Gen Ex Lev Num Deut Josh Judg Ruth 1 Sam 2 Sam 1 Ki 2 Ki 1 Chron 2 Chron Ezra Neh Tob Jdt Esth Job Ps Prov Eccles Song Wis Sir Isa Jer Lam Bar Ezek Dan Hos Joel Amos Obad Jon Mic Nah Hab Zeph Hag Zech Mal 1 Mac 2 Mac
NOW Ezechias began to reign, when he was five and twenty years old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem: the name of his mother was Abia, the daughter of Zacharias.

Ver. 1.  Abia.  The last syllable is neglected, 4 K. xviii. 2.  H.


--- Some assert that she was a descendant of the high priest, who had been stoned.  S. Jerom, Trad.  C. xxiv. 20.  T.


2 And he did that which was pleasing in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. 3 In the first year and month of his reign he opened the doors of the house of the Lord, and repaired them.

Ver. 3.  Reign, in the assembly, which met to recognize his authority.  Lyran.


--- Them, adorning them with plates of gold.  4 K. xviii. 16.

4 And he brought the priests and the Levites, and assembled them in the east street.

Ver. 4.  Street, or court, before the eastern gate.  C.

5 And he said to them: Hear me, ye Levites, and be sanctified, purify the house of the Lord the God of your fathers, and take away all filth out of the sanctuary.

Ver. 5.  Sanctuary, or temple, v. 7.  The Jews suppose that idols had been placed in the very sanctuary: (Lyran) but why then were the doors shut?  C.

6 Our fathers have sinned and done evil in the sight of the Lord God, forsaking him: they have turned away their faces from the tabernacle of the Lord, and turned their backs. 7 They have shut up the doors that were in tile porch, and put out the lamps. and have not burnt incense, nor offered holocausts in the sanctuary of the God of Israel.

Ver. 7.  Sanctuary, or court of the priests, where the victims were slain.  The blood of some was taken into the most holy place, on the day of expiation.  C.

8 Therefore the wrath of the Lord hath been stirred up against Juda and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, and to destruction, and to be hissed at, as you see with your eyes.

Ver. 8.  Trouble.  Heb. zuáe, (H.) is rendered vexation.  Isai. xxviii. 19.  Sept. "ecstasy."  The Jews were frequently driven from their homes.  M.


--- There were at a loss what to do, confounded and despised.  H.

9 Behold, our fathers are fallen by the sword, our sons, and our daughters, and wives are led away captives for this wickedness.

Ver. 9.  Wives.  C. xxviii. 8.  C.


--- So had the wives and family of king Joram been treated.  C. xxi.  H.

10 Now therefore I have a mind that we make a covenant with the Lord the God of Israel, and he will turn away the wrath of his indignation from us.

Ver. 10.  Covenant, swearing to observe the law given by Moses.  M.

11 My sons, be not negligent: the Lord hath chosen you to stand before him, and to minister to him, and to worship him, and to burn incense to him.

Ver. 11.  Negligent.  Heb. adds, "now," when every thing tends to open your eyes.  H.

12 Then the Levites arose, Mahath the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azarias, of the sons of Caath: and of the sons of Merari, Cis the son of Abdi, and Azarias the son of Jalaleel. And of the sons of Gerson, Joah the son of Zemma, and Eden the son of Joah.

13 And of the sons of Elisaphan, Samri, and Jahiel. Also of the sons of Asaph, Zacharias, and Mathanias. 14 And of the sons of Heman, Jahiel, and Semei: and of the sons of Idithun, Semeias, and Oziel. 15 And they gathered together their brethren, and sanctified themselves, and went in according to the commandment of the king, and the precept of the Lord, to purify the house of God.

16 And the priests went into the temple of the Lord to sanctify it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found within to the entrance of the house of the Lord, and the Levites took it away, and carried it out abroad to the torrent Cedron.

Ver. 16.  Cedron, as Josias did with the idolatrous altars.  4 K. xxiii. 12.  The priests brought what was unclean from the inner temple into the porch.  H.


--- This labour lasted eight days, as the cleansing of the porches had done.  C.  D.


Cedron. Heb. nachal Kidron, may signify, "the shady torrent," or "vale," as it is styled by Josephus. It does not take its name from cedars. It is dry in summer, and when filled with water, in only three steps across. Doubdan xxvii. --- Cedron, to the east and south of Jerusalem, where Topheth and the sepulchres of the poor, and all unclean things, were placed. Here the pagans burnt their children in honour of Moloch. See 3 K. xv. 13. 2 Par. xxix. 16. and xxx. 14.

Brook of Cedron

[Hebrew Náhál Qidhrôn, "Wâdi Qidron"; only once "fields of Qidron"; John 18:1, ho cheimarros ho Kedron; in R.V., Kidron]. The name designates in Holy Writ the ravine on the east of Jerusalem, between the Holy City and the Mount of Olives. The word Cedron is usually connected with the root Qadár, "to be dark", and taken to refer to the colour of the stream or ravine; but its exact origin and precise meaning are really unknown. The Valley of Cedron begins with a slight depression near the Tombs of the Judges, a mile and a quarter north-west of Jerusalem. It runs first south towards the Holy city, and then turns nearly east, passing to the north of the tombs of the Kings. Next, it bends to the right towards the south, deepening as it follows this general direction between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. Opposite St. Stephen's gate, it is fully 100 feet deep and about 400 feet broad; its bed is shaded by venerable olive-trees and crossed by an old bridge. Below the bridge, the valley presents the first traces of a torrent bed. It narrows gradually and sinks more rapidly leaving to the east the church of the tomb of the Blessed Virgin, and next, Gethsemani. A thousand feet from the old bridge, the valley is merely a deep gulley across which another bridge is thrown, and on the banks of which are, to the right, Mohammedan tombs, and to the left, the sepulchres of Josaphat, Absalom, St. James, and the Jewish cemetery. About a thousand feet farther, there is in a cave, on the right bank, the Fountain of the Virgin, and higher up, on the left, the village of Siloe. Somewhat farther down, the Tyropoeon valley falls from the right into the Cedron, which now expands down to the Valley of Hinnom. Here, the Cedron is about 200 yards wide, and has on its left the Mount of Offence. Shortly after the junction of the Valley of Hinom with the Cedron, there is Job's well, to the south of which Sir C. Warren found, in 1868-69, the shaft of a great rock-cut aqueduct. On leaving the Holy City, the Valley of the Cedron runs its winding and gradually precipitous course through the Wilderness of Judea to the north-western shore of the Dead Sea. The Cedron is perfectly dry during the summer and most of the winter. North of Jerusalem, it bears the name of Wâdi al-Jos (Valley of Nuts); between the city and the Mount of Olives, it is known as Wâdi Sitti Mariam (Valley of St. Mary), or again as the Valley of Josaphat (cf. Joel, iii, 2, 12); after leaving Jerusalem, it is called Wâdi en-Nâr (Valley of Fire), and also Wâdi er-Rahib (Valley of the Monks). Its whole length is some 20 miles in a straight line, and its descent nearly 4000 feet. Its bed east of Jerusalem is now about 40 feet higher than in ancient times. The Cedron is first mentioned in Holy Scripture in connection with David's flight from Absalom, during which he crossed it [2 Samuel 15:23]; and next, in connection with the prohibition to Semei against his ever crossing it [1 Kings 2:37]. It was at the torrent Cedron that King Asa burnt the filthy idol of his mother [1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chronicles 15:16]. It was into it that Ezechias and Josias cast all the impurities which had polluted the House of the Lord (cf. 2 Chronicles 29:16; 30:14; 2 Kings 23:4, 6, 12). The torrent Cedron is last mentioned in the O.T. in Jeremiah 31:40, apparently as part of the common cemetery of Jerusalem. In the New Testament it is spoken of only once, in connection with Christ's going forth over it to Gethsemani (John 18:1). In the present day it is the desired resting-place of both Jews and Mussulmans, and the supposed scene of Last Judgment.

17 And they began to cleanse on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the same month they came into the porch of the temple of the Lord, and they purified the temple in eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the same month they finished what they had begun.

Ver. 17.  Month, Nisan, corresponding with our March, (M.) when Ezechias began his reign.  Salien, A. 3309.

18 And they went is to king Ezechias, and said to him: We have sanctified all the house of the Lord, and the altar of holocaust, and the vessels thereof, and the table of proposition with all its vessels, 19 And all the furniture of the temple, which king Achaz in his reign had defiled, after his transgression; and behold they are all set forth before the altar of the Lord.

Ver. 19.  Defiled.  Heb. "cast out (C.) in his."


--- Forth.  Heb. and Sept. "We have prepared and purified, behold they are," &c.  H.

20 And king Ezechias rising early, assembled all the rulers of the city, and went up into the house of the Lord: 21 And they offered together seven bullocks, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven he goats for sin, for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, for Juda: and he spoke to the priests the sons of Aaron, to offer them upon the altar of the Lord.

Ver. 21.  Seven.  Only one was prescribed for sins of ignorance.  Lev. iv. 13. 22.  S. Jer. Trad.


--- But the late transgressions were of a different nature; and the king consults his zeal, rather than what he was absolutely obliged to do.


--- Juda, to expiate the sins of the royal family, of priests, and people.

22 Therefore they killed the bullocks, and the priests took the blood, and poured it upon the altar; they killed also the rams, and their blood they poured also upon the altar, and they killed the lambs, and poured the blood upon the altar. 23 And they brought the he goats for sin before the king, and the whole multitude, and they laid their hand upon them:

Ver. 23.  They laid.  The king and princes of the people confessed their sins.  Lev. iv. 15.

24 And the priests immolated them, and sprinkled their blood before the altar for an expiation of all Israel: for the king had commanded that the holocaust and the sin offering should be made for all Israel.
25 And he set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, and psalteries, and harps according to the regulation of David the king, and of Gad the seer, and of Nathan the prophet: for it was the commandment of the Lord by the hand of his prophets.

Ver. 25.  Prophet.  Moses had not required music, except on some occasions.  Num. x. 10.  But David acted by God's authority.  The institution was designed to promote piety, and a love for religious meetings.  Such sacred ceremonies are not to be considered as human inventions, for it was, &c.  They command our utmost respect.  C.

26 And the Levites stood, with the instruments of David, and the priests with trumpets. 27 And Ezechias commanded that they should offer holocausts upon the altar: and when the holocausts were offered, they began to sing praises to the Lord, and to sound with trumpets, and divers instruments which David the king of Israel had prepared.

Ver. 27.  Prepared, or ordained.  M.


--- Heb. "with the instruments, by David."

28 And all the multitude adored, and the singers, and the trumpeters, were in their office till the holocaust was finished. 29 And when the oblation was ended, the king, and all that were with him bowed down and adored. 30 And Ezechias and the princes commanded the Levites to praise the Lord with the words of David, and Asaph the seer: and they praised him with great joy, and bowing the knee adored.

Ver. 30.  Princes of the priests.  H.


--- Words; psalms.  T.


--- Asaph, so famous for music.  He had composed some psalms, (C.) and twelve bear his name.  T.


--- But he might only have set them to music, (H.) or his band sung them.  D.


--- Knee.  Prot. "head."  Sept. "they prostrated themselves."

31 And Ezechias added, and said: You have filled your hands to the Lord, come and offer victims, and praises in the house of the Lord. And all the multitude offered victims, and praises, and holocausts with a devout mind.

Ver. 31.  Added.  Heb. and Sept. "answered," a term used in Scripture, though no question had been proposed.  H.


--- Filled.  You are, in some sense, priests.  Prot. "you have consecrated yourselves."  The people brought victims but the priests poured the blood round the altar, v. 34.  H.

32 And the number of the holocausts which the multitude offered, was seventy bullocks, a hundred rams, and two hundred lambs. 33 And they consecrated to the Lord six hundred oxen, and three thousand sheep.

Ver. 33.  Sheep, for peace-offerings.  Jun.  C.


--- They destined these victims for the use of the temple, (T.) that none might be wanting afterwards.  C.

34 But the priests were few, and were not enough to flay the holocausts: wherefore the Levites their brethren helped them, till the work was ended, and priests were sanctified, for the Levites are sanctified with an easier rite than the priests.

Ver. 34.  Holocausts, as  the law required.  Lev. i. 6.  See C. xxxv. 11.  The skin  might be taken off other victims, by laics.


--- Priests.  Syr. "The Levites were more timid, or reserved than the priests, to purify themselves."  C.


--- Both are indirectly accused of negligence.  C. xxx. 15.  The Heb. seems to give the preference to the latter, "for the Levites were more upright of heart, (Sept. willing) to purify themselves than the priests."  But the Alex. Sept. may well agree with the Vulg.  The ceremonies attending the purification of both, may be seen Ex. xxix. 1.  Num. viii. 6.  H.


--- The priests had not sufficient time to collect themselves with the purity required, on such a short warning; and the paucity induced the king to put off the Passover till the next month.  C. xxx. 3. 15.

35 So there were many holocausts, and the fat of peace offerings, and the libations of holocausts: and the service of the house of the Lord was completed. 36 And Ezechias, and all the people rejoiced because the ministry of the Lord was accomplished. For the resolution of doing this thing was taken suddenly.

Ver. 36.  Because.  Heb. and Sept. "that the Lord had disposed his people, for the thing was done suddenly," (H.) to place no obstacle to this sudden change from one extreme to the other, at a time when the king was scarcely established on the throne.  C.


--- Thus the people of England rejoiced, when the Catholic religion was re-established by the means of queen Mary and cardinal Pole.  Philips. 9.


--- But the minds of the people are very fickle.  Regis ad exemplum totus componitur orbis.  Still the joy may show, that all love for truth is "not extinct," as the Cardinal argued from the people's conduct.  Poli. ep.  H.

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Holy Spirit