2 Chronicles Chapter Thirty-one
New King James Version (NKJV)
INTRODUCTION TO 2 CHRONICLES 31
This chapter begins with the destruction of idolatrous worship, the appointment of the courses of the priests and Levites, and the royal bounty for sacrifices, 2 Chronicles 31:1, next follows the order Hezekiah gave, that the people at Jerusalem, and throughout the land, should make the proper provision for the priests and Levites, as the law directed; and which was cheerfully complied with, and the firstfruits and tithes were brought in, in great abundance, insomuch that there was enough, and plenty left, 2 Chronicles 31:4, wherefore chambers were prepared in the temple to lay it up in, and persons appointed to be the overseers of it, and to distribute it faithfully to their brethren and their families, to small and great, 2 Chronicles 31:11, and the chapter is closed in praise of the works of Hezekiah, and the success that attended him, 2 Chronicles 31:20.
2 Chronicles 31:1 Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke the sacred pillars in pieces, cut down the wooden images, and threw down the high places and the altars—from all Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh—until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned to their own cities, every man to his possession.
YLT 1And at the completion of all this, gone out have all Israel who are found present to the cities of Judah, and break the standing-pillars, and cut down the shrines, and break down the high places and the altars, out of all Judah and Benjamin, and in Ephraim and Manasseh, even to completion, and all the sons of Israel turn back, each to his Possession, to their cities.
Now when all this was finished,.... The temple cleansed, the priests and Levites sanctified, the passover and feast of unleavened bread observed, and other seven days of rejoicing kept:
all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin; which had been erected by Ahaz, 2 Chronicles 28:2 at or about this time also the brasen serpent was broke to pieces, 2 Kings 18:4,
in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all; which must be understood of such cities in those tribes that had been taken in former times by the kings of Judah from the kings of Israel; or such as were now in the hands of the Assyrians, who might not concern themselves in matters of religion; or this might be done at the connivance of Hoshea king of Israel, who had no regard to any other idolatry than the worship of the calves; and besides, having met with trouble from the Assyrians, and fearing more, might be willing to have his kingdom cleared of idolatry, in hope the divine displeasure would be removed:
then all the children of Israel returned every man to his possession into their own cities; and not till then, when all monuments of idolatry were removed.
2 Chronicles 31:2 2 And Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and the Levites according to their divisions, each man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings and peace offerings, to serve, to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the camp[a] of the Lord.
YLT 2And Hezekiah appointeth the courses of the priests, and of the Levites, by their courses, each according to his service, of the priests and of the Levites, for burnt-offering, and for peace-offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to give praise in the gates of the camps of Jehovah.
And Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests, and the Levites after their courses,.... As they were fixed by David, and were in the times of Jehoshaphat, and had been since interrupted, and which Hezekiah now restored, and placed them in their regular order:
every man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings, and for peace offerings, to minister and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the tents of the Lord; or camp of the Lord, where they were posted, and lay as an host encamped, to keep the watch of the house of the Lord; the priests, they were appointed to offer the sacrifices of every sort; the Levites to minister to them in what they needed and required of them, and others of them to be singers in time of service, and others to be porters at the gate.
2 Chronicles 31:3 3 The king also appointed a portion of his possessions for the burnt offerings: for the morning and evening burnt offerings, the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths and the New Moons and the set feasts, as it is written in the Law of the Lord.
YLT 3And a portion of the king, from his substance, [is] for burnt-offerings, for burnt-offerings of the morning, and of the evening, and the burnt-offerings of sabbaths, and of new moons, and of appointed seasons, as it is written in the law of Jehovah.
He appointed also the king's portion of his substance,.... Out of his own treasury, of his royal bounty, over and above what was usual for kings to give for their own sacrifices, the treasury of the temple being exhausted, and the people being brought into low circumstances in the last reign:
for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings; the daily sacrifice offered morning and evening, which had been neglected, but now revived:
and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts; when beside the daily sacrifice there were additional ones: as it is written in the law of the Lord; in Numbers 28:9.
2 Chronicles 31:4 4 Moreover he commanded the people who dwelt in Jerusalem to contribute support for the priests and the Levites, that they might devote themselves to the Law of the Lord.
YLT 4And he saith to the people, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to give the portion of the priests, and of the Levites, so that they are strengthened in the law of Jehovah;
Moreover, he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites,.... What was assigned unto them by the law of God by tithes, firstfruits, &c.
that they might be encouraged in the law of the Lord; in the study of it; that they might gain greater knowledge of it themselves, and be better able to instruct the people, which of late had been much neglected; and that they might be more at leisure for such service, and be free from all worldly business, care, and distraction of mind, was the design of this edict.
2 Chronicles 31:5 5 As soon as the commandment was circulated, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of grain and wine, oil and honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything.
YLT 5and at the spreading forth of the thing have the sons of Israel multiplied the first-fruit of corn, new wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field, and the tithe of the whole in abundance they have brought in.
And as soon as the commandment came abroad,.... Not only was published in the city of Jerusalem, but the report of it, or rather that itself, was spread throughout the cities of Judah:
the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey; the three first of these are expressed in the law, Deuteronomy 18:4 but not honey; wherefore the Targum here, and the Jewish writers in general, interpret it of the "dubsa" of the palm tree, as they call it, the fruit and liquor of that, which is of a sweet taste, and which the Scenite Arabs called "dabusa", as PlinyF23Nat. Hist. l. 13. c. 4. from Juba relates; for so it should be read, and not "dabulan" or "dablan", as in some copies: but though honey was forbid to be used in sacrifice, it was not forbidden to be eaten; and as the land of Judea abounded with honey, properly so called, the priests might have the firstfruits of that as of other liquors; See Gill on Deuteronomy 8:8,
and of all the increase of the field; of the trees of it, vines, fig trees, pomegranates, &c. as Kimchi:
and the tithe of all things; even of herbs, as the same writer, and so the TalmudF24T. Bab. Nedarim, fol. 55. 1. , which were free from tithes by the law, see Matthew 23:23,
brought they in abundantly; even of all that their vineyards, oliveyards, and fields produced.
2 Chronicles 31:6 6 And the children of Israel and Judah, who dwelt in the cities of Judah, brought the tithe of oxen and sheep; also the tithe of holy things which were consecrated to the Lord their God they laid in heaps.
YLT 6And the sons of Israel and Judah, those dwelling in cities of Judah, they also a tithe of herd and flock, and a tithe of the holy things that are sanctified to Jehovah their God, have brought in, and they give -- heaps, heaps;
And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah,.... As for the supplement "concerning", I see no need of it; the sense is, that when the king's edict was known by the inhabitants of the cities in the country, as well as at Jerusalem:
they also brought in the tithes of oxen, and sheep; according to the law in Leviticus 27:32.
and the tithe of holy things, which were consecrated unto the Lord their God; which Jarchi understands of the second tithe the Levites were to give to the priests; but Kimchi of things consecrated to sacred uses, and no longer for their own, and which were even free from tithing:
and laid them by heaps: heaps upon heaps, such large quantities were brought in.
2 Chronicles 31:7 7 In the third month they began laying them in heaps, and they finished in the seventh month.
YLT 7in the third month they have begun to lay the foundation of the heaps, and in the seventh month they have finished.
In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps..... The month Sivan, as the Targum, in which month was the feast of Pentecost, called the feast of the harvest, Exodus 23:16, for then barley harvest was ended, and wheat harvest began, and the firstfruits were brought:
and finished them in the seventh month; the month Tisri, as the Targum, in which was the feast of tabernacles, sometimes called the feast of ingathering, of the fruits of the earth, the wine, oil, &c. and so a proper time for bringing the tithes of all.
2 Chronicles 31:8 8 And when Hezekiah and the leaders came and saw the heaps, they blessed the Lord and His people Israel.
YLT 8And Hezekiah and the heads come in and see the heaps, and bless Jehovah and His people Israel,
And when Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps,.... Of the tithes and firstfruits:
they blessed the Lord; for the great increase of the fruits of the earth, and for making the people so willing to bring in the dues to the priests and Levites:
and his people Israel; wished all happiness and prosperity to them, being found in the way of their duty.
2 Chronicles 31:9 9 Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps.
YLT 9and Hezekiah inquireth at the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps,
Then Hezekiah questioned with the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps. How they came to be so large, or why they let them lie where they did.
2 Chronicles 31:10 10 And Azariah the chief priest, from the house of Zadok, answered him and said, “Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the Lord, we have had enough to eat and have plenty left, for the Lord has blessed His people; and what is left is this great abundance.”
YLT 10and Azariah the head priest, of the house of Zadok, speaketh unto him, and saith, `From the beginning of the bringing of the heave-offering to the house of Jehovah, [there is] to eat, and to be satisfied, and to leave abundantly, for Jehovah hath blessed His people, and that left [is] this store.'
And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him,.... Who was the high priest of the family of Eleazar, in the line of Zadok, made high priest in Solomon's time, when Abiathar was thrust out; Jarchi takes him to be the same Azariah that was in the days of Uzziah, 2 Chronicles 26:17,
and said, since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the Lord we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty; which were now four mouths since; and the priests and Levites, and their families, had partaken of them, and eat to satiety, and yet there was great plenty remaining:
for the Lord hath blessed his people: the Targum is,"the Word of the Lord has blessed them,'given them large crops this year, and a ready willing mind to bring in what is due for the service of the temple:
and that which is left is this great store; the heaps the king and princes saw, and inquired about; or what is left is for the great multitude of the priests and Levites, and their families, both at Jerusalem, and in the cities in the country; so Kimchi interprets it.
2 Chronicles 31:11 11 Now Hezekiah commanded them to prepare rooms in the house of the Lord, and they prepared them.
YLT 11And Hezekiah saith to prepare chambers in the house of Jehovah, and they prepare,
Then Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of the Lord,.... Either to build new ones, or fit up those that were built:
and they prepared them; got them ready to lay up the stores in.
2 Chronicles 31:12 12 Then they faithfully brought in the offerings, the tithes, and the dedicated things; Cononiah the Levite had charge of them, and Shimei his brother was the next.
YLT 12and they bring in the heave-offering, and the tithe, and the holy things faithfully; and over them is a leader, Conaniah the Levite, and Shimei his brother [is] second;
And brought in the offerings, and the tithes, and the dedicated things, faithfully,.... Kept nothing back for their own private use, but faithfully delivered in and laid up the whole that was brought which remained; this was done by the priests and Levites, in whose hands and care they were:
over which Cononiah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was the next; these two had the charge and care of the whole, the one as deputy to the other.
2 Chronicles 31:13 13 Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath, and Benaiah were overseers under the hand of Cononiah and Shimei his brother, at the commandment of Hezekiah the king and Azariah the ruler of the house of God.
YLT 13and Jehiel, and Azaziah, and Nahath, and Asahel, and Jerimoth, and Jozabad, and Eliel, and Ismachiah, and Mahath, and Benaiah, [are] inspectors under the hand of Conaniah and Shimei his brother, by the appointment of Hezekiah the king, and Azariah leader of the house of God.
And Jehiel, and Azaziah, and Nahath, and Asahel, and Jerimoth, and Jozabad, and Eliel, and Ismachiah, and Mahath, and Benaiah, were overseers under the hand of Cononiah and Shimei his brother,.... These ten were assistants to the other two, were under them, and at their command, and were to be ready at hand to do what they should order and direct them:
at the commandment of Hezekiah the king, and Azariah the ruler of the house of God; these were fixed in their post under the other two by the king and the high priest, to whom also the other two were accountable.
2 Chronicles 31:14 14 Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the keeper of the East Gate, was over the freewill offerings to God, to distribute the offerings of the Lord and the most holy things.
YLT 14And Kore son of Imnah the Levite, the gatekeeper at the east, [is] over the willing-offerings of God, to give the heave-offering of Jehovah, and the most holy things.
And Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the porter towards the east,.... At the east gate of the temple; see 1 Chronicles 26:17.
was over the freewill offerings of God, to distribute the oblations of the Lord; to the priests and Levites, for whose use they were; or to deliver out the fine flour, oil, and wine, and frankincense, for the meat and drink offerings:
and the most holy things; which belonged to the priests only to eat of, as the remainder of the meat offerings, the sin and trespass offerings, and the shewbread.
2 Chronicles 31:15 15 And under him were Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, his faithful assistants in the cities of the priests, to distribute allotments to their brethren by divisions, to the great as well as the small.
YLT 15And by his hand [are] Eden, and Miniamin, and Jeshua, and Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shechaniah, in cities of the priests, faithfully to give to their brethren in courses, as the great so the small,
And next to him were Eden and Mijamin, and Jeshua, and Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah,.... As Kore was the principal, and his business lay chiefly with the priests in the temple, and in Jerusalem, these men under him were employed in distributing to the priests:
in the cities of the priests; in the several parts of the country:
in their set office; or faithfully:
to give to their brethren by courses, as well to the great as to the small; to communicate of the stores under their hands, according to their several courses, both priests and Levites, and to all in their families, small and great.
2 Chronicles 31:16 16 Besides those males from three years old and up who were written in the genealogy, they distributed to everyone who entered the house of the Lord his daily portion for the work of his service, by his division,
YLT 16apart from their genealogy, to males from a son of three years and upward, to every one who hath gone in to the house of Jehovah, by the matter of a day in its day, for their service in their charges, according to their courses;
Beside their genealogy of males, from three years old and upwards,.... Their office was not only to give to the priests, but to those of their males in their genealogy, who were three years old and upwards; for under that age, according to Kimchi, they were not fit to come into the temple; nor have they knowledge to keep what is put into their hands; nor fit to handle offerings, lest they should defile them; but at that age they might be taught how to hold them, and be used to it; but as for females, he says, they were not admitted at any age:
even unto everyone that entereth into the house of the Lord; of the said age, and in the genealogy and register of the priests:
his daily portion for their service in their charges, according to their courses; food for every day, in consideration of their service in their several wards, according to their courses in turn.
2 Chronicles 31:17 17 and to the priests who were written in the genealogy according to their father’s house, and to the Levites from twenty years old and up according to their work, by their divisions,
YLT 17and the genealogy of the priests by the house of their fathers, and of the Levites, from a son of twenty years and upward, in their charges, in their courses;
Both to the genealogy of the priests by the house of their fathers,.... As to the priests registered according to their families from the age before observed, a portion was given: so to the Levites:
from twenty years old and upward, in their charges, by their courses; for though originally they were not admitted into the tabernacle till twenty five years of age, nor to officiate till thirty, but in David's time they were allowed at twenty years of age and upwards, 1 Chronicles 23:24.
2 Chronicles 31:18 18 and to all who were written in the genealogy—their little ones and their wives, their sons and daughters, the whole company of them—for in their faithfulness they sanctified themselves in holiness.
YLT 18and to the genealogy among all their infants, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters to all the congregation, for in their faithfulness they sanctify themselves in holiness.
And to the genealogy of all their little ones, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, through all the congregation,.... These were all genealogized and registered, wives and children, sons and daughters, whether small or grown up; and a portion was distributed to them according to their number, greater or lesser:
for in their set office they sanctified themselves in holiness; which is to be understood either of the overseers, who, in their set office, faithfully distributed the holy things to the persons before described; or else to the priests, and Levites, to whom, and to whose families, the distribution was made, because they wholly devoted themselves to the holy service of God.
2 Chronicles 31:19 19 Also for the sons of Aaron the priests, who were in the fields of the common-lands of their cities, in every single city, there were men who were designated by name to distribute portions to all the males among the priests and to all who were listed by genealogies among the Levites.
YLT 19And to sons of Aaron, the priests, in the fields of the suburb of their cities, in every city and city, [are] men who have been defined by name, to give portions to every male among the priests, and to every one who reckoned himself by genealogy among the Levites.
Also of the sons of Aaron the priests, which were in the fields of the suburbs of their cities, in every several city,.... Which were allowed to them out of the several tribes, and where they dwelt, when it was not the turn of their course to officiate in the temple; now to these, as well as to those in Jerusalem, a portion was distributed for the support of them and their families:
the men that were expressed by name; before mentioned, 2 Chronicles 31:13, though some understand it of such as were nominated and appointed by them, and to act under them in the country:
to give portions to all the males among the priests, and to all that were reckoned by genealogies among the Levites: as before declared.
2 Chronicles 31:20 20 Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the Lord his God.
YLT 20And Hezekiah doth thus in all Judah, and doth that which is good, and that which is right, and that which is true, before Jehovah his God;
And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah,.... Settled the courses of the priests and Levites, and made a provision for them and their families:
and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the Lord his God: or did that which was truly right and good, according to the law and will of God, in the sincerity and uprightness of his soul, and as in the presence of the omniscient God, he approving and accepting it for Christ's sake.
2 Chronicles 31:21 21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered.
YLT 21and in every work that he hath begun for the service of the house of God, and for the law, and for the command, to seek to his God, with all his heart he hath wrought and prospered.
And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God,.... In cleansing the temple, providing sacrifices, placing the priests and Levites order, taking care of the maintenance of them:
and in the law and in the commandments; in the observation of all the laws, statutes, and judgments of God, moral, ceremonial, and judicial:
to seek his God; and serve and worship him, and therein his honour and glory:
he did it with all his heart; in the most cordial, sincere, and upright manner:
and prospered; he succeeded in all he undertook, God being with him, and blessing him in his civil and religious concerns.
──《John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible》
New King James Version (NKJV)