2 Chronicles 31

1The Passover celebration was finished. The people of Israel that were in Jerusalem for Passover went out to the towns of Judah. Then they smashed the stone idols that were in those towns. Those stone idols were used to worship false gods. Those people also cut down the Asherah Poles. And they destroyed the high places and the altars all through the areas of Judah and Benjamin. The people did the same things in the area of Ephraim and Manasseh. The people did these things until they destroyed all the things used for worshiping the false gods. Then all the Israelites went back home to their own towns. 2The priests and Levites had been divided into groups and each group had its own special job to do. So King Hezekiah told these groups to begin doing their jobs again. So the priests and Levites again had the job of offering the burnt offerings and the fellowship offerings. And they had the job of serving in the temple and singing and praising God by the doors to the Lord’s house. 3Hezekiah gave some of his own animals to be offered as the burnt offerings. These animals were used for the daily burnt offerings that were given each morning and each evening. These animals were offered on the Sabbath days, during the New Moon Festivals and the other Special Meetings. This was done as it is written in the Lord’s law. 4The people were supposed to give a part of their crops and things to the priests and Levites. So Hezekiah commanded the people living in Jerusalem to give them their share. In that way, the priests and Levites could spend all of their time doing what the Law told them to do. 5People all around the country heard about this command. So the people of Israel gave the first part of their harvest of grain, grapes, oil, honey, and all the things they grew in their fields. They brought one tenth of all these many things. 6The men of Israel and Judah living in the towns of Judah also brought one tenth of their cattle and sheep. They also brought one tenth of the things that were put in a special place that was only for the Lord. All these things they brought to the Lord their God. They put all these things in piles. 7The people began to bring those things in the third month ˻(May/June)˼ and they finished bringing the collection in the seventh month ˻(September/October)˼ 8When Hezekiah and the leaders came, they saw the piles of things that were collected. They praised the Lord and his people, the people of Israel. 9Then Hezekiah asked the priests and the Levites about the piles of things. 10Azariah the high priest from Zadok’s family said to Hezekiah, “From the time that the people started bringing the offerings into the Lord’s house, we have had plenty to eat. We have eaten until we are full and there is still plenty left over! The Lord has really blessed his people. That is why we have so much left over.” 11Then Hezekiah commanded the priests to make storerooms ready in the Lord’s temple. So this was done. 12Then the priests brought the offerings, tithes, and other things that were to be given only to the Lord. All those things collected were put in the storerooms in the temple. Conaniah the Levite was in charge of all those things that were collected. Shimei was second in charge of those things. Shimei was Conaniah’s brother. 13Conaniah and his brother Shimei were supervisors of these men: Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismakiah, Mahath, and Benaiah. Hezekiah the king and Azariah the official in charge of God’s temple chose those men. 14Kore was in charge of the offerings that the people freely gave to God. He was responsible for giving out the collections that were given to the Lord. And he was responsible for giving out the gifts that were made holy for the Lord. Kore was the gatekeeper at the East Gate. His father’s name was Imnah the Levite. 15Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah helped Kore. Those men served faithfully in the towns where the priests were living. They gave the collection of things to their relatives in each group of priests. They gave the same things to the more important people and to the less important. 16These men also gave the collection of things to the males three years old and older that had their names in the Levite family histories. All these males were to enter the Lord’s temple for daily service to do the things they were responsible to do. Each group of Levites had their own responsibility. 17The priests were given their part of the collection. This was done by families, in the way they were listed in the family histories. The Levites 20 years old and older were given their part of the collection. This was done by their responsibilities and by their groups. 18The Levites’ babies, wives, sons and daughters also got part of the collection. This was done for all the Levites who were listed in the family histories. This was because the Levites were faithful to always keep themselves holy and ready for service. 19Some of Aaron’s descendants, the priests, had some farm fields near the towns where the Levites were living. And some of Aaron’s descendants were also living in the towns. Men were chosen by name in each of those towns to give part of the collection to these descendants of Aaron. Males and all those named in the family histories of the Levites got part of the collection. 20So King Hezekiah did those good things in all Judah. He did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God. 21He had success in every work he began—the service of God’s temple and in obeying the law and commands, and in following his God. Hezekiah did all these things with all his heart.

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