A very large crowd of people assembled in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread1 in the second month.
They removed the altars2 in Jerusalem and cleared away the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley.315
They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed and consecrated4 themselves and brought burnt offerings to the temple of the LORD.
Then they took up their regular positions5 as prescribed in the Law of Moses the man of God. The priests sprinkled the blood handed to them by the Levites.
Since many in the crowd had not consecrated themselves, the Levites had to kill6 the Passover lambs for all those who were not ceremonially clean and could not consecrate [their lambs] to the LORD.
Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not purified themselves,7 yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "May the LORD, who is good, pardon everyone
who sets his heart on seeking God--the LORD, the God of his fathers--even if he is not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary."
And the LORD heard8 Hezekiah and healed9 the people.1021
The Israelites who were present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread11 for seven days with great rejoicing, while the Levites and priests sang to the LORD every day, accompanied by the LORD's instruments of praise.a22
Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites, who showed good understanding of the service of the LORD. For the seven days they ate their assigned portion and offered fellowship offeringsb and praised the LORD, the God of their fathers.
The whole assembly then agreed to celebrate12 the festival seven more days; so for another seven days they celebrated joyfully.
Hezekiah king of Judah provided13 a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep and goats for the assembly, and the officials provided them with a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep and goats. A great number of priests consecrated themselves.
The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, along with the priests and Levites and all who had assembled from Israel14, including the aliens who had come from Israel and those who lived in Judah.
There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon15 son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem.
The priests and the Levites stood to bless16 the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.