2 Chronicles 30
Hezekiah Proclaims a Passover
1 Then Hezekiah sent word throughout all Israel and Judah, and he also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh inviting them to come to the house of the LORD in Jerusalem to keep the Passover of the LORD, the God of Israel. 2 For the king and his officials and the whole assembly in Jerusalem had decided to keep the Passover in the second month, a 3 since they had been unable to observe it at the regular time, because not enough priests had consecrated themselves and the people had not been gathered in Jerusalem.
4 This proposal pleased the king and the whole assembly. 5 So they established a decree to circulate a proclamation throughout Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, that the people should come to keep the Passover of the LORD, the God of Israel, in Jerusalem. For they had not observed it as a nation as prescribed.
6 So the couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and his officials, which read:
“Children of Israel, return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, so that He may return to those of you who remain, who have escaped the grasp of the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your fathers and brothers who were unfaithful to the LORD, the God of their fathers, so that He made them an object of horror, as you can see.
8 Now do not stiffen your necks as your fathers did. Submit to the LORD and come to His sanctuary, which He has consecrated forever. Serve the LORD your God, so that His fierce anger will turn away from you. 9 For if you return to the LORD, your brothers and sons will receive mercy in the presence of their captors and will return to this land. For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful; He will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.”
10 And the couriers traveled from city to city through the land of Ephraim and Manasseh as far as Zebulun; but the people scorned and mocked them. 11 Nevertheless, some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 Moreover, the power of God was on the people in Judah to give them one heart to obey the command of the king and his officials according to the word of the LORD.
Hezekiah Celebrates the Passover
13 In the second month, a very great assembly gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. b 14 They proceeded to remove the altars in Jerusalem and to take away the incense altars and throw them into the Kidron Valley. 15 And on the fourteenth day of the second month they slaughtered the Passover lamb. The priests and Levites were ashamed, and they consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings to the house of the LORD.
16 They stood at their prescribed posts, according to the Law of Moses the man of God. The priests sprinkled the blood, which they received from the hand of the Levites. 17 Since there were many in the assembly who had not consecrated themselves, the Levites were in charge of slaughtering the Passover lambs for every unclean person to consecrate the lambs to the LORD.
18 A large number of the people—many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun—had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah interceded for them, saying, “May the LORD, who is good, provide atonement for everyone 19 who sets his heart on seeking God—the LORD, the God of his fathers—even if he is not cleansed according to the purification rules of the sanctuary.”
20 And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 21 The Israelites who were present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great joy, and the Levites and priests praised the LORD day after day, accompanied by loud instruments of praise to the LORD. c 22 And Hezekiah encouraged all the Levites who performed skillfully before the LORD. For seven days they ate their assigned portion, sacrificing fellowship offerings and giving thanks to the LORD, the God of their fathers.
23 The whole assembly agreed to observe seven more days, so they observed seven days with joy. 24 For Hezekiah king of Judah contributed a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep for the assembly, and the officials contributed a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep for the assembly, and a great number of priests consecrated themselves.
25 Then the whole assembly of Judah rejoiced along with the priests and Levites and the whole assembly that had come from Israel, including the foreigners who had come from Israel and those who lived in Judah. 26 So there was great rejoicing in Jerusalem, for nothing like this had happened there since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel.
27 Then the priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard their voice, and their prayer came into His holy dwelling place in heaven.
2 a See Numbers 9:9–12.
13 b That is, the seven-day period after the Passover during which no leaven may be eaten; see Exodus 12:14–20.
21 c Or day after day, with all their strength to the LORD. Literally day after day, with loud instruments to the LORD.