| 1 ¶ And Hezekiah sent
to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh,
that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the
passover unto the LORD God of Israel.
2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.
.3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.
4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation.
5 So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written.
| 1 -
Hezekiah One of the few good kings. 2ch2901.
1 - All Israel ... Ephriam and Manasseh Hezekiah reigned in Jerusalem, seat of government for the Southern (and more faithful) Kingdom in the split nation. "Israel" was the original name for the home of all twelve tribes. The two tribes mentioned were what was left of the Northern Kingdom after the others had been carried into captivity. 2ki1529, 1ch0526.
2 - Taken counsel Good administration.
2 - Passover ... second month The temple needed to be cleansed physically as well as spiritually. Compare le16. Passover, pointing to the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, began the cycle of months in the sanctuary calendar. Thus it was to have been celebrated in the first month ex1201f, ex1206, le2305. The cleansing work had not been completed in time 2ch2917 and God had provided for the extension of time nu0906ff.
3 - At that time That is, at the proper time.
| 6 So the posts went with the
letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah,
and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel,
turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will
return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings
7 And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.
8 Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.
9 For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.
|6 - Posts "-that is, runners, or royal messengers, who were taken from the king's bodyguard (2Ch 23:1,2). Each, well mounted, had a certain number of miles to traverse. Having performed his course, he was relieved by another, who had to scour an equal extent of ground; so that, as the government messengers were dispatched in all directions, public edicts were speedily diffused throughout the country. The proclamation of Hezekiah was followed by a verbal address. . . ." (JFB Commentary)|
| 10 So the posts passed from
city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun:
but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.
11 Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.
12 Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD.
|11 - Divers [some] of Asher and ... The humility mentioned is easy to understand. People who choose the path of righteousness when it is unpopular are not well thought of. In the midst of idolatry and apostasy today, God has faithful ones. See God's final appeal in re1801-5.|
| 13 ¶ And there assembled
at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second
month, a very great congregation.
.14 And they arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron.
- Keep ... unleavened Normally observed in first month, following
Passover ex1218, le2305-8,
14 - Arose ... took away ... altars And threw them into the Kidron. There were many 2ch2824.
14 - Into ... Kidron See 2ch2916.
Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month:
and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves,
and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the LORD.
.16 And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites.
.17 For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the LORD.
18 For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one
19 That prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.
20 And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
- Priests ... ashamed Apparently many of them had neglected the
required routine purification 2ch2934,
17 - Many ... not cleansed Having been separated from the temple (living in the north while the temple was in the south), they had had no opportunity to be cleansed from their defilements. Here they became clean and holy.
20 - Healed What a loving God! ho1404, ps04104, je0322.
|21 ¶ And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the LORD.|| Seven
days The prescribed time (eating bread without yeast). ex1218,
Praised What a joyful time of celebration.
|22 And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers.||-|
| 23 And the whole assembly
took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with
24 For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves.
|23 - Other seven days They continued the time of humility and rejoicing voluntarily.|
| 25 And all the congregation
of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that
came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel,
and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced.
26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.
.27 Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto heaven.
|25 - All Notice the three categories: Judah, Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and proselytes.|