2 Chronicles 30

Hezekiah Celebrates the Passover Feast

1 Hezekiah sent a message to all of the people of Israel and Judah. He also wrote letters to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. He invited everyone to come to the LORD's temple in Jerusalem. He wanted them to celebrate the Passover Feast in honor of the Lord. He is the God of Israel.
2 The king, his officials and the whole community in Jerusalem decided to celebrate the Passover in the second month.
3 They hadn't been able to celebrate it at the regular time. That's because there weren't enough priests who had set themselves apart to the Lord. Also, the people hadn't gathered together in Jerusalem.
4 The plan seemed good to the king and the whole community.
5 They decided to send a message all through Israel. It was sent out from Beersheba all the way to Dan. The message invited the people to come to Jerusalem. It invited them to celebrate the Passover in honor of the Lord, the God of Israel. The Passover hadn't been celebrated by large numbers of people for a long time. It hadn't been done in keeping with what was written in the law.
6 Messengers went all through Israel and Judah. They carried letters from the king and his officials. The king had ordered them to do that. The letters said, "People of Israel, return to the Lord. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. Return to him. Then he will return to you who are left in the land. You have escaped from the power of the kings of Assyria.
7 "Don't be like the rest of your people and relatives. They weren't faithful to the Lord, the God of their people. That's why he punished them. He made them look so bad that everyone was shocked when they saw them. You can see it for yourselves.
8 "Don't be stubborn. Don't be as your people were. Obey the Lord. Come to the temple. He has set it apart to himself forever. Serve the LORD your God. Then he'll turn his burning anger away from you.
9 "Suppose you return to the Lord. Then those who captured your relatives and children will be kind to them. In fact, your relatives and children will come back to this land. The LORD your God is kind and tender. He won't turn away from you if you return to him."
10 The messengers went from town to town in Ephraim and Manasseh. They went all the way to Zebulun. But the people made fun of them. They laughed at them.
11 In spite of that, some men from Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun made themselves low in the LORD's sight. They went to Jerusalem.
12 God's powerful hand helped the people of Judah. He helped them agree with one another. So they did what the king and his officials had ordered. They did what the LORD told them to do.
13 A very large crowd of people gathered together in Jerusalem. They went there to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It took place in the second month.
14 They removed the altars in Jerusalem. They cleared away the altars for burning incense. They threw all of the altars into the Kidron Valley.
15 They killed the Passover lamb on the 14th day of the second month. The priests and Levites were filled with shame. They set themselves apart to the Lord. They brought burnt offerings to his temple.
16 Then they went to their regular positions. They did it just as the Law of Moses, the man of God, required. The Levites gave the blood of the animals to the priests. The priests sprinkled it on the altar.
17 Many people in the crowd hadn't set themselves apart to the Lord. They weren't "clean." They couldn't set their lambs apart to him. So the Levites had to kill the Passover lambs for all of them.
18 Many people came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun. Most of them hadn't made themselves pure and clean. But they still ate the Passover meal. That was against what was written in the law. But Hezekiah prayed for them. He said, "The LORD is good. May he forgive everyone
19 who wants to worship God with all his heart. God is the Lord, the God of their people. May he forgive them even if they aren't 'clean' in keeping with the rules of the temple."
20 The LORD answered Hezekiah's prayer. He healed the people.
21 The people of Israel who were in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread. They celebrated for seven days with great joy. The Levites and priests sang to the LORD every day. Their singing was accompanied by musical instruments. The instruments were used to praise the Lord.
22 Hezekiah spoke words that gave hope to all of the Levites. They understood how to serve the LORD well. For the seven days of the Feast they ate the share that was given to them. They also sacrificed friendship offerings. They praised the Lord, the God of their people.
23 Then the whole community agreed to celebrate the Feast for seven more days. So for another seven days they celebrated with joy.
24 Hezekiah, the king of Judah, provided 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep and goats for the community. The officials provided 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep and goats for them. A large number of priests set themselves apart to the Lord.
25 The entire community of Judah was filled with joy. So were the priests and Levites. And so were all of the people who had gathered together from Israel. That included the outsiders who had come from Israel. It also included those who lived in Judah.
26 There was great joy in Jerusalem. There hadn't been anything like it in Israel since the days of Solomon, the son of David. Solomon had been king of Israel.
27 The priests and Levites gave their blessing to the people. God heard them. Their prayer reached all the way to heaven. It's the holy place where he lives.

2 Chronicles 30 Commentary

Chapter 30

Hezekiah's passover. (1-12) The passover celebrated. (13-20) The feast of unleavened bread. (21-27)

Verses 1-12 Hezekiah made Israel as welcome to the passover, as any of his own subjects. Let us yield ourselves unto the Lord. Say not, you will do what you please, but resolve to do what he pleases. We perceive in the carnal mind a stiffness, an obstinacy, an unaptness to compel with God; we have it from our fathers: this must be overcome. Those who, through grace, have turned to God themselves, should do all they can to bring others to him. Numbers will be scorners, but some will be humbled and benefited; perhaps where least expected. The rich mercy of God is the great argument by which to enforce repentance; the vilest who submit and yield themselves to the Lord, seek his grace, and give themselves to his service, shall certainly be saved. Oh that messengers were sent forth to carry these glad tidings to every city and every village, through every land!

Verses 13-20 The great thing needful in attendance upon God in solemn ordinances, is, that we make heart-work of it; all is nothing without this. Where this sincerity and fixedness of heart are, there may yet be many things short of the purification of the sanctuary. These defects need pardoning, healing grace; for omissions in duty are sins, as well as omissions of duty. If God should deal with us in strict justice, even as to the very best of our doings, we should be undone. The way to obtain pardon, is to seek it of God by prayer; it must be gotten by petition through the blood of Christ. Yet every defect is sin, and needs forgiveness; and should be matter to humble, but not to discourage us, though nothing can make up for the want of a heart prepared to seek the Lord.

Verses 21-27 Many prayers were put up to God with the peace-offerings. In these Israel looked to God as the God of their fathers, a God in covenant with them. There was also abundance of good preaching. The Levites read and explained the Scriptures. Faith cometh by hearing, and true religion preaching has abounded. They sang psalms every day: praising God should be much of our work in religious assemblies. Having kept the seven days of the feast in this religious manner, they had so much comfort in it, that they kept other seven days also. This they did with gladness. Holy duties should be done with holy gladness. And when sinners humble themselves before the Lord, they may expect gladness in his ordinances. Those who taste this happiness will not soon grow weary of it, but will be glad to prolong their enjoyment.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 CHRONICLES 30

Hezekiah having consulted his nobles about keeping the passover the second month, and determined upon it, sent messengers throughout Israel and Judah, to acquaint them with it, at which some mocked, and others seriously attended to it, 2Ch 30:1-12 so it was celebrated in a solemn manner, though some were not qualified for it according to the law, and for whose pardon Hezekiah prayed, and it was granted, 2Ch 30:13-20, also the feast of unleavened bread was kept seven days, and a festival of seven days more was likewise observed with great joy and gladness, 2Ch 30:21-27.

messengers to them, not only to the subjects of his own kingdom, Judah, but to all the Israelites that dwelt in it, who were come thither for the sake of religion, and the worship of God:

\\and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh\\; which are put for all the ten tribes, as appears from 2Ch 30:10,11 and are distinguished from Israel in the preceding clause:

\\that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem\\; not that he laid his commands upon them to come, they not being his subjects, namely, those of the ten tribes; but he hereby admonished them of their duty, and gave them a kind invitation, signifying the doors of the temple were open for them, and they were welcome to come thither:

\\to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel\\; to the glory of his name, who was the common Lord of them all, and whose command it was to keep the passover, and that at Jerusalem, and nowhere else, see De 16:1-6. 19787-950128-1141-2Ch30.2

2 Chronicles 30 Commentaries