1Then sent Hezekiah to all Israel and Judah, and he also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to prepare the passover-sacrifice unto the Lord the God of Israel.
2And the king held a consultation, as also his princes, and all the assembly in Jerusalem, to prepare the passover-sacrifice in the second month.
3For they were not able to prepare it at that time; because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, nor had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.
4And the thing seemed right in the eyes of the king and in the eyes of all the assembly.
5So they established a decree to cause a proclamation to be made throughout all Israel, from Beer-sheba' even as far as Dan, that they should come to prepare the passover-sacrifice unto thy Lord the God of Israel at Jerusalem; because for a long time past they had not prepared it as it was written,
6So the runners went with the letters from the hand of the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the command of the king, saying, O children of Israel, return unto the Lord the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the power of the kings of Assyria.
7And be net like your fathers, and like your brethren, who acted faithlessly against the Lord the God of their fathers, wherefore he gave them up to become an object of astonishment, as ye see.
8Now do ye not harden your necks, like your fathers: hold out your hand unto the Lord, and come unto his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever, and serve the Lord your God, and so will he turn away from you the fierceness of his wrath.
9For If ye return unto the Lord, your brethren and your children will find mercy in the presence of their captors, so that they may return to this land; for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his countenance from you, if ye return unto him.
10And as the runners were passing from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Menasseh and as far as Zebulun, they were laughing them to scorn, and mocking at them.
11Nevertheless some men of Asher and Menasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.
12Also over Judah came the hand of God to give unto them one heart to do the command of the king and of the princes, by the word of the Lord.
13And there was gathered together at Jerusalem a numerous people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great assembly.
14And they arose and removed the altars which were in Jerusalem, and all the vessels for burning incense did they take away, and they threw them into the brook Kidron.
15And they slaughtered the passover-sacrifice on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought burnt-offerings unto the house of the Lord.
16And they stood on their station after their prescribed manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God, the priest sprinkling the blood, which they received out of the hand of the Levites.
17For there were many in the assembly that had not sanctified themselves: therefore the Levites had the charge of the slaughtering of the passover sacrifices for every one that was not clean, to sanctify the same unto the Lord.
18For a large portion of the people, even many out of Ephraim, and Menasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, but ate the passover not as it is written. However Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The Lord who is good will grant pardon for this.
19To every one that hath directed his heart to seek God, the Lord the God of his fathers; though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.
20And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and he healed the people.
21And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem celebrated the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great joy; and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, with loud instruments before the Lord.
22And Hezekiah spoke comfortingly unto all the Levites that had good intelligence of the Lord: and they ate the festive-offerings during seven days, offering peace-offerings, and making confession to the Lord the God of their fathers.
23And the whole assembly took counsel to celebrate other seven days: and they celebrated these seven days with joy.
24For Hezekiah king of Judah had provided for the assembly one thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes had provided for the assembly one thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep: and the priests sanctified themselves in great numbers.
25And thus rejoiced all the assembly of Judah, and the priests and the Levites, and all the assembly that was come out of Israel, and the strangers that were come out of the land of Israel, and those that dwelt in Judah.
26And there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David the king of Israel had the like not been in Jerusalem.
27Then arose the priests the Levites and blessed the people: and their voice was listened to, and their prayer came to His holy dwelling-place, even unto heaven.