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2Ch 31:1 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.
Ver. 1. Now when all this was finished. ] Now that they had heard the law, received the sacrament, and had their hearts filled with the joy of the Lord, which was their strength, and graciously lifted up in the Lord’s ways, as 2 Chronicles 17:6 , they returned not home, till they had first done these zealous acts.
And brake the images in pieces. ] They with their king. 2Ki 18:4
In Ephraim also and Manasseh. ] Such cities therein as were subject to Hezekiah. Or if they went further, they looked upon Hoshea then king of Israel as a usurper: and he being rather an atheist than idolater, suffered the people haply to do herein as they would, so that he might be suffered to sit in the throne.
Returned every man to his possession. ] They did not cast off their callings, and all care of their affairs, now that they were enlightened, as some of our sectaries hold themselves bound to do.
2Ch 31:2 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.
Ver. 2. In the gates of the tents of the Lord, ] i.e., Of the temple, fitly compared to a camp, for the watch and ward there kept by the priests, and for the convention of the people thither, as to their rendezvous, to pray, which is the chief service of our spiritual warfare.
2 Chronicles 31:3 [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.
Ver. 3. He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance.] That is, Of his proper goods, and at his own particular cost. This he did of his princely liberality, for the ease of the people, who had been miserably peeled out and impoverished in his father’s days.
2Ch 31:4 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.
Ver. 4. That they might be encouraged. ] That having των αναγκαιων χωρηγιαν , as Chrysostom hath it, a liberal subsistence, they might serve the Lord without distraction, and with much alacrity: for
“ Pluribus intentus minor est ad singula sensus. ”
2Ch 31:5 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.
Ver. 5. And as soon as the commandment came abroad. ] Heb., Brake forth. Ahaz had nulled the laws for ministers’ maintenance, that he might bring them to beggary and dishearten them - the like did Julian the apostate; - Hezekiah therefore reviveth those laws with the first: and the people readily obeyeth them.
Brought they in abundantly. ] a Not pinchingly and deceitfully, as now-a-days. Spoliantur Parochiae et Scholae non aliter ac si fame necare nes velint, saith Luther. Our parishes and schools are so robbed of their right, as if they meant to famish us all. b To colour the matter, conscience is pretended by some: but the apostle telleth them it is not conscience, but covetousness. 2Co 9:5
a Libenter et liberaliter.
b Maligne dantibas maledicit Deus Mal 3:9
2Ch 31:6 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.
Ver. 6. Which were consecrated unto the Lord, ] i.e., Such as, over and above the tithes ordinarily appointed to be paid, any did voluntarily vow to give: so the Vulgate. See 2 Chronicles 31:8 .
2Ch 31:7 In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished [them] in the seventh month.
Ver. 7. In the third month. ] About pentecost which is called the feast of harvest.
They began to lay the foundation of the heaps. ] That is, Of the grain stacks, brought by the people into the tithe barns. Mal 3:10 This they did not, till the king both exhorted them, and began to them.
And finished them in the seventh month. ] About the feast of tabernacles, called the feast of ingathering at the end of the year. Exo 23:16
2Ch 31:8 And when Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the LORD, and his people Israel.
Ver. 8. They blessed the Lord. ] For so good a year; but especially for so good a frame of spirit in the people.
2Ch 31:9 Then Hezekiah questioned with the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps.
Ver. 9. Concerning the heaps. ] See on 2 Chronicles 31:7 .
2Ch 31:10 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.
Ver. 10. And Azariah the chief priest. ] The same, saith Lyra, that withstood Uzziah, with so much zeal and courage.
For the Lord hath blessed his people. ] That is, His priests and people, saith Lavater, who have rightly used and not wasted God’s plenty.
2Ch 31:11 Then Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of the LORD; and they prepared [them],
Ver. 11. To prepare chambers. ] Or, Storehouses. Prepared they were before by Solomon: but now they were put in order, and made fit for such a use.
2Ch 31:12 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.
Ver. 12. And brought in the offerings. ] Sin offerings and thank offerings.
And the dedicated things. ] See on 2 Chronicles 31:6 . Among our forefathers, the statute of Mortmain provided they should give no more to the church. But now there needed no such statute; the springs of men’s bounty being like Jordan turned back.
Faithfully. ] Heb., In truth: they paid their dues honestly and out of conscience: not counting all well got that was gotten from the priests, as now-a-days they do.
2Ch 31:13 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.
Ver. 13. At the commandment of Hezekiah the king, and Azariah. ] Without whose advice the king would do nothing in church affairs. The great Turk doth the like with his mufti, A Muslim priest or expounder of the law &c.
2Ch 31:14 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.
Ver. 14. Was over the freewill offerings of God. ] Super liberalitates Dei, called also the most holy things or sanctities of sanctities. See 2 Chronicles 31:6 .
2Ch 31:15 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:
Ver. 15. To give to their brethren by courses. ] In a geometrical proportion.
2Ch 31:16 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;
Ver. 16. From three years old. ] For these also there was maintenance allotted and allowed: so great was the abundance of the offerings, the people’s liberality, and the king’s providence, piety, and devotion.
2Ch 31:18 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:
Ver. 18. Of all their little ones, their wives, &c. ] Their wives and children depended upon them for a maintenance, and had it.
2Ch 31:20 And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought [that which was] good and right and truth before the LORD his God.
Ver. 20. And wrought that which was good, &c. ] This his uprightness was the best stake in his hedge, when the news of death made all crack. Isa 38:3
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 31". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany