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Wednesday, August 27 2014
2 Chronicles 29: Why The Other Sacrifices?
"Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We have cleansed all the house of the LORD"
Hezekiah, from the Hebrew name pronounced yekh-iz-kee-yaw-hoo, means strengthened by the LORD. Hezekiah succeeded his heathen idol-worshiping father Ahaz (see The Idols Of Ahaz) as king of Judah.
"28:27 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem: but they brought him not into the sepulchres of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead." (2 Chronicles 28:27 KJV)
Hezekiah became the king of Judah during the reign of Hoshea of Israel (see Hoshea Of Israel and Kings of Israel and Judah). Hoshea was the last king of Israel as it fell to the Assyrians. The Kingdom of Israel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel and Judah) thereafter became known as "the lost ten tribes" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes), while the Kingdom of Judah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah) continued on for another 135 years. Hezekiah is an example of why Judah was allowed to continue, for that time, for "he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD" and "departed not from following him, but kept his commandments," while Israel fell (see also The Two-Way Promise Of The Promised Land).
Hezekiah did not inherit the unrighteousness of his father Ahaz, but the righteousness of "David his father" i.e. the Biblical custom of also using "father" for any male ancestor. Hezekiah "did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done." The Temple of the LORD was the place where the Law of the LORD was symbolically kept in its heart, the Most Holy Place (see Where Is Your Tabernacle?).
"29:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.
The High Priest (see The Prophecy Of The Blood Upon The Anointed One) and the serving Levites (see The Levite Clans) were prophetically symbolic of the Messiah and those of the first calling who will serve Him during the 1,000 years after His return (see The Kingdom Of The LORD God and The Church In The Kingdom Of God). Hezekiah cleansed the Temple from the defilement of the corrupt ones before him just as the people and the world will be cleansed when Christ returns (see What Happens After The Messiah Returns?).
"29:15 And they gathered their brethren, and sanctified themselves, and came, according to the commandment of the king, by the words of the LORD, to cleanse the house of the LORD. 29:16 And the priests went into the inner part of the house of the LORD, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the LORD into the court of the house of the LORD. And the Levites took it, to carry it out abroad into the brook Kidron. 29:17 Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the LORD: so they sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days; and in the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end.
Israel and Judah both experienced times of faithfulness and corruption. In almost all cases, the people followed the moral, or the immoral, example and behavior of the king. Hezekiah realized that no leader is perfect, but everyone is capable of turning to the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) and making their best effort. The sacrifices, apart from the Messianic sacrifices at Passover and the Day of Atonement, symbolized the cleansing of that imperfection so that a perfect effort could be made (see the Fact Finder question below to understand why the other sacrifices were made).
"29:20 Then Hezekiah the king rose early, and gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the LORD. 29:21 And they brought seven bullocks, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven he goats, for a sin offering for the kingdom, and for the sanctuary, and for Judah. And he commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on the altar of the LORD. 29:22 So they killed the bullocks, and the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the altar: likewise, when they had killed the rams, they sprinkled the blood upon the altar: they killed also the lambs, and they sprinkled the blood upon the altar. 29:23 And they brought forth the he goats for the sin offering before the king and the congregation; and they laid their hands upon them: 29:24 And the priests killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar, to make an atonement for all Israel: for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel.
Fact Finder: (a) The sacrifice of the Passover lamb was entirely about the Messiah (see also Israel In History and Prophecy: Passover). Why did the Levites also sacrifice bulls and goats? (b) The sacrificed goat on the Day of Atonement entirely represented the Messiah (see also Why Do Christians Observe The Messiah's Day Of Atonement?). Why was the other goat taken away into the wilderness?
This Day In History, August 27
479 BC: The Battle of Plataea during the Greco-Persian Wars. The Persians (see Ancient Empires - Persia; Persia is known today as Iran) under Mardonius were defeated by the Greeks (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids) under Pausanias.
1593: Pierre Barriere failed in his attempt to assassinate King Henry IV of France.
1626: The Danes were defeated by the Catholic League in Germany (again, see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation), marking the end of Danish intervention in European wars.
1689: The Treaty of Nerchinsk was signed by Russia and the Qing Empire of China.
1776: The Battle of Long Island during the revolution of the New England colonies. In what is now Brooklyn, New York, the British Army under General William Howe defeated a rebel force under George Washington, a former Colonel of the British Army in Virginia.
1793: During the French Revolutionary Wars, the city of Toulon rebelled against the French Republic and allowed British and Spanish forces to seize its port, leading to the Siege of Toulon by French Revolutionary forces.
1813: French Emperor Napoleon I defeated an allied army of Austrians, Russians, and Prussians at the Battle of Dresden.
1828: Uruguay became an independent state.
1832: Black Hawk, the leader of the Sauk tribe of Native Americans, surrendered to U.S. authorities, ending the Black Hawk War.
1883: 36,000 people died in the eruption of a volcano on the island of Krakatoa; it produced the loudest noise (in recorded history) to echo around the world.
1916: Italy declared war on Germany (both Italy and Japan fought against Germany during the First World War; both Italy and Japan were allied with Germany during the Second World War - listen to our sermon The European World Wars).
1921: Britain installed the son of Sharif Hussein bin Ali (leader of the Arab Revolt of 1916 against the Ottoman Empire) as King Faisal I of Iraq (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1928: The Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed in Paris by 60 nations, outlawing war and providing for the peaceful settlement of disputes. The Second World War followed a little over 10 years later.
1939: Just before the start of the Second World War, Germany's Heinkel He 178, the first jet aircraft, made it first flight.
1962: The Mariner 2 spacecraft was launched to "Venus" (the pagan-god name that scientists gave to the second planet from the sun).
1975: Haile Selassie, emperor of Ethiopia, died at age 83.
1979: Louis Mountbatten was killed by an Irish terrorist bomb in his sail boat in Sligo, Ireland.
1991: The European Union recognized the independence of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
2003: The planet "Mars" (the pagan-god name that scientists gave the fourth planet from the sun) made its closest approach to Earth in 60,000 years.