2 CHRONICLES 30
These letters being sent out to all Israel and Judah
1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah [Chizkiyah sent to kol Yisroel and Yehudah], and wrote letters [iggerot] also to Ephraim and Manasseh [Ephrayim and Menasheh], that they should come to the house [Beis] of Yahweh at Jerusalem [Yerushalayim], to keep the passover [Pesach ] unto Yahweh Elohim of Israel [Yisroel].
2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes [HaMelech had conferred and agreed with his sarim], and all the congregation in Jerusalem [kol HaKahal in Yerushalayim], to keep the passover [Pesach] in the second month.
A solemn festival is revived by Hezekiah, to an extent unprecedented since the days of Solomon. Hezekiah opened the doors of the House of Yahweh which Ahaz had shut up (2Chr. 28:24). They cleansed the sanctuary in 16 days (ch. 29:17). It was now too late to keep the Passover at the proper time in the first month, so they observed it in the second month as the Law permitted (2Chr. 30:2; Num. 9:10-11). *
9 For if ye turn again unto Yahweh, your brethren and your children [achim and your banim] shall find compassion [rachamim] before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land [HaAretz HaZot]: for Yahweh your Elohim is gracious [ channun] and merciful [rachum], and will not turn away His face from you, if ye return unto him.
Hezekiah's appeal rejected in Israel
10 So the posts passed from city to city [runners passed from town to town] through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun [Eretz Ephrayim and Menasheh even unto Zevulun]: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.
Israel was invited to worship at Jerusalem. Unlike Jehoshaphat, who allowed himself to become entangled with the apostate Israel, a section of the brotherhood that had ignored its pioneering standards, Hezekiah recognised the wisdom of keeping his community free of contamination. He invited the northern tribes to come to Jerusalem for worship; he did not go to the north into the environment of apostasy as did Jehoshaphat. The condition of the kingdom of Samaria was favourable to the enterprise, but it was important that the northern tribes assemble at Jerusalem, rather than Hezekiah journeying to Samaria. Letters were sent to "all Israel" with an appeal, although they were received with ridicule in some places. *
...the general reaction in the northern kingdom to the letters of invitation was that "they laughed them to scorn." They just had at this time three more years to go, until the complete destruction and captivity of their kingdom. This was their last chance to repent.*
11 Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun [ anashim of Asher and Menasheh and of Zevulun] humbled themselves, and came to [Yerushalayim].
We learn that some of them from the northern kingdom did humble themselves and come, showing us that general scorn and rejection cannot be made an excuse for not proclaiming the Word. For there may always be a few who will hear.**
Judah accepts enthusiastically
12 Also in [Yehudah] the hand of Elohim [Yad HaElohim] was to give them one heart [lev echad] to do the commandment of the king and of the princes [carry out the mitzvat HaMelech and of the sarim], by the word of Yahweh.
...the events took place in the first year of Hezekiah whilst the northern kingdom was still standing, but the insecurity of Hoshea's reign permitted Hezekiah to make an approach to the north, without retaliation. Hoshea may even have permitted and encouraged it. But the appeal met with little success in the north. The majority were too immersed in folly to take heed (2Kgs. 17:15). But Judah responded enthusiastically, recognising the circumstances that God had brought upon them, and because they were better educated in the "Word of Yahweh" (v. 12). *
God gave to the people of Judah one heart to serve Him-to do the commandments of the king. All is of God. God in His mercy is uniting them in zeal and holiness, giving them a new start again.**
The great Passover
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 Yahweh.
The priests and the Levites were ashamed-those who had previously been dilatory in sanctifying themselves. They are moved by the example of the people.*
16 And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of Elohim: 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 Yahweh.
18 For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun [most of HaAm, even many of Ephrayim, and Menasheh, Yissakhar, and Zevulun], had not cleansed themselves [made themselves tahor], yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it [Pesach contrary to what] was written. But Hezekiah prayed [ Chizkiyah davened] for them, saying, The good [hatov]Yahweh pardon every one [grant kapporah]
In spite of irregularities the worship was accepted because of the sincerity of the people, and the intercession of the king. *
19 That prepareth his heart to seek Elohim, Yahweh Elohim of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.
20 And Yahweh hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
Some of the congregation had not had time or proper understanding to cleanse themselves as required, but Hezekiah prayed that their offering may be acceptable under the circumstances, and God heard him.*
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 Yahweh day by day, singing with loud instruments unto Yahweh.
The only possible source of any real gladness is the assurance of harmony and peace with God-true faith and obedience. Nothing else gives any real satisfaction.*
22 And [Chizkiyah] spake comfortably unto all the [Levi'im] that taught the good knowledge [seichel tov] of Yahweh: and they did eat throughout the feast [mo'ed ] 7 days, offering peace offerings [zivkhei shelamim], and making confession to Yahweh Elohim of their fathers [Avoteihem].
A further seven days' worship
23 And the whole assembly [kol HaKahal] took counsel to keep [conferred and agreed to celebrate] other 7 days: and they kept other 7 days with gladness [another shivat yamim with simcha].
They had enjoyed it so much that they decided to keep the Passover another seven days. Such was the beginning of Hezekiah's reign.*
*Bro Growcott - Hezekiah
The tremendous enthusiasm generated in the people as they experienced the great joy of divine service and communion... they felt the need for further such experience and another seven days are spent together...in order that the spirit of revival could be continued. *
The events of this day, however, were but the precursor to an even larger celebration. A special Passover was planned by the king, with the deliberate intention of binding the whole nation together in worship before their God.
Posts were sent out with letters of invitation to all Israel and Judah, to attend a Passover on the second month. Hezekiah's thinking and planning for the event was meticulous, and the result was a huge influx of visitors to Jerusalem. The king was determined that those who came would be spiritually energised and inspired.
Many in the congregation were not sanctified, but the king arranged for the Levites to prepare their lambs, and, recognising the greater good that would come, he offered special intercession that God would graciously overlook their state. Yahweh heard and pardoned, and the gathering had a powerful effect on the assembly. This meeting of brethren from near and far galvanised the congregation into a united desire to repudiate idolatry and return to Yahweh with all their heart.
If it had been the king's wish to relive the day of Solomon's dedication, then his desire was realised, for nothing since Solomon could be compared with this event in Hezekiah's time. The occasion was not the same, for Solomon's was centred around the Feast of Tabernacles, while Hezekiah's was held at the Feast of Unleavened Bread. But the two occasions were bound together by several remarkable things. Solomon's event began with a national convocation extended to twice its normal length. 19
Not since Solomon's time had there been another such prolonged celebration, but Hezekiah's would match it in duration. 20 Solomon's occasion involved all the congregation of Israel, 21 yet Hezekiah, although but king of Judah, succeeded in assembling so great a congregation that only Solomon's day surpassed it. 22
Hezekiah's gathering was marked by an intensity of gladness and joy that few had ever known, 23 but which was itself an echo from Solomon's day. 24 Nor could there be any doubt that the singers had played their part in that rejoicing, for they led the song in Solomon's time, 25 and in Hezekiah's day they lifted the nation to the height of great joy by singing with all their might unto Yahweh. 26
At the end of this wonderful time, the priests arose and blessed the people, and their fervent prayer ascended into the habitation of His holiness, where God heard them. It was an experience to be remembered by all who were present, and, for those of the House of Asaph who sang, this day marked the fulfilment of a lifelong dream. Well might they have sung:
"0 give thanks unto Yahweh; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever."
Had not their God, in His mercy, raised up a faithful king? Had not the nation by His goodness been gloriously united? The incense of the singers' song mingled with the incense of the priests' prayer, and together they arose as a sweet-smelling savour before Yahweh Elohim of Israel. It would be recounted to later generations of the family, that they were there when Hezekiah reformed the nation, and lit the flame of the Truth afresh in the hearts of God's people.
19 First the Feast of Dedication, and then immediately after it the Feast of Tabernacles, described as "seven days and seven days" (1 Kings 8:65).
20 First the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and then an additional week by mutual consent: "And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days" (2 Chronicles 30:23).
21 Chronicles 6:3,12.
22 2 Chronicles 30:13,25.
23 The term samach ('to rejoice', and cognates) is used throughout (2 Chronicles 30:21,23,25,26).
24 2 Chronicles 7:10.
25 2 Chronicles 7:6.
26 Note the repeated expression (gadol simchah, 'great joy') found here (2 Chronicles 30:21,26). The phrase "singing with loud instruments unto Yahweh" (verse 21) is rendered by RSV: "singing with all their might to Yahweh."
Bro Roger Lewis - Abraham and Sarah
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 [kol Kehal Yehudah], with the priests and the Levites [Kohanim and the Levi'im], and all the congregation [kol HaKahal] that came out of Israel, and the strangers [ gerim] that came out of the land of Israel [Eretz Yisroel], and that dwelt in [Yehudah], rejoiced.
Joy in heaven and on earth
The Millenium foreshadowed
26 So there was great joy [simchah gedolah] in [Yerushalayim]: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel [Sh'lomo Ben Dovid Melech Yisroel] there was not the like in [Yerushalayim].
The people confer the name of Yahweh upon the nation, joining them as one with their God. This great national Passover, a solemn occasion in the history of Israel, becomes the outstanding event in the period. The Passover is revived to an extent unprecedented since the days of Solomon. It may not have been held exactly as according to the Law, but there was a spirit of enthusiasm and heart-felt satisfaction amongst the people.
So they entered into a solemn covenant to serve Yahweh in spirit and in truth. This incident is not recorded in the record of the Kings. *- GEM, Logos.
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.