1Hezekiah sent messengers to all Israel and Judah, and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of Yahweh in Jerusalem to keep the Passover to Yahweh, the God of Israel.
2For the king and his officials and all the assembly in Jerusalem decided 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 numbers and the people had not gathered at 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 Beer-sheba to Dan, to come to keep the Passover to Yahweh the God of Israel at Jerusalem, because they had not kept it in great numbersa according to what was written.
6So the messengers went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the king and his officials, according to the commandment of the king, saying, “O children of Israel, turn again to Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, so that he will return to you, the remnant who have escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.
7Do not be like your fathers and like your brothers, who were unfaithful to Yahweh 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 stretch out your hand to Yahweh and come to his Temple that he has made holy forever, and serve Yahweh your God so that his fierce anger will turn away from you.
9For if you return to Yahweh, your brothers and your children will find mercy before those who led them captive and will return to this land, because Yahweh your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you if you return to him.”
10So the messengers traveled from city to city throughout the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun, but they laughed at them and mocked them.
11But some people from Asher and Manasseh and from Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.
12Also, the hand of God came on Judah to give them one heart to carry out the commandment of the king and of the officials in accordance with the word of Yahweh.
13Many people assembled in Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month; there was a very great assembly.
14They set to work and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and they took away all the incense altars and threw them into the Brook Kidron.
15Then they slaughtered the Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month, and the priests and the Levites were ashamed of themselves, and sanctified themselves and brought burnt offerings into the house of Yahweh.
16They stood in their place according to their requirement, according to the law of Moses the man of God. The priests were throwing on the altar the blood that they received from the hand of the Levites.
17For there were many in the assembly who had not sanctified themselves, so the Levites were in charge of the slaughter of the Passover sacrifices for everyone who was not clean, to make them holy to Yahweh.
18For a multitude of the people—many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun—had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover but contrary to what was written in the Law. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May Yahweh, who is good, make atonement for
19everyone who sets his heart to seek God, Yahweh, the God of his fathers, even if they are not pure according to the purity required by the sanctuary.”
20Yahweh listened to Hezekiah and healed the people.
21The children of Israel who were present in Jerusalem kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with great joy, and the Levites and the priests praised Yahweh day after day, along with loud instruments to Yahweh.
22And Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who were well skilled in the service of Yahweh. So they ate at the appointed feast for the seven days, offering sacrifices of peace offerings and giving thanks to Yahweh the God of their fathers.
23The whole assembly decided to keep the feast another seven days, so they kept it another seven days with joy.
24For Hezekiah king of Judah supplied to the assembly 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep, and the officials supplied to the assembly 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep, and a great number of priests sanctified themselves.
25The whole assembly of Judah, with the priests and the Levites and the whole assembly who came out of Israel, and the foreigners who came out of the land of Israel and those 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 had been nothing like this in Jerusalem.