They brought seven bullocks, etc. - This was more than the law required; see Leviticus 4:13, etc. It ordered one calf or ox for the sins of the people, and one he-goat for the sins of the prince; but Hezekiah here offers many more. And the reason appears sufficiently evident: the law speaks only of sins of ignorance; but here were sins of every kind and every die - idolatry, apostasy from the Divine worship, profanation of the temple, etc., etc. The sin-offerings, we are informed, were offered, first for the Kingdom - for the transgressions of the king and his family; secondly, for the Sanctuary, which had been defiled and polluted, and for the priests who had been profane, negligent, and unholy; and, finally, for Judah - for the whole mass of the people, who had been led away into every kind of abomination by the above examples.
Hezekiah commenced his restoration of the Yahweh-worship with an unusually comprehensive sin-offering, embracing the four chief kinds of sacrificial animals, and seven animals of each kind: he intended to atone for the sins, both conscious and unconscious, of the king, the priests, the people of Judah, and the people of Israel. After the completion of these expiatory rites, he proceeded to the offering of the burnt-offering 2 Chronicles 29:27.
In sharp contrast with the reckless rule of Ahaz was the reformation wrought during the prosperous reign of his son. Hezekiah came to the throne determined to do all in his power to save Judah from the fate that was overtaking the northern kingdom. The messages of the prophets offered no encouragement to halfway measures. Only by most decided reformation could the threatened judgments be averted. PK 331.1
In the crisis, Hezekiah proved to be a man of opportunity. No sooner had he ascended the throne than he began to plan and to execute. He first turned his attention to the restoration of the temple services, so long neglected; and in this work he earnestly solicited the co-operation of a band of priests and Levites who had remained true to their sacred calling. Confident of their loyal support, he spoke with them freely concerning his desire to institute immediate and far-reaching reforms. “Our fathers have trespassed,” he confessed, “and done that which was evil in the eyes of the Lord our God, and have forsaken Him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord.” “Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His fierce wrath may turn away from us.” 2 Chronicles 29:6, 10. PK 331.2Read in context »