The Levites make the temple a holy place again
3 In the first month of the year that Hezekiah became king, he opened the doors of the Lord's temple. He repaired the doors. 4 He brought together the priests and the Levites in the yard at the east side of the temple. 5 He said to them, ‘Listen to me, you Levites. Make yourselves clean to serve the Lord. Then you can make the temple a holy place again. It is the temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Take out of that holy place anything that is unclean.
6 Our ancestors did not serve the Lord faithfully. They did things that the Lord our God saw were evil. They turned away from him. They stopped worshipping him in his temple, where he lives. They completely turned against him. 7 They shut the doors at the entrance of the temple. They stopped burning oil in the lamps. They did not offer to Israel's God any incense or burnt offerings in his holy place. 8 So the Lord became angry with Judah and Jerusalem. He made them disgusting places which other people insult. You can see this with your own eyes. 9 You know that cruel enemies killed our fathers. They took away our sons, our daughters and our wives as their prisoners. That was God's punishment. 10 Now I want to make a covenant with the Lord, Israel's God. Then he will stop being angry with us.
11 My sons, the Lord has chosen you to serve him in his temple and to offer sacrifices. So do your work well.’
12 Then these Levites started to work in the temple:From Kohath's clan: Amasai's son Mahath and Azariah's son Joel.From Merari's clan: Abdi's son Kish and Jehallelel's son Azariah.From Gershon's clan: Zimmah's son Joah and Joah's son Eden. 13 From Elizaphan's clan: Shimri and Jeiel.From Asaph's clan: Zechariah and Mattaniah. 14 From Heman's clan: Jehiel and Shimei.From Jeduthun's clan: Shemaiah and Uzziel.
15 Those men brought all the Levites together. They all made themselves clean to serve the Lord. Then they went into the temple to make it a holy place again, as the king had commanded them. They obeyed the Lord's command. 16 Then the priests went into the inside room of the Lord's temple to make it holy. They found some things in the temple that were unclean. They carried all those things out to the temple yard. Then the Levites took the unclean things out of the city to the Kidron Valley.
17 They began this work on the first day of the first month. On the 8th day of the month they reached the entrance room of the temple. They worked to make the temple a holy place for eight more days. On the 16th day of the first month they had finished the work.
18 Then they went to King Hezekiah and they said, ‘We have made the whole temple clean and holy. That includes the altar for burnt offerings and all its tools. It also includes the table for the special bread and all its tools. 19 When Ahaz was king, he removed many things from the temple when he turned away from the Lord. We have made all those things clean again. We have put them in front of the Lord's altar so that the priests can use them again.’