New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:


Video presentations on this chapter:


Other material relevant to this chapter:

Hezekiah: Faith And Weakness

Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 29 Oct. 31 
Hezekiah Cleanses the Temple
Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. 2He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that David his father had done. 3In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of Yahweh, and repaired them. 4He brought in the priests and the Levites and gathered them together into the broad place on the east, 5and said to them, Listen to me, you Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the house of Yahweh, the God of your fathers, and carry all the abominations out of the holy place. 6For our fathers have trespassed and done that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh our God, and have forsaken Him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of Yahweh, and turned their backs. 7Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. 8Therefore the wrath of Yahweh was on Judah and Jerusalem, and He has delivered them to be tossed back and forth, to be an astonishment and a hissing, as you see with your eyes. 9For, behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 10Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with Yahweh, the God of Israel, that His fierce anger may turn away from us. 11My sons, don’t be negligent now; for Yahweh has chosen you to stand before Him to minister to Him, and that you should be His ministers, and burn incense. 12Then the Levites arose, Mahath son of Amasai, and Joel son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites; and of the sons of Merari, Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel; and of the Gershonites, Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah; 13and of the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeuel; and of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14and of the sons of Heman, Jehuel and Shimei; and of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15They gathered their brothers and sanctified themselves, and went in, according to the commandment of the king by the words of Yahweh, to cleanse the house of Yahweh. 16The priests went in to the inner part of the house of Yahweh to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in Yahweh’s temple into the court of the house of Yahweh. The Levites took it, to carry it out abroad to the brook Kidron. 17Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of Yahweh. They sanctified the house of Yahweh in eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end. 18Then they went in to Hezekiah the king within the palace and said, We have cleansed all the house of Yahweh, and the altar of burnt offering, with all its vessels, and the table of showbread, with all its vessels. 19Moreover all the vessels which king Ahaz in his reign threw away when he trespassed, have we prepared and sanctified; and behold, they are before the altar of Yahweh.
A Service of Re-dedication
20Then Hezekiah the king arose early, and gathered the princes of the city, and went up to the house of Yahweh. 21They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom and for the sanctuary and for Judah. He commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on the altar of Yahweh. 22So they killed the bulls, and the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the altar. They killed the rams, and sprinkled the blood on the altar: they killed also the lambs, and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23They brought near the male goats for the sin offering before the king and the assembly; and they laid their hands on them: 24and the priests killed them, and they made a sin offering with their blood on the altar, to make atonement for all Israel; for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. 25He set the Levites in the house of Yahweh with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer and Nathan the prophet; for the commandment was of Yahweh by His prophets. 26The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song of Yahweh began also, and the trumpets, together with the instruments of David king of Israel. 28All the assembly worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded. All this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29When they had made an end of offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshipped. 30Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praises to Yahweh with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. They sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped. 31Then Hezekiah answered, Now you have consecrated yourselves to Yahweh; come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of Yahweh. The assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings. 32The number of the burnt offerings which the assembly brought was seventy bulls, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs. All these were for a burnt offering to Yahweh. 33The consecrated things were six hundred head of cattle and three thousand sheep. 34But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings. Therefore their brothers the Levites helped them, until the work was ended, and until the priests had sanctified themselves; for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests. 35Also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings, and with the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of the house of Yahweh was set in order. 36Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, because of that which God had prepared for the people; for this was done suddenly.


29:2 We of course wonder how it could be that such an evil man as Ahaz had such a righteous son as Hezekiah. Perhaps the extreme sinfulness of Ahaz made Hezekiah reflect upon the wrongness of sin; perhaps Hezekiah was angry with his father for killing his brothers and sisters in sacrifice to stupid idols (28:3) and so he went the other way, as it were. Whatever, we learn that bad background doesn’t force people into sin; Hezekiah had an awful spiritual background but he was righteous. We can’t blame our sin on anything, including bad background.
In the eyes of Yahweh- These “eyes of Yahweh” refer to the Angels (16:9). If we ask how, mechanically, as it were, God sees and knows all things, the answer is perhaps ‘Through His Angels’. Their activity is amazing; because their work is invisible to us, we may get the impression at times that God is somehow silent and unobservant. But His “eyes” are constantly informing Him of our situations and indeed forming an opinion about them.
29:3 There is a frequent cycle in the record of the kings of mass apostasy by the people, reformation by a faithful king and then quick descent into apostasy again. This mirrors the cycle of sin, repentance, devotion and sin which is seen in so many personal lives. One of the greatest joys we can look forward to in the Kingdom of God is not just the eternity of the life, but the spiritual quality of it, never able to sin again. The cycle of the kings suggests, however, that much of the reformation was as a result of the personal leadership of the king; people go back to the easier way of the flesh very easily, and good leadership can only go so far in personal reformation; because our relationship with God is ultimately so very personal.
29:11 My sons- Hezekiah was only 25 years old when he said this (:1), but when others are spiritually weak and someone takes spiritual leadership, they become the elder- regardless of their age.
29:23 It would seem from :21 that the male goats were the sin offering. Jesus understood goats to represent those who would be rejected at the final judgment (Mt. 25:33). We are to put our hand as it were on the head of such goats, recognizing that we should come to judgment day and be condemned, treated as goats. Yes, we need to imagine how it would feel to be at the judgment and be sent to the left hand side. This is what we deserve, and we recognize that by placing our hand on the head of the goat, as it were. But we are saved by the blood of the lamb; we are identified with Him and will therefore be treated as Him, and moved to the right hand side where the sheep are. All these principles are brought together in baptism into Christ, whereby through that immersion in water we die the death of a sinner and yet rise again with Christ; and we are to continue living out the essence of baptism in an ongoing sense throughout our lives.