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. The king and his officials and the whole assembly in Jerusalem decided to celebrate(D) the Passover in the second month. 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. The plan seemed right both to the king and to the whole assembly. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 30:17 Or consecrate themselves
  2. 2 Chronicles 30:21 Or priests sang to the Lord every day, accompanied by the Lord’s instruments of praise
  3. 2 Chronicles 30:22 Or and confessed their sins to

The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath

16 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple(A) saying to the seven angels,(B) “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.”(C)

The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land,(D) and ugly, festering sores(E) broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.(F)

The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died.(G)

The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water,(H) and they became blood.(I) Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say:

“You are just in these judgments,(J) O Holy One,(K)
    you who are and who were;(L)
for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets,(M)
    and you have given them blood to drink(N) as they deserve.”

And I heard the altar(O) respond:

“Yes, Lord God Almighty,(P)
    true and just are your judgments.”(Q)

The fourth angel(R) poured out his bowl on the sun,(S) and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire.(T) They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God,(U) who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent(V) and glorify him.(W)

10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast,(X) and its kingdom was plunged into darkness.(Y) People gnawed their tongues in agony 11 and cursed(Z) the God of heaven(AA) because of their pains and their sores,(AB) but they refused to repent of what they had done.(AC)

12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates,(AD) and its water was dried up to prepare the way(AE) for the kings from the East.(AF) 13 Then I saw three impure spirits(AG) that looked like frogs;(AH) they came out of the mouth of the dragon,(AI) out of the mouth of the beast(AJ) and out of the mouth of the false prophet.(AK) 14 They are demonic spirits(AL) that perform signs,(AM) and they go out to the kings of the whole world,(AN) to gather them for the battle(AO) on the great day(AP) of God Almighty.

15 “Look, I come like a thief!(AQ) Blessed is the one who stays awake(AR) and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”(AS)

16 Then they gathered the kings together(AT) to the place that in Hebrew(AU) is called Armageddon.(AV)

17 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air,(AW) and out of the temple(AX) came a loud voice(AY) from the throne, saying, “It is done!”(AZ) 18 Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder(BA) and a severe earthquake.(BB) No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth,(BC) so tremendous was the quake. 19 The great city(BD) split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered(BE) Babylon the Great(BF) and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.(BG) 20 Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.(BH) 21 From the sky huge hailstones,(BI) each weighing about a hundred pounds,[a] fell on people. And they cursed God(BJ) on account of the plague of hail,(BK) because the plague was so terrible.

Footnotes

  1. Revelation 16:21 Or about 45 kilograms

Jerusalem’s Enemies to Be Destroyed

12 A prophecy:(A) The word of the Lord concerning Israel.

The Lord, who stretches out the heavens,(B) who lays the foundation of the earth,(C) and who forms the human spirit within a person,(D) declares: “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup(E) that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling.(F) Judah(G) will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations(H) of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock(I) for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure(J) themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations.(K) Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong,(L) because the Lord Almighty is their God.’

“On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot(M) in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume(N) all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact(O) in her place.

“The Lord will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah.(P) On that day the Lord will shield(Q) those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest(R) among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God,(S) like the angel of the Lord going before(T) them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations(U) that attack Jerusalem.(V)

Mourning for the One They Pierced

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit[a](W) of grace and supplication.(X) They will look on[b] me, the one they have pierced,(Y) and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child,(Z) and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.(AA) 11 On that day the weeping(AB) in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.(AC) 12 The land will mourn,(AD) each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, 13 the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, 14 and all the rest of the clans and their wives.(AE)

Cleansing From Sin

13 “On that day a fountain(AF) will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse(AG) them from sin and impurity.

Footnotes

  1. Zechariah 12:10 Or the Spirit
  2. Zechariah 12:10 Or to

The Vine and the Branches

15 “I am(A) the true vine,(B) and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit,(C) while every branch that does bear fruit(D) he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.(E) Remain in me, as I also remain in you.(F) No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit;(G) apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.(H) If you remain in me(I) and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.(J) This is to my Father’s glory,(K) that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.(L)

“As the Father has loved me,(M) so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands,(N) you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.(O) 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.(P) 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.(Q) 14 You are my friends(R) if you do what I command.(S) 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.(T) 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you(U) so that you might go and bear fruit(V)—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.(W) 17 This is my command: Love each other.(X)

The World Hates the Disciples

18 “If the world hates you,(Y) keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you(Z) out of the world. That is why the world hates you.(AA) 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[b](AB) If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.(AC) If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name,(AD) for they do not know the one who sent me.(AE) 22 If I had not come and spoken to them,(AF) they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.(AG) 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did,(AH) they would not be guilty of sin.(AI) As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law:(AJ) ‘They hated me without reason.’[c](AK)

The Work of the Holy Spirit

26 “When the Advocate(AL) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father(AM)—the Spirit of truth(AN) who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.(AO) 27 And you also must testify,(AP) for you have been with me from the beginning.(AQ)

Footnotes

  1. John 15:2 The Greek for he prunes also means he cleans.
  2. John 15:20 John 13:16
  3. John 15:25 Psalms 35:19; 69:4