Why weren’t the priests more conscientious in consecrating themselves? (2 Chronicles 29:34) 34 The priests, however, were too few to skin all the burnt offerings; so their relatives the Levites helped them until the task was finished and until other priests had been consecrated, for the Levites had been more conscientious in consecrating themselves than the priests had been.
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As I understand the situation, it wasn't so much a matter of conscientiousness as numbers and time. 2 Chronicles 28 (the chapter prior to the chapter cited in the question) describes how the religious life of Judah had become corrupted during the reign of Ahaz (the king of Judah prior to Hezekiah), to the point of such practices as idol worship, the offering of human sacrifices, and the desecration of the temple by allowing consecrated vessels to be used in the service of other gods. Some of the Aaronic priests apparently participated in these acts, so that, when Hezekiah succeeded Ahaz as king and wanted to cleanse the temple and restore the worship of God, not enough priests remained sanctified for the purpose of offering the extremely large number of atoning sacrifices to God ordered by Hezekiah (as enumerated in 2 Chronicles 29:32-33). However, there were a sufficient number of Levites who were still in a sanctified status as a result of not having joined the priests in the defiling acts that they had performed. They therefore assisted the priests in their work until the temple had been cleansed and restored to the worship of God so that the Passover could be celebrated (although it was held a month late because of the situation with the priests, and the fact that the people could not assemble in Jerusalem in time for the observance (2 Chronicles 30:1-4)).
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