The festival of unleavened bread (2 Chr 30:21-30:27)

“The people of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the festival of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness. The Levites and the priests praised Yahweh day by day, accompanied by loud instruments for Yahweh. King Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who showed good skill in the service of Yahweh. So the people ate the food of the festival for seven days, sacrificing offerings of well-being and giving thanks to Yahweh the God of their ancestors. Then the whole assembly agreed together to keep the festival for another seven days. So they kept it for another seven days with gladness. King Hezekiah of Judah gave the assembly a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep for offerings. The officials gave the assembly a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep. The priests sanctified themselves in great numbers. The whole assembly of Judah, the priests, the Levites, the whole assembly that came out of Israel, the resident aliens who came out of the land of Israel, and the resident aliens who lived in Judah, rejoiced. So there was great joy in Jerusalem. Not since the time of King Solomon, son of King David of Israel, had there been anything like this in Jerusalem. Then the priests and the Levites stood up and blessed the people. Their voice was heard. Their prayer came to his holy dwelling in heaven.”

This passage seems to indicate that the people of Judah and Israel with the northern tribes celebrated the 7 day festival of Unleavened Bread with great joy. The Levites and priests praised God with musical instruments. They continued the festival for another week. King Hezekiah encouraged people by giving more animals to slaughter. He gave 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep as offerings. Then the other officials gave another 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep. So the festival continued because there was enough food for everyone. They not only invited the Israelites of the north, but the resident aliens in both Israel and Judah. This was the biggest celebration in Jerusalem since the days of King David and King Solomon. Here both the priests and Levites bless the people. However, it was usually the priests and not the Levites who blessed the people.

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