|2 Chronicles 30 |
1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, 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, his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, had taken counsel to keep the passover in the second month.
3 In the past they had been unable to observe it as required because the priests had not been properly sanctified, and all the people had not been gathered together to Jerusalem.
4 But the planned celebration pleased the king and all the congregation.
5 So they established a decree to proclaim throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover to the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem because they had failed for many years to do it in large numbers according to the way it was required in the Law.
6 So the couriers went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, "You children of Israel, turn again to the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, who have escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.
7 And do not be like your fathers, and like your brothers, who trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as you see.
8 Now do not be stiff necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he has sanctified forever; and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.
9 For if you return to the LORD, your brothers and your children shall find compassion before those who lead them captive, so that they will return into this land for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him."
10 So the couriers passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even to Zebulun, but the people laughed them to scorn, and they mocked them.
11 Nevertheless some of Asher, Manasseh, and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.
12 The hand of God was on Judah to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD.
13 Many people assembled there at Jerusalem to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, making a very great congregation.
14 They arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and they took all the altars for incense away and cast them into the brook Kidron.
15 Then they killed the passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the second month, and the priests and the Levites were ashamed of themselves, and so sanctified themselves; they they brought the burnt offerings into the house of the LORD.
16 And they stood in their place as prescribed according to the law of Moses, the man of God, the priests sprinkled the blood, which they had received from the hand of the Levites.
17 For there were many in the congregation who were not sanctified; therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passover lambs for everyone who was not clean in preparation to sanctify them to the LORD.
18 There was such a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, who had not cleansed themselves, that they ate the passover contrary to the written laws. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "May the good LORD pardon everyone,
19 Who prepares his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he is not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary."
20 And the LORD listened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
21 The children of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread for seven days with great gladness, and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with loud instruments to the LORD.
22 Hezekiah spoke encouraging words to all the Levites who taught the good knowledge of the LORD; and they ate throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers.
23 And the whole assembly took the advice to keep the feast another seven days; and they kept it another seven days with gladness.
24 For Hezekiah king of Judah gave the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep; and a great number of priests sanctified themselves.
25 And all the congregation of Judah, the priests and the Levites, all the congregation that came out of Israel, the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and those who dwelled in Judah, rejoiced.
26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem because since the time of Solomon, the son of king David of Israel, there had not been nothing like this in Jerusalem.
27 Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people; their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place, even to heaven.
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