1And Ezekias sent to all Israel and Juda, and wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasse, that they should come into the house of the Lord to Jerusalem, to keep the passover to the Lord God of Israel.
2For the king, and the princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, designed to keep the passover in the second month.
3For they could not keep it at that time, because a sufficient number of priest had not purified themselves, and the people was not gathered to Jerusalem.
4And the proposal pleased the king and the congregation.
5And they established a decree that a proclamation should go through all Israel, from Bersabee to Dan, that they should come and keep the passover to the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem: for the multitude had not done it lately according to the scripture.
6And the posts went with the letters from the king and the princes to all Israel and Juda, according to the command of the king, saying, Children of Israel, return to the Lord God of Abraam, and Isaac, and Israel, and bring back them that have escaped even those that were left of the hand of the king of Assyria.
7And be not as your fathers, and your brethren, who revolted from the Lord God of their fathers, and he gave them up to desolation, as you° see.
8And now harden not your hearts, as your fathers did: give glory to the Lord God, and enter into his sanctuary, which he has sanctified for ever: and serve the Lord your God, and he shall turn away his fierce anger from you.
9For when you° turn to the Lord, your brethren and your children shall be pitied before all that have carried them captives, and he will restore you to this land: for the Lord our God is merciful and pitiful, and will not turn away his face from you, if we return to him.
10So the posts went through from city to city in mount Ephraim, and Manasse, and as far as Zabulon: and they as it were laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.
11But the men of Aser, and some of Manasses and of Zabulon, were ashamed, and came to Jerusalem and Juda.
12And the hand of the Lord was present to give them one heart to come, to do according to the commands of the king and of the princes, by the word of the Lord.
13And a great multitude were gathered to Jerusalem 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 on which they burnt incense to false gods they tore down and cast into the brook Kedron.
15Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites repented, and purified themselves, and brought whole burnt offerings into the house of the Lord.
16And they stood at their post, according to their ordinance, according to the commandment of Moses the man of God: and the priests received the blood from the hand of the Levites.
17For a great part of the congregation was not sanctified; and the Levites were ready to kill the passover for every one who could not sanctify himself to the Lord.
18For the greatest part of the people of Ephraim, and Manasse, and Issachar, and Zabulon, had not purified themselves, but ate the passover contrary to the scripture. On this account also Ezekias prayed concerning them, saying,
19The good Lord be merciful with regard to every heart that sincerely seeks the Lord God of their fathers, and is not purified according to the purification of the sanctuary.
20And the Lord listened to Ezekias, and healed the people.
21And the children of Israel who were present in Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great joy; and they continued to sing hymns to the Lord daily, and the priests and the Levites played on instruments to the Lord.
22And Ezekias encouraged all the Levites, and those that had good understanding of the Lord: and they completely kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days, offering peace-offerings, and confessing to the Lord God of their fathers.
23And the congregation purposed together to keep other seven days: and they kept seven days with gladness.
24For Ezekias set apart for Juda, even for the congregation, a thousand calves and seven thousand sheep; and the princes set apart for the people a thousand calves and ten thousand sheep: and the holy things of the priests abundantly.
25And all the congregation, the priests and the Levites, rejoiced, and all the congregation of Juda, and they that were present of Jerusalem, and the strangers that came from the land of Israel, and the dwellers in Juda.
26And there was great joy in Jerusalem: from the days of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not such a feast in Jerusalem.
27Then the priests the Levites rose up and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came into his holy dwelling-place, even into heaven.