31 July 2017 Bible Reading
Hezekiah was the son of Ahaz and the 13th king of Judah approximately 715 – 686 b.C. He is one of the most prominent kings of Judah and is one of the kings mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew.
Hezekiah witnessed the destruction of the northern Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians under Sargon in 720 b.C. He was king of Judah when the Assyrians, under Sennacherib, invaded and laid siege to Jerusalem in 701 b.C. Hezekiah enacted sweeping religious reforms, including a strict mandate for the sole worship of Yahweh and a prohibition on venerating other deities. Isaiah and Micah were active as prophets during his reign.
2 Chronicles 29:1-36
29 Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did that which was right in Yahweh’s eyes, according to all that David his father had done. 3 He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of Yahweh’s house, and repaired them. 4 He brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the wide place on the east, 5 and said to them, “Listen to me, you Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, and sanctify Yahweh’s house, the God of your fathers, and carry out the filthiness out of the holy place. 6 For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in Yahweh our God’s sight, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of Yahweh, and turned their backs. 7 Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore Yahweh’s wrath was on Judah and Jerusalem, and he has delivered them to be tossed back and forth, to be an astonishment, and a hissing, as you see with your eyes. 9 For, behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with Yahweh, the God of Israel, that his fierce anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, don’t be negligent now; for Yahweh has chosen you to stand before him, to minister to him, and that you should be his ministers, and burn incense.”
12 Then the Levites arose, Mahath, the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites; and of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; and of the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah; 13 and of the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeuel; and of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 and of the sons of Heman, Jehuel and Shimei; and of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15 They gathered their brothers, and sanctified themselves, and went in, according to the commandment of the king by Yahweh’s words, to cleanse Yahweh’s house. 16 The priests went in to the inner part of Yahweh’s house, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in Yahweh’s temple into the court of Yahweh’s house. The Levites took it, to carry it out abroad to the brook Kidron. 17 Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of Yahweh; and they sanctified Yahweh’s house in eight days: and on the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end. 18 Then they went in to Hezekiah the king within the palace, and said, “We have cleansed all Yahweh’s house, and the altar of burnt offering, with all its vessels, and the table of show bread, with all its vessels. 19 Moreover all the vessels, which king Ahaz in his reign threw away when he trespassed, have we prepared and sanctified; and behold, they are before the altar of Yahweh.”
20 Then Hezekiah the king arose early, and gathered the princes of the city, and went up to Yahweh’s house. 21 They brought seven bulls, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven male goats, for a sin offering for the kingdom and for the sanctuary and for Judah. He commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on the altar of Yahweh. 22 So they killed the bulls, and the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the altar: and they killed the rams, and sprinkled the blood on the altar: they killed also the lambs, and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23 They brought near the male goats for the sin offering before the king and the assembly; and they laid their hands on them: 24 and the priests killed them, and they made a sin offering with their blood on the altar, to make atonement for all Israel; for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. 25 He set the Levites in Yahweh’s house with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet; for the commandment was of Yahweh by his prophets. 26 The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song of Yahweh began also, and the trumpets, together with the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 All the assembly worshiped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29 When they had finished offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshiped. 30 Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praises to Yahweh with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. They sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped. 31 Then Hezekiah answered, “Now you have consecrated yourselves to Yahweh; come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into Yahweh’s house.” The assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings. 32 The number of the burnt offerings which the assembly brought was seventy bulls, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs: all these were for a burnt offering to Yahweh. 33 The consecrated things were six hundred head of cattle and three thousand sheep. 34 But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings: therefore their brothers the Levites helped them, until the work was ended, and until the priests had sanctified themselves; for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests. 35 Also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings, and with the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of Yahweh’s house was set in order. 36 Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, because of that which God had prepared for the people: for the thing was done suddenly.
14 Now accept one who is weak in faith, but not for disputes over opinions. 2 One man has faith to eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Don’t let him who eats despise him who doesn’t eat. Don’t let him who doesn’t eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you who judge another’s servant? To his own lord he stands or falls. Yes, he will be made to stand, for God has power to make him stand.
5 One man esteems one day as more important. Another esteems every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks. He who doesn’t eat, to the Lord he doesn’t eat, and gives God thanks. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord. Or if we die, we die to the Lord. If therefore we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died, rose, and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written,
“‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘to me every knee will bow.
Every tongue will confess to God.’”
12 So then each one of us will give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let’s not judge one another any more, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block in his brother’s way, or an occasion for falling. 14 I know, and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean of itself; except that to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 Yet if because of food your brother is grieved, you walk no longer in love. Don’t destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. 16 Then don’t let your good be slandered, 17 for God’s Kingdom is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then, let us follow after things which make for peace, and things by which we may build one another up. 20 Don’t overthrow God’s work for food’s sake. All things indeed are clean, however it is evil for that man who creates a stumbling block by eating. 21 It is good to not eat meat, drink wine, nor do anything by which your brother stumbles, is offended, or is made weak.
22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who doesn’t judge himself in that which he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because it isn’t of faith; and whatever is not of faith is sin.
A Psalm by David.
24 The earth is Yahweh’s, with its fullness;
the world, and those who dwell therein.
2 For he has founded it on the seas,
and established it on the floods.
3 Who may ascend to Yahweh’s hill?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart;
who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood,
and has not sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive a blessing from Yahweh,
righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is the generation of those who seek Him,
who seek your face—even Jacob.
7 Lift up your heads, you gates!
Be lifted up, you everlasting doors,
and the King of glory will come in.
8 Who is the King of glory?
Yahweh strong and mighty,
Yahweh mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, you gates;
yes, lift them up, you everlasting doors,
and the King of glory will come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
Yahweh of Armies is the King of glory!
12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye,
Yahweh has made even both of them.