Christian Churches of God

No. 98

 

 

 

 

The Passover

(Edition 3.0 19950401-19990130-20080128)

 

This paper deals with the timing and significance of the Passover and the distinction from the pagan Easter festival. The different phases of the Passover festival are examined. These are broken into the Lord’s Supper, the Passover night proper or Night To Be Much Remembered and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

 

 

Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,  WODEN  ACT 2606,  AUSTRALIA

 

Email: secretary@ccg.org

 

(Copyright ć 1995, 1999, 2008 Wade Cox)

 

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The Passover

 


Timing and Significance

The Passover is the first Holy-Day period of the Sacred Calendar, which is a lunar calendar of twelve months with a thirteenth month intercalated seven times in the cycle that repeats itself every 19 years. The Sacred Year begins in Nisan or Abib (about March), and ends with the month of Adar as the twelfth month, or Adar II as the thirteenth month.

 

The Passover is preceded by the period of the sanctification of the Temple, which begins on the First day of the First month and proceeds to the Seventh day of the First month, which is the sanctification for the ‘simple and erroneous’ (cf. the paper Sanctification of the Temple of God (No. 241)).

 

The Passover is a commemorative Feast that represents a series of features in the Plan of Redemption. The keeping of the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread is a sign to us that we are God's people (Ex. 13:3-10). The Exodus forms the basis of the Feast, and while the story is based on the physical salvation of the nation of Israel, the symbolism represents the spiritual salvation of the entire planet. The planet is under the overlordship of the fallen elohim, who are led by the Covering Cherub, termed Satan. This is dealt with in the explanations of the cosmology in the papers The Elect as Elohim (No. 1) and The God We Worship (No. 2). The Messiah is pictured by the sacrifice of the Passover lamb, and the sequence of the Feast. Christ was the first of the world harvest. That is why the three Feast seasons are based on the harvest system in the northern hemisphere and particularly at Jerusalem, which has been chosen as the centre of the administrative structure, both millennial and post-millennial, of the government of God.

 

Christ was actually following the laws of the Passover over the period he was crucified. Because modern-day Christianity keeps the pagan Easter festival, it has no explanation for the meal known as the Last Supper, nor the actual timings of the beginning and ending of the Feast. The symbolism in the main is lost in modern Christianity.

 

Distinguishing the Passover from the Pagan Easter

 

Biblical Provisions for the Passover

The Passover legislation is found in Exodus 12:3-49; 23:15-18; 34:18; Leviticus 23:4-8; Numbers 9:2-5, 13-14; 28:16-25; Deuteronomy 16:1-8, 16; Psalms 81:3,5 and Ezekiel 45:2 ff.

 

The Feast of the Passover is actually based around a giant military withdrawal from the land of Egypt, which is used to illustrate the redemption of the world from sin. It is, however, useful to keep the plan of the withdrawal in mind to picture what is being portrayed in the early symbolism.

 

Exodus chapter 12 begins by explaining that the month of the Passover or Nisan was to be the beginning of months [of the year]. Preparation is to be made on the First day of the Sacred Year and also on the Seventh where the priesthood atone for inadvertent sin (see also Ezek. 45:18-20). The sacrifices now rest in Christ, but the atonement and preparation is to take place continually (the passages in Ezekiel are ongoing into the Millennium). Those who are not prepared to take the Passover, or who are travelling, are to take the Passover in the second month (Num. 9:6-12; 2Chr. 30:2-4).

 

Strangers living in Israel are also to celebrate the Passover (Ex. 12:48, 49; Num. 9:14), as their salvation – i.e. the salvation of the Gentiles or all of mankind – is in the congregation.

 

The Feast is to be celebrated at a place designated by God, through the priesthood (Deut. 16:5-7), and is to be celebrated with unleavened bread (Ex. 12:8, 15-20; 12:3,6; 23:15; Lev. 23:6; Num. 9:11; 28:17; Deut. 16:3, 4; Mk. 14:12; Lk. 22:7; Acts 12:3; 1Cor. 5:8). The penalty for neglecting to observe the Feast is to be cut off from the people or the congregation (Num. 9:13), except where unclean or on a journey as stated above. There is one statute for both stranger and sojourner (Num. 9:14).

 

The congregation is to prepare for the Passover in advance, as above, and is to select the Passover lamb on the 10th day of the month and is to keep it and kill it on the 14th day of the month (Ex. 12:3). The symbolism of the lamb indicates the sacrifice of the Messiah on the 14th day of Nisan in the afternoon, from about 3 p.m. (which, in the year of the crucifixion, 30 CE, fell on Wednesday 5th April. Some groups hold 31 CE, which we now know to be incorrect). See the paper Timing of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection (No. 159)).

 

The festival falls on a varying basis according to the lunar calendar. The crucifixion was not on a Friday and the resurrection was not on a Sunday (see also The Companion Bible, Appendix 42). The Passover is to be held by households according to numbers for the consumption of the lamb (Ex. 12:4).

 

The Significance of the Last Supper

Most Christian commentators are confused by the significance of the Last Supper, which Christ held the night before he was crucified. That is the Supper of the night of Tuesday 14 Nisan. Some have assumed, from Christ’s comments that he desired to eat this Passover with them, that the Jews had somehow got the date wrong and that the correct date was the night before. Indeed, many Christian groups that still keep the Passover and the Last Supper consider that the meal of 14 Nisan is the Passover meal. It is not.

 

Christ kept the Passover and the Law (Mat. 26:17-20; Lk. 22:15; Jn. 2:13, 23; 13:1ff.). He did not change one jot or tittle of the Law (Mat. 5:18).

 

The Passover was carried out as a withdrawal. For the force of possibly two million people to be successfully moved, a degree of military precision was required. The people concentrated at Rameses from the day prior to the night that the death angel was to pass over the nation of Israel and smite the Egyptians. This was to reflect the destruction of the world and the protection afforded the people by the sacrifice of the Lamb, whereby all people, Gentile or not, would be placed within the congregation of the Lord under the one world rulership. To commemorate the concentration of the force and the preparation for the sacrifice a meal, referred to as the chagigah or chagigoh, was held (see The Companion Bible). The chagigoh in the post-exilic Passover observance understood by modern Judaism is a supplementary sacrifice.

 

The two courses:

… usually consisted of a piece of roasted meat on the bone and a roasted egg  (Hayyim Schauss, The Jewish Festivals History and Observance, Schocken Books, New York, vii, "Pesach = Unusual Observances" p. 56).

 

The understanding of the Chagigoh as provided for in Deuteronomy 16, and as kept in Jerusalem at the time of Christ, has been either lost or misinterpreted by latter-day Judaism. The egg has been introduced as a later post-exilic symbol of the Babylonian system. The Easter egg is a well-known derivative of this system also. The attacks by rabbinical Judaism on Christianity and the obfuscation of the commonality of the Judeo-Christian systems have led to ignorance and later to horrific persecution of the Jews and the non-Athanasian Christians, who observe the Law (see also Schauss, ibid., pp. 57ff. for some of the actions and ignorant libels of the Middle Ages).

 

Temporary Accommodation required for the Passover

Those keeping the Passover are required to keep it outside of their normal habitations, commencing with the preparation day of 14 Nisan.

Deuteronomy 16:5-7 Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee: 6 But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the Passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt. 7 And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents. (KJV)

 

The Law of Deuteronomy 16 was the reason why Christ sent the disciples out to find the room described in Matthew 26:17-19.

Matthew 26:17-19 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?" 18 He said, "Go into the city to a certain one, and say to him, `The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'" 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. (RSV)

 

The day was not the first day of Unleavened Bread as some translate it, but it should read rather before Unleavened Bread (from the word prõte used also at Jn. 1:15,30, meaning he existed before me). The KJV retains some of the sense by referring to the day as the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We know that this is impossible unless the term is generic.

 

Matthew 26:17-19 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover? 18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples. 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the Passover. (KJV)

 

The terms Passover and Unleavened Bread are used both specifically and generically. Passover can include all the stages from the pre-Passover meal and the Passover to Unleavened Bread. Similarly, Unleavened Bread can refer to all those activities. It was not, in fact, the day before Unleavened Bread, but two days before. The Law required all people to leave their homes and take up temporary accommodation for 14 Nisan which, as with all days, commenced from dark of 13 Nisan. This was done so that the complete preparation day was held in that place, preparing for the actual night of the Passover, which was on the evening of 15 Nisan or the evening of the first Holy Day and referred to as the night to be much observed (Ex. 12:42). The lamb was killed on the preparation day of 14 Nisan at the going down of the sun, commencing from about 3 p.m., i.e. in representation of the Messiah (Deut. 16:6). Christ was indeed killed at this time and died at the time appointed for the commencement of the evening Passover sacrifices. If indeed he did not die at precisely the exact time for the killing of the first sacrificial lamb, as laid down in the Law, he could not fulfil the Law and hence could not be the Messiah.

 

Method of Preparation of the Passover Meal

The original ordinance found at Exodus 12:9 requires the lamb to be roasted and eaten with bitter herbs. The ordinance in Deuteronomy for the keeping of the Feast in temporary accommodation appears to allow the lamb to be boiled, as it is translated boiled in some Bibles but the word is actually cook, which is a generic term embracing roasting and boiling. Given the Law of Exodus 12, it is unlikely that the generic term allowed a change of the requirements of Exodus 12. The mistranslation to boil is used to justify the type of meal that Christ ate on the evening of the Last Supper. Christ ate the meal with a sop (Jn. 13:26), and perhaps also with leavened bread (in order to be used as a sop, psõmion).

 

The meal was not that of the first Holy Day on which the Passover is eaten as laid down in Exodus 12, but rather is the evening before. The meal could have been any sodden meat. The Law requires the Passover meal, however, to be roasted and eaten with bitter herbs. Therefore, the meal known as the Last Supper is perfectly explicable within the Law and there is no conflict or diminution of the original ordinances by Christ.

 

The seven days of Unleavened Bread commenced the following evening on the first Holy Day of the Feast, i.e. 15 Nisan, which in 30 BCE was a Wednesday night/Thursday.

Exodus 12:15  Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the first day you shall put away leaven out of your houses, for if any one eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. (RSV)

 

Exodus 13:6-7 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen with you, and no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory. (RSV)

 

Exodus 23:15 You shall keep the feast of unleavened bread; as I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. None shall appear before me empty-handed. (RSV)

 

Thus it is seen that it was in or during the Feast of Unleavened Bread that Israel came out of Egypt.

 

Sections and Timing of Unleavened Bread

Judah traditionally eats Unleavened Bread for eight days. The eighth day generally follows the Feast rather than precedes it. Unleavened Bread commenced on the night of the Exodus, termed the night of the Passover, and lasted from that Holy Day to the seventh day, which was a Holy Day. Thus, the seven days could not start on 14 Nisan rather than the 15th or the last day would not fall on the last Holy Day of Unleavened Bread. Thus, the Lord’s Supper was a different meal to the Passover proper, termed the night to be much remembered/observed (Ex. 12:42; 13:3).

Exodus 12:42-43 It was a night of watching by the LORD, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the LORD by all the people of Israel throughout their generations. 43 And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it; (RSV)

 

 

This night of watching was the watch kept for the Death Angel, and then observed by all Israel as a memorial. This was the Passover Meal, which symbolised the safekeeping of the congregation of the Holy People from the Death Angel. The blood of the sacrifice was placed on the doorposts to symbolise the redemptive sacrifice of the Messiah. It is thus absurd to suggest that the Passover could be eaten outside in a restaurant, for example, as it would make no sense to be eating back in Egypt, and the symbolism would be lost. The period of the Lord’s Supper and the Passover, or the Night to be Much Observed, is to be observed outside of one’s normal habitation.

 

The people returned to their homes again on the first Holy Day of the 15th, in the morning (Deut. 16:7), and spent the day at the Temple, in accordance with Leviticus 23.

 

There are Holy congregations on 15 Nisan and again on the last or seventh day of Unleavened Bread, the 21st day of the month.

 

Paul explains that the Feast is to be kept with unleavened bread to symbolise the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. The old leaven of malice and evil (1Cor. 5:8) was a type of sin and, hence, it was to be removed from the homes (indeed, in all your territory, Deut. 16:4) for the seven-day period of the Feast. The Jews kept a specific signal on the preparation day for the burning of the bread and sourdough called chomets. Schauss refers to the practice at page 52 (op. cit.). The practice held at Jerusalem on the preparation day is a substantive indication that the nation had ceased to obey the Law as found in Deuteronomy 16, and the people were not moving into temporary accommodation for the Feast. Christ was thus keeping an aspect of the Law that had been ignored, namely, the correct observance of the chagigoh.

 

The Feast is thus of two sections. The first preparation section involves two elements of preparation:

·         the first section is over the days leading up to the period, including the New Year of 1 Nisan (or 1 Abib) and the days of the Seventh and the Tenth Nisan. The Jewish practice of observing New Year in Tishri is thus an unauthorised pagan custom derived from the Babylonian system. Rabi Kohn, in The Sabbatarians in Transylvania, states quite clearly that Rosh Hashanah, or the New Year of Tishri, was a post-Temple period tradition, which did not enter Judaism until the third century CE and was never observed in the Temple period or early Christian Church;

·         the second preparation period is that thirty-six hours involving the removal from one's home to temporary accommodation in exactly the same manner as is involved in the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles (see Tabernacles section). This is what Christ did for the Last Supper.

 

The third phase is that of the seven days of Unleavened Bread proper with Holy Days on 15 and 21 Nisan. Within the third phase is the offering termed the Wave-Sheaf Offering, which was symbolic of the acceptance of Christ as the first-fruits and an acceptable sacrifice to God. Without this ceremony we could not have been reconciled to God. It is required to be kept (see the paper The Wave Sheaf Offering (No. 106b)).

 

The meal of the night of the Passover is clearly to be that of lamb and bitter herbs, which are represented in the traditional Seder Table of the Jews. However, the egg is a representation of the Babylonian captivity and is thus of secondary derivation.

 

The Exodus from Egypt is also a prototype of a further Exodus to be held on the return of the Messiah, when he will dispatch survivors to all the nations for the identification and return of the remnant of the congregation of Israel. They will return on horses and in chariots and upon litters and upon mules (Isa. 66:20). The Feast will thus take on another symbolism as well.

 

Error in understanding the Passover

There are a number of incorrect interpretations of the Passover, which will be examined subsequently. Discussion of the Passover centres around the following points:

·         the date and timing of the slaughtering of the Passover lamb;

·         the date and timing of the eating of the Passover lamb;

·         the date and timing of the Exodus; and the nature of the Last Supper Jesus ate with his disciples.

The basis of the discussion arises from an apparent conflict between the accounts of the Last Supper of Jesus as given in the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and the account of the Last Supper given by John.

 

Matthew, Mark, and Luke each record the following:

Matthew 26:18-19 He said, "Go into the city to a certain one, and say to him, `The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'" 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. (RSV)

 

Mark 14:12 And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, "Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?" (RSV)

 

Mark 14:16  And the disciples set out and went to the city, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover. (RSV)

 

Luke 22:8 So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it." (RSV)

 

Luke 22:15 And he said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; (RSV)

These accounts appear to have Jesus anticipating and then eating the Passover meal before his death on the cross. This would also establish the symbols of the bread and wine on the evening of the Passover meal.

 

John, however, records in John 13:1:

John 13:1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. (RSV)

 

John 13:27-29 records:

Then after the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly." 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the money box, Jesus was telling him, "Buy what we need for the feast"; or, that he should give something to the poor. (RSV)

 

The text here clearly shows that this was not the evening of 15 Nisan. No purchases could have been made that night. John 13:1 also shows that the foot-washing etc. took place before the Feast of the Passover and during supper (Jn. 13:2). The bread was broken during supper (Mat. 26:26), after the wine had been distributed. The wine, however, was not blessed and drunk until after supper (Lk. 22:20). Judas had not yet left to betray Christ when the bread and wine were being taken (Lk. 22:21).

 

Also, John 18:28 shows that it was before the Passover.

John 18:28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Ca'iaphas to the praetorium. It was early. They themselves did not enter the praetorium, so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. (RSV)

 

This establishes that it was before the Passover on the preparation day, as defilement at that time would have prevented them eating the Passover. This is confirmed by John 19:14.

John 19:14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" (RSV)

 

Also, John 19:31 confirms this point.

John 19:31 Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the sabbath (for that sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. (RSV; emphasis added)

 

John clearly places Christ's Last Supper on the evening prior to the Passover meal. Christ died on the cross on the afternoon immediately prior to the Passover meal, on the preparation day of 14 Nisan before the first Holy Day of Unleavened Bread, which is the Sabbath mentioned here and not the weekly Sabbath. The disagreement between John and the Synoptic Gospels is only apparent. They, too, acknowledge that Jesus died on the preparation day of the Passover.

 

Matthew 27:62 Next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate (RSV)

 

Mark 15:42 And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, (RSV)

 

Luke 23:54 It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning. (RSV)

 

Why did Christ refer to the meal as the Passover? It was either a generic reference to the Passover as a Feast, as is common among all of those who observe the Feast – both Jew and Christian – or it was a statement of desire that could not be fulfilled. The generic reference is explained in Luke 22:1: “Now the feast of Unleavened Bread drew near which is called the Passover”. At Luke 22:7, we see that the term includes the preparation day.

Luke 22:7  Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. (RSV)

 

An aberration of American fundamentalism of the twentieth century, stemming from these comments of the Synoptic Gospels, has been the claim that Christ did in fact eat the Passover meal during the night of 14 Nisan. Allegedly, he was obeying the instructions of Exodus 12 which, it is incorrectly claimed, teaches that the Passover lamb should be sacrificed at the beginning of 14 Nisan, and that there is no validity in a Passover meal on 15 Nisan. This Passover of 15 Nisan is, allegedly, merely a tradition of the Jews. The position appears to stem from the taking of Christ’s comment regarding the Passover in isolation and applying it only to the night of 14 Nisan rather than the period of Christ’s trial and crucifixion and resurrection. The extraordinary claims in justification appear to stem from the attempts to defend the erroneous position in hindsight.

 

The claim is certainly not supported from any of the references we have quoted above. Indeed, there is no doubt that Christ was dead before the Passover according to the Old and New Testament references. Indeed, he should have been dead in order to fulfil prophecy. A Passover lamb killed a day late is not a Passover lamb. The Passover of the second month is a different matter. Moreover, there is no indication in any of the apostolic writings that there was any dispute as to the dates or correctness of the timings of the Passover or any other Holy Day kept by the Jews and Christians together in the first and subsequent centuries. The case for the Passover on the Lord’s Supper, i.e. the night of 14 Nisan, is based on a series of premises. These premises are examined at Appendix A and will be seen to be false.

 

The people who say they believe in a 14th Passover usually mean the following:

·      That they believe the original Passover lamb in Exodus 12 was slain by the children of Israel at the beginning of 14 Nisan and eaten during the night of the 14th.

·      That the Jews of Christ's day erred when they killed the Passover lamb in the afternoon of 14 Nisan, and ate it on the evening of the 15th.

·      That the meal Jesus ate before he died was a Passover meal, correctly observed at the beginning and during the night of 14 Nisan, and during this meal Jesus substituted the new symbols of the bread and wine for the lamb and bitter herbs.

·      That the so-called controversy about 14 Nisan was whether or not Christians ought to partake of the bread and wine on the evening of 14 Nisan or on the evening of 15 Nisan.

 

The fact of the matter is that there has never been any significant debate on which night the Jews ate the Passover meal. Christianity has always understood the dates in question. It has always been understood that the lambs were slain towards the end of the 14th and eaten during the night of the 15th. The debate for Christians centred around whether or not the Lord's Supper, consisting of the foot-washing and bread and wine, ought to be observed on the evening of 14 Nisan (one day prior to the normal Passover meal) or as a Good Friday-Easter Sunday tradition. This controversy erupted in the second century. The leading protagonists were the Bishops of Rome and Polycarp and his successor, Polycrates.

Although the observance of Easter was at a very early period the practice of the Christian church, a serious difference as to the day for its observance soon arose between the Christians of Jewish and those of Gentile descent, which led to a long and bitter controversy. The point at issue was when the Paschal fast was reckoned as ending. With the Jewish Christians, whose leading thought was the death of Christ as the Paschal Lamb, the fast ended at the same time as that of the Jews, on the fourteenth day of the moon at evening, and the Easter festival immediately followed, without regard to the day of the week. The Gentile Christians, on the other hand, unfettered by Jewish traditions, identified the first day of the week with the Resurrection, and kept the preceding Friday as the commemoration of the crucifixion, irrespective of the day of the month" (Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, article ‘Easter’).

 

This came to be known as the Quartodeciman Controversy and, historically speaking, it has been the only major controversy surrounding the time when the Lord's Supper ought to be taken (cf. the papers The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235) and The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277)).

 

Within some of the Churches of God in the 20th century, there has been an argument, stemming from academic ignorance, about whether or not Jesus ate the Passover meal rather than a Passover meal. From that point, the debate arises concerning the timing of the Exodus sacrifice of the Passover lamb and eating the Passover meal and, hence, on which night the Lord's Supper ought to be observed. However, this is a different issue to the Quartodeciman Controversy and the two issues should not be confused.

 

The confusion is based on a simplistic approach to the texts in the Synoptic Gospels (above), such as Mark 14:12-26. The question of the disciples was that they wanted to know where Christ wanted to eat the Passover. They had no knowledge that he would be dead as the Passover Lamb.

And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, 'Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?

 

It should be obvious to any Bible student that we are speaking generically. Firstly, the first day of Unleavened Bread is not the Passover according to Exodus 12:3-10. The Passover lamb is set aside on 10 Nisan and killed on 14 Nisan at evening. The Passover is then eaten that night, which commences 15 Nisan and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The fact that the term evening of 14 Nisan is at the end of the day is obvious from the terminology for the calculation of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at Exodus 12:18-20.

18 In the first month in the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, and so until the twenty first day of the month at evening. 19 For seven days no leaven shall be found in your house; for if anyone eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a sojourner or a native of the land. 20 You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.

 

The calculation of the seven days commences from the evening of 14 Nisan, which is at the end of 14 Nisan and not its start, as Leviticus 23:5 says that 14 Nisan is the Lord’s Passover, and Leviticus 23:6 says the Feast of Unleavened Bread commences on the 15th day of the month of Nisan. The seven days continue from the 15th until the evening of 21 Nisan. Now 21 Nisan is the last Holy Day of Unleavened Bread. Thus the last Holy Day is the 7th day, finishing at evening. The evening of 14 Nisan referred to in Exodus 12 is the end of the 14th and commences 15 Nisan, otherwise a contradiction is introduced into the two texts.

 

Arguments that Christ was crucified on the wrong day because the Jews had it wrong are spurious on two counts. Firstly, the Messianic sacrifice was the completion of Scripture, which cannot be broken (Jn. 10:35). Secondly, the completion and fulfilment of the Law was the objective of Messiah. He laid down the Laws in the Old Testament when he gave them to Moses as the Angel of the Covenant.

 

The Wave-Sheaf Offering

The sign of Jonah had to be completed exactly in all of its phases. The first phase was that Christ was in the grave for three days and three nights, no more and no less. Christ also had to be resurrected before the morning of the first day of the week following the weekly Sabbath because he was the wave or sheaf offering, which was the first-fruits of all the harvests (Ex. 29:24-27; see also Lev. 7:30, 34; 8:27, 29; 9:21; 10:14, 15; 14:12, 24; 23:11-20; Num. 5:25; 6:20; 18:11, 18).

 

... and you shall put all these in the hands of Aaron and in the hands of his sons, and wave them for a wave offering before the Lord. Then you shall take them from their hands, and burn them on the altar in addition to the burnt offering, as a pleasing odour before the Lord; it is an offering by fire to the Lord. And you shall take the breast of the ram of Aaron's ordination and wave it for a wave offering before the Lord; and it shall be your portion. And you shall consecrate the breast of the wave offering, and the thigh of the priests' portion, which is waved, and which is offered from the ram of ordination, since it is for Aaron and for his sons.

 

Traditionally this was offered at 9 a.m. This is the reason for what Christ said to Mary when she came to see him:

John 20:1, 15-17 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. … 15 .Jesus said to her, Woman why are you weeping? whom do you seek? Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, 'Sir if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away'. 16 Jesus said to her 'Mary.' She turned and said to him in Hebrew, 'Rab-bo'ni' (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, 'Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'.

 

Thus the crucifixion had to occur when 14 Nisan fell on a Wednesday. A Friday crucifixion could not fulfil the Messianic prophecies. Christ was completing every finite detail of the Law and the prophecies. Thus the Law must be understood in its sequence and detail to make sense of what is happening in this Passover of 30 CE.

 

The Passover Meal

The Passover is to be prepared specifically in accord with Exodus 12:8-12.

They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled with water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. 10 And you shall let none of it remain until the morning, anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 In that manner you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lords Passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will smite all the first born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements: I am the Lord.

 

The term used in Deuteronomy 16:7 rendered cook in the Interlinear Bible, and boil in the Annotated RSV is a generic term bashal (SHD 1310), which is a prime root from the proposition to boil up, hence to be done in cooking; figuratively it means to ripen: hence to bake, boil, bring forth, is ripe, roast, seethe, sod (or be sodden). The meaning of its use must be taken in context; here the specific meaning is to roast. There is no basis whatever for asserting from the use of this word, that the event in Deuteronomy 16 is a different event to that required by Exodus 12. In Exodus 12:14 Christ lays this day down as a memorial forever for Israel, which by definition includes the elect.

 

14 This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as an ordinance forever (SHD 5769 'olam or to the vanishing point or practical eternity).

 

Time and Place of the Passover

An axiom that must be understood was that Christ could not be present at his own Passover. He was the Passover Lamb and hence would be dead. But he had laid down a sequence that would cater for this very event, when he was Angel of Yahovah. He gave Moses the requirements to hold the very activity that he had instructed the disciples to do in Mark 14:12-26. The requirement was laid down in Deuteronomy 16:2,5,6.

Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the Lord your God; for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. And you shall eat the Passover sacrifice to the Lord your God, from the flock or the herd, at the place which the Lord will choose, to make his name dwell there... (The Interlinear Bible continues the text as) You may not sacrifice the Passover offering inside any of your gates which Jehovah your God gives you. But at the place which He shall choose to cause His name to dwell there, you shall sacrifice the Passover offering at evening at the going of the sun, at the time when you came out of Egypt. And you shall cook and eat in the place which Jehovah your God shall choose. And in the morning you shall turn and go into your tents. You shall eat unleavened bread six days, and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to Jehovah your God. You shall do no work.

 

The time noted here qualifies the text in Exodus. It is evident that the seven days include the last Holy Day of 21 Nisan. Thus the evening of 14 Nisan referred to above had to be at the end of the day, i.e., at the commencement of 15 Nisan, which is corroborated by the text in Leviticus. Thus the three texts explain and support each other, eliminating any possibility that the previous night, namely that of 14 Nisan, could be involved. The generic term, at evening, at the time when you came out of Egypt, cannot be taken to indicate the fact that the following day has been substituted for the actual Passover. The concept involved is that, by the Passover sacrifice, the Death Angel passed over Israel. By Bible definition, the Death Angel must be Christ, as the power of judgment is given to him by God. By Christ's sacrifice, Israel was redeemed and commenced to be brought out of Egypt. Thus, Passover is outside of the towns and before the morning of 15 Nisan. The point is put into perspective by examining the Exodus under Moses and the original Passover.

 

The Exodus as a Military Withdrawal

 

Moving Out

The Exodus from Egypt was a military withdrawal. Israel was throughout the land of Goshen and they were prepared to leave their homes at the orders of Moses. The Lord said that on this very day, namely 15 Nisan (Ex. 12:17), the first Holy Day of Unleavened Bread, he brought the Hosts of Israel out of the land of Egypt. Thus the Lord redeemed Israel by night on 15 Nisan, and commenced their movement from the order of Moses during that next daytime.

 

To get a concept of a withdrawal, some figures must be appreciated. Israel numbered in the vicinity of 600,000 men on foot besides women and children. A mixed multitude went up with them, and very many cattle, both flocks and herds (Ex. 12:37-39). The numbers were at least 1,000,000 and more likely to have been over 1,500,000 and nearer 2,000,000. The normal column of military march is three abreast. A column of 100 men at intervals of a metre with group spacing of 10 metres would take some 50 metres. Distance between groups is necessary for smooth movement and to minimise delay and dust. There would be 50 metres between 100-men groups. Thus the force would be some 1,000 km long. Assuming that the group marched 10 abreast, then the length is reduced to some 600 km. As a man marches at three miles an hour or four and a half kilometres an hour (say 5 kph), it would take the column over 100 hours to get out of Rameses, assuming that Rameses was the control point for the departure – which seems to be the case from Exodus 12:37.

 

An example of the extent of the column is obtained if one considers that the column could have stood with one end in Rameses and the other in Succoth, and stood hand in hand and still been up to 50 people deep in ranks. They could have marched 50 abreast and still been leaving Rameses for a day while they were in Succoth. As stock can move only at less than 30 km a day, it was impossible for the column to have completed its journey within three days, assuming no time in the assembly area.

 

As the column had to be assembled from all over Goshen, the normal stages of a military withdrawal would have been employed. The advance guard would have left Rameses as soon as Moses returned with orders to leave. Moses was summoned by Pharaoh on the night of 15 Nisan, after the first-born had been killed (Ex. 12:31).

 

Thus Moses would have issued orders to the advance guard to depart that night. By morning, the first of the column had left Rameses. However, the entire nation would still be moving into assembly areas and control points over all Goshen. Moses was trained in these matters. He would have sent runners out to all Goshen and commenced the move. The timing and control were paramount. People and stock had to be kept in order and stock had to be controlled and watered. If it was not the result would have been chaos.

 

People would have been moving out of Rameses towards Succoth for some four days. The lead elements would have reached Succoth, only 65 km away, before the last ones left Rameses. Even if they marched 100 abreast the column would still have been over 150 km and perhaps 300 km long.

 

The normal distance of march is some 20 miles or 30 km a day. Hence it would have taken at least a day’s full marching to get there. Given the baggage, the aged, sick, and lame, the movement to Succoth would have been in groups. The same system would have been applied to the movement onwards from there.

 

The Exodus was a planned military withdrawal of monumental proportions. To make assertions regarding the time of movement from Rameses influencing the date of the Passover is a conjecture made by someone who is truly uninformed of the enormity of the task. The night of watching to the Lord was 15 Nisan, when it all commenced, and this is the night of watching kept to the Lord by all the people of Israel throughout their generations (Ex. 12:42).

 

The Last Holy Day of Unleavened Bread

It seems likely from what is known of movements of columns that the last Holy Day of Unleavened Bread was when the column was in situ at Succoth and they were given rest. The movement of the advance party could have travelled by hard marching over six days, a distance of some 200+ kilometres. Thus they could have made the Red Sea by direct line of march (i.e. 170 km). However, it seems utterly impossible for the main body to have travelled that distance intact in that time. Thus Succoth is probably the first staging camp, as it seems to be portrayed.

 

Prophecy in the Passover

The Passover was established as a specific ritual to show the way in which Christ was to come and to be the sacrifice and, as such, the means for the liberation of the world from sin and captivity. He thus was to take captivity captive (Rev. 13:10).

 

The sequence of the ritual was designed to be fulfilled by Messiah on a systematic and careful basis. He thus entered Bethany (Jn. 12:1) six days before the Passover, in order that he might be set aside on the tenth day. In that year, 30 CE, the tenth day was a Sabbath. Christ arrived on the ninth and had the Sabbath meal where Martha served (Jn. 12:2). On the next day (Jn. 12:12) he entered Jerusalem that he might be sacrificed in accordance with Exodus 12. The crowd laid palm leaves before him and he rode on an ass’s colt to fulfil the prophecy quoted partly in John 12:15:

Fear not daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming on an ass's colt!

 

The quote from Zechariah 9:9 is:

Rejoice greatly O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

 

Christ had an entire sequence of prophecy to fulfil, and Scripture cannot be broken. Thus Christ had to be killed at the correct time for the Passover or Scripture would have been broken. Some Messianic prophecies are given below.

 

Christ was to be marred beyond semblance in the scourging, from Isaiah 53:5:

… he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.

 

That is why Christ was silent before his accusers (Mk. 14:60-61), that he might fulfil this prophecy. He was mocked in Mark 14:16-20, fulfilling Psalm 22:7.

All who see me mock me they hurl insults shaking their heads.

 

In Luke 23:35 Christ was mocked on the stake.

He saved others let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the chosen one.

 

This also fulfilled Psalm 22:17.

I can count all my bones -- they stare and gloat over me; (RSV)

 

Christ was pierced instead of having his legs broken on the cross, to fulfil prophecy (Jn. 19:36).

For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, "Not a bone of him shall be broken".

 

Firstly from the command in Exodus 12:46:

Do not break any of the bones.

 

And from Numbers 9:12:

They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones.

 

This is in keeping with Psalm 34:20 concerning the righteous man.

He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.

 

The Crucifixion was the Passover sacrifice mentioned in Exodus 12 and Numbers 9, which was to be celebrated on the 14 Nisan at evening. That is when Christ was killed. The timing of the death of Christ is itself a Messianic prophecy. Christ was to be pierced to fulfil Zechariah 12:10-13.

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that, when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a first born. 11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadadrim'mon in the plain of Megid'do. 12 The land shall mourn, each family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Shim'e-ites by itself, and their wives by themselves.

 

The household of David, through Nathan, was fulfilled in Luke 3. Similarly, the household of Mary was also related to Levi, as Elizabeth had married a High Priest of Abijah.

 

From the injunction on priests regarding tribal marriage, Elizabeth was Levitical and, therefore, Mary was probably also part-Levite. The Messiah of Aaron and also of Israel was thus of two lineages to become the Messiah of two Advents, as we note from the Dead Sea Scrolls.

 

Christ spoke messianically in Mark 15:34 (from Psalm 22:1):

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

 

Christ was not forsaken, but here he spoke as one about to die to fulfil the rest of the Psalm 22:15:

… my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; thou dost lay me in the dust of death.

 

From Psalm 22:24, God did not forsake him.

For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and he has not hid his face from him, but he has heard, when he cried to him.

 

This statement was to draw attention to the Messianic psalm and its fulfilment, which was that all the families of the nations would worship before God. Christ spoke to his God.

 

To assert that Christ was not speaking to his God, and that this was merely to fulfil a prophecy, is to assert that Christ was uttering false and misleading Scripture at the moment of his death and thus had sinned and disqualified himself by non-repentance, or had rendered his sacrifice meaningless.

 

The piercing of Christ was also noted from Psalm 22:16-17.

Yea, dogs are round about me; a company of evil doers encircle me; they have pierced my hands and my feet - 17 I can count all my bones - they stare and gloat over me;

 

They cast lots for Christ's garments in Psalm 22:18.

… they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots.

 

At John 19:28, he said, “I thirst”, quoting Psalm 69:21.

They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.

 

Gall was to poison him, hence suicide, and vinegar increased the thirst and disguised the gall.

 

He stated after the utterance above: “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30), meaning the prophecies had been fulfilled. He stated in Luke 23:46:

Father into your hands I commit my spirit.

 

This comes from Psalm 31:5:

Into your hands I commit my spirit, redeem me O Lord, the God of truth.

 

Thus Christ sought to be redeemed by the God of Truth – his God and our God – who is the Father of all.

 

At his death, from Luke 23:45, there was darkness from the sixth hour to the ninth hour, or from 12 noon to 3 p.m. He died:

... while the sun’s light was failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

 

The Temple curtain was torn in two to make a way open for mankind to have access to the Holy of Holies (Heb. 9:8).

By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary is not yet opened as long as the outer tent is still standing. 

 

Isaiah 53:9 also notes that:

And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

 

This sequence was established from the foundation of the world. The Passover was kept at the correct time and Christ fulfilled prophecy as the Paschal Lamb. The timing and sequence were not accidental, nor was it able to be conducted on the wrong days. If Christ was not the Passover, killed as he should have been, then we have no Messiah. If the Passover was a day earlier, then he would have been killed a day earlier – not the other way round.

 

Dispersal of the Passover Sacrifice

It is a matter of indisputable historical record that the Passover was kept outside of Israel and that sacrifices were made at other Jewish Temples. Archaeological evidence dates from the Aramaic Letters translated by H.L. Ginsberg (see J.B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, Vol. 1, pp. 278ff.).

 

The Passover Papyrus is a decree to the Jewish garrison dated from 419 BCE. It authorises the Feast of Unleavened Bread to be kept. It specifies the Passover to be observed on 14 Nisan with the Holy Days of Unleavened Bread on 15 and 21 Nisan. Leaven is not to be eaten from sundown (or dark) on 14 Nisan for seven days until 21 Nisan. Thus sundown on 14 Nisan was anciently understood to be at the end of the day on 14 Nisan. The text reads:

[To] my [brethren Yedo]niah1 and his colleagues the [J]ewish gar[rison], your brother Hanan[iah].2 The welfare of my brothers may God [seek at all times]. Now, this, the fifth year of King Darius, word was sent from the king to Arsa[mes3 saying “Authorize a festival of unleavened bread for the Jew]ish [garrison].” So do you count fou[rteen days of the month of Nisan and] obs[erve the Passover],4 and from the 15th to the 21st day of [Nisan observe the festival of unleavened bread]. Be (ritually) clean and take heed. [Do n]o work [on the 15th or the 21st day, no]r drink [beer,5 nor eat] anything [in] which the[re is] leaven [from the 14th at] sundown until the 21st of Nis[an. For seven days it shall not be seen among you. Do not br]ing it into your dwellings but seal (it) up between these date[s. By order of King Darius. To] my brethren Yedoniah and the Jewish garrison, your brother Hanani[ah].

1. A priest and head of the Jewish community (military colony) of Elephantine.

2. Apparently a secretary for Jewish affairs to Arsames.

3. Satrap of Egypt from 455/4 BC to at least 407 BC.

4. The word psh in two ostraca from Elephantine may mean “Passover (offering).”

5. This restoration is only correct if Hananiah’s tradition, like rabbinic law, included under “leaven” fermented corn but nor fermented fruit (wine). The Samaritans take a more rigorous view (Pritchard, p. 278).

 

The tradition of not drinking fermented corn is a rabbinical tradition. The question of strong drink is not forbidden in the Feasts. Deuteronomy 14:26 makes no distinction for fermented and fortified corn spirit.

 

Another point which arises from the texts is that the name of God was held to be YAHO, which clearly shows the pronunciation and the existence of the vowel, hence the names Yahovah and Yahovih.

 

The arguments are thus settled from this text that there were general sacrifices for the Passover outside of Israel and Jerusalem by official sanction of the Jewish priesthood both in Israel and abroad, and also of the Persian kings. Also, it is apparent that there were at least two Temples from ancient times, before Cambyses (ibid., Advice of the Governors of Judah and Samaria to the Jews at Elephantine (i.e. Bagoas and Delaiah), p. 281). The Temple was destroyed in the fourteenth year of Darius. The Mazdean Arsames appears to have restricted the sacrifice at Elephantine, after it was rebuilt, to incense, the meal offering and drink offerings. The profaning of fire by flesh would have been prohibited by him (see also Ginsberg, n.1, p. 281).

 

The Essene Meal

One of the most extraordinary modern-day findings is that of the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS). From the DSS we are able to determine that the biblical concepts behind what is being done in the New Testament finds explanation in the ritual of Judaic sects of the first century. Indeed, what we find being done by Christ and the disciples is mirrored by the Essene. This does not indicate that the disciples were Essene, but rather that the meal we associate as being the Lord’s Supper was an established ritual in Judea. The details can be found from The Temple Scroll (Y. Yadin, Vol. I, p. 140). During the Essene meal it is said of the meal that the priest shall bless the bread and wine.

And shall extend his hand over the bread. Thereafter the anointed of Israel shall extend his hand over the bread and all the congregation of the Yahad shall utter a blessing each in order of his dignity. It is according to this statute that they shall proceed at every function which at least ten men are gathered together.

 

Yadin says that:

The principle importance of these descriptions is that they illustrate the life and organisation of the sect and their close similarity and their betrayal of Essene meals in the writings of Josephus War 2:130-131, moreover, certain aspects of these rituals had much in common with those of the Lord's Supper in the Christian agape ceremonies (see D. Flusser, The Last Supper of the Essenes, Immanuel Spring, 1973, p. 23).

 

Essenes blessed the bread first and then the wine. From The Temple Scroll, column 17:6-9, it is established that the Passover was understood to be sacrificed on the 14th day of the month in the evening, between the two evenings, that is, between the going of the sun and darkness commencing 15 Nisan (The Temple Scroll, Vol. 1, p. 96; see p. 118 for calendar).

 

There is no doubt that the Passover was, as is understood by the Jews, to have occurred on 15 Nisan. There is no conflict between this concept and what the Bible says. Indeed, there is positive agreement between that and what the archaeological finds are revealing. That is confirmed by the understanding of the Churches that have kept the Lord’s Supper before the commencement of the twentieth century.

 

How did the error concerning the understanding of the Passover occur? The answer is that the Churches of God understood that the night of 14 Nisan was the Lord’s Supper until recently, when it was relocated, commencing from a misapprehension of the generic terms used in the New Testament. There is in fact no reason to misapprehend or misunderstand the Passover if the Scriptures are interrelated as the inspired word of God.

 


 

Appendix A


The assertion that there has been a great debate about the timing of the Passover is a false statement. The assertion of a 14 Nisan Passover has its greatest defence in some American sects. The argument stems from poor academic research and in some cases contrived or wrested Scripture. What is understood by a 14 Nisan Passover are the following suppositions:

·      That the original Passover lamb in Exodus 12 was slain by the children of Israel at the beginning of 14 Nisan and eaten during the night of the 14th.

·      That the Jews of Christ's day erred when they killed the Passover lamb in the afternoon of 14 Nisan, and ate it on the evening of the 15th.

·      That the meal Jesus ate before he died was a Passover meal, correctly observed at the beginning and during the night of 14 Nisan, and during this meal Jesus substituted the new symbols of the bread and wine for the lamb and bitter herbs.

·      That the so-called controversy about 14 Nisan was whether or not Christians ought to partake of the bread and wine on the evening of 14 Nisan or on the evening of 15 Nisan.

 

The argument rests on the following premises:

 

1. That, historically, there has allegedly been a great debate between whether or not the New Testament Passover ought to be observed on 14 or 15 Nisan.

 

2. That the Hebrew term ba ereb ("93 /) means sunset and specifically the short period of time (3-4 minutes) that begins when the sun appears to touch the horizon, and ends as soon as the sun falls below the horizon.

 

3. That one day ends and another day begins at sunset, or ba ereb. Support for this premise is drawn from Leviticus 23:32 regarding the Day of Atonement, and the provision of the quail following the Sabbath in Exodus 16:6,8,12-13.

 

4. That the Hebrew term ben ha arbayim (.*"93 % 0*") or between the evenings is that period of time between sunset and dark.

 

5. From premises 2, 3, and 4, since one day ends at sunset and another begins at sunset then the period of time designated as ben ha arbayim or between the evenings falls at the beginning of the day, not at the end of the day.

 

6. That the Hebrew term boqer (98") means morning or break of day when there is light and cannot refer to any period of time between midnight and dawn when it is still dark.

 

7. That the Hebrew term lailah (%-*-) or night cannot overlap with morning.

 

The above premises are illustrated in a graphical form in Figure 1 below.

 


 

 


8. That the Passover lamb was to be killed at ben ha arbayim or between the evenings on 14 Nisan.

 

9. From premises 5 and 8, the Passover lamb was killed at beginning of 14 Nisan, not towards the end of the 14th.

 

10. That the Hebrew term ad ($3) or until, in Exodus 12:6, means the lamb was to be kept up until the beginning of 14 Nisan, but no later.

 

11. That none of the Passover lamb was allowed to remain until morning (boqer) and that the children of Israel were not allowed to leave their homes until the morning (boqer).

 

12. That the account of Jesus rising up in the morning, a great while before day in Mark 1:35 does not mean in the dark hours of early morning but early, while yet night.

 

13. Since the lamb had to be roasted and eaten during the night after it had been slain, that would mean that the Death Angel passed through Egypt during the night portion of 14 Nisan.

 

14. From premises 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13, that the children of Israel remained indoors throughout the night portion of 14 Nisan and did not go outside until the daylight of 14 Nisan.

 

15. Hence, from premise 14, the children of Israel spent the day portion of the 14th plundering the Egyptians and did not march out of Egypt until the beginning of 15 Nisan, at night.

 

16. That the bulk of the plundering of the Egyptians did not occur until after the Death Angel passed over.

 

17. That Exodus 12:6-14 refers entirely to the 14th, while Exodus 12:15-20 refers to the 15th onwards, with no overlap to the events of verses 6-14.

 

18. That the children of Israel could not have left their homes in the hours immediately following the passing over of the Death Angel because:

a)    they would have been forced to travel to Rameses in the darkness of night; and

b)   the pillar of fire did not appear until after they left Rameses.

 

19. That all of the 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 children of Israel assembled at Rameses before marching out from Egypt.

 

20. That the Scriptures state explicitly: "...The Lord your God brought you forth [gave birth to you as a united, free people] out of Egypt BY NIGHT ... at even, [ba erev, the beginning of the 15th], at the going down of the sun, at the season that you came forth out of Egypt" (Deut. 16:1,6).

 

21. That the totality of the Exodus took place at night; that is, that the last of the children departed at night and so (because of the sheer numbers of people involved) the night of the Exodus could not have been the few hours of early morning on the 15th.

 

22. That the Egyptians would have been burying their dead at night between midnight and dawn were an early morning departure from Egypt true.

 

Premises 8 to 20 can be illustrated graphically as in Figure 2.


 


All of these premises are examined point by point. Much of the arguments about the so-called 14th/15th Passover controversy presume the preceding premises to be correct and true.

 

Premise 1

As stated in the main text, there has never been any significant debate on which night the Jews ate the Passover meal. It has always been understood that the lambs were slain towards the end of the 14th and eaten during the night of the 15th. The debate for Christians centred around whether or not the Lord's Supper, consisting of the foot-washing and bread and wine, ought to be observed on the evening of 14 Nisan (one day prior to the normal Passover meal) or as a Good Friday-Easter Sunday tradition.

Although the observance of Easter was at a very early period the practice of the Christian church, a serious difference as to the day for its observance soon arose between the Christians of Jewish and those of Gentile descent, which led to a long and bitter controversy. The point at issue was when the Paschal fast was reckoned as ending. With the Jewish Christians, whose leading thought was the death of Christ as the Paschal Lamb, the fast ended at the same time as that of the Jews, on the fourteenth day of the moon at evening, and the Easter festival immediately followed, without regard to the day of the week. The Gentile Christians, on the other hand, unfettered by Jewish traditions, identified the first day of the week with the Resurrection, and kept the preceding Friday as the commemoration of the crucifixion, irrespective of the day of the month" (Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, article ‘Easter’).

 

This came to be known as the Quartodeciman Controversy and, historically speaking, it has been the only major controversy surrounding the time when the Lord's Supper ought to be taken. Within some of the Churches of God in the 20th century, there has been an argument about whether or not Jesus ate a Passover meal. From that point is debated the timing of the Exodus sacrifice of the Passover lamb and eating the Passover meal and, hence, on which night the Lord's Supper should be observed. However, this is a different issue to the Quartodeciman Controversy and the two debates should not be confused.

 

Premise 2

The premise that ba ereb means sunset – down to a short period of 3-4 minutes – is simply incorrect. The Hebrew Lexicon, by Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius (BDBG), shows ereb means evening, night or sunset. Strong's Hebrew Dictionary (SHD) gives the uses dusk, even(-ing, tide), night. Ereb comes from the root term arab through the idea of covering with a texture. Arab in turn means to become evening, grow dark. Ereb is a vague term and can cover the entire period from afternoon until well after sunset. In Appendix B every occurrence of ereb in the Old Testament is listed. An illustration of the indefiniteness of the term can be seen from a comparison of the following texts:

Genesis 1:5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (RSV)

 

Genesis 24:11 And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 6:20 This [is] the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto the LORD in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat offering perpetual, half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night.

 

Deuteronomy 23:11 but when evening comes on, he shall bathe himself in water, and when the sun is down, he may come within the camp. (RSV)

 

Joshua 8:29 And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, [that remaineth] unto this day.

 

2Samuel 11:2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman [was] very beautiful to look upon. (KJV)

 

2Samuel 11:2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking upon the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. (RSV)

 

2Samuel 11:13 And David invited him, and he ate in his presence and drank, so that he made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house. (RSV)

 

Job 7:4 When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.

 

Psalm 30:5 For his anger [endureth but] a moment; in his favour [is] life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy [cometh] in the morning.

 

Proverbs 7:9 in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness. (RSV)

 

Jeremiah 6:4 Prepare war against her; up, and let us attack at noon! Woe to us, for the day declines, for the shadows of evening lengthen! (RSV)

 

Ezekiel 12:7 And I did as I was commanded. I brought out my baggage by day, as baggage for exile, and in the evening I dug through the wall with my own hands; I went forth in the dark, carrying my outfit upon my shoulder in their sight. (RSV)

 

Zechariah 14:7 And there shall be continuous day (it is known to the LORD), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light. (RSV)

 

From its usage above, ereb does not mean a 3-4 minute interval between when the sun touches the horizon to when it passes below the horizon. It applies to a broad period of time from afternoon to well into the dark of night. Usually it is used in the sense of simply meaning dark.

 

Premise 3

One day ends and another begins at sunset (ereb). Given the verses listed above, it is clear that ereb can precede sunset or be long after sunset. The understanding of Jews has long been that a natural day begins and ends at dark, after sunset. However, with regard to Sabbaths and Holy Days the Jews have built a margin of safety around the natural day. Sabbaths and Holy Days are observed from a few minutes before sunset to a few minutes after dark.

 

Leviticus 23:32 does not define ereb as sunset. In accordance with the Scriptures given previously, it identifies it with dark, after the sun has set. Exodus 16:6-13, when read in context, does not define ereb as sunset either. It merely shows that quails came into the camp in the evening, which it also correlates to twilight (or between the evenings). In this case ereb is used to cover that period of time from sunset to dark. Exodus 16 nowhere says that gathering the quails, which God provided at twilight, was breaking the Sabbath or testing them about Sabbath observance. The provision of the manna was used to test Israel about correct Sabbath observance.

 

Premise 4

That ben ha arbayim is defined as that period of time between sunset and dark.

 

This is generally used in that sense. BDBG notes that the probable meaning is between sunset and dark. The New Century Bible Commentary on Exodus adds that between the evenings was a technical expression. It came to be defined in different ways:

·      The period between sunset and the time when the stars become visible.

·      The period between the time when the sun first begins to decline to the west and shadows begin to lengthen (shortly after noon) and the beginning of the night.

·      The period between the time when the heat of the sun begins to decrease (about 3 p.m.) and sunset.

 

The Pharisees took the last definition as the correct definition. The Sadducees understood it in the first sense, and the Samaritans preserve this form today. In the days of Moses the first definition was the accepted definition. However, something to note is that all definitions understood that between the evenings came at the end of the day, not at its beginning.

 

Technically, it arose because there was an evening which was considered to begin at some point after noon and end with sunset, and there was a second evening which began with nightfall or dark. However, the point is that between the evenings has always been understood to come at the end of the day. That point is also seen from the Passover Papyrus from Elephantine (see main text).

 

Premise 5

That ben ha arbayim comes at the beginning of the day, not at the end of the day. This is because ba ereb means sunset, and is the beginning of a new day and ben ha arbayim is that time between sunset and dark.

 

This is incorrect. As has been demonstrated, ereb cannot be defined to mean exactly sunset; and it can mean anything from late afternoon through to the dark of night.

 

When we understand the origin of ben ha arbayim as a technical expression, it is evident that it comes at the end of the day, not at the beginning. Evidence of this is found in a number of passages. For example:

Exodus 29:38-41 This is what you are to offer on the altar regularly each day: two lambs a year old. Offer one in the morning and the other at twilight [ben ha arbayim]. With the first lamb offer a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with a quarter of a hin of oil from pressed olives, and a quarter of a hin of wine as a drink offering. Sacrifice the other lamb at twilight [ben ha arbayim] with the same grain offering and its drink offering as in the morning a pleasing aroma, an offering made to the LORD by fire. (NIV)

 

Numbers 28:3-4 Say to them: ‘This is the offering made by fire that you are to present to the LORD: two lambs a year old without defect, as a regular burnt offering each day. Prepare one lamb in the morning and the other at twilight’ (NIV)

 

Here it is seen that the sacrifices included the daily offering of two lambs: the first in the morning, and the second in the evening or twilight [ben ha arbayim], yet both were sacrifices of that day. Clearly, between the evenings comes at the end of the day, not at its beginning, as mentioned above.

 

Premise 6

That boqer means morning, when there is light, and cannot refer to any period of time between midnight and dawn, while it is still dark.

 

Again this is incorrect. BDBG gives the following definitions for boqer: morning; of end of night; of coming of daylight; of coming of sunrise; of beginning of day; of bright joy after night of distress (fig.); morrow, next day, next morning. Like ereb, boqer is a general term that can take a range of meanings. There are a number of passages which show that boqer can be applied to the early hours of the morning, between midnight and sunrise while it was still dark:

Ruth 3:14 And she lay at his feet until the morning (boqer): and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor. (KJV)

 

Ruth 3:14 So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognised; and he said, "Don't let it be known that a woman came to the threshing floor." (NIV)

 

The suggestion that Ruth could not have risen while it was still dark because she would not have been able to find her way home is absurd. Similarly, the watch system can be seen from usage.

Exodus 14:24,27 And in the morning (boqer) watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down upon the host of the Egyptians, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians ... So Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its wonted flow when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled into it, and the LORD routed the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. (RSV)

 

Exodus 14:24 At the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and cloud looked down upon the Egyptian army, and threw the Egyptian army into panic. (NRSV)

 

Exodus 14:24 And in the watch before the dawn the Eternal looked out from the column of fire and cloud on the Egyptians ... (Moffatt)

 

Exodus 14:24 During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. (NIV)

 

The night was divided into 3 x 4-hour watches. The evening watch began at dark and lasted until approximately 10 p.m, then came the middle watch from about 10 p.m. to approximately 2 a.m. The last or early morning watch was from 2 a.m. to sunrise. The morning watch was so called because it took place in the early hours of the morning.

Genesis 44:3 As soon as the morning (boqer) was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses. (KJV)

 

1Samuel 29:10 Now then rise early in the morning (boqer) with the servants of your lord who came with you; and start early in the morning (boqer), and depart as soon as you have light. (RSV)

 

These passages show that, using the term boqer, it was possible to get up early in the morning, while it was still dark or night, and wait for light before starting a journey.

1Kings 3:21 And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear. (KJV)

 

1Kings 3:21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, it was dead; but when I looked at it closely in the morning, behold, it was not the child that I had borne." (RSV)

 

1Kings 3:21 When I rose in the morning to suckle my child, there it lay dead! But as I looked at it carefully in the morning-light, it was not my son whom I had borne. (Moffatt)

 

In this case the early morning feed was clearly during the hours of darkness before light. Other texts make this even plainer. It is beyond doubt that boqer is a general term which could be applied to any time after midnight through to the light of the day, as is the case in most languages, including English. The word morning in English can apply to any time after midnight through until noon.

 

Premise 7

That lailah or night cannot overlap with morning. The term lailah is defined by BDBG as night (as opposed to day), gloom. There is nothing about the term lailah which prevents it being used to overlap the dark hours of early morning. The premise is a bald unsubstantiated assertion.

 

Premise 8

That the Passover lamb was to be killed at ben ha arbayim on 14 Nisan.

 

Premise 9

That the Passover lamb was killed at the beginning and not the end of 14 Nisan.

 

Correctly, the Passover lamb was to be killed at ben ha arbayim, or between the evenings, of 14 Nisan. That is stated in Exodus 12:6, Leviticus 23:5 and Numbers 9:3,5,9,11. However, as we have seen from the various examples in the main text, including the ancient Passover Papyrus, ben ha arbayim came at the end of the day, not the beginning. So the Passover lamb was slain towards the end of 14 Nisan and roasted and eaten on the evening of 15 Nisan.

 

Premise 10

That ad or until, in Exodus 12:6, means the lamb was to be kept until the beginning of, but no later than the beginning.

 

The Hebrew ad has a wide range of uses. With respect to the subject of time, BDBG defines it as even to, until, unto, till, during, end. BDBG also shows it being used in a similar manner in verses 15 and 18 of Exodus 12:

Exodus 12:15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the first day you shall put away leaven out of your houses, for if any one eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.

 

Exodus 12:18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, and so until the twenty-first day of the month at evening.

 

From these verses, leavened bread was not to be eaten until the end of the seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. These passages clearly demonstrate that ad or until does not mean up to the beginning but no further. When used of days as in verse 6, 15, and 18, it includes the whole day, not just its beginning.

 

Premise 11

That the Passover lamb was not allowed to remain until morning (boqer), and that the children of Israel were not allowed to leave their homes until the morning (boqer).

 

This is correct. However, as demonstrated above, boqer is a general term and covers that period of time stretching from after midnight through to daylight. If the Passover lamb was killed at twilight and took several hours to roast, it was probably eaten late in the night but certainly before midnight. What remained after it was eaten in haste had to be burned. This would have taken another couple of hours. In the early hours of the morning, while it was still dark, Israel was free to leave their homes, on the order of Moses. This is what the narrative in Exodus explains:

Exodus 12:29-42 At midnight the LORD smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of the cattle. 30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where one was not dead. 31 And he summoned Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise up, go forth from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as you have said. 32 Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also!" 33  And the Egyptians were urgent with the people, to send them out of the land in haste; for they said, "We are all dead men." 34  So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their mantles on their shoulders. 35 The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked of the Egyptians jewellery of silver and of gold, and clothing; 36 and the LORD had given the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they despoiled the Egyptians. 37 And the people of Israel journeyed from Ram'eses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 A mixed multitude also went up with them, and very many cattle, both flocks and herds. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any provisions. 40 The time that the people of Israel dwelt in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And at the end of four hundred and thirty years, on that very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It was a night of watching by the LORD, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the LORD by all the people of Israel throughout their generations. (RSV)

 

Premise 12

That the account of Jesus rising up in the morning, a great while before day in Mark 1:35 does not mean in the dark hours of early morning, but early while yet night.

 

In an attempt to obscure the fact that boqer was a general term and could be used of the early morning hours while it was still dark, arguments are also made against a similar term in the Greek of Mark 1:35. The Greek text for the beginning part of this verse reads (from Marshall’s Interlinear):

6"Ā BDTÅ «<<LP"         8/"<  •<"FJ¸H   ¦>­82,<

And early   in the night      very     rising up      he went out

 

The argument is presented that BDTÅ or prõi means early rather than morning, and that «<<LP" or ennucha means night and therefore it cannot be said that morning overlaps night. The answer is found in the Greek idiom employed.  Prõi, according to Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, means in the morning, early. Ennucha means nightly, nocturnal. 7/"< or lian means very. Combined in the phrase prõi ennucha lian these terms mean early in the morning while it was very dark. Virtually every major translation (e.g. RSV, KJV, NRSV, Barclay, Moffatt, TEV, Amplified, NIV) acknowledges this idiom. Prõi is translated as morning in the following passages: Matthew 16:3; 20:1; Mark 1:35; 13:35; 15:1; 16:2,9; John 20:1; Acts 28:23. There is no doubt that morning was understood to cover those hours after midnight prior to dawn through to the early working day.

 

Premise 13

The Death Angel passed through Egypt during the night portion of 14 Nisan.

 

This is an incorrect premise. From above, and the main text, the Passover lamb was slain towards the end of the 14th and eaten during the night of 15 Nisan. Thus the Death Angel passed through during the night of the 15th.

 

Premise 14

That the children of Israel remained indoors throughout the night portion of 14 Nisan, and did not go outside until the daylight of 14 Nisan.

 

From the main text and in this Appendix above, this statement is incorrect. After midnight on the 15th, Pharaoh sent word to Moses instructing him to leave Egypt (Ex. 12:31). Moses and the children of Israel commenced the Exodus in the early hours of the morning of the 15th, while it was still dark.

 

Premise 15

That the children of Israel spent the day portion of the 14th plundering the Egyptians and did not march out of Egypt until the beginning of 15 Nisan, at night.

 

Premise 16

That the bulk of the plundering of the Egyptians did not occur until after the Death Angel passed over.

 

Premise 17

That Exodus 12:6-14 refers entirely to the 14th while Exodus 12:15-20 refers to the 15th onwards with no overlap to the events of verses 6-14.

 

These assertions are simply false. Israel began to move to Rameses during the early hours of the morning of the 15th, while it was still dark. The biblical narrative is not clear as to exactly when Israel plundered the Egyptians. The RSV and several other translations (NKJV, NRSV, Moffatt, TEV, REB, etc.) could be construed as placing the plundering of Egypt prior to the death of the first-born, for example:

Exodus 12:35-36 Meanwhile, as Moses had told them, the Israelites had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewellery and for clothing. Because the LORD had made the Egyptians well disposed towards them, they let the Israelites have whatever they asked; in this way the Egyptians were plundered. (REB)

 

Other translations place the plundering at the time of the Exodus. The taking of spoil appears to have been by day and by night, hence, over the entire period of 15 Nisan. To support the false position, the events of verses 6-14 are held not to overlap with those given in verses 15-20. This is false. It presumes, and is divided, to support the contention of a Passover meal during the night of the 14th, not the 15th. The opposite has been demonstrated as being the case, both then and historically. When viewed in the historical context, verses 6-20 form a continuous narrative and there is no division either real or necessarily contrived.

 

Premise 18

That the children of Israel could not have left their homes in the hours immediately following the passing over of the Death Angel because:

a)    they would have been forced to travel to Rameses in the darkness of night; and

b)   the pillar of fire did not appear until after they left Rameses.

 

The position is absurd given the requirements of the Exodus in the main text. Firstly, all of Egypt was awake this night (Ex. 12:29-30). Pharaoh sent word to Moses and Aaron during the night and ordered them out. The Egyptians as a whole urged the people to hasten their departures (vv. 31-33). The streets would have been ablaze with torches from all the activity taking place. Secondly, this was the 15th of the month, the middle of the lunar cycle, and the moon would have been full. Thirdly, the movement of Israel to Rameses had to have been in stages and, having commenced at night in the early hours of the morning, would have continued into the daylight and on beyond. The Exodus was a planned exercise through Rameses as a marshalling point.

 

Premise 19

That all of the 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 children of Israel assembled at Rameses before marching out from Egypt.

 

There is no biblical evidence for this claim. Indeed, it would have been impractical and unnecessary.

 

Premise 20

That the Scriptures state explicitly ...“The Lord your God brought you forth [gave birth to you as a united, free people] out of Egypt BY NIGHT.... at even [ba erev], the beginning of the 15th at the going down of the sun, at the season that you came forth out of Egypt” (Deut. 16:1,6).

 

This premise is quoted from Fred R. Coulter, The Christian Passover (York Publishing Co., USA, 1993, p. 86). It is a blatant misrepresentation of what the Scriptures in fact say. Coulter has combined parts of two verses in order to advance his claim that the Exodus began at the going down of the sun on 15 Nisan. The context of verse 6 shows that it is not discussing the timing of the Exodus at all:

Deuteronomy 16:5-6 You may not offer the Passover sacrifice within any of your towns which the LORD your God gives you; 6 but at the place which the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell in it, there you shall offer the Passover sacrifice, in the evening at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt. (RSV)

 

Deuteronomy 16:6 says nothing about the time of day when Israel departed from Egypt. The standard of academic debate and intellectual honesty in the entire 14th Passover case is appalling. In fact, Coulter’s case is based largely upon the false premises dealt with herein.

 

Premise 21

That the totality of the Exodus took place at night; that is, that the last of the children departed at night and so (because of the sheer numbers of people involved) the night of the Exodus could not have been the few hours of early morning on the 15th.

 

Premise 22

That the Egyptians would have been burying their dead at night between midnight and dawn if an early morning departure from Egypt was true.

 

There is no biblical evidence in support of Premise 21 that the entire body of the children of Israel came out of Egypt in the first few hours of the morning of the 15th. The Exodus commenced in the early hours of the morning and continued through the daylight portion of the 15th.

 

Premise 22 is itself based upon a false premise. It presumes the entire body of Israel departed during the early hours of the 15th (Premise 21), whereas this was not the case. Moreover, the contention shows a complete ignorance of Egyptian burial ritual (see Wallis Budge, The Book of the Dead).

 

Premises 1 to 22 have been examined and rejected. The correct sequence of events regarding the slaying of the Passover lamb and Exodus is in the main text and is illustrated diagrammatically as follows:


 

 



The major premises used to support the argument that the Passover lamb was slain at the beginning of 14 Nisan and then eaten during that night are false. The argument is in error. The correct sequence of events of the original Passover is seen from the main text. Further arguments to support the slaying of the Passover lambs at the beginning of 14 Nisan are necessarily flawed. Further arguments are examined as follows.

 

Premise 23

That the Passover always had to be observed in exactly the same way as the original Passover of Exodus 12.

 

This is not correct. The original Passover meal had to be observed in a certain manner because of what God was going to achieve through it. However, in later years it was a commemoration of the event, not the event itself. The most significant change was that Moses instructed that when Israel was settled, the Passover was to be observed at a location where God chose to put his name. We find this presented in Deuteronomy 16. Specifically the children of Israel were told:

Deuteronomy 16:2-7 Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the Passover unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there. 3 Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life. 4 And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain all night until the morning. 5 Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee: 6 But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the Passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt. 7 And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents. (KJV)

 

Israel was instructed to move out of its homes for a period of about 36 hours. In the time of Christ, it was understood that a family would move to temporary accommodation for 14 Nisan and there eat a special preparation meal. Some went to Jerusalem, others did not. Bullinger, in notes on Luke 22:8,15 in his Companion Bible, identifies this meal as the Chagigah. Preparations would be made for the Passover meal the next day. The lamb was slain in the afternoon and eaten on the night of the 15th. The following day there would be ceremonies at the Temple and then the people would return to their homes. The Passover was eaten with unleavened bread on the first of seven days. This could only have been on 15 Nisan.

 

Premise 24

That there is no evidence of a centralised Passover celebration until the accounts of Hezekiah and Josiah, hundreds of years after the Exodus.

 

This is incorrect. In the days of Solomon at least, if not long before, the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread were being kept at Jerusalem and the Temple. See 1Chronicles 23:31 and 2Chronicles 8:13 as evidence of Feasts in a central location in the days of David and Solomon. 2Chronicles 35:18 suggests that the Passover at a central location could be traced back even further to Samuel's day. The above premise is incorrect.

 

Premise 25

That a domestic Passover was widespread in Israel at the time of Christ.

 

Whatever the evidence that Passover lambs were being slaughtered in Israel as well as at the Temple in the days of Christ, the assertion which is later made (premise 35) that these domestic Passovers were at the beginning of the 14th and the Temple Passover was in the afternoon of the 14th is a wild claim of those such as Coulter, without any historical basis whatsoever. Simply put, there never was any argument about which part of the day of 14 Nisan the Passover lambs were to be slaughtered. The Essene meal is an exception.

 

Premise 26

That there were originally two festivals, the Passover, and the Days of Unleavened Bread, which were later merged into a single festival.

The evidence usually presented for this is misunderstood by those who maintain a beginning of the 14th Passover. When historians argue for two separate Feasts merged into one, they are not arguing that for a beginning of the 14th Passover sacrifice and meal. They are arguing from the point of view of developing religions, and not from any conflict in Scripture. They argue that Israel had a developing religion, which saw some groups keeping a festival on the 14th and others a festival on the 15th, and that over time these became merged. Exodus is treated as a legend of Israel’s movement or, worse, pure fiction by these historians.

 

Premise 27

That the Jews later changed the time for the slaughter of the Passover lambs from the beginning of the 14th to the end of the 14th.

 

This is false. There is no historical evidence of such a change and, indeed, how could there be when the sequence of Exodus 12 clearly denies any slaughter of Passover lambs at the beginning of the 14th? Moreover, the Passover Papyrus shows the continuity of the ancient practice.

 

Premise 28

That the Passover was not kept at the Temple until the restoration under Hezekiah, and then it was being kept according to Hezekiah's instructions, and not those instructions in the Law of God.

 

This is an unfounded assertion. 1Chronicles 23:31 and 2Chronicles 8:13 are evidence of Feasts in a central location in the days of David and Solomon. Hezekiah obeyed God as far as we can ascertain. Disobedience to God's Laws brought curses on Israel (Deut. 28) and therefore he was careful to observe the ordinances of the Passover as given in the Law (see 2Chr. 30:5,16; 31:3-4). 14th Passover advocates make this claim and ignore or misquote Deuteronomy 16.

 

Premise 29

That the Passover of Josiah was not kept according to the Commandments of God but by the commands of Josiah.

 

This is another unfounded assertion. Josiah obeyed God (see 2Chr. 34:2,14-15,21,30-32; 35:6,12,26). Verse 16 of 2Chronicles 35 is sometimes used to argue that Josiah's Passover was according to his commands, not God's. This is a nonsense claim. Josiah's commands were that the Jews observe the Passover according to God's Commandments. The accounts make this abundantly clear.

 

Premise 30

That the reason Hezekiah and Josiah implemented the Temple Passover was because the people were always rebelling and could not be trusted to keep a domestic Passover.

 

This assertion is unfounded. The Temple Passover was already anticipated in the Law of Moses in Deuteronomy 16.

 

Premise 31

That Deuteronomy 16:1-8 is not referring to the Passover:

a)    These instructions appear to be instructions for the Passover but in reality are only instructions for the Feast of Unleavened Bread; and

b)   Passover can only properly be connected with the passing-over of the Death Angel, but never with the Exodus.

c)    That verse 6 speaks of the Passover sacrifice as ba ereb, and not ben ha arbayim, and therefore cannot be referring to the Passover lamb.

d)   That the words, brought you forth by night in verse 1 conflict with the Passover command that none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.

e)    That verse 2 permits the Passover sacrifice to be of the herd, in conflict with the original instructions that a lamb or kid be sacrificed, and so the Passover sacrifice spoken of here is a general sacrifice for the Days of Unleavened Bread, not the Passover.

f)    That verses 5-6 instruct the Passover sacrifice to be made where God puts His name, and not at home, in conflict with Exodus 12.

g)   That verse 3 states the Passover sacrifice was to be eaten with unleavened bread for 7 days and, therefore, this Passover sacrifice cannot be the Passover lamb sacrificed on 14 Nisan.

h)   That when verse 7 says that the Passover sacrifice was to be roasted, this is a mistranslation, and it ought to be translated boiled. Since the original Passover lamb was not to be boiled, then the Passover sacrifice of verse 7 cannot be the Passover lamb.

i)     That the term first day in verse 4 refers to the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and not to the Passover.

j)     That verse 4 does not contain any command to burn what remains of the Passover sacrifice, only not let it remain till morning, and that this conflicts with Exodus 12 where that lamb that remained was specifically instructed to be burned.

k)   That verses 2, 5, and 6 are the only places in the Pentateuch where the sacrifices of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are called the Passover offering. Hence Moses didn't write this.

l)     That verse 8 says that unleavened bread should be eaten for six days and thus may have been edited by Ezra.

Because of a) to l), Deuteronomy 16 does not refer to the Passover sacrifice, but only Passover offerings made during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

 

Nearly all these objections and claims are based on the false premise that the original Passover lamb was killed at the beginning of 14 Nisan and eaten that evening and, hence, Deuteronomy 16:1-8 does not say what it appears to say. There is no known academic opinion to support the ridiculous assertion that Deuteronomy 16 does not apply to the Passover, even though it says it does. The points above are more than adequately covered in the main text and above. The incorrect nature of the premises is covered in simple nature by examination of the contentions regarding verse 7. The claim that the word translated roasted ought to be translated boiled has been examined in the main text. The word in question is the Hebrew bashal. According to BDBG it means to boil, cook, bake, roast, ripen, grow ripe. It was the generic term for cooking. In 2Chronicles 35:13 we read:

And they roasted [bashal] the Passover with fire according to the ordinance: but the [other] holy [offerings] sod [bashal] they in pots, and in caldrons, and in pans, and divided [them] speedily among all the people.

 

This passage, which all parties admit refers to the Passover, uses the term bashal twice, once for roasted and once for boiled. Clearly then, it is not wrong to translate bashal as roast in Deuteronomy 16:7, and indeed this has been the long accepted understanding of this passage by the Jews. Exodus 12:9 prohibits the Passover to be boiled or eaten raw. It is to be roasted entirely. The argument is a wilful misuse of Scripture to sustain an incorrect interpretation of some New Testament passages.

 

Premise 32

That Ezra kept the Passover at the beginning of 14 Nisan.

 

There is no evidence for this claim. It is read into the text at Ezra 6:19-22. Ezra was a scribe and knew the Law, which clearly showed that the Passover was to be sacrificed at the end of the 14th, not at the beginning. The understanding of the Passover Papyrus, which is probably of the same time, is the same as that found in Ezra.

 

Premise 33

That Ezra edited Deuteronomy 16 and Joshua 5:10 to reflect later terminology as given in 2Chronicles 35 (Coulter, pp. 156ff.).

 

This is another baseless assertion. Though Ezra seemingly helped canonise the text of the OT, the assertion that he edited the Law to reflect later practice is without proof. The attack on Deuteronomy 16 is necessary to sustain the 14th Passover argument. The text is God-breathed or it is not God-breathed. The claim is negated by the prophecy of the millennial Passover in Ezekiel 45:21:

"In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall celebrate the feast of the Passover, and for seven days unleavened bread shall be eaten. (RSV)

 

Premise 34

That Ezra decided to centralise the Passover at Jerusalem, but many undoubtedly continued to sacrifice the Passover domestically at the beginning of the 14th within the environs of Jerusalem.

 

There is no historical evidence whatsoever to support the claim that there was ever a domestic Passover service at the beginning of the 14th and the Temple sacrifice at the end of the 14th in Jerusalem or elsewhere. Coulter’s assertions regarding the Passover centred at Jerusalem (pp. 171ff.) are refuted by the Aramaic texts from Elephantine of the same time.

 

Premise 35

That the domestic Passover at the beginning of the 14th and the Temple Passover at the end of the 14th continued in the days of the New Testament. The writings of the Jewish philosopher, Philo, are offered as evidence of this.

 

Philo's writings do not confirm this point at all. They merely indicate that, for the Passover sacrifice, every head of household was the one to slaughter the lamb. This was true whether or not the lambs were sacrificed at the Temple (see ISBE, Vol. 3, article ‘Passover’, p. 677). Schürer (The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, Vol. II, p. 14) shows that there were different methods of observing the Passover in Judaea and in Galilee. In Judaea, the people worked on 14 Nisan until noon. In Galilee, they did not work at all. Also, in Jerusalem, there was only one lamb sacrificed and presented before the High Priest as the Passover Lamb, but the number of animals sacrificed there both publicly and privately was huge. The private sacrifices there were so great on Feast days that thousands of priests could not cope with the numbers (Schürer, Vol. II, p. 308). The twenty-four divisions of the priesthood were mirrored by the twenty-four divisions of the nation, and the national representatives went up to Jerusalem for the daily sacrifice. The remainder stayed at home and worshipped there (Schürer, ibid., Vol. II, pp. 292-293). The timing of the work activities shows that the evening of 14 Nisan was the time of preparation and the Passover was also taken away from Jerusalem.

 

 

Premise 36

That Jesus kept the Passover at the beginning of the 14th.

 

This is incorrect. What Jesus kept with his disciples was the preparation meal of the Passover, which was observed at the beginning of the 14th.

 

Premise 37

That John referred to the Passover as the Passover of the Jews conveys that the Jews were improperly observing the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

 

This is also incorrect. John wrote towards the end of the first century. The Church was becoming increasingly Gentile in composition and outlook. John identified these festivals in his writings so that they would be understood by his Gentile audience, most of whom were not yet converts and did not understand the principles involved. It also showed clearly that Jesus was a Jew and observed Jewish festivals within the Law of God. John used [feast] of the Jews several times in connection with the ministry of Jesus (Jn. 2:13; 5:1; 6:4; 7:2; 11:55; 19:42). There is no evidence from the Gospels that either Jesus or the Jewish leaders regarded the Festivals of God as controversial. The New Testament Acts shows that the Apostles and the early Church kept the Feasts (see main text and the paper The Holy Days of God (No. 97)). Jesus also acknowledged that the Scribes and Pharisees sat on Moses' seat (Mat. 23:2).

 

Premise 38

That the Preparation of the Passover known to be kept by Jews on the 14th prior to the killing of the Passover lamb at the Temple in the afternoon of the 14th, was also kept on the 13th by those Jews who observed a domestic Passover at the beginning of the 14th.

 

This claim (made also by Coulter) is another baseless assertion without any historical evidence or fact. The simple fact is that there was no beginning of the 14th Passover sacrifice and consequently no 13 Nisan Preparation of the Passover.

 

Premise 39

That the original Greek of Mark 14:12 should be translated when they were killing the Passover, indicating that a domestic slaughter of the Passover lambs at the beginning of the 14th was already taking place when the disciples asked Jesus where they ought to make preparations for the Passover.

 

This assertion is incorrect and indicates a lack of understanding of the Greek idioms employed. Marshall’s Interlinear has the main text as: “And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover they sacrificed”, indicating that they sacrificed the Passover at Unleavened Bread. 14 Nisan was the preparation for the Passover sacrifice and meal. Jesus' disciples asked where they should prepare for the Passover, meaning where should they go for temporary lodgings as per Deuteronomy 16. The Passover lambs were killed in the afternoon of the 14th, not at its beginning.

 

Premise 40

That Jesus' meal with the disciples was the Passover meal observed at the beginning of 14 Nisan.

 

This contradicts the clear record of John 19:14.

Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, "Behold your King!" (RSV)

 

Premise 41

That John records Jesus eating a beginning of the 14th Passover meal but that he designates it the Preparation of the Passover. This is a ridiculous assertion against the plain words of the text, made two millennia after they were written and against their consistent interpretation. The writings of an Apostle of Christ would have reflected the intent. If Christ wished to correct such an important error, why didn't John record this fact? The argument is specious.

 

Premise 42

That the earthquake following Jesus' death prevented the slaying of any Passover lambs in the Temple in that year. Thus God was disapproving of the slaying of Passover lambs in the afternoon of the 14th.

 

The Gospel accounts record Jesus dying at the ninth hour or about 3 p.m. (by our reckoning) (Mat. 27:46; Mk. 15:34-37; Lk. 23:44). According to Pesahim vl (ISBE, Vol. 3, article ‘Passover’, p. 677), the offering of the Passover sacrifice at the Temple began about 3 p.m. This timing is no accident. Jesus died at precisely the same time as the first Passover lamb was sacrificed, to fulfil prophecy. It is difficult to take seriously such blatant misrepresentations of known historical facts.

 

Premise 43

That it is wrong to refer to the ceremony of the foot-washing and bread and wine as the Lord's Supper. Instead it should be called the Christian Passover.

 

This assertion is misleading. The context of Lord's Supper in 1Corinthians 11:20 is that the Corinthians had turned it into a meal. Paul is saying that the evening they were celebrating could scarcely be called the Lord's Supper, because of their behaviour, not that it should not be called the Lord’s Supper. The nomenclature demonstrates that it was indeed referred to as the Lord’s Supper at the time. The Corinthians had lost its dignity and meaning. Modern translations demonstrate this fact:

Therefore, when you come together to the same place, it is not possible to eat a supper the character of which is that it could be a supper designated as belonging to the Lord. (Wuest)

 

Again, Paul is not saying they should not call it the Lord's Supper, but rather that because of their behaviour it was not fitting to call it the Lord's Supper, which was indeed its historical designation.

 

The Passover is a generic term, which encompasses the entire period of preparation, the preparation of the lamb, its consumption as a meal, and the entire subsequent period of seven days of Unleavened Bread, also termed Unleavened Bread.

 

Christ used the term Passover generically and as a description of unrealisable desire. John 19:14 is clear that the day was the preparation day of the Passover on which he was killed. Luke 22:15 shows that he: “desired to eat the Passover with them”. However, Luke 22:16 states quite clearly that he knew he could not and indeed would not eat it until it was fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. By this, we know that he did not eat the Passover but rather a preparation meal, and also that he signified that the Passover would be re-instituted in the Kingdom of God. This is in accordance with Zechariah 14:16-19.

 

The sequence and timings of the two major Passovers are at Appendix C.


 

Appendix B


 

The following Scriptures show all occurrences of ereb where it is translated evening, night, even, eventide, etc.:

Genesis 1:5 .God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (RSV)

 

Genesis 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. (RSV)

 

Genesis 1:13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. (RSV)

 

Genesis 1:19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. (RSV)

 

 

Genesis 1:23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. (RSV)

 

Genesis 1:31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.(RSV)

 

Genesis 8:11 and the dove came back to him in the evening, and lo, in her mouth a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. (RSV)

 

Genesis 19:1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening; and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and bowed himself with his face to the earth, (RSV)

 

Genesis 24:11 And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. (RSV)

 

Genesis 24:63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there were camels coming. (RSV)

 

Genesis 29:23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. (RSV)

 

Genesis 30:16 When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him, and said, "You must come in to me; for I have hired you with my son's mandrakes." So he lay with her that night. (RSV)

 

Genesis 49:27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, in the morning devouring the prey, and at even dividing the spoil." (RSV)

 

Exodus 12:18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, and so until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. (RSV)

 

Exodus 16:6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, "At evening you shall know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, (RSV)

 

Exodus 16:8 And Moses said, "When the LORD gives you in the evening flesh to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the LORD has heard your murmurings which you murmur against him -- what are we? Your murmurings are not against us but against the LORD." (RSV)

 

Exodus 16:12  "I have heard the murmurings of the people of Israel; say to them, `At twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'" (RSV)

 

Exodus 16:13 In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning dew lay round about the camp. (RSV)

 

Exodus 18:13 On the morrow Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from morning till evening. (RSV)

 

Exodus 18:14 When Moses' father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, "What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand about you from morning till evening?" (RSV)

 

Exodus 27:21 In the tent of meeting, outside the veil which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before the LORD. It shall be a statute for ever to be observed throughout their generations by the people of Israel. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 6:20 "This is the offering which Aaron and his sons shall offer to the LORD on the day when he is anointed: a tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a regular cereal offering, half of it in the morning and half in the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 11:24 "And by these you shall become unclean; whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening, (RSV)

 

Leviticus 11:25 and whoever carries any part of their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 11:27 And all that go on their paws, among the animals that go on all fours, are unclean to you; whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening, (RSV)

 

Leviticus 11:28 and he who carries their carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening; they are unclean to you. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 11:31 These are unclean to you among all that swarm; whoever touches them when they are dead shall be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 11:32 And anything upon which any of them falls when they are dead shall be unclean, whether it is an article of wood or a garment or a skin or a sack, any vessel that is used for any purpose; it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the evening; then it shall be clean. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 11:39 "And if any animal of which you may eat dies, he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening, (RSV)

 

Leviticus 11:40 and he who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening; he also who carries the carcass shall wash his clothes and be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 11:46 This is the law pertaining to beast and bird and every living creature that moves through the waters and every creature that swarms upon the earth, (RSV)

 

Leviticus 15:5 And any one who touches his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 15:6 And whoever sits on anything on which he who has the discharge has sat shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 15:7 And whoever touches the body of him who has the discharge shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 15:8 And if he who has the discharge spits on one who is clean, then he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 15:10 And whoever touches anything that was under him shall be unclean until the evening; and he who carries such a thing shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 15:11 Any one whom he that has the discharge touches without having rinsed his hands in water shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 15:16 "And if a man has an emission of semen, he shall bathe his whole body in water, and be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 15:17 And every garment and every skin on which the semen comes shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 15:18 If a man lies with a woman and has an emission of semen, both of them shall bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 15:19 "When a woman has a discharge of blood which is her regular discharge from her body, she shall be in her impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 15:21 And whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 15:22 And whoever touches anything upon which she sits shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening; (RSV)

 

Leviticus 15:23 whether it is the bed or anything upon which she sits, when he touches it he shall be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 15:27 And whoever touches these things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 17:15 And every person that eats what dies of itself or what is torn by beasts, whether he is a native or a sojourner, shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening; then he shall be clean. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 22:6 the person who touches any such shall be unclean until the evening and shall not eat of the holy things unless he has bathed his body in water. (RSV)

 

Leviticus 23:32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict yourselves; on the ninth day of the month beginning at evening, from evening to evening shall you keep your sabbath." (RSV)

 

Leviticus 24:3 Outside the veil of the testimony, in the tent of meeting, Aaron shall keep it in order from evening to morning before the LORD continually; it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations. (RSV)

 

Numbers 9:15 On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony; and at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. (RSV)

 

Numbers 9:21 And sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning; and when the cloud was taken up in the morning, they set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud was taken up they set out. (RSV)

 

Numbers 19:7 Then the priest shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterwards he shall come into the camp; and the priest shall be unclean until evening. (RSV)

 

Numbers 19:8 He who burns the heifer shall wash his clothes in water and bathe his body in water, and shall be unclean until evening. (RSV)

 

Numbers 19:10 And he who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until evening. And this shall be to the people of Israel, and to the stranger who sojourns among them, a perpetual statute. (RSV)

 

Numbers 19:19 and the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day; thus on the seventh day he shall cleanse him, and he shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and at evening he shall be clean. (RSV)

 

Numbers 19:21 And it shall be a perpetual statute for them. He who sprinkles the water for impurity shall wash his clothes; and he who touches the water for impurity shall be unclean until evening. (RSV)

 

Numbers 19:22 And whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and any one who touches it shall be unclean until evening." (RSV)

 

Deuteronomy 16:4 No leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory for seven days; nor shall any of the flesh which you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain all night until morning. (RSV)

 

Deuteronomy 16:6 but at the place which the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell in it, there you shall offer the Passover sacrifice, in the evening at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt. (RSV)

 

Deuteronomy 23:11 but when evening comes on, he shall bathe himself in water, and when the sun is down, he may come within the camp. (RSV)

 

Deuteronomy 28:67 In the morning you shall say, `Would it were evening!' and at evening you shall say, `Would it were morning!' because of the dread which your heart shall fear, and the sights which your eyes shall see. (RSV)

 

Joshua 5:10 While the people of Israel were encamped in Gilgal they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at evening in the plains of Jericho. (RSV)

 

Joshua 7:6 Then Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust upon their heads. (RSV)

 

Joshua 8:29 And he hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening; and at the going down of the sun Joshua commanded, and they took his body down from the tree, and cast it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raised over it a great heap of stones, which stands there to this day. (RSV)

 

Joshua 10:26 And afterward Joshua smote them and put them to death, and he hung them on five trees. And they hung upon the trees until evening; (RSV)

 

Judges 19:16 And behold, an old man was coming from his work in the field at evening; the man was from the hill country of E'phraim, and he was sojourning in Gib'e-ah; the men of the place were Benjaminites. (RSV)

 

Judges 20:23 And the people of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until the evening; and they inquired of the LORD, "Shall we again draw near to battle against our brethren the Benjaminites?" And the LORD said, "Go up against them." (RSV)

 

Judges 20:26 Then all the people of Israel, the whole army, went up and came to Bethel and wept; they sat there before the LORD, and fasted that day until evening, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. (RSV)

 

Judges 21:2 And the people came to Bethel, and sat there till evening before God, and they lifted up their voices and wept bitterly. (RSV)

 

Ruth 2:17 So she gleaned in the field until evening; then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. (RSV)

 

1Samuel 14:24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day; for Saul laid an oath on the people, saying, "Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies." So none of the people tasted food. (RSV)

 

1Samuel 20:5 David said to Jonathan, "Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit at table with the king; but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field till the third day at evening. (RSV)

 

1Samuel 30:17 And David smote them from twilight until the evening of the next day; and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled. (RSV)

 

2Samuel 1:12 and they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the LORD and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. (RSV)

 

2Samuel 11:2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking upon the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. (RSV)

 

2Samuel 11:13 And David invited him, and he ate in his presence and drank, so that he made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house. (RSV)

 

1Kings 17:6 And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. (RSV)

 

1Kings 22:35 And the battle grew hot that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, until at evening he died; and the blood of the wound flowed into the bottom of the chariot. (RSV)

 

2Kings 16:15 And King Ahaz commanded Uri'ah the priest, saying, "Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening cereal offering, and the king's burnt offering, and his cereal offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their cereal offering, and their drink offering; and throw upon it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice; but the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by." (RSV)

 

1Chronicles 16:40 to offer burnt offerings to the LORD upon the altar of burnt offering continually morning and evening, according to all that is written in the law of the LORD which he commanded Israel. (RSV)

 

1Chronicles 23:30 And they shall stand every morning, thanking and praising the LORD, and likewise at evening, (RSV)

 

2Chronicles 2:4 Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of the LORD my God and dedicate it to him for the burning of incense of sweet spices before him, and for the continual offering of the showbread, and for burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths and the new moons and the appointed feasts of the LORD our God, as ordained for ever for Israel. (RSV)

 

2Chronicles 13:11 They offer to the LORD every morning and every evening burnt offerings and incense of sweet spices, set out the showbread on the table of pure gold, and care for the golden lampstand that its lamps may burn every evening; for we keep the charge of the LORD our God, but you have forsaken him. (RSV)

 

2Chronicles 18:34 And the battle grew hot that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Syrians until evening; then at sunset he died. (RSV)

 

2Chronicles 31:3 The contribution of the king from his own possessions was for the burnt offerings: the burnt offerings of morning and evening, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, the new moons, and the appointed feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD. (RSV)

 

Ezra 3:3 They set the altar in its place, for fear was upon them because of the peoples of the lands, and they offered burnt offerings upon it to the LORD, burnt offerings morning and evening. (RSV)

 

Ezra 9:4 Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, gathered round me while I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice. (RSV)

 

Ezra 9:5 And at the evening sacrifice I rose from my fasting, with my garments and my mantle rent, and fell upon my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God, (RSV)

 

Esther 2:14 In the evening she went, and in the morning she came back to the second harem in custody of Sha-ash'gaz the king's eunuch who was in charge of the concubines; she did not go in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name. (RSV)

 

Job 4:20 Between morning and evening they are destroyed; they perish for ever without any regarding it. (RSV)

 

Job 7:4 When I lie down I say, `When shall I arise?' But the night is long, and I am full of tossing till the dawn. (RSV)

 

Psalm 30:5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. (RSV)

 

Psalm 55:17 Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he will hear my voice. (RSV)

 

Psalm 59:6 Each evening they come back, howling like dogs and prowling about the city. (RSV)

 

Psalm 59:14 Each evening they come back, howling like dogs and prowling about the city. (RSV)

 

Psalm 65:8 so that those who dwell at earth's farthest bounds are afraid at thy signs; thou makest the outgoings of the morning and the evening to shout for joy. (RSV)

 

Psalm 90:6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers. (RSV)

Psalm 104:23 Man goes forth to his work and to his labor until the evening. (RSV)

 

Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before thee, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice! (RSV)

 

Proverbs 7:9 in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness. (RSV)

 

Ecclesiastes 11:6 In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good. (RSV)

 

Isaiah 17:14 At evening time, behold, terror! Before morning, they are no more! This is the portion of those who despoil us, and the lot of those who plunder us. (RSV)

 

Jeremiah 6:4 "Prepare war against her; up, and let us attack at noon!" "Woe to us, for the day declines, for the shadows of evening lengthen!" (RSV)

 

Ezekiel 12:4 You shall bring out your baggage by day in their sight, as baggage for exile; and you shall go forth yourself at evening in their sight, as men do who must go into exile. (RSV)

 

Ezekiel 12:7 And I did as I was commanded. I brought out my baggage by day, as baggage for exile, and in the evening I dug through the wall with my own hands; I went forth in the dark, carrying my outfit upon my shoulder in their sight. (RSV)

 

Ezekiel 24:18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died. And on the next morning I did as I was commanded. (RSV)

 

Ezekiel 33:22 Now the hand of the LORD had been upon me the evening before the fugitive came; and he had opened my mouth by the time the man came to me in the morning; so my mouth was opened, and I was no longer dumb. (RSV)

 

Ezekiel 46:2 The prince shall enter by the vestibule of the gate from without, and shall take his stand by the post of the gate. The priests shall offer his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate. Then he shall go out, but the gate shall not be shut until evening. (RSV)

 

Daniel 8:14 And he said to him, "For two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state." (RSV)

 

Daniel 8:26 The vision of the evenings and the mornings which has been told is true; but seal up the vision, for it pertains to many days hence." (RSV)

 

Daniel 9:21 while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. (RSV)

 

Habakkuk 1:8   Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on. Yea, their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour. (RSV)

 

Zephaniah 2:7 The seacoast shall become the possession of the remnant of the house of Judah, on which they shall pasture, and in the houses of Ash'kelon they shall lie down at evening. For the LORD their God will be mindful of them and restore their fortunes. (RSV)

 

Zephaniah 3:3 Her officials within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves that leave nothing till the morning. (RSV)

 

Zechariah 14:7 And there shall be continuous day (it is known to the LORD), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light. (RSV)


 

  Appendix C

 


DATE

PERIOD

OLD

TESTAMENT

NEW

TESTAMENT

10 NISAN

DAY

Passover lamb set aside.

 

 

13 NISAN

DAY

Move to temporary accommodation.

Disciples sent to establish temporary accommodation in accordance with Deuteronomy 16:5-6 (Mk. 14:12-26).

 

14 NISAN

NIGHT

In temporary accommodation outside of the towns (Deut. 16:5-6).

Preparation day meal eaten.

Christ establishes Foot-washing & Lord's Supper.

Arrested and tried.

 

DAY

Passover lamb killed at evening (Ex. 12:8) at the going down of the sun (Deut. 16:2,5,6).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unleavened Bread commences from evening on 14 Nisan from Exodus 12:17-20.

Christ crucified as Passover (Jn. 19:36; 1Cor. 5:7).

 

Christ pierced: of Levi/Shimei and David/Nathan (Zech. 12:10-13).

 

Christ died Wed. after 3 pm at the going down of the sun as lambs were being killed. Thick darkness occurs.

 

The Temple veil was ripped (Lk. 23:45) and the way into Holy of Holies (Ex. 26:31-35) was opened (Heb. 9:8; 10:19-20).

15 NISAN

NIGHT

Passover eaten.

 

1st Day of Unleavened Bread (Ex. 12:17).

 

Moses summoned to Pharaoh after midnight (Ex. 12:31).

 

Exodus begins.

 

600,000 men plus women and children plus a mixed multitude of non-Israelites plus flocks and herds of both groups (Ex. 12:37-39).

 

Commenced movement from all over Goshen.

Christ spends 1st night in tomb.

Passover eaten.

 

1st Day of Unleavened Bread.

 

DAY

Column commences departure from Rameses (Ex. 12:37).

1st Day in tomb.

 

16 NISAN

NIGHT

2nd Day of Unleavened Bread.

2nd Day of Unleavened Bread.

2nd night in tomb.

 

DAY

Column still moving from assembly area at Rameses.

2nd Day in tomb.

 

17 NISAN

NIGHT

3rd Day of Unleavened Bread.

3rd Day of Unleavened Bread.

3rd night in tomb.

 

DAY

Column still moving from Rameses.

3rd day in tomb.

Christ resurrected Sabbath evening.

Completes the sign of Jonah in its 1st phase (Mat. 12:39-41; 16:4; Lk. 11:29-30,32).

18 NISAN

NIGHT

4th Day of Unleavened Bread.

At nightfall Christ resurrected out of tomb in physical body (Job 19:26-27; Ez. 37:1-14) awaiting translation.

4th Day of Unleavened Bread.

Mary Magdalene sees Christ before dawn on Sunday morning (Jn. 20:1,14-18).

 

DAY

Wave offering established as symbolic of the first-fruits (Ex. 29:24-27).

Counting for Pentecost commences from this offering day, which is on the first day of the week following the weekly Sabbath.

Sequence of the ongoing harvest established by timed scale (Lev. 23:15-16).

Christ ascends as Wave or Sheaf offering, the first-fruits (Ex. 29:24-27).

Disciples and elect receive Holy Spirit at Pentecost as first-fruits after Christ (Acts 2:1-4).

 

19 NISAN

NIGHT

5th Day of Unleavened Bread.

5th Day of Unleavened Bread.

 

 

DAY

 

 

 

20 NISAN

NIGHT

6th Day of Unleavened Bread.

6th Day of Unleavened Bread.

 

 

DAY

Column in situ at Succoth.

 

 

21 NISAN

NIGHT

 

7th Day of Unleavened Bread.

7th Day of Unleavened Bread.

 

DAY

 

Holy Day of rest declared for removal from Egypt.

End of Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Disciples await Pentecost.