How to celebrate Pesach and the Feast of Unleavened Bread

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Matza-in-tallit_XL.jpgAbba YHVH, in His greatness, has given us seven festivals to celebrate throughout the year. These are His appointed times. In this study, we are going to focus on the practical observation of the feasts of Pesach and Unleavened bread. In Ex 12:2-29, we find the instructions for the very first time these feasts were to be observed. These were given to Moses by YHVH before the exodus out of Egypt.

Are all these instructions applicable to us? Do we have to slaughter a lamb and apply the blood to the doorposts? What does our Father desire from us in the observation of these feasts?

It is the month of Abib/Aviv, the beginning of the year and the season is spring. The earth is abounding with new life and fresh growth. A perfect time to, once again, prepare ourselves for a completely new spiritual season and year. It is time for “spring cleaning” both physically and spiritually. If you want to learn more about how the new year is determined, you can read the article “Is the search for abib barley scriptural?

We are sharing what we have learned through studying the Scripture regarding these feasts, particularly on how to practically apply it. We are going to focus on the what, why, when, where, how and who of Pesach and the Feast of unleavened bread. There is so much more that can be shared regarding these feasts like the spiritual significance of this feast, Y’shua in the Passover and how it is prophetic of the greater exodus that will take place in the future, but we shall get to that in follow-up articles.

Before we go into the detail, I would like to point out to you, that Pesach and the Feast of Unleavened bread are two separate feasts, but being back to back, most people tend to refer to it as one feast: Passover or Pesach or Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:5,6). The Pesach is eaten at the beginning of the 15th day of Abib. On the 14th day, between the evenings, the lamb was slaughtered and roasted. The feast of Unleavened bread starts on the 15th of Abib, a Sabbath, with the seder meal(the Pesach).(We have included for you a Haggadah for the seder meal, to print out and use. It is available in Afrikaans, Dutch and English)

It continues for seven days and concludes on the seventh day with another Sabbath.

How was the first Passover observed?

The 14th of Abib is the day of preparation before the Pesach meal, also known as the Passover. This day is not a sabbath, but is used to slaughter and prepare the lamb for roasting. We also need to prepare for the meal that would take place after sunset.

The first instructions are found in Exodus 11 and 12. We are going to use these instructions as the backbone and add the other references hereto for further clarification.

Exodus 12:2–5
2 “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. 3 “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household. 4 ‘Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. 5 ‘Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

The preparation for the Pesach commences when the lamb is chosen on the tenth day. This lamb is to be from the first year (not older than one year see the Young’s literal translation beneath). It must be kept and inspected, from the tenth to the fourteenth of Aviv, in order to ensure that it is unblemished. The lamb can be from the sheep or from the goats.

Exodus 12:4–5
4 ‘(And if the household be too few for a lamb, then hath he taken, he and his neighbor who is near unto his house, for the number of persons, each according to his eating ye do count for the lamb,) 5 a lamb, a perfect one, a male, a son of a year, let be to you; from the sheep or from the goats ye do take it.

Exodus 12:6–11
6 ‘You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.7 ‘Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 ‘They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.9 ‘Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. 10 ‘And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire. 11 ‘Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is YHVH’s Passover.

The word “twilight” is “ereb” in Hebrew. Here is an explanation when this is:

EVENING
˓ereb (עֶרֶב, 6153), “evening, night.” The noun ˓ereb appears about 130 times and in all periods. This word represents the time of the day immediately preceding and following the setting of the sun. During this period, the dove returned to Noah’s ark (Gen. 8:11). Since it was cool, women went to the wells for water in the “evening” (Gen. 24:11). It was at “evening” that David walked around on top of his roof to refresh himself and cool off, and observed Bathsheba taking a bath (2 Sam. 11:2). In its first biblical appearance, ˓ereb marks the “opening of a day”: “And the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen. 1:5). The phrase “between the evenings” means the period between sunset and darkness, “twilight” (Exod. 12:6; KJV, “in the evening”).
Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W. (1996). Vol. 1: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (71). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

We get a lot of information from these verses as to how this feast was first observed. Here are the instructions:

  • On the fourteenth day: slaughter the lamb at twilight. As we have seen this is the period immediately preceding, and following the setting of the sun.
  • The blood of the lamb was applied to the lintels of the house
  • The lamb is roasted with fire with its head and its legs along with its entrails, it shall not be raw or boiled in water.
  • The roasted lamb is eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
  • None of the meat shall be left over till morning, it shall be burned with fire (Ex 34:25)
  • It must be eaten with loins girded, sandals on your feet, staff in hand; and you shall eat it in haste

Should we slaughter a lamb for the Pesach?

Which of these instructions are applicable to us? Should we slaughter a lamb for the Pesach? Some would say that we should, one reason being the absence of the Tabernacle or Temple when these instructions were first given. Each person slaughtered his livestock as and when necessary for his family. However, we must also look at the instructions in the other books of the Torah.

After the exodus from Egypt, the Israelites started their journey into the wilderness, received the Torah and the instructions for the Tabernacle. They built the Tabernacle, starting on the 1st day of Aviv, the second year in the wilderness and observed the Pesach in that same month (Num 9:1-2). We see in Deuteronomy that the Pesach lamb is now a sacrifice, commanded to be offered in the place where YHVH chooses to establish His name. There is also a prohibition to sacrifice in any of the towns (Deut 16: 5-7).

Deuteronomy 16:1–2
1 “Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to YHVH your Elohim, for in the month of Abib YHVH your Elohim brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 “You shall sacrifice the Passover to the YHVH your Elohim from the flock and the herd, in the place where YHVH chooses to establish His name.

Deuteronomy 16:5–7
5You are not allowed to sacrifice the Passover in any of your towns which YHVH your Elohim is giving you; 6 but at the place where YHVH your Elohim chooses to establish His name, you shall sacrifice the Passover in the evening at sunset, at the time that you came out of Egypt. 7 “You shall cook and eat it in the place which YHVH your Elohim chooses. In the morning you are to return to your tents.

We can therefor, in my opinion, conclude that we are not to sacrifice a lamb at home for Pesach. We can still eat roasted lamb to memorialize the Pesach sacrifice. We can also eat it in haste; lions girded, sandals on our feet and staff in hand, if we desire to reenact the exodus. This will enrich the teaching experience.

Certain of the instructions given for that first Passover was only for that specific event

  • the sacrifice of the lamb at home
  • the eating in haste with lions girded, sandals on your feet and staff in hand (Ex 12:11). As we said before, we can do this in order to reenact the Passover when we teach our children.
  • the blood on the doorposts was a specific sign (Ex 12:13) in order for YHVH to spare their firstborn.
  • Israel is also commanded to ask of their neighbors for articles of silver and gold. I do believe that was also only for that specific event (Ex 11:1-2).
  • there is an instruction that they are also not to go outside their house till morning (Ex 12:22). We see this changed in Deut 16:7 “In the morning you are to return to your tents

It is a permanent ordinance

The next instruction is very important! The celebration of this feast to YHVH is a permanent ordinance. We are still to celebrate this feast, in our time!

Exodus 12:14
14 ‘Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to YHVH; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.

Exodus 12:24
24 “And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever.

Cleaning out the leaven

Now, we get to the instructions regarding the unleavened bread. What is leaven?

Leaven or yeast is a common Jewish metaphor for an invisible, pervasive influence. This can be a corrupting influence and is frequently connoted as such. 

Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Mk 8:15). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

We can therefor, see leaven as symbolic of sin, or sinful influences in our livesSearching for and removing the leaven is analogous to doing a search for and removal of these from our lives. While we clean and rid our homes of the leaven, we are to ask Abba YHVH to reveal this to us, even that which is hidden, in order to rid ourselves of it.

Exodus 12:15–20
15 ‘Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove(cause to cease) leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 16 ‘On the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you. 17 ‘You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance. 18 ‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 ‘Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is an alien or a native of the land. 20 ‘You shall not eat anything leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.’ ”

Exodus 13:6–10
6 “For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to YHVH. 7 “Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders.

Deuteronomy 16:3–4
3You shall not eat leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), so that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. 4For seven days no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory, and none of the flesh which you sacrifice on the evening of the first day shall remain overnight until morning.

We are to remove all leaven from our homes (Ex 12 :15), no leaven is to be found in your dwellings (Ex 12:20) or within our borders (Ex 13 :7)or within our territory (Deut 16:4).

It is interesting to note that three different words are used to describe the place from where leaven must be removed. Firstly, house (beit) which means home; dwelling (mô∙šāḇ) which means place; and then borders or territory (gebul).

1473 גְּבוּל (geḇûl): n.masc.; ≡ Str 1366; TWOT 307a—1. LN 1.82–1.85 territory, region, district, i.e., a land region as a governmental administrative area, as a smaller unit of the whole of a nation’s land (Jos 12:4); 2. LN 80.5–80.7 boundary, border, i.e., the outer limit of an area or space (Nu 22:36), see also 1474; 3. LN 7.59–7.62 wall, formally, boundary, i.e., a construction with a focus on this barrier as an outer limit of constructed area or space (Eze 40:12)
Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Is it acceptable to remove leaven from your home and store it in your shed or garage? It depends on your interpretation of the word borders or territory. Abba YHVH was speaking to Israel as a nation, and He didn’t want any leaven in His land during these seven days. If you think about it in a spiritual context, with sin being leaven, would it be acceptable to put away your sin, just to go and take it out after seven days?

I became convicted when I studied this. Allow me to explain. We can’t buy sodium bicarbonate in the shops here; we have to order it via the internet, so when I do, I buy a few packets. I was going to put it away in the shed until after the feast. Not anymore!

When cleaning out the leaven, think about it as sin, and you will do what is right. That said, I don’t think it wrong to give it away to unbelievers. While we are on the topic of cleaning out the leaven, what is leaven? What do we need to rid our homes of?

We should clean out everything that can cause dough to rise, or anything that contains such an ingredient. That would include: yeast, baking powder, sodium bicarbonate, bread, cakes and the like. Many products contain yeast extract; those must also go (it is anyway very detrimental to your health).

It is the feast of unleavened BREAD…Do not be misled by those who say you have to remove honey and all fermented foods. It is a rabbinical tradition.

Why unleavened bread?

When celebrating Pesach we memorialize the exodus out of Egypt. Their bread dough didn’t have time to rise, they left in haste.

Exodus 12:34
34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls bound up in the clothes on their shoulders.

What did Y’shua teach regarding leaven?

Why do we compare leaven with sin? Y’shua was the first to compare leaven with sin. He warned people to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, their teachings and their hypocrisy (Luk 12:1). Y’shua also taught about leaven and the kingdom of Elohim.

Matthew 16:11–12
11 “How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Luke 13:20–21
20 And again He said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of Elohim? 21 “It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”

Underneath is a possible explanation for this passage. However if you see leaven in light of a pervasive influence, it could also be positive, meaning that the gospel will spread.

“Some feel that in these brief parables about the Mustard Seed (a mustard tree, from a tiny seed, grows as tall as 30 feet in one season!) and the Yeast Y’shua was teaching something positive about the kingdom. It seems better, however, to understand these parables as teaching something undesirable. Like pervading yeast, evil will enter the Age and become all-pervasive. This seems to be true since Luke placed this teaching immediately after the synagogue leader’s rejection of Y’shua’s” work” on the Sabbath.”
Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Lk 13:18–21). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

 

What did Paul teach regarding leaven?

Later, Paul made the comparison between leaven and sin (Gal 5:9; 1 Cor 5:6-8).

1 Corinthians 5:6–8
6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? 7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Y’shua our Passover also has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

This commandment to eat only unleavened bread is repeated in many passages: Ex 12:15,19,20,34,39; Ex 13:3,7; Ex 23:18; Ex 34:25; Ex 23:15, Ex 34:18, Lev 23:5-8; Deut 16: 3-4).

When do we start eating unleavened bread?

We are to eat unleavened bread for the first time in the evening of the 14th day going into the 15th day. This is the Pesach seder meal. Celebrating it the evening before will cause you to eat unleavened bread for more than seven days, and we are commanded to eat unleavened bread for seven days (Ex 13:6).

Exodus 12:18–19
18 ‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 ‘Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is an alien or a native of the land.

Deuteronomy 16:1–8
1 “Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to YHVH your Elohim, for in the month of Abib YHVH your Elohim brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 “You shall sacrifice the Passover to YHVH your Elohim from the flock and the herd, in the place where YHVH chooses to establish His name. 3 “You shall not eat leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), so that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. 4 “For seven days no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory, and none of the flesh which you sacrifice on the evening of the first day shall remain overnight until morning. 5 “You are not allowed to sacrifice the Passover in any of your towns which YHVH your Elohim is giving you; 6 but at the place where YHVH your Elohim chooses to establish His name, you shall sacrifice the Passover in the evening at sunset, at the time that you came out of Egypt. 7 “You shall cook and eat it in the place which YHVH your Elohim chooses. In the morning you are to return to your tents. 8 “Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to YHVH your Elohim; you shall do no work on it.

A holy convocation

Leviticus 23:6–8
6 ‘Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to YHVH; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7 ‘On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work. 8 ‘But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to YHVH. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work.’ ”

  • On the first day, the 15th of Aviv, you shall have a holy convocation, a sabbath, you shall do no laborious work. Click on the link to learn more about what it means to have a holy convocation
  • On the seventh day, the 21st of Aviv, you shall have a holy convocation, a sabbath, you shall do no laborious work
  • You may prepare food on these two days

Exodus 12:16
16 ‘On the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you.

Is the tradition to have a seder meal scriptural?

The seder meal is the Pesach. There are two good reasons for having a special meal at the beginning of the 15th day. Firstly, some of the commandments for observing the Passover involve eating. Secondly, we are commanded to tell the story to our children.

Exodus 12:24–27
24 “And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever. 25 “When you enter the land which YHVH will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite. 26 “And when your children say to you, ‘What does this rite mean to you?27 you shall say, ‘It is a Passover sacrifice to YHVH who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.’ ” And the people bowed low and worshiped.

Exodus 13:6–10
6 “For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to YHVH. 7 “Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders. 8You shall tell your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what YHVH did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 9 “And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of YHVH may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand YHVH brought you out of Egypt. 10 “Therefore, you shall keep this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year.

To have a seder meal incorporates this beautifully into a meaningful evening, giving us the opportunity to teach our children about what YHVH did and to remind ourselves as well. You don’t easily forget a good story.

“Stories shape our lives and the story of Passover is one that has been passed down through the generations. We retell it every year and as we retell it, we discover new meaning for ourselves in the story.”
Barry Louis Polisar

We have to tell the story of the exodus to our children in order for them to know how, YHVH delivered His people. The Haggadah (telling) is a ritualized telling of the Passover story in such a way to encourage children to participate and remember. However, we don’t have to follow every tradition. Some of the well-known traditions of the seder meal do not have a scriptural basis, like the roasted egg, for example. If you keep to the instructions in the Scripture, you can’t go wrong.

Please find below a link to our Pesach Haggadah in PDF format.  We have also translated this into Dutch and Afrikaans.  Should anybody decide to translate this to another language, please share the result with us and we will link it here with the appropriate credits.

Why are we to observe Pesach and the Feast of unleavened bread?

We observe these first and foremost because we are commanded to. Not observing this will cause us to be cut off from our people.

Numbers 9:13
13 ‘But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and yet neglects to observe the Passover, that person shall then be cut off from his people, for he did not present the offering of YHVH at its appointed time. That man will bear his sin.

Another reason for observing the Passover and Feast of unleavened bread, is for it to be to us a constant reminder of what Abba YHVH did for us. When we forget what He did, we tend to drift away from Him.

Exodus 12:42
42 It is a night to be observed for YHVH for having brought them out from the land of Egypt; this night is for YHVH, to be observed by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations.

Exodus 13:3
3 Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt, from the house of slavery; for by a powerful hand YHVH brought you out from this place. And nothing leavened shall be eaten.

When are we to observe the Pesach?

We are to observe the Pesach in the month of Abib, starting on the evening of the fourteenth day (Ex 12:2,3; Ex 23:15; Ex 34:18 and Deut 16:1). This is also the beginning of the 15th day, the first day of the Feast of unleavened bread.

The second Passover

A special concession is made for anyone who is unclean because of a dead person or on a distant journey, to observe the Passover in the second month of Aviv. The same statutes and ordinances are in place.

Numbers 9:10–12
10 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If any one of you or of your generations becomes unclean because of a dead person, or is on a distant journey, he may, however, observe the Passover to YHVH. 11 ‘In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight, they shall observe it; they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 ‘They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it; according to all the statute of the Passover they shall observe it.

Where are we to observe the feast?

The Feast of Unleavened bread is one of the three pilgrimage festivals. It is required of every man to go up to Jerusalem for the feast.

Exodus 23:14–15
14 “Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me. 15 “You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed.

Exodus 23:17
17 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before YHVH Elohim.

Do we have to go up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover?

We also read in Ex 12:25 25 “When you enter the land which YHVH will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite.” Does this mean that this is to be observed only when in the land, Israel?

We have established in previous article ” Pilgrimage feasts and Jerusalem, His resting place forever” that going up to Jerusalem for the feasts is still required of us. However, living in the Diaspora makes it challenging, even impossible for some to fulfill this commandment due to financial – or health constraints or other reasons. We should therefor do what we are able to do. If we are not able to go up to Jerusalem, we are still required to celebrate the feast wherever we are.

We know that Israel celebrated the Passover in the wilderness in the second year after they left Egypt.

Numbers 9:1–2
1 Thus YHVH spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 “Now, let the sons of Israel observe the Passover at its appointed time.

Numbers 9:5
5 They observed the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that YHVH had commanded Moses, so the sons of Israel did.

There is an indication in the book of Acts that Paul celebrated the Feast of Unleavened bread in Phillipi, while on his third missionary journey. He was making haste, on his way back to Jerusalem, in order to be able to celebrate Shavuot (also a pilgrimage feast) in Jerusalem (Acts 20:16).

Acts 20:6
6 We sailed from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas within five days; and there we stayed seven days.

Who can observe Pesach?

Exodus 12:42–49
42 It is a night to be observed for YHVH for having brought them out from the land of Egypt; this night is for YHVH, to be observed by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations. 43 YHVH said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: no foreigner is to eat of it; 44 but every man’s slave purchased with money, after you have circumcised him, then he may eat of it. 45 “A sojourner or a hired servant shall not eat of it. 46 “It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it. 47 “All the congregation of Israel are to celebrate this. 48 “But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to YHVH, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it. 49 “The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.”

Who can not observe the Passover?

  • A person unclean because of a dead person cannot observe the Passover, but can observe it the following month.

Numbers 9:10
10 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘If any one of you or of your generations becomes unclean because of a dead person, or is on a distant journey, he may, however, observe the Passover to YHVH.

  • No foreigner is to eat of it (Ex 12:43)
  • A sojourner or a hired servant shall nor eat of it (Ex 12:45)
  • No uncircumcised male may eat of it (Ex 12:48)

No foreigner, sojourner or hired servant shall eat of it, unless he and all his males are circumcised. Circumcision is the sign of the covenant with Abraham (Gen 17:12-14, Lev 12:3).

Who can observe the Passover?

  • all the sons of Israel (Ex 12:42)
  • every man’s slave purchased with money, after you have circumcised him, may eat of it (Ex 12:44)
  • all the congregation of Israel are to celebrate this (Ex 12:47)
  • If a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to YHVH, let all his males be circumcised, and he shall be like a native of the land (Ex 12 :48)
  • The same law shall apply to the native and stranger who sojourns among you. (Ex 12:49)

Numbers 9:14
14 ‘If an alien sojourns among you and observes the Passover to YHVH, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its ordinance, so he shall do; you shall have one statute, both for the alien and for the native of the land.’ ”

All the sons of Israel were circumcised before they partook of the Passover after crossing the Jordan.

Joshua 5:7–10
7 Their children whom He raised up in their place, Joshua circumcised; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them along the way. 8 Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed. 9 Then YHVH said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day. 10 While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho.

What does YHVH require of us?

Abba YHVH has given us His requirements regarding Pesach. Let us each, in our hearts, ask Him to give us a revelation of His truth. Let us not judge one another in our observance of Passover. Let us rejoice in YHVH and celebrate this feast unto Him as He has revealed it to each of us.

Zechariah 7:9–10
9 “Thus has YHVH of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; 10 and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’

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Comments (9)

  • Swarna

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    Thank u so much for sharing this to us. It was a great help
    to me personal y. I have a big question regarding circumcision. In
    old Testament only male is to circumcised, what about women? Can
    women take Passover meal without circumcision?

    Reply

    • Schalk & Elsa

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      Hi Swarna,

      Thanks for your feedback and question.

      There is no instruction for any female to be circumcized! Even for eating the Pesach lamb it is only for the males. Males and females may eat it but only the males need to be circumcized.

      Regards,
      Schalk & Elsa

      Reply

  • Jerald

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    Just wanna admit until this is very beneficial, Nice one
    for taking your time and efforts to jot down this.

    Reply

  • MatithYaHu

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    This article is very informative, very well laid out, and very in depth. I appreciate that the author has addressed many issues that are usually not considered, and come to, what I would consider the scriptural conclusion, instead of taking the easy way out.

    I appreciate the author bringing Deut. 16:7 to my attention, for whatever reason I have missed this, it’s interesting to note that the people returned to their tents at morning, so not leaving their dwellings after the first Peach was apparently permitted, a good find! I do wonder if the author would consider the killing of a lamb would be acceptable now, since there is no longer a temple or a tabernacle?

    I would also like to make 2 notes,
    1. IMO, a much better definition of Leaven would be teaching or influence. Leaven is not always refereed to in the negative, as a matter of fact, we know in MatithYaHu 13:3 that Messiah refers to the Leaven of Heaven, if we understand leaven to = sin, this doesn’t work. However, if Leaven refers to influence or teaching, this does work in all scenarios. With this new definition, we can both accept the teaching or influence of Heaven, and be wary of the teaching or influence of the pharisees.

    2. In Lev. 23:6-8 the Hebrew doesn’t include Sabbaton or Sabbath rest for any of the spring feasts, including the 1st or 7th day of Unl. Bread. However, this is not the case for the fall feasts, which do include a sabbaton or Sabbath rest for them. This may be a minor point, but for whatever reason, the 1st and 7th day of Unl. Bread is not refereed to as a Sabbath. One reason it may not be, is that it could possibly confuse the Feast of Weeks count. That is purely speculation on my part, but those days are different.

    I really appreciate the time and effort of the author for putting this article together, great job!

    Reply

  • Sandy

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    I enjoyed your teaching about putting blood on the doorpost, but I also would like to have a better understanding, if we r to observe Passover, how do we go about doing that?

    Reply

    • Schalk_and_Elsa

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      Hi Sandy,
      The blood on the doorpost was only for the initial Passover. Same as the collecting gold from your neighbors. We do not do that anymore.

      Reply

  • Katie

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    This was a great article!! Thank you for posting this!!
    I do have a question for you regarding circumcision. You wrote that a male must be circumcised to take part in the Passover meal.. However Paul writes in Galatians 5 the following:
    Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

    Do you believe that males must be circumcised literally to partake in Passover or a circumcision of the heart?

    Reply

    • Schalk_and_Elsa

      |

      Hi Katie,

      Thanks for your comment. You posed a very good question.

      When reading the letters of Paul, it is really important that you understand who Paul was, what he believed and what questions he was dealing with. I specifically addressed these questions in an article about the Epistle to the Galations

      To give you a quick answer – in this phrase Paul was using the term “circumcision” to refer to conversion to Pharasiac Judaism (later Rabbanic). In the Epistle to the Galatians, Paul is dealing with the question about how Gentiles receive salvation. Thus he is telling people that if you believe that you need to convert to Judaism, then Messiah is of no value to you. This is very true!
      It can be proven by Paul referring to people having to keep the “whole law” when they convert. Here he is referring to written and oral law as defined by Judaism. He surely would not be saying that if a male does not physically become circumcised, he can only do some of the commandments. See also Gal 6:13.

      Also, if Paul was referring to physical circumcision, how does this passage relate to females? Does it mean that Jewish women do not need to keep the whole law?

      Please do make the time to read the article mentioned above and let me know if you have more questions.

      Shalom!
      Schalk

      Reply

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