When all this had ended, the Israelites who were there went out to the towns of Judah, smashed the sacred stones and cut down1 the Asherah poles. They destroyed the high places and the altars throughout Judah and Benjamin and in Ephraim and Manasseh. After they had destroyed all of them, the Israelites returned to their own towns and to their own property.
Hezekiah2 assigned the priests and Levites to divisions3--each of them according to their duties as priests or Levites--to offer burnt offerings and fellowship offerings,a to minister,4 to give thanks and to sing praises5 at the gates of the LORD's dwelling.63
The king contributed7 from his own possessions for the morning and evening burnt offerings and for the burnt offerings on the Sabbaths, New Moons and appointed feasts as written in the Law of the LORD.84
He ordered the people living in Jerusalem to give the portion9 due the priests and Levites so they could devote themselves to the Law of the LORD.
As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits10 of their grain, new wine,11 oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything.
The men of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah also brought a tithe12 of their herds and flocks and a tithe of the holy things dedicated to the LORD their God, and they piled them in heaps.137
They began doing this in the third month and finished in the seventh month.148
When Hezekiah and his officials came and saw the heaps, they praised the LORD and blessed15 his people Israel.
Hezekiah asked the priests and Levites about the heaps;
and Azariah the chief priest, from the family of Zadok,16 answered, "Since the people began to bring their contributions to the temple of the LORD, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, because the LORD has blessed his people, and this great amount is left over."17