PASSOVER - 13th 14th 15th Abib?
Exodus / Christ



Passover - lamb 13th

Lamb Passover / Temple Passover

Passover - Temple / 'Tent of Meeting' 14th




THE PASSOVER TIMING DILEMMA


PASSOVER 14TH OF ABIB


It is commonly known that the Jewish Passover involved the sacrifice of
a lamb in the first month ('Abib'). Many Old Testament scriptures state
the Passover observance occurred on the 14th. However, scholars do not
agree on how to reflect this in the narratives of Exodus and Christ.


To help clarify the correct position it is helpful to review how the
Passover was observed.


EXODUS AND LATER PASSOVERS


The first, and best known, Passover is that described in Exodus 12:6-13.
This Passover concerned the death of the firstborn of Egypt following
the passing over of the LORD.

    Exod  12:12  For I will pass through the land of Egypt on
                 that night, and will strike all the firstborn
                 in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; ...

            :29  And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD
                 struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, ...


To escape the same fate, the Israelites had been instructed to paint the
doorposts and lintel of their homes with the blood (of the lamb).

    Exod  12:7   And they shall take some of the blood
                 and put it on the two doorposts and on
                 the lintel of the houses where they eat
                 it.

            :13  Now the blood shall be a sign for you on
                 the houses where you are. And when I see
                 the blood, I will pass over you; ...

            :23  ... and when He sees the blood on the
                 lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD
                 will pass over the door and not allow the
                 destroyer to come into your houses to
                 strike you.
Passover - doorposts and lintel
It is important to note that the first Passover service was held in
private homes!

    Exod  12:4   And if the household is too small for the lamb,
                 let him and his neighbor next to his house take
                 it according to the number of the persons;

            :22  ... And none of you shall go out of the door of
                 his house until morning.

            :23  ... and not allow the destroyer to come into
                 your houses to strike you.



In the many subsequent Old Testament references to Passover we encounter
a formal observance held only at the house of God.

    Exod  12:43  ... This is the ordinance of the Passover: ...
            :46  In one house it shall be eaten; ...

    Deut  16:5   You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of
                 your gates which the LORD your God gives you;
            :6   but at the place where the LORD your God chooses
                 to make His name abide, there you shall sacrifice
                 the Passover at twilight, ...

    2King 23:23  But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this
                 Passover was held before the LORD in Jerusalem.

    2Chr  30:15  Then they slaughtered the Passover lambs[NB: the
                 word 'lambs' has been incorrectly added by the
                 translators and is not present in the original
                 Hebrew text] on the fourteenth day of the second
                 month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed,
                 and sanctified themselves, and brought the burnt
                 offerings to the house of the LORD.

    2Chr  35:1   Now Josiah kept a Passover to the LORD in Jerusalem,
                 and they slaughtered the Passover lambs [NB: the
                 word 'lambs' has been incorrectly added by the
                 translators and is not present in the original
                 Hebrew text] on the fourteenth day of the first month.
            :5   And stand in the holy place
                 according to the divisions of the
                 fathers' houses of your brethren
                 the lay people, and according to
                 the division of the father's
                 house of the Levites.
Passover - Temple ritual
    Ezra   6:19  And the descendants of the captivity kept the Passover
                 on the fourteenth day of the first month.
            :20  For the priests and the Levites had purified themselves;
                 all of them were ritually clean. And they slaughtered
                 the Passover lambs[NB: the word 'lambs' has been
                 incorrectly added by the translators and is not present
                 in the original Hebrew text] for all the descendants
                 of the captivity, for their brethren the priests, and
                 for themselves.
            :21  Then the children of Israel who had returned from the
                 captivity ate together with all who had separated
                 themselves from the filth of the nations ...



It has generally been thought that the initial private home ceremony was
converted to a temple based service. This has been a false assumption!


The New Testament reflects the correct situation.


BEFORE AND AFTER CHRIST'S DEATH


Scripture records Passover being observed before and after the death of
Christ!

    BEFORE

       Matt  26:17  ... the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him,
                    "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat
                    the Passover?"
               :18  And He said, "Go into the city to a certain man,
                    and say to him, 'The Teacher says, "My time is
                    at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house
                    with My disciples"'"
               :19  So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them;
                    and they prepared the Passover.

       Luke  22:15  Then He said to them, "With fervent desire I have
                    desired to eat this Passover with you before I
                    suffer;"


    AFTER

       John  18:28  Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium,
                    and it was early morning. But they themselves did
                    not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be
                    defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.


This conflicting timing has led to much controversy. Some have said
the last supper was merely a meal and that the Passover celebration was
after His death. Others have taught Christ did keep the Passover with
His disciples and that the Jews were mistaken in observing the following
night. Both of these views are wrong!

In reality, in both the Old and New Testaments, Scripture is presenting
two separate Passover observances!



DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE PASSOVERS


Apart from the difference in location (private homes versus house of
God) highlighted in the previous page, there exists a number of distinct
differences between the two Passovers. 


DIFFERENT ANIMALS OFFERED


First Passover


The animals offered under the terms of the first Passover were lambs
of the first year taken from either the sheep or goats.


    Exod  12:5   Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of
                 the first year. You may take it from the sheep
                 or from the goats.

Second Passover


The animals offered at the time of the second Passover were to be
sourced from the flock and the herd. 


    Deut  16:2   Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover to
                 the LORD your God, from the flock and the herd,
                 in the place where the LORD chooses to place
                 His name.  


Scripture uses the term 'flock' to refer to sheep and goats, and
the term 'herd' to refer to cattle and oxen.


      - 'flock'

        2Chr 35:7   Then Josiah gave the lay people lambs and
                    young goats from the flock, ...


     - 'herd'
 
        Gen  18:7   And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender
                    and good calf, ...

        Gen 47:17   ... Joseph gave them bread in exchange for
                    the horses, the flocks, the cattle of the
                    herds, and for the donkeys ...

        1Sam 11:5   Now there was Saul, coming behind the herd
                    from the field: ...
               :7   So he took a yoke of oxen and cut them in
                    pieces, and sent them throughout all the
                    territory of Israel.


DIFFERENT COOKING METHODS


First Passover


The Passover lamb was to be roasted in fire. It could not be eaten
raw or boiled in water.


    Exod  12:8   Then they shall eat the flesh on that night;
                 roasted in fire, ...
            :9   Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water,
                 but roasted in fire; ...


Second Passover


    Deut  16:7   And you shall roast[boil]; and eat it in the
                 place where the LORD your God chooses, ...

    2Chr  35:13  Also they roasted[boiled] the Passover offerings
                 with fire according to the ordinance but[and];
                 the other holy offerings they boiled in pots, in
                 caldrons, and in pans, and divided them quickly
                 among all the lay people.


Usually the Hebrew word for 'boil' found in Deut 16:7 and 2Chr 35:13
is incorrectly rendered as 'roast' (or 'roasted'). This is done because
of the text of Exodus 12:9, 'do not eat it ... boiled'. However, the
Hebrew word encountered in Deut 16:7 (Strong's reference 1310) is the
word 'boil'. It is the same Hebrew word encountered in Exodus 12:9
where the rendering is 'do not eat it ... boiled'.

The translators, in error, have tried in Deut 16:7 and 2Chr 35:13 to
correct what appeared to them to be an obvious mistake in the original
Hebrew. However, in doing so they confused further an already complex
subject.
     

WHEN THE ANIMALS WERE KILLED


First Passover


The Passover lamb was killed between the evenings (between sunset
and midnight).


    Exod  12:6    ... Then the whole assembly of the congregation
                  of Israel shall kill it at twilight[between the
                  evenings].

Second Passover


The animals slaughtered for the second Passover were killed and
prepared prior to night (prior to sunset!).
 

    2Chr  35:11   And they slaughtered the Passover offerings;
                  and the priests sprinkled the blood with their
                  hands, while the Levites skinned the animals.
            :14   Then afterward they prepared portions for
                  themselves and for the priests, because the
                  priests, the sons of Aaron, were busy in
                  offering burnt offerings and fat until night;

    [ NB: Many have incorrectly understood Deut 16:4 and 16:6
          and taken these verses to mean that the animals were
          slaughtered at the sunset 'evening'. However, a closer
          reading of Deut 16:4 shows that it was the meat which
          was offered in sacrifice at sunset. The animals having
          already been killed, and the meat cooked, prior to sunset.] 


LEVEL OF FORMALITY


First Passover


The first Passover did not involve any degree of formality. It was in
essence a family meal which was eaten in haste, while dressed in a
manner appropriate for travel.

    Exod  12:4   And if the household is too small for the lamb,
                 let him and his neighbor next to his house take
                 it according to the number of the persons; ...

    Exod  12:11  And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on
                 your waist, your sandals on your feet, and
                 your staff in your hand. So you shall eat
                 it in haste. ...

Second Passover


The second Passover involved a degree of formality.

    Exod  12:43  ... No foreigner shall eat it.
            :44  But every man's servant who is bought for money,
                 when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it.
            :45  A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it.

    Num    9:6   Now there were certain men who were defiled by
                 a human corpse, so that they could not keep the
                 Passover on that day; ...

    2Chr  30:16  They stood in their place according to their
                 custom, according to the Law of Moses the man
                 of God;

    2Chr  35:4   Prepare yourselves according to your fathers'
                 houses, according to your divisions, following
                 the written instruction of David king of Israel
                 and the written instruction of Solomon his son.
            :5   And stand in the holy place according to the
                 divisions of the fathers' houses of your brethren
                 the lay people, and according to the division of
                 the father's house of the Levites.
            :15  And the singers, the sons of Asaph, were in their
                 places, according to the command of David, ...


BLOOD ON THE DOORPOSTS & LINTEL


First Passover


The first Passover involved a clear requirement for the placing of the
blood of the lamb on the doorposts and the lintel. 

    Exod  12:7   And they shall take some of the blood and put
                 it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of
                 the houses where they eat it.

Second Passover


The second temple based Passover never mentions the need to place any
blood on a doorway. Therefore the second Passover fails to reflect
this important symbolic element.


NAMING DIFFERENCE


First Passover


The first Passover in Exodus 12:11 and Exod 12:27 is described in the
Hebrew as "passover he to-YHWH". 


Second Passover


The second Passover in Exodus 12:48, Lev 23:5, Num 9:10, Num 9:14,
Num 28:16, Deut 16:1, Deut 16:2, 2Kings 23:21, 2Chr 30:1, 2Chr 30:5
and 2Chr 35:1 is described in the Hebrew as "passover to-YHWH".


WHEN FIRST COMMEMORATED


First Passover


The first Passover was not to be observed again until they had
come into the Promised Land.

    Exod  12:25  It will come to pass when you come to the land
                 which the LORD will give you, just as He
                 promised, that you shall keep this service.

Second Passover


The second Passover was commemorated shortly after leaving Egypt,
when they were still in the wilderness.

    Num    9:1   Now the LORD spoke to Moses in the Wilderness
                 of Sinai, in the first month of the second year
                 after they had come out of the land of Egypt,
                 saying:
            :2   Let the children of Israel keep the Passover at
                 its appointed time.

            :5   And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day
                 of the first month, at twilight[between the
                  evenings], in the Wilderness of Sinai; ...   
 

COMMON ELEMENTS OF BOTH PASSOVERS


Although there existed a number of differences between these two Passovers
there still remained a few elements in common.


   -  unleavened bread and bitter herbs

        -  first Passover  - Exod 12:8

        -  second Passover - Num 9:11


   -  the meat was to be eaten that night

        - first Passover  - Exod 12:10

        - second Passover - Exod 12:46 (implied), 34:25; Num 9:12;
                            Deut 16:4, Lev 7:15


   -  the bones were not to be broken

        - first Passover  - Exod 12:9 (implied)

        - second Passover - Exod 12:46; Num 9:12



THE EXODUS AND THE PASSOVERS


THE EXODUS - First and Second Passovers


    - The children of Israel observed the first Passover
      dressed in a manner appropriate for travel, "with a
      belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and
      your staff in your hand", Exodus 12:11.


    - At midnight that night the LORD killed the firstborn
      of Egypt and Pharaoh arose at night and called for
      Moses and Aaron (Exod 12:29-31).


    - In the morning, in response to the call of Pharaoh,
      Moses organized the children of Israel and led them to
      the city of Rameses.
      (The children lived nearby in Goshen, of the territory
      of Rameses, refer Gen 47:6 & 11.)


    - The children of Israel having arrived at the city of
      Rameses, presumably in the afternoon, then awaited
      word from Pharaoh.
      
      [ Since Moses had agreed with Pharaoh that it was not
        good for them to meet again (Exod 10:28-29), Moses
        and Aaron did not personally appear before Pharaoh
        in response to Pharaoh's call. ]


    - Pharaoh ordered the children of Israel to leave Egypt
      and serve their God as they had requested (Exod 12:31).


    - That night, before the city of Rameses, the children of
      Israel were glad.
      The second Passover commemorates this night!


    - In the morning the children of Israel departed Rameses
      and in the sight of the Egyptians they journeyed to
      Succoth (Num 33:3-4). On this day the Egyptians were
      burying their dead, having spent the prior day in
      mourning.


 [ NB: Those who consider the children of Israel departed for Succoth
       on the morning after the death of the Egyptian firstborn, do
       not portray the Israelites leaving the city of Rameses as a
       single group (as Scripture indicates). In error they teach that
       the Israelites swarmed from many different locations in Goshen
       and finally assembled as a single unit in Succoth. ]



TIMING OF THE TWO PASSOVERS


Understanding the timing of the two Passovers is not possible without
first gaining a proper understanding of exactly when the biblical day
ended. 

THE BIBLICAL DAY


The common view, that the biblical day ended at sunset, has been a modern
day misconception which has caused much confusion.


         ***  In reality the biblical day ended at MIDNIGHT!  ***


For a fuller discussion of this topic refer;

WHEN THE BIBLICAL DAY ENDS


This helps us understand:

  - The first Passover came to an end following the passing
    over of the LORD at midnight.

  - The second Passover came to an end upon the expiry of
    that day (ie, at midnight).   


FIRST PASSOVER - 13TH PASSOVER


A verse which has contributed to a great deal of confusion is;


    Exod  12:6  Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth
                day of the same month. Then the whole assembly
                of the congregation of Israel shall kill it
                at twilight (between the evenings).

The portion highlighted was rendered by the KJV as;

                   "up until the fourteenth"


The word in the Hebrew rendered 'until' or 'up until' is Strong's
reference 5704, which means 'as far as'.


Because there exists many verses which state the Passover was to be
observed on the 14th, it was taken for granted that this verse was to
be understood to be inclusive of the 14th day. 

This assumption was incorrect!


The first Passover took place in the latter hours of the 13th day!

It took place between sunset and midnight of the 13th day. The Passover
lamb was killed after sunset, roasted whole and then once cooked finally
eaten in the hours prior to the start of the 14th day. The lamb was kept
'as far as', but not into the 14th day.



This timing is confirmed by the New Testament verses:


    Matt  26:17  Now on the first day of the Feast of the
                 Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus,
                 saying to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare
                 for You to eat the Passover?"

    Mark  14:12  Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when
                 they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples
                 said to Him, "Where do You want us to go and
                 prepare, that You may eat the Passover?"

    Luke  22:7   Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the
                 Passover must be killed.
            :8   And He sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and
                 prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat."


The translators have corrupted the message of these verses by adding the
words 'the Feast of' in Matthew 26:17 and by capitalizing the references
to unleavened bread. The translators have given the reader the initial
impression that these verses are discussing the seven day 'Feast of
Unleavened Bread', when in fact the verses are merely stating this was
the first day of the year in which some unleavened bread was to be eaten
at a meal. Nevertheless, these verses when properly rendered prove beyond
all doubt that the day (the 13th!), prior to the death of Jesus Christ
(on the 14th day), was the day unleavened bread was first to be eaten
(in that year) and was the day the Passover lamb was killed.


SECOND PASSOVER - 14TH PASSOVER


The following second Passover was observed, between sunset and midnight,
on the 14th day.


    Lev   23:5   On the fourteenth day of the first month at
                 twilight[between the evenings] is the LORD's
                 Passover.

    Num    9:5   And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day
                 of the first month, at twilight[between the evenings],
                 in the Wilderness of Sinai; ...

          28:16  On the fourteenth day of the first month is the
                 Passover of the LORD.

    Josh   5:10  Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and
                 kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the
                 month at twilight on the plains of Jericho.

    2Chr  35:1   Now Josiah kept a Passover to the LORD in Jerusalem,
                 and they slaughtered the Passover lambs [NB: the
                 word 'lambs' here is not present in the original
                 Hebrew] on the fourteenth day of the first month.
   
    Ezra   6:19  And the descendants of the captivity kept the
                 Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.


This Passover could be observed on the 14th of the second month if
circumstances prevented its observance in the first month.


    Num    9:10  Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'If anyone
                 of you or your posterity is unclean because of a
                 corpse, or is far away on a journey, he may still
                 keep the Lord's Passover.
            :11  On the fourteenth day of the second month, at
                 twilight[between the evenings], they may keep it.

    2Chr  30:2   For the king and his leaders and all the assembly
                 in Jerusalem had agreed to keep the Passover in
                 the second month.


The 14th Passover celebration started at sunset (although the slaughter
of the animals took place prior to this) and ended at midnight when the
first morning arrived (the second morning being sunrise). (The ceremony
began at sunset because this was the time of the day when the children
of Israel began to cross the Red Sea, refer Exodus chapter 14.)  


    Deut  16:6   ... there you shall sacrifice the Passover at
                 twilight[evening], at the going down of the sun,
                 at the time you came out of Egypt.
            :7   And you shall roast[boil] and eat it ... and
                 in the morning you shall turn and go to your
                 tents.

The word 'sacrifice' in this verse tends to envisage the notion of
'animal sacrifice' (the killing of the animals), but by referring
back to Deut 16:4, "... the meat which you sacrifice ..." we can see
that what is being 'sacrificed' is the meat (ie, cooked meat).
This Passover took the form of a thanksgiving meal celebration, a
celebration which began at sunset. 


Since the 14th Passover observance ended at midnight it did not encroach
upon the annual sabbath day of the 15th (which marked the start of the
7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread). The feasts of the 14th and 15th did
not overlap.


    Lev   23:4   These are the feasts of the LORD, holy
                 convocations which you shall proclaim at
                 their appointed times.
            :5   On the fourteenth day of the first month at
                 twilight[between the evenings] is the Lord's
                 Passover.
            :6   And on the fifteenth day of the same month
                 is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD;
                 seven days you must eat unleavened bread.



NATURE OF THE SECOND PASSOVER


A THANKSGIVING OBSERVANCE


The second Passover was a thanksgiving observance.


    Deut  16:4   ... nor shall any of the meat that
                 which you sacrifice(offer in sacrifice)
                 the first day at twilight(evening,
                 ie sunset) remain over until morning.

    Num    9:11  On the fourteenth day of the second
                 month, at twilight, they may keep it.
                 They shall eat it with unleavened
                 bread and bitter herbs.
            :12  They shall leave none of it until
                 morning, ...
second Passover
    Lev    7:12  If he offers it for a thanksgiving, ...
            :15  The flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering
                 for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day it
                 is offered. He shall not leave any of it until
                 morning.


Its first observance is referred to in Numbers chapter 9. At this time
the second month observance, for those who were unclean, was specified.

 
    Num    9:1   Now the LORD spoke to Moses in the Wilderness
                 of Sinai, in the first month of the second year
                 after they had come out of the land of Egypt,
                 saying:
            :2   "Let the children of Israel keep the Passover
                 at its appointed time.

            :6   Now there were certain men who were defiled by a
                 human corpse, so that they could not keep the
                 Passover on that day; ...
            :9   Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
            :10  Speak to the children of Israel, saying: "If
                 anyone of you or your posterity is unclean ...
                 he may still keep the Lord's Passover.
            :11  On the fourteenth day of the second month, ..."


The New Testament confirms that it was this second Passover which required
ceremonial cleanliness. 


    John  18:28  Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the
                 Praetorium, and it was early morning. But
                 they themselves did not go into the Praetorium,
                 lest they should be defiled, but that they
                 might eat the Passover.



The second Passover was the time of the ritualistic killing of the
firstborn male animals. These animals included sheep, goats, cattle
and oxen. 


    Exod  13:1    Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
            :2    "Sanctify to Me all the firstborn, whatever
                  opens the womb among the children of Israel,
                  both of man and animal; it is Mine".
            :11   And it shall be, when the LORD brings you into
                  the land of the Canaanites ...
            :12   that you shall set apart (cause to pass over)
                  to the LORD all that open the womb, that is,
                  every firstling that comes from an animal which
                  you have; the males shall be the LORD's.
            :15   ... Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all males
                  that open the womb, but all the firstborn of
                  my sons I redeem.    

    Deut  16:2    Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover to the
                  LORD your God, from the flock and the herd, ...


The exact timing for the start of the killing of the these firstborn
animals is implied in the narrative of the death of Jesus Christ.

    Mark  15:33   Now when the sixth hour had come, there was
                  darkness over the whole land until the ninth
                  hour.

                  (Refer also Matt 27:45 and Luke 23:44.) 

God would not have caused this darkness to come across the land if
between the 6th and 9th hours (midday to about 3.00pm) the Law had
required the slaughter of numerous firstborn animals. The inference
is that the killing of these firstborn animals always began about
3.00pm. (This was also the time when Christ died.)


The second Passover was a formalized ceremony.


    2Chr  30:16  They stood in their place according to their
                 custom, according to the Law of Moses the man of
                 God; the priests sprinkled the blood received
                 from the hand of the Levites.
            :17  For there were many in the assembly who had not
                 sanctified themselves; therefore the Levites
                 had charge of the slaughter of the Passover
                 lambs[animals] for everyone who was not clean,
                 to sanctify them to the LORD.

                 [ Translators have frequently incorrectly added the
                   word 'lamb' where it is not present in the original
                   Hebrew or Greek. ]


 

THE SEVEN DAY PASSOVER


DAYS OF EXODUS TRAVEL - 14TH TO 20TH


In addition to the word 'Passover' being applied to two different single
night observances it was applied in a broader sense.


    Ezek  45:21  In the first month, on the fourteenth day
                 of the month, you shall observe the Passover,
                 a feast of seven[sevens] days; unleavened bread
                 shall be eaten.

The Hebrew actually has the word 'seven' in the plural form. What the
verse is expressing is that there were two overlapping periods of
7 days at this time.


First, there was the 7 day period which started on the 14th and ended on
the 20th, which represented the 7 nights (sunset to midnight) of Passover
celebration at the temple. These 7 nights corresponded to the days of
travel by the children of Israel in their journey to the designated place
of sacrifice. The designated place of sacrifice being identified as being
three days journey into the wilderness, Exod 3:18. 


Second, there was the 7 day period of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This
period started on the 15th and ended the 21st. It represents the 7 days
in which the children of Israel consumed only unleavened bread. (The last
of their leavened bread having been consumed during their travel on the
14th day.)


[ NB: In summary the children of Israel had journeyed to Rameses city
      on the 14th, taken three days to reach the Red Sea, crossed
      the Red Sea by night and then gone a further 3 days into the
      wilderness (Num 33:3-8). On the 21st day the children of Israel
      rested and observed the feast originally mentioned to Pharaoh
      in Exodus 5:1 & 10:9. ]



This two-fold seven day period is also mentioned in Deuteronomy 16. 

Seven Days of Passover

    Deut  16:2   Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover
                 to the LORD your God, ...
            :3   You shall eat no leavened bread with it;
                 seven days you shall eat unleavened bread
                 with it, ... (for you came out of the land
                 of Egypt in haste), ...

Seven Days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread

    Deut  16:4   And no leaven shall be seen among you in all your
                 territory for seven days, ... 


In Exodus chapter 12 the two-fold seven day periods are also described.

Seven Days of Passover

    Exod  12:15   Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the
                  first [chief - 14th] day you shall remove leaven
                  from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread
                  from the first [chief -14th] day until [as far as]
                  the seventh [7th of Feast of Unleavened - 21st]
                  day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.

                  The text focuses on the situation in individual
                  homes. Scripture uses the word 'until' in an
                  exclusive manner and is saying that from the
                  start of the Passover celebration on the 14th
                  (at sunset) to the close of the 20th night's
                  celebration no leaven was to be eaten.                      

Seven Days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread

    Exod  12:18   In the first month, on the fourteenth day of
                  the month at evening [close of 14th], you shall
                  eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first
                  day of the month at evening [close of 21st]
            :19   For seven days no leaven shall be found in
                  your houses since whoever eats what is leavened,
                  that same person shall be cut off from the
                  congregation of Israel, whether he is a
                  stranger or native of the land.
            :20   You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your
                  habitations you shall eat unleavened bread.



THREE PASSOVER OBSERVANCES


The Passover ordinances are specified in the twelfth chapter of the book
of Exodus.


FIRST PASSOVER - 13TH PASSOVER


The 13th Passover was to be kept in much the same manner as it was originally
observed in Egypt.

    Exod  12:21  Then Moses called for all the
                 elders of Israel and said to
                 them, "Pick out and take lambs
                 for yourselves according to your
                 families, and kill the Passover
                 lamb.
            :22  And you shall take a bunch of
                 hyssop, dip it in the blood that
                 is in the basin, and strike the
                 lintel and the two doorposts
                 with the blood that is in the
                 basin. And none of you shall go
                 out of the door of his house
                 until morning.
            :23  For the LORD will pass through to
                 strike the Egyptians; and when He
                 sees the blood on the lintel and
                 on the two doorposts, the LORD
                 will pass over the door and not
                 allow the destroyer to come into
                 your houses to strike you.
            :24  And you shall observe this thing
                 as an ordinance for you and your
                 sons forever.
first Passover
            :25  It will come to pass when you come to the land which
                 the LORD will give you, just as He promised, that
                 you shall keep this service.
            :26  And it shall be, when your children say to you, 'What
                 do you mean by this service?'
            :27  that you shall say, 'It is the Passover sacrifice of
                 the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children
                 of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and
                 delivered our households.' So the people bowed their
                 heads and worshiped.
            :28  Then the children of Israel went away and did so;
                 just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so
                 they did.
            :29  And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck
                 all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, ...


SECOND PASSOVER - 14TH PASSOVER


This 14th Passover was a service which could only be observed by those
who had been circumcised. This Passover was to observed in one house,
the house of God.

    Exod  12:43  And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the
                 ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it.
            :44  But every man's servant who is bought for money, when
                 you have circumcised him, then he may eat it.
            :45  A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it.
            :46  In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry
                 any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you
                 break one of its bones.
            :47  All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.
            :48  And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to
                 keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males
                 be circumcised, and then let him come near and
                 keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land.
                 For no uncircumcised person shall eat it.
            :49  One law shall be for the native-born and for the
                 stranger who dwells among you."
            :50  Thus all the children of Israel did; as the LORD
                 commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
            :51  And it came to pass, on that very same day, that
                 the LORD brought the children of Israel out of the
                 land of Egypt according to their armies.


The text advises that the children of Israel upon receipt of this ordinance
immediately performed what was commanded, but does not clearly state when
this ordinance was delivered. It is apparent that a mass circumcision could
not have taken place prior to the Exodus, due to the pain which would have
resulted on the third day (Gen 34:25).  

The following verse suggests the ordinance was announced when the children
of Israel reached Marah.

    Exod  15:22  So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then
                 they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And
                 they went three days in the wilderness and found
                 no water.
            :23  Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink
                 the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. ...
            :25  ... There He made a statute and an ordinance for
                 them. And there He tested them,


It seems that at Marah God required circumcision and advised some further
details in respect to the observance of the 14th Passover. 
(NB: An initial mass circumcision, at the time of the Exodus, is indicated
by Joshua 5:4-5.) 


ENTIRE PASSOVER FEAST - 14TH TO 20TH


A verse which has created some confusion is Exodus 12:14.


    Exod  12:14  So this day shall be to you a memorial; and
                 you shall keep[celebrate] it as a feast to
                 the LORD throughout your generations. You
                 shall keep it as a feast[celebration] by an
                 everlasting ordinance.
            :15  Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.
                 On the first day you shall remove leaven
                 from your houses. ...


Verse 14 immediately follows the text which first describes the 13th
Passover. The verse mentions 'this day', but is vague as to whether it
is referring to the 13th day or the following 14th day or the entire
7 day Passover period (14th to 20th). From the text of this verse it
can be seen that it is talking about a 'feast of celebration', which
conforms with the view that it is a reference to the 14th Passover or
the entire 7 day Passover feast. 



SUMMARY - THE PASSOVERS


Two Passover services were apparent in the Old and New Testaments.


FIRST PASSOVER


The first Passover was a commemoration of the initial killing of the
Passover lamb in Egypt. This lamb was killed after sunset by the
individual households, who then painted its blood on the doorposts
and lintels of their homes. This Passover was observed on the 13th
night, following the daylight hours of the 13th day.


SECOND PASSOVER


The second Passover was a thanksgiving ceremony held at the place where
God chose to place His name. The animals eaten were firstborns taken
from the flock and from cattle and oxen. The animals were slaughtered
and boiled before sunset in preparation for the start of this Passover
service. The service was observed from sunset to midnight on the 14th,
immediately prior to the start of the 15th day. To participate in this
ceremony one had to be ritually clean and circumcised. 

This 14th Passover initiated a period of seven nights of feasting,
ie 14th to 20th, which all commemorated the journeying of the children
of Israel from Egypt.


BOTH PASSOVERS


Both the 13th and 14th Passovers required all the meat to be eaten that
night. The meat was to be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs
and none of the bones of the Passover animals were to be broken. 


TRANSLATION ERRORS


Due to the confusion which has surrounded the Passover observances many
translations have in error added the word 'lamb' (or 'lambs') in verses
where it is inappropriate.  








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