2 Chronicles 30:18
For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) A multitude.Marbîth (2chron 96; 1Chronicles 12:29). Only in the Chronicles in this sense. Else where the term means “increase” of children (1Samuel 2:33), or of money, i.e., interest (τόκον, Leviticus 25:37).

Ephraim . . . Zebulun.—The names indicate a documental source.

Had not cleansed themselves.—As was natural in the case of persons who had long been estranged from the legal religion of Jehovah (hittèhārû, pausal form of hittāha˘rû, Ezra 6:20, occurs here only).

Yet did they eat . . . written.But ate the Passover in non-accordance with the Scripturei.e., in illegal fashion, being themselves unclean. (Comp. Numbers 9:6, seq., according to which unclean persons ‘were bound to abstain from eating the Passover until the fourteenth of the second month.)

But Hezekiah prayed.For Hezekiah had prayed for them, and therefore their irregularity was condoned,

The good Lord.Jehovah the good; so only here. (Comp. Psalm 25:8.)

Goodi.e., kind, generous; benignus, benevolus.

Pardon every one.—Properly, make atonement on behalf of every one (kipper bĕ ‘ad): Leviticus 16:6; Leviticus 16:11. In the sense of forgive the construction is different: Psalm 65:4; Ezekiel 16:63.

2 Chronicles 30:18. A multitude of the people had not cleansed themselves — Either they did not know, after such a long night of ignorance and superstition, what ceremonies were required, in order to their purification, or they had not time to use them. Yet having an eager and pious desire to commemorate their wonderful deliverance out of the Egyptian bondage, they were permitted, in their uncleanness, to eat the passover, lest they should be discouraged if they were denied it, in this their return to the true religion. But Hezekiah prayed for them — It was his zeal that had called them together in such haste, and he would not that they should fare the worse for being straitened for time in their preparation. He therefore thought himself concerned to be an intercessor for those that ate the passover otherwise than it was written. And he had confidence that God was so gracious that he would not, on account of the omission of some prescribed ceremony, be wroth with men whose hearts were upright before him.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). Otherwise than it was written: they had so eager a desire to partake of this ordinance, that, rather than neglect it, they would venture upon it with some ceremonial uncleanness upon them. For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun,.... All which were of the ten tribes, where idolatry had prevailed for a long time:

had not cleansed themselves; from impurity contracted by idolatry and other things:

yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written; because they ate it in their uncleanness, which was not according to the law, that required that such should be clean that ate of any holy things, see John 18:28 but since these people came a great way off, and there was no deferring it to another month, the king chose rather they should be admitted to eat of it, though in their uncleanness:

but Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, the good Lord pardon everyone; God, who is gracious and merciful, and of his goodness, grace, and mercy, forgive such who, though ceremonially unclean, ate of the passover, and especially since they were sincere and cordial in their services; and therefore he hoped that this breach of the ceremonial law would not be laid to their charge. Goodness is such a well known attribute of God, that the very Heathens ascribe it to their deities; hence we read of a temple of the "good god", the gods being the givers of good things to men; Jupiter, or Jove, the supreme god, is supposed to be meant (s).

(s) Pausan. Arcadica, sive, l. 8. p. 513. Vid. Ciceronem de Nat. Deor. l. 3. prope finem.

For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The {n} good LORD pardon every one

(n) He knew that faith and sincerity of heart were more agreeable to God than the observation of the ceremonies and therefore he prayed to God to pardon this fault to the people who did not offend out of malice, but out of ignorance.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. of Ephraim etc.] The list of tribes given here does not agree with the list in 2 Chronicles 30:11, but in both cases it is probable that the Chronicler merely wishes by his list to designate men of the Northern Kingdom as opposed to those of the Southern. He could not make the distinction by using the term “Israel” here, for in Chron. “Israel” as a rule is not used in opposition to “Judah”; cp. 2 Chronicles 11:3 (note).

it was written] R.V. it is written i.e. in the Mosaic Law.

But Hezekiah prayed] R.V. For Hezekiah had prayed.

The good Lord pardon] According to the Heb. division 2 Chronicles 30:18 ends with the word “pardon,” in the middle of the clause, as the A.V. (and R.V.) translate it. It is probable, however, that this Heb. division is right, and that it is the order of the words which needs correction. The phrase “the good Lord” (i.e. Jehovah “the good”) has no parallel in Heb. and is open to suspicion, but by a simple transposition we get, The LORD pardon the good. For “the good” cp. 2 Chronicles 19:11.

18, 19. every one that prepareth his heart] Render, even him that setteth his whole heart (cp. R.V. mg.). This clause defines the preceding phrase (“The good”); see last note.Verse 18. - So also the original Law of Moses prescribed that the uncleansed must not eat the Passover (Numbers 9:6). Also upon Judah came the hand of God, to give them one heart, to do... The phrase בּ היתה יהוה יד has usually a punitive signification (cf. Exodus 9:3; Deuteronomy 2:15, etc.), but here it is the helping hand of God. God wrought powerfully upon Judah to make them of one mind. יהוה בּדבר as in 2 Chronicles 29:15.
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