King James Version

2 Chronicles 30

1And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel.

For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.

For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.

And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation.

So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written.

So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the Lord 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 ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.

Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.

For if ye turn again unto the Lord, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.

10 So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.

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

12 Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the Lord.

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

14 And they arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron.

15 Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the Lord.

16 And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites.

17 For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the Lord.

18 For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good Lord pardon every one

19 That prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.

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

21 And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the Lord.

22 And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the Lord: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the Lord God of their fathers.

23 And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness.

24 For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation 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 sanctified themselves.

25 And all the 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 So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.

27 Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto heaven.

New International Reader's Version

2 Chronicles 30

Hezekiah Celebrates the Passover Feast

1Hezekiah sent a message to all the people of Israel and Judah. He also wrote letters to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. He invited everyone to come to the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem. He wanted them to celebrate the Passover Feast to honor the Lord. He is the God of Israel. The king, his officials and the whole community in Jerusalem decided to celebrate the Passover Feast in the second month. They hadn’t been able to celebrate it at the regular time. That’s because there weren’t enough priests who had set themselves apart to the Lord. Also, the people hadn’t gathered together in Jerusalem. The plan seemed good to the king and the whole community. They decided to send a message all through Israel. It was sent out from Beersheba all the way to Dan. The message invited the people to come to Jerusalem. It invited them to celebrate the Passover Feast to honor the Lord, the God of Israel. The Passover Feast hadn’t been celebrated by large numbers of people for a long time. It hadn’t been done in keeping with what was written in the law.

Messengers went all through Israel and Judah. They carried letters from the king and his officials. The king had ordered them to do that. The letters said,

“People of Israel, return to the Lord. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. Return to him. Then he will return to you who are left in the land. You have escaped from the power of the kings of Assyria. Don’t be like your parents and the rest of your people. They weren’t faithful to the Lord, the God of their people. That’s why he punished them. He made them look so bad that everyone was shocked when they saw them. You can see it for yourselves. Don’t be stubborn. Don’t be as your people were. Obey the Lord. Come to his temple. He has set it apart to himself forever. Serve the Lord your God. Then he’ll stop being angry with you. Suppose you return to the Lord. Then those who captured your relatives and children will be kind to them. In fact, your relatives and children will come back to this land. The Lord your God is kind and tender. He won’t turn away from you if you return to him.”

10 The messengers went from town to town in Ephraim and Manasseh. They went all the way to Zebulun. But people laughed and made fun of them. 11 In spite of that, some people from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun made themselves humble. They went to Jerusalem. 12 God helped the people of Judah. He helped them agree with one another. So they did what the king and his officials had ordered. They did what the Lord told them to do.

13 A very large crowd of people gathered together in Jerusalem. They went there to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It took place in the second month. 14 They removed the altars in Jerusalem. They cleared away the altars for burning incense. They threw all the altars into the Kidron Valley.

15 They killed the Passover lamb on the 14th day of the second month. The priests and Levites were ashamed of how they had lived. They set themselves apart to the Lord. They brought burnt offerings to his temple. 16 Then they did their regular tasks just as the Law of Moses, the man of God, required. The Levites gave the blood of the animals to the priests. The priests splashed it against the altar. 17 Many people in the crowd hadn’t set themselves apart to the Lord. They weren’t “clean.” They couldn’t set apart their lambs to him. So the Levites had to kill the Passover lambs for all of them. 18 Many people came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun. Most of them hadn’t made themselves pure and “clean.” But they still ate the Passover meal. That was against what was written in the law. But Hezekiah prayed for them. He said, “The Lord is good. May he forgive everyone 19 who wants to worship God with all their heart. God is the Lord, the God of their people. May God forgive them even if they aren’t ‘clean’ in keeping with the rules of the temple.” 20 The Lord answered Hezekiah’s prayer. He healed the people.

21 The people of Israel who were in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread. They celebrated for seven days with great joy. The Levites and priests praised the Lord every day. They praised the Lord with loud musical instruments. The instruments had been set apart to the Lord.

22 Hezekiah spoke words that gave hope to all the Levites. They understood how to serve the Lord well. For the seven days of the feast they ate the share given to them. They also sacrificed friendship offerings. They praised the Lord, the God of their people.

23 Then the whole community agreed to celebrate the feast for seven more days. So for another seven days they celebrated with joy. 24 Hezekiah, the king of Judah, provided 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep and goats for the community. The officials provided 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep and goats for them. A large number of priests set themselves apart to the Lord. 25 The entire community of Judah was filled with joy. So were the priests and Levites. And so were all the people who had gathered together from Israel. That included the outsiders who had come from Israel. It also included those who lived in Judah. 26 There was great joy in Jerusalem. There hadn’t been anything like it in Israel since the days of Solomon, the son of David. Solomon had been king of Israel. 27 The priests and Levites gave their blessing to the people. God heard them. Their prayer reached all the way to heaven. It’s the holy place where God lives.