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2 Chronicles 29 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 29

Hezekiah’s Reforms. Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah, daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the Lord’s sight, just as David his father had done. In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the Lord’s house and repaired them. He summoned the priests and Levites, gathering them in the open space to the east, and said to them: “Listen to me, you Levites! Sanctify yourselves now and sanctify the house of the Lord, the God of your ancestors, and clean out the filth from the sanctuary. Our ancestors acted treacherously and did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord, our God. They abandoned him, turned away their faces from the Lord’s dwelling, and turned their backs on him. They also closed the doors of the vestibule, extinguished the lamps, and failed to burn incense and sacrifice burnt offerings in the sanctuary to the God of Israel. Therefore the anger of the Lord has come upon Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of terror, horror, and hissing, as you see with your own eyes. For our ancestors fell by the sword, and our sons, our daughters, and our wives have been taken captive because of this. 10 Now, I intend to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, that his burning anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent any longer, for it is you whom the Lord has chosen to stand before him, to minister to him, to be his ministers and to offer incense.”

12 Then the Levites arose: Mahath, son of Amasai, and Joel, son of Azariah, of the Kohathites; of the descendants of Merari: Kish, son of Abdi, and Azariah, son of Jehallel; of the Gershonites: Joah, son of Zimmah, and Eden, son of Joah; 13 of the sons of Elizaphan: Shimri and Jeuel; of the sons of Asaph: Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 of the sons of Heman: Jehuel and Shimei; of the sons of Jeduthun: Shemiah and Uzziel. 15 They gathered their kinfolk together and sanctified themselves; then they came as the king had ordered, in keeping with the words of the Lord, to cleanse the Lord’s house.

16 The priests entered the interior of the Lord’s house to cleanse it. Whatever they found in the Lord’s temple that was unclean they brought out to the court of the Lord’s house, where the Levites took it from them and carried it out to the Wadi Kidron. 17 They began the work of consecration on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they reached the vestibule of the Lord; they consecrated the Lord’s house over an eight-day period, and on the sixteenth day of the first month, they had finished.

18 Then they went inside to King Hezekiah and said: “We have cleansed the entire house of the Lord, the altar for burnt offerings with all its utensils, and the table for the showbread with all its utensils. 19 We have restored and consecrated all the articles which King Ahaz had thrown away during his reign because of his treachery; they are now before the Lord’s altar.”

The Rite of Expiation. 20 Then King Hezekiah hastened to convoke the princes of the city and went up to the Lord’s house. 21 Seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven he-goats were presented as a purification offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. Hezekiah ordered the sons of Aaron, the priests, to offer them on the altar of the Lord. 22 They slaughtered the bulls, and the priests collected the blood and splashed it on the altar. Then they slaughtered the rams and splashed the blood on the altar; then they slaughtered the lambs and splashed the blood on the altar. 23 Then the he-goats for the purification offering were led before the king and the assembly, who laid their hands upon them. 24 The priests then slaughtered them and offered their blood on the altar to atone for the sin of all Israel. For the king had said, “The burnt offering and the purification offering are for all Israel.”

25 He stationed the Levites in the Lord’s house with cymbals, harps, and lyres, according to the command of David, of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for this command was from the Lord through his prophets. 26 The Levites were stationed with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 Then Hezekiah ordered the burnt offering to be sacrificed on the altar. At the very moment the burnt offering began, they also began the song of the Lord, to the accompaniment of the trumpets and the instruments of David, king of Israel. 28 The entire assembly bowed down, and the song was sung and the trumpets sounded until the burnt offering had been completed. 29 Once the burnt offering was completed, the king and all who were with him knelt and worshiped. 30 King Hezekiah and the princes then told the Levites to sing the praises of the Lord in the words of David and of Asaph the seer. They sang praises till their joy was full, then fell down and worshiped.

31 Hezekiah then said: “You have dedicated yourselves to the Lord. Approach, and bring forward the sacrifices and thank offerings for the house of the Lord.” Then the assembly brought forward the sacrifices and thank offerings and all their voluntary burnt offerings. 32 The number of burnt offerings that the assembly brought forward was seventy oxen, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs: all of these as a burnt offering to the Lord. 33 As consecrated gifts there were six hundred oxen and three thousand sheep. 34 Since there were too few priests to skin all the victims for the burnt offerings, their fellow Levites assisted them until the task was completed and the priests had sanctified themselves. The Levites, in fact, were more careful than the priests to sanctify themselves. 35 The burnt offerings were indeed many, along with the fat of the communion offerings and the libations for the burnt offerings. Thus the service of the house of the Lord was re-established. 36 Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had re-established for the people, and at how suddenly this had been done.

New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

2 Chronicles 29 New International Version (NIV)

Hezekiah Purifies the Temple

29 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done.

In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the Lord and repaired them. He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side and said: “Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary. Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him. They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel. Therefore, the anger of the Lord has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of dread and horror and scorn, as you can see with your own eyes. This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity. 10 Now I intend to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before him and serve him, to minister before him and to burn incense.”

12 Then these Levites set to work:

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 When they had assembled their fellow Levites and consecrated themselves, they went in to purify the temple of the Lord, as the king had ordered, following the word of the Lord. 16 The priests went into the sanctuary of the Lord to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of the Lord’s temple everything unclean that they found in the temple of the Lord. The Levites took it and carried it out to the Kidron Valley. 17 They began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and by the eighth day of the month they reached the portico of the Lord. For eight more days they consecrated the temple of the Lord itself, finishing on the sixteenth day of the first month.

18 Then they went in to King Hezekiah and reported: “We have purified the entire temple of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the table for setting out the consecrated bread, with all its articles. 19 We have prepared and consecrated all the articles that King Ahaz removed in his unfaithfulness while he was king. They are now in front of the Lord’s altar.”

20 Early the next morning King Hezekiah gathered the city officials together and went up to the temple of the Lord. 21 They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven male lambs and seven male goats as a sin offering[a] for the kingdom, for the sanctuary and for Judah. The king commanded the priests, the descendants of Aaron, to offer these on the altar of the Lord. 22 So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests took the blood and splashed it against the altar; next they slaughtered the rams and splashed their blood against the altar; then they slaughtered the lambs and splashed their blood against the altar. 23 The goats for the sin offering were brought before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them. 24 The priests then slaughtered the goats and presented their blood on the altar for a sin offering to atone for all Israel, because the king had ordered the burnt offering and the sin offering for all Israel.

25 He stationed the Levites in the temple of the Lord with cymbals, harps and lyres in the way prescribed by David and Gad the king’s seer and Nathan the prophet; this was commanded by the Lord through his prophets. 26 So the Levites stood ready with David’s instruments, and the priests with their trumpets.

27 Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. As the offering began, singing to the Lord began also, accompanied by trumpets and the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the musicians played and the trumpets sounded. All this continued until the sacrifice of the burnt offering was completed.

29 When the offerings were finished, the king and everyone present with him knelt down and worshiped. 30 King Hezekiah and his officials ordered the Levites to praise the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness and bowed down and worshiped.

31 Then Hezekiah said, “You have now dedicated yourselves to the Lord. Come and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the temple of the Lord.” So the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all whose hearts were willing brought burnt offerings.

32 The number of burnt offerings the assembly brought was seventy bulls, a hundred rams and two hundred male lambs—all of them for burnt offerings to the Lord. 33 The animals consecrated as sacrifices amounted to six hundred bulls and three thousand sheep and goats. 34 The priests, however, were too few to skin all the burnt offerings; so their relatives the Levites helped them until the task was finished and until other priests had been consecrated, for the Levites had been more conscientious in consecrating themselves than the priests had been. 35 There were burnt offerings in abundance, together with the fat of the fellowship offerings and the drink offerings that accompanied the burnt offerings.

So the service of the temple of the Lord was reestablished. 36 Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced at what God had brought about for his people, because it was done so quickly.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 29:21 Or purification offering; also in verses 23 and 24
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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