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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
2 Chronicles 31

 

 

Verse 1

DESTRUCTION OF IDOLATRY, 2 Chronicles 31:1.

1. All Israel that were present — All the representatives of the Israelitish nation that were present at the passover just described. Hezekiah deemed this a most appropriate occasion to overthrow idolatry in his kingdom, and as far beyond it as he might be able, and lost no time in turning the present religious zeal of the people to this object. Having already purged Jerusalem from idolatry, (2 Chronicles 30:14,) he now proceeded first to the cities of Judah, and destroyed all idolatrous images and altars that he found, and put an end to all idolatrous practices in the boundaries of Judah and Benjamin. Then he carried his iconoclasm even into Ephraim also and Manasseh, for probably the representatives of these tribes who had been at the passover were now so filled with zeal for the pure worship of Jehovah that they were unwilling that Hezekiah’s reforms should be confined solely to the southern kingdom; and such was their energy and fury in this work, and such the weakness of Hoshea’s government at Samaria, that there was no power to resist or stop this overthrow of images and altars until they had utterly destroyed them all. No doubt these images and altars were again restored in Ephraim and Manasseh, for those tribes persisted in their sinful practices until, in the sixth year of Hezekiah, Samaria was taken, and the ten tribes were carried into exile. 2 Kings 18:10.


Verse 2

REORGANIZATION OF THE LEVITES, 2 Chronicles 31:2-21.

2. The priests and the Levites after their courses — The suspension of the temple service by Ahaz had disarranged the courses and work of the Levites, and so it behoved Hezekiah to re-organize these courses according to the divisions and arrangements which David had made. 1 Chronicles 23:6; 1 Chronicles 24:1.

In the gates of the tents of the Lord — Literally, in the gates of the camps of Jehovah; that is, the gates leading to the temple and its courts. The courts and chambers of the temple are spoken of as a fortified camp, even a group of camps, in which Jehovah’s ministers constantly watched and worshipped.


Verse 3

3. The king’s portion of his substance — That tithe or share of his revenue which it was deemed proper for the king to contribute for the maintenance of the regular worship. Hezekiah made himself no exception, but rather made himself an example for others by contributing his full share of lambs, bullocks, flour, oil, etc., (compare 2 Chronicles 32:28-29,) which were required in the continual and special services according to the law.


Verse 4

4. The portion of the priests and the Levites — That which was secured to them by the provisions of the law. Numbers 18:9-24.


Verse 6

6. Laid them by heaps — Literally, gave heaps, heaps; that is, they brought and laid them in many heaps or piles.


Verse 7

7. The foundation of the heaps — The beginning of the piles, or collections, of corn, wine, and oil. They began to heap up their stores of material for the continual service.


Verse 11

11. Prepare chambers in… house of the Lord — Probably the side chambers described in 1 Kings 6:5-10 had been formerly used for similar purposes, but having been disused for some time they needed special preparation to fit them for storing the abundance of the offerings that had been brought, and laid in heaps.

2 Chronicles 31:12-19 treat of the storing and distribution of the tithes and dedicated things. We note the chronicler’s peculiar care to record the names of those charged with these Levitical duties.


Verse 14

14. The porter toward the east — The chief Levite who was stationed at the east gate. 1 Chronicles 26:14; 1 Chronicles 26:17.

The oblations of the Lord — Such parts of the offerings as belonged to the priests. Leviticus 2:3; Leviticus 2:10; Leviticus 7:14.

The most holy things — See Leviticus 7:1; Leviticus 7:6.


Verse 15

15. In the cities of the priests — The Levitical cities of the realm.

To give to their brethren by courses — To distribute regularly to the priests and Levites in their several cities such portions of the tithes contributed by the king and people as belonged to them. “The most holy things” could be distributed and eaten only in the holy place; (Leviticus 7:6;) but other things for the sustenance of the priests and their families were distributed at their cities.

To the great as to the small — That is, the older and the younger.


Verse 16

16. This verse should be translated thus: Except the register of males from three years old and upward, belonging to all such as had come to the house of Jehovah, to the daily portion for their service in their offices, according to their courses. That is, the sons three years old and upward of those priests who went to Jerusalem to serve their course, usually accompanied their fathers, and ate their daily portions with them in the holy place, so that no distribution was made in the Levitical cities for those who were at the time on service at the temple.

The exact grammatical construction of 2 Chronicles 31:17-19 is not clear, but the meaning of the writer seems to connect itself with the phrase in 2 Chronicles 31:15 rendered “in their set office.” The six Levites there named were set in the cities of the priests, not merely “to give,” or distribute what belonged to the priests and Levites, but also to attend “to the genealogy of the priests by the house of their fathers, and the Levites from twenty years old and upward,” (2 Chronicles 31:17,) “and to the genealogy of all their little ones,” etc., (2 Chronicles 31:18,) and also to attend to all similar matters appertaining to “the sons of Aaron the priests.” 2 Chronicles 31:19. Thus did king Hezekiah succeed in making all practicable arrangements for the permanent organization and support of the priestly and Levitical orders.

 


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 31:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-chronicles-31.html. 1874-1909.

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Sunday, December 8th, 2019
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