King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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2 Chronicles 31

Hezekiah destroys idolatry.

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Hezekiah destroys idolatry

1 Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities.

2 And Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests and the Levites after their courses, every man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the tents of the LORD.

3 He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD.

4 Moreover 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 the LORD.

5 And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.

6 And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated unto the LORD their God, and laid them by heaps.

7 In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month.

8 And when Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the LORD, and his people Israel.

9 Then Hezekiah questioned with the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps.

10 And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him, and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the LORD, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for the LORD hath blessed his people; and that which is left is this great store.

11 Then Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of the LORD; and they prepared them,

12 And brought in the offerings and the tithes and the dedicated things faithfully: over which Cononiah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was the next.

13 And Jehiel, and Azaziah, and Nahath, and Asahel, and Jerimoth, and Jozabad, and Eliel, and Ismachiah, and Mahath, and Benaiah, were overseers under the hand of Cononiah and Shimei his brother, at the commandment of Hezekiah the king, and Azariah the ruler of the house of God.

14 And Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the porter toward the east, was over the freewill offerings of God, to distribute the oblations of the LORD, and the most holy things.

15 And next him were Eden, and Miniamin, and Jeshua, and Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, in the cities of the priests, in their set office, to give to their brethren by courses, as well to the great as to the small:

16 Beside their genealogy of males, from three years old and upward, even unto every one that entereth into the house of the LORD, his daily portion for their service in their charges according to their courses;

17 Both to the genealogy of the priests by the house of their fathers, and the Levites from twenty years old and upward, in their charges by their courses;

18 And to the genealogy of all their little ones, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, through all the congregation: for in their set office they sanctified themselves in holiness:

19 Also of the sons of Aaron the priests, which were in the fields of the suburbs of their cities, in every several city, the men that were expressed by name, to give portions to all the males among the priests, and to all that were reckoned by genealogies among the Levites.

20 And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God.

21 And in every work that he began 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.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Manasses, whether king Osee consented, or the people of Juda followed the dictates of their zeal, neglecting the regular order of things, which forbids the subjects of one kingdom to interfere thus with those of another. Grotius. S. Aug. q. in Deut. vii. and 12. — If Ezechias gave orders, we may suppose that he was assured of his neighbour’s consent. Josias (C. xxxiv. 6.) followed his example after most part of Israel was led away captive, and the country obeyed the king of Assyria. C.

Ver. 2. Praise: lit. “confess.” H. — There is a confession of God’s perfections, as well as of sin. W. — Gates, within their respective courts. C. — The Turks style the palace of their emperor, “the sublime porte.” H. — Camp, or temple. Sept. “in the gates, in the courts of the house of the Lord.” M. — Grabe has not in the gates. H. — We know that they did not sing there, but in the courts, (C.) or halls. H.

Ver. 3. Substance. Since David had place the ark in the palace of Sion, it seems the kings had furnished the solemn victims for morning and evening, on all the festivals. Solomon also engaged to do it every day; and his magnificence herein astonished the queen of Saba. C. viii. 13. and ix. 4. and 3 K. ix. 25. Ezechiel (xlv.) assigns revenues to the prince for this purpose; but, as the people were often without any, they paid each the third part of a sicle, to furnish the victims. 2 Esd. x. 32. C. — The king did not wish to exempt himself from contributing, while he required that the people should support the priests. The troublesome times had greatly impaired the revenues of the temple, &c. T.

Ver. 4. Portion. Lit. “parts,” (H.) first-fruits and tithes. M. — Lord, without being taken off by worldly cares. It would be well if Christian princes would make an adequate provision for the ministers of religion: (v. 16. T.) as the law of nature dictates, that those who serve the public should be supported by it. D.

Ver. 5. Honey for the priests, not for sacrifice. Lev. ii. 11. It may include dates, or palm wine. See Pliny xiii. 4. C. — Forth; only wheat, barley, the fruits of vine, olive, pomegranate, fig, and palm-trees. R. Solomon. Lev. xxvii. 30. C.

Ver. 6. Things, out of which the Levites had to give tithes to the priests. Lyran. Num. xviii. 26. M. — Vowed. Heb. “consecrated to….God, and laid them in heaps.” H.

Ver. 7. Them, bringing from Pentecost till the harvest was ended.

Ver. 10. Sadoc, being his grandson, (1 Par. vi. 12. C.) or the father of Sellum. Jun. — People, with abundance; so that more would belong to the priests. C.
Ver. 11. Storehouses. Sept. pastophoria. Solomon had prepared such. T. — But they had gone to ruin, and others might be requisite. C. — The old granaries were to be repaired. M. — People brought their first-fruits to the temple: but the Levites gathered the tithes, and gave a share to the priests, and to those who were on duty. 2 Esd. x. 36.

Ver. 12. Second; his vicar or coadjutor. C. C. xxvi. 11. and xxviii. 7. M.

Ver. 13. High: lit. “pontiff.” H. — Heb. “captain.” He is styled first priest, v. 10. C. — To whom, &c. is neither in Heb. nor in the Sept. M. C. D.

Ver. 14. And of. Prot. “To distribute the oblations of the Lord, and the most holy things,” (H.) to the priests.

Ver. 16. Besides, (exceptis. C.) not to mention. H. See Lev. xxiii. 38. Girls are included, v. 18. It is supposed (C.) that children were at the breast till they were three years old, and therefore no portion is assigned them before. Mariana.

Ver. 17. Upward. Ezechias followed the regulation of David, rather than that of Moses, who deferred the service till the 25th or 30th year. Num. iv. 3. and viii. 24. 1 Paralipomenon xxiii. 24.

Ver. 18. To all. Prot. “the genealogy of all their little ones, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, through all the congregation: for in their set office they sanctified themselves in holiness.” H. — All complied with their respective duties; the people, the distributors, and the priests. C.

Ver. 19. Aaron. Heb. and Sept. add, “the priests,” (M.) which is sufficiently understood. — And in. Heb. “of.” H.

Ver. 20. God. This is the highest praise that can be given to a prince; and, in effect, we read there was none like him. 4 K. xviii. 5. C. — Sept. omit and truth. Ezechias loved it, and sincerely desired to serve the Lord. H.