At first thought, it would seem that the dates for the Passover supper, the seven days of eating unleavened bread, and the Khag of Shabuath (Pentecost) should hardly be controversial issues. Following are the instructions:
Passover and Unleavened Bread
Ex. 12:3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, On the tenth (day) for this moon (named ha-Abib), they shall take for themselves a flock animal, each one for a father’s house, a flock animal for a house.
Ex. 12:4 And if the house is too small for a flock animal, he and his neighbor next to his house shall take according to the number of persons. You shall count, each one by the mouth of his eating, concerning the flock animal.
Ex. 12:5 The flock animal shall be for you a perfect one, a male, and a son of a year. You shall take it from the sheep or from the goats.
Ex. 12:6 And it shall be for you to keep until the fourteenth day for the moon. And all the assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it
בין הערבים (byn ha-arabim; within the periods of twilight).
Ex. 12:7 And they shall take from the blood and put it upon the two door-posts and upon the lintel upon the houses within which they eat it.
Ex. 12:8 And they shall eat the flesh in this night, roasted with fire and unleavened bread; together with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
Ex. 12:9 Do not eat it raw or boiled in water at all, for it shall be roasted with fire, its head with its legs and with its innards.
Ex. 12:10 And you shall not leave any of it until morning; and that left from it until morning you shall burn with fire.
Ex. 12:11 And this is the way 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 Passover for Yahweh.
Ex. 12:12 And I will pass through, in the land of Egypt, in this night and I will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from man and as far as beasts. And on the eloahi of Egypt I will execute judgments. I am Yahweh.
Ex. 12:13 And the blood shall be for you a sign upon the houses where you are. And I will see the blood and פסחתי (phasekh-thy; I will pass over) you, and the plague shall not be upon you for destruction when I smite the land of Egypt.
Ex. 12:14 And this day shall be a memorial for you and you shall celebrate it a חג (khag; festival) for Yahweh for your generations; you shall celebrate it a world-age lasting statute.
Ex. 12:15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. Indeed, on the first day you shall cause leaven to cease from your houses, because anyone eating anything leavened that person shall be cut off from Israel, from the first day to the seventh day.
Ex. 12:16 And on the first day shall be a sacred מקרא (miqra; convocation) and on the seventh day shall be a sacred מקרא (miqra; convocation) for you. Not any work shall be done by you.
Ex. 12:17 And you shall observe the (
feast of) unleavened bread, because on this very day I brought your armies out from the land of Egypt. And you shall observe this day for your generations, a world-age lasting statute.
Ex. 12:18 In the first (moon), on the fourteenth day for the moon, at ערב (arab; twilight), you shall eat unleavened bread עד (ad; until) the twenty-first day for the moon, at arab (twilight).
Ex. 12:19 Seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, because anyone eating anything leavened that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, among the resident aliens and among the natives of the land.
Ex. 12:20 Not anything leavened shall you eat. In all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.
Ex. 23:15 You shall keep the חג (khag; festival) of Unleavened Bread. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I have commanded you, for the מועד (moad; appointed time) of the Abib moon, because in it you came out from Egypt, and they shall not appear unworthy before me.
Lev. 23:15 And you shall number for yourself from the day after the Sabbath, from the day you bring in the עמר (omer) wave offering, they shall be seven complete Sabbaths,
Lev. 23:16 until the day after the seventh Sabbath. You shall number 50 days. And you shall bring near a new food offering to Yahweh;
Lev. 23:17 you shall bring in bread out of your dwellings for a wave offering, two (loaves); they shall be of two-tenth parts of flour; they shall be baked with leavening, firstfruits to Yahweh . . .
Lev. 23:21 And you shall make a proclamation on this same day, a sacred מקרא (miqra; convocation) it is to you. You shall not do any laborious work. It is an world-age lasting statute in all your dwellings in your generations.
Deu. 16:9 You shall number for yourself seven weeks. From the sickle beginning to cut on the growing stalks of grain you shall begin to number seven weeks.
Deu. 16:10 And you shall perform the Khag of Shabuath (Weeks) to Yahweh your eloahi, according to the measure of the free-will offering of your hand, which you shall give, accordingly as Yahweh your eloahi has blessed you.
One would suppose, for instance, that those of the Jewish faith would have been aware of the correct timing of these festivals from time immemorial. One would also assume that a quick check of the relevant statements from Scriptures should solve any apparent problems. Unfortunately, this optimistic view is simply not the case.
Today, among many of the various groups and individuals that purport to be striving to adhere to the truth of Yahweh, there exists a popular observance of the Khag of Passover and Unleavened Bread derived from a new interpretation of the Pharasaic/Hasidic Jewish practice.
Few realize that the issues of just how and when to celebrate the Khag of Passover and Unleavened Bread and the Khag of Pentecost have been hotly debated for centuries. Indeed, as early as the second century B.C.E. strongly divergent interpretations over exactly what the Scriptures had commanded in this regard were being voiced within the Jewish community.
The Christian assemblies began to struggle over these issues in the second century C.E. The search for the correct Passover and Shabuath systems, accordingly, must begin by laying out these various ancient constructs. At the same time, our study must remain cognizant of the fact that these different systems can only be understood within their historical and cultural backdrop.
Please continue with our the second installment of our Introduction titled 2. Passover – Intro. II.
For further reading see the publication by Qadesh La Yahweh press titled The Festivals and Sacred Days of Yahweh.