Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, , at sacred-texts.com
2 Chronicles 29:1
The treatment of Hezekiah's reign by the author of Chronicles is in marked contrast with that followed in the Book of Kings. The writer of Kings describes mainly civil affairs; the author of Chronicles gives a full account of Hezekiah's religious reformation. 2 Chr. 29-31 contain matter, therefore, which is almost wholly new.
2 Chronicles 29:3
By "the first month" is meant (compare Ch2 30:2-3) the month of Nisan, the first of the Jewish sacred year, not necessarily the first month of Hezekiah's reign.
2 Chronicles 29:4
The east street - Rather, some open space before the eastern gate of the outer temple court is intended.
2 Chronicles 29:5
Sanctify now yourselves - Compare the marginal reference. Hezekiah follows David's example, knowing, probably, that the priests had in the preceding time of idolatry contracted many defilements.
The "filthiness," or "uncleanness" Ch2 29:16, might consist, in part, of mere dust and dirt, in part, of idolatrous objects introduced by Ahaz before he finally shut up the temple Kg2 16:10-16.
2 Chronicles 29:8
He hath delivered them to ... hissing - See Kg1 9:8 note. It was an expression which Hezekiah might naturally use, for it had occurred in a prophecy of Micah Mic 6:16, his contemporary and monitor Jer 26:18-19, which was probably uttered toward the close of the reign of Ahaz. In Jeremiah the phrase becomes common (marginal references).
2 Chronicles 29:12
On the triple division of the Levites, see Ch1 23:6; and on the musical Levites, see Ch1 25:1-6.
The descendants of Elizaphan - a grandson of Kohath Exo 6:22, and chief of the Kohathites at the time of the census in the wilderness Num 3:30 - appear at all times to have formed a distinct branch of the Kohathites with special privileges Ch1 15:8.
2 Chronicles 29:15
By the words of the Lord - Rather, as suggested in the margin, "According to the commandment of the king in the business (or matters) of the Lord."
2 Chronicles 29:16
The "inner part" means here, not the holy of holies in particular, but the interior generally. The priests alone might enter the temple building. The Levites might penetrate no further than the inner court.
2 Chronicles 29:21
Hezekiah commenced his restoration of the Yahweh-worship with an unusually comprehensive sin-offering, embracing the four chief kinds of sacrificial animals, and seven animals of each kind: he intended to atone for the sins, both conscious and unconscious, of the king, the priests, the people of Judah, and the people of Israel. After the completion of these expiatory rites, he proceeded to the offering of the burnt-offering Ch2 29:27.
2 Chronicles 29:23
The he goats for the sin offering - Rather, "the he goats of the sin offering" - that portion of the Sin offering which had been reserved to the last.
2 Chronicles 29:24
All lsrael - Hezekiah aimed at reuniting once more the whole people of Israel, if not into a single state, yet, at any rate, into a single religious communion. The northern kingdom was in a condition approaching to anarchy. The end was evidently approaching. Hoshea, the king contemporary with Hezekiah Kg2 18:1, ruled, not as an independent monarch, but as an Assyrian feudatory Kg2 17:3. Under these circumstances Hezekiah designed to invite the revolted tribes to return, if not to their old temporal, at least to their old spiritual, allegiance Ch2 30:5-10. In order, therefore, to prepare the way for this return, he included "all Israel" in the expiatory sacrifice, by which he prefaced his restoration of the old worship.
2 Chronicles 29:27
All had hitherto been preparatory. Now Hezekiah gave orders that "the burnt offering" - i. e. the daily morning sacrifice - should be offered upon the brass altar in front of the porch, thus restoring and reinstituting the regular temple-service. A burst of music gave notice to the people of the moment when the old worship recommenced.
2 Chronicles 29:31
Hezekiah addresses, not the priests, but the congregation: "Now that by the atoning sacrifice which has been offered for you, you are consecrated once more to be a holy people to the Lord, approach with confidence and offer your free-will offerings as of old."
Burnt offerings - The term thus translated is applied especially to those victims which were to be wholly consumed upon the altar. In the "sacrifices," or peace offerings generally, and the "thank offerings" - a particular kind of peace offering Lev 7:12) - the greater part of the victim belonged to, and was consumed by, the worshipper. Hence, to offer "burnt offerings," was indicative of a "free heart."
2 Chronicles 29:34
The Levites were more upright etc - See the marginal reference. Urijah, the high priest, had participated to some extent in the impieties of Ahaz Kg2 16:10-16. He and many of the priests may, therefore, have looked coldly on the reforming zeal of Hezekiah.