Week 36, Day 1 in the LEB

Sep 4, 2023

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The reading for today is 2 Chronicles 29-31; 1 Corinthians 8.

Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.

2 Chronicles 29

Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. And the name of his mother was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. And he did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that David his father had done.

In the first year of his kingship, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of Yahweh and strengthened them. And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and he gathered them into the eastern square. And he said to them, "Hear me, O Levites! Sanctify yourselves now, and sanctify the house of Yahweh, the God of your ancestors, and bring out the defilement from the sanctuary. For our ancestors acted unfaithfully and did evil in the sight of Yahweh our God, and have forsaken him and turned away their faces from the dwelling place of Yahweh. They have turned their backs on it. They also shut the doors of the portico and extinguished the lamps. And they did not burn incense or offer burnt offerings in the sanctuary to the God of Israel. And the wrath of Yahweh was upon Judah and Jerusalem. And he made them as an abhorrence, as a desolation and an object of scorn, as you see with your own eyes. Now behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity on account of this. Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with Yahweh, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger might turn away from him. Now, my sons, do not be negligent, for Yahweh has chosen you to stand before him to serve him and to be his servants and incense burners."

Then the Levites arose—Mahath the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah, from the Kohathites; and Kish the son of Abdi and Azariah the son of Jehallelel from the Merarites; and Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah, from the Gershonites. And from the descendants of Elizaphan: Shimri and Jeiel; and from the descendants of Asaph: Zechariah and Mattaniah; and from the descendants of Heman: Jeiel and Shimei; and from the descendants of Jeduthun: Shemaiah and Uzziel— and they gathered their brothers and sanctified themselves, and they went in according to the command of the king because of the words of Yahweh, to purify the house of Yahweh. And the priests went into the inner part of the house of Yahweh to purify it. And they brought out all the impurity that they found in the temple of Yahweh out to the courtyard of the house of Yahweh. And the Levites took them to bring them outside to the Wadi Kidron. And they began to sanctify themselves on the first day of the first month. And on the eighth day of the month they came to the portico of Yahweh. And they sanctified the house of Yahweh for eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished. And they went into the inner part to King Hezekiah and said, "We have cleansed all the house of Yahweh: the altar of burnt offering, all its objects, the table of the rows of bread and all its objects, and all the objects that King Ahaz discarded in his reign when he sinned, we have prepared and sanctified. Look, they are before the altar of Yahweh."

Then King Hezekiah rose early and gathered the officials of the city, and he went up to the house of Yahweh. And they brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats as a purification offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. And he commanded the descendants of Aaron, the priests, to offer them on the altar of Yahweh. And they slaughtered the cattle, and the priests received the blood and threw it toward the altar. Then they slaughtered the rams and threw the blood toward the altar, and then they slaughtered the lambs and threw the blood toward the altar. Then they brought the goats of the sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they laid hands upon them. And the priest killed them and offered their blood against the altar to make atonement for all Israel, for the king had commanded the burnt offering and the sin offering for all Israel.

And he stood the Levites in the house of Yahweh with cymbals, harps, and lyres, according to the command of David and Gad, the seer of the king, and Nathan the prophet, for the command was by the hand of Yahweh by the hand of his prophets. When the Levites stood with the objects of David and the priests with the trumpets, Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And at the time the burnt offering began, the song of Yahweh began, and also the trumpets, at the hands of the instruments of David king of Israel. Then all the assembly bowed down, and the song was sung, and the trumpeters trumpeted—all together until the end of the burnt offering. And when the offering was finished, the king and all who were found with him knelt down and bowed themselves. Then King Hezekiah and the princes commanded the Levites to praise Yahweh with the words of David and Asaph the seer. So they offered praise with joy, and they bowed down and worshiped.

Then Hezekiah answered and said, "Now you have consecrated yourselves to Yahweh. Come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of Yahweh!" And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all who were willing in heart brought burnt offerings. And the number of burnt offerings that the assembly brought was seventy cattle, one hundred rams, two hundred lambs—all these were to offer to Yahweh. And the consecrated offerings of cattle were six hundred cattle and three thousand sheep. But the priests were too few, and they were not able to offer all the burnt offerings, so their brothers, the Levites, strengthened them to finish the work, and until the rest of the priests consecrated themselves. (For the Levites were more conscientious to sanctify themselves than the priests.) And beside the many burnt offerings was the fat of the peace offerings and the libations for the burnt offerings. So the service of the house of Yahweh was established. And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had established with the people, for the matter happened suddenly.

2 Chronicles 30

Then Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and he also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, to come to the house of Yahweh in Jerusalem to make a Passover feast to Yahweh the God of Israel. Now the king and his princes, and all the assembly in Jerusalem had taken counsel to make the Passover feast in the second month— but they were not able to make it at that time, for the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient numbers, and the people had not been assembled in Jerusalem— and the plan seemed right in the eyes of the king and in the eyes of all the assembly. So they let the decree stand, to make a proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, to come to make a Passover feast to Yahweh the God of Israel. And the runners went with the letter from the hand of the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah according to the command of the king, saying, "O sons of Israel, return to Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may turn again to the remnant of you who escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. Do not be like your fathers and like your brothers, who acted unfaithfully before Yahweh, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them as a desolation, as you see. Now, do not stiffen your neck as your fathers, but give a hand to Yahweh and come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever, and serve Yahweh your God that his fierce anger may turn away from you. For when you return to Yahweh, your brothers and your children will find compassion before their captors and return to this land, for Yahweh your God is gracious and compassionate, and he will not turn away his face from you if you return to him."

And it happened that the runners were passing from city to city in the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and up to Zebulun, but they were laughing at them and mocking them. Only men from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. The hand of God was also upon Judah, to give them one heart to obey the command of the king and the princes concerning the word of Yahweh.

So many people gathered in Jerusalem to hold the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month; it was a very great assembly. And they rose up and removed the altars that were in Jerusalem. And they removed all the incense altars and threw them away in the Wadi Kidron. And they slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. And the priests and the Levites were disgraced, so they consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings into the house of Yahweh. Then they stood at their positions according to custom, according to the law of Moses the man of God. The priests were sprinkling the blood from the hand of the Levites. For there were many in the assembly who did not consecrate themselves, so the Levites were over the killing of the Passover sacrifices for all who were not clean, to consecrate them to Yahweh. For a majority of the people, many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves. But they ate the Passover sacrifice otherwise than prescribed, but Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, "May the good Yahweh make atonement unto everyone whose heart is set to seek God, Yahweh the God of his ancestors, though not according to the cleansing for the sanctuary." And Yahweh listened to Hezekiah, and he healed the people. And the Israelites who were found in Jerusalem kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with great joy. And the Levites and the priests were offering praise to Yahweh day by day, with powerful instruments to Yahweh. And Hezekiah spoke to the heart of all the Levites who were skilled at service to Yahweh. So they ate the feast seven days, offering peace offerings and giving thanks to Yahweh, the God of their ancestors.

Then the whole assembly decided to make seven more days of feasting, so they made seven more days with joy, for Hezekiah the king of Judah had provided one thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep for the assembly, and the princes provided one thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep for the assembly. And many priests consecrated themselves. And the whole assembly of Judah, the priests and the Levites, all the assembly who had come from the land of Israel, and those living in Judah rejoiced. And there was great joy in Jerusalem, for from the days of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, there was nothing such as this in Jerusalem. Then the priests and the Levites arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard, and their prayer came to his holy dwelling place in the heavens.

2 Chronicles 31

And when all this was finished, all Israel who were found in the cities of Judah went out and shattered the stone pillars, cut down the Asherahs, and destroyed the high places and the altars from all Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh to the very last one. Then all the Israelites returned, each to his own property and to their cities.

And Hezekiah appointed working groups of the priests and the Levites, each according to their divisions, according to the service for priests and Levites, for burnt offerings, for peace offerings, to serve, to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the camps of Yahweh. And the gift of the king was out of his own possessions for the burnt offerings—the burnt offerings for the morning and the evening and for Sabbaths, new moon festivals, and appointed feasts, as is written in the law of Yahweh. Then he said to the people, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to give a gift for the priests and the Levites, so that they might be strong in the law of Yahweh. And the word spread. The Israelites gave abundantly from the firstfruits of grain, new wine, olive oil, honey, and all kinds of grains from the field. And they brought tithes of everything in abundance. Then the people of Israel and Judah who were living in the cities of Judah, they also brought a tithe of cattle and sheep and a tithe of consecrated objects to Yahweh their God. And they gave heaps upon heaps. In the third month the heaps began to pile up, and in the seventh month they ceased. When Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed Yahweh and his people Israel. And Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps. And Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok answered him, saying, "Since the offerings began to be brought to the house of Yahweh, we have eaten and been satisfied, and have much to spare, for Yahweh has blessed his people. Now see this abundant remainder!"

And Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of Yahweh, and they were prepared. Then they brought the offerings and tithes and holy objects faithfully. And over them as leader was Conaniah the Levite. And Shimei his brother was second in rank. And Jehiel, Azaziah, Nathan, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath, and Benaiah were chief officers under the hand of Conaniah and Shimei, his brother, by appointment of King Hezekiah. And Azaraiah was leader of the house of God. Now Kore the son of Imlah, the Levite, the gatekeeper of the east gate was over the freewill offerings of God, to give offerings to Yahweh and the most holy things. And at his hand were Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah in the cities of the priests and entrusted to give to their brothers by working groups, according to the eldest to the youngest, besides their enrollment by genealogy, to males from three years old and upward, to all who came into the house of Yahweh, as each day required for their service in their posts according to their working groups. And the enrollment of the priests was according to the house of their fathers, and the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, according to their posts by their working groups. And they were enrolled with all their little ones, their wives, their sons, and their daughters for the whole assembly because of their faithfulness. And they sanctified themselves in holiness. And for the descendants of Aaron, the priests, who were in the fields of the pasturelands of their cities, in each and every one of their cities were men who were designated by name to give shares to every male among the priests and to everyone enrolled among the Levites.

And Hezekiah did according to this throughout all Judah. And he did what is good and what is right and what is faithful before Yahweh his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God or with respect to the law and the commandment to seek his God, he did with all his heart, and he prospered.

1 Corinthians 8

Now concerning food sacrificed to idols, we know that "we all have knowledge." Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone thinks he knows anything, he has not yet known as it is necessary to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by him.

Therefore, concerning the eating of food sacrificed to idols, we know that "an idol is nothing in the world" and that "there is no God except one." For even if after all there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many gods and many lords,

yet to us there is one God, the Father,
    from whom are all things, and we are for him,
and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    through whom are all things, and we are through him.

But this knowledge is not in everyone. But some, being accustomed until now to the idol, eat this food as food sacrificed to idols, and their conscience, because it is weak, is defiled. But food does not bring us close to God. For neither if we eat do we have more, nor if we do not eat do we lack. But watch out lest somehow this right of yours becomes a cause for stumbling to the weak. For if someone should see you who has knowledge reclining for a meal in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, because it is weak, be strengthened so that he eats the food sacrificed to idols? For the one who is weak—the brother for whom Christ died—is destroyed by your knowledge. Now if you sin in this way against the brothers and wound their conscience, which is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother to sin, I will never eat meat forever, in order that I may not cause my brother to sin.