2 Chronicles 30-31
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.
31 When all this had ended, the Israelites who were there went out to the towns of Judah, smashed the sacred stones and cut down(AI) the Asherah poles. They destroyed the high places and the altars throughout Judah and Benjamin and in Ephraim and Manasseh. After they had destroyed all of them, the Israelites returned to their own towns and to their own property.
Contributions for Worship(AJ)
2 Hezekiah(AK) assigned the priests and Levites to divisions(AL)—each of them according to their duties as priests or Levites—to offer burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, to minister,(AM) to give thanks and to sing praises(AN) at the gates of the Lord’s dwelling.(AO) 3 The king contributed(AP) from his own possessions for the morning and evening burnt offerings and for the burnt offerings on the Sabbaths, at the New Moons and at the appointed festivals as written in the Law of the Lord.(AQ) 4 He ordered the people living in Jerusalem to give the portion(AR) due the priests and Levites so they could devote themselves to the Law of the Lord. 5 As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits(AS) of their grain, new wine,(AT) olive oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything. 6 The people of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah also brought a tithe(AU) of their herds and flocks and a tithe of the holy things dedicated to the Lord their God, and they piled them in heaps.(AV) 7 They began doing this in the third month and finished in the seventh month.(AW) 8 When Hezekiah and his officials came and saw the heaps, they praised the Lord and blessed(AX) his people Israel.
9 Hezekiah asked the priests and Levites about the heaps; 10 and Azariah the chief priest, from the family of Zadok,(AY) answered, “Since the people began to bring their contributions to the temple of the Lord, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, because the Lord has blessed his people, and this great amount is left over.”(AZ)
11 Hezekiah gave orders to prepare storerooms in the temple of the Lord, and this was done. 12 Then they faithfully brought in the contributions, tithes and dedicated gifts. Konaniah,(BA) a Levite, was the overseer in charge of these things, and his brother Shimei was next in rank. 13 Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad,(BB) Eliel, Ismakiah, Mahath and Benaiah were assistants of Konaniah and Shimei his brother. All these served by appointment of King Hezekiah and Azariah the official in charge of the temple of God.
14 Kore son of Imnah the Levite, keeper of the East Gate, was in charge of the freewill offerings given to God, distributing the contributions made to the Lord and also the consecrated gifts. 15 Eden,(BC) Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah and Shekaniah assisted him faithfully in the towns(BD) of the priests, distributing to their fellow priests according to their divisions, old and young alike.
16 In addition, they distributed to the males three years old or more whose names were in the genealogical records(BE)—all who would enter the temple of the Lord to perform the daily duties of their various tasks, according to their responsibilities and their divisions. 17 And they distributed to the priests enrolled by their families in the genealogical records and likewise to the Levites twenty years old or more, according to their responsibilities and their divisions. 18 They included all the little ones, the wives, and the sons and daughters of the whole community listed in these genealogical records. For they were faithful in consecrating themselves.
19 As for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who lived on the farmlands around their towns or in any other towns,(BF) men were designated by name to distribute portions to every male among them and to all who were recorded in the genealogies of the Levites.
20 This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful(BG) before the Lord his God. 21 In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered.(BH)