|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
30:1-12 Hezekiah made Israel as welcome to the passover, as any of his own subjects. Let us yield ourselves unto the Lord. Say not, you will do what you please, but resolve to do what he pleases. We perceive in the carnal mind a stiffness, an obstinacy, an unaptness to compel with God; we have it from our fathers: this must be overcome. Those who, through grace, have turned to God themselves, should do all they can to bring others to him. Numbers will be scorners, but some will be humbled and benefited; perhaps where least expected. The rich mercy of God is the great argument by which to enforce repentance; the vilest who submit and yield themselves to the Lord, seek his grace, and give themselves to his service, shall certainly be saved. Oh that messengers were sent forth to carry these glad tidings to every city and every village, through every land!
Verse 1. - Hezekiah sent... wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh. Some have sought to bring into the appearance of harmony the two first clauses of this verse by supposing that the former clause purports to say that Hezekiah sent messengers to all Israel and Judah, and in particular letters in addition to Ephraim and Manasseh, the chief tribes of the northern kingdom and the Joseph tribes. Vers. 6 and 10, however, seem to dispose effectually of this offer of explanation; while another explanation, that the names of the two tribes are simply to be taken as equivalent to "all Israel," seems true, though, in fact, it may be to advance us no way at all. We should prefer in the difficulty, unimportant though it is, yet one facing us, rather to assume that the verse wishes to say that Hezekiah sent (i.e. sent messengers, which prove to be the runners, rendered the "posts") to all Israel and Judah, and to Ephraim, Manasseh, and the rest of their allied tribes by implication, but not to Judah wrote letters also which were carried by the posts (.or runners). It is true that ver. 6 may negative even this conjecture for getting over the difficulty, but not necessarily no, for it only says that the posts went throughout Israel and Judah with the letters, which they may be supposed to have dropped only to some, not to all, and those some Israel, or Ephraim, Manasseh, and brethren. There will have been to hand other, the usual methods of communication with Judah, from Jerusalem its metropolis, and from its king. The thing different from "letters" that was circulated may have been just the "proclamation" of ver. 5. It has been suggested that the now King of Israel, Hoshea, was very probably a captive of Assyria at this exact time (2 Kings 17:4).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah,.... Sent messengers to them, not only to the subjects of his own kingdom, Judah, but to all the Israelites that dwelt in it, who were come thither for the sake of religion, and the worship of God:
and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh; which are put for all the ten tribes, as appears from 2 Chronicles 30:10 and are distinguished from Israel in the preceding clause:
that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem; not that he laid his commands upon them to come, they not being his subjects, namely, those of the ten tribes; but he hereby admonished them of their duty, and gave them a kind invitation, signifying the doors of the temple were open for them, and they were welcome to come thither:
to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel; to the glory of his name, who was the common Lord of them all, and whose command it was to keep the passover, and that at Jerusalem, and nowhere else, see Deuteronomy 16:1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2Ch 30:1-12. Hezekiah Proclaims a Passover.
1-5. Hezekiah sent to all … Judah … to come to … Jerusalem, to keep the passover—This great religious festival had not been regularly observed by the Hebrews in their national capacity for a long time because of the division of the kingdom and the many disorders that had followed that unhappy event. Hezekiah longed extremely to see its observance revived; and the expression of his wishes having received a hearty response from the princes and chief men of his own kingdom, the preparatory steps were taken for a renewed celebration of the national solemnity.
letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh—The names of these leading tribes are used for the whole kingdom of Israel. It was judged impossible, however, that the temple, the priests, and people could be all duly sanctified at the usual time appointed for the anniversary, namely, the fourteenth day of the first month (Nisan). Therefore it was resolved, instead of postponing the feast till another year, to observe it on the fourteenth day of the second month; a liberty which, being in certain circumstances (Nu 9:6-13) granted to individuals, might, it was believed, be allowed to all the people. Hezekiah's proclamation was, of course, authoritative in his own kingdom, but it could not have been made and circulated in all the towns and villages of the neighboring kingdom without the concurrence, or at least the permission, of the Israelitish sovereign. Hoshea, the reigning king, is described as, though evil in some respects, yet more favorably disposed to religious liberty than any of his predecessors since the separation of the kingdom. This is thought to be the meaning of the mitigating clause in his character (2Ki 17:2).
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