers devoted to destruction, who could deliver his people from my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you from my hand? 15 So now, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or incite you like this, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my hand?’” 16 His servants spoke further against Yahweh God and against His servant Hezekiah. 17 He also wrote letters to reproach Yahweh, the God of Israel, and to speak against Him, saying, “As the gods of the nations of the lands have not delivered their people from my hand, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver His people from my hand.” 18 And they called this out with a loud voice in the language of Judah to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to instill fear and terrify them, so that they might capture the city. 19 And they spoke of the God of Jerusalem as of the gods of the peoples of the earth, the work of men’s hands.

Yahweh Wipes Out the Men of Assyria

20 But King Hezekiah and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed about this and cried out to heaven.
21 And Yahweh sent an angel who wiped out every mighty man of valor, ruler, and commander in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned in shame to his own land. And he entered the house of his god, and some of his own children caused him to fall there by the sword. 22 So Yahweh saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria and from the hand of all others, and He guided them on every side. 23 And many were bringing presents to Yahweh at Jerusalem and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was lifted up in the sight of all nations thereafter. 24 In those days Hezekiah became sick to the point of death; and he prayed to Yahweh, and Yahweh spoke to him and gave him a miraculous sign. 25 But Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received, because his heart was proud; therefore wrath came on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. 26 However, Hezekiah humbled the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of Yahweh did not come on them in the days of Hezekiah. 27 Now Hezekiah had abundant riches and honor; and he made for himself treasuries for silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields, and all kinds of desirable articles, 28 storehouses also for the produce of grain, wine, and oil, stalls for all kinds of cattle, and sheepfolds for the flocks. 29 He also made cities for himself and acquired flocks and herds in abundance, for God had given him exceedingly abundant wealth. 30 And it was Hezekiah who stopped the upper outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah succeeded in all that he did. 31 Even in the matter of the envoys of the rulers of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the miraculous sign that had happened in the land, God left him alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart. 32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and his deeds of lovingkindness, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 33 So Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the upper section of the tombs of the sons of David; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem honored him at his death. And Manasseh his son became king in his place.