2 Chronicles 30 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Then Hezekiah invited all of Israel and Judah, with personal letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, to come to The Temple of God in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover to Israel's God. 1 Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, inviting them to come to the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel.
2 The king and his officials and the congregation in Jerusalem had decided to celebrate Passover in the second month. 2 The king and his officials and the whole assembly in Jerusalem decided to celebrate the Passover in the second month.
3 They hadn't been able to celebrate it at the regular time because not enough of the priests were yet personally prepared and the people hadn't had time to gather in Jerusalem. 3 They had not been able to celebrate it at the regular time because not enough priests had consecrated themselves and the people had not assembled in Jerusalem.
4 Under these circumstances, the revised date was approved by both king and people 4 The plan seemed right both to the king and to the whole assembly.
5 and they sent out the invitation from one end of the country to the other, from Beersheba in the south to Dan in the north: "Come and celebrate the Passover to Israel's God in Jerusalem." No one living had ever celebrated it properly. 5 They decided to send a proclamation throughout Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, calling the people to come to Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel. It had not been celebrated in large numbers according to what was written.
6 The king gave the orders, and the couriers delivered the invitations from the king and his leaders throughout Israel and Judah. The invitation read: "O Israelites! Come back to God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, so that he can return to you who have survived the predations of the kings of Assyria. 6 At the king's command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which read: "People of Israel, return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria.
7 Don't repeat the sins of your ancestors who turned their backs on God, the God of their ancestors who then brought them to ruin - you can see the ruins all around you. 7 Do not be like your fathers and brothers, who were unfaithful to the LORD, the God of their fathers, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see.
8 Don't be pigheaded as your ancestors were. Clasp God's outstretched hand. Come to his Temple of holy worship, consecrated for all time. Serve God, your God. You'll no longer be in danger of his hot anger. 8 Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; submit to the LORD. Come to the sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the LORD your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you.
9 If you come back to God, your captive relatives and children will be treated compassionately and allowed to come home. Your God is gracious and kind and won't snub you - come back and he'll welcome you with open arms." 9 If you return to the LORD, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him."
10 So the couriers set out, going from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, as far north as Zebulun. But the people poked fun at them, treated them as a joke. 10 The couriers went from town to town in Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun, but the people scorned and ridiculed them.
11 But not all; some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun weren't too proud to accept the invitation and come to Jerusalem. 11 Nevertheless, some men of Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem.
12 It was better in Judah - God worked powerfully among them to make it unanimous, responding to the orders sent out by the king and his officials, orders backed up by the word of God. 12 Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the LORD.
13 It turned out that there was a tremendous crowd of people when the time came in the second month to celebrate the Passover (sometimes called the Feast of Unraised Bread). 13 A very large crowd of people assembled in Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month.
14 First they went to work and got rid of all the pagan altars that were in Jerusalem - hauled them off and dumped them in the Kidron Valley. 14 They removed the altars in Jerusalem and cleared away the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley.
15 Then, on the fourteenth day of the second month, they slaughtered the Passover lambs. The priests and Levites weren't ready; but now, embarrassed in their laziness, they consecrated themselves and brought Whole-Burnt-Offerings to The Temple of God. 15 They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings to the temple of the LORD.
16 Ready now, they stood at their posts as designated by The Revelation of Moses the holy man; the priests sprinkled the blood the Levites handed to them. 16 Then they took up their regular positions as prescribed in the Law of Moses the man of God. The priests sprinkled the blood handed to them by the Levites.
17 Because so many in the congregation had not properly prepared themselves by consecration and so were not qualified, the Levites took charge of the slaughter of the Passover lambs so that they would be properly consecrated to God. 17 Since many in the crowd had not consecrated themselves, the Levites had to kill the Passover lambs for all those who were not ceremonially clean and could not consecrate [their lambs] to the LORD.
18 There were a lot of people, especially those from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, who did not eat the Passover meal because they had not prepared themselves adequately. Hezekiah prayed for these as follows: "May God who is all good, pardon and forgive 18 Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "May the LORD, who is good, pardon everyone
19 everyone who sincerely desires God, the God of our ancestors. Even - especially! - these who do not meet the literal conditions stated for access to The Temple." 19 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."
20 God responded to Hezekiah's prayer and healed the people. 20 And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people.
21 All the Israelites present in Jerusalem celebrated the Passover (Feast of Unraised Bread) for seven days, celebrated exuberantly. The Levites and priests praised God day after day, filling the air with praise sounds of percussion and brass. 21 The Israelites who were present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread 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.
22 Hezekiah commended the Levites for the superb way in which they had led the people in the worship of God. 22 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 offerings and praised the LORD, the God of their fathers.
23 they all decided to keep going for another seven days! So they just kept on celebrating, and as joyfully as they began. 23 The whole assembly then agreed to celebrate the festival seven more days; so for another seven days they celebrated joyfully.
24 Hezekiah king of Judah gave 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep for the congregation's worship; the officials gave an additional 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep. And there turned out to be plenty of consecrated priests - qualified and well-prepared. 24 Hezekiah king of Judah provided 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.
25 The whole congregation of Judah, the priests and Levites, the congregation that came in from Israel, and the resident aliens from both Israel and Judah, were all in on the joyous celebration. 25 The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, along with the priests and Levites and all who had assembled from Israel, including the aliens who had come from Israel and those who lived in Judah.
26 Jerusalem was bursting with joy - nothing like this had taken place in Jerusalem since Solomon son of David king of Israel had built and dedicated The Temple. 26 There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem.
27 The priests and Levites had the last word: they stood and blessed the people. And God listened, listened as the ascending sound of their prayers entered his holy heaven. 27 The priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.