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(A) and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful(B) to the Lord, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror,(C) as you see. Do not be stiff-necked,(D) 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(E) will turn away from you. If you return(F) to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion(G) by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate.(H) 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(I) them. 11 Nevertheless, some from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled(J) themselves and went to Jerusalem.(K) 12 Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity(L) of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the Lord.

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20 This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful(A) 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.(B)

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