2 Chronicles 31:1-10 . THE PEOPLE FORWARD IN DESTROYING IDOLATRY.
2 Chronicles 31:11-19 . HEZEKIAH APPOINTS OFFICERS TO DISPOSE OF THE TITHES.
11-18. Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of the Lord--storehouses, granaries, or cellars; either the old ones, which had been allowed through neglect to fall into decay, were to be repaired, or additional ones built. Private individuals brought their own first-fruits to the temple; but the tithes were levied by the Levites, who kept a faithful account of them in their several places of abode and transmitted the allotted proportion to the priests. Officers were appointed to distribute equal rations to all in the cities of the priests who, from age or other reasons, could not repair to the temple. With the exception of children under three years of age--an exception made probably from their being considered too young to receive solid food--lists were kept of the number and age of every male; of priests according to their fathers' house, and Levites from twenty years (see Numbers 4:3 , 28:24 , 1 Chronicles 23:24 ). But, besides, provision was also made for their wives, daughters, and servants.
18. for in their set office they sanctified themselves--This is the reason assigned for providing for the wives and children out of the revenues of the sanctuary, that priests, withdrawing from those secular pursuits by which they might have maintained their households, devoted themselves entirely to the functions of the ministry.
20. Hezekiah . . . wrought that which was good and right--He displayed the qualities of a constitutional king, in restoring and upholding the ancient institutions of the kingdom; while his zealous and persevering efforts to promote the cause of true religion and the best interests of his subjects entitled him to be ranked with the most illustrious of his predecessors ( 2 Kings 18:15 ).