Two Chronicles Thirty

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

2 Chronicles 30:1 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.

to keep the passover. The Passover feast, along with the feast of unleavened bread, was supposed to have been observed annually (Exodus 12:14-28), in thankful commemoration of their deliverance from Egypt. It was apparently observed faithfully during the days of Moses and then at least intermittently in the period of the judges (2 Kings 23:21-23), and on to the times of Solomon (2 Chronicles 30:26). But it had apparently been only partially observed, if at all, after that. At least, no mention is ever made of its observance once the kingdom was divided. No doubt, one of Hezekiah's hopes was that its reestablishment might help reunify Israel and Judah.

2 Chronicles 30:2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.

in the second month. Although the Passover was supposed to be offered on the fourteenth day of the first month of the religious year (Exodus 12:2, 3, 6), provision had been made to defer it for one month if necessary (Numbers 9:9-11).

2 Chronicles 30:3 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.

2 Chronicles 30:4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation.

2 Chronicles 30:5 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.

2 Chronicles 30:6 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.

all Israel and Judah. Even though many in Israel had been either slain or deported by the Assyrians by this time, there was still a significant “remnant” left in the land. It was to these that Hezekiah sent his invitation, reminding them that God's covenant with “Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” still applied to all the tribes.

2 Chronicles 30:7 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.

2 Chronicles 30:8 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.

2 Chronicles 30:9 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.

2 Chronicles 30:10 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.

2 Chronicles 30:11 Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.

divers of Asher. Here is further evidence that a remnant out of the northern kingdom still followed the true worship of God. In addition to Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun, the tribes of Ephraim and Issachar are mentioned in 2 Chronicles 30:18. Simeon also is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 15:9. In fact, Hezekiah made a special point of inviting all the tribes of Israel to keep the Passover in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 30:5), and it is at least possible that some came from every tribe (see 2 Chronicles 30:25-27).

2 Chronicles 30:12 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.

2 Chronicles 30:13 And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.

2 Chronicles 30:14 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.

2 Chronicles 30:15 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.

2 Chronicles 30:16 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.

2 Chronicles 30:17 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.

2 Chronicles 30:18 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

had not cleansed themselves. The specific ways in which these Israelites had not cleansed themselves in preparation for the Passover are not mentioned. Possibly, because of the idolatries of their parents under King Ahaz, they had not been circumcised (Exodus 12:43-49) and were thus considered “strangers” and therefore not under the covenant (Genesis 17:10-14). Nevertheless, God regarded obedience of the heart as more important than ritual (1 Samuel 15:22), and accepted them when the king prayed.

2 Chronicles 30:19 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.

2 Chronicles 30:20 And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.

2 Chronicles 30:21 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.

2 Chronicles 30:22 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.

2 Chronicles 30:23 And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness.

2 Chronicles 30:24 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.

2 Chronicles 30:25 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.

2 Chronicles 30:26 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.

2 Chronicles 30:27 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.