New Heart English Bible
1Hezekiah 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 to the LORD, the God of Israel. 2For the king had taken counsel, and his officials, and all the assembly 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. 4The thing was right in the eyes of the king and of all the assembly. 5So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem: for they had not kept it in great numbers in such sort as it is written. 6So the couriers went with the letters from the king and his officers throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, "children of Israel, turn again to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may return to the remnant of you who have escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7Do not be like your fathers, and like your brothers, who trespassed against the LORD, the God of their fathers, so that he gave them up to desolation, as you see. 8Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; but yield yourselves to the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he has sanctified forever, and serve the LORD your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you. 9For if you turn again to the LORD, your brothers and your children shall find compassion before those who led them captive, and shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him."
10So the couriers passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, even to Zebulun: but they ridiculed them, and mocked them. 11Nevertheless some from Asher and from Manasseh and from Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem. 12Also in Judah came the hand of God to give them one heart, to do the commandment of the king and of the leaders by the word of the LORD.
13Many people assembled at Jerusalem to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great assembly. 14They 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 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. 16They stood in their place after their order, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood which they received of the hand of the Levites. 17For there were many in the assembly who had not sanctified themselves: therefore the Levites were in charge of killing the Passovers for everyone who was not clean, to sanctify them to the LORD. 18For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than it is written. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, "May the good LORD pardon everyone 19who sets his heart to seek God, the LORD, the God of his fathers, even if they aren't clean according to the purification of the sanctuary." 20The LORD listened to Hezekiah, and healed the people. 21The children of Israel who 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 to the LORD. 22Hezekiah spoke comfortably to all the Levites who had good understanding in the service of the LORD. So they completed the seven days of the feast, offering sacrifices of peace offerings, and making confession to the LORD, the God of their fathers.
23The whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days; and they kept another seven days with gladness. 24For Hezekiah king of Judah gave to the assembly for offerings one thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep, and the leaders gave to the assembly a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep. And a great number of priests sanctified themselves. 25All the assembly of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the assembly who came out of Israel, and the foreigners who came out of the land of Israel, and who lived 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, and their prayer came up to his holy habitation, even to heaven.