2 Chronicles Chapter 30 |
1Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah; he also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the House of the Lord in Jerusalem to keep the Passover for the Lord God of Israel. 2The king and his officers and the congregation in Jerusalem had agreed to keep the Passover in the second month, 3for at the time, they were unable to keep it, for not enough priests had sanctified themselves, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem. 4The king and the whole congregation thought it proper 5to issue a decree and proclaim throughout all Israel from Beer-sheba to Dan that they come and keep the Passover for the Lord God of Israel in Jerusalem—not often did they act in accord with what was written. 6The couriers went out with the letters from the king and his officers through all Israel and Judah, by order of the king, proclaiming, “O you Israelites! Return to the Lord God of your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and He will return to the remnant of you who escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7Do not be like your fathers and brothers who trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers and He turned them into a horror, as you see. 8Now do not be stiffnecked like your fathers; submit yourselves to the Lord and come to His sanctuary, which He consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God so that His anger may turn back from you. 9If you return to the Lord, your brothers and children will be regarded with compassion by their captors, and will return to this land; for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful; He will not turn His face from you if you return to Him.”
10As the couriers passed from town to town in the land of Ephraim and Manasseh till they reached Zebulun, they were laughed at and mocked. 11Some of the people of Asher and Manasseh and Zebulun, however, were contrite, and came to Jerusalem. 12The hand of God was on Judah, too, making them of a single mind to carry out the command of the king and officers concerning the ordinance of the Lord. 13A great crowd assembled at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month, a very great congregation. 14They set to and removed the altars that were in Jerusalem, and they removed all the incense stands and threw them into Wadi Kidron. 15They slaughtered the paschal sacrifice on the fourteenth of the second month. The priests and Levites were ashamed, and they sanctified themselves and brought burnt offerings to the House of the Lord. 16They took their stations, as was their rule according to the Teaching of Moses, man of God. The priests dashed the blood [which they received] from the Levites. 17Since many in the congregation had not sanctified themselves, the Levites were in charge of slaughtering the paschal sacrifice for everyone who was not clean, so as to consecrate them to the Lord. 18For most of the people—many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun—had not purified themselves, yet they ate the paschal sacrifice in violation of what was written. Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “The good Lord will provide atonement for 19everyone who set his mind on worshiping God, the Lord God of his fathers, even if he is not purified for the sanctuary.” 20The Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.
21The Israelites who were in Jerusalem kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days, with great rejoicing, the Levites and the priests praising the Lord daily with powerful instruments for the Lord. 22Hezekiah persuaded all the Levites who performed skillfully for the Lord to spend the seven days of the festival making offerings of well-being, and confessing to the Lord God of their fathers. 23All the congregation resolved to keep seven more days, so they kept seven more days of rejoicing. 24King Hezekiah of Judah contributed to the congregation 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep. And the officers contributed to the congregation 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep. And the priests sanctified themselves in large numbers. 25All the congregation of Judah and the priests and the Levites and all the congregation that came from Israel, and the resident aliens who came from the land of Israel and who lived in Judah, rejoiced. 26There was great rejoicing in Jerusalem, for since the time of King Solomon son of David of Israel nothing like it had happened in Jerusalem. 27The Levite priests rose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard, and their prayer went up to His holy abode, to heaven.