When all this had ended, the Israelites who were there went out to
the towns of Judah smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Ashera poles.
They destroyed the high places and the altars throughout Judah and Benjamin
and in Ephraim and Manasseh. After they had destroyed all of them,
the Israelites returned to their own towns and to their own property.
Contributions for Worship
Hezekiah assigned the priests and Levites to divisions -
each of them according to their duties as prests or Levites -
to offer burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, to minister, to give thanks
and to sing praises at the gates of the LORD's dwelling.
The king contributed from his own possessions for the morning and evening
burnt offerings, and for the burnt offerings on the Sabbaths, New Moons
and appointed feasts as written in the Law of the LORD.
He ordered the people living in Jerusalem to give the portion due the priests
and Levites so they could devote themselves to the Law of the LORD.
As soon as the went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits of their grain,
new wine, oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great
amount, a tithe of everything.
The men of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah also brought a tithe
of their herds and flocks an a tithe of the holy things dedicated to the LORD
their God, and they piled them in heaps.
They began doing this in the third month and finished in the seventh month.
When Hezekiah and his officials came and saw the heaps,
they praised the LORD and blessed his people Israel.
Hezekiah asked the priests and Levites about the heaps;
and Azariah the chief priest, from the family of Zadok, answered,
"Since the people began to bring their contributions to the temple of the LORD,
we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, because the LORD has blessed
his people, and this great amount is left over."
Hezekiah gave orders to prepare storerooma in the temple of the LORD,
and this was done.
Then they faithfully brought in the contributions, tithes and dedicated gifts.
Conaniah, a Levite, was in charge of these things, and his brother Shimei
was next in rank.
Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismakiah, Mahath
and Benaiah were supervisors under Conaniah and Shimei his brother,
by appointmen of King Hezekiah and Azariah the official in charge of
the temple of God.
Kore son of Imnah the Levite, keeper of the East Gate, was in charge of
the freewill offerings given to God, distributing the contributions made to
the LORD and also the consecrated gifts.
Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah and Shecaniah assisted him
faithfully in the towns of the priests, distributing to their fellow priests
according to their divisions, old and young alike.
In addition they distributed to the males three years old or more whose names
were in the genealogical records - all who would enter the temple of the LORD
to perform the daily duties of their various tasks,
according to their responsibilities and their divisions.
And they distributed to the priests enrolled by their families in the genealogical
records and likewise to the Levites twenty years old or more,
according to their responsiblities and their divisions.
They included all the little ones, the wives and the sons and daughters of the
whole community listed in these genealogical records.
For they were faithful in consecrating themselves.
As for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who lived on the farm lands
around their towns or in any other towns, men were designated by name
to distribute portions to every male among them and to all who were
recorded in the genealogies of the Levites.
This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah,
doing what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God.
In everything that he undertook in the service of God's temple and in obedience
to the law and the commands he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly.
And so he prospered.