2 Chronicles 29

1Hezekiah became king when he was 25 years old. He ruled 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah. Abijah was Zechariah’s daughter. 2Hezekiah did the things the Lord wanted him to do. He did what was right just like David his ancestor had done. 3Hezekiah fixed the doors of the Lord’s temple and made them strong. Hezekiah opened the temple again. He did this in the first month of the first year after he became king. 4- 5Hezekiah got the priests and Levites together in one assembly. He had a meeting with them in the open yard on the east side of the temple. Hezekiah said to them, “Listen to me, Levites! Make yourselves ready for holy service. Make the temple of the Lord God ready for holy service. He is the God your ancestors obeyed. Take away the things from the temple that do not belong in there. Those things make the temple not pure. 6Our ancestors left the Lord and turned their faces away from the Lord’s house. 7They shut the doors of the porch of the temple and let the fire go out in the lamps. They stopped burning incense and offering burnt offerings in the Holy Place to the God of Israel. 8So, the Lord became very angry at the people of Judah and Jerusalem. The Lord punished them. Other peoples became afraid and were shocked when they saw what the Lord did to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Those other people shook their heads with hate and shame for the people of Judah. You know these things are true. You can see with your own eyes. 9And that is why our ancestors were killed in battle. Our sons and daughters and wives were made prisoners. 10So now I, Hezekiah, have decided to make an agreement with the Lord God of Israel. Then he will not be angry at us any more. 11So my sons, don’t be lazy or waste any more time. The Lord chose you to serve him. ˻He chose you˼ to serve him ˻in the temple˼ and to burn incense.” 12- 14This is a list of the Levites that were there that started to work: From the Kohath family there was Mahath son of Amasai and Joel son of Azariah. From the Merari family there was Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel. From the Gershon family there was Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joab. From Elizaphan’s descendants there was Shimri and Jeiel. From Asaph’s descendants there was Zechariah and Mattaniah. From Heman’s descendants there was Jehiel and Shimei. From Jeduthun’s descendants there was Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15Then these Levites gathered their brothers together and made themselves ready for holy service in the temple. They obeyed the king’s command that came from the Lord. They went into the Lord’s temple to clean it. 16The priests went into the inside part of the Lord’s temple to clean it. They took out all the unclean things they found in the Lord’s temple. They brought the unclean things to the yard of the Lord’s temple. Then the Levites took the unclean things out to the Kidron Valley. 17On the first day of the first month, the Levites began to make themselves ready for holy service. On the eighth day of the month, the Levites came to the porch of the Lord’s temple. For eight more days they cleaned the Lord’s temple to make it ready for holy use. They finished on the 16th day of the first month. 18Then they went to King Hezekiah. They said to him, “King Hezekiah, we cleaned all the Lord’s temple and the altar for burning offerings and all the things in the temple. We cleaned the table for the rows of bread with all the things used for that table. 19During the time that Ahaz was king, he rebelled against God. He threw away many of the things that were in the temple. But we fixed all of those things and made them ready for their special use. They are now in front of the Lord’s altar.” 20King Hezekiah gathered the city officials and went up to the temple of the Lord early the next morning. 21They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven young male goats. These animals were for a sin offering for the kingdom of Judah, for the Holy Place to make it clean, and for the people of Judah. King Hezekiah commanded the priests that were descendants of Aaron to offer those animals on the Lord’s altar. 22So the priests killed the bulls and kept the blood. Then they sprinkled the bulls’ blood on the altar. Then the priests killed the rams and sprinkled the rams’ blood on the altar. Then the priests killed the lambs and sprinkled the lambs’ blood on the altar. 23- 24Then the priests brought the male goats in front of the king and the people assembled together. The goats were the sin offering. The priests put their hands on the goats and killed the goats. The priests made a sin offering with the goats’ blood on the altar. They did this so God would forgive the sins of the people of Israel. The king said that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all the people of Israel. 25King Hezekiah put the Levites in the Lord’s temple with cymbals, harps, and lyres the way David, Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet had commanded. This command came from the Lord through his prophets. 26So the Levites stood ready with David’s instruments of music, and the priests stood ready with their trumpets. 27Then Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, singing to the Lord began also. The trumpets were blown and the instruments of David king of Israel played. 28All the assembly bowed down, the musicians sang, and the trumpet players blew their trumpets until the burnt offering was finished. 29After the sacrifices were finished, King Hezekiah and all the people with him bowed down and worshiped. 30King Hezekiah and his officials ordered the Levites to give praise to the Lord. They sang songs that David and Asaph the seer had written. They praised God and became happy. They all bowed and worshiped God. 31Hezekiah said, “Now you people of Judah have given yourselves to the Lord. Come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the Lord’s temple.” Then the people brought sacrifices and thank offerings. Any person who wanted to, also brought burnt offerings. 32This is how many burnt offerings the assembly brought to the temple: 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs. All these animals were sacrificed as burnt offerings to the Lord. 33The holy offerings for the Lord were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep and goats. 34But there were not enough priests to skin and cut up all the animals for the burnt offerings. So their relatives, the Levites, helped them until the work was finished and until other priests could make themselves ready for holy service. The Levites were more serious about making themselves ready to serve the Lord. They were more serious than the priests. 35There were many burnt offerings, and the fat of fellowship offerings, and drink offerings. So the service in the Lord’s temple began again. 36Hezekiah and the people were very happy about the things God prepared for his people. And they were happy he did it so quickly!

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