Archive for category Passover
In our previous discussion, Beginning the New Year – Pt. 1, we addressed the issue of the Hebrew terms תקופה (tequphah) and תקופת (tequphath).
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:
When all of the window dressing is removed, we discover that the entire issue about when to begin the year rests with the instructions regarding the Khag of Ingathering and its tequphath (season of the year).
The late Jews tell of four תקופת (tequphath) of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter), each calculated as a period following one of the days of a תקופה (tequphah): the vernal equinox, the summer solstice, autumnal equinox, and winter solstice.1
It is also important for us not to confuse the occurrence of a tequphah (i.e., equinox or solstice) with the season (tequphath) although the same word is sometimes used in common speech for both.
To begin with, a tequphah (equinox or solstice), as spoken of by Scriptures, is a solar event, marking a point of passage of the earth around the sun. It represents a day wherein one of two visual effects occur.
1. A solstice day is a day when the sun, as seen along the earth’s horizon, reaches its furthest point of rising or setting either on the north or south.
2. On the day of an equinox, on the other hand, the rising and setting of the sun lies on the horizon precisely in the middle between the two solstice points. As a consequence, the length of the periods of daytime and nighttime on that day of the equinox are almost exactly equivalent.
The Hebrew word תקופת (tequphath)—various transliterated as tekufath, tequfoth, tequfath, and so forth—is a form of the term תקופה (tequphah)—tekufah, tequfah, and so forth. Tequphah is itself derived from the word קופ (quph), meaning to, “go round.”2 The term תקופה (tequphah) more precisely means, “a revolution, i.e. (of the sun) course, (of time) lapse:—circuit, come about, end”;3 a “circuit,”4 “orbit of the sun . . . circle of the year.”5
In Part 2 of our discussion we will delve deeper into the Pharisaic influence on many, especially among the Sacred Name groups of today, regarding the practice of considering the maturity of barley to determine the month of Abib and the scriptural New Year.
Picking up from where we left off in Part 1, the month-name ha-Abib was next connected by the Pharisees with the day of the omer wave offering. An עמר (omer) is a dry measure or gathering of “newly cut grain,”32 as in “a heap.”33
Omer Wave Offering
The omer wave offering of newly cut grain was a requirement under the Torah of Moses as a gift to Yahweh, being the first-fruits from each year’s harvest. The offering occurs in the spring at the time of Unleavened Bread and is directly connected with the Promised Land. This offering is described in detail by the book of Leviticus.
When you come into the land (of Promise) which I am giving to you, and have reaped its harvest, and have brought in this omer, the beginning (first-fruits) of your harvest, to the priest, then he will wave this omer before Yahweh for your acceptance. On the day after the Sabbath the priest will wave it. (Lev. 23:9-11)
Technically, the instructions from Scriptures do not specifically mention which first-fruits from which harvest. It only indicates in a subsequent passage that the Israelites were not permitted to eat bread, קלי (qali; roasted whole grains),34 or כרמל (karmel; fruits and produce)—all indicating a variety of produce—derived from the new year’s crops until after the omer wave offering had been made.35
Several questions that are usually brought forward by those concerned regarding the New Year are:
• What is the definition of a scriptural New Moon?
• Is a visible crescent of the moon required to begin the month?
• From what location does one need to determine the New Moon?
• Does one use the spring equinox to determine the month of Abib?
• Does one only use the “green ears of barley” formula for the month of Abib?
• Can one use only calculations for the New Moons?
• Does one use both the spring equinox and barley for the month of Abib?
• What group today has Yahweh’s truth and authority to proclaim the true New Year?
• Can we rely on the current Jewish Calendar for the correct dates?
As you can surmise, there can exist much confusion as one tries to sort out the actual truth of the matter.
In previous articles, we have already discussed the issues of visible new moons and calculations as they relate to Yahweh’s sacred calendar.
In this particular discussion we will address the validity of the so-called requirement of “green ears of barley” to determine the month of Abib and the beginning of Yahweh’s New Year.
The reason being that the majority of Sacred Name groups of today assert that in order for a person to partake of the Passover meal they must have undergone a mandatory water baptism in the proper name of the messiah.
It is also maintained by these groups that before the death of Yahushua the messiah, in order to partake of the Passover meal, all men had to be fleshly circumcised.
Different Passover Systems
We must first admit to a basic difference in the opinion about Passover. To begin with, many Christians are often unaware that there were several different Passover systems practiced by the ancient Jews.
In Circumcision & Passover – Pt 2 our discussion left off with the evidence provided from Scriptures to prove that the Israelites kept the Passover in the wilderness including all uncircumcised males.
We now need to go back and take another look at Exod. 12:48 in context where the command is given for all males to be circumcised in order to partake of the Passover.
And when a stranger shall sojourn with you, and will keep the passover to Yahweh, LET ALL HIS MALES BE CIRCUMCISED, and then let him come near and keep it; AND HE SHALL BE AS ONE THAT IS BORN IN THE LAND: FOR NO UNCIRCUMCISED PERSON SHALL EAT OF IT. (Exod. 12:48)
The reader then has to proceed on to Exod. 13:5 where it states:
And WHEN YAHWEH BRINGS YOU INTO THE LAND of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jeb’usites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, YOU SHALL KEEP THIS SERVICE (the Passover) in this month. (Exod. 13:5)
It is important to now notice what happens as soon as the Israelites do cross over to the west side of the Jordan and enter the land after 40 years in the wilderness:
In Circumcision & Passover – Pt 1 we covered the testimony regarding fleshy circumcision as found in the New Testament. We will now continue on the Trail of Truth to reveal the confirmation of that testimony primarily from the Old Testament.
A close examination of the book of Genesis, for example, reveals that fleshly circumcision was not a legal requirement of the original contract made with Abram (Abraham) in the Abrahamic Covenants of Promise.
Abraham Blessed Before Fleshly Circumcision
Before the token of fleshly circumcision was used by Abraham and his household (which did not come into effect until Genesis 17), we read in Genesis 12:
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 hop on the Trail of Truth to investigate.
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.
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 to System 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.
In our last post, Passover/Abib 14 is a Festival Day!, any and all doubt was removed concerning the veracity of whether Passover Day, Abib 14, is in fact a khag or Festival/Feast Day.
As previously noted, there are those who would point to Leviticus 23:6 and insist that Abib 15 is the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread which continues on through Abib 21 (System B and System G).
And on the fifteenth day of the same month is a festival of unleavened bread unto Yahweh: seven days you must eat unleavened bread. (Leviticus 23:6)
Also, they reference the passage from Numbers:
And on the fifteenth day of this month is a festival; seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. (Numbers 28:17)
For those who observe a form of the Pharisaic/Hasidic practice for the Festival of Unleavened Bread (System B and System G), these passages from Leviticus and Numbers are held as proof that the first day of the 7-day Festival of Unleavened Bread is Abib 15.
It is evident that when these two passages are closely examined in context the results reveal the opposite and actually support Passover Day, Abib 14, as being the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread (System A).
It is abundantly clear that there has been an
overwhelming amount of evidence provided that supports the 7-day observance of Passover and Unleavened Bread being Abib 14-20. It is also
evident 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 presented 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. (System B, System G)
When it comes to the issue of determining New Moons by visiblity or calculation, there are a number of questions one should consider when trying to ascertain Yahweh’s truth of the matter.
It seems that many people have been convinced by the religious leaders of various Sacred Name groups 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 the formula they claim emanates from Scriptures 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.
Another witness comes from an extra-biblical work, namely the Book of Yashar, also known as Sefer Ha-Yashar.
The present copy of the Book of Yashar is by no means to be assigned the authority of Scriptures but what the text has to say regarding the Passover of the Exodus nevertheless proves quite informative and interesting to say the least.
Book of Yashar
81:5 And the children of Israel TRAVELED FROM EGYPT AND FROM GOSHEN AND FROM RAMESES, AND ENCAMPED IN SUCCOTH ON THE FIFTEENTH DAY of the first month.
There has been provided abundant evidence, with our Passover Series, regarding the true dates of Abib 14-20 for the 7-day Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread.
There are those who disagree with the research presented and instead promote an 8-day observance of Passover and Unleavened Bread resulting in the dates of Abib 14-21.
Two scriptural passages that are misinterpreted and then used as proof against the 7-day Passover/Unleavened Bread practice 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.
This person is named in the New Testament as Pontios Pilatos or as many would recognize him, Pontius Pilate. He was the Roman prefect (governor) of Judaea under the emperor Tiberius, from 26-36 C.E.
The circumstances occurred during the time that Yahushua the messiah was brought before Pontius Pilate by the Jewish religious leaders to exact an execution to be legally carried out by the Roman state.
The historical evidence dates this event to Abib 14, Passover day, of the year 30 C.E., corresponding to April 6, and was a Thursday.
Was it possible that Pilate was capable of grasping some sense of truth from Yahushua?