Passover – Confusion Eliminated

For many, it seems that the most confusing of all the sacred days of Yahweh is the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread.

The question that arises is, Why so much confusion?

In order to address and eliminate this confusion, it would seem reasonable to acknowledge that the expectation of keeping Yahweh’s sacred days existed from the time of Adam and Eve.

Let us cite a few relevant passages from Scriptures.

And eloahim said, Let there be luminaries in the open expanse of the heaven to divide between the daytime and the night and let them be for signs and for מועדים (moadim; APPOINTED TIMES) and for days and years; and let them be for illuminations in the open expanse of the heaven to give light on the land; and it was so. And eloahim made the two great luminaries: the great luminary for ruling the day and the smaller luminary for ruling the night, and the stars. And eloahim set them in the open expanse of the heaven to give light upon the land and to rule over the daytime and over the night, and to separate between the light and the darkness. (Gen. 1:14-18)

He (Yahweh) made the moon for the מועדים (moadim; appointed times), the sun knows where he enters in. (Psalm 103:19)

It is clearly evident that Yahweh’s Festival Days fall into the category of the moadim or appointed times, thereby confirming that the Festival Days were observed from the beginning in the Garden of Eden.  

Abraham Kept the Festival Days
At minimum, Scriptures indicate that Abraham, who lived well before the Torah of Moses, kept Yahweh’s Festival Days. Scriptures inform us:

Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, MY חקות (khoquth; STATUTES), and my laws. (Gen. 26:5)

The Festival Days, because they are moadim (appointed times), also fall under the legal category of a statute or ordinance. Therefore, one would have to ask, What statutes did Abraham keep? No doubt, they included the Festival and Sacred Days of Yahweh.

Three Times in the Year
We will now refer to Yahweh’s command regarding his Festival Days:

Three times in the year you shall celebrate to me: This, the Khag (Festival) of Unleavened Bread you shall keep. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I have com­­manded you for the moad (appointed time) of the moon of Abib, because in it you came out of Egypt. And you shall not appear to my face unworthy. And the Khag of the Harvest (Pentecost), the first fruits of your labor of what you sow in the field. And the Khag of Ingathering (Tabernacles), when the year goes out, in your gathering of your work from the field. Three times in the year every one of your males shall appear to the face of sovereign Yahweh. (Exod. 23:14-17)

What is important to notice with the instruction regarding the Khag of Unleavened Bread is that Yahweh informs the Israelites that they came out of Egypt at the moad (appointed time) of the moon of Abib. This moad occurred on Abib 14! The Israelites came out of Egypt when they were released from their bondage during the night of Abib 14 as Scriptures indicate:

And Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover (Abib 14): no foreigner shall eat of it.” (Exod. 12:43)

And ON THAT VERY DAY (Passover, Abib 14) Yahweh brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts. (Exod. 12:51)

Released From Bondage
Scriptures add further support and clarification for Abib 14 to be the day that the Israelites came out of Egypt when they were released from their bondage:

Say therefore to the people of Israel, “I am Yahweh, and I WILL BRING YOU OUT FROM UNDER THE BURDENS OF THE EGYPTIANS, and I WILL DELIVER YOU FROM THEIR BONDAGE, and I WILL REDEEM YOU with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment.” (Exod. 6:6)

Yahweh said to Moses, “Consecrate to me all the first-born; whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.” And Moses said to the people, “REMEMBER THIS DAY, IN WHICH YOU CAME OUT FROM EGYPT, OUT OF THE HOUSE OF BONDAGE, FOR BY STRENGTH OF HAND YAHWEH BROUGHT YOU OUT FROM THIS PLACE; NO LEAVENED BREAD SHALL BE EATEN. THIS DAY YOU ARE TO GO FORTH, in the month of Abib.” (Exod. 13:1-4)

There can be no doubt that “THIS DAY” when the Israelites came out from Egypt is Passover Day, Abib 14, as confirmed by Exod. 12:43-51.

Released at Night
Scriptures continue with the evidence for “THIS DAY” to be Abib 14:

And Pharaoh rose up in the night (Abib 14), 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. AND HE CALLED TO 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 Yahweh, as you have said. Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, AND BE GONE; and bless me also!” (Exod. 12:30-32)

It was on Abib 14 after midnight and “BY NIGHT” that the Israelites were delivered from their bondage and were no longer slaves to Egypt! This is in full accord with all the statements in Scriptures declaring that Yahweh brought the Israelites out of the house of bondage and the land of Egypt “BY NIGHT” on “THIS DAY.”

We will now return to the issue of the Festival of Unleavened Bread mentioned in Exodus 23:14-17.

Why Not Mention Passover?
Why didn’t Yahweh command that Passover was the first Festival to be kept instead of Unleavened Bread or at least mention Passover? Some may point this out to prove that Passover Day, Abib 14, is not a High Sabbath or part of the Festival of Unleavened Bread.

What the facts reveal is that the term Passover never occurred until the event of the Exodus. With the Exodus in 1439 B.C.E., the instructions were given for the first time to kill a lamb on Abib 14, and smear its blood on the door frame.

Succinctly, there was no need to mention the term Passover because the Passover event did not exist before the Exodus! On the other hand, the Festival of Unleavened Bread existed from the time of Adam and Eve.

Festival Days Neglected
In addition, one must recognize that Moses and the Israelites had to be informed by Yahweh when the month of Abib began along with instructions for Abib 10 and Abib 14-20. (See Exod. 12:1-20)

Therefore, Yahweh fully expected the Israelites to begin keeping the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread along with his other Sacred Days, as mentioned in Exod. 23:14-17, even though they had neglected them for about 400 years.

Passover and Unleavened Bread
In reality, Yahweh had the Passover event occur on the first day of the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread! The timing for Passover and Unleavened Bread was remarkable and precise.

Notice the explicit instructions regarding unleavened bread and the keeping of Passover on Abib 14:

And they shall eat the flesh IN THIS NIGHT (ABIB 14), roast with fire, and UNLEAVENED BREAD; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. (Exod. 12:8)

One had to eat the flesh with UNLEAVENED BREAD!

All Leaven Removed
This is not all. All leaven was to be gone from the homes of the Israelites before the beginning of Abib 14, which commenced after sunset.

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. (Exod. 12:15)

Carefully observe that leaven was to have ceased out of the houses FROM THE FIRST DAY UNTIL THE SEVENTH DAY.

Scriptural Confirmation
The fact that Passover Day, Abib 14, is the first day of the Festival of Unleavened bread is reflected and supported by Scriptures with the following:

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall celebrate the Festival of the Passover, and for seven days unleavened bread shall be eaten. (Ezek. 45:21)

Now prior to the day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Yahushua, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” (Matt. 26:17)

It was now two days before the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. (Mark 14:1)

And prior to 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?” (Mark 14:12)

Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. (Luke 22:1)

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. (Luke 22:7)

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even messiah our Passover is sacrificed for us. (1Cor. 5:7)

The Opposing View
The opponents of the 7-day Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread practice offer a rebuttal. They claim that Scriptures promote an 8-day scheme which is found with the passages from the books of Leviticus and Numbers.

Lev. 23:6 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, is Yahweh’s Passover. 

Lev. 23:6 And ON THE FIFTEENTH DAY of the same month is the Khag (Festival) of Unleavened Bread to Yahweh. Seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 

Lev. 23:7 On the first day you shall have a sacred convocation; you shall do no laborious work. 

Lev. 23:8 But you shall present an offering by fire to Yahweh seven days; on the seventh day is a sacred convocation; you shall do no laborious work.

Num. 28:16 On the fourteenth day of the first month is Yahweh’s passover. 

Num. 28:17 And ON THE FIFTEENTH DAY of this month is a Khag (Festival). Seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. 

Num. 28:18 On the first day there shall be a sacred convocation: you shall do no laborious work.

Num. 28:25 And on the seventh day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work.

Within these passages, it seems to indicate that the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread begins on Abib 15 and extends to Abib 21. It is also readily apparent that Scriptures state that Abib 15 is a Khag or Festival Day.

This prompts the vital question, How then does the information from these passages compare with that from the book of 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. (Ezek. 45:21)

In Ezekiel, it is explicitly stated that every day of the 7-day Passover/Unleavened Bread observance is a Khag or Festival day! This fact confirms that the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread consists of Abib 14 to 20.

How then can one reconcile the seemingly conflicting statement presented by this passage from Ezekiel?

The answer becomes more apparent when one first places the passages from Ezekiel and Leviticus or Numbers in chronological order.

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. (Ezek. 45:21)

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

What Scriptures intend to communicate is that the first day of the Khag of Unleavened Bread, Abib 14, was given an additional name because of the unique circumstances of the Exodus, which was a one-time event. That name was “Passover”!

Therefore, what this means is that the first day of the 7-day Festival can be referred to as the Festival of Passover and also the Festival of Unleavened Bread.

The passage from Leviticus is merely reminding the reader that Abib 15 is the second day of the 7-day Khag (Festival) of Unleavened Bread. This passage also reminds the reader that one is to eat unleavened bread for the 7 days of the Khag (Festival). According to Ezekiel, the Khag begins on Abib 14.

When all the relevant passages are assembled and considered, Scriptures are consistent that the Khag of Passover and Unleavened Bread consists of Abib 14-20 and fulfills the requirement that unleavened bread is to be eaten for a total of 7 days.

 Summation
When all of the evidence from Scriptures is carefully examined, there can be no doubt that Yahweh has preserved, in Scriptures, his precise dates and instructions for the observance of the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread.

Passover Day, Abib 14, is the first day of the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread, consisting of Abib 14-20.

Also, the first and last days of the Festival, Abib 14 and 20 are High Sabbaths as the following from Scriptures give:

On the first day you shall hold a sacred convocation, and on the seventh day a sacred convocation; no work shall be done on those days; but what every one must eat, that only may be prepared by you. (Exod. 12:16)

Hopefully, this study has proven to be helpful for those who are truly seeking Yahweh’s truth of the matter.

Yahweh be with you.

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