29 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old at his accession to the throne, and reigned twenty-nine years at Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zecariah. 2 And he did what Jehovah approved, just as his father David had. 3 He, in the first year of his reign, at new moon of the first month, opened the doors of Jehovah’s house and strengthened them, 4 and brought in the priests and the Levites, and brought them together in the East Square and said to them 5 “Hear me, Levites. Now put yourselves in sacred condition and put the house of your fathers’ God Jehovah in sacred condition, and take out the filth from what is holy, 6 because our fathers have been unfaithful and done what displeased our God Jehovah and left him, and turned their faces away from Jehovah’s dwelling and turned their backs to it; 7 they also shut the porch doors and put out the lamps, and did not burn incense nor offer burnt-offerings in the sanctuary to the God of Israel; 8 and Jehovah’s wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he made them victims, a sight to stand aghast at and to whistle at, as you see with your own eyes; 9 and here our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and daughters and wives are in foreign slavery, on this account. 10 It is now in my mind to make a covenant with Jehovah the God of Israel, that his anger may turn back from us. 11 Now, sons, do not take it easy; for it was you that Jehovah chose to stand before him to perform his service and to be servitors and incense-burners to him.” 12 And the Levites stood up, Mahath the son of ʽAmasai and Joel the son of ʽAzariah of the sons of the Kehathites, and of the sons of Merari Kish the son of ʽAbdi and ʽAzariah the son of Jehallelel, and of the Gershonites Joah the son of Zimmah and Gheden the son of Joah, 13 and of the sons of Elisaphan Shimri and Jeʽiel, and of the sons of Asaph Zecariah and Mattaniah, 14 and of the sons of Heman Jehiel and Shimei, and of the sons of Jeduthun Shemaʽiah and ʽUzziel, 15 and brought together their brothers; and they put themselves in sacred condition, and went in, in accordance with the king’s command by Jehovah’s words, to cleanse Jehovah’s house. 16 And the priests went into the interior of Jehovah’s house to do the cleansing, and brought all the unclean matter that they found in Jehovah’s temple out to the court of Jehovah’s house, and the Levites received it to carry out to Kidron Arroyo outside. 17 And they began on the first day of the first month to put things in sacred condition; and on the eighth of the month they entered Jehovah’s porch, and put Jehovah’s house in condition in eight days; and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished. 18 And they went inside to King Hezekiah and said “We have cleansed all Jehovah’s house: the altar of burnt-offering and all its vessels, and the table of showbread and all its vessels, 19 and all the vessels that King Ahaz during his reign rejected in his unfaithfulness we have fitted for use and put in sacred condition, and there they are before Jehovah’s house.” 20 And the first thing in the morning King Hezekiah brought together the captains of the city and went up to Jehovah’s house, 21 and they brought seven steers and seven rams and seven sheep and seven he-goats for a sin-offering on behalf of the kingdom and of the sanctuary and of Judah; and he told the sons of Aaron, the priests, to make burnt-offerings on Jehovah’s altar. And they slaughtered the cattle, and the priests received the blood and threw it against the altar; 22 and they slaughtered the rams, and they threw their blood against the altar; and they slaughtered the sheep, and they threw their blood against the altar; 23 and they brought the sin-goats on before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them, 24 and the priests slaughtered them and put their blood on the altar for sin to purge all Israel, because the king had designated the burnt-offering and the sin-offering for all Israel. 25 * And he stationed the Levites in Jehovah’s house with cymbals, with harps, and with lyres, in accordance with the command of David and of the king’s seer Gad and of the prophet Nathan; for the command was by Jehovah by the prophets. 26 And the Levites stood with David’s instruments and the priests with the trumpets, 27 and Hezekiah gave the word to offer the burnt-offering at the altar; and at the time of beginning the burnt-offering Jehovah’s song began, and the trumpets, conducted by the instruments of King David of Israel, 28 and all the assembly did reverence, the song going on and the trumpets sounding, all till the burnt-offering was finished. 29 And when the burnt-offering was finished, the king and all who were present with him bowed and did reverence. 30 And King Hezekiah and the captains told the Levites to praise Jehovah in the words of David and Asaph the seer; and they praised right merrily, and bowed down and did reverence. 31 And Hezekiah responded “You have now qualified yourselves to take part in Jehovah’s worship; approach and bring sacrifices and thank-offerings for Jehovah’s house.” And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank-offerings, and, any that were liberally disposed, burnt-offerings. 32 And the count of the burnt-offerings that the assembly brought was seventy cattle, a hundred rams, two hundred sheep: all these for burnt-offerings to Jehovah. 33 And of the sacramental offerings there were six hundred cattle and three thousand sheep and goats. 34 * The priests were but too few, and could not skin all the burnt-offerings, and their brothers the Levites reinforced them until the work was finished and until the priests had put themselves in sacred condition; for the Levites were more right-minded about putting themselves in sacred condition than the priests, 35 and also the burnt-offering was in great quantity with the pieces of fat of the welfare-sacrifices and with the libations for the burnt-offering. And the service of Jehovah’s house was set in order; 36 and Hezekiah and all the people were happy over what God had set in order for the people; for the thing had come suddenly.
The Bible in Living English