For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun,.... All which were of the ten tribes, where idolatry had prevailed for a long time:
had not cleansed themselves; from impurity contracted by idolatry and other things:
yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written; because they ate it in their uncleanness, which was not according to the law, that required that such should be clean that ate of any holy things, see John 18:28 but since these people came a great way off, and there was no deferring it to another month, the king chose rather they should be admitted to eat of it, though in their uncleanness:
but Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, the good Lord pardon everyone; God, who is gracious and merciful, and of his goodness, grace, and mercy, forgive such who, though ceremonially unclean, ate of the passover, and especially since they were sincere and cordial in their services; and therefore he hoped that this breach of the ceremonial law would not be laid to their charge. Goodness is such a well known attribute of God, that the very Heathens ascribe it to their deities; hence we read of a temple of the "good god", the gods being the givers of good things to men; Jupiter, or Jove, the supreme god, is supposed to be meantF19Pausan. Arcadica, sive, l. 8. p. 513. Vid. Ciceronem de Nat. Deor. l. 3. prope finem. .