"Restoration of the Passover."
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
In II Chronicles 28 Ahaz took the throne of Judah at the age of twenty, and did wickedly in the eyes of God. He made molten images for Balaam, burned incense in the valley of Himmon, and even sacrificed one of his own children. Ahaz caused the entire nation of Judah to except Balaam and grove worship, with their sexual orgies in the groves. Then God stepped in and made an end to the wickedness that was going on in Judah.
II Chronicles 28:5 "Wherefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captive, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter."
It was God that passed His judgment on Judah for their great wickedness that Judah had allowed itself to fall into. As the armies of Syria and Israel were coming against Judah: [28:16] "At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him." In His wickedness even the Edomites, and the Philistines attacked Judah, for God left Judah completely defenseless. [28:19] "For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel (Judah); for he had made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the Lord."
Before Judah fell to it's enemy armies, the message got through to Tilgath-pilneser, the king of Assyria. This plea from King Ahaz started the fall of Israel that would not end until the House of Israel would be split up into small groups and spread out across the face of the earth. Sure Ahaz died in the war, and many of the people of the House of Judah were taken captive. But in the twelfth year of Ahaz's reign, Pekah the king of Israel died, and Hoshea came to rule over the house of Israel. It would be three years into the reign of king Hoshea of Israel that Shalmaneser IV of Assyria laid siege to the capitol city of Israel, Samaria, and it fell to Assyria.
That siege of Samaria ended in the sixth year of the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah, so we see that while the purification of the Temple of chapter 29 was going on, the house of Israel was under siege, and being dismantled to the north. Hezekiah saw the problems that were going on both in Israel to the north, as well as within his own country, and he knew that it was at the hand of the Lord, for all the wickedness that was allowed to go on both in Judah and Israel. It was time to get back to the Lord, and bring his people back to the Lord also. However before that could happen, King Hezekiah had to reestablish and sanctify the priesthood and the Levites to their positions within the house of the Lord; and this was done in the twenty ninth chapter.
II Chronicles 30:1 "And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover unto the Lord God of Israel."
Hezekiah sent out the message to all the cities of Judah, as well as to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh to; "come to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, and keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel." This plea came in the first month of the first year of Hezekiah reign, and Israel would no longer be existing as a nation six years later. It was in the sixth year of Hezekiah's reign that the entire nation of the house of Israel was uprooted, and scattered in tribal groups.
They would be removed from their lands, and moved to an area in northern Iraq, where several years later, would move through the Caucasians Mountains, and fan out over Europe. They would take on many names, and lose their identity as Israelites; for they would be know as Celts, Cimmerons, Gauls, Sakka, and so on, but the only name that would stick with each of these tribes is the name, "Caucasians". Even today an emigrant entering our land of America is identified by "Caucasian", on offspring of the House of Israel. The Jews of today know their identity with the House of Judah, but somehow, the house of Israel is disguised hidden into the name "Caucasian".
So with this in mind, we see that King Hezekiah offered to the people of Israel, that part that was not under Assyria yet to come and worship, and make things right at the house of the Lord. "And keep the Passover unto the Lord God of Israel" at the house of the Lord. Notice this was six year prior to the end of the house of Israel in the land of Palestine, the promise land. These tribes of Israel would never return to their promise land until the sounding of the seventh trump, and the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
II Chronicles 30:2 "For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation of Jerusalem, to keep the Passover in the second month."
This invitation that was sent out to the people of the House of Israel, Ephraim and Manasseh was after King Hezekiah had met with is princes and the spiritual leaders of the land. It was the first month of the year, and impossible to keep the Passover in the first month, as written in the Law by Moses, and thus if it was to be kept, it would have to be in the second month of that first year of Hezekiah's reign.
This problem of holding Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month came up when the children of Israel were on their journey in the wilderness. When that set date came and passed because of problems, God gave Moses instructions in Numbers 9:10; "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, `If any man of you of your posterity [generations] shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a Journey afar off, yet he shall keep the Passover unto the Lord."
The war had taken place and it was impossible to have the Passover in that first month, for the priests and Levites were busy becoming sanctified and making ready for the Passover. So the instructions by God to Moses were this.
Numbers 9:11, 12; "The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it [the Passover] and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs."  "They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it according to all the ordinances of the Passover they shall keep it." 
This was exactly what King Hezekiah was doing, in his instructions to the priests and Levites when he called them in and had them sanctify themselves and make ready for the Passover on that fourteenth day of the first month of the year. That first day of the year was established by God to be at the spring vernal equinox. This was to be when the year started for is people from that day of captivity, and it was on the fourteenth day after the spring equinox that the death angle passed over Egypt and claimed the first born of each household. This warning was for both Israel and Egyptian, except for those that had the shed blood of the lamb over the door, and on the sides of the door post of each home. The firstborn lives within that household God spared, but the other firstborn in the land of Egypt were killed by the death angel. This is the Passover that was to be remembered through all generation to the time of the end.
The people of Israel were instructed by God through Moses and Aaron to eat all of the meat of the lamb, and leave nothing to the morning. For in the morning, the Pharaoh had a soft heart because of the death of his son, the heir to his throne, and allowed the children of Israel to leave.
Today, of course, Christians do not keep the Passover as it was kept and given to Moses; for we do not partake in animal sacrifice anymore. When Jesus when to the cross and that spear was thrust in his side, and He died, the price was paid for one and all times. Jesus Christ became the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all that would by faith, repent and believe on His name. That is why our prayers are "in Jesus Name", for we are telling God the Father, that we take that blood of His Son Jesus Christ for our perfect sacrifice. Jesus' blood on the cross then becomes the Passover Sacrifice that was required before his death, and that sacrifice was paid in full one time. The time of Jesus death then become the only way, for all other ways of animal sacrifice were done away with.
John 14:6, 7 "Jesus saith unto him. "I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."  "If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him." 
The way we celebrate the Passover as Christians today is through the Communion table, and the taking of the cup, and the unleavened bread; these elements represent the blood and the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. However in the time of Moses, and here in Hezekiah's day, Jesus had not lived on earth in His flesh body yet, and this was God's instructions for that time.
So from Numbers 9:9 to 14 is God's instructions for Passover when it became impossible for one reason of another, not to partake in the Passover at the right time. Notice that it is required to observe the fourteenth day of that month, not any undesignated time. It is very important also for us as Christians to designate a specific time for Christians to come together for the sake of the Passover, or as called today "the Communion Table". Some take the Communion three times a year, while other on a monthly basis, or even every time they meet.
II Chronicles 30:3 "For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the People gathered themselves together to Jerusalem."
This then is the reason that it could not be kept on the fourteenth day of the first month of that year. The people were not ready, nor were the priests and Levites sanctified for the preparation of the Passover meal.
II Chronicles 30:4 "And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation."
All the congregation of Judah, and those that accepted the invitation out of Israel were pleased that the Passover would be observed. This decree had to come from the king, for the king [queen] is the defender of the faith of the land. That is the foremost duty of the king of queen.
II Chronicles 30:5 "So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beer-sheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the Passover unto the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written."
This decree of the keeping of the Passover was offered to anyone that wanted to come to Jerusalem and take part in the sacrifices and offerings of the Passover. Many kings had come to power and like father, like son, they had turned their back to God and the house of the Lord. Many years had passed since the last Passover.
II Chronicles 30:6 "So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, "Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and He will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the king of Assyria."
Remember that Israel was being dismantled at this time by the Assyrian, and the king of Judah was reminding them that if they would just return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and father Israel, so that a remnant of you would escape out of the hand of the King of Assyria. Hezekiah was pleading to these people of Israel that had taken many of the people of Judah captive, to come and take the Passover with them.
II Chronicles 30:7 "And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers, Who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see."
Though many of the people of Israel had already been removed to an area over lake Van in Iraq, many were still there in Israel. Once removed, the House of Israel would not return to resettle until this earth age of flesh and blood man was over and done with.
II Chronicles 30:8 "Now be ye not stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into His sanctuary, which He hath sanctified for ever: and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you."
Many times in the past, the Israelites, all the tribes had turned their backs to God, and he allowed them to be taken over by heathen nations; yet each time they repented and came back to Him, God healed them as a nation, and brought them back under His protection. Hezekiah knew them, and pleaded with them over and over to come for the Passover.
II Chronicles 30:9 "For if ye turn again unto the Lord, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away His face from you, if ye return unto Him."
II Chronicles 30:10 "So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: But they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them."
Would the house of Israel, which sank deep into idolatry and the worship of Baal and grove worship take heed to the warning of the King Hezekiah of Judah? No, they laughed and scorned at those who delivered of the message from the king. The people of Ephraim and Manasseh were just like the leaders and the people of today. They were too deeply involved to go against the Kenite leadership that had taken over counsel in their land, and they laughed at Hezekiah, and the priest and Levites to scorn.
Paul told us in I Corinthians 10:11, 12 that these events of history that are recorded in the Scriptures were warnings showing us how it would be in the end times. We are living in the end times, and the things of God written in His Word are scorned at just as Israel scorned at this invitation to come to Jerusalem for the Passover. They were use to the things of Baal, and the traditions of the Kenites and they wanted nothing to do with the laws and Commandments of the Lord.
I Corinthians 10:11, 12 "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."  "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." 
Today our leaders are doing the same thing, as our nation is being eroded away, and the things of God being dissolved into a blending of heathen tradition. Our leaders are too busy trying to appease the ways of the world, to stop and give God the glory for the blessings that we have. They tell the Muslims that we respect their ways, and the ways of each heathen nation that has come under the world blanket of this one world dragon that covers the earth; that there is room at our spiritual table for them. Friend if you think that, then you do not know the Words from the Lord, for our Heavenly Father has told us that their is only one way, and that Way is through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. You either accept it, or reject it. Your decision as a person or a nation determines whether you are on the path to the Father, or to destruction.
II Chronicles 30:11 "Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem."
Though most of the people in our land are accepting the worldly ways, there are many that are going against what the majority think. Some of those Israelites listened to the invitation, humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. Today our Jerusalem for the Passover is at the Communion table. All that approach the Communion table worthily are welcome there. To be worthily is to focus on the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, and those that sought the mercies of God in Hezekiah's day, came with their animal sacrifices and offerings to make themselves right before the Lord.
II Chronicles 30:12 "Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the Lord."
God joined each of these people that came to Jerusalem for the Passover, with a united heart.
II Chronicles 30:13 "And there assembled at Jerusalem much People to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation."
The people came together to support and back the efforts to prepare themselves and the house of the Lord so the Passover could be held and in the manner that God through the hand of Moses wrote. The time was set for the fourteenth day of the second month after King Hezekiah had taken the throne of Judah.
II Chronicles 30:14 "And they arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kedron."
The Priests and Levites along with the people cleaned out the Temple, and the city of Jerusalem of those altars of Balaam, and they destroyed the idols, and all the things used for those heathen forms of worship. We see from II Kings 18:4 that the brazen serpent of Baal worship was also taken and destroyed.
II Chronicles 30:15 "Then they killed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the Lord."
In that the first month celebration could not be met, so at the kings orders, the Passover went forth exactly on schedule on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and Levites were sanctified and prepared for the massive animal sacrifices that would follow, for Hezekiah prepared them this time.
II Chronicles 30:16 "And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites."
This is the moment that the people stood, as the sacrificial lamb was slain and his blood was sprinkled on the head of the Passover which was released into the wilderness.
II Chronicles 30:17 "For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of killing the Passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the Lord."
Because of the massive number of people that came to Jerusalem for the Passover, there was not enough sons of Aaron, priests to do the work required, so many of the Levites sanctified themselves, and prepared themselves to take part in the killing of the animals, and do work necessary at this Passover time.
II Chronicles 30:18 "For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the Passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "The good Lord pardon everyone" [continues into next verse]
II Chronicles 30:19 "That prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, through he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary."
Standing right along side of the men of Judah, were many from all the tribes of Israel, as each man came to be cleansed according to the sacrifices and sin offerings being offered to the Lord for the sins of the people. As king Hezekiah offered his prayer to the Lord before the Congregation, he prayed for the brethren of Israel, right along with the people of Judah.
II Chronicles 30:20 "And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the People."
II Chronicles 30:21 "And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the Lord."
This Passover time was not just a one day event, but the people were required during the feast of unleavened bread to live in their booths for seven days. During this time the priest would praise the Lord continually with singing and loud instruments unto the Lord. The priests and Levites would fan out amongst the people and it became a time of teaching them the laws and Ten Commandments of the Lord.
II Chronicles 30:22 "And Hezekiah spake comfortable unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the Lord: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the Lord God of their fathers.
II Chronicles 30:23 "And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness."
The "other seven days" are the seven days beyond the seven days that the law required, for it was put in place by Solomon at the dedication of the Temple. This was not just thrust upon the people, but they met and all the people together agreed to stay the extra seven days for instruction and offerings and praise to God.
II Chronicles 30:24 "For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves."
These animals that the king gave out of his own herds were to feed the people that came not only from the cities of Judah, but from locations all over Israel.
II Chronicles 30:25 "And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced."
Even the strangers, those Kenites and other peoples that were in the land of Judah took part in the Passover and the rejoicing celebration at this time.
II Chronicles 30:26 "So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem."
After several hundred years of falling deep into sin, and following Baal, grove worship, and in many cases even offering their children to the fire of Molech, the people returned to the Lord. Think of the massive celebration and praising of the Lord that took place under King Hezekiah, and the priests and Levites. The people not only did their sacrifices, and peace offerings, but they listened to the teaching of the laws of God, and learned what God expected of them. They learned of the tithe, and the mercies of the Lord, as He placed His protective hand over them. This time in Jerusalem was like none other that had ever existed since the time of Solomon, for this was the only time the people decided amongst themselves to stay on for that additional seven days.
II Chronicles 30:27 "Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the People: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place, even unto heaven."
Think of the joy that spread throughout the kingdom of Judah, and in the hearts of those men and women of Israel as they returned to their homes. The nation had become a new nation, and under a new direction, with the Lord the center of their lives. As the people of Israel returned home, most of them would never return to Jerusalem, for the king of Assyria would remove them from off their land, to a place where they would be sent around the world. They would establish new nations, and those generations that followed would never return to Jerusalem. Can you see the blessedness of this time and place, as the Levites and priests roamed amongst the people to bless them, and send them to their homes. What a time of rejoicing and praising the Lord, and of course their prayers were heard unto heaven.
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