The Reign of Ahaz
28 1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not what was right in the sight of Jehovah, like David his father, 2 but walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and even made molten images for the Baals; 3 and he burned incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burned his sons in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations that Jehovah had dispossessed from before the children of Israel. 4 And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree. 5 Therefore Jehovah his God gave him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also given into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter.
6 And Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah a hundred and twenty thousand in one day, all valiant men, because they had forsaken Jehovah the God of their fathers. 7 And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, slew Maaseiah the king's son, and Azrikam the governor of the house, and Elkanah the second to the king. 8 And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took away also much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria. 9 But a prophet of Jehovah was there, whose name was Oded; and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because Jehovah the God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he gave them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage that reaches up to heaven. 10 And now ye think to subjugate the children of Judah and Jerusalem as your bondmen and bondwomen. Are there not with you, even with you, trespasses against Jehovah your God? 11 And now hear me, and send back the captives again, whom ye have taken captive of your brethren; for the fierce wrath of Jehovah is upon you. 12 And certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Hezekiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war, 13 and said to them, Ye shall not bring in the captives hither; because, for our guilt before Jehovah, ye think to increase our sins and our trespasses: for our trespass is great, and fierce wrath is upon Israel. 14 Then the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation. 15 And the men that have been expressed by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them on asses, and brought them to Jericho the city of palm-trees, to their brethren. And they returned to Samaria.
16 At that time king Ahaz sent to the kings of Assyria to help him. 17 And again the Edomites came and smote Judah, and carried away captives. 18 And the Philistines invaded the cities of the lowland, and of the south of Judah, and took Beth-shemesh, and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Socho and its dependent villages, and Timnah and its dependent villages, and Guimzo and its dependent villages; and they dwelt there. 19 For Jehovah humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had made Judah lawless, and transgressed much against Jehovah. 20 And Tilgath-Pilneser king of Assyria came to him, and troubled him, and did not support him. 21 For Ahaz stripped the house of Jehovah, and the house of the king and of the princes, and gave to the king of Assyria; but he was of no help to him. 22 And in the time of his trouble he transgressed yet more against Jehovah, this king Ahaz. 23 And he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, which had smitten him; and he said, Since the gods of the kings of Syria help them, I will sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel. 24 And Ahaz gathered the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and closed the doors of the house of Jehovah, and he made for himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked to anger Jehovah the God of his fathers. 26 And the rest of his acts, and all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 27 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem; but they brought him not into the sepulchres of the kings of Israel. And Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.
The Reign of Hezekiah
29 1 Hezekiah began to reign being twenty-five years old; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Abijah, daughter of Zechariah. 2 And he did what was right in the sight of Jehovah, according to all that David his father had done.
Hezekiah Restores the Temple Worship
3 He, in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of Jehovah, and repaired them. 4 And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them into the open place eastward; 5 and he said to them, Hear me, ye Levites: hallow yourselves now, and hallow the house of Jehovah the God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the sanctuary. 6 For our fathers have transgressed, and done evil in the sight of Jehovah our God, and have forsaken him and turned away their faces from the habitation of Jehovah, and have turned their backs. 7 Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered up burnt-offerings in the sanctuary to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore the wrath of Jehovah has been upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he has delivered them to vexation, to desolation, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes. 9 And behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with Jehovah the God of Israel, that his fierce anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, be not now negligent; for Jehovah has chosen you to stand before him, to do service unto him, and to be his ministers and incense-burners.
12 Then the Levites rose up, Mahath the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites; and of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehalleleel; and of the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah; 13 and of the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeiel; and of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 and of the sons of Heman, Jehiel and Shimei; and of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15 And they gathered their brethren, and hallowed themselves, and came, according to the commandment of the king by the words of Jehovah, to cleanse the house of Jehovah. 16 And the priests went into the inner part of the house of Jehovah to cleanse it, and carried forth all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of Jehovah, into the court of the house of Jehovah. And the Levites took it to carry it forth into the brook Kidron. 17 And they began on the first of the first month to hallow, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the porch of Jehovah; and they hallowed the house of Jehovah eight days; and on the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end. 18 And they went in to king Hezekiah, and said, We have cleansed all the house of Jehovah, and the altar of burnt-offering with all its vessels, and the table of the [bread] to be set in rows, and all its vessels; 19 and all the vessels that king Ahaz in his reign cast away in his transgression have we prepared and hallowed, and behold, they are before the altar of Jehovah.
20 And Hezekiah the king arose early, and gathered the princes of the city, and went up to the house of Jehovah. 21 And they brought seven bullocks, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven he-goats for a sin-offering for the kingdom, and for the sanctuary, and for Judah. And he commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer [them] upon the altar of Jehovah. 22 And they slaughtered the bullocks, and the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the altar; and they slaughtered the rams, and sprinkled the blood on the altar; and they slaughtered the lambs, and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23 And they brought near the he-goats of the sin-offering before the king and the congregation; and they laid their hands upon them. 24 And the priests slaughtered them, and they made purification for sin with their blood upon the altar, to make an atonement for all Israel; because for all Israel, said the king, is the burnt-offering and the sin-offering. 25 And he set the Levites in the house of Jehovah with cymbals, with lutes, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king's seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for the commandment was of Jehovah through his prophets. 26 And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 And Hezekiah commanded to offer up the burnt-offering on the altar. And at the moment the burnt-offering began, the song of Jehovah began, and the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded, all [the time] until the burnt-offering was finished. 29 And when they had ended offering the burnt-offering, the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves and worshipped. 30 And king Hezekiah and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise to Jehovah with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and bowed their heads and worshipped. 31 And Hezekiah answered and said, Now ye have consecrated yourselves to Jehovah, come near and bring sacrifices and thank-offerings into the house of the Lord. And the congregation brought in sacrifices and thank-offerings; and as many as were of a willing heart, burnt-offerings. 32 And the number of the burnt-offerings, which the congregation brought, was seventy bullocks, a hundred rams, two hundred lambs: all these were for a burnt-offering to Jehovah. 33 And the consecrated things were six hundred oxen and three thousand sheep. 34 Only the priests were too few, and they could not flay all the burnt-offerings; therefore their brethren the Levites helped them, until the work was ended, and until the priests had hallowed themselves; for the Levites were more upright in heart to hallow themselves than the priests. 35 And also the burnt-offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace-offerings, and with the drink-offerings for the burnt-offering. And the service of the house of Jehovah was set in order. 36 And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people; for the thing was done suddenly.
The Celebration of the Passover
30 1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of Jehovah at Jerusalem, to hold the passover to Jehovah the God of Israel. 2 And the king took counsel, and his princes, and the whole congregation in Jerusalem, to hold the passover in the second month. 3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not hallowed themselves in sufficient number, neither had the people been gathered together to Jerusalem. 4 And the thing pleased the king and the whole congregation. 5 So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout Israel from Beer-sheba even to Dan, that they should come to hold the passover to Jehovah the God of Israel, at Jerusalem; because they had not held it for a long time as it was written. 6 And the couriers went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, return to Jehovah the 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. 7 And be not like your fathers and like your brethren, who transgressed against Jehovah the God of their fathers, so that he gave them up to desolation, as ye see. 8 Now, harden not your necks, as your fathers; yield yourselves to Jehovah, and come to his sanctuary, which he has sanctified for ever; and serve Jehovah your God, that the fierceness of his anger may turn away from you. 9 For if ye return to Jehovah, your brethren and your children shall find compassion with those that have carried them captive, so that they shall come again unto this land; for Jehovah your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return to him. 10 And 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 certain of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 The hand of God was also upon Judah to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of Jehovah.
13 And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to hold the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation. 14 And they rose up and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem; and they took away all the incense-altars, and cast them into the torrent Kidron. 15 And they slaughtered the passover on the fourteenth of the second month; and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and hallowed themselves; and they brought the burnt-offerings into the house of Jehovah. 16 And they stood in their place after their custom, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood [receiving it] from the hand of the Levites. 17 For there were many in the congregation that were not hallowed; therefore the Levites had the charge of the slaughtering of the passover-lambs for every one not clean, to hallow them unto Jehovah. 18 For a multitude of the people, many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, and they ate the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them saying, Jehovah, who is good, forgive every one 19 that has directed his heart to seek God, Jehovah the God of his fathers, although not according to the purification of the sanctuary. 20 And Jehovah hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
21 And the children of Israel, that were present at Jerusalem, held the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness; and the Levites and the priests praised Jehovah day by day, with the instruments of praise to Jehovah. 22 And Hezekiah spoke consolingly to all the Levites that had understanding in the good knowledge of Jehovah; and they ate the feast-offerings the seven days, sacrificing peace-offerings, and extolling Jehovah the God of their fathers. 23 And the whole congregation took counsel to observe other seven days; and they observed the seven days with gladness. 24 For Hezekiah king of Judah gave to the congregation as heave-offering: 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 hallowed themselves. 25 And the whole 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. 26 And there was great joy in Jerusalem; for since the time of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, there had not been the like in Jerusalem. 27 And the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people; and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy habitation, to the heavens.
31 1 And when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and broke the columns, and hewed down the Asherahs, and demolished the high places and the altars in all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. And all the children of Israel returned every man to his possession, into their cities.
Hezekiah's Provision for the Priests and Levites
2 And Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests, and the Levites after their divisions, every man according to his service, as well the priests as the Levites, for burnt-offerings and for peace-offerings, to serve and to give thanks and to praise in the gates of the courts of Jehovah. 3 And [he ordered] that the king's portion [should be taken] from his substance for the burnt-offerings: for the morning and evening burnt-offerings, for the burnt-offerings of the sabbaths, and of the new moons, and of the set feasts, as it is written in the law of Jehovah. 4 And he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of Jehovah. 5 And as soon as the commandment was published, the children of Israel gave in abundance the firstfruits of corn, new wine and oil and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of all [things]. 6 And the children of Israel and of Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated to Jehovah their God, and laid them by heaps. 7 In the third month they began to lay the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month. 8 And Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, and they blessed Jehovah, and his people Israel. 9 And Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps. 10 And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok spoke to him and said, Since they began to bring the heave-offerings into the house of Jehovah, we have eaten and been satisfied and have left plenty; for Jehovah has blessed his people; and what is left is this great store.
11 And Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of Jehovah; and they prepared [them], 12 and brought in the heave-offerings and the tithes and the dedicated things faithfully; and over these Cononiah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was second. 13 And Jehiel, and Azaziah, and Nahath, and Asahel, and Jerimoth, and Jozabad, and Eliel, and Jismachiah, and Mahath, and Benaiah were overseers under the hand of Cononiah and Shimei his brother, at the command of Hezekiah the king and Azariah the ruler of the house of God. 14 And Kore the son of Jimnah the Levite, the doorkeeper toward the east, was over the voluntary-offerings of God, to distribute the heave-offerings of Jehovah, and the most holy things. 15 And under him were Eden and Miniamin and Jeshua and Shemaiah, Amariah and Shecaniah, in the cities of the priests, in [their] set trust, to make distributions to their brethren by [their] divisions, to the great as to the small, 16 besides those from three years old and upward who as males were entered in the genealogical register,—all that came into the house of Jehovah, as the duty of every day required, for their service in their charges, according to their divisions, 17 —both to the priests enregistered according to their fathers' houses, and to the Levites from twenty years old and upward, in their charges, by their divisions; 18 and to all their little ones, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, the whole congregation of those entered in the register; for in their trust they hallowed themselves to be holy. 19 And for the sons of Aaron the priests who were in the country, in the suburbs of their cities, there were, in every several city, men expressed by name, to give portions to all the males among the priests, and to all the Levites that were entered in the register. 20 And thus did Hezekiah throughout Judah, and wrought what was good and right and true before Jehovah his God. 21 And in every work that he undertook 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.