2 Chronicles 30
Evangelical Heritage Version
The Great Passover Celebration
30 Hezekiah sent messengers to all Israel and Judah. He also wrote letters inviting Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the House of the Lord at Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover for the Lord, the God of Israel. 2 The king, his officials, and the whole assembly in Jerusalem had made plans to celebrate the Passover in the second month. 3 They were not able to celebrate it at its proper time, because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient number, and the people had not assembled in Jerusalem.
4 The plan seemed right in the eyes of the king and in the eyes of the whole assembly. 5 So they decided to issue a proclamation throughout Israel from Beersheba to Dan to come to observe the Passover for the Lord, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem, because they had not been celebrating it with large numbers of people as had been commanded. 6 Runners were sent out with letters from the hand of the king and from his officials to all Israel and Judah. Because of the command of the king, they made the following announcement:
People of Israel! Return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria.
7 You must not be like your fathers or like your brothers, who were unfaithful to the Lord, the God of their fathers. That is why he gave them up to desolation, as you see.
8 Now you must not be stiff-necked like your fathers. Give your hand[a] to the Lord. 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 your children will be shown compassion in the presence of their captors and be permitted to 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 The runners went from city to city through the land of Ephraim and Manasseh and even as far as Zebulun, but people laughed at them and ridiculed them. 11 Nevertheless, some men from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.
12 But in Judah the hand of God was present to give them one heart to follow the command of the king and the command of the officials, in agreement with the word of the Lord. 13 Many people gathered in Jerusalem to keep the Festival of Unleavened Bread in the second month—a very great assembly.
14 They quickly removed the altars from Jerusalem. They took away all the altars for burning incense and threw them into the Kidron Valley.
15 They slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites had been put to shame, so they consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings into the House of the Lord. 16 They took up their positions as prescribed in the Law of Moses, the man of God. The priests splashed the blood, which was given to them by the Levites, against the altar. 17 Because many of the assembly had not consecrated themselves,[b] the Levites carried out the slaughtering of the Passover lambs for everyone who was not ceremonially clean, to make them holy to the Lord.
18 A large number of the people, many of whom were from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not purified themselves, but they ate the Passover anyway, in a manner not in keeping with what is written. So Hezekiah prayed for them: “May the good Lord pardon everyone all around, 19 that is, everyone who seeks God the Lord, the God of his fathers, with all his heart, even though he does not have the ceremonial purity required by the holy place.”
20 The Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.
21 The people of Israel who were present in Jerusalem observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great rejoicing. The Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day with loud instruments for the Lord.
22 Hezekiah encouraged the hearts of all the Levites, who displayed wonderful skills in service of the Lord. They ate the food of the festival for the appointed seven days, presenting fellowship sacrifices and giving thanks to the Lord, the God of their fathers.
23 The entire assembly agreed to celebrate for another seven days. They gladly did it for another seven days, 24 because Hezekiah king of Judah provided one thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep for the assembly, and the officials contributed one thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep for the assembly. The priests consecrated themselves in great number.
25 The whole assembly of Judah rejoiced together with the priests, the Levites, the entire assembly from Israel, the aliens who resided in the land of Israel, and the people who lived in Judah. 26 There was great joy in Jerusalem, because since the time of Solomon, the son of David, the king of Israel, there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem.
27 Then the levitical priests arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard. Their prayer ascended to the Lord’s holy dwelling in heaven.
2 Chronicles 30
New International Version
Hezekiah Celebrates the Passover
30 Hezekiah sent word to all Israel(A) and Judah and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh,(B) inviting them to come to the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover(C) to the Lord, the God of Israel. 2 The king and his officials and the whole assembly in Jerusalem decided to celebrate(D) the Passover in the second month. 3 They had not been able to celebrate it at the regular time because not enough priests had consecrated(E) themselves and the people had not assembled in Jerusalem. 4 The plan seemed right both to the king and to the whole assembly. 5 They decided to send a proclamation throughout Israel, from Beersheba to Dan,(F) calling the people to come to Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel. It had not been celebrated in large numbers according to what was written.
6 At the king’s command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which read:
“People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your parents(G) and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful(H) to the Lord, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror,(I) as you see. 8 Do not be stiff-necked,(J) as your ancestors were; submit to the Lord. Come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God, so that his fierce anger(K) will turn away from you. 9 If you return(L) to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion(M) by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate.(N) He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”
10 The couriers went from town to town in Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun, but people scorned and ridiculed(O) them. 11 Nevertheless, some from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled(P) themselves and went to Jerusalem.(Q) 12 Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity(R) of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the Lord.
13 A very large crowd of people assembled in Jerusalem to celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread(S) in the second month. 14 They removed the altars(T) in Jerusalem and cleared away the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley.(U)
15 They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed and consecrated(V) themselves and brought burnt offerings to the temple of the Lord. 16 Then they took up their regular positions(W) as prescribed in the Law of Moses the man of God. The priests splashed against the altar the blood handed to them by the Levites. 17 Since many in the crowd had not consecrated themselves, the Levites had to kill(X) the Passover lambs for all those who were not ceremonially clean and could not consecrate their lambs[a] to the Lord. 18 Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not purified themselves,(Y) yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone 19 who sets their heart on seeking God—the Lord, the God of their ancestors—even if they are not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.” 20 And the Lord heard(Z) Hezekiah and healed(AA) the people.(AB)
21 The Israelites who were present in Jerusalem celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread(AC) for seven days with great rejoicing, while the Levites and priests praised the Lord every day with resounding instruments dedicated to the Lord.[b]
22 Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites, who showed good understanding of the service of the Lord. For the seven days they ate their assigned portion and offered fellowship offerings and praised[c] the Lord, the God of their ancestors.
23 The whole assembly then agreed to celebrate(AD) the festival seven more days; so for another seven days they celebrated joyfully. 24 Hezekiah king of Judah provided(AE) a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep and goats for the assembly, and the officials provided them with a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep and goats. A great number of priests consecrated themselves. 25 The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, along with the priests and Levites and all who had assembled from Israel(AF), including the foreigners who had come from Israel and also those who resided in Judah. 26 There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon(AG) son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. 27 The priests and the Levites stood to bless(AH) the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.