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NEW WORLD TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES (2013 REVISION)
30 Hez·e·kiʹah sent word to all Israel+ and Judah, and even wrote letters to Eʹphra·im and Ma·nasʹseh,+ to come to the house of Jehovah in Jerusalem to observe the Passover to Jehovah the God of Israel.+ 2 However, the king, his princes, and the whole congregation in Jerusalem decided to observe the Passover in the second month,+ 3 for they had not been able to observe it at the regular time,+ because not enough priests had sanctified themselves+ nor had the people gathered in Jerusalem. 4 This arrangement seemed right in the eyes of the king and the entire congregation. 5 So they decided to make an announcement throughout Israel, from Beʹer-sheʹba to Dan,+ that the people should come and observe the Passover to Jehovah the God of Israel at Jerusalem, for as a group they had not observed it according to what is written.+ 6 Then the couriers* went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the king and his princes, as the king had commanded, saying: “People of Israel, return to Jehovah the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, so that he may return to the remnant who escaped out of the hand of the kings of As·syrʹi·a.+ 7 Do not be like your forefathers and your brothers who acted unfaithfully toward Jehovah the God of their forefathers, so that he made them an object of horror, just as you are seeing.+ 8 Now do not be obstinate like your forefathers.+ Submit to Jehovah and come to his sanctuary+ that he has sanctified forever and serve Jehovah your God, so that his burning anger may turn away from you.+ 9 For when you return to Jehovah, your brothers and your sons will be shown mercy by their captors+ and will be allowed to return to this land,+ for Jehovah your God is compassionate* and merciful,+ and he will not turn his face away from you if you return to him.”+ 10 So the couriers* went from city to city throughout the land of Eʹphra·im and Ma·nasʹseh,+ even to Zebʹu·lun, but the people were making fun of them and mocking them.+ 11 However, some individuals from Ashʹer, Ma·nasʹseh, and Zebʹu·lun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.+ 12 The hand of the true God was also in Judah to unite them* to carry out what the king and the princes had commanded by the word of Jehovah. 13 A multitude of people gathered together at Jerusalem to observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread+ in the second month;+ it was a very large congregation. 14 They rose up and removed the altars that were in Jerusalem,+ and they removed all the incense altars+ and threw them into the Kidʹron Valley. 15 Then they slaughtered the Passover sacrifice on the 14th day of the second month. The priests and the Levites felt ashamed, so they sanctified themselves and brought burnt offerings to the house of Jehovah. 16 They took their customary places, according to the Law of Moses the man of the true God; then the priests sprinkled the blood+ received from the hand of the Levites. 17 There were many in the congregation who had not sanctified themselves, and the Levites were in charge of slaughtering the Passover sacrifices for all who were not clean,+ to sanctify them to Jehovah. 18 For a great number of the people, especially those from Eʹphra·im, Ma·nasʹseh,+ Isʹsa·char, and Zebʹu·lun, had not cleansed themselves, but they still ate the Passover, contrary to what is written. But Hez·e·kiʹah prayed for them, saying: “May Jehovah, who is good,+ make allowance for 19 everyone who has prepared his heart to search for the true God,+ Jehovah, the God of his forefathers, although he has not been purified according to the standard of holiness.”+ 20 And Jehovah listened to Hez·e·kiʹah and pardoned* the people. 21 So the Israelites who were in Jerusalem observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread+ for seven days with great rejoicing,+ and the Levites and the priests were praising Jehovah day by day, loudly playing their instruments to Jehovah.+ 22 Moreover, Hez·e·kiʹah spoke to and encouraged* all the Levites who served Jehovah with discretion. And they ate throughout the festival for seven days,+ sacrificing communion sacrifices+ and giving thanks to Jehovah the God of their forefathers. 23 Then all the congregation decided to observe it for seven more days, so they observed it for seven more days with rejoicing.+ 24 And King Hez·e·kiʹah of Judah contributed for the congregation 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep, and the princes contributed for the congregation 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep;+ and priests were sanctifying themselves in great number.+ 25 And all the congregation of Judah, the priests, the Levites, all the congregation that came from Israel,+ and the foreign residents+ who came from the land of Israel and those living in Judah continued rejoicing. 26 And there was great rejoicing in Jerusalem, for from the days of Solʹo·mon the son of David the king of Israel, nothing like this had happened in Jerusalem.+ 27 Finally the Levite priests stood up and blessed the people;+ and God heard their voice, and their prayer reached his holy dwelling, the heavens.