And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street,
And he brought in, … — He found Judah low and naked, yet did not make it his first business to revive the civil interests of his kingdom, but to restore religion to a good posture. Those that begin with God, begin at the right end of their work; and it will prosper accordingly.
 And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.
Filthiness — That filthy altar, which Ahaz had put in the place of God's altar, 2 Kings 16:11, and the idols, or other abominable things which were there.
 For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs.
Turned, … — They have wilfully and obstinately forsaken God and his worship; that posture being a signification of contempt.
 Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel.
They — He saith not, my father, because it became him as a son, to be as tender as might be of his father's name: and because his father would not have done all this, if their fathers had not neglected their duty.
 Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes.
Hissing — To such calamities as all that see and hear of, shall be astonished at, and hiss at those, who by their own sin and folly have brought such miseries upon themselves. When we are under the rebukes of God's providence, it is good for us to enquire, Whether we have not neglected God's ordinances, and whether that be not the controversy he has with us?
 For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this.
Captivity — Tho' they were presently released, chap. 28:5,14,15.
 My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.
Sons — So he calls them, though many of them were elder than himself, because he was by his tender love and affection, as he was by his office obliged to be, a nursing father to them.
Negligent — In sanctifying yourselves and the temple, verse 5, and in quickening and preparing yourselves and the people for God's service.
 And they gathered their brethren, and sanctified themselves, and came, according to the commandment of the king, by the words of the LORD, to cleanse the house of the LORD.
To cleanse — From the dirt it had contracted, while it was so long shut up; from dust, cobwebs, and the rust of the vessels. Much more from the idols, and idolatrous altars which had been set up therein.
 Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the LORD: so they sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end.
The first day — A happy beginning of the new year! Thus should every year begin with the reformation of what is amiss, and the purging away of all the defilements contracted the foregoing year.
 Moreover all the vessels, which king Ahaz in his reign did cast away in his transgression, have we prepared and sanctified, and, behold, they are before the altar of the LORD.
Sanctified — Tho' the vessels of the sanctuary may be profaned for a while, God will find a time and a way to sanctify them. Neither his ordinances nor his obedient people, shall be suffered to fail forever.
 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 on the altar of the LORD.
Seven — The number seven is customary in sacred matters, and is here used in regard of the vast numbers and various kinds of sins, the guilt whereof yet lay upon the kingdom, which was now to be expiated. Indeed, in case of one particular sin of ignorance done by the people, there was but one bullock to be offered, but here the sins were many and presumptuous.
Kingdom — To make atonement for the sins of the king and the royal family, and the court.
Sanctuary — For all the idolatry and uncleanness wherewith the temple had been polluted. They thought it not enough to lament and forsake their sins, but they brought a sin-offering. Even our repentance and reformation will not obtain pardon, but thro' Christ, who was made sin, that is, a sin-offering for us.
 And they brought forth the he goats for the sin offering before the king and the congregation; and they laid their hands upon them:
They laid — The king and the elders of the congregation in the name of the whole congregation.
 And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD began also with the trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by David king of Israel.
The song — The psalms composed by David and Asaph. Even sorrow for sin must not put us out of tune for praising God. By faith we must even then rejoice in the Lord our righteousness, and our prayers and praises must attend with his offering, to be accepted only in the virtue of it.
 Then Hezekiah answered and said, Now ye have consecrated yourselves unto the LORD, 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 free heart burnt offerings.
Consecrated — Now that you have reconciled yourselves and the house to God, and that he is willing and ready to accept your sacrifices.
Burnt-offerings — Wherein there was more generosity than in the other sacrifices, because they were wholly burnt and offered to God.
 And the consecrated things were six hundred oxen and three thousand sheep.
Consecrated things — All the offerings consecrated to God, besides the burnt-offerings already mentioned.
 But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings: wherefore their brethren the Levites did help them, till the work was ended, and until the other priests had sanctified themselves: for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests.
Too few — Such as were sanctified and fit for their work, as the following words shew: for otherwise the number of the priests was more than sufficient for this employment.
Burnt-offerings — And much less all the other sacrifices, which were more numerous; the slaying whereof was the priests proper work.
The Levites — Necessity excusing their deviation from the rule.
 And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.
Rejoiced — It was, as a very great, so a sudden change, that the people, who but the other day were so ready to comply with wicked Ahaz in his idolatrous presumptions, were now so free and forward in God's service: whereby it plainly appeared to be the work of God, changing their hearts by his Holy Spirit.