For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them to the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)There were many in the congregation that were not sanctified.—Comp. 2Chronicles 35:6; 2Chronicles 35:10-11, where the Levites are again represented as doing the same work, but not as an exception. The precedent of Hezekiah’s Passover would seem to have become the rule. (Comp. also Ezra 6:20.)
To sanctify them—i.e., the lambs, which would have been ceremonially unclean if slain by unclean hands. (Comp. 2Chronicles 2:4, “to dedicate it unto Him;” the same verb.)
Which they received of the hand of the Levites - Ordinarily, the blood was received at the hand of the offerer. But the greater number of the Israelites 2 Chronicles 30:17 who had come to keep the feast were involved in some ceremonial or moral defilement, from which there had not been time for them to purify themselves. On account of this uncleanness, they did not slay their own lambs, but delegated the office to the Levites.That were not sanctified; that had more desire to come to the passover, than care and diligence to cleanse and prepare themselves for it. Now these persons were either,
1. The priests, who were before taxed with uncleanness and unpreparedness. Or rather,
2. The people, as is implied in the word
congregation, and expressed in the next verse, and confirmed by the reason here following.
The Levites had the charge of the killing, because many of the people were unclean, and therefore many more sacrifices were to be offered for their purification than the priests could kill. Of the passovers, i.e. either,
1. The paschal lambs: which the Levites here offered, because of the impurity of many of the masters of families, who otherwise, as some think, should have killed the paschal lambs in their own houses, Exodus 12:3. Or,
2. The other sacrifices which accompanied the passover, which also are called by the same name, as is evident from Deu 16:2,3, where See Poole "Deu 16:2", See Poole "Deu 16:3"; which the Levites here killed for the reason now mentioned.
For every one that was not clean; so far as they could make any discovery of their uncleanness, either by their own confession, or otherwise. But there were many whose uncleannesses were not known, and therefore did not cleanse themselves, as is said, 2 Chronicles 30:18, as they ought to have done.
therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for everyone that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the Lord; this they did for the masters of families, who were ceremonially unclean, who otherwise might have killed their passover lambs themselves, see Exodus 12:6, but now the Levites did it for them, that their passovers might be sanctified and consecrated to the Lord; for, as Philo the Jew says (r), one day in a year the whole sacrificed, everyone acted as a priest, and brought and slew his own sacrifice, meaning at the passover.For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)17. were not sanctified] R.V. had not sanctified themselves.
of the killing of the passovers] R.V. of killing the passovers. “Passovers” (plur. rare) = “Paschal victims”; cp. 2 Chronicles 30:15, 2 Chronicles 35:8 (“passover offerings” A.V. & R.V.).Verse 17. - Therefore the Levites had the charge (see Leviticus 1, etc., which repeatedly affirms that the original directions of Moses were that the person who brought the victim to offer it was to slay it, and to bring the blood). 2 Chronicles 30:11 and 2 Chronicles 30:18, men of the tribes of Asher and Issachar came to Jerusalem in compliance with the invitation; and the domain of Asher extended to the northern frontier of Canaan. If we further take it into consideration, that, according to the resolution of the king and his princes, all Israel, from Beersheba on the southern frontier to Dan on the northern, were to be invited, it is not to be doubted that the couriers went through the whole land.
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