Hezekiah becomes king of Judah. He reopens the temple. He hosts a grand rededication ceremony.
Note: Many people find it morally objectionable that a religion requires the killing of innocent animals.
VERSE 1. 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.
Hezekiah. He is one of Judah’s greatest kings:
2 Kings 18:5. He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel, so that after him was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among them that were before him.
VERSE 2. He did that which was right in the LORD’s eyes, according to all that David his father had done.
He did that which was right in the LORD’s eyes. This new king is unusual. Very unusual.
He walks with the LORD God.
VERSE 3. In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the LORD’s house and repaired them.
he opened the doors of the LORD’s house. Wicked king Ahaz had locked the doors of the temple.
Now Hezekiah unlocks those doors.
VERSE 4. He brought in the priests and the Levites and gathered them together into the wide place on the east,
VERSE 5. and said to them, “Listen to me, you Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD, the God of your fathers, and carry the filthiness out of the holy place.
Now sanctify yourselves. Hezekiah calls them to consecrate themselves to this work of purifying and repairing the temple.
carry the filthiness out of the holy place. This priestly work includes dealing with filth.
It is not their own filth. But it must be dealt with.
VERSE 6. For our fathers were unfaithful, and have done that which was evil in the LORD our God’s sight, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs.
VERSE 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 to the God of Israel.
VERSE 8. Therefore the LORD’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.
VERSE 9. For behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this.
VERSE 10. Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the LORD, the God of Israel, that his fierce anger may turn away from us.
it is in my heart to make a covenant. Hezekiah intends to renew the ancient Covenant with the LORD God.
VERSE 11. My sons, don’t be negligent now; for the LORD has chosen you to stand before him, to minister to him, and that you should be his ministers and burn incense.”
you should be his ministers. Back then, the LORD God called some people to professional ministry. In those days, the Levites were called to burn incense.
And in our day, the LORD God still calls some people to professional ministry. The “Levites” of today are called to preach and teach, among other specializations.
VERSE 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;
the Levites arose. They got right to work.
VERSE 13. and of the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeuel; and of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah;
VERSE 14. and of the sons of Heman, Jehuel and Shimei; and of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel.
VERSE 15. They gathered their brothers, sanctified themselves, and went in, according to the commandment of the king by the LORD’s words, to cleanse the LORD’s house.
VERSE 16. The priests went into the inner part of the LORD’s house to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the LORD’s temple into the court of the LORD’s house. The Levites took it from there to carry it out to the brook Kidron.
brought out all the uncleanness. Apparently wicked king Ahaz did unspeakable things inside the temple.
VERSE 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 the LORD’s porch. They sanctified the LORD’s house in eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished.
first day … eighth day. There was so much filth that it took them seven days to work their way to the porch.
VERSE 18. Then they went in to Hezekiah the king within the palace and said, “We have cleansed all the LORD’s house, including the altar of burnt offering with all its vessels, and the table of show bread with all its vessels.
VERSE 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 the LORD’s altar.”
VERSE 20. Then Hezekiah the king arose early, gathered the princes of the city, and went up to the LORD’s house.
Hezekiah the king arose early. The king “hastened” to get going. He was eager to act upon the will of God for his life.
He began this project during the very first month of his reign.
For us disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we need to put our faith into practice. We need to get going. We need to do stuff. Today.
Seeking the kingdom of God is to be our number one priority. Yet for many of us, our use of time and money show that it is a low priority. Read more »
VERSE 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 the LORD’s altar.
They kill 28 animals.
VERSE 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.
VERSE 23. They brought near the male goats for the sin offering before the king and the assembly; and they laid their hands on them.
VERSE 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.
VERSE 25. He set the Levites in the LORD’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 the LORD by his prophets.
Their killing of innocent animals is accompanied by music.
shofars. Or “trumpets.”
VERSE 27. Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the LORD’s song also began, along with the shofars and instruments of David king of Israel.
shofars. Or “trumpets.”
VERSE 28. All the assembly worshiped, the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded. All this continued until the burnt offering was finished.
VERSE 29. When they had finished offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshiped.
the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshiped. For those in positions of spiritual leadership, it is important to set the tone.
King Hezekiah and the other leaders bow down in worship.
However, there is a fine line. It is very easy for spiritual leaders to do things for show. Such people are hypocrites. The Lord Jesus Christ condemned them.
VERSE 30. Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praises to the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. They sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped.
NAB translation. “They sang praises till their joy was full, then fell down and prostrated themselves.”
Singing praise and worship music brings us spiritual joy. If you are lacking in joy, why not sing? Joy is your birthright as a child of God.
VERSE 31. Then Hezekiah answered, “Now you have consecrated yourselves to the LORD. Come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the LORD’s house.” The assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings, and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings.
VERSE 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 the LORD.
VERSE 33. The consecrated things were six hundred head of cattle and three thousand sheep.
VERSE 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.
VERSE 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 the LORD’s house was set in order.
VERSE 36. Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because of that which God had prepared for the people; for the thing was done suddenly.
for the thing was done suddenly. The LORD God can cause things to come together very quickly.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.