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Go to Bible: 2 Chronicles 31
“Now when all this was finished.” The thing that was finished was the celebration of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, and that the people recommitted themselves to the worship of Yahweh (2 Chron. 30).
“standing stones.” Most standing-stones were set up as part of the worship of pagan gods, and that is the context here. God has no tolerance for idols. They are harmful in many different ways, and God commanded that they be destroyed. [For more on standing-stones, see commentary on Gen. 28:18. For more on idols being harmful, see commentary on Deuteronomy 7:5].
“shrines.” The Hebrew word “shrines” is bamot, which referred to a place that was leveled and built up and on which were placed various idols and objects of worship. The context indicates these shires were pagan in nature (cp. NLT, “pagan shrines”), but in many cases the people would not have thought that way. Many people thought they were worshiping Yahweh by their objects of worship. This kind of thing goes on today. Many people think they get “spiritual help” from prayer hands, statues of Mary and various holy men and women, and other “holy” things. But while the people may think they are honoring God by their piety, God does not want that kind of worship. Sadly, many of the towns in Israel and Judah had such shrines (see commentary on Num. 33:52).(top)
“in the gates of the camp of Yahweh.” In the Hebrew text the word “camp” is plural, “camps” (“the gates of the camps of Yahweh”), which is most likely a plural of emphasis, emphasizing the majestic nature of the place where God stayed. The phrase “camp of Yahweh” has a military sense to it, and implies that God and some of His “army” stays there, which would certainly be true. Angels and likely other invisible spiritual beings inhabited the Temple area, God’s “camp.”(top)
“the designated feasts.” At this time, the “designated feasts” were Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.(top)
“to give the required portion of the priests and the Levites.” The Law of Moses directed that certain portions of the produce of the land and portions of the sacrifices and offerings go to the Levites. A more complete sentence might be, “to give the required portion of the priests and the Levites to them, so that they could give themselves.”(top)
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“In the third month...the seventh month.” The third month would be about our June, and the seventh month would be about our September, and this was the dry season so there was not a lot of need for shelter.
“make the piles.” The Hebrew text is more literally, “make a foundation,” but it is referring to making the “foundation” of the pile so it will pile up nicely. This is not the “foundation” of a building, like we think of a foundation.(top)
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“under the authority of Conaniah.” The Hebrew text is literally, “under the hand of Conaniah,” but here “hand” is idiomatic for authority.
“Azariah the ruler of the house of God.” Azariah was the High Priest, the “ruler” of the Temple (2 Chron. 31:10; cp., 1 Chron. 9:11).(top)
“the east gate.” This was the east gate of the Temple, not the east gate of the city.
“to give the contribution reserved for Yahweh, even the most holy offerings.” Kore the son of Imnah was in charge of making sure that when the offerings came to the Temple that Yahweh got his share. Yahweh was to get some of the offerings, “even the most holy offerings.” They were burned on the altar as a sweet-smelling aroma to Yahweh.(top)
“Eden.” The Hebrew word “Eden” means “delight.” It is a popular name in Israel today.
“Jeshua.” This is the shortened form of “Joshua.” There is no “J” in Hebrew, so the name is more technically “Yeshua,” also a name for Jesus.(top)
“from three years old and upward.” The number “three” seems out of place, and some scholars suggest that it was a copyist’s mistake for 30. However, the Hebrew text does read “three,” and some scholars point out that this section of Chronicles is about those priests who can receive sustenance from the sacrifices and offerings that were brought to the Temple. They point out that a child was often weaned at three years old, and that this verse is saying that priests did not have to wait until they were actually serving in the Temple to receive sustenance from the Temple, but that from three years old and up priests were allowed to be sustained by the sacrifices, gifts, and offerings of the people (cp. The Old Testament Library: I and II Chronicles, by Sara Japhet.(top)
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