The Completion of Hezekiah’s Cultic Reforms; Provisions for Collecting and Distributing Contributions to the Priests and Levites (31:1–21)

From: 2 Chronicles

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443 1/ When they had finished all this, all Israel that was present went out to the cities of Judah and they shattered the standing stones, ground down the asherim,1 and tore down the high places and the altars from all2 Judah and Benjamin and in Ephraim and Manasseh until they had destroyed them all. Then all the Israelites3 returned, each one to his possession in their towns. 2/ Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and the Levites, by their divisions, each according to their service as priests and Levites, for burnt offerings and for offerings of well-being, to serve, to give thanks, and to praise inside the gates4 of the camps of Yahweh.5 3/ The share6 of the king from his possessions was for burnt offerings, burnt offerings7 of the morning and the evening, and burnt offerings for the Sabbaths, the new moons, and the appointed feasts, as it is written in the Torah of Yahweh. 4/ He said to the people who were living in Jerusalem8 to give the share due to the priests and the Levites so that they might be strong in the service of the house of Yahweh.9 5/ As soon as the word spread,10 the Israelites11 gave in abundance of the first fruits of grain, wine, oil, and honey, and all the increase of the field, and they brought the tithe of everything in abundance . 6/ And as for the Israelites and Judeans12 who lived in the cities of Judah, they also brought in13 the tithe of cattle and sheep, and the tithe of all the increase of the field,14 and the holy offerings,15 which had been dedicated to Yahweh their God. They brought these in and put them in many heaps. 7/ In the third month they began to pile up16 the heaps, and they finished them in the seventh month. 8/ Hezekiah and the officials came and saw the heaps and they blessed Yahweh and his people Israel. 9/ Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites about the heaps. 10/ Azariah the chief priest, from the house of Zadok, said17 to him, “Since we began18 to bring in19 the offering to the house of Yahweh we have had enough to eat20 and have plenty to spare,21 for Yahweh had blessed his people, and this supply22 was left over.”23 11/ Then Hezekiah commanded them to prepare store chambers in the house of Yahweh, and they prepared them. 12/ They brought in the contributions, the tithes, and the holy offerings24 faithfully. The chief officer in charge of them was Conaniah25 the Levite and his brother Shimei as second in command. 13/ Jehiel, 1 !yrvah; cf. 2 Kgs 18:4 LXX a[lsh (plural). Cf. Syr Tg. Kgs MT hrvah. 2 lkm; LXX ajpo; pavsh~ gh'~ “from all the land of.” 3 larcy ynb lk; LXX pa'~ ÆIsrahvl “all Israel.” 4 yr[vb llhlw twdhlw trvl. The translation follows a suggestion of Dillard (248) to translate yr[vb “inside the gates” rather than “in the gates” since all are agreed that confessing and praising would not be done in the gates themselves. BHS (Rudolph, 304), addresses the same issue by adding the conjunction to trvl and moving it before yr[vb “bei der Dienstleistung an den Toren.” This is also the solution of the LXX, but this may be only an attempt to smooth out a difficult text. Japhet (959) addresses the problem by adding the word !yr[wvhw before yr[vb: “and the gatekeepers were in the gates.” 5 hwhy twnjm; LXX ejn tai'~ aujlai'~ oi[kou Kurivou “in the courts of the house of the Lord” tyb twrxjb hwhy. The LXX or its Vorlage has replaced “camps of Yahweh” with a more common description of the temple. See 1 Chr 28:12; 2 Chr 23:5; 33:5. Syr lacks a translation for twnjm. 6 tnmw. Rudolph (304) notes that this word indicates what the king gives rather than its usual meaning of what the king receives and cites the proposed emendation of Ehrlich and Rothstein tntmw “contribution .” Cf. Syr Arab. 7 twl[l twl[l. LXX eij~ ta;~ oJlokautwvsei~. Haplography in LXX or dittography in MT. 8 !lvwry ybvwyl. Japhet (959) considers these words a possible gloss. But is there not a distinction between those living in Jerusalem (v. 4) and the wider population (v. 5)? 9 hwhy tyb tdwb[b, with LXX ejn thæ' leitourgiva oi[kou Kurivou. Cf. Allen, Greek...