The Commandments of God:
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Tract 12E, STUDY-Tract. Passover & DUB. April 2015, Rev Aug 2016.

Passover & Days of Unleavened Bread

There are differing beliefs regarding the timing of events which occurred during the spring Festive season - the days in which the LORD's Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread (DUB) were observed by the Israelites: In the fourteenth day of the first month at <beyn> even <`ereb> is the LORD'S passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread (Lev. 23:5-6; read also Num. 9:2-5; 28:16-17; 33:3; (Ex. 12:6 cited below)). I want to share some facts that I've learned from studying this matter - facts which are easily overlooked. The purpose of this study-tract is not to place judgment upon anyone, but to rather bring more understanding to the table.

0996. beyn, bane; (sometimes in the plural masculine or feminine); properly, the constructive form of an otherwise unused noun from 995; a distinction; but used only as a prep, between (repeated before each noun, often with other particles); also as a conjunction, either...or:--among, asunder, at, between (-twixt...and), + from (the widest), X in, out of, whether (it be...or), within.

06153. `ereb, eh'-reb; from 6150; dusk:--+ day, even(-ing, tide), night.

06150. `arab, aw-rab'; a primitive root (identical with 6148 through the idea of covering with a texture); to grow dusky at sundown:--be darkened, (toward) evening.

My goal is to show the chronological order in which those events HAD to occur to avoid contradictions. I've included 'STRONGS' Hebrew and Greek word definitions for a few Scriptures from which the English words were translated in hopes to help define them.

Leviticus 23:5-6 (cited above) clearly states that the Passover is on the 14th day of the month, and the first DUB on the 15th. I'll briefly go over a few events which will distinctly prove that the observance of the LORD's Passover began at the beginning of the 14th day.

1) The Passover lamb was kept UNTIL the 14th day, and killed when that day began: And ye shall keep it up until <`ad> the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in <beyn> the evening <`ereb> (Ex. 12:6).

05704. `ad, ad; properly, the same as 5703 (used as a preposition, adverb or conjunction; especially with a preposition); as far (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with):--against, and, as, at, before, by (that), even (to),  for(-asmuch as), (hither-)to, + how long, into, as long (much) as, (so) that, till, toward, until, when, while, (+ as) yet.

NOTE: Scriptural days begin in the evening: ...And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night <layil>. And the evening <`ereb> and the morning <boqer> were the first day (Gen. 1:5b; read also verses 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).

3915. layil, lah'-yil; or (Isa. 21:11) leyl {lale}; also laylah {lah'- yel-aw}; from the same as 3883; properly, a twist (away of the light), i.e. night; figuratively, adversity:--((mid-))night (season).

01242. boqer, bo'-ker; from 1239; properly, dawn (as the break of day); generally, morning:--(+) day, early, morning, morrow.

A twenty four hour day begins and ends in the evening: ...from even <`ereb> unto even <`ereb>, shall ye celebrate your sabbath (Lev. 23:32). 

That evening begins at sunset: ...there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even <`ereb>, at the going down of the sun... (Deut. 16:6), emphatically pointing to the moment the sun sets, thus giving the Sabbath a definite starting point.

I'll define a couple of words that are used in Exodus 12:6 which will help to place the critical time element. It states that the Passover lamb was kept UNTIL <`ad> (upto, hither to, against) and thus killed-sacrificed at the beginning of the 14th day. The phrase in <beyn> the evening <`ereb> is transliterated in the Jay Green's Interlinear Bible as between the evenings, and points to the time between sunset and darkness; the twilight period - dusk. That term is used in Exodus 12:6; 16:12; Lev. 23:5; Num. 9:3, 5, 11; each time pointing to that specific time - the twilight, or dusk. 

When the word <`ereb> (even-ing) is used without the word <beyn> ahead of it, it points to the end of that day, like in Exodus 12:18 where it clearly indicates that the seven DUB are to be observed from the end (sunset) of the 14th to the end (sunset) of the 21st: In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even <`ereb>, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even <`ereb>.

Leviticus 23:32 (cited above) emphatically shows that the Day of Atonement, which falls on the 10th day, is to be observed from the end (sunset) of the 9th to the end (sunset) of the 10th; thus covering the 24 hour period of the 10th. That makes it unmistakably clear that the moment of SUNSET ends one day and begins the next. So the events prescribed to the 14th MUST occur between the sunset of the 13th and the sunset of the 14th. Likewise, the events of the 15th MUST occur between the sunset of the 14th and the sunset of the 15th. Please bear this in mind while reading what follows.

2) Some of the Passover lamb's blood was sprinkled onto the doorposts, and its meat was eaten in their homes at night, with unleavened bread, roasted by fire: And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night <layil>, roast with fire, and unleavened bread...  (Ex. 12:7-8; read also verse 46; Num. 9:3, 5, 11). 

3) There was to be nothing left over: And ye shall let nothing of it remain until morning <boqer>... (Ex. 12:10; read also verse 46). They were to stay in their homes all that night: ...none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning <boqer> (Ex. 12:22); because the Lord would pass over the dwellings which had the lamb's blood on the doorposts - hence the name the LORD's Passover - and He killed the firstborn of ALL man and beast of the households which were not marked with the lamb's blood, while executing judgment on ALL of Egypt's gods (Ex. 12:12-14; Num. 33:4). The Scriptures distinctively show that these events occurred on the 14th day, and not on the 15th. On the 15th day the Israelites left Egypt.

Many believe that the Passover lamb was killed in the afternoon of the 14th and eaten after sundown, thus having entered the 15th day. That rendering places the very events which SIGNIFY the Passover, namely, God's PASSING-OVER the marked dwellings and the slaying of the firstborn in the unmarked dwellings, to occur in the night of the 15th day instead of the 14th. But the Passover is on the 14th.

We'll review more Scriptures which clearly define the events of the Passover as occurring on the 14th, and the events of the 1st DUB when they left Egypt occurring on the 15th.

Exodus 12:1-14 gives the instructions for the Passover, commanding it to be kept forever. Verse 15 begins the instructions for the DUB, commanding the first and seventh days to be kept Holy. Verse 17 shows the Israelites leaving Egypt on the first DUB, the 15th. Verse 18 (cited earlier) commands His people to be leaven-free for the duration of the seven days. Verses 21 to 39 talk about the Passover again, taking us to the time when they were ready to leave Egypt. From verse 29 to 33 (the firstborn now dead) Pharaoh tells Moses to take his people and their belongings and livestock and leave! From verse 34 to 39 the Israelites prepare to depart out of Egypt.

So, they ate the Passover and, as commanded, they stayed in their homes until morning (Ex. 12:27, 35, 50). NOTE: They could not stay in their homes until morning and leave that same night. In the Scriptures, morning comes AFTER night: ...and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; <layil> and when it was morning, <boqer> the east wind brought the locusts (Ex. 10:13). The crack of dawn marks the beginning of morning <boqer>, just like the diminishing of light marks the beginning of the night <layil>. 

Accordingly, they had from morning until sunset on the 14th to go to Egypt, plunder their goods, be out of Egypt and back to their homes, packed and ready for the journey which was to take place in the night of the 15th: It is a night <layil> to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night <layil> of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations (Ex. 12:42).

They left Egypt during the night portion of the day after the Passover of the 14th, which is the beginning portion of the 15th day: And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow <mochorath> [the next day] after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians (Num. 33:3). By the light of the moon, the Egyptians helplessly watched the Israelites walk away, while they were burying their firstborns (verse 4).

04283. mochorath, mokh-or-awth'; or mochoratham (1 Sam. 30:17) {mokh-or-aw- thawm'}; feminine from the same as 4279; the morrow or (adverbially) tomorrow:--morrow, next day.

And David smote them from the twilight <nesheph> even unto the evening <`ereb> of the next day: <mochorath>... (1 Samuel 30:17a). This verse shows that the Greek word <mochorath> cannot mean morning as is believed by some. It cannot mean 'unto the evening of the morning'.

05399. nesheph, neh'-shef; from 5398; properly, a breeze, i.e. (by implication) dusk (when the evening breeze prevails):--dark, dawning of the day (morning), night, twilight.

Consider now that there were at least three million Israelites with all their goods and livestock residing somewhat adjacent to Egypt. So they dwelt in the vicinity which covered possibly about a 10 mile radius from their workplace. Those events would take a few hours.

They left Egypt with great substance, just as God promised their father Abraham. I believe that the Israelites got paid in full for all those years of being enslaved - the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel is fair and just. Verses 41-42 relate to that very day, exactly 430 years after God made the covenant with Abraham (Ex. 12:40-42, 51; Gen. 14 & 15).

Some confusion comes about because that the whole 8 day spring Festival season (the Passover day and the 7 DUB) is in some Scriptures lumped together and thus referred to as either just Passover or just DUB. This terminology also appears in the New Testament (Luke 22:1, 7; Matt. 26:17; Mark 14:12).

The Messiah and His disciples kept the Passover in a house (Mat. 26:18). And we will now see that the Messiah kept the PASSOVER - not merely a regular meal - also at the BEGINNING of the 14th day. There was no question as to when to keep it, but His disciples asked WHERE to prepare it.

Think about this defining moment:

In Matthew 26:17 the disciples asked their Master where they should prepare for to EAT the Passover. In verse 18 the Messiah said He would KEEP the Passover. In verse 21 they ATE the Passover.

Mark 14:12 defines that specific moment as the time in which the killing/sacrificing <thuo> of the Passover lambs WAS IN PROGRESS. The Greek word <thuo> translated here as 'killed' is elsewhere translated as 'sacrificed' (Acts 14:13, 18; 1 Cor. 5:7; 10:20). In verse 14 the Messiah said that He would EAT the Passover with His disciples. In verse 18 they ATE the Passover.

2380. thuo, thoo'-o; a primary verb; properly, to rush (breathe hard, blow, smoke), i.e. (by implication) to sacrifice (properly, by fire, but genitive case); by extension to immolate (slaughter for any purpose):--kill, (do) sacrifice, slay.

Luke 22:7 states that the Passover MUST be killed/sacrificed <thuo> at that moment. In verse 8 the Messiah sent two of His disciples to "Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat". In verse 11 He emphatically stated that He would EAT the Passover with His disciples. Verse 14 specifies a particular moment 'when the HOUR was come' (at sunset on the 13th day, thus beginning the 14th day - between the evenings - as according to Ex. 12:6; Lev. 23:5; Num. 9:2-11), the Messiah desired to EAT the LAST PASSOVER with them, and stated that He would not again keep it with them until His return. Later in the afternoon of that day the Messiah was crucified (Matt. 27:50; Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46). He did NOT keep the Passover in that afternoon with His disciples - they had forsaken Him and fled the scene (Matt. 26:56; Mark 14:50).

But the Pharisees, who placed the authority of the Talmudic traditions higher than the Commandments of God, kept the Passover a day later than the Messiah; beginning in the late afternoon of the 14th and going into the 15th, as many of them still do to this day (John 18:28).

While observing the Passover together with His disciples, the Messiah instituted the bread, wine, and foot washing ceremony and commanded those rituals be done henceforth as a memorial of His death until He returns (Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:17-20; John 13:1-15; 1 Cor. 11:23-34)

The Scriptures show that the Messiah IS the slain Lamb of God: ...Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world  (John 1:29b, 36); ...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8b). 

The sacrifice of the Messiah's flesh and blood fulfilled what the unblemished Passover lamb symbolized - life: Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you (John 6:53; read verse 53-56; Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:16-20; 1 Peter 1:19; Rev. 5:6, 12), by sacrificing His life for ours: ...Christ our passover is sacrificed <thuo> for us (1 Corinthians 5:7), wherefore we no longer sacrifice a lamb (Hebrews chapters 9 & 10).

The Scriptures make it abundantly clear that the Messiah kept the Passover, and at the beginning of the 14th day; not late in the afternoon and leading into the 15th day. He kept it at that specific moment in time BECAUSE that it was the appointed time as prescribed in the Torah. His true followers knew of the proper time, and just asked Him WHERE He wanted them to prepare for it. If He had kept it at any other time, He would've broken the Law.

780-928-3679 April 2015, Rev August 2016.

Scriptures are from the KJV and Jay Green's Interlinear Bible.

Hebrew and Greek definitions are from STRONG's Concordance.

ALL emphasis is mine.