1And 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 unto the LORD, the God of Israel.
2For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.
3For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves in sufficient number, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.
4And the thing was right in the eyes of the king and of all the congregation.
5So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beer-sheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the LORD, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem; for they had not kept it in great numbers according as it is written.
6So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying: 'Ye children of Israel, turn back unto the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that He may return to the remnant that are escaped of you out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.
7And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, who acted treacherously against the LORD, the God of their fathers, so that He delivered them to be an astonishment, as ye see.
8Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were; but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into His sanctuary, which He hath sanctified for ever, and serve the LORD your God, that His fierce anger may turn away from you.
9For if ye turn back unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that led them captive, and shall come back into this land; for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away His face from you, if ye return unto Him.'
10So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, even unto Zebulun; but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.
11Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.
12Also in Judah was the hand of God to give them one heart, to do the commandment of the king and of the princes by the word of the LORD.
13And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.
14And they arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron.
15Then they killed the passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month; and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought burnt-offerings into the house of the LORD.
16And they stood in their place after their order, according to the law of Moses the man of God; the priests dashed the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites.
17For there were many in the congregation that had not sanctified themselves; therefore the Levites had the charge of killing the passover lambs for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the LORD.
18For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it is written. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying: 'The good LORD pardon
19every one that setteth his heart to seek God, the LORD, the God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification that pertaineth to holy things.'
20And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
21And the children of Israel that were present at 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 with loud instruments unto the LORD.
22And Hezekiah spoke encouragingly unto all the Levites that were well skilled in the service of the LORD. So they did eat throughout the feast for the seven days, offering sacrifices of peace-offerings, and giving thanks to the LORD, the God of their fathers.
23And the whole congregation took counsel to keep other seven days; and they kept other seven days with gladness.
24For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation for offerings a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep; and priests sanctified themselves in great numbers.
25And all the 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.
26So there was great joy in Jerusalem; for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.
27Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people; and their voice was heard of the LORD, and their prayer came up to His holy habitation, even unto heaven.