39. Passover/Abib 14 is a Festival Day!

It is abundantly clear that there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that supports the 7-day observance of Passover and Unleavened Bread being Abib 14-20. Also, it can be demonstrated that this was the practice of Yahushua the messiah and the early assemblies who later were referred to as Quartodecimans. (System A)

Nevertheless, there are many who would stubbornly disagree with this conclusion in the face of the facts and continue on with a form of the Pharisaic/Hasidic practice of an 8-day observance of eating unleavened bread from Abib 14-21. (Hasidic/Pharisaic System B and Modern-Hybrid System G)

With System B and System G, Passover Day, Abib 14, is not the first day of the Festival or Feast of Unleavened Bread. Even though Passover Day is in fact considered a day of eating unleavened bread it is relegated to just a memorial and preparation day for Abib 15, which under their system is officially the first day of the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread (Abib 15-21).

Under both systems, regardless of when the Passover meal is eaten, at the beginning of either Abib 14 or Abib 15, there would be a total of 8 days of eating unleavened bread.

EXODUS 34:25
As an attempt to discredit the validity of the Quartodeciman Passover/Unleavened Bread practice of Abib 14-20 (System A) many objectors bring up the point that Passover Day is not a Festival Day even though the scriptural citation of Exodus 34:25 indicates it as such.

You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the חג (khag, FESTIVAL) of the Passover be left unto the morning. (Exodus 34:25)

It is claimed that, even though the verse seems to clearly indicate that Passover Day (Abib 14) is a Festival Day, there has been a mistranslation into English of the Hebrew word khag (festival) and that it should read “victim” instead.

Therefore when the verse is retranslated it would read as follows:

You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the חג (khag, VICTIM) of the Passover be left unto the morning.

Could such a translation bear any merit?

If you’re entertaining such a notion then it is suggested that you proceed onward to uncover the truth of the matter.

According to Scriptures in order for any truth to be established there has be at least two or three witnesses.

In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (2 Corinthians 13:1)

Therefore if the Hebrew word khag can mean “victim” there should be other scriptural witnesses or verses to establish this so-called truth.

When the Hebrew of the Old Testament is searched there is only one verse containing the term khag that might be consideredPsalm 118:27.

This mistranslated verse per the King James Version gives the word sacrifice.

El (the mighty one) is Yahweh, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice (Hebrew: חג, khag) with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. (Psalm 118:27)

As one further investigates this particular Psalm by consulting the Greek Septuagint for the equivalent Greek word for חג (khag) one finds the word ἑορτή (heorte).

θεός κύριος καί ἐπιφαίνω ἐγώ συνἵστημι ἑορτή ἐν πυκάζω ἕως  κέρας  θυσιαστήριον (LXX, Psalm 117:27)

Strongs Exhaustive Concordance: 1859. ἑορτή heorte, heh-or-tay´; of uncertain affinity; a festival: — feast, holyday.

The fact of the matter is no verse in either the Hebrew or Greek texts that support the idea that the term khag or heorte is a victim or sacrifice.

Additionally, the “victim” hypothesis cannot even meet the bare minimum of at least two or three witnesses to establish scriptural truth.

Conversely, Scriptures clearly demonstrate that the terms khag and heorte always mean Festival or Feast Day.

Actually the New International Version gives a very good translation of Psalm 118:27.

Yahweh is el (the mighty one), and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. (Psalm 118:27)

It all comes down to this. No amount of word gymnastics is going to detract from the fact that Scriptures explicitly state that Passover Day, Abib 14, is a Festival Day!

Now might be a good time to look at a few more verses which will add further support.

THIS DAY (Passover, Abib 14) shall be for you a memorial day, and YOU SHALL KEEP IT A חג (KHAG, FESTIVAL) to Yahweh; throughout your generations you shall observe it an ordinance for a world-age lasting time. (Exodus 12:14)

You shall not offer the blood of my זבח (zebakh, sacrifice) with leaven; neither shall the זבח (zebakh, sacrifice) of the חג (KHAG, FESTIVAL) OF THE PASSOVER be left unto the morning. (Exodus 34:25)

Notice that the specific Hebrew word for the sacrifice or victim is זבח (zebakh). It is distinctly the זבח (zebakh, sacrifice) that is not to be left until the morning and not the חג (khag, festival).

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: 2077 OT – Hebrew zebachzeh’-bakh from ‘zabach’ (2076); properly, a slaughter, i.e. the flesh of an animal; by implication, a sacrifice (the victim or the act):–offer(- ing), sacrifice.

According to the opposing viewpoint one should be able to interchange the words victim and sacrifice with no difference of the intended meaning. In other words, the victim is the sacrifice and the sacrifice is the victim.

Therefore if one were to substitute the word “sacrifice” for “festival” as they would have it for Exodus 34:25 here is what the result would be:

You shall not offer the blood of my SACRIFICE with leaven; neither shall the SACRIFICE of the SACRIFICE of the Passover be left unto the morning.

It is quite apparent that there is something sorely wrong with this forced approach.

Now let’s compare the true reading of Exodus 34:25 with the passage from Ezekiel:

In the first month, in the FOURTEENTH DAY OF THE MONTH, you shall have the PASSOVER, A חג (KHAG, FESTIVAL) OF SEVEN DAYS; unleavened bread shall be eaten. (Ezekiel 45:21)

Now might be a good time to ask, “When did one begin to eat unleavened bread?” If your answer is Abib 14 then you are correct. As you know, one begins to eat unleavened bread with the Passover meal.

The next question would be, “How many days does one eat unleavened bread?” If your answer is 7 days then you are correct again. Scriptures are quite explicit about that.

“How many days would you add to Day 1 of eating unleavened bread to come up with a total of 7 days of eating unleavened bread?” Of course, we can all agree that it is 6 days.

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)

“If the first day of eating unleavened bread is Abib 14, then on what Abib date would you arrive at when you add 6 more days?” Looks like there there is an obvious answer, Abib 20.

Our results prove that the first day of the 7-day Festival of Passover/Unleavened Bread is Abib 14. One begins to eat unleavened bread at the beginning of Abib 14 and then continues for 6 more days making Abib 20 the last day of the Festival.

As amply demonstrated again, the Festival of Passover/Unleavened Bread observance of Abib 14-20 confirms the most ancient system as practiced by Yahushua the messiah and his early followers, notably the Quartodecimans.

But there are those who would point to Leviticus 23:6 and insist that the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread is Abib 15, which continues on through Abib 21 for a total of 7 days.

And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Festival of Unleavened Bread unto Yahweh: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. (Leviticus 23:6)

Accordingly, there can be no doubt that Scriptures indicate that Abib 15 is also a Festival Day. What is important is to recognize that Abib 15 is the second Festival Day of the 7-day Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread. Regarding the Festival of Passover consisting of 7 days we again consult the book of Ezekiel which gives the explicit statement:

In the first month, in the FOURTEENTH DAY OF THE MONTH, you shall have the PASSOVER, A חג (KHAG, FESTIVAL) OF SEVEN DAYS; unleavened bread shall be eaten. (Ezekiel 45:21)

This particular aspect of Passover Week will be addressed in a forthcoming post. In the meantime, just keep in mind as you ponder Leviticus 23:6 that every day of the 7-day Passover/Unleavened Bread observance is a khag or Festival day.

Be on the lookout for future posts covering The Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread.

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  1. #1 by Paulus Precarious on 03/23/2015 - 4:55 pm

    Thanks for that Ranger. Of course, when the apostle Paul, referring to Passover, says, “Let us keep the FEAST, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1Cor. 5:8). In context, there is no way the the statement “let us keep the FEAST (ἑορτάζωμεν)” could possibly refer to a victim. It should be obvious to all that the 14th of Abib is a feast day. And according to the apostle Paul, it is a day of unleavened bread (1Cor. 5:7).

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