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2 Chronicles 29


(LXX versing)
Hezekiah's Good Reign Hezekiah Reigns in Judah Hezekiah Begins His Good Reign by Cleansing the Temple King Hezekiah of Judah Accession of Hezekiah
29:1-2 29:1-2 29:1-2 29:1-2 29:1-2
Hezekiah Cleanses the Temple The Purification of the Temple The Purification of the Temple
29:3-4 29:3-11 29:3-11 29:3-9 29:3-4a
Reforms Begin 29:4b-11
29:12-19 29:12-19 29:12-19 29:12-14 29:12-15
The Temple is Rededicated The Sacrifice of Expiation
Hezekiah Restores Temple Worship Hezekiah Restores Temple Worship 29:18-19 29:18-19
29:20-24 29:20-24 29:20-24 29:20-24 29:20-24
29:25-28 29:25-30 29:25-30 29:25-30 29:25-28
The Cult Begins Again
29:29-30 29:29-30
29:31-36 29:31-36 29:31-36 29:31-35a 29:31-35a
29:35b-36 29:35b-36

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Bible Interpretation Seminar")


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

  1. First paragraph
  2. Second paragraph
  3. Etc.


1Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. 2He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.

29:1 "Hezekiah" The Chronicler presents him as one of the godly kings of Judah (i.e., chapters 29-32). In this chapter, after his coronation year he immediately (i.e., first year, first month, cf. 2 Chr. 29:17) started the restoration of temple worship. The sacred calendar begins with Nisan. The Passover of chapter 30 was on the 14th.

2 Chronicles 29:1 is a typical introduction but this was not a typical king. He was, in the Chronicler's opinion, the most spiritual king since David (cf. 2 Kgs. 18:5).

It is surprising that some Hebrew names (i.e., like Joshua) are spelled in different ways.

  1. in Kings it is spelled
    1. חזקיהו (i.e., 2 Kgs. 16:20; 18:9; 19:1)
    2. חזקיה (i.e., 2 Kgs. 18:1)
  2. in Chronicles ‒ יחזקיהו

The Jewish Study Bible, p. 1808, suggests that the Kings form of the name is older.

The name for Israel's covenant Deity, YHWH, is added to names in two ways.

  1. a "y" at the beginning
  2. "iah" at the end

Form #2 has both.

The root חזק (BDB 304) means "strong," therefore, the Jewish Study Bible differentiates the meaning

  1. "YHWH is my strength"
  2. "YHWH is strong"

29:2 Hezekiah followed in the footsteps of his ancestor David. See full note at 2 Chr. 24:2.

3In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. 4He brought in the priests and the Levites and gathered them into the square on the east.

29:3 The temple had been desecrated and closed by Ahaz (cf. 2 Chr. 28:24). It is surprising how the kings of Judah vacillated between

  1. godly king ‒ Jotham, Hezekiah, Josiah
  2. evil king ‒ Ahaz, Manessah, Amon

29:4 These priests and Levites would have been out of work. They had to find other jobs to support their families.

5Then he said to them, "Listen to me, O Levites. Consecrate yourselves now, and consecrate the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry the uncleanness out from the holy place. 6For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done evil in the sight of the Lord our God, and have forsaken Him and turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and have turned their backs. 7They have also shut the doors of the porch and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. 8Therefore the wrath of the Lord was against Judah and Jerusalem, and He has made them an object of terror, of horror, and of hissing, as you see with your own 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 the Lord God of Israel, that His burning anger may turn away from us. 11My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to minister to Him, and to be His ministers and burn incense."

29:5 Hezekiah issues several orders.

  1. listen to me ‒ BDB 1033, KB 1570, Qal IMPERATIVE
  2. consecrate yourselves ‒ BDB 872, KB 1073, Hithpael IMPERATIVE
  3. consecrate the house of the Lord ‒ BDB 872, KB 1073, Piel IMPERATIVE
  4. carry uncleanness out from the holy place ‒ BDB 422, KB 425, Hiphil IMPERATIVE

"Consecrate" The writings of Moses give some procedures for this, mostly from the original ordination of Aaron and his sons.

  1. Exod. 19:10,14 ‒ washed their clothes
  2. Exod. 28:41; 29:7; 30:30; Lev. 8:12 ‒ anoint them with oil
  3. Exod. 29:1-3,10-18; Lev. 8:20 ‒ sacrifice animals
  4. Exod. 29:5-6; 40:13 ‒ put on holy garments
  5. Exod. 29:19 ‒ lay hands on sacrifice
  6. Exod. 29:20-21 ‒ place blood in special places on the High Priest's body and altar
  7. Exod. 29:24-28 ‒ special wave offering ceremony

The OT records the call to consecration of people and priests often but does not give the specific elements that are required. God's people must be holy because YHWH is holy. This holiness had several components.

  1. ceremonial purification
  2. obedience to Mosaic Law
  3. willingness to seek YHWH

29:6-7 These verses spell out the sins of the fathers (esp. Ahaz).

  1. they have been unfaithful ‒ BDB 591, KB 612, Qal PERFECT, cf. 3 Chr. 26:16,18; 28:19,22; 36:14
  2. they have done evil in the sight of the Lord our God ‒ 2 Chr. 28:2-3,22-25
  3. they have forsaken Him ‒ BDB 736 I, KB 806, Qal IMPERFECT with waw; this is the opposite of "seek." cf. Deut. 28:20; 2 Chr. 15:2; 24:18,20; 28:6; Jdgs. 10:10; Jer. 1:16
  4. they turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord (i.e., abandoned temple worship (cf. 2 Chr. 28:22-25)
  5. they turned their backs to YHWH ‒ this is an idiom, "stiff-necked," which denotes someone who is obstinate and unchanging, cf. Exod. 32:8-9; 33:3,5; 34:9; Deut. 9:6; 31:27; 2 Kgs. 17:14; 2 Chr. 30:8; Neh. 9:16,17; Jer. 7:26; 17:23; 19:15; this rebellious stubbornness was a characteristic of YHWH's people from the very beginning
  6. they shut the doors of the porch (Ahaz in 2 Chr. 28:24)
  7. they put out the lamps
  8. they had not burned incense
  9. they had not offered burnt offerings (cf. Leviticus 1)



29:7 "in the holy place" This designation could refer to

  1. the whole temple area
  2. the shrine/tent

Usually the outer part of the inner tent is called "the holy place"; both priests and Levites could minister there. However, the inner part was the "holy of holies," where only the High Priest could go on the Day of Atonement. In this context, Solomon's temple was defiled and had to be cleaned, so this holy designation was altered until it was reconsecrated.

29:8 This is a theological comment, so common in Chronicles, that relates historical events to disobedience to the covenant (cf. Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28).

  1. YHWH made them an object of terror (lit. "trembling," BDB 266, cf. Deut. 28:25; Jer. 15:4; 24:9; 29:18; 34:17; Ezek. 23:46
  2. YHWH made them an object of horror (lit. "astonishment" or "desolation," BDB 1031 I, cf. Deut. 28:37; 2 Kgs. 22:19; 2 Chr. 30:7; Jer. 5:30; 25:9,11; 29:18; 42:18; 48:12,22; 49:12,17; 50:23; 51:37,41)
  3. YHWH made them an object of hissing (BDB 1056, i.e., a sound gesture to denote an object of derision or disgust, cf. 1 Kgs. 9:8; Jer. 18:16; 19:8; 25:9,18; 29:18; 51:37; Lam. 2:15,16; Mic. 6:16)

YHWH's covenant people were meant to be a light to the world, a source of revelation of YHWH's character but they had turned into a witness of His justice/judgment, not His mercy.

29:9 The term "captivity" (BDB 985) refers to the exile of Judeans in chapter 28.

  1. to Syria ‒ 2 Chr. 28:5
  2. to Israel ‒ 2 Chr. 28:8,11,13,14,15
  3. to Edom ‒ 2 Chr. 28:17

It certainly foreshadows the exile of Israel by Assyria (722 b.c.) and Judah by Babylon (586 b.c.). Exile was one of the consequences of disobedience in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. See 2 Chr. 28:5-8,17.

29:10-11 Hezekiah's message to the priests and Levites continues (2 Chr. 29:4).

  1. It is in my heart to make (i.e., renew) a covenant with YHWH.
  2. So that His burning anger may turn away from us (BDB 996, KB 1427, Qal JUSSIVE; this root is also used of repentance).
  3. "My sons," in context this must refer to the assembled members of the tribe of Levi.
    1. do not be negligent ‒ BDB 1017, KB 1502, Niphal IMPERFECT used in a JUSSIVE sense
    2. for YHWH has chosen you to stand before Him (i.e., Num. 3:6-9; 8:14-19)

12Then the Levites arose: Mahath, the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah, from the sons of the Kohathites; and from the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; and from the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah and Eden the son of Joah; 13and from the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeiel; and from the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14and from the sons of Heman, Jehiel and Shimei; and from the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15They assembled their brothers, consecrated themselves, and went in to cleanse the house of the Lord, according to the commandment of the king by the words of the Lord. 16So the priests went in to the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and every unclean thing which they found in the temple of the Lord they brought out to the court of the house of the Lord. Then the Levites received it to carry out to the Kidron valley. 17Now they began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they entered the porch of the Lord. Then they consecrated the house of the Lord in eight days, and finished on the sixteenth day of the first month. 18Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, "We have cleansed the whole house of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering with all of its utensils, and the table of showbread with all of its utensils. 19Moreover, all the utensils which King Ahaz had discarded during his reign in his unfaithfulness, we have prepared and consecrated; and behold, they are before the altar of the Lord."

29:15 "consecrated themselves" See note at 2 Chr. 29:5.

"to cleanse the house of the Lord" Ahaz had defiled and polluted it (cf. 2 Chr. 28:22-25).

29:16 "the inner part of the house of the Lord" This implies the "holy of holies" but could refer to the whole shrine tent.


"to carry out to the Kidron valley" The city of Jerusalem had two main valleys.

  1. the Kidron, east of the temple
  2. the Hinnom, south of the city (cf. 2 Chr. 28:3)

Asa destroyed his mother's Asherah. Hezekiah will also destroy the altars of Ahaz (2 Chr. 28:24) there (cf. 2 Chr. 30:14). The Kidron was where the blood from the temple drained.

The Valley of Hinnom was the place of Molech worship (cf. 2 Chr. 28:3).

29:17 The Jewish Study Bible, p. 1809, suggests that the timing of v. 17 is purposely related to

  1. Exod. 40:17 ‒ day the tabernacle was erected
  2. Lev. 8:33-9:24 ‒ the ordination of Aaron and his sons and their first sacrifices

29:18-19 The priests

  1. cleansed the altar of burnt offerings, v. 18
  2. reinstituted Levitical music, vv. 25-28
  3. accepted offerings the people brought, vv. 29-36


20Then King Hezekiah arose early and assembled the princes of the city and went up to the house of the Lord. 21They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom, the sanctuary, and Judah. And he ordered the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the Lord. 22So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests took the blood and sprinkled it on the altar. They also slaughtered the rams and sprinkled the blood on the altar; they slaughtered the lambs also and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23Then they brought the male goats of the sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them. 24The priests slaughtered them and purged the altar with their blood to atone for all Israel, for the king ordered the burnt offering and the sin offering for all Israel.

29:20 "Hezekiah arose early" This is a good example of the interpretive issue of word meaning.

  1. does this refer to early in the day while it was still cool (literal use)?
  2. does it express Hezekiah's sense of urgency, like v. 3 (imagery use)?

29:21 There is a series of sacrifices.

  1. seven bulls
  2. seven rams
  3. seven lambs
  4. seven male goats for a sin offering (cf. v. 23)

The REB adds the words from v. 24, "the burnt offering," after #3 because only the male goats were used for a "sin offering" (cf. Leviticus 4). However, the same construction is clarified in Ezra 8:35.

29:23 "laid their hands on them" This was done in the ritual to remove sin/guilt from the nation.

  1. by the leadership ‒ Lev. 4:13-15
  2. by the High Priest ‒ Lev. 16:21
  3. in the ritual of Num. 8:5-13
    1. the people laid their hands on the Levites, v. 10
    2. the cleansed Levites laid their hands on the head of the bulls, v. 12


29:24 This was similar to the Day of Atonement. This sacrifice was for all Judah, here called "Israel," because Judah was "the true" Israel of God.


25He then stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with harps and with lyres, according to the command of David and of Gad the king's seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for the command was from the Lord through His prophets. 26The Levites stood with the musical instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27Then Hezekiah gave the order to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song to the Lord also began with the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David, king of Israel. 28While the whole assembly worshiped, the singers also sang and the trumpets sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.

29:25 David began and organized the musical aspect of temple worship. The first instrument used in worship was the trumpet. However, after a military victory, the people of God celebrated with songs and instruments (i.e., Exodus 15; 1 Sam. 18:6,7). Also, David's first attempt to move the ark to Jerusalem was accompanied by songs and music (2 Sam. 6:5), as was the next successful attempt (2 Sam. 6:14).

From these uses of song and music, David, the singer of Israel (i.e., 1 Sam. 16:16-18), loved music! This love of music for worship continued to develop throughout his life (i.e., the Psalms). As king he began to organize a musical component within the families of Levites (cf. 1 Chr. 6:31-32; 15:16-22,27; 16:4-6,23) for the future temple. Surely he used them in the tabernacle worship during his long reign. See Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, "Music," pp. 576-578.

"His prophets" The people of Israel were all inspired writers as "prophets."

  1. Moses ‒ Deut. 18:18
  2. the authors of Joshua through Kings ‒ are called the former prophets
  3. David ‒ 1 Chr. 28:19; here

David's prophet writing dealt with the structure and procedures of the new temple.


29Now at the completion of the burnt offerings, the king and all who were present with him bowed down and worshiped. 30Moreover, King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to sing praises to the Lord with the words of David and Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with joy, and bowed down and worshiped. 31Then Hezekiah said, "Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the Lord." And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all those who were willing brought burnt offerings. 32The number of the burnt offerings which the assembly brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to the Lord. 33The consecrated things were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. 34But the priests were too few, so that they were unable to skin all the burnt offerings; therefore their brothers the Levites helped them until the work was completed and until the other priests had consecrated themselves. For the Levites were more conscientious to consecrate themselves than the priests. 35There were also many burnt offerings with the fat of the peace offerings and with the libations for the burnt offerings. Thus the service of the house of the Lord was established again. 36Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had prepared for the people, because the thing came about suddenly.

29:29-30 There were several postures worshipers used.

  1. standing up (BDB 763, KB 840) ‒ 1 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kgs. 8:22; Jer. 18:20
  2. usually with hands and head raised (BDB 831, KB 925) ‒ 1 Kgs. 8:54; Ps. 28:2; 134:2; 141:2; Isa. 1:15; Lam. 2:19
  3. kneeling (BDB 138, KB 159) ‒ 1 Kgs. 8:54; 2 Chr. 6:13
  4. bowing/worshiping
    1. גהר (BDB 155, KB 181) ‒ 1 Kgs. 18:42
    2. חוה (BDB 1005, KB 295 II) ‒ 1 Sam. 1:3,19; 1 Chr. 29:20; 2 Chr. 7:3; Ps. 95:6; 99:5,9; 132:7; Jer. 7:2; Ezek. 46:9
    3. כפף (BDB 502, KB 499) ‒ 1 Kgs. 8:54; 2 Chr. 29:29
    4. כפך (BDB 496, KB 493) ‒ Micah 6:6
    5. סגד (BDB 688, KB 741) ‒ always denotes worship (i.e., bowing) before false gods; Isa. 44:15,17,19; 46:6; Dan. 2:46; 3 (several times)
    6. קדד (BDB 869, KB 1065) ‒ Exod. 4:21; 12:27; 1 Chr. 29:20; 2 Chr. 29:30

29:31 For the different types of sacrifices see Leviticus 1-7.


29:34 The priests killed, skinned, and prepared the animals for mass public sacrifices (i.e., 2 Chr. 29:22,24,34; Ezek. 44:11), but for free will sacrifices, usually the offerer killed, skinned, and cut up the animal (cf. Lev. 1:5-6).

"For the Levites were more conscientious to consecrate themselves than the priests" The Chronicler is very supportive of the Levites. Notice only Levites' families are named in 2 Chr. 29:12-15. In Ezra's day there was a great need for Levites. Often in history they had been neglected and overworked. They were given by God to serve the priests.

29:5 "peace offering" See notes at Leviticus 3. The meat would be shared with all the worshipers!

29:36 "because the thing came about suddenly" This ADVERB (BDB 837) is usually used of the rapid arrival of judgment, but only here is it used of sudden joy over the rapid cleansing, consecration, and restart of temple worship!


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

  1. Why does the Chronicler magnify the reign of Hezekiah? Where does he get the historical information?
  2. What is the implication of 2 Chr. 29:3?
  3. List the sins of the "fathers" (v. 6). List the sins of Ahaz (v. 7).
  4. What is involved in consecration?
  5. How did music become part of worship?
  6. List the kinds of sacrifices involved in this worship experience.

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