2 Chronicles 30:5
So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover to the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written.
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(5) So they established a decree.And they decreed a proposal (heĕmîd dābār). (Comp. 2Chronicles 30:8; Psalm 105:10, “and hath decreed it unto Jacob for a law.”)

To make proclamation.—Literally, to make a voice pass. (Comp. 2Chronicles 24:9; 2Chronicles 36:22.)

From Beer-sheba even to Dan.—Reversing the ancient form of the phrase, to suit the present case. (Comp. Judges 20:1; 2Chronicles 19:4.)

For they had not . . . written.—Rather, For not in multitude (larōb) had they kept it, according to the Scripture. The people had not been in the habit of “coming in their numbers” to the feast. (Comp. the like use of larōb in 2Chronicles 30:13; 2Chronicles 30:24.) See the Law respecting the Passover, Exodus 12:1-20; Deuteronomy 16:1-8; from which it appears that the obligation to observe it was universal, and according to the latter passage, which is probably referred to in the phrase “according to what is written.” Jerusalem was the only legitimate place for the festival. It is implied that ever since the division of the kingdom, and perhaps earlier, the Passover had been inadequately celebrated. (Comp. 2Kings 23:22.) LXX. well, ὅτι πλῆθος οὐκ ἐποίησεν κατὰ τὴν γραφήν; Vulg., “multi enim non fecerant, sicut lege praescriptum est; Syriac and Arabic, “because their wealth had grown greatly”(!)

2 Chronicles 30:5. So they established a decree — They fixed a resolution; to make proclamation throughout all Israel — Hezekiah, it is certain, had no right to invite Hoshea’s subjects to repair to Jerusalem, to the celebration of his passover; yet for the doing of this we may well presume that he had encouragement from Hoshea himself; who, as to the matter of religion, has a better character in Scripture than any of his predecessors, from the time of the division of the two kingdoms. But the truth was, that both the golden calves, which had caused this political separation, were now taken away; that of Dan by Tiglath-pileser, and that of Beth-el by his son Shalmaneser; and therefore some of the apostate Israelites, being thus deprived of their idols, began to return to the Lord, and to go up to Jerusalem to worship, some time before Hezekiah made them this invitation to his passover. See Prideaux and Dodd. They had not done it of a long time, &c., as it was written — In such a manner as God had commanded them to keep it. Indeed, the ten tribes had never kept it since the division of the kingdom by Jeroboam; at least, not in the way in which Moses had prescribed, being hindered by his threatening interdicts from going to Jerusalem; where only it could be kept according to the law. And as for Judah, it appears, from 2 Chronicles 30:26, that they had never kept this feast with such solemnity since the time of Solomon.30:1-12 Hezekiah made Israel as welcome to the passover, as any of his own subjects. Let us yield ourselves unto the Lord. Say not, you will do what you please, but resolve to do what he pleases. We perceive in the carnal mind a stiffness, an obstinacy, an unaptness to compel with God; we have it from our fathers: this must be overcome. Those who, through grace, have turned to God themselves, should do all they can to bring others to him. Numbers will be scorners, but some will be humbled and benefited; perhaps where least expected. The rich mercy of God is the great argument by which to enforce repentance; the vilest who submit and yield themselves to the Lord, seek his grace, and give themselves to his service, shall certainly be saved. Oh that messengers were sent forth to carry these glad tidings to every city and every village, through every land!They had not done it ... - Some prefer, "they had not kept it in full numbers, as it was written" - i. e. "they (the Israelites of the northern kingdom) had not (for some while) kept the Passover in full numbers, as the Law required." CHAPTER 30

2Ch 30:1-12. Hezekiah Proclaims a Passover.

1-5. Hezekiah sent to all … Judah … to come to … Jerusalem, to keep the passover—This great religious festival had not been regularly observed by the Hebrews in their national capacity for a long time because of the division of the kingdom and the many disorders that had followed that unhappy event. Hezekiah longed extremely to see its observance revived; and the expression of his wishes having received a hearty response from the princes and chief men of his own kingdom, the preparatory steps were taken for a renewed celebration of the national solemnity.

letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh—The names of these leading tribes are used for the whole kingdom of Israel. It was judged impossible, however, that the temple, the priests, and people could be all duly sanctified at the usual time appointed for the anniversary, namely, the fourteenth day of the first month (Nisan). Therefore it was resolved, instead of postponing the feast till another year, to observe it on the fourteenth day of the second month; a liberty which, being in certain circumstances (Nu 9:6-13) granted to individuals, might, it was believed, be allowed to all the people. Hezekiah's proclamation was, of course, authoritative in his own kingdom, but it could not have been made and circulated in all the towns and villages of the neighboring kingdom without the concurrence, or at least the permission, of the Israelitish sovereign. Hoshea, the reigning king, is described as, though evil in some respects, yet more favorably disposed to religious liberty than any of his predecessors since the separation of the kingdom. This is thought to be the meaning of the mitigating clause in his character (2Ki 17:2).

They established a decree; they fixed this resolution. In such sort as it was written, i. e. so as God had commanded them to do it, to wit, that all the males in Israel should do it; which express command of God they ought to have obeyed, rather than the wicked commands or edicts of men to the contrary; which was both the judgment and practice of the priests and Levites, and other godly Israelites, as is manifest from 2 Chronicles 15:8, &c. So they established a decree, to make proclamation throughout all Israel,.... Passed a vote, that heralds should be appointed and sent to proclaim it throughout the land, that all might know it, and none plead ignorance:

from Beersheba even to Dan; the one being the southern and the other the northern boundary of the whole land of Israel:

that they should come to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem: the only proper place where it was to be kept:

for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written; as prescribed in the law those of the ten tribes had not observed it from the time of the schism of Jeroboam, and many in the kingdom of Judah had neglected it, at least had not kept it as the law required; for the phrase which we render "of a long time" rather respects a multitude of persons than length of time, who had been very deficient in their observance of this ordinance; the Targum is, that"many had not done it in its time, in Nisan,''and suggests that it was kept twice this year, first in Nisan by a few, and now again in the second month Ijar, and which is the sense of some Talmudic writers (p), but has no foundation in the text.

(p) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 12. 2.

So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from {c} Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort {d} as it was written.

(c) From one end of the land to the other, north and south.

(d) In such sort and perfection as God had appointed.

5. to make proclamation] A phrase characteristic of the Chronicler.

they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written] R.V. they had not kept it in great numbers in such sort as it is written. The statement applies to Israel, not to Judah; for the first time an attempt is made to draw Israel en masse to a regular Passover at Jerusalem. R.V. mg. however agrees with A.V. in reading “of a long time” for “in great numbers.”Verse 5. - Of a long time. Though the idea expressed in this rendering must, under any circumstances, attach to this passage, yet it can scarcely be understood to be given in the one Hebrew word we have here (לָרֹב); out of nearly a hundred and fifty occurrences of the word, and often with its present preposition, this is the solitary occasion of its being turned into a mark of time. The translation should read, for they had not kept it in multitude, i.e. in proper multitudes, and in the multitude of an undivided and holy kingdom. The force of the reference lies in the fact just stated, that Hezekiah, ignoring all the worse precedents of now many generations, and ignoring the iniquity of the duality of the kingdom, manfully caused his writ to run from south to north unchecked! As it was written; i.e. in the book of the Law of Moses. So runs the full and frequent and honoured phrase: כַּכָּתוּב בְסֵפֶר תּורַת־משֶׁה (2 Kings 14:6; 1 Kings 2:3; Joshua 3:34; 2 Chronicles 35:26, etc.). 2 Chronicles 29:35 gives yet another reason why the Levites had to help the priests: "And also the burnt-offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace-offerings, and the drink-offerings for every burnt-offering." The priests could not accomplish the flaying for this reason also, that they had, besides, to see to the proper altar service (sprinkling of the blood, and burning of the sacrifices upon the altar), which taxed their strength, since, besides the consecratory burnt-offerings, there were the voluntary burnt-offerings (2 Chronicles 29:31), which were offered along with the thank-offerings and the drink-offerings, which belonged to the burnt-offerings of Numbers 15:1-15. Thus the service of the house of Jahve was arranged. עבודה is not the purification and dedication of the temple (Berth.), but only the sacrificial service, or rather all that concerned the regular temple worship, which had decayed under Ahaz, and had at length wholly ceased.
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