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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Divrei Hayamim II - II Chronicles - Chapter 29

Divrei Hayamim II - II Chronicles - Chapter 29

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 29

1. Hezekiah became king at the age of twenty-five years, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem, and his mother's name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah.   א. יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ מָלַךְ בֶּן עֶשְׂרִים וְחָמֵשׁ שָׁנָה וְעֶשְׂרִים וָתֵשַׁע שָׁנָה מָלַךְ בִּירוּשָׁלִָם וְשֵׁם אִמּוֹ אֲבִיָּה בַּת זְכַרְיָהוּ:
2. And he did that which was proper in the eyes of the Lord, as all that his father David had done.   ב. וַיַּעַשׂ הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה דָּוִיד אָבִיו:
3. He, in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the House of the Lord and reinforced them.   ג. הוּא בַשָּׁנָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה לְמָלְכוֹ בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן פָּתַח אֶת דַּלְתוֹת בֵּית יְהֹוָה וַיְחַזְּקֵם:
and reinforced them: because Ahaz had destroyed all the vessels of the House of God.  
4. And he brought the priests and the Levites and gathered them into the eastern square.   ד. וַיָּבֵא אֶת הַכֹּהֲנִים וְאֶת הַלְוִיִּם וַיַּאַסְפֵם לִרְחוֹב הַמִּזְרָח:
5. And he said to them, "Hear me, ye Levites; now sanctify yourselves and sanctify the House of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and remove the 'menstruant' from the Sanctuary.   ה. וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם שְׁמָעוּנִי הַלְוִיִּם עַתָּה הִתְקַדְּשׁוּ וְקַדְּשׁוּ אֶת בֵּית יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם וְהוֹצִיאוּ אֶת הַנִּדָּה מִן הַקֹּדֶשׁ:
and remove the 'menstruant’: The Midrash Aggadah (source unknown) states: ‘The corpse’ is not stated here, but ‘the menstruant,’ which is more repugnant than the corpse. It is compared to the uncleanness of the menstruant, because menstrual blood is repugnant.  
6. For our fathers acted treacherously and did evil in the eyes of the Lord, our God and forsook Him, and they turned their faces away from the Tabernacle of the Lord and turned their backs.   ו. כִּי מָעֲלוּ אֲבֹתֵינוּ וְעָשׂוּ הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וַיַּעַזְבֻהוּ וַיַּסֵּבּוּ פְנֵיהֶם מִמִּשְׁכַּן יְהֹוָה וַיִּתְּנוּ עֹרֶף:
7. Moreover, they closed the doors of the vestibule, and extinguished the lamps, and they did not burn incense nor offer up burnt offerings in the Sanctuary to the God of Israel.   ז. גַּם סָגְרוּ דַּלְתוֹת הָאוּלָם וַיְכַבּוּ אֶת הַנֵּרוֹת וּקְטֹרֶת לֹא הִקְטִירוּ וְעֹלָה לֹא הֶעֱלוּ בַקֹּדֶשׁ לֵאלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:
extinguished the lamps, and they did not burn incense nor offer up burnt offerings in the Sanctuary to the God of Israel: but they made high places to alien gods in every city, to burn incense to them.  
8. And the anger of the Lord was against Judah and Jerusalem, and He made them for a shudder, an astonishment, and a hissing, as you see with your own eyes.   ח. וַיְהִי קֶצֶף יְהֹוָה עַל יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלִָם וַיִּתְּנֵם לְזַעֲוָה לְשַׁמָּה וְלִשְׁרֵקָה כַּאֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם רֹאִים בְּעֵינֵיכֶם:
9. And behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity because of this.   ט. וְהִנֵּה נָפְלוּ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ בֶּחָרֶב וּבָנֵינוּ וּבְנוֹתֵינוּ וְנָשֵׁינוּ בַּשְּׁבִי עַל זֹאת:
10. Now it is with my heart to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that His burning wrath should turn from us.   י. עַתָּה עִם לְבָבִי לִכְרוֹת בְּרִית לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיָשֹׁב מִמֶּנּוּ חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ:
11. My sons, now do not forget, for the Lord chose you to stand before Him to minister to Him and to be His ministers and to burn incense."   יא. בָּנַי עַתָּה אַל תִּשָּׁלוּ כִּי בָכֶם בָּחַר יְהֹוָה לַעֲמֹד לְפָנָיו לְשָׁרְתוֹ וְלִהְיוֹת לוֹ מְשָׁרְתִים וּמַקְטִרִים:
do not forget: Heb. תִּשָּׁלוּ, an expression denoting lack of intention.  
12. Then there arose the Levites: Mahath the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah of the sons of the Kehathites, and of the sons of Merari: Kish the son of Abdi and Azariah the son of Jehalelel, and of the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah and Eden the son of Joah.   יב. וַיָּקֻמוּ הַלְוִיִּם מַחַת בֶּן עֲמָשַׂי וְיוֹאֵל בֶּן עֲזַרְיָהוּ מִן בְּנֵי הַקְּהָתִי וּמִן בְּנֵי מְרָרִי קִישׁ בֶּן עַבְדִּי וַעֲזַרְיָהוּ בֶּן יְהַלֶּלְאֵל וּמִן הַגֵּרְשֻׁנִּי יוֹאָח בֶּן זִמָּה וְעֵדֶן בֶּן יוֹאָח:
13. And of the sons of Elizaphan: Shimri and Jeiel, and of the sons of Asaph: Zechariah and Mattaniah.   יג. וּמִן בְּנֵי אֱלִיצָפָן שִׁמְרִי וִיעִיאֵל וּמִן בְּנֵי אָסָף זְכַרְיָהוּ וּמַתַּנְיָהוּ:
14. And of the sons of Heman: Jehiel and Shimei, and of the sons of Jeduthun: Shemaiah and Uzziel.   יד. וּמִן בְּנֵי הֵימָן יְחִיאֵל וְשִׁמְעִי וּמִן בְּנֵי יְדוּתוּן שְׁמַעְיָה וְעֻזִּיאֵל:
15. And they assembled their brethren and sanctified themselves, and they came according to the commandment of the king concerning the matters of the Lord, to purify the House of the Lord.   טו. וַיַּאַסְפוּ אֶת אֲחֵיהֶם וַיִּתְקַדְּשׁוּ וַיָּבֹאוּ כְמִצְוַת הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּדִבְרֵי יְהֹוָה לְטַהֵר בֵּית יְהֹוָה:
16. And the priests came within the House of the Lord to purify [it], and they took out all the uncleanness that they found in the Temple of the Lord to the court of the House of the Lord, and the Levites received it to take it out to the Kidron Valley outside.   טז. וַיָּבֹאוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים לִפְנִימָה בֵית יְהֹוָה לְטַהֵר וַיּוֹצִיאוּ אֵת כָּל הַטֻּמְאָה אֲשֶׁר מָצְאוּ בְּהֵיכַל יְהֹוָה לַחֲצַר בֵּית יְהֹוָה וַיְקַבְּלוּ הַלְוִיִּם לְהוֹצִיא לְנַחַל קִדְרוֹן חוּצָה:
And the priests came within: for the Levites may not enter within.  
to the court of the House of the Lord: the place where the Levites stood, as he says: “and the Levites received, etc.”  
17. They commenced on the first of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the vestibule of the Lord; and they sanctified the House of the Lord for eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month, they finished.   יז. וַיָּחֵלּוּ בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן לְקַדֵּשׁ וּבְיוֹם שְׁמוֹנָה לַחֹדֶשׁ בָּאוּ לְאוּלָם יְהֹוָה וַיְקַדְּשׁוּ אֶת בֵּית יְהֹוָה לְיָמִים שְׁמוֹנָה וּבְיוֹם שִׁשָּׁה עָשָׂר לַחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן כִּלּוּ:
They commenced on the first of the first month etc., they sanctified the House of the Lord for eight days: This is why they prolonged the cleansing to cleanse it so long, because Ahaz had painted all the walls with images, as it is written (Ezek. 23:14): “Images of Chaldeans, engraved with types of drawings,” and they prolonged it for eight days until they destroyed the likeness of the images from the walls, and on the sixteenth day of the month, they completed everything, the Temple and the forecourt.  
18. And they came within to King Hezekiah, and they said, "We have purified the entire House of the Lord and the burnt-offering altar and all its vessels, and the table of showbread and all its vessels.   יח. וַיָּבוֹאוּ פְנִימָה אֶל חִזְקִיָּהוּ הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמְרוּ טִהַרְנוּ אֶת כָּל בֵּית יְהֹוָה וְאֶת מִזְבַּח הָעוֹלָה וְאֶת כָּל כֵּלָיו וְאֶת שֻׁלְחַן הַמַּעֲרֶכֶת וְאֶת כָּל כֵּלָיו:
19. And all the vessels that King Ahaz forsook during his reign, with his treachery-we have prepared and sanctified, and here they are before the altar of the Lord."   יט. וְאֵת כָּל הַכֵּלִים אֲשֶׁר הִזְנִיחַ הַמֶּלֶךְ אָחָז בְּמַלְכוּתוֹ בְּמַעֲלוֹ הֵכַנּוּ וְהִקְדָּשְׁנוּ וְהִנָּם לִפְנֵי מִזְבַּח יְהֹוָה:
we have prepared and sanctified: This is explained in Abodah Zarah (52b) in the chapter entitled “Rabbi Ishmael” : May vessels used in the Onias temple be used in the Temple?… He questioned him, “’That King Ahaz forsook, etc….we have prepared and sanctified.’ Does not ‘we have prepared’ mean that they immersed them and ‘sanctified’ mean that they consecrated them?” He replied, “Blessed are you to Heaven, for you have restored my loss to me. ‘We have prepared’ means that we have concealed them and ‘sanctified’ means that we consecrated others in their stead.”  
20. And King Hezekiah arose early and gathered the officers of the city and went up to the House of the Lord.   כ. וַיַּשְׁכֵּם יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֶּאֱסֹף אֵת שָׂרֵי הָעִיר וַיַּעַל בֵּית יְהֹוָה:
21. And they brought seven bulls and seven rams and seven lambs and seven kids for sin-offerings for the kingdom and for the Sanctuary and for Judah, and he said to the sons of Aaron, the priests, to offer them up on the altar of the Lord.   כא. וַיָּבִיאוּ פָרִים שִׁבְעָה וְאֵילִים שִׁבְעָה וּכְבָשִׂים שִׁבְעָה וּצְפִירֵי עִזִּים שִׁבְעָה לְחַטָּאת עַל הַמַּמְלָכָה וְעַל הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וְעַל יְהוּדָה וַיֹּאמֶר לִבְנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֲנִים לְהַעֲלוֹת עַל מִזְבַּח יְהֹוָה:
and seven kids, etc.: This was a temporary provision.  
on the altar of the Lord: but not on those altars that his father Ahaz had made.  
22. And they slaughtered the cattle, and the priests received the blood, and they sprinkled it upon the altar, and they slaughtered the rams and sprinkled the blood upon the altar, and they slaughtered the lambs and sprinkled the blood upon the altar.   כב. וַיִּשְׁחֲטוּ הַבָּקָר וַיְקַבְּלוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים אֶת הַדָּם וַיִּזְרְקוּ הַמִּזְבֵּחָה וַיִּשְׁחֲטוּ הָאֵלִים וַיִּזְרְקוּ הַדָּם הַמִּזְבֵּחָה וַיִּשְׁחֲטוּ הַכְּבָשִׂים וַיִּזְרְקוּ הַדָּם הַמִּזְבֵּחָה:
23. And they brought the kids for sin-offerings before the king and the congregation, and they placed their hands upon them.   כג. וַיַּגִּישׁוּ אֶת שְׂעִירֵי הַחַטָּאת לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְהַקָּהָל וַיִּסְמְכוּ יְדֵיהֶם עֲלֵיהֶם:
24. And the priests slaughtered them and sprinkled their blood upon the altar to atone for all Israel, because for all Israel the king said [to offer] the burnt-offerings and the sin-offerings.   כד. וַיִּשְׁחָטוּם הַכֹּהֲנִים וַיְחַטְּאוּ אֶת דָּמָם הַמִּזְבֵּחָה לְכַפֵּר עַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי לְכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל אָמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ הָעוֹלָה וְהַחַטָּאת:
to atone for all Israel: for they had sinned by [practicing] idolatry. The king said as follows: “Let the burnt offerings and the sin offerings be for all Israel.” In the section שְׁלַח (Num. 16:24) it is written: “the entire congregation shall offer up one bull, etc.,” and it is written: (Lev 4: 14): “and the congregation shall bring a young bull for a sin offering,” and here it is written that they brought seven bulls, rams, lambs, and kids! This was a temporary ruling.  
25. And he stationed the Levites in the House of the Lord, with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, by the commandment of David and Gad the king's seer and Nathan the prophet, for by the hand of the Lord was the commandment, by the hand of His prophets.   כה. וַיַּעֲמֵד אֶת הַלְוִיִּם בֵּית יְהֹוָה בִּמְצִלְתַּיִם בִּנְבָלִים וּבְכִנֹּרוֹת בְּמִצְוַת דָּוִיד וְגָד חֹזֵה הַמֶּלֶךְ וְנָתָן הַנָּבִיא כִּי בְיַד יְהֹוָה הַמִּצְוָה בְּיַד נְבִיאָיו:
for by the hand of the Lord was the commandment, by the hand of His prophets: that the Levites should play musical instruments. It is not written in the Torah that a sacrifice requires musical accompaniment (lit., song), but it is the commandment of the Lord, which He commanded through His prophets to accompany the sacrifice with song. Our Rabbis explained in Tractate Arachin (11a): From where do we derive that the Levites are required to play musical instruments? For it is written (Num. 4:47): “the service of the service.” Which is a service that requires another service with it? This is music with a musical instrument. “And the service of raising” may also be correctly explained in reference to song, as it is written (I Chron. 15:22): “And Chenaniah, the leader of the Levites in song (בְּמַשָּׂא) etc. because he was an expert,” for he was appointed to raise the voice of the melody of the song.  
26. And the Levites stood with David's instruments, and the priests with the trumpets.   כו. וַיַּעַמְדוּ הַלְוִיִּם בִּכְלֵי דָוִיד וְהַכֹּהֲנִים בַּחֲצֹצְרוֹת:
and the priests with the trumpets: as it is written (Num. 10: 8): “And Aaron’s sons, the priests, shall blow the trumpets.”  
27. And Hezekiah said to bring up the burnt- offerings to the altar, and at the time that the burnt-offering commenced, the song of the Lord and the trumpets commenced and by means of the instruments of David, king of Israel.   כז. וַיֹּאמֶר חִזְקִיָּהוּ לְהַעֲלוֹת הָעֹלָה לְהַמִּזְבֵּחַ וּבְעֵת הֵחֵל הָעוֹלָה הֵחֵל שִׁיר יְהֹוָה וְהַחֲצֹצְרוֹת וְעַל יְדֵי כְּלֵי דָוִיד מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל:
28. And the entire congregation prostrated themselves, and the song was sung, and the trumpets were sounded; everything [continued] until the completion of the burnt-offerings.   כח. וְכָל הַקָּהָל מִשְׁתַּחֲוִים וְהַשִּׁיר מְשׁוֹרֵר וְהַחֲצֹצְרוֹת מַחְצְרִים הַכֹּל עַד לִכְלוֹת הָעֹלָה:
29. And when they finished offering them up, the king and all those found with him kneeled and prostrated themselves.   כט. וּכְכַלּוֹת לְהַעֲלוֹת כָּרְעוּ הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכָל הַנִּמְצְאִים אִתּוֹ וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ:
30. And King Hezekiah and the officer ordered the Levites to praise the Lord with the words of David and Asaph the seer, and they praised until they were joyful, and they bowed and prostrated themselves.   ל. וַיֹּאמֶר יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ הַמֶּלֶךְ וְהַשָּׂרִים לַלְוִיִּם לְהַלֵּל לַיהֹוָה בְּדִבְרֵי דָוִיד וְאָסָף הַחֹזֶה וַיְהַלְלוּ עַד לְשִׂמְחָה וַיִּקְּדוּ וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ:
to praise the Lord with the words of David and Asaph the seer: i. e., “Give thanks to the Lord, call out in His name,” as is written above (I Chron. 16:8f): “On that day, David placed Nathan at the head to give thanks to the Lord by the hand of Asaph and his brethren, etc.”  
31. And Hezekiah answered and said, "Now you have invested yourselves to the Lord; come close and bring [peace-] offerings and thanksgiving offerings to the House of the Lord," and the congregation brought [peace-]offerings and thanksgiving-offerings, and every generous-hearted one-burnt offerings.   לא. וַיַּעַן יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ וַיֹּאמֶר עַתָּה מִלֵּאתֶם יֶדְכֶם לַיהֹוָה גֹּשׁוּ וְהָבִיאוּ זְבָחִים וְתוֹדוֹת לְבֵית יְהֹוָה וַיָּבִיאוּ הַקָּהָל זְבָחִים וְתוֹדוֹת וְכָל נְדִיב לֵב עֹלוֹת:
and the congregation brought [peace] offerings and thanksgiving offerings: which are permissible for the owner to eat.  
and every generous-hearted one - burnt offerings: Some of them, whoever was moved by his heart, brought burnt-offerings, but not all of them [i.e., not all the people brought burnt-offerings], because the owner has no permission to eat them.  
32. And the number of burnt-offerings that the congregation brought was: seventy oxen, a hundred rams, two hundred lambs; all these were burnt-offerings to the Lord.   לב. וַיְהִי מִסְפַּר הָעֹלָה אֲשֶׁר הֵבִיאוּ הַקָּהָל בָּקָר שִׁבְעִים אֵילִים מֵאָה כְּבָשִׂים מָאתָיִם לְעֹלָה לַיהֹוָה כָּל אֵלֶּה:
33. And the sacred offerings were six hundred large cattle and three thousand small cattle.   לג. וְהַקֳּדָשִׁים בָּקָר שֵׁשׁ מֵאוֹת וְצֹאן שְׁלֹשֶׁת אֲלָפִים:
And the sacred offerings: sacred offerings of the lower degree - [thanksgiving-] offerings and peace-offerings, from which the owners may benefit.  
34. Only the priests were few, and they could not flay all the burnt-offerings; so their brethren, the Levites, reinforced them until the work was completed and until the priests consecrated themselves, for the Levites were more conscientious than the priests to consecrate themselves.   לד. רַק הַכֹּהֲנִים הָיוּ לִמְעָט וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לְהַפְשִׁיט אֶת כָּל הָעֹלוֹת וַיְּחַזְּקוּם אֲחֵיהֶם הַלְוִיִּם עַד כְּלוֹת הַמְּלָאכָה וְעַד יִתְקַדְּשׁוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים כִּי הַלְוִיִּם יִשְׁרֵי לֵבָב לְהִתְקַדֵּשׁ מֵהַכֹּהֲנִים:
Only the priests were few: i.e., Those who had consecrated themselves were still few; so their kinsmen, the Levites, reinforced them until the work was completed and until the priests consecrated themselves. Now, should you ask: How was it that the Levites consecrated themselves and the priests did not consecrate themselves? Scripture explains: “for the Levites were more conscientious than the priests to consecrate themselves” ; the Levites were more conscientious than the priests, for the priests and the Levites and all God-fearing people had disguised themselves and made themselves appear unrecognizable, and had even hidden, all the days of the wicked kings, and when Hezekiah - who was righteous - came, they could not immediately consecrate themselves and cleanse themselves, for this was in the first year of his reign; so they came and consecrated themselves gradually, as it is written (Prov. 28:12): “When the righteous rejoice, there is much glory, but when the wicked rise up, a person disguises himself,” and it is written (ibid. verse 28): “When the wicked rise up, people hide; but when they perish, the righteous increase.” When the wicked Ahaz rose up, people hid, but when he perished, the righteous increased, i.e., Hezekiah and his company.  
35. And also, there were many burnt-offerings with the fats of the peace- offerings and with the libations for the burnt-offerings, and the service of the House of the Lord was established.   לה. וְגַם עֹלָה לָרֹב בְּחֶלְבֵי הַשְּׁלָמִים וּבַנְּסָכִים לָעֹלָה וַתִּכּוֹן עֲבוֹדַת בֵּית יְהֹוָה:
36. And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over that which God had prepared for the people, because the matter was sudden.   לו. וַיִּשְׂמַח יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ וְכָל הָעָם עַל הַהֵכִין הָאֱלֹהִים לָעָם כִּי בְּפִתְאֹם הָיָה הַדָּבָר:
over that which God had prepared for the people: to serve Him and to do His will, similar to below (30:19): “His whole heart he set to seek, etc.,” and they also rejoiced because they were suddenly inspired in the first year of his reign to return to the Lord, and they returned immediately.  
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