1 Hezekiah began to rule as king when he was twenty-five years old. He ruled for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother was Abijah, daughter of Zechariah.
2 He did right in the eyes of Jehovah, as his ancestor David had done.
3 In the first month of his first year as king, he opened the doors of Jehovahs temple and repaired them.
4 He assembled the priests and Levites in the square on the east side of the temple.
5 He said: »Listen to me, Levites. Perform the ceremonies to make the temple of Jehovah the God of your ancestors holy. Remove anything that has been corrupted from the holy place.
6 »Our ancestors were unfaithful and did what Jehovah our God considered evil. They deserted him. They turned away from Jehovahs tent and turned their backs on him.
7 »They also shut the doors of the temples entrance hall. They extinguished the lamps, and did not burn incense or sacrifice burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel.
8 »Jehovah was angry with Judah and Jerusalem. He made them something that shocks and terrifies people and that people ridicule, as you can see with your own eyes.
9 »Our fathers were killed in battle. Our sons, daughters, and wives are prisoners because of this.
10 »Now I intend to make a pledge to Jehovah the God of Israel so that he may turn his burning anger away from us.
11 »Do not be negligent, my sons. Jehovah has chosen you to stand in front of him, serve him, be his servants, and burn sacrifices.«
12 So the Levites started to work. From Kohaths descendants were Mahath, son of Amasai, and Joel, son of Azariah. From Meraris descendants were Kish, son of Abdi, and Azariah, son of Jehallelel. From Gershons descendants were Joah, son of Zimmah, and Eden, son of Joah.
13 From Elizaphans descendants were Shimri and Jeiel. From Asaphs descendants were Zechariah and Mattaniah.
14 From Hemans descendants were Jehiel and Shimei. From Jeduthuns descendants were Shemaiah and Uzziel.
15 These men gathered their relatives and performed the ceremonies to make themselves holy. They obeyed the kings order from Jehovahs word and entered the Temple to make it clean.
16 The priests entered Jehovahs temple to make it clean. They carried into the courtyard every unclean thing that they found in Jehovahs Temple. Then the Levites took the unclean items outside the city to the Kidron Brook.
17 They started on the first day of the first month. On the eighth day they went into Jehovahs entrance hall. For eight days they performed the ceremonies to make Jehovahs Temple holy. They finished on the sixteenth day of the first month.
18 Then they went to King Hezekiah. They said: »We have made Jehovahs entire temple clean. This includes the altar for burnt offerings, all its utensils, the table for the rows of bread and all its utensils,
19 and all the utensils King Ahaz refused to use during his reign when he was unfaithful. We have restored them and made them holy. They are in front of Jehovahs altar.«
20 Early in the morning Hezekiah assembled the leaders of the city and went to Jehovahs Temple.
21 They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats as an offering for sin for the kingdom, the holy place, and Judah. Hezekiah told the priests, Aarons descendants, to sacrifice the animals on Jehovahs altar.
22 So they slaughtered the bulls. The priests sprinkled the blood on the altar. Then they slaughtered the rams and sprinkled the blood on the altar. After that, they slaughtered the lambs and sprinkled the blood on the altar.
23 Then they brought the male goats for the offering for sin in front of the king and the assembly, who laid their hands on them.
24 The priests killed the goats and poured their blood on the altar as a sacrifice to take away the sin of all the people. The king commanded that burnt offerings and sin offerings be made for all Israel.
25 The king followed the instructions Jehovah gave to King David through Gad, the kings prophet, and through the prophet Nathan. He stationed Levites in the Temple, with harps and cymbals,
26 and instruments like those that King David used. The priests also stood there with trumpets.
27 Hezekiah gave the order for the burnt offering to be presented. The offering began and the people sang praise to Jehovah. The musicians began to play the trumpets and all the other instruments.
28 Everyone there joined in worship. The singing and the rest of the music continued until all the sacrifices were burned.
29 King Hezekiah and all the people knelt down and worshiped God.
30 The king and the leaders of the nation told the Levites to sing to Jehovah the songs of praise that were written by David and by Asaph the prophet. So everyone sang with great joy as they knelt and worshiped God.
31 Hezekiah said to the people: »Now that you are ritually clean, bring sacrifices as offerings of thanksgiving to Jehovah.« They obeyed, and some of them also voluntarily brought animals to be sacrificed as burnt offerings.
32 They brought seventy bulls, one hundred sheep, and two hundred lambs as burnt offerings for Jehovah.
33 They also brought six hundred bulls and three thousand sheep as sacrifices for the people to eat.
34 Since there were not enough priests to kill all these animals, the Levites helped them until the work was finished. By then more priests had made themselves ritually clean. The Levites were more faithful in keeping ritually clean than the priests were.
35 In addition to offering the sacrifices that were burned whole, the priests were responsible for burning the fat that was offered from the sacrifices the people ate, and for pouring out the wine that was presented with the burnt offerings. Thus worship in the Temple began again.
36 King Hezekiah and the people were happy. For God helped them to do all this so quickly.