Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king; he reigned 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abijaha daughter of Zechariah.
He did what was right in the Lord's sight just as his ancestor David had done.b3
In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the Lord's temple and repaired them.
Then he brought in the priests and Levites and gathered them in the eastern public square.c5
He said to them, "Hear me, Levites. Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord God of your ancestors. Remove everything detestable from the holy place.
For our fathers were unfaithful and did what is evil in the sight of the Lord our God. They abandoned Him, turned their faces away from the Lord's tabernacle, and turned their backs on Him.d7
They also closed the doors of the vestibule, extinguished the lamps, did not burn incense, and did not offer burnt offerings in the holy place of the God of Israel.
Therefore, the wrath of the Lord was on Judah and Jerusalem, and He made them an object of terror, horror, and hissing, as you see with your own eyes.
Our fathers fell by the sword, and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity because of this.
It is in my heart now to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel so that His fierce wrath may turn away from us.
My sons, don't be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand in His presence, to serve Him, and to be His ministers and burners of incense."
Then the Levites stood up: Mahath son of Amasai and Joel son of Azariah from the Kohathites; Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel from the Merarites; Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah from the Gershonites;
Shimri and Jeuel from the Elizaphanites; Zechariah and Mattaniah from the Asaphites;
Jehiele and Shimei from the Hemanites; Shemaiah and Uzziel from the Jeduthunites.
They gathered their brothers together, consecrated themselves, and went according to the king's command by the words of the Lord to cleanse the Lord's temple.
The priests went to the entrance of the Lord's temple to cleanse it. They took all the detestable things they found in the Lord's sanctuary to the courtyard of the Lord's temple. Then the Levites received them and took them outside to the Kidron Valley.
They began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the vestibule of the Lord's [temple]. They consecrated the Lord's temple for eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished.
Then they went inside to King Hezekiah and said, "We have cleansed the whole temple of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the table for the rows [of the bread of the Presence] and all its utensils.
All the utensils that King Ahaz rejected during his reign when he became unfaithful we have set up and consecrated. They are in front of the altar of the Lord."
King Hezekiah got up early, gathered the city officials, and went up to the Lord's temple.
They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats as a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. Then he told the descendants of Aaron, the priests, to offer them on the altar of the Lord.
So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests received the blood and sprinkled it on the altar. They slaughtered the rams and sprinkled the blood on the altar. They slaughtered the lambs and sprinkled the blood on the altar.
Then they brought the sin offering goats right into the presence of the king and the congregation, who laid their hands on them.
The priests slaughtered the goats and put their blood on the altar for a sin offering, to make atonement for all Israel, for the king said that the burnt offering and sin offering were for all Israel.
Hezekiah stationed the Levites in the Lord's temple with cymbals, harps, and lyres according to the command of David, Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet.f For the command was from the Lord through His prophets.
The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.
Then Hezekiah ordered that the burnt offering be offered on the altar. When the burnt offerings began, the song of the Lord and the trumpets began, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel.
The whole assembly was worshiping, singing the song, and blowing the trumpets-all of this [continued] until the burnt offering was completed.
When the burnt offerings were completed, the king and all those present with him bowed down and worshiped.
Then King Hezekiah and the officials told the Levites to sing praise to the Lord in the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with rejoicing and bowed down and worshiped.
Hezekiah concluded, "Now you are consecratedg to the Lord. Come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the Lord's temple." So the congregation brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all those with willing heartsh brought burnt offerings.
The number of burnt offerings the congregation brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to the Lord.
Six hundred bulls and 3,000 sheep were consecrated.
However, since there were not enough priests, they weren't able to skin all the burnt offerings, so their Levite brothers helped them until the work was finished and until the priests consecrated themselves. For the Levites were more conscientiousi to consecrate themselves than the priests were.
Furthermore, the burnt offerings were abundant, along with the fat of the fellowship offerings and with the drink offerings for the burnt offering. So the service of the Lord's temple was established.
Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over how God had prepared the people, for it had come about suddenly.