Then Josiah announced that the Passover of the LORD would be celebrated in Jerusalem on the appointed day in early spring. a The Passover lambs were slaughtered at twilight of that day.
Josiah also assigned the priests to their duties and encouraged them in their work at the Temple of the LORD.
He issued this order to the Levites, who had been set apart to serve the LORD and were teachers in Israel: "Since the Ark is now in Solomon's Temple and you do not need to carry it back and forth on your shoulders, spend your time serving the LORD your God and his people Israel.
Report for duty according to the family divisions of your ancestors, following the written instructions of King David of Israel and the instructions of his son Solomon.
Then stand in your appointed holy places and help the families assigned to you as they bring their offerings to the Temple.
Slaughter the Passover lambs, purify yourselves, and prepare to help those who come. Follow all the instructions that the LORD gave through Moses."
Then Josiah contributed from his personal property thirty thousand lambs and young goats for the people's Passover offerings, and three thousand bulls.
The king's officials also made willing contributions to the people, priests, and Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the administrators of God's Temple, gave the priests twenty-six hundred lambs and young goats and three hundred bulls as Passover offerings.
The Levite leaders -- Conaniah and his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, and Hashabiah, Jeiel, and Jozabad -- gave five thousand lambs and young goats and five hundred bulls to the Levites for their Passover offerings.
When everything was ready for the Passover celebration, the priests and the Levites took their places, organized by their divisions, according to the king's orders.
The Levites then slaughtered the Passover lambs and presented the blood to the priests, who sprinkled the blood on the altar while the Levites prepared the animals.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)