- The king and people resolve to keep the passover, verse 1-5.
- He invites Judah and Israel to it, verse 6-12.
- The joyful celebration of it, verse 13-27.
Israel - All the persons of the ten tribes, who were settled in his kingdom. Ephraim, &c. - To all the remainder of the ten tribes, verse 5, here expressed by the names of Ephraim and Manasseh, as elsewhere by the name of Ephraim only. But he names these two tribes, because they were nearest to his kingdom, and a great number of them had long since, and from time to time joined themselves to the kingdom of Judah, 2 Chronicles 15:8,9. At Jerusalem - Admonishing them of their duty to Cod, and persuading them to comply with it.
Second month - Which was against the common rule, but the doing of this in its proper time, namely, the fourteenth day of the first month was impossible, because the temple was not cleansed, nor they prepared. As there was a proviso in the law, that particular persons who were unclean in the first month, might keep the passover the fourteenth day of the second month, he doubted not but that might be extended by the whole congregation.
They kept - Not in the same manner as they had done the former, V. 3. Sufficiently - In such manner as was fit, nor in such numbers as but in the solemn worship of God, by sacrifices, and prayers, and praise, were necessary for the slaying and offering of so many thousands of and publick instruction of that great congregation in the good knowledge paschal-offerings, as appears, because they were not sufficient for of the Lord; which was most necessary for the people after so long and those offerings, which were comparatively few, chap. 29:32,33,34. dismal a night of ignorance, superstition and idolatry.
They - The generality of the ten tribes; who by long want of meat had now lost their appetite to God's ordinances, for which they paid dear. For about six years after their refusal of this offer of grace they were all carried away captive, 2 Kings 18:1,10.
The hand of God - God by the power of his grace inclined their hearts to an unanimous compliance with God's and the king's will. And this is mentioned as the reason of this wonderful change wrought in these men, who had lately been given up to idolatry.
Ashamed - Their negligence and remissness being upbraided by the general forwardness of the people. The zeal which we observe in others, should make us ashamed of our own coldness, and quicken us not only to do our duty, but to do it with our might.
The sanctuary - With that purification which was required of them that came in God's sanctuary. So he calls it to distinguish from that internal purity which they are here acknowledged to have. The great thing required in our attendance on God's ordinances is, that we prepare our heart to seek him; that the inward man be engaged, that we make heart work of it. All is nothing without this.
Healed - That is, pardoned this their sin, and accepting them and their services, as if they had been clean.
Spoke comfortably - Encouraged them to a chearful and diligent attendance upon their holy ministrations. Princes and magistrates by encouraging faithful and laborious preachers, greatly promote the kingdom of God. That taught - Who by their office were to instruct and build up the people in the knowledge and fear of God: which is mentioned as the cause of his respect and kindness to them.
Did give - First to God, to whom the parts appointed were offered in a way of thanksgiving; and then to the people, who feasted upon the relicks, as the offerer used to do in peace-offerings: and Hezekiah, who was the offerer, gave away his right in the remains of the sacrifices to the people. Which generosity is the more considerable, because it was in the beginning of his reign, when he found the exchequer empty; and when he had been at great expense about cleansing and refitting the temple, and making preparations for this great feast.
The Levites - Those of the Levites who were priests also; for to them only this work belonged.