31:1 Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and a brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the b children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities.
(a) According to the commandment of the Lord, ( Deuteronomy 7:25 ; Joshua 7:12 ). 31:2 And Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests and the Levites after their courses, every man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the c tents of the LORD.
(b) That is, all they who came to the passover.
(c) That is, in the temple where they assembled as in a tent. 31:4 Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the d portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be e encouraged in the law of the LORD.
(d) The tithes and firstfruits for the maintenance of the priests and Levites. 31:6 And [concerning] the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things f which were consecrated unto the LORD their God, and laid [them] by g heaps.
(e) That their minds might not be entangled with provision of worldly things, but that they might wholly and cheerfully serve the Lord.
(f) Which they had dedicated to the Lord by a vow. 31:8 And when Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they h blessed the LORD, and his people Israel.
(g) For the relief of the priests, Levites, widows, pupils, fatherless, strangers, and such as were in need.
(h) They praised the Lord and prayed for all prosperity to his people. 31:10 And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him, and said, Since [the people] began to bring the offerings into the house of the LORD, we have i had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for the LORD hath blessed his people; and that which is left [is] this great store.
(i) He shows that this plenteous liberality is expedient for the maintenance of the ministers and that God therefore prospers his people and increases by his blessing that which is given. 31:16 Beside their genealogy of males, k from three years old and upward, [even] unto every one that entereth into the house of the LORD, his daily portion for their service in their charges according to their courses;
(k) Who had also a portion and allowance in this distribution. 31:18 And to the genealogy of all their little ones, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, through all the congregation: for in their l set office they sanctified themselves in holiness:
(l) Meaning, that either by the faithful distribution of the officers, everyone had their part in the things that were offered, or else that their wives and children were relieved, because the Levites were faithful in their office, and so depended on them.