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SECOND CHRONICLES XXX-THE JOY IN JUDAH

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fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.

20 And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.

21 And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the LORD.

22 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.

23 And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness.

24 For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves.

25 And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced.

26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.

27 Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto heaven.

Chapter 31 1 The people are forward in destroying idolatry. 2 Hezekiah ordereth the courses of the priests and Levites, and provideth for their work and maintenance. 5 The people's forwardness in offerings and tithes. 11 Hezekiah appointeth officers to dispose of the tithes. 20 The sincerity of Hezekiah.

OW when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in

pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities.

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.

3 He appointed also the king's portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings,

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SECOND CHRONICLES XXXI—JUDAH'S RICH OFFERINGS

and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD.

4 Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.

5 ( And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.

6 And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated unto the LORD their God, and laid them by heaps.

7 In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month.

8 And when Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the LORD, and his people Israel.

9 Then Hezekiah questioned with the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps.

10 And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him, and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the LORD, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for the LORD hath blessed his people; and that which is left is this great store.

11 Then Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of the LORD; and they prepared them,

12 And brought in the offerings and the tithes and the dedicated things faithfully: over which Cononiah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was the next.

13 And Jehiel, and Azaziah, and Nahath, and Asahel, and Jerimoth, and Jozabad; and Eliel, and Ismachiah, and Mahath, and Benaiah, were overseers under the hand of Cononiah and Shimei his brother, at the commandment of Hezekiah the king, and Azariah the ruler of the house of God.

14 And Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the porter toward the east, was over the freewill offerings of God, to distribute the oblations of the LORD, and the most holy things.

15 And next him were Eden, and Miniamin, and Jeshua, and Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, in the cities of the priests, in their set office, to give to their brethren by courses, as well to the great as to the small:

16 Beside their genealogy of males, from three years old and upward, even unto every one that entereth into the house of the LORD, his daily portion for their service in their charges according to their

Courses:

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Jeroboam Crowned

FROM THE SERIES BY JULIUS SCHNORR.

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Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.-1. Kings, 12, 18.

\HE folly of King Rehoboam led him to under

estimate both the anger of his people and their

courage. He remained in the northern land, where apparently he had received the petition; and he sent his tax-collector among the people there, demanding payments as usual. The response was prompt and defiant; the collector was slain. The whole ten northern tribes rose in rebellion, looking to Jeroboam as their leader. They crowned him as king over a new kingdom, the northern kingdom which was henceforth known as Israel, while the southern mountaineers who clung to the descendants of David took for their land another name, the same with which David had been first crowned at Hebron. Theirs was the Kingdom of Judah. Never again were Judah and Israel united into one.

Rehoboam fled from the northland and from this rival king, Jeroboam, in fury. He summoned all the forces of Judah to punish the insurgents. But a prophet stayed him with a solemn warning from the Lord. “This thing is from me,” was God's word. The decree was accepted; the army dispersed. After this Rehoboam plunged into dissipation and worshipped idols. A huge army came out of Egypt against him, ravaged Judah, and was only turned back from Jerusalem itself by the payment of a huge ransom. All the riches of the Temple

were surrendered to the invaders.

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