2 Chronicles 31

After the Passover

1 The feast finished. Then the Israelites who were there went out to all the towns in Judah. They broke up the tall idols of stones. And they cut down the poles with Asherah on them. They destroyed the places for worship and their altars in all Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim and Manasseh. That continued until they had destroyed all those things. When they had done that, all the Israelites returned to their homes in their own towns.

Hezekiah gives rules to the priests and to the Levites

2 Hezekiah put the priests and the Levites into separate groups. Each group had special work to do. Some priests and Levites had to give sacrifices by fire. Some had to give friendship offerings to God. Some worked in other ways. Some thanked God and they praised him at the gates of the Lord's temple.

Hezekiah and all the people give gifts to worship God

3 The king gave his own animals for sacrifices by fire. And he gave them for the sacrifices by fire each morning and each evening. He gave them for the sacrifices by fire on Sabbath days and new moon days. And he gave them for the sacrifices by fire for the other feasts too. He was obeying the Law of the Lord. 4 He spoke to all the people who lived in Jerusalem. He told them that they must give the proper gifts to the priests and to the Levites. That was so that they would be able to study the Law of the Lord really well. 5 When the people got Hezekiah's message they brought many good things. They brought the first grain that had grown, new wine, oil and honey. And they gave 1 part from every 10 parts of all the things that had grown in their fields. 6 The people from Israel and Judah who lived in Judah's towns also brought gifts. They brought 1 animal from every 10 of all their cows, sheep and goats. And they brought 1 thing from every 10 things that they had made holy to the Lord their God. They put all these things together in one place. 7 They started to put the things together in the third month and they finished in the seventh month. 8 Hezekiah and the leaders saw all the things. And they said good things about the Lord and they blessed his people, Israel.

9 Hezekiah asked the priests and the Levites about all those things. 10 Azariah, the most important priest was from Zadok's clan. He answered, ‘The people began to bring their gifts to the Lord's house. Since that time we have had enough food to eat and even more food than that. The Lord has blessed his people and we have all this extra food.’

11 Hezekiah told them that they must make rooms to store the things in the house of the Lord. So they did it. 12 They brought in all the gifts and the holy things. That included 1 thing from every 10 things that the people had. A Levite called Conaniah had to keep all those things safe. His brother, Shimei helped him. 13 Conaniah and his brother, Shimei were over Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismakiah, Mahath and Benaiah. And those men told other Levites what they must do. King Hezekiah and Azariah, who was the ruler of God's house, gave this special job to Conaniah and Shimei.

How Kore and his helpers gave out the gifts to the Levites and to the priests

14 Imnah the Levite had a son called Kore. And Kore kept the East Gate safe. Kore's other job was to give out what people had given to God. And he had to give out the holy gifts to the priests. 15 He was over Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah and Shecaniah, who lived in the priests' cities. They helped him to give out the gifts to the priests in a fair way. They were fair to the old ones and to the young ones. 16 They gave gifts to all the males with names that were in the lists of Levites. But they must be three years old or older. When they were older, these young men would come into the Lord's house on the right days. They would do the special work for each day that was on those lists. 17 The lists of the priests showed them in their clans. But the list of the Levites only showed those who were 20 years old or older. And it showed the work that each group of Levites had to do. 18 Also, the very young children, wives, sons and daughters received some things from the gifts. That was because they always kept themselves holy for their special work.

19 Some of the priests, Aaron's descendants, lived on the land round the Levites' towns or in other towns. The officers chose men who were fair and honest to take their gifts to them. They gave the proper gifts to every male among the priests. And they gave them to everybody among the Levites who was on the list of Levites.

20 That is what Hezekiah did in all Judah. He did what was good and right. And he obeyed the Lord his God. 21 He tried to obey God in everything that he did for God's house. He tried to obey God's Law and God's rules. In everything that he did for his God he tried to give pleasure to God. So very good things happened to him.