Darby Bible Translation
Hezekiah Proclaims a Passover
1And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of Jehovah at Jerusalem, to hold the passover to Jehovah the God of Israel. 2And the king took counsel, and his princes, and the whole congregation in Jerusalem, to hold the passover in the second month. 3For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not hallowed themselves in sufficient number, neither had the people been gathered together to Jerusalem. 4And the thing pleased the king and the whole congregation. 5So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout Israel from Beer-sheba even to Dan, that they should come to hold the passover to Jehovah the God of Israel, at Jerusalem; because they had not held it for a long time as it was written. 6And the couriers went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, return to Jehovah the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7And be not like your fathers and like your brethren, who transgressed against Jehovah the God of their fathers, so that he gave them up to desolation, as ye see. 8Now, harden not your necks, as your fathers; yield yourselves to Jehovah, and come to his sanctuary, which he has sanctified for ever; and serve Jehovah your God, that the fierceness of his anger may turn away from you. 9For if ye return to Jehovah, your brethren and your children shall find compassion with those that have carried them captive, so that they shall come again unto this land; for Jehovah your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return to him.
10And the couriers passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, even to Zebulun; but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them. 11Nevertheless certain of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12The hand of God was also upon Judah to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of Jehovah.
Hezekiah Celebrates the Passover
13And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to hold the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation. 14And they rose up and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem; and they took away all the incense-altars, and cast them into the torrent Kidron. 15And they slaughtered the passover on the fourteenth of the second month; and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and hallowed themselves; and they brought the burnt-offerings into the house of Jehovah. 16And they stood in their place after their custom, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood [receiving it] from the hand of the Levites. 17For there were many in the congregation that were not hallowed; therefore the Levites had the charge of the slaughtering of the passover-lambs for every one not clean, to hallow them unto Jehovah. 18For a multitude of the people, many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, and they ate the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them saying, Jehovah, who is good, forgive every one 19that has directed his heart to seek God, Jehovah the God of his fathers, although not according to the purification of the sanctuary. 20And Jehovah hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people. 21And the children of Israel, that were present at Jerusalem, held the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness; and the Levites and the priests praised Jehovah day by day, with the instruments of praise to Jehovah. 22And Hezekiah spoke consolingly to all the Levites that had understanding in the good knowledge of Jehovah; and they ate the feast-offerings the seven days, sacrificing peace-offerings, and extolling Jehovah the God of their fathers.
23And the whole congregation took counsel to observe other seven days; and they observed the seven days with gladness. 24For Hezekiah king of Judah gave to the congregation as heave-offering: 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 hallowed themselves. 25And the whole congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced. 26And there was great joy in Jerusalem; for since the time of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, there had not been the like in Jerusalem. 27And the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people; and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy habitation, to the heavens.