1Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to
Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of Yahweh at
Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to Yahweh, the God of Israel.
king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the assembly in Jerusalem,
to keep the Passover in the second month.
3For they could not keep it at
that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves in sufficient
number, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.
4The thing was right in the eyes of the king and of all the assembly.
5So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel,
from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the Passover to
Yahweh, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem: for they had not kept it in great
numbers in such sort as it is written.
6So 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, You children of
Israel, turn again to Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he
may return to the remnant that have escaped of you out of the hand of the
kings of Assyria.
7Don’t be you like your fathers, and like your
brothers, who trespassed against Yahweh, the God of their fathers, so that he
gave them up to desolation, as you see.
8Now don’t you be
stiff-necked, as your fathers were; but yield yourselves to Yahweh, and enter
into his sanctuary, which he has sanctified forever, and serve Yahweh your
God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you.
9For if you turn
again to Yahweh, your brothers and your children shall find compassion before
those who led them captive, and shall come again into this land: for Yahweh
your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you,
if you return to him.
10So the posts passed from city to city
through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, even to Zebulun: but they
ridiculed them, and mocked them.
11Nevertheless certain men of Asher and
Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.
on Judah came the hand of God to give them one heart, to do the commandment
of the king and of the princes by the word of Yahweh.
at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second
month, a very great assembly.
14They 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.
15Then 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 burnt offerings into the
house of Yahweh.
16They stood in their place after their order, according
to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood which
they received of the hand of the Levites.
17For there were many in
the assembly who had not sanctified themselves: therefore the Levites had the
charge of killing the Passovers for everyone who was not clean, to sanctify
them to Yahweh.
18For 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 is written. For Hezekiah had prayed for them,
saying, The good Yahweh pardon everyone
19who sets his heart to seek God,
Yahweh, the God of his fathers, though not cleansed according to the
purification of the sanctuary.
20Yahweh listened to Hezekiah, and healed
21The children of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept
the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness; and the Levites
and the priests praised Yahweh day by day, singing with loud
instruments to Yahweh.
22Hezekiah spoke comfortably to all the Levites
who had good understanding in the service of Yahweh. So they ate
throughout the feast for the seven days, offering sacrifices of
peace offerings, and making confession to Yahweh, the God of their fathers.
23The whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days; and they kept
other seven days with gladness.
24For Hezekiah king of Judah did
give to the assembly for offerings one thousand bulls and seven thousand
sheep; and the princes gave to the assembly a thousand bulls and ten thousand
sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves.
assembly of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the assembly who
came out of Israel, and the foreigners who came out of the land of Israel,
and who lived in Judah, rejoiced.
26So 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.
27Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed
the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy
habitation, even to heaven.