The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Paralipomena
When this was duly done, all the Israelites there assembled went about among the cities of Juda, breaking the idols and cutting down the shrines from forest and hill-side, and destroying the altars; and this they did not only in Juda and Benjamin, but all over the territory of Ephraim and Manasses, till none were left. Then the Israelites made their way home to their own cities.
And now Ezechias assigned the various companies of priests and Levites their duties; for each his own task, attending to burnt-sacrifice and welcome-offering, thanking and praising the Lord, or watching over his gates, where his tent was pitched on earth.
The offering of burnt-sacrifice each morning and evening, on the first day of the month and at other times when the law of Moses required it, should be defrayed at the royal expense;
it was for the citizens of Jerusalem to provide for the priests and Levites, so that they might devote all their time to the demands of the Lord’s law.
No sooner was this decree made public, than the people began sending in the first-fruits of their corn, wine and oil; tithes, too, of their honey and of all their lands produced;
and all who dwelt in Juda’s cities, men of Israel and of Juda alike, gave tithes of cattle and sheep, and of all the offerings they had vowed to the Lord. These tithes they brought themselves, and piled them up all around;
from the third month to the sixth, ever greater grew these heaps,
and when Ezechias and his nobles came to see them, they blessed the Lord’s name, and blessed the people of Israel.
But when Ezechias asked the priests and Levites why the offerings were left to lie in heaps thus,
their answer was, they had eaten their fill ever since the first-fruits began to come in, and now, such plenty had the Lord granted to his people, much was left unconsumed; it was this surplus that lay before him.
So Ezechias bade them make granaries in the Lord’s house; and in these granaries, once built,
they bestowed carefully first-fruits and tithes and vowed gifts alike. They were in charge of the Levite Chonenias, with his brother Semei to aid him;
and under Chonenias and Semei were ten others, Jahiel, Azarias, Nahath, Asael, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Elel, Jesmachias, Mahath and Banaias. But king Ezechias and Azarias, that was controller of God’s house, had the direction of all.
Gifts that were freely made, and what was set apart for the priests and for holy uses, were in charge of Core, son of Jemna, the Levite that was door-keeper of the eastern gate.
Under him were Eden, Benjamin, Jesue, Semeias, Amarias and Sechenias; their office was to distribute portions to their brethren in the various priestly cities, young and old alike,
except men (and their sons of three years and over) who were on duty at the time in the Lord’s house, and had portions assigned to them during their turn of office.
The priests, family by family, the Levites of twenty years and more, company by company,
together with all who belonged to them, wives and sons and daughters, had their food duly allotted to them out of the consecrated gifts.
Other officers were appointed here and there to distribute the allowance to boys and men of priestly or Levitical race in the country-side, and in the precincts round each of their cities.✻
Such were the provisions Ezechias made for his whole realm, a king ever true and loyal to the will of the Lord his God;
such loving care he bestowed on the Lord’s house, its laws and observances, resolved to make God his whole heart’s quest; and so doing he reigned prosperously.
The Holy Bible