2 Chronicles 30
Hezekiah invited all Judah and all the tribes of Israel to come and keep the Passover at the rededicated temple in the second month as the law allows.
2 Chronicles 30:1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh [in Israel], that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel. 30:2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.
The delay was because the temple was being cleansed and rededicated in the first month.
30:3 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. 30:4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation.
Neither Judah nor Israel had kept the Passover at Jerusalem for a long time, as God’s commandment required.
See “The Biblical Spring Festivals” studies for an explanation of the New Covenant Passover.
30:5 So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written. 30:6 So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king [of Judah], saying,
The invitation of Hezekiah was to ALL Israel:
Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. 30:7 And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.
30:8 Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.
30:9 For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.
I likewise invite all the called out of God to keep the Passover in sincerity and truth on the date that God commands, and to turn from our idolatry and rededicate ourselves in sincere repentance before the Mighty One of Noah, Job, Moses and Abraham.
30:10 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.
Israel rejected the invitation, yet a few in the ten tribes of the northern kingdom of Samaria did turn to the Eternal in sincere repentance and went up to Jerusalem to keep the Passover.
30:11 Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem. 30:12 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. 30:13 And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.
Let today’s Spiritual Ekklesia destroy all idolatry of men and cleanse ourselves of all sin to become a fit dwelling place for God’s Holy Spirit, a spiritual temple; let us turn to the Eternal in sincere repentance and seek to have the sacrifice of the Lamb of God applied to us.
30:14 And they arose and took away the [pagan] altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron.
Then the priests and Levites who were still lukewarm were ashamed that the people were more zealous than they were and sanctified themselves. Spiritually we sanctify ourselves [set ourselves apart from worldliness] through sincere wholehearted repentance and a dedicated commitment to live by every Word of God.
30:15 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. 30:16 And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites.
Each family is to kill their own Passover lamb but in this case the Levites killed the Passover for the unprepared and unclean of Israel who had decided to turn to the Eternal in sincere repentance but were too late to be properly cleansed in the physical sense.
30:17 For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the LORD. 30:18 For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written.
But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying,
The good LORD pardon every one 30:19 That prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not [physically] cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. 30:20 And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
Brethren, if only we would turn to the Eternal with all our hearts and sincerely repent of departing from Him: He would forgive and accept us in his matchless and tender mercy for his beloved!
30:21 And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the LORD. 30:22 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.
As we see the terrible events unfolding towards the burning correction of the proud and lukewarm, let every one return to an enthusiastic zeal to learn and to live by every Word of God. Let us all turn to that first passionate love of the Word of God and the joy of discovery that we had at the first beginning of our calling; when we thirsted and hungered after the knowledge of truth, and rejoiced at each new discovery!
30:23 And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness. 30:24 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.
If we rejoice to embrace the knowledge and truth of God, to extirpate all idolatry of men and the sin of lukewarmness and if we turn to our Mighty One with all our hearts: and if we continue in overcoming we will be given an eternal life of that same godliness and we will have a part in the collective bride with the godly men of old! The rejoicing on that day will be great!
30:25 And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced. 30:26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.
30:27 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.
2 Chronicles 31
Then the people who rejoiced before the Eternal at his temple went home and utterly destroyed all the idols; and turned with a whole heart to the Mighty God that had called and delivered them from bondage to Satan and sin!
2 Chronicles 31:1 Now when all this was finished, 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 [pagan] altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities.
The proper service of the Levites and priests was restored and they began to keep and to teach the ordinances of God, instead of doing their own ways and whatever was right in their own eyes.
May God grant that we may do likewise!
31:2 And Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests and the Levites after their courses, every man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings [representative of wholehearted service] and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the tents [dwelling place, temple] of the LORD.
Then Hezekiah gave animals for the sacrifices, including the New Moon sacrifices commanded by God to sanctify the new months.
31:3 He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD.
Hezekiah also commanded the people to tithe and bring their first fruits to the priests and Levites.
31:4 Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they [the priests and Levites] might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.
The Levites were encouraged to teach the law by receiving their proper wages.
31:5 And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.
The people brought their offerings and gave them to the priests and Levites
31:6 And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated unto the LORD their God, and laid them by heaps.
The rebuilding of the broken parts of the temple began in the third month and was completed in the seventh month.
31:7 In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month. 31:8 And when Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the [heaps of offerings] heaps, they blessed the LORD, and his people Israel.
31:9 Then Hezekiah questioned with the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps [of offerings]. 31:10 And Azariah the chief priest of 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 left plenty: for the LORD hath blessed his people; and that which is left is this great store.
Hezekiah then built store houses for all the offerings of the people.
31:11 Then Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of the LORD; and they prepared them,
The administrators over the dedicated things
31:12 And brought in the offerings and the tithes and the dedicated things faithfully: over which Cononiah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was the next. 31:13 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, at the commandment of Hezekiah the king, and Azariah the ruler of the house of God.
31:14 And Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the porter toward the east, was over the freewill offerings of God, to distribute the oblations of the LORD, and the most holy things. 31:15 And next him were Eden, and Miniamin, and Jeshua, and Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, in the cities of the priests, in their set office, to give to their brethren by courses, as well to the great as to the small:
Each Levite and Priest living in Judah was given his portion of the tithes and offerings for himself and his family.
31:16 Beside their genealogy of males, from three years old and upward, even unto every one that entereth into the house of the LORD, his daily portion for their service in their charges according to their courses;
31:17 Both to the genealogy of the priests by the house of their fathers, and the Levites from twenty years old and upward, in their charges by their courses; 31:18 And to the genealogy of all their little ones, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, through all the congregation: for in their set office they sanctified themselves in holiness:
31:19 Also of the sons of Aaron the priests, which were in the fields of the suburbs of their cities, in every several city, the men that were expressed by name, to give portions to all the males among the priests, and to all that were reckoned by genealogies among the Levites.
31:20 And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God.
Hezekiah led Judah to serve God with all their hearts!
31:21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.
2 Chronicles 32
Then the enemy arrived to tempt Judah away from their God through threats, fear and persecutions.
Satan will send his arrows against all those who are pleasing God. The godly way is not a difficult way; it is the Adversary’s attacks on us, as he does his best to discourage us into believing the LIE that God’s ways are difficult and bad that are hard to bear. It is not God’s ways that are difficult and bad, it is Satan’s attacks on God’s faithful that makes our lives seem difficult!
2 Chronicles 32:1 After these things, and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself.
Hezekiah stopped up the Gihon spring’s outlet outside the city and built a conduit from the spring into the city. To his day this tunnel is called Hezekiah’s Tunnel or the Siloam Tunnel.
See also 2 Kings 18
32:2 And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, 32:3 He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him. 32:4 So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?
After denying any potential besiegers water by building the tunnel and shutting off access to the spring from outside the city, they strengthened the city’s defenses. These activities make it clear that they had plenty of warning.
Brethren, we also have had plenty of warning to prepare ourselves spiritually for the coming trial and for the resurrection of the bride. God has not left us without any warning, only to be shocked at the appearance of his two servants with a sudden message.
No, we have been warned and prepared for these past years to turn back from our lukewarmness to a true and passionate zeal for our God.
Many forgotten things have been restored, new knowledge has been provided, and a continual warning has been trumpeted for years in preparation for the servants of God and the trial to come.
32:5 Also he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another wall without, and repaired Millo in the city of David, and made darts and shields in abundance. 32:6 And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying,
Brethren, be STRONG and COURAGEOUS in our battle against sin; for the battle is not ours but the LORD’s; if we run to our MIGHTY REFUGE and HIGH TOWER OF STRENGTH!
Let us put our trust [faith] in the Eternal and take refuge in a passionate love and enthusiasm to live by every Word of God!
32:7 Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: 32:8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
Then the Assyrians come up to threaten the faithful people of God; and similarly the servants of our spiritual Adversary attack the faithful in today’s Spiritual Ekklesia, because Satan is vexed by their faithful zeal to live by every Word of God.
32:9 After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (but he himself laid siege against Lachish, and all his power with him,) unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that were at Jerusalem, saying,
Then the Assyrian adversary spoke to Hezekiah and Judah through his messengers.
32:10 Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide in the siege in Jerusalem? 32:11 Doth not Hezekiah persuade you to give over yourselves to die by famine and by thirst, saying, The LORD our God shall deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
The Assyrians condemned Hezekiah for destroying the idols out of the land and exalting the God of Abraham!
This is the very thing that Satan HATES today: The destruction of the idols and false teachings out of today’s Spiritual Ekklesia!
32:12 Hath not the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall worship before one altar, and burn incense upon it?
Then the Assyrian adversary boasted of his own strength, to frighten the people; just as our spiritual adversary seeks to instill fear in the spiritually weak in faith, to prevent them from taking a stand against idols and false teachings and to subvert them away from living by every Word of God.
If we are HOT and zealous to learn and to keep the whole Word of God and to trust in Him; we have nothing to fear at all! Our God is greater than millions of the finest armies to ever march on this earth: Our God can raise the dead conquering the grave and change us to spirit, giving us eternal life!
32:13 Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the people of other lands? were the gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to deliver their lands out of mine hand? 32:14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of mine hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of mine hand?
Satan is the adversary of the Eternal God; and he is as nothing before the Mighty One of Jacob!
Let us love, trust in and respect our God, to learn and to passionately love and keep his holy truth; fear not what men or devils can do; for they are as nothing before the might of our God!
Be strong and courageous in the LORD and in faith in his Word; and you shall stand alive for eternity on that day!
32:15 Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you on this manner, neither yet believe him: for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of mine hand? 32:16 And his servants spake yet more against the LORD God, and against his servant Hezekiah.
32:17 He wrote also letters to rail on the LORD God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people out of mine hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of mine hand.
32:18 Then they cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ speech unto the people of Jerusalem that were on the wall, to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city. 32:19 And they spake against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth, which were the work of the hands of man.
Then the faithful of God cried out to the Eternal and he delivered them all; destroying the army of the Assyrian adversary; just as the Eternal will defeat the spiritual Adversary and give to his faithful, eternal life.
We are not to compromise with the Word of God so much as a speck of dust’s worth!
Let us be valiant in the Eternal to fight the good fight against all sin and compromise with any part of the Word of God! Let us put our trust in our Mighty Deliverer and stand up to see the power of our God! Just like he opened the Red Sea for Israel and destroyed the enemy; so he will open the graves for his faithful on that day of Wonder and Rejoicing!
32:20 And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven. 32:21 And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels [his own children] slew him there with the sword.
The Eternal will deliver all those who are full of faith and HOT for him and all his ways: and God will correct in great affliction all those who have quenched any zeal for learning and living by every Word of God and follow idols of men!
32:22 Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side. 32:23 And many brought gifts unto the LORD to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah: so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth.
Hezekiah’s sickness, which God healed
32:24 In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign.
Eventually Hezekiah was overcome with pride, and correction came upon him.
Brethren, this pride is the state of today’s Spiritual Ekklesia; and our principle sin is that we have also been lifted up with pride and we will not hear God because our hearts are lifted up to think that we are spiritually rich and have need of nothing. We cannot grasp how spiritually blind and wretched and naked of righteousness we really are (Rev 3:15-22).
We think: “We are God’s people and therefore we know it all and have need of nothing!” Therefor we reject the knowledge that God is giving, to remain rooted in our errors!
Yet a great, wise and merciful God will humble our pride in the furnace of affliction in the hope that the spirit might be saved.
32:25 But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem.
Then Hezekiah and Judah humbled themselves in sincere repentance before God; just as today’s Laodicean Spiritual Ekklesia will do in the hour of our correction.
32:26 Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.
32:27 And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honour: and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels; 32:28 Storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and cotes for flocks. 32:29 Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance: for God had given him substance very much.
32:30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works.
Hezekiah was given a warning prophecy of the future captivity of Judah to Babylon.
32:31 Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.
See Isaiah 36-39
32:32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 32:33 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the chiefest of the sepulchres of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his stead.