Hezekiah became king when he was 25 years old, and he ruled for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abijah; she was Zechariah's daughter.
He did what was right in the LORD's eyes, just as his ancestor David had done.
In the very first year of his rule, during the first month, Hezekiah reopened the doors of the LORD's temple, having repaired them.
Then he brought in the priests and Levites and assembled them in the eastern square.
"Listen to me, you Levites!" he said. "Make yourselves holy so you can make holy the temple of the LORD God of your ancestors by removing from the sanctuary any impure thing.
Our ancestors were unfaithful and did what was evil in the LORD our God's eyes. They abandoned him, they ignored the LORD's dwelling, and they defied him.
They even closed the doors of the entrance hall, snuffed out the lamps, and stopped burning incense and offering entirely burned offerings in the sanctuary of the God of Israel.
This angered the LORD so much that he made Judah and Jerusalem an object of terror and horror, something people hiss at, as you can see with your own eyes.
That's why our ancestors died violent deaths, while our sons, daughters, and wives were taken captive.
But now I intend to make a covenant with the LORD, Israel's God, so God will no longer be angry with us.
Don't be careless, my sons! The LORD has chosen you to stand in his presence to serve him, so that you can be his servants and burn incense to him."
Then the following Levites got up: from the descendants of the Kohathites: Mahath, Amasai's son, and Joel, Azariah's son; from the descendants of Merari: Kish, Abdi's son, and Azariah, Jehallelel's son; from the Gershonites: Joah, Zimmah's son, and Eden, Joah's son;
from the descendants of Elizaphan: Shimri and Jeuel; from the descendants of Asaph: Zechariah and Mattaniah;
from the descendants of Heman: Jehuel and Shimei; and from the descendants of Jeduthun: Shemaiah and Uzziel.
These men gathered their relatives, made themselves holy, and went in to purify the LORD's temple by obeying the king's command as the LORD had told him.
The priests went in to purify the inner portion of the LORD's temple. They brought out to the courtyard of the LORD's temple all the impurities they discovered inside. Then the Levites took them out to the Kidron Valley.
They began to make things holy on the first day of the first month. On the eighth day of the month they reached the LORD's entrance hall. They made holy the LORD's temple for eight days, finishing on the sixteenth day of the first month.
Then they went before King Hezekiah. "We have purified the LORD's entire temple," they said, "and the altar for the entirely burned offering together with all its equipment, and the table for the stacks of bread together with all its equipment.
We have also restored and made holy all the items King Ahaz threw out during his rule in his unfaithfulness. They are now before the LORD's altar."