There is a popular Sacred Name group that offers an article titled “Why Passover is Not a High Day.” Contained within this article is the subtitle “12 Reasons Why the Passover Is Not the First High Day.”
We shall present a few excerpts from the article to illustrate the distortions and reinterpretations of Scriptures utilized by them to justify their predetermined conclusions regarding Passover.
The following are “Reasons” 10 and 11. After each “– STATEMENT –” we will provide a “• RESPONSE •”.
10. Does Passover Memorial Make Eight Days of the Feast?
– STATEMENT –
From the time we take the emblems of unleavened bread and the cup, we are to purge (Strong’s No. 1571 ekkathairo), meaning to cleanse thoroughly, to eliminate, to purify, to get rid of the old leaven. Does this mean that we are now keeping eight days of unleavened bread rather than seven, as some allege?
It is implied that after eating the Passover meal at the beginning of Abib 14, one is to begin to purge or get rid of the old leaven that still remains in the home.
– STATEMENT –
The laws [sic] says we are to eat unleavened bread at the Passover memorial service (Ex. 12:8). Passover day, being the “preparation” for the high day of the coming Feast (Mark 15:42), is a time to rid our homes of all leavening.
The article refers to Mark 15:42 to emphasize that Abib 14 is a “preparation“ day for the High Sabbath of Abib 15. When one consults the parallel passage in John 19:42, John emphasizes that this day was more specifically the “preparation of the Jews.” In other words, it was a preparation day that was designated by the Pharisees for their High Sabbath of Abib 15!
The statement also infers that leaven still remains in the home after the Passover meal at the beginning of Abib 14. Unfortunately, a conflict arises with the passage from Exodus.
SEVEN DAYS you shall eat unleavened bread; ON THE FIRST DAY YOU CAUSE LEAVEN TO CEASE 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 12:15)
Scriptures plainly state that one begins to eat unleavened bread at the start of Abib 14 just after sundown and continues to eat unleavened bread through Abib 20 for a total of seven days. Scriptures also indicate that the leaven is to cease from one’s house at the beginning of Passover, Abib 14 and nothing leavened can be eaten until after the seventh day, Abib 20.
– STATEMENT –
No command exists, however, to eat unleavened bread on the rest of the Passover day, only to use unleavened bread for the memorial itself. The command for DAILY eating of unleavened bread comes with the start of the feast on the 15th (Lev. 23:6; Num. 28:17). Saying that eating the unleavened Passover symbol at the start of the 14th constitutes eight days of eating unleavened bread is faulty human rationale. It is the tomb a few minutes before sunset accounts for one of the three days in the “three days and three nights” prophecy of Matthew 12:40!
This statement explicitly declares that leavened bread can still remain in the home during the Passover meal at the beginning of Abib 14. It also implies that one can actually eat leavened bread after the Passover meal. It is said that all that is required is for one to eat unleavened bread with the Passover meal, and after that, all the leavening is to be removed from the home before Abib 15.
It is also inferred that the 7-day count of the “DAILY” eating of unleavened bread begins with the feast on the 15th, citing Lev. 23:6 and Num. 28:17. How is one to interpret “DAILY” eating? If one ate unleavened bread on Abib 14 through 21, would that not be eating daily for 8 days?
Next, both Lev. 23:6 and Num. 28:17 have to be understood in relationship to the original instructions found in Exodus 12:14-20. For a detailed explanation, see Passover – Exodus Interrogated Part I and Part II. Here you will discover that the first day of Unleavened Bread is a High Sabbath and begins on Abib 14.
– STATEMENT –
Yahweh simply tells us that the Passover memorial bread must be unleavened.
Simply false because the implication is that one can choose to eat leavened bread after the Passover meal.
11. Getting the Leaven Out
– STATEMENT –
We spend the rest of Passover day taking leaven from our houses, then begins a separate seven days of eating unleavened bread. Whether we choose to call that eating unleavened bread “eight days” is irrelevant – especially when the bible is dealing with two different, separate, and distinct observances.
Because the Savior has been sacrificed for our sins, we are then to continue to feed upon the “unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” We are to keep (No. 1858 heortazomen, “keep on keeping”) the Feast in the physical and spiritual sense.
We have already proven that the information contained in the first sentence is blatantly false. Next is a statement that admits to eating unleavened bread for eight days, which is in direct opposition to the scriptural command to eat unleavened bread for only seven days! Then in an obvious attempt to circumvent Scriptures, it is said that eating unleavened bread for eight days is irrelevant!
– STATEMENT –
Having partaken of the “Bread of Life,” we eat nothing leavened to [sic] rest of the 14th. Then we begin eating unleavened bread on the 15th and for the six days thereafter.
Eating toasted leavened bread at breakfast and a sandwich at noon following the Passover memorial, as someone suggests, does not allow us to “purge out the old leaven.” (Did Israel munch on leavened bread as they left their homes after Passover? No record of such exists.) The seven days of “Unleavened” start that evening at sunset. Following Passover, we may choose not to eat bread of any kind until the fifteenth, then obediently eat unleavened bread.
This statement is completely contradictory to the previous one. Here it is proclaimed that one eats nothing leavened after the Passover meal at the beginning of Abib 14 and then begins to eat unleavened bread on Abib 15. But then, it is said that eating “bread of any kind” after the Passover meal is a choice.
One can only conclude that this means it is scripturally permissible if one chooses to eat unleavened bread after the Passover meal on Abib 14. Remarkably, the fact persists that unleavened bread still remains in the home on Abib 14!
– STATEMENT –
Consider this fact – on Passover night ancient Israelites still had leavened bread in their houses. The leaven stayed in their houses, while they removed THEMSELVES from it [sic] the daylight portion of Passover day as they gathered to leave Egypt. The law in Deuteronomy 16:4 says no leaven was to be found “with thee in all thy coast seven days” of the Feast.
The statement that the Israelites still had leavened bread in their houses on Abib 14 is disproven by Scriptures and is completely false. According to Scriptures, all leaven was to be removed by the beginning of Abib 14 as demonstrated in our previous response citing Exodus 12:15.
Also, what is conveniently left out of the passage of Deut. 16:4 is the relevant section of the verse that identifies the first day of the “seven days” of the Feast as being Passover Day, Abib 14!
No leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory for seven days, and none of the flesh of what you sacrifice on the evening of the first day shall remain until morning. (Deut. 16:4)
The Passover lamb was sacrificed and eaten at the beginning of Abib 14 after sunset, which is defined as the first day that all leaven was gone from one’s house and territory. The evidence confirms that Passover Day, Abib 14, is the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread!
– STATEMENT –
If Passover is the first high day of Unleavened Bread, then Israel violated Yahweh’s command by retaining leaven in their homes on Passover. By the start of the Feast all leaven in their homes on Passover. [sic] By the start of the Feast all leavening was to be removed: “Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with you, neither shall there be leaven seen with you in all your quarters” (Ex. 13:7).
This statement is an illogical conclusion. The reason is that Passover, Abib 14, was indeed a High Sabbath and no leaven was present in any home on that day in complete obedience to Yahweh’s command.
– STATEMENT –
Instead of getting the leaven out of their houses, they themselves got out of their “leavened” houses and took unleavened bread and kneading troughs with them on this preparation day before the high Sabbath. We do the same on Passover day as we separate ourselves from leavening. And so by the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread all leavening is removed. The [sic] we begin eating unleavened bread for seven complete days.
This is complete and utter nonsense. Now it is surmised that leavening remained in the houses of the Israelites on Abib 14 with no attempt to remove it at all, which is in total contradiction to the previous statements given. Instead, it is said that the Israelites removed themselves from their homes, which had leavening in them, on Abib 14. This is in complete contradiction to Scriptures.
Scriptures explicitly instructed the Israelites to remove all leavening from their homes before the beginning of Abib 14 as we have mentioned above and also referencing Exodus 12:15. One should also consult Exodus 12:16-20 for more evidence. Scriptures plainly state that the Israelites did not travel on Passover Day, Abib 14.
In fact, Scriptures indicate that they began their travel on Abib 15.
And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the Passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians. (Num. 33:3)
• END •
What Does This Mean?
What does all this mean for those who rely on their religious leaders to help them attain the truth of Yahweh, especially in regard to Yahweh’s sacred days?
One should be reminded of the instructions from Scriptures:
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil. 2:12)
Also, one should heed the following:
These (Bereans) were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11)
The Deception of the Pharisees
Some teachers and elders maintain that Yahweh’s truth is unattainable at this time, and they refuse to listen to the words of Yahweh that are contained in Scriptures, especially concerning Yahweh’s sacred days.
Instead, they choose to follow the error of the Jewish religious leaders, notably the Pharisees.
• It was the Pharisees who designated Passover Day, Abib 14, as a preparation day and not a High Sabbath.
• It was the Pharisees who designated Abib 15 as a High Sabbath day.
Words of Yahushua the Messiah
Regarding the Pharisees, today’s teachers and elders should recall the words of Yahushua the messiah:
You (Pharisees) are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
Scriptures define who it is that has the proclivity to tamper with Yahweh’s sacred days as demonstrated in the book of Daniel:
He (the Beast) shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, AND SHALL THINK TO CHANGE THE SET TIMES and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, two times, and half a time. (Dan. 7:25)
The set times that are being changed in verse 25 are the Festival Days of Yahweh. No doubt, this would contribute to much confusion concerning Yahweh’s sacred calendar.
The point is, if one is presently confused regarding how to correctly keep Yahweh’s Festival Days, how will one be able to overcome the deception of the anti-messiah during the coming Tribulation?
It would be logical and reasonable that if Yahweh commands us to keep his Festival Days that he would fully expect us to keep them correctly. The logic also follows that Yahweh has provided the information in Scriptures to keep his Festival Days accurately, and he fully expects this information to be found in Scriptures and be understood.
Yahweh is not the author of confusion.
For Yahweh is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all assemblies of the saints. (1Cor. 14:33)
On the other hand, there is indeed one who causes confusion and deceives.
And cast him (Satan) into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more… (Rev. 20:3)
Yahweh’s Truth is Attainable
Yahweh’s truth is attainable for those who genuinely seek it out. Accordingly, it would be wise to listen carefully to the words addressed to Daniel that enabled him to receive Yahweh’s help:
Fear not, Daniel, for FROM THE FIRST DAY THAT YOU SET YOUR MIND TO UNDERSTAND AND HUMBLED YOURSELF BEFORE YOUR ELOAHI, YOUR WORDS HAVE BEEN HEARD, and I have come because of your words. (Daniel 10:12)
The question is, Will the teachers and elders who purport to be seekers of Yahweh set their minds to understand the truth with humility whereby they can then lead their flock as good shepherds?
Simply put, there is no excuse for rejecting Yahweh’s clear instructions for the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread as originally given in the book of Exodus.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your eloahi, I will also forget your children. (Hosea 4:6)
Concealment of the Truth
Those teachers and elders who are grounded in Scriptures know quite well that the number of days for eating unleavened bread is scrupulously limited to 7 days. Yet, they also know quite well that by eating unleavened bread from Abib 14 to 20 would make a total of 8 days, which is in direct contradiction to Yahweh’s instructions.
Being face with this dilemma, the religious leaders have resorted to the solution of concealing the truth with misinterpretations and falsehoods.
For the serious student of Yahweh’s word, these deceptions are readily uncovered.
In addition, These teachers and elders should recognize that the prime basis for the modern hybrid 8-day practice of Abib 14-21 is founded upon the teachings of Clarence O. Dodd and Herbert W. Armstrong, who heavily relied upon Jewish tradition and authority, especially of the Pharisees, for their conclusions.
For the evidence of Dodd’s and Armstrong’s error, see Passover – C.O. Dodds Failing.
Search Out the Facts
It is incumbent upon everyone who is actively seeking out Yahweh’s truth, to search out the facts in Scriptures along with the historical evidence and ancient testimony. One must assemble the various items of evidence together like a puzzle as Scriptures instruct us:
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little. (Isaiah 28:9-10)
Therefore, if Yahweh’s instructions are carefully followed, then one will come to the truth of the matter.
Succinctly, there are no excuses for claiming ignorance of correctly knowing how and when to keep Yahweh’s Festivals and Sacred Days.
It is time to remove the cloak that has been covering Yahweh’s truth regarding the 7-day Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread consisting of Abib 14-20.
Invitation and Challenge
You are invited to take up the challenge to reexamine the facts regarding the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread by perusing the three-part Article titled Passover – Exodus Interrogated.
Yahweh be with you.