The Reign of Hezekiah
1Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. And the name of his mother was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. 2And he did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that David his father had done.
3In the first year of his kingship, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of Yahweh and strengthened them. 4And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and he gathered them into the eastern square. 5And he said to them, “Hear me, O Levites! Sanctify yourselves now, and sanctify the house of Yahweh, the God of your ancestors,#Or “fathers” and bring out the defilement from the sanctuary. 6For our ancestors#Or “fathers” acted unfaithfully and did evil in the sight of Yahweh our God, and have forsaken him and turned away their faces from the dwelling place of Yahweh. They have turned their backs#Literally “And they have given back” on it. 7They also shut the doors of the portico and extinguished the lamps. And they did not burn incense or offer burnt offerings in the sanctuary to the God of Israel. 8And the wrath of Yahweh was upon Judah and Jerusalem. And he made them as an abhorrence, as a desolation and an object of scorn, as you see with your own eyes. 9Now behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity on account of this. 10Now it is in my heart#Literally “with my heart” to make#Literally “cut” a covenant with Yahweh, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger might turn away from him. 11Now, my sons, do not be negligent, for Yahweh has chosen you to stand before him to serve him and to be his servants and incense burners.”
12Then the Levites arose—Mahath the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah, from the Kohathites; and Kish the son of Abdi and Azariah the son of Jehallelel from the Merarites; and Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah, from the Gershonites. 13And from the descendants#Or “sons” of Elizaphan: Shimri and Jeiel; and from the descendants#Or “sons” of Asaph: Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14and from the descendants#Or “sons” of Heman: Jeiel and Shimei; and from the descendants#Or “sons” of Jeduthun: Shemaiah and Uzziel— 15and they gathered their brothers and sanctified themselves, and they went in according to the command of the king because of the words of Yahweh, to purify the house of Yahweh. 16And the priests went into the inner part of the house of Yahweh to purify it. And they brought out all the impurity that they found in the temple of Yahweh out to the courtyard of the house of Yahweh. And the Levites took them to bring them outside to the Wadi#Or “valley”; a wadi is a valley that is dry most of the year, but contains a stream during the rainy season Kidron. 17And they began to sanctify themselves on the first day of the first month. And on the eighth day of the month they came to the portico of Yahweh. And they sanctified the house of Yahweh for eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished. 18And they went into the inner part to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed all the house of Yahweh: the altar of burnt offering, all its objects, the table of the rows of bread and all its objects, 19and all the objects that King Ahaz discarded in his reign when he sinned, we have prepared and sanctified. Look, they are before the altar of Yahweh.”
20Then King Hezekiah rose early and gathered the officials of the city, and he went up to the house of Yahweh. 21And they brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats as a purification offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. And he commanded the descendants#Or “sons” of Aaron, the priests, to offer them on the altar of Yahweh. 22And they slaughtered the cattle, and the priests received the blood and threw it toward the altar. Then they slaughtered the rams and threw the blood toward the altar, and then they slaughtered the lambs and threw the blood toward the altar. 23Then they brought the goats of the sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they laid hands upon them. 24And the priest killed them and offered their blood against the altar to make atonement for all Israel, for the king had commanded the burnt offering and the sin offering for all Israel.
25And he stood the Levites in the house of Yahweh with cymbals, harps, and lyres, according to the command of David and Gad, the seer of the king, and Nathan the prophet, for the command was by the hand of Yahweh by the hand of his prophets. 26When the Levites stood with the objects of David and the priests with the trumpets, 27Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And at the time the burnt offering began, the song of Yahweh began, and also the trumpets, at the hands of the instruments of David king of Israel. 28Then all the assembly bowed down, and the song was sung, and the trumpeters trumpeted—all together until the end of the burnt offering. 29And when the offering was finished, the king and all who were found with him knelt down and bowed themselves. 30Then King Hezekiah and the princes commanded the Levites to praise Yahweh with the words of David and Asaph the seer. So they offered praise with joy, and they bowed down and worshiped.
31Then Hezekiah answered and said, “Now you have consecrated yourselves#Literally “you have filled your hands” to Yahweh. Come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of Yahweh!” And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all who were willing in heart brought burnt offerings. 32And the number of burnt offerings that the assembly brought was seventy cattle, one hundred rams, two hundred lambs—all these were to offer to Yahweh. 33And the consecrated offerings of cattle were six hundred cattle and three thousand sheep. 34But the priests were too few, and they were not able to offer all the burnt offerings, so their brothers, the Levites, strengthened them to finish the work, and until the rest of the priests consecrated themselves. (For the Levites were more conscientious#Literally “more upright of heart” to sanctify themselves than the priests.) 35And beside the many burnt offerings was the fat of the peace offerings and the libations for the burnt offerings. So the service of the house of Yahweh was established. 36And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had established with the people, for the matter happened suddenly.
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