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Hezekiah, King of Judah(A)

29 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he was king in Jerusalem for twenty-nine years. The name of his mother was Abijah[a] the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was correct in the eyes of the Lord just as his father David had done.

Hezekiah Cleanses the Temple

And in the first year and first month of his reign he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and restored them. He then brought in the priests and Levites and gathered them in the square on the eastern side and said to them, “Listen to me, Levites. Consecrate yourselves and consecrate the house of the Lord God of your fathers. And bring out the detestable things from the holy sanctuary. For our fathers have acted unfaithfully and have done what is evil in the eyes of the Lord our God, and they have abandoned Him. They have turned their face from the sanctuary of the Lord and have turned their back. They also shut the doors of the vestibule and have extinguished the lamps, nor have they burned incense or burnt offerings in the Holy Place to the God of Israel. Therefore the wrath of the Lord has come on Judah and Jerusalem for a terror, horror, and scorn as you all can see with your own eyes. Observe, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and now our sons, daughters, and wives are in captivity for all this. 10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel so that His burning anger might turn away from us. 11 My people, do not now be negligent for the Lord has chosen you all to stand in His presence, to serve Him, and to be ministers and make sacrifices for Him.”

12 Then the Levites arose:

from the Kohathites,

Mahath son of Amasai and Joel son of Azariah;

from the Merarites,

Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel;

from the Gershonites,

Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah;

13 from the descendants of Elizaphan,

Shimri and Jeiel;

from the descendants of Asaph,

Zechariah and Mattaniah;

14 from the descendants of Heman,

Jehiel and Shimei;

from the descendants of Jeduthun,

Shemaiah and Uzziel.

15 So they gathered their brothers together and consecrated themselves and entered in as the king commanded by the words of the Lord in order to cleanse the house of the Lord. 16 Then the priests came into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and they removed everything that they found that was unclean in the main hall of the temple of the Lord to the court. And the Levites took those things and brought them out to the Kidron Valley. 17 They began to consecrate themselves on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they entered the vestibule of the Lord. They consecrated the house of the Lord for eight days. Then on the sixteenth day of the first month they completed the task.

18 Then they came toward Hezekiah the king and said, “We have cleaned the entire house of the Lord, the altar of burnt offerings and all its utensils, and the table for showbread and all its utensils. 19 All the vessels that King Ahaz discarded from use during his reign in his treachery we have prepared and consecrated. They are before the altar of the Lord.”

Hezekiah Restores Temple Worship

20 So King Hezekiah got up early and gathered the officials of the city and went up to the house of the Lord. 21 And he brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom, sanctuary, and Judah. Then he commanded the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them up on the altar of the Lord. 22 So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests took their blood and sprinkled it on the altar and then slaughtered the rams and sprinkled their blood on the altar. They did the same for the lambs. 23 And they brought the male goats for a sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they placed their hands on the goats. 24 And the priests slaughtered them and purified the altar with their blood to provide atoning reconciliation for all Israel because the king said that the burnt offering and sin offering would be for all Israel.

25 And he set the Levites at the house of the Lord with cymbals, harps, and lyres according to the commandment of David, and Gad the seer of the king, and Nathan the prophet. For the commandment came from the Lord through His prophets. 26 So the Levites stood with the instruments of David and the priests with the trumpets.

27 Then Hezekiah gave the command to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When they started the burnt offering, the song of the Lord began also, with the trumpets and the instruments of David, king of Israel. 28 The entire assembly worshipped, the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded. All of this took place until the burnt offering was finished.

29 When the burnt offering was finished, the king and all those with him bowed down and worshipped. 30 Then Hezekiah the king and the officials ordered the Levites to praise the Lord with the words of David and Asaph the seer. So they praised with gladness and bowed down to worship.

31 Then Hezekiah responded, “Now you have dedicated yourselves to the Lord. Come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the Lord.” So the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all who had a willing heart brought burnt offerings.

32 The number of the burnt offerings that the assembly brought was seventy bulls, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to the Lord. 33 The consecrated animals were six hundred bulls and three thousand sheep. 34 However there were too few priests, and they were not able to skin the burnt offerings. But their brothers the Levites helped them until the work was finished and more priests consecrated themselves, for the Levites were more upright in heart to consecrate themselves than the priests. 35 Also burnt offerings were in abundance with the fat of the peace offerings and the drink offerings for the burnt offerings.

So the service of the house of the Lord was set in order. 36 Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people, since the events happened suddenly.


  1. 2 Chronicles 29:1 Or Abi in 2Ki 18:2.