Chapter 30

1And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and he also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the House of the Lord in Jerusalem, to perform the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, the God of Israel.   אוַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח יְחִזְקִיָּ֜הוּ עַל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל וִֽיהוּדָ֗ה וְגַם־אִגְּרוֹת֙ כָּתַב֙ עַל־אֶפְרַ֣יִם וּמְנַשֶּׁ֔ה לָב֥וֹא לְבֵֽית־יְהֹוָ֖ה בִּירֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם לַֽעֲשׂ֣וֹת פֶּ֔סַח לַיהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
and he also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, etc.: because they were not yet exiled, because this was in the first year of his reign and they were not exiled until the sixth year of his reign as it is written (II Kings 18:10): “And they captured it at the end of three years, in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea, king of Israel,” as you will find at the end of the Book.  
2And the king and his officers and the entire congregation took counsel in Jerusalem, to perform the Passover sacrifice in the second month.   בוַיִּוָּעַ֨ץ הַמֶּ֧לֶךְ וְשָׂרָ֛יו וְכָל־הַקָּהָ֖ל בִּירֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם לַֽעֲשׂ֥וֹת הַפֶּ֖סַח בַּחֹ֥דֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִֽי:
3For they could not perform it at that time, for the priests had not consecrated themselves sufficiently, and the people had not gathered to Jerusalem.   גכִּ֣י לֹ֧א יָֽכְל֛וּ לַֽעֲשׂת֖וֹ בָּעֵ֣ת הַהִ֑יא כִּ֚י הַכֹּֽהֲנִים֙ לֹא־הִתְקַדְּשׁ֣וּ לְמַדַּ֔י וְהָעָ֖ם לֹא־נֶֽאֶסְפ֖וּ לִירֽוּשָׁלִָֽם:
For they could not perform it at that time: in the first month, in Nissan.  
for the priests had not consecrated themselves sufficiently: They had not consecrated themselves sufficiently for Israel to offer their Passover sacrifices, and it goes without saying that they could not perform it in Nissan, for they did not finish consecrating the Temple until the sixteenth of Nissan, but this is its meaning: For they could not perform it at that time; i.e., even if they had not delayed the purification of the Temple, which they did not complete until the sixteenth of Nissan, they would not have been able to perform it now [the offering of the Passover sacrifice] because not enough priests had consecrated themselves.  
and the people had not gathered: all of them [had not] yet [gathered] to Jerusalem.  
4And the matter was proper in the eyes of the king and in the eyes of the entire congregation.   דוַיִּישַׁ֥ר הַדָּבָ֖ר בְּעֵינֵ֣י הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ וּבְעֵינֵ֖י כָּל־הַקָּהָֽל:
5And they issued a statement to announce throughout all Israel, from Beersheba to Dan to come to perform a Passover sacrifice to the Lord, the God of Israel, in Jerusalem, because for many years they had not performed it as it is written.   הוַיַּֽעֲמִ֣ידוּ דָבָ֗ר לְהַֽעֲבִ֨יר ק֚וֹל בְּכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ מִבְּאֵֽר־שֶׁ֣בַע וְעַד־דָּ֔ן לָב֕וֹא לַֽעֲשׂ֥וֹת פֶּ֛סַח לַֽיהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בִּירֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם כִּ֣י לֹ֥א לָרֹ֛ב עָשׂ֖וּ כַּכָּתֽוּב:
from Beersheba to Dan: This is the boundary of the Ten Tribes.  
because for many years: The meaning is that many years had passed in which they had not performed it according to its law.  
6So the couriers went with the letters from the hand of the king and his officers throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the king's command, saying, "Children of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, so that He may return to the remnant that has escaped from the clutches of the kings of Assyria.   ווַיֵּֽלְכוּ֩ הָֽרָצִ֨ים בָּֽאִגְּר֜וֹת מִיַּ֧ד הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ וְשָׂרָ֗יו בְּכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וִֽיהוּדָ֔ה וּכְמִצְוַ֥ת הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ לֵאמֹ֑ר בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל שׁוּבוּ אֶל־יְהֹוָ֔ה אֱלֹהֵ֚י אַבְרָהָם֙ יִצְחָ֣ק וְיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְיָשֹׁב֙ אֶל־הַפְּלֵיטָ֔ה הַנִּשְׁאֶ֣רֶת לָכֶ֔ם מִכַּ֖ף מַלְכֵ֥י אַשּֽׁוּר:
so that He may return to the remnant that has escaped from the clutches of the kings of Assyria: Although they had not yet been exiled, he calls them a remnant that has escaped because they considered themselves as if they had already been exiled, and moreover, the kings of Assyria had seized everything in the days of Ahaz, and the reason they saw themselves as if they had already been exiled was that for six years the Israelites were tribute-paying serfs to the king of Assyria, and he ruled over them and led them away into exile and did with them as he wished. This occurred within those six years, and they had already been exiled many times in the days of the kings of Israel and Ahaz, and they knew that as soon as Israel would rebel against the king of Assyria, he would lead them away in exile. He calls them ‘those who escaped from Assyria’ because he ruled neither over them, nor over the entire land of Judah.  
7And do not be like your fathers or like your brothers, who acted treacherously against the Lord, the God of their fathers, and He made them a desolation, as you see.   זוְאַל־תִּֽהְי֗וּ כַּֽאֲבֹֽתֵיכֶם֙ וְכַ֣אֲחֵיכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֣ר מָֽעֲל֔וּ בַּֽיהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֲבֽוֹתֵיהֶ֑ם וַיִּתְּנֵ֣ם לְשַׁמָּ֔ה כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֖ר אַתֶּ֥ם רֹאִֽים:
And do not be like your fathers or like your brothers: The meaning is: Now if you say, “We still trust that the king of Assyria will withdraw from us,” do not be like your fathers, every generation that was before you. What happened to them when they forsook the Lord and acted treacherously? “He made them a desolation, as you see.”  
8Now, do not be stiffnecked like your fathers; give a hand to the Lord and come to His Sanctuary which He consecrated forever, and worship the Lord your God, so that His burning wrath returns from you.   חעַתָּ֕ה אַל־תַּקְשׁ֥וּ עָרְפְּכֶ֖ם כַּֽאֲבֽוֹתֵיכֶ֑ם תְּנוּ־יָ֣ד לַֽיהֹוָ֗ה וּבֹ֚אוּ לְמִקְדָּשׁוֹ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הִקְדִּ֣ישׁ לְעוֹלָ֔ם וְעִבְדוּ֙ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֔ם וְיָשֹׁ֥ב מִכֶּ֖ם חֲר֥וֹן אַפּֽוֹ:
9For when you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before their captors and shall return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and He will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him."   טכִּ֣י בְשֽׁוּבְכֶ֞ם עַל־יְהֹוָ֗ה אֲחֵיכֶ֨ם וּבְנֵיכֶ֚ם לְרַֽחֲמִים֙ לִפְנֵ֣י שֽׁוֹבֵיהֶ֔ם וְלָשׁ֖וּב לָאָ֣רֶץ הַזֹּ֑את כִּֽי־חַנּ֚וּן וְרַחוּם֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֔ם וְלֹֽא־יָסִ֚יר פָּנִים֙ מִכֶּ֔ם אִם־תָּשׁ֖וּבוּ אֵלָֽיו:
For when you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before their captors and shall return to this land: Even those few who have already been exiled, for they waged war with Israel and they overwhelmed them, and they led their sons and daughters into captivity. But if you return to Him, He will grant them compassion before their captors, that they will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful.  
10Now the couriers passed from city to city in the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, even to Zebulun, and they laughed at them and mocked them.   יוַיִּֽהְי֨וּ הָֽרָצִ֜ים עֹֽבְרִ֨ים מֵעִ֧יר| לָעִ֛יר בְּאֶֽרֶץ־אֶפְרַ֥יִם וּמְנַשֶּׁ֖ה וְעַד־זְבֻל֑וּן וַיִּֽהְיוּ֙ מַשְׂחִיקִ֣ים עֲלֵיהֶ֔ם וּמַלְעִגִ֖ים בָּֽם:
11But people from Asher and Manasseh and from Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.   יאאַ֧ךְ אֲנָשִׁ֛ים מֵֽאָשֵׁ֥ר וּמְנַשֶּׁ֖ה וּמִזְּבֻל֑וּן נִכְנְע֔וּ וַיָּבֹ֖אוּ לִירֽוּשָׁלִָֽם:
12The hand of God was also upon Judah to give them one accord, to perform the command of the king and the officers concerning the word of the Lord.   יבגַּ֣ם בִּֽיהוּדָ֗ה הָֽיְתָה֙ יַ֣ד הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים לָתֵ֥ת לָהֶ֖ם לֵ֣ב אֶחָ֑ד לַֽעֲשׂ֞וֹת מִצְוַ֥ת הַמֶּ֛לֶךְ וְהַשָּׂרִ֖ים בִּדְבַ֥ר יְהֹוָֽה:
13And a huge crowd assembled in Jerusalem to observe the Festival of Matzoth in the second month, an exceedingly large assembly.   יגוַיֵּאָֽסְפ֚וּ יְרֽוּשָׁלִַ֙ם֙ עַם־רָ֔ב לַֽעֲשׂ֛וֹת אֶת־חַ֥ג הַמַּצּ֖וֹת בַּחֹ֣דֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִ֑י קָהָ֖ל לָרֹ֥ב מְאֹֽד:
14And they arose and removed the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense they removed and cast them into the Kidron Valley.   ידוַיָּקֻ֕מוּ וַיָּסִ֙ירוּ֙ אֶת־הַמִּזְבְּח֔וֹת אֲשֶׁ֖ר בִּירֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם וְאֵ֚ת כָּל־הַֽמְקַטְּרוֹת֙ הֵסִ֔ירוּ וַיַּשְׁלִ֖יכוּ לְנַ֥חַל קִדְרֽוֹן:
the altars for incense: a place where there were priests and Levites.  
15And they slaughtered the Passover sacrifice on the fourteenth day of the second month, and the priests and the Levites were embarrassed, and they consecrated themselves and brought burnt-offerings to the House of the Lord.   טווַיִּשְׁחֲט֣וּ הַפֶּ֔סַח בְּאַרְבָּעָ֥ה עָשָׂ֖ר לַחֹ֣דֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִ֑י וְהַכֹּֽהֲנִ֨ים וְהַֽלְוִיִּ֚ם נִכְלְמוּ֙ וַיִּֽתְקַדְּשׁ֔וּ וַיָּבִ֥יאוּ עֹל֖וֹת בֵּ֥ית יְהֹוָֽה:
and the priests and the Levites were embarrassed: that they had delayed to consecrate themselves. They tarried so long and did not come until now for the following reason: they could not believe that this was true beforehand, because Ahaz had dismissed them from officiating as priests. And so they said, “Is it possible that yesterday Ahaz worshipped idols, and that his son Hezekiah, immediately in the first year and first month would tell the priests and Levites to worship the one God alone and have need of us?” They were therefore lazy and neglected to come, together with the rest of Judah, whom Ahaz had dismissed. But when they investigated and understood that everything was for the name of Heaven, they all came and consecrated themselves.  
16And they stood in their station as was their custom, according to the Torah of Moses, the man of God; the priests sprinkled the blood from the hand of the Levites.   טזוַיַּֽעַמְד֚וּ עַל־עָמְדָם֙ כְּמִשְׁפָּטָ֔ם כְּתוֹרַ֖ת מֹשֶׁ֣ה אִֽישׁ־הָאֱלֹהִ֑ים הַכֹּֽהֲנִים֙ זֹֽרְקִ֣ים אֶת־הַדָּ֔ם מִיַּ֖ד הַלְוִיִּֽם:
the priests sprinkled: For [the rituals] from the reception [of the blood] and onwards are the commandments of the priests, and do not wonder why the owners themselves did not slaughter [the sacrifices], as is explained further.  
17For there were many among the congregation who had not consecrated themselves, and the Levites were in charge of the slaughter of the Passover sacrifices for everyone who was unclean, to make it holy for the Lord.   יזכִּֽי־רַבַּ֥ת בַּקָּהָ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹֽא־הִתְקַדָּ֑שׁוּ וְהַֽלְוִיִּ֞ם עַל־שְׁחִיטַ֣ת הַפְּסָחִ֗ים לְכֹל֙ לֹ֣א טָה֔וֹר לְהַקְדִּ֖ישׁ לַֽיהֹוָֽה:
For there were many among the congregation who had not consecrated themselves: and the Levites presided over the slaughter of their Passover sacrifices.  
for everyone who was unclean: a Levite took his place to sanctify it for the Lord.  
18For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not purified themselves, for they ate the Passover sacrifice not as it is written, for Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, "May the good Lord atone for   יחכִּ֣י מַרְבִּ֣ית הָעָ֡ם רַ֠בַּת מֵֽאֶפְרַ֨יִם וּמְנַשֶּׁ֜ה יִשָּׂשכָ֚ר וּזְבֻלוּן֙ לֹ֣א הִטֶּהָ֔רוּ כִּי־אָֽכְל֥וּ אֶת־הַפֶּ֖סַח בְּלֹ֣א כַכָּת֑וּב כִּי֩ הִתְפַּלֵּ֨ל יְחִזְקִיָּ֚הוּ עֲלֵיהֶם֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר יְהֹוָ֥ה הַטּ֖וֹב יְכַפֵּ֥ר בְּעַֽד:
for they ate the Passover sacrifice not as it is written: not in accordance with halachah, for they ate it in a state of uncleanness, for Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, etc.  
19anyone who has set his whole heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his forefathers, though [he be] not [cleaned] according to the purity that pertains the holy things."   יטכָּל־לְבָב֣וֹ הֵכִ֔ין לִדְר֛וֹשׁ הָֽאֱלֹהִ֥ים| יְהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֲבוֹתָ֑יו וְלֹ֖א כְּטָֽהֳרַ֥ת הַקֹּֽדֶשׁ:
who has set his whole heart: So it is explained in the Baraitha of Rabbi Eleazar the son of Rabbi Jose the Galilean which commences: Wherever you find the words of Rabbi Eleazar the son of Rabbi Jose the Galilean in Aggadah, listen attentively, as it is said (Prov. 2:2): “To make your ear attentive to wisdom” of the thirty-two methods by which the Aggadah is expounded, and this is one of them:. If the sequence was separated, e.g. this one: The good Lord will atone for anyone who has set his whole heart to seek God to perform His Passover sacrifice, to offer up his sacrifice-even though they did not offer it with the purity of sacred things, for they had not purified themselves; the entire Judah had purified themselves because they were near Jerusalem, and they could cleanse themselves and consecrate themselves and return to Jerusalem, but many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun were not so much to blame in the matter, because the matter was far away for them through letters, and they did not have time to wait and to delay their coming until they consecrated themselves. They therefore came and were not purified. And because it was not their fault, therefore atone for them. Similarly, (Isa. 35:1f.): “Desert and wasteland shall rejoice over them, etc.” : the sequence is separated.  
20And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah and healed the people.   כוַיִּשְׁמַ֚ע יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־יְחִזְקִיָּ֔הוּ וַיִּרְפָּ֖א אֶת־הָעָֽם:
21And the Children of Israel who were present in Jerusalem observed the Festival of Matzoth for seven days with great joy, the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, with powerful instruments to the Lord.   כאוַיַּֽעֲשׂ֣וּ בְנֵֽי־יִ֠שְׂרָאֵל הַנִּמְצְאִ֨ים בִּירֽוּשָׁלִַ֜ם אֶת־חַ֧ג הַמַּצּ֛וֹת שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִ֖ים בְּשִׂמְחָ֣ה גְדוֹלָ֑ה וּמְהַלְלִ֣ים לַ֠יהֹוָה י֣וֹם| בְּי֞וֹם הַֽלְוִיִּ֧ם וְהַכֹּֽהֲנִ֛ים בִּכְלֵי־עֹ֖ז לַיהֹוָֽה:
and the priests with powerful instruments: with trumpets.  
22And Hezekiah prevailed upon all the Levites who were experts in the service of the Lord, and they ate [the sacrifices of] the appointed season for seven days, sacrificing peace-offerings and thanking the Lord, the God of their forefathers.   כבוַיְדַבֵּ֣ר יְחִזְקִיָּ֗הוּ עַל־לֵב֙ כָּל־הַֽלְוִיִּ֔ם הַמַּשְׂכִּילִ֥ים שֵֽׂכֶל־ט֖וֹב לַֽיהֹוָ֑ה וַיֹּֽאכְל֚וּ אֶת־הַמּוֹעֵד֙ שִׁבְעַ֣ת הַיָּמִ֔ים מְזַבְּחִים֙ זִבְחֵ֣י שְׁלָמִ֔ים וּמִ֨תְוַדִּ֔ים לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י אֲבוֹתֵיהֶֽם:
who were experts in the service of the Lord: it is appropriate to use the term “expertise” (שֵׂכֶל) in regards to song, as it is written, (above I Chron. 26:14): “And the lot to the east fell to Shelemiah, and Zechariah, his son, a prudent counselor, etc.,” (יוֹעֵץ בְּשֵׂכֶל). Hezekiah spoke to their hearts with consolations and pleasant words to encourage them and assist them, in order that they too strengthen the song with expertise for the Lord.  
and thanking the Lord: over the thanksgiving offerings, and they thanked the Lord for the miracle that He had wrought for them, for the thanksgiving offering comes for a miracle.  
23And the entire congregation took counsel to keep another seven days; and they kept seven days of joy.   כגוַיִּוָּֽעֲצוּ֙ כָּל־הַקָּהָ֔ל לַֽעֲשׂ֕וֹת שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִ֖ים אֲחֵרִ֑ים וַיַּֽעֲשׂ֛וּ שִׁבְעַ֥ת־יָמִ֖ים שִׂמְחָֽה:
another seven days: as it is explained: and they kept seven days of joy.  
24For Hezekiah, the king of Judah, separated for the congregation one thousand bulls and seven thousand small cattle, and the officers separated for the congregation one thousand bulls and ten thousand small cattle, and the priests consecrated themselves in great numbers.   כדכִּ֣י חִזְקִיָּ֣הוּ מֶֽלֶךְ־יְ֠הוּדָה הֵרִ֨ים לַקָּהָ֜ל אֶ֣לֶף פָּרִים֘ וְשִׁבְעַ֣ת אֲלָפִ֣ים צֹאן֒ וְהַשָּׂרִ֞ים הֵרִ֚ימוּ לַקָּהָל֙ פָּרִ֣ים אֶ֔לֶף וְצֹ֖אן עֲשֶׂ֣רֶת אֲלָפִ֑ים וַיִּֽתְקַדְּשׁ֥וּ כֹֽהֲנִ֖ים לָרֹֽב:
separated: from his small cattle and from his large cattle.  
for the congregation one thousand bulls, etc.: and they were eating together, the king, the officers, and the people, with joy.  
25And the entire congregation of Judah and the priests and the Levites and the entire congregation that came from Israel, and the strangers that came from the land of Israel, and those who dwelt in Judah, rejoiced.   כהוַיִּשְׂמְח֣וּ| כָּל־קְהַ֣ל יְהוּדָ֗ה וְהַכֹּֽהֲנִים֙ וְהַֽלְוִיִּ֔ם וְכָל־הַקָּהָ֖ל הַבָּאִ֣ים מִיִּשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וְהַגֵּרִ֗ים הַבָּאִים֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְהַיּֽוֹשְׁבִ֖ים בִּֽיהוּדָֽה:
26And there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel [there had] not [been] the like in Jerusalem.   כווַתְּהִ֛י שִׂמְחָ֥ה גְדוֹלָ֖ה בִּירֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם כִּ֠י מִימֵ֞י שְׁלֹמֹ֚ה בֶן־דָּוִיד֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לֹ֥א כָזֹ֖את בִּירֽוּשָׁלִָֽם:
for since the days of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, there had not been the like in Jerusalem: It is possible that a greater multitude had come for the festival to Jerusalem in the days of Solomon, but there had never been such a great rejoicing as this in Jerusalem since the days of Solomon. They were joyful about this [gathering], for if they had gathered in Jerusalem on every festival, it would have been nothing new and they would have had no cause for [special] joy But now, since they had not performed the festival pilgrimage to Jerusalem all the days of Ahaz and the wicked kings of Judah, and they were now permitted to go up to Jerusalem they rejoiced greatly. And since it was so many years since they had gone to Jerusalem, the seven days of the Festival of Matzoth were too few in their eyes and they added another seven days in which to rejoice, and they rejoiced a great rejoicing.  
27And the priests, the Levites, arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard, and their prayer came to His holy habitation, to heaven.   כזוַיָּקֻ֜מוּ הַכֹּֽהֲנִ֚ים הַֽלְוִיִּם֙ וַיְבָֽרְכ֣וּ אֶת־הָעָ֔ם וַיִּשָּׁמַ֖ע בְּקוֹלָ֑ם וַתָּב֧וֹא תְפִלָּתָ֛ם לִמְע֥וֹן קָדְשׁ֖וֹ לַשָּׁמָֽיִם:
and they blessed the people: If you wish, you may say that they blessed them with this [blessing] that they begged to return from the land of their captors, and the Lord hearkened to their voice and returned them. Another possible explanation: and He hearkened to their voice, and so it is written above (v. 20): “and the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah and healed the people.”