2 Chronicles 29:36
And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.
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(36) And Hezekiah rejoiced.—So of David and his people (1Chronicles 29:9; 1Chronicles 29:22). (Comp. also 2Chronicles 7:10.)

That God had prepared.—In the Hebrew the article is used instead of the relative: a construction characteristic of the chronicler (1Chronicles 26:28). Render: “And Hezekiah rejoiced . . . over that which God had set in order for the people,” viz., the long-suspended ordinances of the Temple worship (1Chronicles 12:39; 1Chronicles 15:1). Perhaps, however, ām, “for the people,” is the mere accusative after the verb, and the sense is “rejoiced because God had prepared the people” (2Samuel 3:30).

For the thing . . . suddenly.—Literally, for on a sudden happened the matter. “On a sudden,” be-pith’om, here only; elsewhere simply pith’om. Comp. the synonymous règa’ and be-règa’ (Psalm 6:10; Job 21:13). The hand of God was seen in the speed with which the revolution was effected, and the sudden turn of the princes and people from indifference to glad alacrity. (Comp. 2Chronicles 30:12.)

2 Chronicles 29:36. Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people — In this blessed turn of affairs, and the new face of religion which the kingdom had put on. That God had prepared the people — Had changed their hearts by his Almighty Spirit. For it was plain his hand was in it, both because so many of those who, in the last reign, had doted on the idolatrous altars, were now so much in love with God’s altar; and because the thing was done suddenly; was brought about in so little time, and with little or no opposition. Those that go about the work of God in faith, and with resolution, will often find there is not that difficulty in it which they had apprehended. Only let magistrates and ministers do their parts toward the reforming of a land, and then let them trust God to do his, and ascribe to him the glory of what is done. 29:20-36 As soon as Hezekiah heard that the temple was ready, he lost no time. Atonement must be made for the sins of the last reign. It was not enough to lament and forsake those sins; they brought a sin-offering. Our repentance and reformation will not obtain pardon but in and through Christ, who was made sin, that is, a sin-offering for us. While the offerings were on the altar, the Levites sang. Sorrow for sin must not prevent us from praising God. The king and the congregation gave their consent to all that was done. It is not enough for us to be where God is worshipped, if we do not ourselves worship with the heart. And we should offer up our spiritual sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, and devote ourselves and all we have, as sacrifices, acceptable to the Father only through the Redeemer.The Levites were more upright etc - See the marginal reference. Urijah, the high priest, had participated to some extent in the impieties of Ahaz 2 Kings 16:10-16. He and many of the priests may, therefore, have looked coldly on the reforming zeal of Hezekiah. 34-36. the priests were too few, … wherefore their brethren the Levites did help them—The skins of beasts intended as peace offerings might be taken off by the officers, because, in such cases, the carcass was not wholly laid upon the altar; but animals meant for burnt offerings which were wholly consumed by fire could be flayed by the priests alone, not even the Levites being allowed to touch them, except in cases of unavoidable necessity (2Ch 35:11). The duty being assigned by the law to the priests (Le 1:6), was construed by consuetudinary practice as an exclusion of all others not connected with the Aaronic family.

for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests—that is, displayed greater alacrity than the priests. This service was hastened by the irrepressible solicitude of the king. Whether it was that many of the priests, being absent in the country, had not arrived in time—whether from the long interruption of the public duties, some of them had relaxed in their wonted attentions to personal cleanliness, and had many preparations to make—or whether from some having participated in the idolatrous services introduced by Ahaz, they were backward in repairing to the temple—a reflection does seem to be cast upon their order as dilatory and not universally ready for duty (compare 2Ch 30:15). Thus was the newly consecrated temple reopened to the no small joy of the pious king and all the people.

It was, as a very great, so a sudden change, that the people, who but the other day were so ready to comply with wicked Ahaz in his idolatrous and impious prescriptions, were now so free and forward in God’s service; whereby it plainly appeared to be the work of the Almighty God changing their hearts by his Holy Spirit. And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people,.... To see things go on so well, which foreboded good unto them: and particularly

that God had prepared the people; disposed and directed their hearts in such a manner as to yield such a cheerful obedience to the will of God, and show such a hearty regard to his worship and service, and the restoration of it:

for the thing was done suddenly; whereby it the more appeared that they were under a divine influence, which so quickly and powerfully wrought upon them to engage in this work, and needed not arguments and persuasions to bring them to it.

And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had {r} prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.

(r) He shows that religion cannot proceed unless God touches the heart of the people.

36. that God had prepared the people] R.V. because of that which God had prepared for the people. It was God, not Hezekiah, who had done it all.

suddenly] In the very first year of Hezekiah’s reign (2 Chronicles 29:3).Verse 36. - (Comp. Proverbs 16:1.)

The king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the Lord with the words (psalms) of David and of Asaph; and they sang praise with joy, and bowed themselves and worshipped. This verse does not mean that the Levites began to sing psalms at the king's command only after the sacrificial act and the instrumental music (2 Chronicles 29:27.) had been finished, but it forms a comprehensive conclusion of the description of the sacrificial solemnities. The author of the Chronicle considered it necessary to make express mention of the praising of God in psalms, already implicite involved in the משׁורר השּׁיר, 2 Chronicles 29:28, and to remark that the Levites also, at the conclusion of the song of praise, knelt and worshipped. Asaph is here called חזה, as Jeduthun (Ethan) is in 2 Chronicles 35:15, and Heman, 1 Chronicles 25:5.
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