And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelled in Judah, rejoiced.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And all the congregation.—Three classes of persons took part in the festival—(1) the Judseans, including the priests and Levites; (2) their Israelite guests; (3) the “strangers”—gêrîm—i.e., the proselytes, both those who came from the northern kingdom arid those who dwelt in Judah. The word gêrîm is not the same as gârîm (2Chronicles 15:9), with which Lange’s comment confuses it. (Comp. Leviticus 17:12.)2 Chronicles 15:9 note.
and all the congregation that came out of Israel; out of the ten tribes, particularly Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, 2 Chronicles 30:18, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced; the proselytes, even such as were circumcised, who ate of the passover, and kept the feast of unleavened bread, as well as the other days of rejoicing, the former of which none might partake of but circumcised persons; and it can hardly be thought that any other would come out of Israel on such an occasion, see Exodus 12:48.And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)25. the strangers] i.e. men of alien descent dwelling in Israel with certain conceded, not inherited, rights, and with most of the obligations of the native Israelite. LXX. οἱ προσήλυτοι. Cp. 2 Chronicles 2:17; 1 Chronicles 22:2 for the unfavourable side of a “stranger’s” position.Verse 25. - The strangers. Some consider this describes "proselytes from Israel, who were non-Israelites." But this seems a most gratuitous supposition. The Hebrew גֵרִים does, in fact, purport only "sojourners," and is frequently so translated, and our next clause corroborates this view. The interesting aspect of it is, that probably the persons described had emigrated from their own tribes, as they longed for Jerusalem, "their chief joy." 2 Chronicles 30:18 ends, according to the Masoretic verse-division, with the preposition בּעד; but that division seems merely to have arisen from ignorance of the construction heekiyn כּל-lbaabow, of the fact that בּעד stands before a relative sentence without אשׁר, like אל in 1 Chronicles 15:12, and is certainly wrong. If we separate בּעד from what follows, we must, with Aben Ezra, supply אלּה, and make הכין (2 Chronicles 30:19) refer to Hezekiah, both being equally inadmissible. Rightly, therefore, the lxx, Vulg., and also Kimchi, with the majority of commentators, have given up this division of the verses as incorrect, and connected the words in this way: May the good Jahve atone, i.e., forgive every one who has fixed his heart (cf. 2 Chronicles 12:14) to seek God, Jahve, the God of his fathers, but not in accordance with the purity of the sanctuary. This intercession of Hezekiah's is worthy of remark, not only because it expresses the conviction that upright seeking of the Lord, which proceeds from the heart, is to be more highly estimated than strict observance of the letter of the law, but also because Hezekiah presumes that those who had come out of Ephraim, etc., to the passover had fixed their heart to seek Jahve, the God of their fathers, but had not been in a position to comply with the precept of the law, i.e., to purify themselves up to the day appointed for the passover.
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