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30 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of Jehovah at Jerusalem, to hold the passover to Jehovah the God of Israel.

And the king took counsel, and his princes, and the whole congregation in Jerusalem, to hold the passover in the second month.

For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not hallowed themselves in sufficient number, neither had the people been gathered together to Jerusalem.

And the thing pleased the king and the whole congregation.

So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout Israel from Beer-sheba even to Dan, that they should come to hold the passover to Jehovah the God of Israel, at Jerusalem; because they had not held it for a long time as it was written.

And the couriers went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, return to Jehovah the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.

And be not like your fathers and like your brethren, who transgressed against Jehovah the God of their fathers, so that he gave them up to desolation, as ye see.

Now, harden not your necks, as your fathers; yield yourselves to Jehovah, and come to his sanctuary, which he has sanctified for ever; and serve Jehovah your God, that the fierceness of his anger may turn away from you.

For if ye return to Jehovah, your brethren and your children shall find compassion with those that have carried them captive, so that they shall come again unto this land; for Jehovah your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return to him.

10 And the couriers passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, even to Zebulun; but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them.

11 Nevertheless certain of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.

12 The hand of God was also upon Judah to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of Jehovah.

13 And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to hold the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.

14 And they rose up and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem; and they took away all the incense-altars, and cast them into the torrent Kidron.

15 And they slaughtered the passover on the fourteenth of the second month; and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and hallowed themselves; and they brought the burnt-offerings into the house of Jehovah.

16 And they stood in their place after their custom, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood [receiving it] from the hand of the Levites.

17 For there were many in the congregation that were not hallowed; therefore the Levites had the charge of the slaughtering of the passover-lambs for every one not clean, to hallow them unto Jehovah.

18 For a multitude of the people, many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, and they ate the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them saying, Jehovah, who is good, forgive every one

19 that has directed his heart to seek God, Jehovah the God of his fathers, although not according to the purification of the sanctuary.

20 And Jehovah hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.

21 And the children of Israel, that were present at Jerusalem, held the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness; and the Levites and the priests praised Jehovah day by day, with the instruments of praise to Jehovah.

22 And Hezekiah spoke consolingly to all the Levites that had understanding in the good knowledge of Jehovah; and they ate the feast-offerings the seven days, sacrificing peace-offerings, and extolling Jehovah the God of their fathers.

23 And the whole congregation took counsel to observe other seven days; and they observed the seven days with gladness.

24 For Hezekiah king of Judah gave to the congregation as heave-offering: a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep; and a great number of priests hallowed themselves.

25 And the whole 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.

26 And there was great joy in Jerusalem; for since the time of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, there had not been the like in Jerusalem.

27 And the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people; and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy habitation, to the heavens.

Hezekiah Celebrates the Passover

30 Hezekiah sent word to all Israel(A) and Judah and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh,(B) inviting them to come to the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover(C) to the Lord, the God of Israel. The king and his officials and the whole assembly in Jerusalem decided to celebrate(D) the Passover in the second month. They had not been able to celebrate it at the regular time because not enough priests had consecrated(E) themselves and the people had not assembled in Jerusalem. The plan seemed right both to the king and to the whole assembly. They decided to send a proclamation throughout Israel, from Beersheba to Dan,(F) calling the people to come to Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel. It had not been celebrated in large numbers according to what was written.

At the king’s command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which read:

“People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. Do not be like your parents(G) and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful(H) to the Lord, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror,(I) as you see. Do not be stiff-necked,(J) as your ancestors were; submit to the Lord. Come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger(K) will turn away from you. If you return(L) to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion(M) by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate.(N) He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”

10 The couriers went from town to town in Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun, but people scorned and ridiculed(O) them. 11 Nevertheless, some from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled(P) themselves and went to Jerusalem.(Q) 12 Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity(R) of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the Lord.

13 A very large crowd of people assembled in Jerusalem to celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread(S) in the second month. 14 They removed the altars(T) in Jerusalem and cleared away the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley.(U)

15 They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed and consecrated(V) themselves and brought burnt offerings to the temple of the Lord. 16 Then they took up their regular positions(W) as prescribed in the Law of Moses the man of God. The priests splashed against the altar the blood handed to them by the Levites. 17 Since many in the crowd had not consecrated themselves, the Levites had to kill(X) the Passover lambs for all those who were not ceremonially clean and could not consecrate their lambs[a] to the Lord. 18 Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not purified themselves,(Y) yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone 19 who sets their heart on seeking God—the Lord, the God of their ancestors—even if they are not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.” 20 And the Lord heard(Z) Hezekiah and healed(AA) the people.(AB)

21 The Israelites who were present in Jerusalem celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread(AC) for seven days with great rejoicing, while the Levites and priests praised the Lord every day with resounding instruments dedicated to the Lord.[b]

22 Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites, who showed good understanding of the service of the Lord. For the seven days they ate their assigned portion and offered fellowship offerings and praised[c] the Lord, the God of their ancestors.

23 The whole assembly then agreed to celebrate(AD) the festival seven more days; so for another seven days they celebrated joyfully. 24 Hezekiah king of Judah provided(AE) a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep and goats for the assembly, and the officials provided them with a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep and goats. A great number of priests consecrated themselves. 25 The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, along with the priests and Levites and all who had assembled from Israel(AF), including the foreigners who had come from Israel and also those who resided in Judah. 26 There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon(AG) son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. 27 The priests and the Levites stood to bless(AH) the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 30:17 Or consecrate themselves
  2. 2 Chronicles 30:21 Or priests sang to the Lord every day, accompanied by the Lord’s instruments of praise
  3. 2 Chronicles 30:22 Or and confessed their sins to

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