And Hezekiah spoke comfortably to all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Spake comfortably.—See margin, and comp. Isaiah 40:2.
That taught the good knowledge of the Lord.—Rather, were showing good skill for (in honour of) Jehovah, in their chanting and playing. The king encouraged the musicians with kindly words of praise.
They did eat throughout the feast.—Literally, they ate the feast, like “they ate the passover.” The meaning is that the assembly ate the sacrificial meals, which were supplied from the flesh of the “peace offerings.” The phrase is peculiar to this passage. The LXX. has καὶ συνετέλεσαν, “and they finished:” a difference which implies no great change in the Hebrew writing, but is against the context.
Making confession.—LXX. rightly, ἐξομολογούμενοι. The meaning is “yielding hearty thanks,” “acknowledging “the Divine goodness. Everywhere else the Hebrew word means “to confess guilt” (Nehemiah 9:3; Leviticus 5:5; Numbers 5:7).2 Chronicles 30:22. Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites — Commended them for their care and diligence, and thereby encouraged them to a cheerful and diligent attendance upon their holy ministrations, and to continue to instruct the people in their duty, promising, it is likely, to reward them for what they had already done. That taught the good knowledge of the Lord — Who by their office were to instruct and build up the people in the knowledge and fear of God; which is mentioned as the cause of his respect and kindness to them. Princes and magistrates, by encouraging faithful and laborious preachers of God’s word, greatly promote the kingdom of God.
They did eat throughout the feast - literally, "they did eat the feast;" i. e. "they kept the feast," which was essentially kept by the eating of unleavened bread. The Levites kept the feast during the full term appointed for it, never failing in their duties, but taking their part day after day, both in the sacrifice of the victims and in singing praises to God.Spake comfortably unto all the Levites; encouraged them to a cheerful and diligent attendance upon their holy ministrations by the promise of his favour and utmost care for them, which he faithfully performed, 2 Chronicles 31:4, &c.
That taught the good knowledge of the Lord; who by their office were to instruct and build up the people in the knowledge and fear of God; which is mentioned as the cause of his respect and kindness to them, which was for their work’s sake, as it is said, 1 Thessalonians 5:13.
Making confession: either,
1. Confessing their sins; which work was to accompany many of their sacrifices; of which see Leviticus 5:5 16:21. Or rather,
2. Confessing God’s goodness, or praising of God, which oft goes under this name, as 1 Chronicles 16:8,24, which also seems to be more proper work for this season of joy.
even those that taught the good knowledge of the Lord; who instructed the people well in his word, worship, and ordinances; though some restrain this to their skill in singing the praises of God, both vocally and instrumentally, and their abilities and diligence in teaching others:
and they did eat throughout the feast: or did eat the feast; that is, the sacrifices of it; not the Levites only, but the king, and all the congregation:
offering peace offerings; part of which belonged to the Lord, another part to the priests, and a third to the offerers, on which they feasted with their friends; and this they did throughout all the seven days of the feast:
and making confession to the Lord God of their fathers; confessing their sins of omission and commission they had been guilty of; owning the goodness, grace, and mercy of God towards them; blessing and praising his name for the restoration of his worship and ordinances among them.And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)22. that taught the good knowledge of the Lord] R.V. that were well skilled in the service of the LORD.
and they did eat … seven days] R.V. So they did eat … for the seven days, i.e. the usual seven days of unleavened bread.
pace offerings] R.V. sacrifices of peace offerings; cp. 1 Chronicles 16:1.
making confession] Or “giving thanks” R.V. mg. LXX. ἐξομολογούμενοι.Verse 22. - Spake comfortably; literally, to the heart of, etc. That taught the good knowledge. This rendering is in some error, and is awkward in not indicating the direction of the knowledge. A better rendering (see Revised Version) will be, who were well skilled in rendering such service to Jehovah. And perhaps the simplest rendering, "who served with good service to Jehovah," will be the most correct to the real meaning of the Hebrew text (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 13:15). Making confession; i.e. the confession or uttering forth of praise (so Psalm 75:2; Psalm 92:1; 1 Chronicles 16:4, 7, 35, 41; 1 Chronicles 23:30; 1 Chronicles 25:3; 2 Chronicles 5:13; 2 Chronicles 7:3, 6; 2 Chronicles 31:2). 1 Chronicles 6:17), the priests sprinkled the blood (of the paschal lambs) from the hand of the Levites, they handing it to them. This was not the rule: in the case of the paschal lamb, the father of the family who slew the lamb had to hand the blood to the priest, that it might be sprinkled upon the altar; here the Levites did it for the reasons given in 2 Chronicles 30:17. Because many in the assembly had not sanctified themselves, the Levites presided over the slaying of the paschal lambs for every one who was unclean, to sanctify (the lambs) to the Lord (see also on 2 Chronicles 35:6, 2 Chronicles 35:11). רבּת, stat. constr. before the noun with a preposition, stands as neuter substantively: there was a multitude in the assembly who...רבּת, in 2 Chronicles 30:18 is to be taken in a similar manner, not as an adverb (Berth.). וגו מאפרים רבּת is in apposition to העם מרבּית, a multitude of people, viz.: Many of Ephraim ... had not purified themselves, but ate the passover in an illegal fashion, not according to the precept (cf. Numbers 9:6). This clause explains how it happened that the Levites presided at the slaying of the passover for those who had not sanctified themselves, i.e., they caught the blood and gave it to the priests. Had this been done by persons levitically unclean, the expiatory sacrificial blood would have been defiled. The eating of the paschal lamb or the participation in the passover meal was indeed allowed only to the clean; but yet it was not so holy an act, i.e., did not bring the people into such immediate contact with God, who was present at His altar, that those who were not clean might not, under some circumstances, be admitted to it. Here it was allowed, for Hezekiah had prayed for them that God might forgive the transgression of the law.
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