2 Chronicles Chapter Thirty
2 Chronicles 30
Hezekiah's passover. (1-12) The passover celebrated. (13-20) The feast of unleavened bread. (21-27)
Commentary on 2 Chronicles 30:1-12
(Read 2 Chronicles 30:1-12)
Hezekiah made Israel as welcome to the passover, as any of his own subjects. Let us yield ourselves unto the Lord. Say not, you will do what you please, but resolve to do what he pleases. We perceive in the carnal mind a stiffness, an obstinacy, an unaptness to compel with God; we have it from our fathers: this must be overcome. Those who, through grace, have turned to God themselves, should do all they can to bring others to him. Numbers will be scorners, but some will be humbled and benefited; perhaps where least expected. The rich mercy of God is the great argument by which to enforce repentance; the vilest who submit and yield themselves to the Lord, seek his grace, and give themselves to his service, shall certainly be saved. Oh that messengers were sent forth to carry these glad tidings to every city and every village, through every land!
Commentary on 2 Chronicles 30:13-20
(Read 2 Chronicles 30:13-20)
The great thing needful in attendance upon God in solemn ordinances, is, that we make heart-work of it; all is nothing without this. Where this sincerity and fixedness of heart are, there may yet be many things short of the purification of the sanctuary. These defects need pardoning, healing grace; for omissions in duty are sins, as well as omissions of duty. If God should deal with us in strict justice, even as to the very best of our doings, we should be undone. The way to obtain pardon, is to seek it of God by prayer; it must be gotten by petition through the blood of Christ. Yet every defect is sin, and needs forgiveness; and should be matter to humble, but not to discourage us, though nothing can make up for the want of a heart prepared to seek the Lord.
Commentary on 2 Chronicles 30:21-27
(Read 2 Chronicles 30:21-27)
Many prayers were put up to God with the peace-offerings. In these Israel looked to God as the God of their fathers, a God in covenant with them. There was also abundance of good preaching. The Levites read and explained the Scriptures. Faith cometh by hearing, and true religion preaching has abounded. They sang psalms every day: praising God should be much of our work in religious assemblies. Having kept the seven days of the feast in this religious manner, they had so much comfort in it, that they kept other seven days also. This they did with gladness. Holy duties should be done with holy gladness. And when sinners humble themselves before the Lord, they may expect gladness in his ordinances. Those who taste this happiness will not soon grow weary of it, but will be glad to prolong their enjoyment.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on 2 Chronicles》
2 Chronicles 30
 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel.
Israel — All the persons of the ten tribes, who were settled in his kingdom.
Ephraim, … — To all the remainder of the ten tribes, verse 5, here expressed by the names of Ephraim and Manasseh, as elsewhere by the name of Ephraim only. But he names these two tribes, because they were nearest to his kingdom, and a great number of them had long since, and from time to time joined themselves to the kingdom of Judah, 2 Chronicles 15:8,9.
At Jerusalem — Admonishing them of their duty to Cod, and persuading them to comply with it.
 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.
Second month — Which was against the common rule, but the doing of this in its proper time, namely, the fourteenth day of the first month was impossible, because the temple was not cleansed, nor they prepared. As there was a proviso in the law, that particular persons who were unclean in the first month, might keep the passover the fourteenth day of the second month, he doubted not but that might be extended by the whole congregation.
 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.
They kept — Not in the same manner as they had done the former, V. 3.
Sufficiently — In such manner as was fit, nor in such numbers as but in the solemn worship of God, by sacrifices, and prayers, and praise, were necessary for the slaying and offering of so many thousands of and publick instruction of that great congregation in the good knowledge paschal-offerings, as appears, because they were not sufficient for of the Lord; which was most necessary for the people after so long and those offerings, which were comparatively few, chap. 29:32,33,34. dismal a night of ignorance, superstition and idolatry.
 So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.
They — The generality of the ten tribes; who by long want of meat had now lost their appetite to God's ordinances, for which they paid dear. For about six years after their refusal of this offer of grace they were all carried away captive, 2 Kings 18:1,10.
 Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD.
The hand of God — God by the power of his grace inclined their hearts to an unanimous compliance with God's and the king's will. And this is mentioned as the reason of this wonderful change wrought in these men, who had lately been given up to idolatry.
 Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the LORD.
Ashamed — Their negligence and remissness being upbraided by the general forwardness of the people. The zeal which we observe in others, should make us ashamed of our own coldness, and quicken us not only to do our duty, but to do it with our might.
 That prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.
The sanctuary — With that purification which was required of them that came in God's sanctuary. So he calls it to distinguish from that internal purity which they are here acknowledged to have. The great thing required in our attendance on God's ordinances is, that we prepare our heart to seek him; that the inward man be engaged, that we make heart work of it. All is nothing without this.
 And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
Healed — That is, pardoned this their sin, and accepting them and their services, as if they had been clean.
 And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers.
Spoke comfortably — Encouraged them to a chearful and diligent attendance upon their holy ministrations. Princes and magistrates by encouraging faithful and laborious preachers, greatly promote the kingdom of God.
That taught — Who by their office were to instruct and build up the people in the knowledge and fear of God: which is mentioned as the cause of his respect and kindness to them.
 For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves.
Did give — First to God, to whom the parts appointed were offered in a way of thanksgiving; and then to the people, who feasted upon the relicks, as the offerer used to do in peace-offerings: and Hezekiah, who was the offerer, gave away his right in the remains of the sacrifices to the people. Which generosity is the more considerable, because it was in the beginning of his reign, when he found the exchequer empty; and when he had been at great expense about cleansing and refitting the temple, and making preparations for this great feast.
 Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto heaven.
The Levites — Those of the Levites who were priests also; for to them only this work belonged.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on 2 Chronicles》
30 Chapter 30
That the fierceness of His wrath may turn away.
Mercy turned to penalty
The fire that cheers, refines, and purifies, also bums and tortures. It all depends on our relation to the fire, whether it be our friend or foe. In Retsch’s illustration of Goethe’s “Faust,” there is one plate where angels are seen dropping roses upon the demons who are contending for the soul of Faust. But every rose falls like molten metal wherever it touches. God rains roses down, but our sinful hearts meeting Divine love with wilful disobedience turn His love into wrath. (Christian Age.)
The duty of yielding ourselves to the Lord
I. A blessed season of grace marked for all israel. Now were the doors of the house of the Lord opened (2 Chronicles 29:3).
II. Their duty in that blessed season of grace.
1. Negative. “Be not stiff-necked.” It is a metaphor taken from bullocks unaccustomed to the yoke, who make great difficulty and resistance about taking it on.
(a) In His ordinances.
(b) In their daily walk. (T. Boston, D.D.)
A season of grace
In a season of grace, in which God is offering to lay His yoke on sinners, they should beware of being stiff-necked, or refusing to take it on.
I. What is that yoke which the Lord is offering to lay on sinners. It is the Soft and easy yoke for the salvation and welfare of penitent sinners. “Take My yoke upon you, saith Jesus, and learn of Me: For My yoke is easy.” This is the yoke of kindly willing subjection to God in Christ.
1. The yoke of subjection to the will of His commandments.
2. The yoke of His providential will. He claims to dispose of you, as seems good to Him.
II. This obedience of the sinner to God is called a yoke, because--
1. Coming under it, we are in a state of subjection as those under a yoke.
2. It is laid on us for labour or work.
3. By it we are not only kept at work, but kept in order at our work. They who truly bear the yoke, are uniform and orderly in their obedience. “They have respect unto all God’s commandments.”
4. Of its uneasiness to the flesh.
5. It fixes subjection upon us. The bonds of obligation are sweet and agreeable to His willing people.
1. God is the party with whom we have to do.
2. There will be nothing gained by stiff-neckedness to the yoke of God.
3. God has waited long on you, but will not wait always (Proverbs 29:1). Now, while a season of grace is afforded to sinners, it is their duty to fall in with it speedily, to give the hand and yield themselves to the Lord. Here We shall--
I. Show how sinners have a season of grace afforded them
1. By their being continued in life.
2. By the call of the Gospel so directed to them. “Behold now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.”
3. By solemn sacramental occasions afforded to a people. This is the case in the text. These make a precious “now” not to be slighted. At ordinary occasions of the gospel, the blessed bargain is offered; but now the seal of heaven is ready to confirm it.
4. By some inward motions felt within one’s own soul, pressing them to comply and yield at length.
II. Inquire what is supposed in this gracious call to sinners. It supposes--
1. That sinners are naturally in a state of rebellion against the Lord.
2. That though the Lord can break the sinner in pieces for his rebellion, yet He would rather that the sinner yield (Ezekiel 33:11).
3. That God’s hand is stretched out to receive the sinner yielding himself (Isaiah 65:2).
4. That forced work will not be acceptable here.
6. That the sinner willingly yielding shall be kindly received and accepted.
III. Show what it is to give the hand or yield ouselves to the Lord.
1. In general, it comprehends--
2. In particular.
Use 1: Of conviction and humiliation, in respect of the sad bias which man’s nature has got.
Use 2: Of exhortation.
The manner in which the soul should yield itself to the Lord
I. As in a marriage covenant (Hosea 2:19).
2. For ever.
II. As to a conqueror.
III. As to your king and sovereign Lord. At discretion and not by capitulation.
IV. As filial servants to a fatherly master (T. Boston, D. D.)
For them were many in the congregation that were not sanctified.
Unfitness for the Communion
I. There are seasons when we feel unfit for the sacred ordinance of the Lord’s house. Let us think of the ways in which the Israelites were rendered unfit for the Passover and see how far they tally with our unfitness for the Supper.
1. Some were kept away by defilement.
2. When a man was on a journey he could not keep the Passover. The heart’s blood of the Eucharist, is nearness to God; and when we are afar off, it is a poor dead ceremony.
3. You may have been in an evil case from unknown causes. You feel it is not with you as in days past. Marring influences not mentioned in the Book of Numbers may have been preventing you from eating the spiritual Passover to your heart’s content. Among these causes are--
II. Though we feel and lament our want of preparation we may still come to the feast. Let us to some extent follow in the track of the men in Hezekiah’s time.
1. They forgot their differences.
2. They removed the idols.
3. They endeavoured to prepare their hearts.
4. They made open and explicit confession unto God.
5. Confession made, let prayer ascend to heaven.
III. In so coming we may expect a blessing. At the Passover in Hezekiah’s days there was--
1. Great gladness.
2. Great praise to God.
3. Great communion with God.
4. A great enthusiasm.
5. Great liberality.
6. Another great breaking of idols. (C. H. Spurgeon.)
Personal sanctification requisite for acceptable worship
I. The principle which is essential to acceptable worship.
Sanctification (Hebrews 10:22). Sanctification of heart is necessary if you consider--
1. The character of God who is worshipped (Isaiah 6:1-5).
2. The nature of the worship required.
3. The design of all religious worship.
II. The assertion that in many this principle was wanting. This charge is--
2. Tremendously awful.
Connect it with the declaration of the Saviour, “If I wash thee not thou hast no part with Me.” (Essex Congregational Remembrancer.)
The people’s state and condition
This text, though it speaketh of the celebration of the Passover, yet will well enough befit the solemnity of the Lord’s Supper.
I. The indisposition or unpreparedness of the people.” A multitude of the people had not cleansed themselves.”
1. In these times in which there is much care had about the right celebration of a sacrament, there are many yet that are unworthy.
2. If when much care is taken about the ordinances, many are unworthy to come, it serveth,
(a) To pastors, that they should use all diligent care to prevent this unworthiness, by instructing the people in the nature of the ordinances, and by admonishing them of the danger of their unprepared coming.
(b) To the people. To stir them up every one to look unto himself whether he be not one of the number. A gracious heart is apt to suspect itself (Matthew 26:22). The unprepared, unworthy receiver is he that doth not come with answerable meet affections, and so holy and reverent a frame of spirit as God requires we should bring into His presence. They are--All ignorant persons that cannot discern the Lord’s body. Those that do not judge and condemn themselves (1 Corinthians 11:31-32). A gracious prepared heart is a self-judging heart: a wicked heart is loth to come to trial. Those that come in uncharitableness and malice.
3. There is no cause why men should abstain from the use of ordinances, for fear of communicating with wicked and profane men.
II. Their practice notwithstanding. “Yet they did eat the Passover otherwise than was written.” Many rush on ordinances notwithstanding their unpreparedness. The reasons are--
1. The remissness, or abuse of the censures, of the Church, that do not restrain such persons from coming.
2. It proceedeth from ourselves, because--
III. The fault of their practice. They ate otherwise than was written. God’s service is a written service. We offend in our duties when we do otherwise than is written. We do this--
1. When we do too much.
1. The essentials of a sacrament are set down in the institution; there is the rule. If we seek to patch it up with some zealous additions and pieces of our own, we go beyond the rule.
2. In the outward part of duty, in corporal service, and in the pomp and solemnity of his worship, there we may do too much--more than we need to have done. It is easy to be too pompous in a sacrament, and to sin against the plainness of the ordinance. Duties are like your coats of arms, best when they are plainest, and not overcharged with too many fillings; or like wine, then most generous and sprightly, when it is pure and uncompounded. The sacraments were to feed men’s hearts, not to please their eyes, or tickle their ears. Ordinances nourish best when they come nearest their primitive institution. We may, then, do too much here. A sense-pleasing religion is dangerous, it is too much suitable to our natural inclinations; and that is the reason why country people are so much taken with these shows; they do not love the native beauty that is in duties half so well as they do the painting of them. It is a miserable thing when you will place religion in that for which you have no ground nor warrant. If you will find yourselves work, and not take that which is cut out for you, you know who must pay you your wages. Mark the question of the Saviour (Matthew 15:3).
2. When we do too little. When we come not up to the spiritual part of the commandment. Consider what is required about duty--
3. Something to be done after duty. Recollecting and running over all the carriage of the heart towards God in the duty, and the gracious intercourse that the soul had with God. (T. Manton, D. D.)
Hezekiah’s prayer for the Israelites
I. The irregularity which some of the people were guilty of.
II. Hezekiah’s prayer for them.
III. The success of this praying. Application:
1. Let this history engage us to seek the God of our fathers, by observing all His ordinances.
2. Let this subject make us solicitous to prepare our hearts for every religious solemnity.
3. Let this subject encourage those whose hearts are prepared to seek God.
4. Let this subject excite those who have the care of others to watch over them and pray for them. (J. Orton.)
──《The Biblical Illustrator》