Josiah celebrated the Passover1 to the LORD in Jerusalem, and the Passover lamb was slaughtered on the fourteenth day of the first month.
He appointed the priests to their duties and encouraged them in the service of the LORD's temple.
He said to the Levites, who instructed2 all Israel and who had been consecrated to the LORD: "Put the sacred ark in the temple that Solomon son of David king of Israel built. It is not to be carried about on your shoulders. Now serve the LORD your God and his people Israel.
Prepare yourselves by families in your divisions,3 according to the directions written by David king of Israel and by his son Solomon.
"Stand in the holy place with a group of Levites for each subdivision of the families of your fellow countrymen, the lay people.
Slaughter the Passover lambs, consecrate yourselves4 and prepare [the lambs] for your fellow countrymen, doing what the LORD commanded through Moses."
Josiah provided for all the lay people who were there a total of thirty thousand sheep and goats for the Passover offerings,5 and also three thousand cattle--all from the king's own possessions.68
His officials also contributed7 voluntarily to the people and the priests and Levites. Hilkiah,8 Zechariah and Jehiel, the administrators of God's temple, gave the priests twenty-six hundred Passover offerings and three hundred cattle.
Also Conaniah9 along with Shemaiah and Nethanel, his brothers, and Hashabiah, Jeiel and Jozabad,10 the leaders of the Levites, provided five thousand Passover offerings and five hundred head of cattle for the Levites.
The service was arranged and the priests stood in their places with the Levites in their divisions11 as the king had ordered.1211
The Passover lambs were slaughtered,13 and the priests sprinkled the blood handed to them, while the Levites skinned the animals.
They set aside the burnt offerings to give them to the subdivisions of the families of the people to offer to the LORD, as is written in the Book of Moses. They did the same with the cattle.
They roasted the Passover animals over the fire as prescribed,14 and boiled the holy offerings in pots, caldrons and pans and served them quickly to all the people.
After this, they made preparations for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were sacrificing the burnt offerings and the fat portions15 until nightfall. So the Levites made preparations for themselves and for the Aaronic priests.
The musicians,16 the descendants of Asaph, were in the places prescribed by David, Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun the king's seer. The gatekeepers at each gate did not need to leave their posts, because their fellow Levites made the preparations for them.
So at that time the entire service of the LORD was carried out for the celebration of the Passover and the offering of burnt offerings on the altar of the LORD, as King Josiah had ordered.
The Israelites who were present celebrated the Passover at that time and observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days.
The Passover had not been observed like this in Israel since the days of the prophet Samuel; and none of the kings of Israel had ever celebrated such a Passover as did Josiah, with the priests, the Levites and all Judah and Israel who were there with the people of Jerusalem.
This Passover was celebrated in the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign.