King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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2 Chronicles 30

Hezekiah’s passover. (1-12) The passover celebrated. (13-20) The feast of unleavened bread. (21-27)

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Hezekiah’s passover

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 the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel.

2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.

3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.

4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation.

5 So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written.

6 So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD 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 ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.

8 Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.

9 For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.

10 So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.

11 Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.

12 Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD.

The passover celebrated

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 that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron.

15 Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: 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 place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God: 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 passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto 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 than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one

19 That prepareth 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 the people.

The feast of unleavened bread

21 And the children of Israel that were present 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 unto the LORD.

22 And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD: 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: 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 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 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.

27 Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto heaven.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Manasses. The pious king thought he might give a general invitation, without umbrage. King Osee was not so impious as his predecessors. 4 K. xvii. 2. Afflictions had made his people more docile. The Jews say (C.) that the golden calves had been taken away by the Assyrians, and that the king removed the guards, which had been placed to hinder his subjects from repairing to Jerusalem. M. Salien, A. 3305. — Ezechias writes privately to the house of Joseph, as the people were prouder on account of the royal dignity. S. Jer. Trad.

Ver. 2. Month. The Rabbins pretend that the king intercalated the second Adar, contrary to the rule and advice of the wise, and the that he ought to have allowed those who were pure to celebrate the feast in due time. Selden, Syn. ii. 1. — But the Caraite Jews deny this pretended leap-year; and we see that Ezechias acted according to the advice of the princes, and that the Scripture praises his conduct. C. — Those who had a lawful impediment, were authorized to put off the feast till the second month. Num. ix. 10. The nation was under this predicament, as they had not priests at hand, (T.) nor were they assembled. D.

Ver. 5. Many. None had kept the Phase this year. H. — But those of Israel had not done it for a long time. Grotius. — Heb. “for they had not long before done according to the Scripture.” Sept. “the multitude had not done,” &c. C. — Yet, even in the worst times, Tobias, (i. 6.) and other zealous souls, contrived to comply with their duty. H.

Ver. 6. Posts. Lit. “runners or couriers.” H. — King. Heb. “kings.” Phul and Thelgathphalnasar. The latter had taken away some tribes. 4 K. xv. 20. 29. C.

Ver. 7. Destruction. Sept. “solitude.” Prot. “desolation.”

Ver. 8. Yield. Lit. “give your hands,” (H.) in sign of submission (C.) and fidelity. Sept. “give glory.”

Ver. 9. Brethren. God sometimes spares one for the sake of another. H.

Ver. 10. Zabulon. Aser and Nephthali lay more to the north. But they were also invited, as well as the few who might remain on the other side the Jordan. 1 Par. v. 26. At least, we find that some of Aser came, v. 11. Thus those, who had been invited last, came first, while Ephraim continued more stubborn; (v. 18) and the greatest part derided the messengers, as we still see too frequently verified in the days of the gospel. H.

Ver. 11. Yielding. Sept. “were converted.” Prot. “humbled themselves, and came.” H.

Ver. 12. Hand; grace (M.) and power, to endure such unanimity.

Ver. 14. Burnt, both vessels and altars. C. — To idols, corresponding with the Sept. “the false ones,” and is added by way of explanation, unless it be lost in Hebrew. The illegal (H.) altars had been set up by Achaz. C. xxviii. 24. M.

Ver. 15. At length. Sept. “were converted.” Heb. “ashamed, and sanctified themselves.” H. — The ceremonies of purification for priests were longer, (C. xxix. 34.) and the sacred ministers were ashamed to be outdone by the people. M.

Ver. 16. Levites, who received the paschal lambs from the unsanctified. M. — The law does not require the ministry of the tribe of Levi for this purpose, as each one might kill the paschal victim at home. But the people were not sufficiently purified on this occasion. Lyran. — At other times, laics killed the victims, if they were clean. Ex. xii. 6. After the tabernacle was set up, the priests poured out the blood on the altar; and, in latter ages, they slew the victim according to Grotius. But the texts of Josephus (x. 5. and Bel. vi. 45. Lat. vii. 17. H.) are inconclusive; and Philo repeatedly assert that, on one day, the law authorizes all the people to sacrifice: and, though he lived at Alexandria, his testimony respecting a fact of public notoriety, is not to be rejected. Only the unclean applied to the Levites on this occasion, and the latter had no more right to sacrifice than the rest. C.

Ver. 17. For. Prot. “for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the Lord.” Sept. “not able to be purified to the Lord.” H. — The priests alone continued to pour the blood on the altar, till the destruction of the temple. C.

Ver. 18. Ephraim and….Issachar had not been mentioned before, v. 18. H. — Some indulgence was shewn to the tribes of Israel, which had been so long rebellious, for fear lest they should return no more; and because they had shewn a good will in procuring the Levites to slay the victims for them, as that was rightly judged a more sacred action than to partake of the feast. The law forbade, nevertheless, the unclean to approach to any thing sacred. Lev. xv. 31. and xxii. 4. Num. ix. 6. C. — But a dispensation was granted, (M.) as the Passover could not be celebrated in any but the first or the second month. The people had come with such eagerness, that they had not time to acquire the purity required. C. — They were however truly penitent, and God dispensed with them. W.

Ver. 20. Merciful; lit. “appeased.” Heb. and Sept. “healed.” S. Jerom (Trad.) says, “It was asserted that no unclean person could taste the Phase, but death presently ensued; and they understood that the Lord was appeased, because those who eat did not die.” H. — Heb. girpa may, however, denote that God “pardoned,” or did not impute the uncleanness to the people. Schindler, and C. xxxvi. 16. and Isai. vi. 10.

Ver. 21. Days. It seems all the observances had been omitted in the first month. The Jews teach, that those who have complied with those prescriptions, which require no particular purity, are not bound to keep the festival for seven days, nor to abstain from leavened bread the second month. — That agreed. Heb. and Sept. “of strength,” sonorous, (M.) which they played on with all their force, or which sounded for the divine power. C.

Ver. 22. Heart; encouraged them to bear the fatigue for other seven days. — Lord; being of good dispositions, (C.) and able musicians. Sa. M. — Praising. Prot. “making confession to.” But the sense is the same. H. — During the seven days, unleavened bread and peace-offerings were used, v. 24. C.

Ver. 23. Joy, though not prescribed by the law. M. — This we should call a work of supererogation, (W.) which gives Prot. so much offence. H.

Ver. 25. Proselytes, who had embraced the Jewish law: the rest were not allowed to partake of the paschal victims. Ex. xii. 48.

Ver. 26. Israel: as many of the tribes came to join with their brethren of Juda.

Ver. 27. Levites. These only applauded the solemn blessings, which were given by the priests. Num. vi. 24. C. — God is said to reside in heaven, because he there displays his glory to the blessed. D.