2 Chronicles 31:2
And Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests and the Levites after their courses, every man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the tents of the LORD.
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(2) The courses . . . their courses.—Hezekiah restored the system of service in rotation, ascribed to David. (Comp. 2Chronicles 8:14, “according to the order of David.”)

Every man according to his service.—See the same phrase in Numbers 7:5; Numbers 7:7. Literally, after the mouth (i.e., rule, prescription) of his service.

The priests and Levites.—Literally, to the priests and Levites. The words depend upon those which immediately precede. LXX., καὶ τὰς ἐφημερίας ἑκάστου κατὰ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ λειτουργίαν τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν καὶ τοῖς Λευίταις.

To minister . . . praise.—The chronicler’s usual definition of the Levitical functions.

In the gates . . . Lord.—Literally, in the gates of the camps of Jehovah. Comp. 1Chronicles 9:18-19, where the phrase is explained.

2 Chronicles 31:2. In the gates of the tents of the Lord — That is, within the gates of the house of the Lord: which is here called tents, either because all houses are often so called, (see Jdg 19:9; Jdg 20:8; Psalm 79:25,) or because the host of the Lord, the priests and Levites, encamped there, and kept their stations and orders there by course: and perhaps also to intimate that it was shortly to be removed.31:1-21 Hezekiah destroys idolatry. - After the passover, the people of Israel applied with vigour to destroy the monuments of idolatry. Public ordinances should stir us up to cleanse our hearts, our houses, and shops, from the filth of sin, and the idolatry of covetousness, and to excite others to do the same. The after-improvement of solemn ordinances, is of the greatest importance to personal, family, and public religion. When they had tasted the sweetness of God's ordinance in the late passover, they were free in maintaining the temple service. Those who enjoy the benefit of a settled ministry, will not grudge the expense of it. In all that Hezekiah attempted in God's service, he was earnest and single in his aim and dependence, and was prospered accordingly. Whether we have few or many talents intrusted to us, may we thus seek to improve them, and encourage others to do the same. What is undertaken with a sincere regard to the glory of God, will succeed to our own honour and comfort at last.The tents - literally, "the camps." The temple is called the "camp of Yahweh" by an apt metaphor: the square enclosure, with its gates and stations, its guards and porters, its reliefs, its orderly arrangement, and the tabernacle, or tent, of the great commander in the midst, very much resembled a camp. 2-5. Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests, &c.—The king now turned his attention to provide for the orderly performance of the temple-worship—arranging the priests and Levites in their courses, assigning to every one his proper place and functions—and issuing edicts for the regular payment of those dues from which the revenues of the sanctuary were derived. To set a proper example to his subjects, his own proportion was announced in the first instance, for to the king it belonged, out of his privy purse, to defray the expenses of the altar, both stated and occasional (Nu 28:3, 4, 9, 11, 19); and in making this contribution from his own means, Hezekiah followed the course which David and Solomon had taken before him (see 2Ch 8:14; 1Ki 9:25). Afterwards he reappointed the people's dues to the temple; and from its being necessary to issue a royal mandate in reference to this matter, it appears that the sacred tribute had been either totally neglected, or (as the idolatrous princes were known to appropriate it to their own purposes) the people had in many cases refused or evaded the duty. But with the improved state of public feeling, Hezekiah's commandment was readily obeyed, and contributions of first-fruits and tithes were poured in with great liberality from all parts of Judah, as well as from Israel. The first-fruits, even of some articles of produce that were unfit for sacrifice (Le 2:11), such as honey (Margin, "dates"), were appropriated to the priests (Nu 18:12, 13; De 18:4). The tithes (Le 27:31) were intended for the support of the whole Levitical tribe (Nu 18:8, 20, 24). i.e. Within the gates of the house of the Lord; which is here called

tents, partly because all houses are oft so called, as Judges 19:9 20:8 Psalm 69:25; and partly because the host of the Lord, to wit, the priests and Levites, frequently so called, encamped there, and kept their stations and orders there by course. And Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests, and the Levites after their courses,.... As they were fixed by David, and were in the times of Jehoshaphat, and had been since interrupted, and which Hezekiah now restored, and placed them in their regular order:

every man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings, and for peace offerings, to minister and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the tents of the Lord; or camp of the Lord, where they were posted, and lay as an host encamped, to keep the watch of the house of the Lord; the priests, they were appointed to offer the sacrifices of every sort; the Levites to minister to them in what they needed and required of them, and others of them to be singers in time of service, and others to be porters at the gate.

And Hezekiah appointed the courses of the priests and the Levites after their courses, every man according to his service, the priests and Levites for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the {c} tents of the LORD.

(c) That is, in the temple where they assembled as in a tent.

2–21 (not in 2 Kin.). Organisation of the Priests, Tithe

2. the courses] Cp. 1 Chronicles 24:1 ff.

the priests and Levites] R.V. both the priests and the Levites.

in the gates] Cp. Deuteronomy 16:5.

the tents of the Lord] R.V. the camp of the LORD, i.e. (in the language of Deut.) “the place which the Lord chose,” Jerusalem or, more exactly, the Temple area. Cp. 1 Chronicles 9:18, note.Verse 2. - And Hezekiah appointed the courses. The twenty-fourth and following two chapters of 1 Chronicles give in full the appointment and arrangement of these courses, now again thrown out of order. Appointed; Hebrew, וַיַּעֲמֵר. It is equivalent to saying Hezekiah re-established the courses. Of the tents. The word is not "tents," but the expressive and emphatic "camps" (מַחֲגות). Order of the divinest kind, discipline of the most perfect sort, are the glory of the temple and temple service of old, of the Church, her ministers, her members, and all her pious work of more modern date. Prolongation of the festival for seven days more, and the conclusion of it. - 2 Chronicles 30:23. Since the king and the princes had given a very large number of beasts for sacrifice as thank-offerings, it was resolved to keep joy for other seven days, i.e., to keep them festally, with sacrificial meals. The expression ימים עשׂה, to hold or celebrate days, is similar to פסח עשׂה, to hold the passover. שׂמהה is an adverbial accusative: in joy. For this resolution two reasons are given in 2 Chronicles 30:24 : 1. Hezekiah had given to the assembly 1000 bullocks and 7000 head of small cattle, and the princes had given 1000 bullocks and 10,000 head of small cattle besides; so that there was more than they could use during the seven days of the Mazzoth feast. Bertheau incorrectly supposes that these were "rich gifts for further sacrificial feasts." The gifts were bestowed for the Mazzoth festival, but were so plentiful that they sufficed for another festival of seven days. הרים, like תּרוּמה, denotes to bestow, i.e., to present beasts, etc., with the design that they should be used as sacrifices; cf. 2 Chronicles 35:7. 2. The second reason: "priests also had sanctified themselves in multitude," so as to be able to carry on the service at the altar, even with such numerous sacrifices, refers back to 2 Chronicles 30:15 and 2 Chronicles 30:3.
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