YRR has released two audio MIni-Pods covering the topic of The Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread, Abib 14.
This two-part series demonstrates that the Hebrew text of the book of John (MS. Vat.ebr.100) establishes that Abib 14 is a High Sabbath and the first day of the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread.
The MIni-Pods can be accessed and listened to at the following links:
In the Hebrew New Testament book of John (MS. Vat.ebr.100), there is a seeming anomaly regarding the burial and anointing of the body of Yahushua the messiah.
The Hebrew text suggests that the burial of Yahushua’s body by Joseph of Arimathea occurred during the late afternoon of Abib 14. Later, he returned on Abib 15, sometime after sunset, with Nicodemus to anoint the body.
This circumstance would contradict the Greek texts, which have both events occurring during the late afternoon of Abib 14 before sunset.
The relevant passage of John 19:38-39 when translated from the Greek and Hebrew texts, is as follows:
• Greek – After this, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Yahushua, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Yahushua, and Pilate gave him leave. So he came and took away his body. NICODEMUS ALSO, WHO HAD AT FIRST COME TO HIM BY NIGHT, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds’ weight. They took the body of Yahushua, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.
• Hebrew – After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who remained hidden for fear of the Jews because he was the disciple of Yahushua, asked Pilate that he would give permission to take Yahushua from the cross. And Pilate permitted to him. THEN JOSEPH CAME WITH NICODEMUS TO YAHUSHUA IN THE NIGHT, bringing a mixture of myrrh (about a hundred pounds). They took the body of Yahushua, bound it in linen cloths, and anointed the body with precious ointments as is the custom of the Jews to embalm.
It is evident that the Hebrew text has Joseph and Nicodemus return to the tomb after sunset, at night, to anoint Yahushua’s body with precious ointments. This also means that this occurred on Abib 15.
Yahweh’s work is to be done on the Sabbath, which includes his work by the Assembly on that day.
This day also encompasses celebrating the Sabbath as a שבתון (sabbathon; special Sabbath), prostrating before (worshipping) Yahweh, teaching and study, and priestly duties.
As we have previously stated, the Sabbath day is a day to be remembered and kept sacred, as Yahweh intended. (Gen. 2:2-3)
Yahweh commands us:
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it sacred. (Exod. 20:8)
It is to be celebrated as a sabbathon, or special kind of Sabbath. Celebration of the Sabbath, accordingly, is itself a work of Yahweh.
The Hebrew word שבתון (sabbathon), on the one hand, derives from the term שבת (Sabbath), i.e., to “cease” from some action or work. Yet it means “a time of rest,” “a sabbatism or special holiday,” or more properly, “a special time of ceasing.”
The Sabbath was made for ἄνθρωπον (anthropon; mankind), not mankind for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)
This statement means that the Sabbath Days of Yahweh were meant to assist mankind.
Therefore, Sabbaths are meant to bring mankind closer to Yahweh and eternal life. It is a time for mankind to refresh himself and rest from his work of creating a livelihood and from doing his own concerns.
The Sabbaths are a time for one to turn toward creating his or her perfected innermost self and establishing their relationship with Yahweh.
Accordingly, on that day, the discussion, work, labor, and activity required must deal with Yahweh and the work he desires that we accomplish.
This study shall provide an in-depth examination of what is proper and improper for the observance of the Sabbath day.
Indeed, it is one thing to conclude that Yahweh established the seventh day of the week as a Sabbath. Still, it is quite another to know what keeping the Sabbath actually entails.
Work Not to be Done According to the instructions from Scriptures, there are several things that one must not do on the Sabbath Day (whether the weekly Sabbath or a High Sabbath).
Primary to the instructions regarding the Sabbath Day is that you are not to do “מלאכת (malakath; work, employment),” or “מעשה (maseh; activity, product creation),” or any “עבד (abad; servile labor).” (Exod. 20:8-11, 23:12; Deut. 5:12-15)
Employees working for you and even livestock so employed must also cease doing such work on the Sabbath. (Exod. 20:8-11, 23:12; Deut. 5:12-15)
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 104:19)
It is 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.
A popular Sacred Name group offers an article titled “Why Passover is Not a High Day.” This article contains 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 to justify the predetermined conclusions regarding the Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread.
The following are “Reasons” 10 and 11. In addition, after each – SNG STATEMENT – ( Sacred Name group statement) we, will provide a • YRR RESPONSE • (Yahu Ranger response).
10. Does Passover Memorial Make Eight Days of the Feast?
– SNG 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?
In an effort to support an 8-day practice of Passover and Unleavened Bread consisting of Abib 14-21, many purported followers of Yahweh manipulate the simple truth conveyed by certain passages of Scriptures.
For instance, they claim to offer as evidence Exodus 12:14, which they say has been misinterpreted and thereby proves that Passover Day, Abib 14, is not a Festival Day, a High Sabbath, or the first day of Unleavened Bread. Therefore, Passover Day is summarily relegated to be just a memorial and a type of preparation day.
It is also claimed that the Festival of Unleavened Bread begins on their designated High Sabbath of Abib 15. This 7-day Festival would continue through Abib 21.
One should keep in mind that these assertions are made with the knowledge that one actually begins to eat unleavened bread on Passover Day, Abib 14.
Therefore, when one adds the 1-day observance of the Passover Memorial (Abib 14) to the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread (Abib 15-21), there is a total of 8 days of eating unleavened bread.
Of the four Gospels, there exists a perception that the book of John relates a contradictory narrative in relation to the other Gospels regarding the account of Yahushua the messiah’s last Passover supper, also known as the “Last Supper.”
Because of this perception, many have utilized the book of John to support the idea that Yahushua never actually ate the Passover supper since it occurred on the evening of Abib 14, which was one day before the officially sanctioned day of Abib 15 as recognized by the Jewish religious leaders.
Some claim that Yahushua’s “Last Supper” on Abib 14 was a faux Passover or a fake. The reason being that Yahushua knew that he would be dead and would not be able to keep the true Passover on Abib 15.
Others say that because of this unique circumstance, an exception was made for Yahushua by father Yahweh, who permitted him to observe a valid Passover one day earlier, thereby circumventing the Law!
We learned that a tequphah is a solar event and is a point in time that could be an equinox or a solstice.
It was also recognized that a tequphath represents a season of the solar year. The two seasons for calculating Festival Days being spring-summer and autumn-winter.
With this in mind we will continue in Part 2 with an examination of the Festival of Tabernacles and the Festival of Ingathering. What we will discover is how they both relate to the determination of the scriptural New Year.
Khag of Tabernacles We must next be cognizant of the difference between the use of the labels “the Khag (Festival) of Ingathering” and “the Khag of Tabernacles,” the latter forming only a part of the former. The instructions from Deuteronomy and Leviticus for the seven-day Khag of Tabernacles state:
There is a belief among some proclaimed followers of Yahweh that in order for men to partake of the Passover, they must first be circumcised of the flesh.
Fleshy circumcision is also held by some as a proof that Passover is not an actual Festival or Feast Day for the reason that the lack of circumcision would prevent individuals from participating in a required sacred day of Yahweh.
What do Scriptures actually say concerning this issue?
If you are interested in finding out the truth of the matter then it would be advantageous for you to continue with our investigation.
Before we can directly address the issue of circumcision as it relates to Passover we must first determine if Scriptures demand fleshy circumcision in order for men to be saved.
Usually two reasons are given by the advocates of circumcision:
• Abraham was circumcised and he was commanded to circumcise all the males of his household.
• Fleshly circumcision is required in the written Torah of Moses (Old Covenant).
What does the book of Exodus really say regarding the observance of the Festival of Passover? Also, what about the Festival of Unleavened Bread?
There are two main popular understandings:
• According to the Hasidic Jewish view (System B) the Passover lamb was killed during the afternoon of Abib 14 and the Passover supper took place after sundown on Abib 15.
Abib 14 is a preparation day and not a High Sabbath. Abib 15-21 is the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread. Abib 15 and 21 are High Sabbath days. There are 8 days of eating unleavened bread.
• Among the Sacred Name groups of today, most hold to the Modern Hybrid view (System G) whereby, at the Exodus, the Passover lamb was killed at the start of Abib 14 after sundown and the Passover supper eaten that night.
Like the Hasidic Jews holding toSystem B, they consider Abib 14 to be a preparation day and not a High Sabbath. Abib 15-21 is the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread. Abib 15 and 21 are High Sabbath days. There are 8 days of eating unleavened bread.
For the seeker of truth, we are only left with the following possibilities.
1. One system is right. 2. Both systems are wrong.
If you have a strange suspicion that the second answer is more correct, then it is suggested that you read on.
When it comes to the issue of determining New Moons by visibility or calculation, there are a number of questions one should consider when trying to ascertain Yahweh’s truth of the matter.
It seems that various religious leaders have convinced many people that not only must one actually see the visible crescent of the new moon but must also determine the greenness of the barley crop for the New Year.
These religious leaders purport to know and understand the true criteria for the determination of Yahweh’s calendar. They also claim their knowledge and understanding comes directly from Scriptures.
In addition, these religious leaders claim that their formula for determining New Moons emanates from Scriptures and is very simple. So simple that Yahweh has provided the means for virtually anyone to determine the beginning of months and years regardless of circumstance.
Well, almost anyone. You might not be so fortunate if you don’t have 20-20 vision or are not a farmer.
For those who are interested in observing the Sabbath years it would be very beneficial, at least from Yahweh’s perspective, to know what month actually begins the Sabbath year, Abib or Tishri.
There are many who actually believe that the Sabbath year begins with the seventh month of Tishri and not with the first month of Abib (Nisan).
It has also been extrapolated by many that not only should Sabbath years commence according to a Tishri reckoning but that every year should begin with the seventh month of Tishri.
If one believes that such a notion is found in Scriptures, then it is suggested that one take a closer look at the relevant facts of the matter.
In order to addess this issue we must contend with the concept that the Jews, from the time of their return to Judaea from Babylon in 538 B.C.E. until the end of the Bar Kochba revolt (135 C.E.), officially began their Sabbath years with Tishri 1 (Sep./Oct.) of the sixth year of the Sabbath cycle, as had become their custom sometime after the Bar Kochba war.
Do Scriptures actually reveal that the Festival of Passover is the first of the 7 days of Unleavened Bread lasting from Abib 14-20?
During the process of finding out the truth of the matter, the evidence from33. Passover – Evening Begins the Dayhas firmly established that the Hebrew term ערב (arab; evening) begins at sunset, the period of twilight, and is the first part of a new day.
Our attention will now turn to the expression “בין הערבים (byn ha-arabim; i.e., between, among, in the midst of, or within the arabim (often translated “evenings”).1