Lectionary Calendar
Monday, May 27th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 30

Coke's Commentary on the Holy BibleCoke's Commentary

Verse 2

2 Chronicles 30:2. For the king had taken counsel, &c.— The direction which the law gives is, that the passover should be celebrated on the fourteenth day of the first month: but, as it was found impossible to get all things in readiness against that time, it was judged adviseable to adjourn it to the 14th of the next month, rather than stay till the next year: and for this they had some encouragement; because the law allows, that in case any man shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be on a journey afar off, he may eat the passover on the 14th day of the second month, Numbers 9:10-11. And what was an indulgence to particular persons, they thought might well be allowed to the whole congregation of Israel.

Verse 5

2 Chronicles 30:5. Make proclamation throughout all Israel Respecting Hezekiah's invitation to Hoshea's subjects, to repair to Jerusalem to the celebration of his passover, we may well presume that he had encouragement from Hoshea himself, who, as to the matter of religion, has a better character in Scripture than any of his predecessors from the time of the division of the two kingdoms. And the truth was, that both the golden calves which had caused the religious separation were now taken away: that of Dan, by Tiglath-pilezer, and that of Bethel by his son Shalmaneser; and therefore the apostate Jews, being thus deprived of their idols, began to return to the Lord, and to go up to Jerusalem to worship, some time before Hezekiah made them this invitation to his passover. Prideaux, Ann. 729.

For they had not done it, &c.— Because it had not been celebrated universally, as it was commanded. Houbigant.

Verse 21

2 Chronicles 30:21. With loud instruments With instruments of praise. Houbigant.

Verse 22

2 Chronicles 30:22. Hezekiah spake comfortably, &c.— For Hezekiah had with gentle discourse persuaded the Levites, who were intelligent in divine things, that they should celebrate the festival seven days, and offer peace-offerings and thanksgivings to the Lord God of their fathers. Houbigant.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, Hezekiah sends messengers with circular letters, not only through Judah, but the cities of Israel. He wanted not the Israelites to return under his government, but to seek the favour of that God whom they had forsaken. He exhorts them to embrace the present opportunity, and, by an unfeigned surrender of themselves to God, continue no longer rebellious and stiff-necked as their fathers, lest their obstinacy should end in their ruin. Severe had been the corrections which they had endured for their apostacy; a small remnant of them only now remained. Their sufferings at least should make them wise, and engage them to seek the slighted sanctuary of God: and highly was it their interest, as well as duty; for, by no other means could they hope to avert the fierce wrath of God gone forth against them. But if now they humbled themselves, God would remember his covenant with their fathers, and shew himself gracious and merciful according to the promises, and not turn his face from them in anger, but lift up the light of his countenance to comfort them, and restore their brethren from captivity. Note; (1.) It is never too late for the sinner to return, while the calls of grace sound in his ears, and the promises afford a ground of hope. (2.) Nothing can so strongly prove the desperate stubbornness of the sinner's heart, as his insensibility to the gracious invitations of God. (3.) Impenitence persisted in, must necessarily be fatal. (4.) When we have done all that we can to beseech men by the mercies of God to return to him, if they obstinately refuse, their blood then is on their own heads; we are free.

2. The messengers meet with very different entertainment. The king of Israel gave them no obstruction in the execution of their commission; yet the people of Ephraim and Manasseh, and the rest in general, not only slighted the message, but derided the messengers. Some, however, felt the weighty contents of the letters, and with deep humiliation gladly embraced the opportunity of coming to Jerusalem to keep the passover. The men of Judah were happily more nearly unanimous; God bowed their hearts as the heart of one man, to come, according to God's word and the king's command, to the solemn festival. Note; (1.) It is no uncommon thing for the messengers of God to be mocked for their message' sake. (2.) Their disease seems very desperate, who thus impiously reject the only method of cure. (3.) When God brings a sinner to humiliation, then there is hope. (4.) If any man be inclined or enabled to return to God, this must be acknowledged as his gift.

2nd, A vast congregation being assembled,
1. They prepared for the celebration of the passover, by removing every idol altar that was found in Jerusalem. Note; When we truly return to God, it will be our care to put away iniquity from us.

2. The zeal of the people shamed the priests and Levites, and stirred them up with earnestness to sanctify themselves, that they might be ready for their work; the Levites to bring, and the priests to sprinkle, the blood of the sacrifices. Note; (1.) The hope of the sinner is this blood of sprinkling. (2.) The zeal of others should provoke us to jealousy and emulation.

3. Because many masters of families were ceremonially unclean, the Levites killed the passover for them; yet were they admitted to eat it, though they were not prepared according to the divine prescription.
4. Hezekiah, who observed the irregularity, failed not to cry to God to pardon it. The shortness of the notice permitted not those who in sincerity desired to please God, to be cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary; he, therefore, prays the good Lord that it might be forgiven. Note; If our souls are simply desirous to seek God, he will pity and pardon our infirmities.

5. In answer to Hezekiah's prayers, God healed the breach that their sin had made, and graciously embraced them in the arms of his pardoning mercy.
3rdly, The seven days of unleavened bread followed the passover, and they were spent in sacrifices and holy joy before the Lord. Hezekiah nobly supplied the altar with a thousand bullocks, and seven thousand sheep, for peace-offerings, and the people with provision; and the princes, quickened by his zeal, emulated his example. The Levites, comforted and encouraged by the king, diligently instructed the people in the sacred word of God, and assisted them in their devotions; while they confessed their sins, and acknowledged the undeserved mercy which they now experienced; and every day they praised God in psalms, and made melody in their hearts unto God. Great was the joy of all the assembly; and, happy in the service, they prolonged it seven days more, and then parted, after the priests had pronounced the benediction, and God from heaven had ratified the blessing. Note; (1.) They who are great are especially called to be generous. (2.) When we appear before God, it becomes us to rejoice in his mercy. (3.) A word of comfortable encouragement is the meed due to faithful labourers. (4.) In all our approaches to God, confession of sin ought never to be forgotten. (5.) They who truly love God's service will not think any time spent in it long. (6.) When God"s ministers bless in his name, he will confirm their word, and bestow the benediction which they pronounce.

Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 30". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/2-chronicles-30.html. 1801-1803.
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