N2 T 1-13. The feast. Preparation. U 14. Idolatrous affairs in Jerusalem taken away. T 15-27. The feast. Observation.
T n 1. The invitation. General. o 2-5. Time. The 2nd month. n 6-12. The invitation. Particular. o 13. Time. The 2nd month.
2 Chronicles 30)
1 And Hezekiah sent (this was before the Removal of Israel) to all Israel and Judah (see v. 24), and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh (he wrote letters, as well as sent messengers), that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel. (1 of 10 observances of this feast. See Ex. 12:28)
2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the assembly in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month. (As provided by the law [Num. 9:6-13)
3 For they could not keep it at that time (i.e. the 1st month, while all the work was going on. Cp. Ex. 12:18), because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.
4 And the thing was right in the eyes of the king and all the assembly.
5 So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel (the king, Hoshea, not objecting. Cp. 2 Kings 17:2.), from Beer-sheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover to the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written. (Not since the division of the kingdom.)
6 So the couriers (cp. Est. 3:13,15; 8:10,14. Jer. 51:31. ) went with the letters from the hand of (i.e. by his direction) the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, "You sons of Israel, turn again to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel (see 1 Kings 18:36), and He will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. (Pul and Tiglath-pileser [2 Kings 15:19. 1 Chron. 5:26]. These escaped captives were from the large numbers which already had been removed. See v.9)
7 And be you not like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, according as you see.
8 Now be you not stiff-necked (put for obstinacy), as your fathers were, but submit yourselves to the Lord, and enter into His sanctuary, which He has sanctified for ever: and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you.
9 For if you turn again to the Lord, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive (though the 10 tribes, as such, had not been deported, yet thousands had been led captive. Hezekiah's Song of the degrees [Ps. 126:1] refers to this. Cp. v.6), so that they shall come again into this land: for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful (cp. Ex. 34:6), and will not turn away His face from you, if you return to Him."
10 So the couriers passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even to Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.
11 Nevertheless men of Asher (these must have remained with Judah. Cp. Luke 2:36, showing that Judah was representative of the whole nation. See 1 Kings 12:17) and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.
12 Also in Judah the hand of the [true] God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, according to the word of the Lord. (It is to this that Hezekiah refers to in his Song of degrees [Ps. 133:1]. It is a Psalm of David, selected by Hezekiah because David knew the blessedness of this "unity". See 2 Sam. 19:9,14)
13 And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.
14 And they arose and took away the altars (the brazen serpent also. See 2 Kings 14:4) that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the ravine Kidron.
T p 15-18-. Passover eaten. q -18,19. Intercession of Hezekiah. r 20. Acceptance by Yahaveh. p 21-26. Feast kept. q 27-. Blessing of the priests. r -27. Acceptance by Yahaveh.
April 3rd 616 B.C.
15 Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month (April 3rd): and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the Lord.
16 And they stood in their appointed place after their manner, according to the law of Moses (cp. 29:22) the man of God (see Deut. 33:1): the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites.
17 For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passover lambs for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them to the Lord.
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 (Hezekiah considered this to be the lesser of 2 evils) than it was written.
But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "The good Lord pardon every one
19 That prepares his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary."
20 And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed (and did not visit according to Lev. 15:31) the People.
21 And the sons of Israel that were found 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 to the Lord.
22 And Hezekiah spoke comfortably to all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the Lord (cp. Isa. 40:2): and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the Lord God of their fathers.
23 And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days (as at Solomon's Dedication): and they kept other seven days with gladness.
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.
25 And all the assembly of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the assembly that came out of Israel, and the sojourners (Ex. 12:48,49) that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced.
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. (Referring to the extra days of v.23. Perfectly true; for this was "since the time of Solomon". Josiah's passover [2 Kings 23:22,23] was after Hezekiah's)
27 Then the priests and the Levites arose and blessed the People (cp. Deut. 17:9):
and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place (See Ex. 3:5), even to heaven.