Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.
A. M. 3278-3306. B.C. 726-698. Hezekiah
And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.
28:1 34:2 2Ki 18:3 Of several of Hezekiah's predecessors it had been said that they did that which was right, but not like David, that is, not with David's integrity and zeal
He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them.
A. M. 3278. B.C. 726. He in the first
And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street,
And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.
sanctify the house
For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs.
For our fathers
have forsaken him
turned their backs
Heb. given the neck.
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 unto the God of Israel.
Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes.
he hath delivered
It is probable Hezekiah refers to that dreadful defeat by the Israelites, in which one hundred and twenty thousand were slain, and two hundred thousand taken prisoners: see ch. 28:6-8.
For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this.
Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us.
Now it is
to make a covenant
To renew that covenant under which the whole people were constantly considered, and of which circumcision was the sign, and the spirit of which was, "I will be your God, ye shall be my people."
that his fierce
My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.
or, offer sacrifice.
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:
of the sons
of the sons
of the Gershonites
And of the sons of Elizaphan; Shimri, and Jeiel: and of the sons of Asaph; Zechariah, and Mattaniah:
And of the sons of Heman; Jehiel, and Shimei: and of the sons of Jeduthun; Shemaiah, and Uzziel.
And they gathered their brethren, and sanctified themselves, and came, according to the commandment of the king, by the words of the LORD, to cleanse the house of the LORD.
by the words of the Lord
or, in the business of the Lord.
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.
The priests and Levites cleansed first the courts both of the priests and of the people. On this labour they spent eight days. Then they cleansed the interior of the temple; but, as the Levites had no right to enter the temple, the priests carried all the dirt and rubbish to the porch, whence they were collected by the Levites, carried away, and cast into the brook Kidron: in this work, eight more days were occupied; and thus the temple was purified in sixteen days.
the inner part
all the uncleanness
Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the LORD: so they sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end.
Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, and the altar of burnt offering, with all the vessels thereof, and the shewbread table, with all the vessels thereof.
Moreover all the vessels, which king Ahaz in his reign did cast away in his transgression, have we prepared and sanctified, and, behold, they are before the altar of the LORD.
all the vessels
did cast away
Or, as the LXX., Vulgate, and Targum read, "did pollute," hizneeach, he rendered them so abominable that they were rejected with abhorrence.
Then Hezekiah the king rose early, and gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the LORD.
And they brought seven bullocks, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven he goats, for a sin offering for the kingdom, and for the sanctuary, and for Judah. And he commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on the altar of the LORD.
The law only required one bullock for the sins of the high priest, another for the sins of the people, and one he-goat for the sins of the prince: but Hezekiah offered many more, and the reason appears sufficiently evident: the law only speaks of the sins of ignorance, but here there were sins of every dye, idolatry, apostasy from the Divine worship, profanation of the temple, etc., etc. The sin offerings, we are informed, were offered, first, for the Kingdom, for the transgressions of the king and his family; secondly, for the sanctuary, which had been defiled and polluted; and for the priests, who had been profane, negligent, and unholy; and finally, for Judah, for the whole mass of the people, who had been led away into every kind of abomination by the above examples.
a sin offering
So they killed the bullocks, 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 killed also the lambs, and they sprinkled the blood upon the altar.
And they brought forth the he goats for the sin offering before the king and the congregation; and they laid their hands upon them:
Heb. near. they laid.
And the priests killed them, and they 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.
the sin offering
And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the LORD by his prophets.
And he set
for so was
of the Lord by his prophets
Heb. by the hand of the Lord, by the hand of his prophets.
And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.
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.
Heb. in the time. the song.
Heb. hands of instruments.
And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.
And all the congregation
the singers sang
And when they had made an end of offering, the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves, and worshipped.
Heb. found. bowed themselves.
Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.
with the words
Then Hezekiah answered and said, Now ye have consecrated yourselves unto 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 burnt offerings.
or, filled your hand.
and as many, etc
As the burnt offerings were wholly consumed on the altar, the offering of them evinced greater zeal and liberality than the oblation of peace offerings, the greater part of which was eaten by the officer and his friends.
And the number of the burnt offerings, which the congregation brought, was threescore and ten bullocks, an hundred rams, and two hundred lambs: all these were for a burnt offering to the LORD.
Comparing the sacrifices offered on this occasion with those of Solomon at the dedication of the temple, we may form some idea of the decrease of the prosperity and riches of Judah, or of the decline of the general spirit of piety.
And the consecrated things were six hundred oxen and three thousand sheep.
It is probable that the consecrated things denote the peace offerings and thank offerings.
But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings: wherefore their brethren the Levites did help them, till 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.
Peace offerings, and such like, the Levites might flay and dress; but the whole burnt offerings could only be touched by the priests, except in a case of necessity, such as the present.
did help them
Heb. strengthened them. for the Levites.
And also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings, and the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of the house of the LORD was set in order.
And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.
Both Hezekiah and the people rejoiced, that God had prepared the hearts of the people to bring about so great and glorious a reformation in so short a time. This good king's example and influence were here, as in many other cases, under God, the grand spring of all those mighty movements.