1Hezekiah was twenty-five when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for twenty-nine years. His mother's name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.
2He did what was right in the Lord's sight, just as his forefather David had done.
3In the first month of the first year of his reign, Hezekiah opened the doors of the Lord's Temple and repaired them.
4He summoned the priests and the Levites, and had them gather on the square to the east.
5He told them, “Listen to me, Levites. Purify yourselves now and purify the Temple of the Lord, the God of your forefathers. Take away from the Holy Place everything that is filthy.
6For our fathers were sinful, and did what was evil in the Lord's sight. They abandoned him and paid no attention to the Lord's Temple, turning their backs on him.
7They shut the doors at the entrance to the Temple and put out the lamps. They didn't burn incense or present burnt offerings at the sanctuary of the God of Israel.
8So the Lord's anger fell on Judah and Jerusalem, and he made them into something appalling, terrifying, and ridiculous, as you can see for yourselves.
9As a result, our fathers have died in battle, and our sons and our daughters and our wives have been captured.
10But now I'm going to make an agreement with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger will no longer fall on us.
11My sons, don't neglect your responsibilities, for the Lord has chosen you to stand in his presence to serve him, and to be his ministers presenting burnt offerings.”
12Then the Levites went to work. They were Mahath, son of Amasai, and Joel, son of Azariah, from the Kohathites; Kish, son of Abdi, and Azariah, son of Jehallelel, from the Merarites; Joah, son of Zimmah, and Eden, son of Joah, from the Gershonites;
13from the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeiel; and from the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah;
14from the sons of Heman, Jehiel and Shimei; and from the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel.
15They called together the other Levites and all of them purified themselves. Then they went in to clean the Lord's Temple, as the king had commanded, following the instructions as required by the Lord.
16The priests went into the inner sanctuary of the Lord's Temple to clean it. They removed all the unclean things that they found in the Lord's Temple and placed them in the Temple courtyard. Then the Levites took them out and carried them to the Kidron Valley.
17They started the work of purification on the first day of the first month, and by the eighth day of the month they had reached the Temple porch. For eight more days they worked on purifying the Temple itself, and finished on the sixteenth day of the first month.
18Then they went in to tell King Hezekiah, “We have cleaned the entire Temple of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the table of the showbread with all its utensils.
19We have recovered and purified all the items that King Ahaz threw away during his reign when he was unfaithful. They are now before the Lord's altar.”
20King Hezekiah got up early, summoned the city officials, and went to the Lord's Temple.
21They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven male lambs, and seven male goats as a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. The king ordered the priests, the descendants of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the Lord.
22So they killed the bulls, and the priests took the blood and sprinkled it on the altar. They killed the rams and sprinkled the blood on the altar. They killed the lambs and sprinkled the blood on the altar.
23Then they brought the goats for the sin offering before the king and the assembly, who placed their hands on them.
24Then the priests killed the goats and placed their blood on the altar for a sin offering, to make atonement for the whole of Israel, because the king had ordered that the burnt offering and sin offering were for the whole of Israel.
25Hezekiah had the Levites stand in the Lord's Temple with cymbals, harps, and lyres, following the instructions of David, Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet. The instructions had come from the Lord through His prophets.
26The Levites stood with the musical instruments provided by David, with the priests holding their trumpets.
27Then Hezekiah gave the order for the burnt offering to be offered on the altar. As the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord began at the same time, the trumpets sounded, and music was played on the instruments of David, once king of Israel.
28All the people in the assembly were worshiping, the singers were singing, and the trumpeters were playing. This continued until the burnt offering was finished.
29Once the offerings were completed, the king and everyone there with him bowed down and worshiped.
30Then King Hezekiah and his officials ordered the Levites to sing praises to the Lord using the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with joy, and bowed their heads and worshiped.
31Then Hezekiah told them, “Now that you have dedicated yourselves to the Lord, come and bring your sacrifices and thank offerings to the Lord's Temple.” So the people in the assembly brought their sacrifices and thank offerings, and everyone who wanted to brought burnt offerings.
32The total number of burnt offerings they brought was seventy bulls, a hundred rams, and two hundred lambs; all these were to be a burnt offering to the Lord.
33In addition there were dedicated offerings of six hundred bulls and three thousand sheep.
34Since there weren't enough priests to skin all the burnt offerings, their Levite relatives helped them until the work was finished and the priests had been purified. (The Levites had been more conscientious in purifying themselves than the priests had.)
35Apart from the large number of burnt offerings, there was the fat of the friendship offerings, as well as the drink offerings that went with the burnt offerings. In this way the service of the Lord's Temple was restored.
36Hezekiah and everyone there were so happy at what God done for the people, because everything had been achieved so quickly.