Hezekiah Organizes the Priesthood
31 And when all this was finished, all Israel who were found in the cities of Judah went out and shattered the stone pillars, cut down the Asherahs, and destroyed the high places and the altars from all Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh ⌊to the very last one⌋.a Then all the Israelites returned, each to his own property and to their cities.
2 And Hezekiah appointed working groups of the priests and the Levites, each according to their divisions, ⌊according to the service for priests and Levites⌋,b for burnt offerings, for peace offerings, to serve, to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the camps of Yahweh. 3 And the gift of the king was out of his own possessions for the burnt offerings—the burnt offerings for the morning and the evening and for Sabbaths, new moon festivals, and appointed feasts, as is written in the law of Yahweh. 4 Then he said to the people, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to give a gift for the priests and the Levites, so that they might be strong in the law of Yahweh. 5 And the word spread. The Israelites gave abundantly from the firstfruits of grain, new wine, olive oil, honey, and all kinds of grains from the field. And they brought tithes of everything in abundance. 6 Then the people of Israel and Judah who were living in the cities of Judah, they also brought a tithe of cattle and sheep and a tithe of consecrated objects to Yahweh their God. And they gave heaps upon heaps. 7 In the third month the heaps began to pile up, and in the seventh month they ceased. 8 When Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed Yahweh and his people Israel. 9 And Hezekiah questionedc the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps. 10 And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him, saying, “Since the offerings began to be brought to the house of Yahweh, we have eaten and been satisfied, and have much to spare, for Yahweh has blessed his people. Now see this abundant remainder!”
11 And Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of Yahweh, and they were prepared. 12 Then they brought the offerings and tithes and holy objects faithfully. And over them as leader was Conaniah the Levite. And Shimei his brother was second in rank. 13 And Jehiel, Azaziah, Nathan, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath, and Benaiah were chief officers under the hand of Conaniah and Shimei, his brother, by appointment of King Hezekiah. And Azaraiah was leader of the house of God. 14 Now Kore the son of Imlah, the Levite, the gatekeeper of the east gate was over the freewill offerings of God, to give offerings to Yahweh and the most holy things. 15 And at his hand were Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah in the cities of the priests and ⌊entrusted⌋d to give to their brothers by working groups, according to the eldest to the youngest, 16 besides their enrollment by genealogy, to males from ⌊three years old⌋e and above, to all who came into the house of Yahweh, ⌊as each day required⌋f for their service in their posts according to their working groups. 17 And the enrollment of the priests was according to the house of their fathers, and the Levites, from ⌊twenty years old⌋g and above, according to their posts by their working groups. 18 And they were enrolled with all their little ones, their wives, their sons, and their daughters for the whole assembly because of their faithfulness. And they sanctified themselves in holiness. 19 And for the descendantsh of Aaron, the priests, who were in the fields of the pasturelands of their cities, ⌊in each and every one of their cities⌋i were men who were designated by name to give shares to every male among the priests and to everyone enrolled among the Levites.
20 And Hezekiah did according to this throughout all Judah. And he did what is good and what is right and what is faithful before Yahweh his God. 21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God or with respect to the law and the commandment to seek his God, he did with all his heart, and he prospered.
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The Lexham English Bible contains a translation of the original languages into smooth, readable English. It also contains copious footnotes which address translation issues, instances of Old Testament quotations in the New Testament, and various textual-critical issues. This translation also indicates the use of idioms in the Greek and Hebrew text. In cases where a literal rendering of Greek or Hebrew would prevent a smooth English translation, footnotes indicate the literal English translation, accompanied by explanatory notes as necessary.
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