2 Chronicles 30

CHAPTER XXX

Hezekiah invites all Israel and Judah, and writes letters to

Ephraim and Manasseh to come up to Jerusalem, and hold a

passover to the Lord, 1-4.

The posts go out with the king's proclamation from Dan to

Beer-sheba, and pass from city to city through the coasts

of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Zebulun, but are generally mocked

in Israel, 5-10.

Yet several of Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun, humble themselves,

and come to Jerusalem, 11.

But in Judah they are all of one heart, 12, 13.

They take away the idolatrous altars, kill the passover,

sprinkle the blood, and, as circumstances will permit,

sanctify the people, 14, 15.

Many having eaten of the passover, who were not purified

according to the law, Hezekiah prays for them; and the Lord

accepts his prayer, and heals them, 16-20.

Hezekiah exhorts them; and they hold the feast seven additional

days, fourteen in all, and the people greatly rejoice, 21-26.

The priests and the Levites bless the people, and God accepts

their prayers and thanksgivings, 27.

NOTES ON CHAP. XXX

Verse 1. Hezekiah sent to all Israel] It is not easy to find out

how this was permitted by the king of Israel; but it is generally

allowed that Hoshea, who then reigned over Israel, was one of

their best kings. And as the Jews allow that at this time both the

golden calves had been carried away by the Assyrians,-that at Dan

by Tiglath-pileser, and that at Bethel by Shalmaneser,-the people

who chose to worship Jehovah at Jerusalem were freely permitted to

do it, and Hezekiah had encouragement to make the proclamation in

question.

Verse 2. In the second month.] In Ijar, as they could not

celebrate it in Nisan, the fourteenth of which month was the

proper time. But as they could not complete the purgation of the

temple, till the sixteenth of that month, therefore they were

obliged to hold it now, or else adjourn it till the next year,

which would have been fatal to that spirit of reformation which

had now taken place. The law itself had given permission to those

who were at a distance, and could not attend to the fourteenth of

the first month, and to those who were accidentally defiled, and

ought not to attend, to celebrate the passover on the fourteenth

of the second month; see Nu 9:10, 11. Hezekiah therefore, and his

counsellors, thought that they might extend that to the people at

large, because of the delay necessarily occasioned by the

cleansing of the temple, which was granted to individuals in such

cases as the above, and the result showed that they had not

mistaken the mind of the Lord upon the subject.

Verse 6. So the posts went] ratsim, the runners or

couriers; persons who were usually employed to carry messages;

men who were light of foot, and confidential.

Verse 9. And will not turn away his face from you] Well

expressed by the Targum: "For the Lord your God is gracious and

merciful, and will not cause his majesty to ascend up from among

you, if ye will return to his fear." The shechinah, of which the

Targumist speaks, is the dwelling of the Divine Presence among

men, and the visible symbol of that presence.

Verse 18. A multitude of the people-had not cleansed themselves]

As there were men from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun,

they were excusable, because they came from countries that had

been wholly devoted to idolatry.

The good Lord pardon every one] "The Lord, who is good, have

mercy on this people who err."-T.

Verse 22. Spake comfortably unto all the Levites] On such

occasions the priests and Levites had great fatigue, and suffered

many privations; and therefore had need of that encouragement

which this prudent and pious king gave. It is a fine and

expressive character given of these men, "They taught the good

knowledge of God to the people." This is the great work, or should

be so, of every Christian minister. They should convey that

knowledge of God to the people by which they may be saved; that

is, the good knowledge of the Lord.

Verse 25. The strangers that come out of the land of Israel]

That is, the proselytes of the covenant who had embraced Judaism,

and had submitted to the rite of circumcision, for none others

could be permitted to eat of the passover.

Verse 26. Since the time of Solomon-there was not the like in

Jerusalem.] For from that time the ten tribes had been separated

from the true worship of God, and now many of them for the first

time, especially from Asher, Issachar, Ephraim, Manasseh, and

Zebulun, joined to celebrate the passover.

Verse 27. And their voice was heard] God accepted the fruits of

that pious disposition which himself had infused.

And their prayer came up] As the smoke of their sacrifices

ascended to the clouds, so did their prayers, supplications, and

thanksgivings, ascend to the heavens. The Targum says: "Their

prayer came up to the dwelling-place of his holy shechinah, which

is in heaven." Israel now appeared to be in a fair way of

regaining what they had lost; but alas, how soon were all these

bright prospects beclouded for ever!

It is not for the want of holy resolutions and heavenly

influences that men are not saved but through their own

unsteadiness; they do not persevere, they forget the necessity of

continuing in prayer, and thus the Holy Spirit is grieved,

departs from them, and leaves them to their own darkness and

hardness of heart. When we consider the heavenly influences which

many receive who draw back to perdition, and the good fruits which

for a time they bore, it is blasphemy to say they had no genuine

or saving grace; they had it, they showed it, they trifled with

it, sinned against it, continued in their rebellions, and

therefore are lost.

Copyright information for Clarke