2 Chronicles 30 New Life Version (NLV)
Hezekiah Keeps the Passover
30 Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah. He wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh also, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to the Lord God of Israel. 2 For the king and his rulers and all the people in Jerusalem had decided to keep the Passover in the second month. 3 For they could not keep it at the set time, because there had not been enough religious leaders who had made themselves holy. And the people had not been gathered to Jerusalem. 4 So the new time pleased the king and all the people. 5 And they made it known in all Israel, from Beer-sheba to Dan, that they should come to keep the Passover to the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem. For great numbers of people had not kept it, as they were told to do. 6 Men were sent through all Israel and Judah with the letters from the hand of the king and his rulers, as the king had told them. The letters said, “O sons of Israel, return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that He may return to those of you who have not been taken away by the kings of Assyria. 7 Do not be like your fathers and your brothers. They were not faithful to the Lord God of their fathers, so He gave them a reason to fear, as you see. 8 Now do not make your hearts hard like your fathers, but give yourselves to the Lord. Come to His holy place which He has set apart forever. And worship the Lord your God, that His burning anger may turn away from you. 9 For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will be shown pity by those who took them away, and will return to this land. For the Lord your God is kind and loving. He will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.”
10 So the men took the letters from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun. But the people laughed at them and made fun of them. 11 Only a few men of Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun put away their pride and came to Jerusalem. 12 The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the rulers told them by the Word of the Lord.
The People Keep the Passover
13 Many people gathered together at Jerusalem to keep the Special Supper of Bread Without Yeast in the second month. There were very many people. 14 They took away the altars which were in Jerusalem. And they also took away all the special perfume altars and threw them into the river of Kidron. 15 Then they killed the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the second month. The religious leaders and Levites were ashamed and made themselves holy, and brought burnt gifts to the house of the Lord. 16 They stood in their places as they should, as given by the Law of Moses the man of God. The religious leaders placed the blood which they received from the hand of the Levites. 17 For there were many of the people who had not made themselves holy. So the Levites had to kill the Passover lambs for every one who was unclean, to make them holy to the Lord. 18 For many of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not made themselves clean. Yet they ate the Passover in a different way than had been written. For Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the good Lord forgive everyone 19 who makes his heart ready to look for God, the Lord God of his fathers, even if he does not follow the rules of the holy place for making himself clean.” 20 And the Lord heard Hezekiah, and healed the people. 21 The people of Israel who were there in Jerusalem kept the Special Supper of Bread Without Yeast for seven days with great joy. The Levites and the religious leaders praised the Lord day after day, singing with loud music to the Lord. 22 Then Hezekiah spoke comforting words to all the Levites who had good understanding in the Lord’s work. So the people ate the food of the Special Supper for seven days, giving peace gifts and thanks to the Lord God of their fathers.
23 Then all the people decided to keep the Special Supper for another seven days. So they kept it for another seven days with joy. 24 For King Hezekiah of Judah had given the people 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep. And the rulers had given the people 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep. And a large number of religious leaders made themselves holy. 25 All the people of Judah were filled with joy, with the religious leaders and the Levites, and all the people who came from Israel. Both the people who came from the land of Israel and those living in Judah were filled with joy. 26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem, because there was nothing like this in Jerusalem since the days of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel. 27 Then the religious leaders and Levites stood and prayed that good would come to the people. And their voice was heard. Their prayer came to the Lord’s holy place in heaven.
2 Chronicles 30 New International Version (NIV)
Hezekiah Celebrates the Passover
30 Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, inviting them to come to the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel. 2 The king and his officials and the whole assembly in Jerusalem decided to celebrate 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 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, 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 and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the Lord, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see. 8 Do not be stiff-necked, 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 will turn away from you. 9 If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. 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 them. 11 Nevertheless, some from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem. 12 Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity 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 in the second month. 14 They removed the altars in Jerusalem and cleared away the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley.
15 They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings to the temple of the Lord. 16 Then they took up their regular positions 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 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, 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 Hezekiah and healed the people.
21 The Israelites who were present in Jerusalem celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread 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 the festival seven more days; so for another seven days they celebrated joyfully. 24 Hezekiah king of Judah provided 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, 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 son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. 27 The priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.