2 Chronicles 30:17
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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(17) 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.)

30:13-20 The great thing needful in attendance upon God in solemn ordinances, is, that we make heart-work of it; all is nothing without this. Where this sincerity and fixedness of heart are, there may yet be many things short of the purification of the sanctuary. These defects need pardoning, healing grace; for omissions in duty are sins, as well as omissions of duty. If God should deal with us in strict justice, even as to the very best of our doings, we should be undone. The way to obtain pardon, is to seek it of God by prayer; it must be gotten by petition through the blood of Christ. Yet every defect is sin, and needs forgiveness; and should be matter to humble, but not to discourage us, though nothing can make up for the want of a heart prepared to seek the Lord.After their manner - According to the Mishna, the custom was for the priests to stand in two rows extending from the altar to the outer court, where the people were assembled. As each offerer killed his lamb the blood was caught in a basin, which was handed to the nearest priest, who passed it on to his neighbor, and he to the next; the blood was thus conveyed to the altar, at the base of which it was thrown by the last priest in the row. While basins full of blood were thus passed up, empty basins were passed down in a constant succession, so that there was no pause or delay.

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.

16-18. the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites—This was a deviation from the established rules and practices in presenting the offerings of the temple. The reason was, that many present on the occasion having not sanctified themselves, the Levites slaughtered the paschal victims (see on [465]2Ch 35:5) for everyone that was unclean. At other times the heads of families killed the lambs themselves, the priests receiving the blood from their hands and presenting it on the altar. Multitudes of the Israelites, especially from certain tribes (2Ch 30:18), were in this unsanctified state, and yet they ate the passover—an exceptional feature and one opposed to the law (Nu 9:6); but this exception was allowed in answer to Hezekiah's prayer (2Ch 30:18-20). 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. For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified,.... Or purified from uncleanness, contracted either by idolatry, or through such things which, according to the ceremonial law, made them unclean, and from which they had not now time to cleanse themselves according to the law:

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.

(r) De Vita Mosis, l. 3. p. 686. & de Decalogo, p. 766.

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.
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). The couriers went about from city to city in the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, even unto Zebulun; but the people laughed to scorn and mocked at the summons to return, and the invitation to the passover festival. The words "from city to city" are not inconsistent with the view that the kingdom of Israel had already been ruined. The Assyrians had not blotted out all the cities from the face of the land, nor carried away every one of the inhabitants to the last man, but had been satisfied with the capture of the fortresses and their partial or complete demolition, and carried only the flower of the inhabitants away. No doubt also many had saved themselves from deportation by flight to inaccessible places, who then settled again and built in the cities and villages which had not been completely destroyed, or perhaps had been completely spared, after the enemy had withdrawn. From the statement, moreover, that the couriers passed through the land of Ephraim and Manasseh unto Zebulun, no proof can be derived that the messengers did not touch upon the domain of the tribes led away captive by Tiglath-pileser (Naphtali and the trans-Jordanic land), but only visited those districts of the country which formed the kingdom of Israel as it continued to exist after Tiglath-pileser. If that were so, it would follow that the kingdom had not then been destroyed. But the enumeration is not complete, as is manifest from the fact that, according to 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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