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Hezekiah Observes the Passover

30 Hezekiah sent messages throughout Israel and Judah; he even wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, summoning them to come to the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem and observe a Passover celebration for the Lord God of Israel. The king, his officials, and the entire assembly in Jerusalem decided to observe the Passover in the second month. They were unable to observe it at the regular[a] time because not enough priests had consecrated themselves and the people had not assembled in Jerusalem. The proposal seemed appropriate to[b] the king and the entire assembly. So they sent an edict[c] throughout Israel from Beer Sheba to Dan, summoning the people[d] to come and observe a Passover for the Lord God of Israel in Jerusalem, for they had not observed it on a nationwide scale as prescribed in the law.[e] Messengers[f] delivered the letters from the king and his officials throughout Israel and Judah.

This royal edict read:[g] “O Israelites, return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, so he may return[h] to you who have been spared from the kings of Assyria.[i] Don’t be like your fathers and brothers who were unfaithful to the Lord God of their ancestors,[j] provoking him to destroy them,[k] as you can see. Now, don’t be stubborn[l] like your fathers. Submit[m] to the Lord and come to his sanctuary which he has permanently consecrated. Serve the Lord your God so that he might relent from his raging anger.[n] For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and sons will be shown mercy by their captors and return to this land. The Lord your God is merciful and compassionate; he will not reject you[o] if you return to him.”

10 The messengers journeyed from city to city through the land of Ephraim and Manasseh as far as Zebulun, but people mocked and ridiculed them.[p] 11 But some men from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 In Judah God moved the people to unite[q] and carry out the edict of the king and the officers in keeping with the Lord’s message. 13 A huge crowd assembled in Jerusalem to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month.[r] 14 They removed the altars in Jerusalem; they also removed all the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley.[s]

15 They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and Levites were ashamed, so they consecrated themselves and brought burnt sacrifices to the Lord’s temple. 16 They stood at their posts according to the regulations outlined in the law of Moses, the man of God. The priests were splashing the blood as the Levites handed it to them.[t] 17 Because many in the assembly had not consecrated themselves, the Levites slaughtered[u] the Passover lambs of all who were ceremonially unclean and could not consecrate their sacrifice to the Lord.[v] 18 The majority of the many people from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun were ceremonially unclean, yet they ate the Passover in violation of what is prescribed in the law.[w] For Hezekiah prayed for them, saying: “May the Lord, who is good, forgive[x] 19 everyone who has determined to follow God,[y] the Lord God of his ancestors, even if he is not ceremonially clean according to the standards of the temple.”[z] 20 The Lord responded favorably[aa] to Hezekiah and forgave[ab] the people.

21 The Israelites who were in Jerusalem observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great joy. The Levites and priests were praising the Lord every day with all their might.[ac] 22 Hezekiah expressed his appreciation to all the Levites,[ad] who demonstrated great skill in serving the Lord.[ae] They feasted for the seven days of the festival,[af] and were making peace offerings and giving thanks to the Lord God of their ancestors.

23 The entire assembly then decided to celebrate for seven more days; so they joyfully celebrated for seven more days. 24 King Hezekiah of Judah supplied 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep[ag] for the assembly, while the officials supplied them[ah] with 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep. Many priests consecrated themselves. 25 The celebration included[ai] the entire assembly of Judah, the priests, the Levites, the entire assembly of those who came from Israel, the resident foreigners[aj] who came from the land of Israel, and those who were residents of Judah. 26 There was a great celebration in Jerusalem, unlike anything that had occurred in Jerusalem since the time of King Solomon son of David of Israel.[ak] 27 The priests and Levites got up and pronounced blessings on the people. The Lord responded favorably to them[al] as their prayers reached his holy dwelling place in heaven.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 30:3 tn Heb “at that time.”
  2. 2 Chronicles 30:4 tn Heb “and the thing was proper in the eyes of.”
  3. 2 Chronicles 30:5 tn Heb “and they caused to stand a word to cause a voice to pass through.”
  4. 2 Chronicles 30:5 tn The words “summoning the people” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons, with the summons being the "voice" that passed throughout Israel.
  5. 2 Chronicles 30:5 tn Heb “because not for abundance had they done as written.”
  6. 2 Chronicles 30:6 tn Heb “the runners.”
  7. 2 Chronicles 30:6 tn Heb “and according to the command of the king, saying.”
  8. 2 Chronicles 30:6 tn The jussive with vav conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.
  9. 2 Chronicles 30:6 tn Heb “to the survivors who are left to you from the palm of the kings of Assyria.”
  10. 2 Chronicles 30:7 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 19, 22).
  11. 2 Chronicles 30:7 tn Heb “and he made them a devastation” (or, perhaps, “an object of horror”).
  12. 2 Chronicles 30:8 tn Heb “don’t stiffen your neck” (a Hebrew idiom for being stubborn).
  13. 2 Chronicles 30:8 tn Heb “give a hand.” On the meaning of the idiom here, see HALOT 387 s.v. I יָד 2.
  14. 2 Chronicles 30:8 tn Heb “so that the rage of his anger might turn from you.” The jussive with vav conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.
  15. 2 Chronicles 30:9 tn Heb “turn [his] face from you.”
  16. 2 Chronicles 30:10 tn Heb “and they were mocking them and ridiculing them.”
  17. 2 Chronicles 30:12 tn Heb “the hand of God was [such as] to give them one heart.”
  18. 2 Chronicles 30:13 tn The Hebrew text adds here, “a very large assembly.” This has not been translated to avoid redundancy with the expression “a huge crowd” at the beginning of the verse.
  19. 2 Chronicles 30:14 tn Heb “and they arose and removed the altars which were in Jerusalem, and all the incense altars they removed and threw into the Kidron Valley.”
  20. 2 Chronicles 30:16 tn Heb “from the hand of the Levites.”
  21. 2 Chronicles 30:17 tn Heb “were over the slaughter of.”
  22. 2 Chronicles 30:17 tn Heb “of everyone not pure to consecrate to the Lord.”
  23. 2 Chronicles 30:18 tn Heb “without what is written.”
  24. 2 Chronicles 30:18 tn Heb “make atonement for.”
  25. 2 Chronicles 30:19 tn Heb “everyone [who] has prepared his heart to seek God.”
  26. 2 Chronicles 30:19 tn Heb “and not according to the purification of the holy place.”
  27. 2 Chronicles 30:20 tn Heb “listened.”
  28. 2 Chronicles 30:20 tn Heb “healed.”
  29. 2 Chronicles 30:21 tn Heb “and they were praising the Lord day by day, the Levites and the priests with instruments of strength to the Lord.” The phrase בִּכְלֵי־עֹז (bikhle ʿoz, “with instruments of strength”) might refer to loud sounding musical instruments (NASB “with loud instruments”; NEB “with unrestrained fervour”). The present translation assumes an emendation to בְּכָל־עֹז (bekhol ʿoz, “with all strength”); see 1 Chr 13:8, as well as HALOT 805 s.v. I עֹז and BDB 739 s.v. עֹז).
  30. 2 Chronicles 30:22 tn Heb “and Hezekiah spoke to the heart of all the Levites.” On the meaning of the idiom “speak to the heart of” here, see HALOT 210 s.v. II דבר 8.d.
  31. 2 Chronicles 30:22 tn Heb “who demonstrated skill [with] good skill for the Lord.”
  32. 2 Chronicles 30:22 tn Heb “and they ate [during] the appointed time [for] seven days.” מוֹעֵד (moʿed, “appointed time”) is probably an adverbial accusative of time referring to the festival. However, some understand it as metonymically referring to the food eaten during the festival. See BDB 417 s.v.
  33. 2 Chronicles 30:24 tn The Hebrew term צֹאן (tsoʾn, translated “sheep” twice in this verse) denotes smaller livestock in general; depending on context it can refer to sheep only or goats only, but there is nothing in the immediate context here to specify one or the other.
  34. 2 Chronicles 30:24 tn Heb “the assembly.” The pronoun “them” has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy.
  35. 2 Chronicles 30:25 tn Heb “they rejoiced.”
  36. 2 Chronicles 30:25 sn The term גֵּר (ger) refers to a foreign resident, but with different social implications in different settings. In Mosaic Law the resident foreigner was essentially a naturalized citizen and convert to worshiping the God of Israel (see Exod 12:19, 48; Deut 29:10-13). Here the term refers to those who had immigrated (or fled as refugees) from the conquered northern kingdom as well as those already residents of the southern kingdom of Judah.
  37. 2 Chronicles 30:26 tn Heb “and there was great joy in Jerusalem, for from the days of Solomon son of David, king of Israel, there was nothing like this in Jerusalem.”
  38. 2 Chronicles 30:27 tn Heb “and it was heard with their voice.” BDB 1034 s.v. שָׁמַע Niph.4 interprets this to mean “hearing was granted to their voice.” It is possible that the name יְהוָה (yehvah, “the Lord”) has been accidentally omitted.

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