2 Chronicles 291 And so Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old. And he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. The name of his mother was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. 2 And he did what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord, in accord with all that his father David had done. 3 In the first year and month of his reign, he opened the double doors of the house of the Lord, and he repaired them. 4 And he brought together the priests and Levites. And he gathered them in the wide eastern street. 5 And he said to them: “Listen to me, O Levites, and be sanctified. Cleanse the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and take away every uncleanness from the sanctuary. 6 Our fathers sinned and did evil in the sight of the Lord our God, abandoning him. They turned their faces away from the tabernacle of the Lord, and they presented their backs. 7 They closed up the doors which were in the portico, and they extinguished the lamps. And they did not burn incense, and they did not offer holocausts, in the sanctuary of the God of Israel. 8 And so the fury of the Lord was stirred up against Judah and Jerusalem, and he handed them over to turmoil, and to destruction, and to hissing, just as you discern with your own eyes. 9 Lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword. Our sons, and our daughters and wives have been led away as captives because of this wickedness. 10 Now therefore, it is pleasing to me that we should enter into a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel. And he will turn away the fury of his indignation from us. 11 My sons, do not choose to be negligent. The Lord has chosen you so that you would stand before him, and minister to him, and worship him, and burn incense to him.” 12 Therefore, the Levites rose up, Mahath, the son of Amasai, and Joel, the son of Azariah, from the sons of Kohath; then, from the sons of Merari, Kish, the son of Abdi, and Azariah, the son of Jehallelel; and from the sons of Gershon, Joah, the son of Zimmah, and Eden, the son of Joah; 13 and truly, from the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeuel; also, from the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 indeed also, from the sons of Heman, Jehuel and Shimei; then too, from the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15 And they gathered together their brothers. And they were sanctified. And they entered in accord with the command of the king and the order of the Lord, so that they might expiate the house of God. 16 And the priests, entering the temple of the Lord so that they might sanctify it, took every uncleanness, which they had found inside, out to the vestibule of the house of the Lord; and the Levites took it away and transported it outside, to the torrent Kidron. 17 Now they began to cleanse on the first day of the first month. And on the eighth day of the same month, they entered the portico of the temple of the Lord. And then they expiated the temple over eight days. And on the sixteenth day of the same month, they finished what they had begun. 18 Also, they entered to king Hezekiah, and they said to him: “We have sanctified the entire house of the Lord, and the altar of holocaust, and its vessels, indeed also the table of the presence, with all its vessels, 19 and all the equipment of the temple, which king Ahaz, during his reign, had polluted after his transgression. And behold, these have all been set forth before the altar of the Lord.” 20 And rising up at first light, king Hezekiah joined as one all the leaders of the city, and they ascended to the house of the Lord. 21 And together they offered seven bulls and seven rams, seven lambs and seven he-goats, for sin, for the kingdom, for the Sanctuary, for Judah. And he spoke to the priests, the sons of Aaron, so that they would offer these upon the altar of the Lord. 22 And so they slaughtered the bulls. And the priests took up the blood, and they poured it upon the altar. Then they also slaughtered the rams, and they poured their blood upon the altar. And they immolated the lambs, and they poured the blood upon the altar. 23 They brought the he-goats for sin before the king and the entire multitude. And they laid their hands upon them. 24 And the priests immolated them, and they sprinkled their blood before the altar, for the expiation of all Israel. For certainly the king had instructed that the holocaust and the sin offering should be made on behalf of all Israel. 25 Also, he situated the Levites in the house of the Lord, with cymbals, and psalteries, and harps, according to the disposition of king David, and of the seer Gad, and of the prophet Nathan. For indeed, this was the precept of the Lord, by the hand of his prophets. 26 And the Levites stood, holding the musical instruments of David, and the priests held the trumpets. 27 And Hezekiah ordered that they should offer holocausts upon the altar. And when the holocausts were being offered, they began to sing praises to the Lord, and to sound the trumpets, and to play various musical instruments, which David, the king of Israel, had prepared. 28 Then the entire crowd was adoring, and the singers and those who were holding the trumpeters were exercising their office, until the holocaust was completed. 29 And when the oblation was finished, the king, and all who were with him, bowed down and adored. 30 And Hezekiah and the rulers instructed the Levites to praise the Lord with the words of David, and of Asaph, the seer. And they praised him with great joy, and kneeling down, they adored. 31 And now Hezekiah also added: “You have filled your hands for the Lord. Draw near, and offer victims and praises in the house of the Lord.” Therefore, the entire multitude offered victims and praises and holocausts, with devout intention. 32 Now the number of the holocausts that the multitude offered was seventy bulls, one hundred rams, two hundred lambs. 33 And they sanctified to the Lord six hundred oxen and three thousand sheep. 34 Truly, the priests were few; neither were they sufficient to remove the pelts from the holocausts. Therefore, the Levites, their brothers, also assisted them, until the work was completed, and the priests, who were of higher rank, were sanctified. For indeed, the Levites are sanctified with an easier ritual than the priests. 35 Thus, there were very numerous holocausts, with the fat of the peace offerings and the libations of the holocausts. And the service of the house of the Lord was completed. 36 And Hezekiah and all the people were joyful because the ministry of the Lord was accomplished. For certainly, it had pleased them to do this suddenly.
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