2 Chronicles 31:2-21

Hezekiah helps his people to worship the Lord

2 Hezekiah put the priests and the Levites into several groups. Each group had special work to do. Their different jobs were to offer burnt offerings and friendship offerings, and to serve God in other ways. Some of them would thank the Lord and sing songs to praise him at the gates of his temple.

3 The king gave some of his own animals for burnt offerings. The priests offered these sacrifices in the way that the law of the Lord taught. They offered burnt offerings each morning and each evening. They also offered them on Sabbath days, on the days of New Moon festivals and on other special days. 4 King Hezekiah told the people who lived in Jerusalem to bring their offerings too. They must provide the proper gifts for the priests and the Levites. Then they would serve the Lord in the way that his law taught them to do.

5 As soon as the Israelite people received Hezekiah's message, they brought their gifts to the temple. They brought the first part of their grain, wine, olive oil, honey and all the crops that grew in their fields. They brought one tenth part of all the food that they grew, so there was a lot of it. 6 The Israelites and the people of Judah who lived in other towns also brought gifts. They brought one animal from every ten of all their cows, sheep and goats. They also brought one thing from every ten things that they had made holy for the Lord their God. They put these things together in many heaps. 7 They started to bring their things in the third month of the year and they finished in the seventh month. 8 Hezekiah and his officers went to the temple and they saw all the things. Then they praised the Lord and they asked him to bless his people, the Israelites.

31:5A tenth part means that for every 10 things that they had, they brought one thing to offer to God. We also call this a tithe.

9 Hezekiah asked the priests and the Levites about the heaps of gifts from the people. 10 The leader of the priests, Azariah from Zadok's clan, said, ‘The people have brought a lot of gifts to the Lord's temple. Since they started to do that, we have had enough food to eat. There has been a lot more food than we need. The Lord has blessed his people, so we still have all this extra food.’

11 Hezekiah told them that they must prepare some rooms in the temple to store the things. When they had done that, 12 they put in there the gifts, the tithes and the holy things. A Levite called Konaniah had to take care of all these things. His brother Shimei helped him. 13 Konaniah and Shimei had authority over these people: Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismakiah, Mahath and Benaiah. King Hezekiah chose all these men to do this work. Azariah was the priest who had authority over the temple.

14 Imnah's son Kore, a Levite, was the guard who watched the East Gate of the temple. He received the gifts that people offered to the Lord. He had authority to share among the priests and the Levites the gifts that people brought and the holy things. 15 Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah and Shecaniah helped him. They lived in the towns where the priests lived. They faithfully shared the people's gifts among the other Levites and priests, group by group. They included everyone, young and old. 16 They gave gifts to all those who were in the lists of men who could serve God in the temple. They had to be three years old or older. Those men would go into the temple on the right days for their group. They would do the work that their group had to do on those days. 17 The lists of the priests showed the clans that they belonged to. The list of the Levites showed which group they belonged to. Those who were 20 years old or older had to do the work that was given to their group. 18 The young children, wives, sons and daughters of all the men in the lists also received gifts. That was because the men faithfully kept themselves clean to serve God in their work.

31:16‘Three years’ or ‘30 years’. The Levites must be 30 years old to serve in the temple. See Numbers 4:3; 1 Chronicles 23:3.

19 Some of the priests and Levites lived on the land around the cities that belonged to them. So the king's officers chose honest men to take the gifts to them. They gave them their proper share of the gifts. The priests had to be Aaron's descendants, and the Levites' names had to be on the list of Levite families.

20 Those are the things that King Hezekiah did everywhere in Judah. He did what was good and right to please the Lord his God. 21 He served God faithfully with all his strength. He helped the work in the temple and he obeyed God's law and his commands. So he was successful in the things that he did.