2 Chronicles 30 Expanded Bible (EXB)
The Passover Celebration
30 King Hezekiah sent messages to all the people of Israel and Judah, and he wrote letters to the people of Ephraim and Manasseh. Hezekiah invited all these people to come to the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord in Jerusalem to ·celebrate [keep; observe] the Passover for the Lord, the God of Israel [Ex. 12]. 2 King Hezekiah, his ·officers [officials], and all the ·people [community; assembly] in Jerusalem ·agreed [decided] to ·celebrate [keep; observe] the Passover in the second month. 3 They could not ·celebrate [keep; observe] it at the ·normal [prescribed] time, because not enough priests had ·made themselves ready to serve the Lord [consecrated/purified/sanctified themselves], and the people had not yet ·gathered [assembled] in Jerusalem. 4 This plan ·satisfied [seemed right to] King Hezekiah and all the ·people [community; assembled]. 5 So they ·made an announcement [sent a proclamation/edict] everywhere in Israel, from Beersheba [C in the south] to Dan [C in the north; that is, all the people in Israel], telling the people to come to Jerusalem to ·celebrate [keep; observe] the Passover for the Lord, the God of Israel. The people had not ·celebrated [kept; observed] the Passover as the law commanded ·for a long time [or in great numbers]. 6 At the king’s command, ·the messengers [couriers; L runners] took letters from him and his ·officers [officials] all through Israel and Judah. This is what the letters said:
People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Then God will return to the ·few [remnant] of you who have ·escaped [been spared] from the kings of Assyria. 7 Don’t be like your ·ancestors [fathers] or your ·relatives [brothers]. They ·turned against [were unfaithful to] the Lord, the God of their ·ancestors [fathers], so he ·caused other people to be disgusted with them. You know this is true […made them an object of horror/derision, as you see]. 8 Don’t be ·stubborn [L stiff-necked] as your ·ancestors [fathers] were, but ·obey the Lord willingly [submit/yield to the Lord]. Come to the ·Temple [sanctuary], which he has ·made holy [consecrated; L set apart] forever. Serve the Lord your God so ·he will not be angry with [his fierce anger will turn away from] you. 9 Come back to the Lord. Then the people who captured your ·relatives [brothers] and ·children [sons] will be ·kind [merciful; compassionate] to them and will let them return to this land. The Lord your God is ·kind [gracious] and ·merciful [compassionate]. He will not turn ·away [L his face] from you if you return to him.
10 The ·messengers [couriers; L runners] went to every town in Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the way to Zebulun, but the people ·laughed at [scorned] them and ·made fun of [mocked; ridiculed] them. 11 But some men from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun ·were sorry for what they had done [humbled themselves] and went to Jerusalem. 12 And ·God united all the people of [L God’s hand was on] Judah ·in obeying [L giving them one heart to do the commands of] King Hezekiah and his ·officers [officials], because their command ·had come from [L was the word of] the Lord.
13 In the second month a very large crowd came together in Jerusalem to ·celebrate [keep; observe] the ·Feast [Festival] of Unleavened Bread. 14 The people removed the altars and incense altars [C to pagan gods] in Jerusalem and threw them into the Kidron Valley.
15 They ·killed [slaughtered] the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed [C because others are doing what they should be doing], so they ·made themselves holy [consecrated/purified/sanctified themselves] and brought burnt offerings into the ·Temple [L house] of the Lord. 16 They took their ·regular places [stations; posts] in the ·Temple [L house] as the ·Teachings [law] of Moses, the man of God, ·commanded [prescribed]. The Levites gave the blood [C from the sacrifices] to the priests, who sprinkled it [C on the altar]. 17 Since many people in the crowd had not ·made themselves holy [consecrated/purified/sanctified themselves], the Levites ·killed [slaughtered] the Passover lambs for everyone who was ·not clean [defiled; ritually unclean]. The Levites ·made each lamb holy [consecrated/purified/sanctified them] for the Lord.
23 Then all the people agreed to stay seven more days, so they celebrated with joy for seven more days. 24 Hezekiah king of Judah gave one thousand ·bulls [oxen] and seven thousand sheep to the ·people [assembly]. The ·officers [officials] gave one thousand ·bulls [oxen] and ten thousand sheep to the ·people [assembly]. Many priests ·made themselves holy [consecrated/purified/sanctified themselves]. 25 All the ·people [assembly] of Judah, the priests, the Levites, those who came from Israel, the ·foreigners [sojourners; wanderers; resident aliens] from Israel, and the ·foreigners [sojourners; wanderers; resident aliens] living in Judah ·were very happy [rejoiced]. 26 There was much joy in Jerusalem, because there had not been a celebration like this since the time of Solomon son of David and king of Israel. 27 The priests and Levites stood up and blessed the people, and God heard them ·because their prayer reached [from] heaven, his holy home.