And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel. Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,
What more sad or certain sign of evil can there be than that we had rather not 'hear what God the Lord will speak'? The straightforward story of our passage gives a most natural explanation of the find. Hilkiah was likely to have had dark corners cleared out in preparation for repairs and in storing the subscriptions, and many a mislaid thing would turn up.
Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh. And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD.
And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the Lord. 10. And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book: and Shaphan read it before the king. 11.
The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.
Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah, unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and talk not with us in the Jews' language in the ears of the people that are on the wall.
He repaired the temple, and utterly destroyed every vestige of idolatry, assisted by the high priest Hilkiah, who seems to have been his prime minister. He kept the great feast of the passover with more grandeur than had ever been known, either in the days of the judges, or of the kings, his ancestors; nor did any king ever equal him in his fidelity to the laws of Moses.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.
Then he gave this command to Hilkiah, the priest, to Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to Achbor, the son of Micaiah, to Shaphan, the scribe, and to Asaiah, his servant, "Go, ask of Jehovah for me and for the people and for all Judah about the words of this book that has been found; for Jehovah must be very angry with us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book nor done all that we are there commanded to do."
All these men were chief of the fathers in the house of their fathers. And of the priests; Jedaiah, and Jehoiarib, and Jachin, And Azariah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God;