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SECOND CHRONICLES XXIX-HEZEKIAH'S SACRIFICES

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29 And when they had made an end of offering, the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves, and worshipped.

30 Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped.

31 Then Hezekiah answered and said, Now ye have consecrated yourselves unto the LORD, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the LORD. And the congregation brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a free heart burnt offerings.

32 And the number of the burnt offerings, which the congregation brought, was threescore and ten bullocks, an hundred rams, and two hundred lambs: all these were for a burnt offering to the LORD.

33 And the consecrated things were six hundred oxen and three thousand sheep.

34 But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings: wherefore their brethren the Levites did help them, till the work was ended, and until the other priests had sanctified themselves: for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests.

35 And also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings, and the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of the house of the LORD was set in order.

36 And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.

Chapter 30 1 Hezekiah proclaimeth a solemn passover on the second month for Judah and Israel. 13 The assembly, having destroyed the altars of idolatry, keep the feast fourteen days. 27 The priests and Levites bless the people.

SND Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters

also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to

the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel.

2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.

3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.

4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation.

5 So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beer-sheba 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 for a long time in such sort as it was written.

6 So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes

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SECOND CHRONICLES XXX-ISRAELITES IN JUDAH

throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.

7 And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.

8 Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.

9 For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.

10 So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.

11 Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.

12 Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD.

13 | And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.

14 And they arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron.

15 Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctifed themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the LORD.

16 And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites.

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 unto the LORD.

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,

19 That prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his

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"My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins." -11. Chron., 10, 10.

ING REHOBOAM took three days to decide what response he should give to the petition of his

subjects. Unfortunately for himself and for Israel, he was a weak and heedless young man incapable of sound judgment or firm decision. He decided to adopt the counsel of the vain and empty-headed youths with whom he had been brought up. These haughty aristocrats, reared at Solomon's court in wealth and idleness and fancied superiority, had no conception of the real state of the nation, the power of the people or the strength of their resentment.

Following his comrades' advice, the king sent for the petitioners and thought to terrify them and the nation by his sternness. “My father," said he, “made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions."

More threats followed, especially that boast of the weight of his little finger, until the angered Israelites cried out their ancient call of rejection, "To your tents, 0 Israel!” And they added, “Now see to thine own house, David.” That is, they withdrew from the kingdom; they declared that Rehoboam was no protector to them but only a grasping robber, relying on the might of his own tribe of Judah.

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