The Celebration of the Passover

301 Now 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 celebrate the Passover to the Lord God of Israel . 2 For the king and his princes and all the assembly in Jerusalem had decided to celebrate the Passover in the second month , 3 since they could not celebrate it at that time , because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient numbers , nor had the people been gathered to Jerusalem . 4 Thus the thing was right in the sight of the king and all the assembly . 5 So they established a decree to circulate a proclamation throughout all Israel from Beersheba even to Dan , that they should come to celebrate the Passover to the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem . For they had not celebrated it in great numbers as it was prescribed . 6 The couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the hand of the king and his princes , even according to the command of the king , saying , "O sons of Israel , return to the Lord God of Abraham , Isaac and Israel , that He may return to those of you who escaped and are left from the hand of the kings of Assyria . 7 " Do not be like your fathers and your brothers , who were unfaithful to the Lord God of their fathers , so that He made them a horror , as you see . 8 "Now do not stiffen your neck like your fathers , but yield e to the Lord and enter His sanctuary which He has consecrated forever , and serve the Lord your God , that His burning anger may turn away from you. 9 "For if you return to the Lord , your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive and will return to this land . For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate , and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him." 10 So the couriers passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh , and as far as Zebulun , but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them. 11 Nevertheless some men of Asher , Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem . 12 The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the Lord .

13 Now many people were gathered at Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month , a very large assembly . 14 They arose and removed the altars which were in Jerusalem ; they also removed all the incense altars and cast them into the brook Kidron . 15 Then they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth e of the second month . And the priests and Levites were ashamed of themselves, and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings to the house of the Lord . 16 They stood at their stations after their custom , according to the law of Moses the man of God ; the priests sprinkled the blood which they received from the hand of the Levites . 17 For there were many in the assembly who had not consecrated themselves; therefore, the Levites were over the slaughter of the Passover lambs for everyone who was unclean e , in order to consecrate them to the Lord . 18 For a multitude of the people , even many from Ephraim and Manasseh , Issachar and Zebulun , had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than prescribed . For Hezekiah prayed for them, saying , "May the good Lord pardon 19 everyone who prepares his heart to seek God , the Lord God of his fathers , though not according to the purification rules of the sanctuary ." 20 So the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people .

21 The sons of Israel present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great joy , and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day after day with loud instruments to the Lord . 22 Then Hezekiah spoke encouragingly e to all the Levites who showed good insight in the things of the Lord . So they ate for the appointed seven days , sacrificing peace offerings and giving thanks to the Lord God of their fathers . 23 Then the whole assembly decided to celebrate the feast another seven days , so they celebrated the seven days with joy . 24 For Hezekiah king of Judah had contributed to the assembly 1,000 bulls and 7,000 e sheep , and the princes had contributed to the assembly 1,000 bulls and 10,000 e sheep ; and a large number of priests consecrated themselves. 25 All the assembly of Judah rejoiced , with the priests and the Levites and all the assembly that came from Israel , both the sojourners who came from the land of Israel and those living in Judah . 26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem , because there was nothing like this in Jerusalem since the days of Solomon the son of David , king of Israel . 27 Then the Levitical priests arose and blessed the people ; and their voice was heard and their prayer came to His holy dwelling place , to heaven .