31:1 After this lengthy Passover feast, the people demonstrated their renewed devotion by going throughout the area to destroy all the idols, pagan altars, and Asherah poles. They even went into the territory of the former northern kingdom—referred to as Ephraim and Manasseh—to carry out this purge.
31:2-3 When Hezekiah had finished establishing the priestly rotation, going back to the instructions laid down by David, a practical problem needed to be solved. Who would supply the animals for the sacrifices every morning and evening until this became a routine practice, with the people providing these sacrifices? The king himself contributed the sacrificial animals during this interim period.
31:4-10 Another problem was how to support the priests and Levites who had returned to Jerusalem to officiate in the temple on a regular basis. David’s work schedule was based on the concept that most of these people would live in various parts of the kingdom, support themselves, and spend only one month a year in Jerusalem on temple duty. Hezekiah implemented a regular contribution from all the people for the priests and Levites so they would be able to work in the temple without having to worry about supporting themselves. Upon Hezekiah’s order, everyone contributed to this fund, providing a tithe of all their crops and livestock. This effort included people from both Israel and Judah.
31:11-19 Hezekiah charged various Levites to be responsible for distributing the abundant provisions to all the priests and Levites. In order to do this, it was necessary to pay close attention to the genealogies, so all who were entitled to participate received their share.
31:20-21 What Hezekiah accomplished was more than just a superficial redirection of the people to God and the temple. He managed to get grassroots support for his program. The people took a real interest in what was going on with the temple and the worship of the Lord. Because of his good work, Hezekiah was rewarded by God, and he prospered.