- ¶ 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.
- For the king and his princes and all the congregation of Israel who were in Jerusalem had taken counsel to celebrate the passover to the LORD God of Israel in the second month.
- For they could not keep it at the appointed time because the priests had not sanctified themselves, neither had the instructors of the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.
- And the thing pleased the king and all the people of Israel.
- So they confirmed a decree to carry it out;
and they made a proclamation throughout all Israel from Beer-sheba even to Dan that they should come to celebrate the passover to the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem;
for they were exceedingly rich.
- So the couriers went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and by the command of the king, saying, O 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 from the hands of the king of Assyria.
- And be not like your fathers and like your brethren who trespassed against the LORD God of our fathers so that he gave them up to desolation, as you see.
- Now do not be stiffnecked as your fathers were, but enter into the sanctuary which he has sanctified for ever, and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.
- Because he has revealed himself to you, your children, and your brethren;
and he shall grant you compassion before those who carry you captive, and shall bring you back to this land;
for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you when you return to him.
- So the couriers of King Hezekiah passed from village to village throughout the land of Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as Zebulun;
- But some of the wicked men, who were in the tribe of Asher, the tribe of Ephraim, the tribe of Manasseh, and the tribe of Zebulun, laughed them to scorn and mocked them.
- Nevertheless the rest of the men of these tribes humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem with the tribe of Judah.
And the hand of God was upon them to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of his princes, according to the word of the LORD.
- ¶ And there assembled at Jerusalem many people to celebrate the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.
- And they arose and demolished the altars that were in Jerusalem, and they destroyed all the shrines of idols and cast them into the brook Kidron.
- Then they celebrated the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month;
and the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves and brought in burnt offerings to the house of the LORD.
- And they stood in their places after their manner, as it is written in the law of Moses the prophet of the LORD;
the priests sprinkled the blood which they received from the hand of the Levites.
- For there were many in the congregation of Israel who had not sanctified themselves;
therefore the Levites had charge of the killing of the passover lambs, and they saw that every one was clean, to sanctify him to the LORD;
- For there were a great many people in the assembly of Israel, from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, the four tribes, who had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the passover unlawfully.
But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, May the good LORD pardon all the people of Israel,
- For we have prepared our hearts to pray to the LORD God of our fathers, and sanctification would not purify us any more.
- And the LORD hearkened to the voice of Hezekiah, and healed the people.
- ¶ And the children of Israel that were present in Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness;
and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing songs of praise.
- And Hezekiah spoke to all the Levites who were singing good songs before the LORD;
and they ate throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers.
- And the whole assembly stayed over to celebrate another seven days;
and they kept the other seven days with gladness.
- For Hezekiah king of Judah gave to the assembly seven thousand of the choicest oxen, large and small, and also gave to the assembly of Israel a thousand of the choicest bullocks, and ten thousand sheep;
and a great number of priests sanctified themselves.
- And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the proselytes who came out of the land of Israel, and those who dwelt in Judah, rejoiced.
- So there was great joy in Jerusalem;
for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel, there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem.
- Then the priests and the Levites arose and blessed the people of Israel;
and the LORD heard their voice, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even to heaven.