Two scriptural passages that are misinterpreted and then used as proof against the 7-day Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread practice of Abib 14-20 are Deuteronomy 16:8 and Ezekiel 45:21.
Before addressing these two passages, we will quickly recap the two positions.
• Abib 14, Passover day, is a Festival Day and High Sabbath. It is the first day of Passover week and the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread. One commences eating unleavened bread just after sunset at the beginning of Abib 14.
• Abib 15 would be the second Festival Day of the 7 days of Passover week and Festival of Unleavened Bread. This day is not a High Sabbath.
• Abib 20 is a High Sabbath and the last and 7th day of Passover week and Festival of Unleavened Bread.
• There are a total of 7 days of eating unleavened bread.
For those who still seem confused by all the seemingly conflicting interpretations from others who maintain an Abib 14-21 observance, then one might want to try the logical approach for ferreting out the truth of the matter.
1. All scriptural evidence pertaining to Passover/Unleavened Bread must be in accordance with the original instructions set forth in the book of Exodus by Yahweh.
In other words, Exodus must serve as the foundation for all debate and discussion.
2. It follows that if one encounters any scriptural verse outside the book of Exodus that seems to conflict with the foundation of Exodus, one should immediately recognize the red flag raised by such and proceed to ask the pertinent questions to help unravel the conflict.
With this in mind, we have provided the following three links for the analysis of Chapter 12 of the book of Exodus, which serves as the firm foundation from which one can proceed to uncover the actual facts:
After perusing these three Posts, it would behoove one to review a few statements used by most present-day Sacred Name groups for their popular form of an 8-day observance of Passover/Unleavened Bread, which is Abib 14-21. These 8-day advocates propose the following:
• Abib 14, Passover day, is not a Festival Day or High Sabbath. It is a memorial day and a preparation day for Abib 15, the Festival of Unleavened Bread. One commences eating unleavened bread just after sunset at the beginning of Abib 14.
• Abib 15 would be the 1st day of the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread. It is also a High Sabbath.
• Abib 21 is a High Sabbath and is the 7th and last day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread.
• There are a total of 8 days of eating unleavened bread.
We will now point out the first red flag and ask a straightforward question to the reader.
Red Flag #1
Deut. 16:8 indicates 8 days of eating unleavened bread.
Question: Where in all of Scriptures can one find the number 8 in reference to the eating of unleavened bread during the Festival of Unleavened Bread, or Passover for that matter?
Answer: Nowhere! The only number that you will ever find is the number 7.
Of course, the 8-day advocates will argue that there is a misunderstanding of Deuteronomy 16:8, which they interpret to indicate 8 days of eating unleavened bread.
For six days you shall eat unleavened bread; and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to Yahweh your eloahi; you shall do no work on it. (Deut. 16:8)
According to their interpretation, since everyone knows that the seventh day is Abib 21 and a High Sabbath, it should be evident that Abib 15 is day one. Therefore, one merely has to add six days to Abib 15, and it all works out to Abib 21 in full accord with Deut. 16:8.
To arrive at a correct understanding of Deut. 16:8 it is imperative that we look at this verse in context:
16:1 Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover to Yahweh your eloahi; for in the month of Abib Yahweh your eloahi brought you out of Egypt by night.
16:2 And you shall offer the passover sacrifice to Yahweh your eloahi, from the flock or the herd, at the place which Yahweh will choose, to make his name dwell there (Abib 14).
16:3 YOU SHALL EAT NO LEAVENED BREAD WITH IT (Passover meal); SEVEN DAYS YOU SHALL EAT IT (Passover meal) WITH UNLEAVENED BREAD, the bread of affliction–for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste–that all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt (Abib 14). (See Exod. 12:17 in 31. Passover – Exodus Interrogated II for a full discussion)
16:4 NO LEAVEN shall be seen with you in all your territory for SEVEN DAYS; nor shall any of the FLESH (Passover lamb) WHICH YOU SACRIFICE ON THE EVENING OF THE FIRST DAY (Abib 14) remain all night until morning.
16:5 You may not offer the Passover sacrifice within any of your towns which Yahweh your eloahi gives you (Abib 14);
16:6 But at the place which Yahweh your eloahi 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 (Abib 14), at the time you came out of Egypt (Abib 14). (See Exod. 12:17 in 31. Passover – Exodus Interrogated II for a full discussion.)
16:7 And you shall roast it and eat it (Passover lamb) at the place which Yahweh your eloahi will choose; and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents (Abib 14).
16:8 For six days you shall eat unleavened bread; and on the seventh day (Abib 20) there shall be a solemn assembly to Yahweh your eloahi; you shall do no work on it.
According to Deuteronomy:
• When does one begin to eat unleavened bread?
• How many days does one eat unleavened bread with the Passover meal?
• How many days is there not to be found any leaven within the territory of the Israelites?
• If one adds 6 days to the 1st day of eating unleavened bread, Abib 14, at which date of Abib does one arrive?
• Is there any indication in Deut. 16:1-8 that demonstrates a change from Abib 14 to Abib 15?
• Do any of your answers conflict with Exodus, Chapter 12?
Red Flag #2
Ezekiel 45:21 demonstrates that Passover is separate
from the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread.
Question: If this is true, then are there 8 days of eating unleavened bread if we include Passover?
Answer: Impossible! As noted above, nowhere in Scriptures can the number 8 be found regarding the days of eating unleavened bread.
As we shall demonstrate, the 8-day advocates arrive at their conclusion by utilizing the KJV translation and some creative punctuation.
In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, you shall have the Passover, a festival of seven days, unleavened bread shall be eaten. (KJV-Ezekiel 45:21)
According to their interpretation, the Festival of Unleavened Bread consists of 7 days from Abib 15-21. However, in reality, one starts eating unleavened bread with the Passover meal after sunset, which begins the day of Abib 14.
This same interpretation adds the 1 day of eating unleavened bread during the Passover meal (Abib 14) to the 7 days of the Festival of Unleavened Bread (Abib 15-21), resulting in an observance of 8 days of eating unleavened bread.
Therefore to agree with this interpretation, one only needs to replace a comma with a period, and conveniently the problem is solved:
In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, you shall have the PASSOVER. A FESTIVAL of seven days, unleavened bread shall be eaten.
Passover: A Festival Day
At this point, it might be worth asking the question, “Is there an awareness that Passover Day, Abib 14, is an actual Festival/Feast Day?”
THIS DAY (Passover, Abib 14) shall be for you a memorial day, and YOU SHALL KEEP IT A חג (KHAG; FESTIVAL/FEAST) to Yahweh; throughout your generations you shall observe it an ordinance for a world-age lasting time. (Exodus 12:14)
Now, getting back to Ezekiel, “How does the literal translation from the Hebrew read?”
Also, Ezekiel adds that during the Khag of Passover (week), one is to eat unleavened bread for 7 days!
In light of Exodus, Chapter 12, and if punctuation were to be added, where would one make the insertions?
To add more fuel to the fire, so to speak, let’s take a look at the English translation from the Greek Septuagint (LXX).
According to Ezekiel:
• What day of the first month does one observe the Khag (Festival) of Passover?
• The Khag (Festival) of Passover consists of how many days?
• How many days does one eat unleavened bread?
• If one begins to eat unleavened bread during the Passover meal on Abib 14, what Abib date does one arrive at for the 7th day of eating unleavened bread?
• Do any of your answers conflict with Exodus, Chapter 12?
The truth is that Deuteronomy 16:8 and Ezekiel 45:21 are in complete agreement with Exodus, Chapter 12.
All are consistent with the fact that the Festival of Passover/Unleavened Bread strictly consists of 7 days which fall on the dates of Abib 14-20.
Another question that one might ask is, “Where did the notion of 8 days of eating unleavened bread originate?”
If you are interested in finding out, it is highly suggested that you peruse the complete Passover Series for more information.
Yahweh be with you.