One Year Chronological Bible Sampler - Flipbook - Page 6
p a g e 828
At the same time, God’s hand was on the people in the land of Judah, giving
them all one heart to obey the orders of the king and his officials, who were following the word of the LORD. 13 So a huge crowd assembled at Jerusalem in
midspring* to celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 14 They set to work
and removed the pagan altars from Jerusalem. They took away all the incense
altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley.
On the fourteenth day of the second month, one month later than usual,* the
people slaughtered the Passover lamb. This shamed the priests and Levites, so
they purified themselves and brought burnt offerings to the Temple of the LORD.
Then they took their places at the Temple as prescribed in the Law of Moses,
the man of God. The Levites brought the sacrificial blood to the priests, who
then sprinkled it on the altar.
Since many of the people had not purified themselves, the Levites had to
slaughter their Passover lamb for them, to set them apart for the LORD. 18Most of
those who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not purified themselves. But King Hezekiah prayed for them, and they were allowed to
eat the Passover meal anyway, even though this was contrary to the requirements of the Law. For Hezekiah said, “May the LORD, who is good, pardon those
who decide to follow the LORD, the God of their ancestors, even though they
are not properly cleansed for the ceremony.” 20And the LORD listened to Hezekiah’s prayer and healed the people.
So the people of Israel who were present in Jerusalem joyously celebrated the
Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days. Each day the Levites and priests
sang to the LORD, accompanied by loud instruments.* 22Hezekiah encouraged all
the Levites regarding the skill they displayed as they served the LORD. The celebration continued for seven days. Peace offerings were sacrificed, and the people
gave thanks to the LORD, the God of their ancestors.
The entire assembly then decided to continue the festival another seven
days, so they celebrated joyfully for another week. 24 King Hezekiah gave the
people 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep and goats for offerings, and the officials
donated 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep and goats. Meanwhile, many more priests
The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, including the priests, the Levites, all
who came from the land of Israel, the foreigners who came to the festival, and all
those who lived in Judah. 26 There was great joy in the city, for Jerusalem had not
seen a celebration like this one since the days of Solomon, King David’s son.
Then the priests and Levites stood and blessed the people, and God heard their
prayer from his holy dwelling in heaven.
Hezekiah’s Religious Reforms / 2 Chronicles 31:1-21 / 716 BC
When the festival ended, the Israelites who attended went to all the towns of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh, and they smashed all the sacred pillars,
cut down the Asherah poles, and removed the pagan shrines and altars. After
this, the Israelites returned to their own towns and homes.
Hezekiah then organized the priests and Levites into divisions to offer the
burnt offerings and peace offerings, and to worship and give thanks and praise
30:13 Hebrew in the second month. The second month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar usually occurs within the
months of April and May.
30:15 Hebrew On the fourteenth day of the second month. Passover normally began on the
fourteenth day of the first month (see Lev 23:5).
30:21 Or sang to the LORD with all their strength.