Hezekiah1 was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother's name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah.
He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David2 had done.
In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the LORD and repaired3 them.
He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side
and said: "Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate4 yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the LORD, the God of your fathers. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary.
Our fathers5 were unfaithful;6 they did evil in the eyes of the LORD our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the LORD's dwelling place and turned their backs on him.
They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense7 or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel.
Therefore, the anger of the LORD has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of dread and horror8 and scorn,9 as you can see with your own eyes.
This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity.1010
Now I intend to make a covenant11 with the LORD, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger12 will turn away from us.
My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before him and serve him,13 to minister14 before him and to burn incense."
Then these Levites15 set to work: from the Kohathites, Mahath son of Amasai and Joel son of Azariah; from the Merarites, Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel; from the Gershonites, Joah son of Zimmah and Eden16 son of Joah;
from the descendants of Elizaphan,17 Shimri and Jeiel; from the descendants of Asaph,18 Zechariah and Mattaniah;
from the descendants of Heman, Jehiel and Shimei; from the descendants of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel.
When they had assembled their brothers and consecrated themselves, they went in to purify19 the temple of the LORD, as the king had ordered, following the word of the LORD.
The priests went into the sanctuary of the LORD to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of the LORD's temple everything unclean that they found in the temple of the LORD. The Levites took it and carried it out to the Kidron Valley.2017
They began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and by the eighth day of the month they reached the portico of the LORD. For eight more days they consecrated the temple of the LORD itself, finishing on the sixteenth day of the first month.
Then they went in to King Hezekiah and reported: "We have purified the entire temple of the LORD, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the table for setting out the consecrated bread, with all its articles.
We have prepared and consecrated all the articles21 that King Ahaz removed in his unfaithfulness while he was king. They are now in front of the LORD's altar."