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2 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 31
The people forward in destroying idolatry: Hezekiah ordereth the courses of the priests and Levites; and provideth for their work and maintenance, 2 Chronicles 31:1-4.
The people forward in offerings and tithes, 2 Chronicles 31:5-10.
Hezekiah appointeth officers to dispose of the tithes, 2 Chronicles 31:11-19;
his sincerity, 2 Chronicles 31:20,2 Chronicles 31:21.
In Ephraim also and Manasseh; either,
1. In those cities belonging to Ephraim and Manasseh, which the kings of Judah had formerly taken from the kings of Israel. Or,
2. In the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. For although these were a part of Hoshea’s kingdom, yet Hezekiah presumed to do this, partly, by virtue of the law of God, to which both Israel and Judah owed subjection, which commanded the extirpation of these things out of the whole land of Canaan; partly, by the special impulse and direction of God’s Spirit, which sometimes did put persons upon heroical and extraordinary actions, not to be drawn into imitation; and partly, because he knew that Hoshea contented himself with the worship of the calves, and did not practise that great idolatry which his predecessors had used, and therefore would patiently suffer the breaking of these images of Baal, and the things belonging to them; which is all that was done at this time.
i.e. Within the gates of the house of the Lord; which is here called
tents, partly because all houses are oft so called, as Judges 19:9; Judges 20:8; Psalms 69:25; and partly because the host of the Lord, to wit, the priests and Levites, frequently so called, encamped there, and kept their stations and orders there by course.
For the burnt-offerings; which had hitherto been, and were to be, taken out of the treasures of the temple which were collected from the people, 1 Chronicles 26:20; Nehemiah 10:32,Nehemiah 10:33; but that he might ease them in their present poverty, which his predecessor had brought upon them, and engage them to a more cheerful attendance upon God’s service, he took the burden upon himself.
i.e. Freed from worldly cares and distractions, and enabled to give up themselves entirely to the serious study of God’s law, in which many of them were ignorant, and to the instruction, and direction, and quickening of the people in their several duties.
As soon as the commandment came abroad; either,
1. As soon as the report of this command of the king, 2 Chronicles 31:4, was got abroad into other parts. Or,
2. As soon as the king enlarged and extended that command to all the parts of his kingdom, which, 2 Chronicles 31:4, was confined to them that dwell in Jerusalem. Honey, or, dates, as the Hebrew writers generally, and many other learned Hebricians, understand this word, which is given to them because of the sweetness of their taste, in some sort resembling honey. For the law requires no tithes but of the fruits of trees, or of the earth, or of beasts.
Also the tithe of oxen and sheep; they brought in not only the same tithes which the dwellers in Jerusalem did, to wit, of corn, and wine, and oil, &c., which they had in their own storehouses in that city; but also oxen and sheep, which were more proper to the country; for under the cities of Judah are comprehended the suburbs and territories adjacent and belonging to them, as is evident from the nature of the thing, and the law of God.
And the tithe of holy things: this may be taken either,
1. By way of explication, even the tithe of holy things, &c. Or rather,
2. By way of addition,
the tithe of all holy things which were consecrated unto the Lord, whether by vow, or voluntary promise, or otherwise; as the tithes of gains by merchandise, or spoils of war, &c.; of which see Genesis 14:20; Genesis 28:22; Numbers 31:28,Numbers 31:30.
In the third month, to wit, of the sacred year, Exodus 12:2 in which their harvest began.
In the seventh month; in which their harvest ended and the feast of tabernacles was kept, Exodus 23:16; Leviticus 23:34.
They blessed the Lord; both for giving such plentiful provisions to his land in this year, and for giving his people such liberal and pious hearts towards this good work.
And his people Israel; they praised them for their forwardness and faithfulness in it.
How it came to pass that no more of their provision was spent, and that there yet remained such great heaps of it.
The chief priest of the house of Zadok; either,
1. The high priest, called also Zadok, 1 Chronicles 6:12, because he was of his line and family. Or,
2. The chief priest, or the head of that family of Zadok, or of Eleazar; as there was another chief priest of the family of Abiathar, or of Ithamar; see 2 Samuel 8:17; 1 Chronicles 24:3; but both subject to the high priest.
Since the people began to bring the offerings; which they did from the beginning of the harvest, according to the manner.
The Lord hath blessed his people in an extraordinary degree.
In the house of the Lord; largely so called, to wit, in the courts, or in the chambers adjoining to the house.
Overseers under the hand of Cononiah and Shimei his brother, i.e. to dispose of those provisions by their direction, and to be accountable to them therein.
The ruler of the house of God; either the supreme ruler, to wit, the high priest; or the chief ruler under him, and in his stead, being appointed by him to inspect this work. See above, 2 Chronicles 31:10; 1 Chronicles 9:11; Jeremiah 20:1.
Toward the east; at the east gate of the Lord’s house; of which See Poole "2 Chronicles 23:5".
To distribute to the priests and Levites, to whom they were appropriated by God.
The most holy things, to wit, the remainders of the free-will-offering, Leviticus 2:3,Leviticus 2:10, the sin-offering and trespass-offering, Leviticus 6:18,Leviticus 6:22; Leviticus 7:1, and the shew-bread, Leviticus 24:9.
These were intrusted with the receiving and distributing of the several portions belonging to the priests who abode in their several cities, whilst their brethren came up to Jerusalem.
From three years old and upward; to whom a portion of these things was allotted, as is here implied.
Unto every one that entereth into the house of the Lord; that were capable of entering thither and doing service there, which they were at twenty years old, as is expressed here, 2 Chronicles 31:17, and 1 Chronicles 23:24, through the whole company of the priests and Levites.
This is alleged as a reason why their wives and children were provided for out of the holy things, because they sequestered themselves from worldly affairs, by which they might otherwise have provided for their families, and entirely devoted themselves to holy administrations.
The priests, which were in the fields; who are opposed to those that lived in or resorted to the great city Jerusalem.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 31". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany