Week #64; Wed, Mar 20: 2 Chronicles 30:1–35:27
1. It appears that once the temple was consecrated by the priests and the Levites, Hezekiah reached out to Israel and Judah to return to the Lord at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover together.
2. While kings came to the house of the Lord during their reign, some abandoned it at great expense to them and their kingdom.
3. When the Book of the Law of the Lord was found by Hilkiah the priest in the house of the Lord it was given to Shaphan who brought it to the king who realized that the wrath of the Lord that is poured out on them was due to not keeping the word of the Lord, to do all that is written in the book.
2 Chronicles 30, Passover Celebrated
1. Couriers were sent to all Israel and Judah by King Hezekiah saying that all should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem to keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel.
2. Desolation was still evident among the people of Israel even though many had escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria.
3. King Hezekiah urged all not to “be stiff-necked, but to return and yield themselves to the Lord that his fierce anger may turn away from them for the Lord is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.”
4. Some of the couriers were laughed, scorned, and mocked except in Asher and Zebulun; Judah also was given the heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the Lord.
5. The Passover lamb was slaughtered on the 14th day of the second month yet many there were not clean but still ate the Passover other than as prescribed.
6. Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the good Lord pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his fathers, even though not according to the sanctuary’s rules of cleanness.”
7. The Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.
8. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was extended from 7 days to 14 days with gladness and joy.
9. All in Israel and Judah rejoiced with great joy for nothing like this was seen in Jerusalem since the time of Solomon.
10. When the priests and the Levites arose and blessed the people, their voice was heard, and their prayer came to his holy habitation in heaven.
2 Chronicles 31, Hezekiah Organizes the Priests
1. Following the Passover, “all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke in pieces the pillars and cut down the Asherim and broke down the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, and in Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all.”
2. Hezekiah commanded chambers to be prepared to hold excess heaps of contributions when he discovered that the tithes of the people satisfied all.
3. Hezekiah organized throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God.
4. Every work Hezekiah undertook, he did with all his heart, and prospered.
2 Chronicles 32, Sennacherib Invades Judah, He Blasphemes, The Lord Delivers Jerusalem, and Hezekiah’s Pride and Achievements
1. Following the previous acts of faithfulness, Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib the king of Assyria invaded Judah encamping against the fortified cities to win them for himself.
2. Hezekiah stopped all the springs from flowing, repaired the wall that was broken, and built towers.
3. He built a second wall outside the inner wall and strengthened the Millo in the city of David.
4. He made weapons and shields in abundance and assigned combat commanders over the people.
5. He gathered the people together and encouraged them to be strong and courageous, not to be afraid for the Lord our God, is with us to help us and to fight our battles.
6. The people took confidence from Hezekiah king of Judah.
7. Sennacherib besieged Lachish on his way to Jerusalem and notified Hezekiah in that the God of Israel could not stop him from taking Jerusalem.
8. Sennacherib compared the God of Israel with all the other gods that could not protect other nations from the Assyrian forces; he identified the “one” altar for the God of Israel as nothing more than that of the other gods.
9. Sennacherib cautioned the people of Jerusalem not to trust Hezekiah and he casted contempt on the Lord, the God of Israel.
10. Sennacherib taunted defenders on the wall and sent letters of contempt for the God of Israel.
11. Then Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet, prayed because of the threat from Sennacherib.
12. The Lord sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria.
13. Sennacherib returned to Assyria in shame where some of his own sons struck him down with the sword in the house of his own god.
14. The Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from Sennacherib and from the hand of all his enemies.
15. Many brought gifts to the Lord to Jerusalem and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from that time onward.
16. Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death, and he prayed to the Lord; the Lord answered him and gave him a sign.
17. Hezekiah’s heart became proud and the Lord caused wrath to come upon him, Judah, and Jerusalem.
18. But Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride in his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.
19. After that, Hezekiah had very great riches and honor, and he made for himself treasuries for silver, for gold, for precious stones, for spices, for shields, and for all kinds of costly vessels; he had storehouses for grain, wine, and oil, stalls for cattle and sheep.
20. God had given him very great possessions.
21. Manasseh son of Hezekiah reigned in his place.
2 Chronicles 33, Manasseh Reigns in Judah, His Repentance, and Amon’s Reign and Death
1. Manasseh was 12 when he began to reign and he reigned 55 years in Jerusalem doing evil in the sight of the Lord.
2. He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had broken down, and erected altars to the Baals, and made Asherahs, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.
3. He burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and necromancers.
4. He made a carved image and he set it in the house of God.
5. Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray, to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the people of Israel.
6. When the Lord spoke to Manasseh, he paid no attention.
7. Therefore the Lord brought upon them the commanders of the army of Assyria who captured him with hooks and bound him in chains of bronze and brought him to Babylon.
8. Manasseh prayed to the Lord and humbled himself greatly.
9. God was moved by his prayer and brought him again to Jerusalem; then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.
10. Manasseh built an outer wall for the city of David and raised it to a great height.
11. He put commanders of the army in all the fortified cities in Judah.
12. He took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he had built on the mountain of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem.
13. He restored the altar of the Lord and offered on it sacrifices of peace offerings and of thanksgiving.
14. He commanded Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
15. But the people still sacrificed at the high places, but only to the Lord their God.
16. Amon his son reigned in his place beginning when he was 22; he reigned for 2 years doing evil in the sight of the Lord, like Manasseh his father.
17. Amon sacrificed to all the images that Manasseh his father had made, and served them.
18. Amon did not humble himself before the Lord but incurred guilt more and more.
19. His servants conspired against him and put him to death in his house, but the people of the land struck down all those who had conspired against King Amon.
20. The people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place.
2 Chronicles 34, Josiah Reigns in Judah, The Book of the Law Found, and Huldah Prophesies Disaster
1. Josiah was 8 when he began to reign and he reigned 31 years in Jerusalem doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord.
2. In the 12th year of his reign, he began to seek the God of David and in the 20th year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, and the carved and metal images.
3. They chopped down the altars of the Baals in his presence and he cut down the incense altars that stood above them.
4. He broke in pieces the Asherim and the carved and metal images and he made dust of them and scattered it over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.
5. He burned the bones of the priests on their altars and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.
6. He broke down the altars and beat the Asherim and the images into powder and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel before returning to Jerusalem.
7. When the Book of the Law of the Lord was found by Hilkiah the priest during repairs to the house of the Lord, King Josiah sent Hilkiah, Ahikam, Abdon, Shaphan, and Asaiah to go inquire of the Lord for him and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found.
8. It was feared that the wrath of the Lord that was poured out on them because their fathers did not keep the word of the Lord, to do according to all that is written in the book.
9. They went to Huldah the prophetess in Jerusalem and she said to them, “Behold, I will bring disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the curses that are written in the book that was read before the king of Judah.”
10. Upon hearing the words of Huldah, Josiah gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem where he read all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord.
11. The king then made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book.
12. He made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin join in it.
13. Josiah took away all the abominations from all the territory that belonged to the people of Israel and made all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God.
2 Chronicles 35, Josiah Keeps the Passover and Josiah is Killed in Battle
1. Josiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem.
2. He had the Levites put the holy ark in the house that Solomon built.
3. They were to prepare themselves and stand in the Holy Place and slaughter the Passover lamb, and consecrate themselves and their brothers to do according to the word of the Lord by Moses.
4. Vast amounts of goats and bulls were contributed for Passover offerings for all who were present.
5. When the service had been prepared, the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their divisions slaughtered the Passover lamb throwing blood on the altar.
6. No Passover like it had been kept in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet; it was the 18th year of the reign of Josiah.
7. Neco king of Egypt went up to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates and Josiah went out to meet him.
8. Neco told Josiah he was not coming against him but against the house with which he was at war.
9. But Josiah did not turn aside and disguised himself in order to fight with him.
10. Neco’s archers shot Josiah at the plain of Megiddo and he was taken to Jerusalem where he died.