Hezekiah's good reign, 1, 2. He restores religion, 3, 4. He exhorts the Levites, 5-11. They sanctify themselves and cleanse the house of God, 12-19. Hezekiah offers solemn sacrifices, wherein the Levites are more forward than the priests, 20-36.
1 Hezekiah began to reign 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 that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.
3 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 assembled them in the east street, 5 And said to them, "Hear me, you Levites, now sanctify 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, 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, put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt-offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore, the wrath of the LORD has been upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he has delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as you see with your eyes. 9 For behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity for this. 10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel so that his fierce wrath may turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that you should minister to him and burn incense."
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; 14 And of the sons of Heman: Jehiel and Shimei; and of the sons of Jeduthun: Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15 And they assembled their brothers, sanctified themselves, and came to cleanse the house of the LORD according to the commandment of the king, by the words of the LORD. 16 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 they came to the porch of the LORD. Thus they sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days. And on the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end. 18 Then they went inside to Hezekiah the king and said, "We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, and the altar of burnt-offering with all its vessels, and the show-bread table with all its vessels. 19 Moreover, all the vessels which king Ahaz in his reign cast away in his transgression, we have prepared and sanctified, and behold, they are before the altar of the LORD."
20 Then Hezekiah the king rose early, convened the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the LORD. 21 And 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. And he commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on the altar of the LORD. 22 So they killed the bulls, 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 also killed the lambs and sprinkled the blood upon the altar. 23 And they brought forth the male goats for the sin-offering before the king and the congregation and laid their hands upon them. 24 And the priests killed them and 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, of Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet, for thus 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. 27 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 worshiped, 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 who were present with him bowed themselves and worshiped. 30 Moreover, Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise to the LORD, with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness and they bowed their heads and worshiped.
31 Then Hezekiah answered and said, "Now you have consecrated yourselves to 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 brought burnt-offerings. 32 And the number of the burnt-offerings, which the congregation brought, was seventy bulls, one 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. Therefore, their brothers the Levites helped them until 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. Thus the service of the house of the LORD was set in order. 36 And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people, for the thing was done suddenly.
Matthew Henry Commentary - 2nd Chronicles, Chapter 29[➚]