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The history of Hezekiah occupies four chapters in Chronicles and three in Kings. The chronicler dwells at length on the religious reformation accomplished by this king, while the writer of Kings gives a tidier account of his wars with Assyria, his sickness, the miracle of the dial of Ahaz, and his reproof by Isaiah for showing his treasures to the ambassadors of Berodach-baladan. In numerous minor items one writer supplements the other. 2 Chronicles 29:1-2 of this chapter correspond with 2 Kings 18:1-3.
RESTORATION OF THE TEMPLE SERVICE, 2 Chronicles 29:3-36.
3. He in the first year… first month, opened the doors The first month is here to be understood of the first month of the Jewish year, the first of Abib, or Nisan. Comp. 2 Chronicles 30:2-3. But the first month of Hezekiah’s reign may also, at least in part, have synchronized with the month Nisan. The reformatory character of Hezekiah’s reign was thus signalized at its very beginning by an act which must have cheered every pious heart in the realm. The shutting of the doors of the temple, and the consequent suspension of the sacred service, (comp. 2 Chronicles 29:7,) had been one of the most presumptuous sins of Ahaz. 2 Chronicles 28:24.
Repaired them By plating and overlaying them with gold, and probably other kinds of metal. See 2 Kings 18:16, note. This verse is a summary statement of what Hezekiah did at the beginning of his reign, and is not to be thought of as taking place before the gathering of the priests and Levites, and the address to them contained in 2 Chronicles 29:4-11.
4. Into the east street Probably the same as “the street of the house of God,” (Ezra 10:9,) the broad open place before the temple, either in the outer court, or on the east of it.
5. Sanctify now yourselves That is, ceremonially, by purifying yourselves from all legal defilement. This was necessary in order that they might properly sanctify the house of the Lord by removing from it all its defilements. Comp. 1 Chronicles 15:12-14.
Carry forth the filthiness The abominations of idolatry which Ahaz had introduced, and also the dust and dirt that had accumulated there. Comp. 2 Chronicles 29:16, note.
6. Our fathers have trespassed He calls no names, but means Ahaz and his contemporaries.
7. Shut up the doors See 2 Chronicles 28:24, note.
8. The wrath of the Lord was upon Judah The afflictions which are mentioned in this verse and the following were those which Judah suffered under the reign of Ahaz, and which are described in the previous chapter.
To astonishment An object of such great ruin as to astonish beholders.
To hissing An object of scornful derision.
11. My sons The king speaks kindly, as the father of all the people whom he rules.
Be not negligent Literally, do not go astray.
15. By the words of the Lord The exact sense of this phrase is here doubtful. It may mean, either that the king’s commandment was given by inspiration of God or was based upon the words of his law; or דברי , rendered words, may here mean things, and the meaning be as expressed in the margin, in the business of the Lord: that is, the king’s commandment in respect to the Lord’s matters, namely, the cleansing of the temple. This last is on the whole the more preferable exposition. Comp. chap. 2 Chronicles 30:12.
16. Brought out all the uncleanness The Hebrew word rendered uncleanness, here, is different from that rendered filthiness in 2 Chronicles 29:5, and seems to include other things besides idolatrous objects. But in what all this uncleanness and filthiness consisted we are not told.
17. They began on the first day… and in the sixteenth day… they made an end Their exact order of procedure is to be gathered from the whole passage, and the supposable natural order of things. First, of course, the priests and Levites were assembled and addressed by the king, (2 Chronicles 29:4-11;) next they sanctified themselves, (2 Chronicles 29:15;) then they proceeded to repair the doors and cleanse the courts of the temple, and had this work done on the eighth day of the month. The cleansing of the temple itself occupied another eight days, so it was not until the sixteenth of the month that their work was accomplished.
19. The vessels, which… Ahaz… cast away See 2 Chronicles 28:24. 2 Chronicles 29:20-36 describe the rededication of the temple, and should be compared with our author’s description of its first dedication by Solomon, especially the passages, 2 Chronicles 5:11-14; 2 Chronicles 7:4-11. The passage calls for no verbal comments, but we should note with what emphasis it is stated in 2 Chronicles 29:24 that an atonement and sin offering were made for “all Israel,” as if at this new dedication of the temple they would obliterate the memory of old national strifes and divisions, and consecrate the whole nation as an unbroken community to God.
In public national offerings it was customary for the priests to slay and flay the victims, but on this occasion “the priests were too few,” (2 Chronicles 29:34,) and were accordingly helped by “their brethren the Levites.” We are also informed that the Levites were more upright and prompt to purify themselves from past defilement than the priests. It is commonly supposed that the priests had been more implicated in the idolatrous practices of Ahaz than the Levites, and therefore many of them were slow of heart to respond to Hezekiah’s call to sanctify themselves. Urijah, the high priest, sacrilegiously participated in the impieties of Ahab. Comp. 2Ki 16:11 ; 2 Kings 16:16.
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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 29". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13