Everlasting Kingdom: Unraveling the Bible’s Secrets
When Did Ancient Israel Keep the Passover?

When Did Ancient Israel Keep the Passover?

Do You Need to Know?

This article was originally written strictly in reference to, and for the benefit of the thousands of people who once associated with the Worldwide Church of God, that later fractured into splinters as a result of a great apostasy. I modified it slightly to be more inclusive of people from other branches of the menorah who may now be wondering about the same issues.

I wanted to lead with someone making the point that Yeshua was killed “between the evenings”—3:00 in the afternoon—the ultimate Passover zebak [sacrifice]. Duckduckgo (a non-intrusive search engine) to the rescue:

Even as these sacrificial lambs were being slaughtered at the Temple, in 31 AD, YEHOVAH’s own True Passover Lamb, Yeshua the Messiah, was being slain for all of us who accept his shed blood for the forgiveness of our sins (II Cor. 5:20; I Cor. 5:7-8). Thus Yeshua the Messiah fulfilled the TYPE of the Passover lambs PERFECTLY—RIGHT ON TIME, exactly on schedule! If the lambs were sacrificed the previous evening, as some claim, then Yeshua missed the correct time by twenty hours—and did not fulfill the type of the Passover perfectly! If that were true, then he could not be our SAVIOR! He would be an impostor! But Yeshua fulfilled EVERY Scripture that prophesied of his coming TO THE MOST INFINITE DETAIL, in every respect—PERFECTLY in all points!”

Between the evenings

You would think that when the Passover occurred would be one of the simplest questions anyone could ask concerning ancient Israel, yet among Christ's followers today, it is a great "unresolved" controversy that often raises its angry and dissenting head with destructive results. How could this be possible among those who have been given the Holy Spirit of God? Some think that the Jews are keeping the Passover on the wrong day. Some think that Christ changed the Passover symbols during that last evening with His disciples before He was betrayed, beaten, and crucified. Some think that Christ kept the Passover one (or more) days "early" that last time because of His impending death. Some think that Christ kept the Passover early, but that His followers are to keep the New Testament Passover on the same night as the Jews. This is utter confusion, yet there has been no solution offered to date that has not been flawed in some crucial way, making it virtually useless. Furthermore, although it is not necessarily true in every instance, whenever there is a controversy that has continued for so long between brethren, there is usually a genuine or valid reason, but that reason is not necessarily apparent to the participants.

The inescapable plain truth about which day that the Passover should be observed will be made undeniably plain in the following pages. Since complete harmony has never occurred within our lifetime, we hope that you will consider it a personal challenge to "PROVE" or "DISPROVE" your position as a matter of conscience. It is our intent to leave no significant point unexplained. Every critical aspect will be considered, explained, and placed in proper sequential context. It is inconceivable that God would have inspired His Holy Scriptures to be written in such a way as to fan the flames of controversy over such an important topic, directly causing "irreconcilable" differences among His people. Surely the solution is contained within the Holy Scriptures! Where should we begin the search for the solution? Let’s start by taking a look at the "explanation" that we received many years ago in the "old" Worldwide Church of God.

The problem arose with the WCG’s "explanation" of the sequence of events as described in the 1974 booklet entitled, "Pagan Holidays- or God’s Holy Days – Which?" The doctrine in question is explained beginning on page 11, and for our purposes, continued through page 19.

The following excerpt is from pages 12 and 13:

“On the tenth day of this first month the Israelites were instructed to take a lamb without blemish. They kept it until – not after – the 14th day of the same first month. At even, at dusk as the Jewish translation has it – between the two evenings, or between sunset and dark – the Passover lamb was killed.

“This was in, not after, the 14th day. They shed the blood of the lamb, picturing Christ’s sacrifice to come. They ate the flesh in that night. At midnight the destroyer came, but passed over every house where the blood had been sprinkled.

“There are some very important details it is vital that we notice at this point; perhaps we have not seen them before. It proves that the Passover should be observed the 14th, not the 15th

“Passover 14th, Not 15th

“Notice Exodus 12. Verse 6, they shall kill the lamb at dusk (Jewish Official Translation). Verse 8, they shall eat the flesh in that night – still the 14th. Verses 9-11 continue to describe how it shall be roasted and eaten – the time is still the same night – the 14th. Verse 12: "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn" – still the same night – the 14th.

“Now notice carefully the paragraph beginning verse 21. Here are more detailed directions for striking the blood on the doorposts--the time this was done, as proved above, was the night part of the 14th. Notice carefully verse 22: "… Strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin: and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning." Notice that carefully ! None were permitted to leave their houses that night. They remained in their houses until morning! They remained there all night!

“Now read on in verse 29. At midnight (the 14th) the Lord smote the firstborn of Egypt. Verse 30, Pharaoh rose up in the night. This was of course after the death angel passed at midnight, and therefore after midnight.

“He called for Moses and Aaron. This must have taken some time, but still the same night. Verse 33, the Egyptian people were urgent to get rid of the Israelites. Verse 35, the Israelites borrowed of the Egyptians silver and gold and clothing, and spoiled the Egyptians. When? Surely this borrowing and spoiling of the Egyptians took several hours. The Israelites lived in the land of Goshen, apart from the Egyptians. The Israelites were forbidden to leave their houses until morning – so this spoiling and borrowing took place through the day time of the 14th day.”

The basic premise is that Israel killed the lamb at the very beginning of the 14th at "dusk", immediately after sunset. Then Israel remained in their houses all night while the "death angel" (technically the "Destroyer") "passed over" houses marked with blood, during the "night" time portion of the 14th day. Then Israel exited Egypt at the beginning of the 15th just after the sunset that marked its start. There are a number of basic "explanations" or "proofs" offered in the booklet to support the position stated. We will carefully point out each "misunderstanding" that led to erroneous conclusions and thus erroneous "proofs".

For the record, there is absolutely no attempt to infer in any way whatsoever that these "misunderstandings" were in any way deliberate, or insincere. However, these explanations are erroneous, as the evidence will demonstrate. These former explanations have led to GREAT misunderstandings and divisions among God’s people. In some cases it may even have led to sin. We may disagree with many things (prophecy, for example), but surely we ought to be united about the event that opened the door for the gift of eternal life to be offered to mankind.

There are TWO foundational points upon which the entire "explanation" of the 14th & 15th is based

POINT #1: The first premise maintains that the sacrifice of the lamb occurred just after the sunset that began the 14th, which is referred to as "dusk" in the booklet. This premise requires that the words translated into "in the evening" in Ex. 12:6 is restricted to meaning "dusk" and no other time

POINT #2: The second premise maintains that the children of Israel left, or walked out of Egypt at, or just after the sunset that began the 15th. This is based on Deut. 16:1 (KJV) where the latter part of the verse reads, "…for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night."

The entire basis of the timing of the events which occurred during the 14th & 15th is built upon the belief that both of the above points are correct. Every additional sub point "proved" in the booklet is dependent in one way or another to at least one of these points. If Point #1 can be shown to be incorrect then the entire "explanation" is put in serious doubt. We will show the reader that both Point #1 and Point #2 are incorrect. Thus the entire story flow (i.e. understanding), as presented in the booklet, is erroneous and therefore, not scriptural. Once this becomes evident to the reader it forces a larger issue to the surface, which most of us do not want to consider. We will address this issue, but not until all the facts are presented and made unmistakably clear so that finally, there can no longer be valid grounds for division.

Before we start our analysis of the 14th & 15th it is necessary to note that there is a very subtle misconception which winds its way through the teaching of the "Passover" as we have learned it over the years, and it needs to be addressed and corrected. This misconception may appear minor or "picky" at first, but it is the single greatest obstacle to the proper understanding of ancient Israel’s Passover. It is at the very core of ALL of the misunderstanding and "controversy", concerning the observance of the Passover, that is prevalent within ALL of the Churches of God today. On page 11, in the section captioned "The Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread", Herbert Armstrong wrote in the body of the very first paragraph

"And so the Passover is the first of these events picturing to God’s children year by year His great plan."

This is absolutely true. The problem that arises later in his article is a direct result of misunderstanding just what is meant by the term "Passover". Here, he began to form the very basis of his premise for this section of his article, with a true and simple statement of fact. What transpired after this has confused thousands for decades, and perhaps even worse, has left thousands more sincerely ignorant of their own error (and his). What is the "concept" we refer to? To understand it, we must first review just what the term "Passover" means in the "Old Testament"

"Passover", by definition in the Hebrew, means either the sacrificial lamb itself, or the actual sacrifice of the lamb, or by extension the eating of the sacrifice. It does not allude to any specific day or period of time! On page 15 of the same booklet, Herbert Armstrong defined "Passover" as a "day".

But the seven-day period begins on the 15th, after the 14th, as Passover, has ended.

The 14th day is the Passover. It is the first of God’s festivals. It is not the feast day mentioned here. In the 15th day is the feast. Let us get that distinction clearly in mind. It is the FIFTEENTH that is the FEAST – the 14th is the Passover. This day begins after Passover has ended. (Bold italics ours)

In the booklet, as quoted above, he portrayed and defined the Passover as being a "day". He contrasted the "day" of Passover with the "day" of the 15th. It is not a "day", but rather a brief "event", the killing of a lamb, which takes place on a "day". Therefore, the 14th day is not the Passover, but the Passover is "on" the 14th day! This may appear to be only a subtle point, but it has obscured the facts for decades in the Church of God. More evidence later. A very lengthy explanation of the term "Passover" is found at the end of this article. See Word Study #1

We will address the "New Testament" Passover later. As a side note, the phrases "Old Testament" and "New Testament" although widely used, are not scriptural terms. The phrase "Old Covenant" is generally understood to be a reference to the books from Genesis to Malachi. This phrase is not technically accurate as a "covenant" is a contract, however, for purposes herein, we may from time to time refer to any of the books from Genesis to Malachi as being found in the "Old Covenant" rather than to coin a new phrase.

So what is the "concept"? Virtually every Church of God [splinter group] "presumes" that the institution and ceremony, which we keep and observe each year, which we call the "Passover", equates to the Old Covenant Passover instituted at the exodus. We have been taught that Christ kept the Old Covenant Passover on that last night (the 14th) and that He simply "changed" the symbols of the Passover. So now, for us today, instead of killing a lamb and eating it with bitter herbs and unleavened bread, it is believed that we are to perform the "foot-washing" service followed by receiving the "bread" and "wine". Well, we are to do the "foot-washing" and partake of the "bread" and "wine" and we do not have to sacrifice a lamb. That is absolutely correct. But, believe it or not, Christ did not actually "change" or "transfer" the symbols from the Old Covenant Passover into the New Covenant sacrifice. What Christ did establish that last evening of his human life was, rather, a new set of symbols for a "new" covenant. Interestingly enough, the "old" symbols would still be in force for a few more days, until the "new" covenant was ratified and accepted by the Father. We will demonstrate in this article that Jesus Christ did not keep the Old Covenant Passover that evening, but rather instituted a new set of symbols representative of the new covenant promise that is yet to be completely fulfilled according to the terms of Jeremiah 31.31-35. In other words, that the "last supper" was just that, a last supper or regular meal with his disciples and NOT the "last Passover" under the Old Covenant. That evening was not the Old Covenant Passover as it was nearly a day away.

Furthermore, we will show that Christ did not "keep" the Old Covenant Passover one day (or more) early. The disciples were still bound by the Old Covenant to perform and "keep" the Old covenant Passover the afternoon Christ died. They (disciples) would have killed a lamb (on the 14th) and eaten it (on the 15th) just as Israel was told to do by Moses. They would never again sacrifice another lamb the rest of their lives, but the evening Christ died required that a lamb still be slain. We will expand upon this more fully afterward, but we mention it now because as Passover is presented in the booklet there is a subtle shift from the events of the Passover in ancient Israel to the events of the "last supper" and crucifixion of Christ. In his "proofs" Herbert Armstrong began with referring to the lamb or the sacrifice in regards to the "Passover". Then, on page 15, he suddenly, and without explanation, began to call the 14th day the "Passover", which implies that the entire day, or timeframe, is the "day" of the Passover. When one believes that the Old Covenant Passover was "kept" at the same exact time that the ceremony instituted by Christ with the foot-washing, bread and wine is to be "kept", the differences between the two become blurred and tend to overlap or be interchangeable. The problem is that while he is still trying to prove points, which concern the keeping of the Old Covenant Passover, he slips into using ideas, thoughts, and expressions, which are relative to what he thought of as the New Testament Passover. The Old Covenant Passover is about an "event", which takes place on/ in a particular day, and not the "day" itself. Whether or not the "New Testament Passover" concerns a period of time or just an "event" had not as yet been addressed by him, nor is it proved. Therefore, one cannot legitimately use an unproved (even though it may be widely accepted) assumed connection or relationship to explain and prove something pertaining to the Old Covenant Passover.

No one has ever proved that the "New Testament" ceremony is to be "kept" at the same time as the Old Covenant Passover was "kept". No one has addressed just what the Bible means when it says that Israel, Moses, Josiah, etc., "kept" the Passover on the 14th. Herbert Armstrong thought it was held at the same time and we can readily see that is the case because of how he goes about "proving" his points in his booklet. The majority of us thought it was just as he had described and we accepted it as such. Today, most of us continue to assume that "keeping" it in the Old Covenant means the same as what we do today when we "keep" the New Testament ceremony. Does it? Are you absolutely sure? Would you stake your life on it? Can you prove it? We will answer these questions later, but first let’s look at the two foundational points in the order presented.

Can we assume that we already understand what "in the evening", as found in Ex. 12:6, means? There are two words in the Hebrew, which together are translated into our phrase "in the evening". The first word is #996 in Strong’s and essentially means "between", or "in the midst of", or "from between". The second Hebrew word is #6153 in Strong’s, it means evening, sunset or night. See Word Study #2

It is essential to our study of the Passover to be able to determine the timeframe specified by these two Hebrew words, which have been translated as "in the evening". We are told in Herbert Armstrong’s booklet that this period of time is "between sunset and dark" as he stated on page 12, but he did not offer Scriptures to support this. If his explanation is the "only" period of time possible, then we will not be able to cite any Scriptures in conflict with this position. Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about Strong’s #6153 that is translated as "evening".

The information we present here, concerning "in the evening", from Ex.12: 6, is too essential to relegate to the footnotes because it is the backbone of this article, therefore, it has been woven into the fabric of the article. Other words, which could have become separate Word Studies, have been abbreviated somewhat and left in the main text as well.

Let’s begin by looking at the second of the two Hebrew words translated "in the evening". The word is, ‘ereb and is used 137 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. Since there is no argument at this point that this word appears to include the period described in the booklet as "dusk" ("between sunset and dark", page 12) we will only point out those Scriptures which appear to at least include some time outside of "dusk". Some of these Scriptures may appear to include dusk, or sunset, while others will "exclude" sunset and dusk completely. After this study into "ereb" (evening, etc.) we will address "beyn" (between, etc.) as it affects "ereb", so do not think that we are overlooking this combination. We are simply clarifying the possible span of time, which could be referred to as "evening", or "at even" in the Bible.

Please consider the actual "timing" necessary as a practical matter when reviewing the following Scriptures and the associated questions raised. Our God is a practical God. Wouldn’t He expect us to apply some degree of logic and common sense

Genesis 8:11 And the dove came in to him in the evening <#6256> <#6153>; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.

[Editor’s note: the < > symbols denote a Strong’s #. The four digit numbers beginning with an "8" and contained within the ( ), when present, refer to the Hebrew (verb stem) of the <verb>. The numbered "(verb stems)" will follow the associated <verb>. Verb stems, and there purpose, are explained elsewhere in this article. A basic comprehension of these Strong’s numbered words and selected verb stems is quite pertinent in order to understand this article.]

We have given the meaning of #6153 previously, but #6256 is a new term, which will be mentioned again, so following is the meaning.

#6256 ‘eth (ayth)

1) time

1a) time (of an event)

1b) time (usual)

1c) experiences, fortunes

1d) occurrence, occasion

In Genesis 8:11, let us ask the question, "does a dove usually fly "after" sunset? Also, what could the "usual" time be, or the "event", or the "occasion"?

Genesis 19:1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even <#6153> ; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing <#7200> them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; ( The numbers found between the < > are Strong’s numbers.)

Was it custom to sit in the gate at or after sunset?

Ez 46:2 And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate without, and shall stand by the post of the gate, and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening <#6153>.

In Ez. 46:2 we see that in the future this particular gate will not be closed "until the evening". Is it logical to think that this "evening" is "after sunset? It could be at "sunset". In Ge. 19:1 there needed to be enough "light" to "see" the angels. If the gates of any city close "during" dusk then, "when" during dusk do they close? In Ge. 19:1 the gate was still open "at even" and Lot could still "see" them coming toward him. They were far enough away from Lot that he had time to rise up to meet them. There is no indication that they walked up to him in the dark (so to speak), but it was indicated that he was watching, and daylight would have greatly aided in his watching. Either way, the "focal" point here is that the gate was open and it was "at even".

Next we come to Ge. 24:11

Genesis 24:11 And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time <#6256> of the evening <#6153>, even the time <#6256> that women go out to draw water.

Was it ever custom for women to go out at, or after, sunset to draw water? Would it have been practical? Wasn’t the time for women to draw water in the afternoon, after the men took the water they wanted in the morning

Ex. 2:16  Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. 18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day?

Notice that Reuel was surprised that his daughters had returned so soon. He expected them later because he knew that the men would water their animals first. No one is claiming this to be a "once and for all" proof of any kind, but just another example for your consideration.

Next is Ge. 24:63

Genesis 24:63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide <#6153>: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.

The point here is that once again someone is able to see something coming "at the eventide" (#6153).

This next verse raises two major points, one of which will be addressed more fully later in this article

Genesis 30:16 And Jacob came out of the field in the evening <#6153>, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night <#3915>.

First of all, please notice that Jacob "came out of the field in the evening". It was not "dark" out, and Jacob was finished for the day. We do not know how far away the field was, or how long it took him to "come out" of the field, but there had to be daylight for practical purposes. Now notice something, which will prove to be interesting now, but very revealing a little later. Jacob "lay" with her that NIGHT (#3915)

#3915 layil (lah’-yil) or (#Isa 21:11) leyl (lale) also lay@lah (lah’-yel-aw)

1) night

1a) night (as opposed to day)

1b) of gloom, protective shadow (fig.)

Night (#3915) is contrasted with evening (#6153). This gives us a "cut-off" for evening. "Evening" does not protrude into "night". (Keep in mind that #6153 is sometimes translated into the word "night", but that alone does not make it "night" (#3915). "Night", in those cases, is simply the choice of the translator.) We see here that there is a completely separate word for the period of time referred to as "night" and it is not included in "evening". Now, we have established an "end" point for "evening", but not yet a "beginning" point.

This next scripture is interesting for a number of reasons, one of which we will examine now.

Exodus 12: 14-20

14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

16 And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.

17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.

18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.

19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.

20 Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations     shall ye eat unleavened bread.

We know from several other clear Scriptures that the "Feast of Unleavened Bread" begins on the 15th day of the month. We know and will prove later, that there is no instruction against eating "leavened" bread during the 24 hours, which make up the 14th day of the first month. In verse 18, we are told to eat unleavened bread "on the fourteenth day of the month at even", and continue eating only unleavened bread (when we eat bread) "until the one and twentieth day of the month at even." "At even" is identified with the 14th in verse 18, yet we "understand" that a completed "sunset" begins a new day. There has never been, nor should there ever be, a question that this is simply identifying the "sunset" that ENDS the 14th and as a result BEGINS the 15th.

However, this does begin to throw a bit of a "monkey wrench" into any argument, which would try to limit "evening" to the exact moment of sunset and afterward. How, you ask? Because, some part of "evening" must, according to this scripture (and others we will show), belong to the "previous" day. If it did not it would be ERRONEOUS to refer to "at even" on the 14th since "sunset" would have to belong "solely" to the 15th. What this means to the previous quote from Herbert Armstrong’s booklet, "between sunset and dark", is two fold in nature. The explanation of these points is somewhat difficult to follow for the simple reason that the original teaching contains unsound assumptions with error. It is far more difficult to unlearn error than to learn truth. It is also far more difficult to follow the exposure of a teaching that is built upon a false premise than to explain a simple new truth.

According to the "proof" being presented, the period of "dusk" (from sunset to dark) was ENTIRELY in the SAME day, the 14th (page 12, quote, "This was in, not after, the 14th day.", and therefore not in any part of the 13th or 15th). This requires that two distinct and separate evenings need to occur not only in one day, but also in one period of time, called dusk. We have shown that evening is not a part of night, but the difficulty here is more abstract. Since "dark" is "night" (as per the booklet on page 12 and previously stated in this article) then whenever the second evening occurs it cannot be a part of the night/dark, by definition. This means that the "second" evening can only be the period of time that starts AFTER sunset and ends BEFORE dark (or some part of this time?). Where does the Bible demonstrate this point concerning the "second" evening? Can you prove this from the Bible? If this had been specifically referring to "twilight" then why didn’t the Bible use one of the two other words that clearly mean "twilight"? They are completely unrelated to each other and to "evening", #6153. Why didn’t God inspire one of those two "other" twilights to be used in Exodus 12:6 for "in the evening"? Why are we to believe without clear Biblical proof to the contrary that "between the evenings" (in the evening – in Exodus 12:6) is, and can only be referring to "dusk" or "twilight"? Again, remember that HWA said on page 12 as quoted earlier. 

At even, at dusk as the Jewish translation has it – between the two evenings, or between sunset and dark – the Passover lamb was killed.

What we are left with is illogical. The "first" evening must, due to lack of other options, be only the sunset (or the exact moment it sets?), and the "second" evening must then be contained within "dusk", or it must be "dusk". Any explanation that can be explained from these scenarios is either not possible, or not scriptural. The problem is that there is quite literally no time "between" these two evenings if the "second" evening "is" dusk. The instant that sunset ends, the second evening (dusk?) begins. It is then impossible to do anything in that particular "instant" as is required of Israel by the Bible. If this explanation is difficult to follow it is because the "proof" from the booklet is in error. Therefore, this explanation is actually a "disproof" exposing a faulty "proof" as offered in the booklet. If the "second" evening is contained "in" dusk, then when is it? It must be consistent in time relative to sunset, mustn’t it? Even if it was the last moment of dusk before "night" then "when" is it "night"? Isn’t this the problem that Worldwide tried to put forth shortly after Herbert Armstrong died? The WCG, preparatory to phasing out the Sabbath, was attempting to change Passover. Could it be that they encountered the same problem, but they were just headed in a different direction with it?

The other problem then becomes a problem of "when" does the first evening start. The exact same issue applies to Lev. 23:32.

Leviticus 23:32 It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even <#6153> [evening] , from even <#6153> unto even <#6153>, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.

We know that the Day of Atonement is the 10th day of the month. Yet, the Day of Atonement is set off by the "at even" of the previous day as when to "begin" Atonement. Using the "logic" and "statement" from Mr. Armstrong’s booklet we have a conflict. This would require at least THREE evenings to be involved in Atonement. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say that the first "at even" includes three simultaneous elements, which are the sunset ending the 9th, the moment of sunset, and the beginning of the 10th, otherwise we must add another evening to the scripture making the total four. Therefore, the "first" "at even" would have to be a, or at sundown. The second evening would be "dusk", as per the booklet. The third evening would then be the "at even" that ends the fasting of the 10th day of seventh month. Our problem is that Leviticus does not say, "at even(ing), from even unto even unto even". It only has us go from "one" even to the NEXT even. As much as some might wish it were so, Atonement does not consist of a mere period of "dusk" it lasts a full day. It has never been a question to anyone that Lev. 23 means the 10th day of the month is Atonement, starting from sunset (at even) and ending at sunset (at even).

While we know that a day "begins" immediately after the last ray of the sun is extinguished by the "sunset", from these and many other Scriptures, it would now appear that God considers "sunset" to be a part of the previous day. This is logical since the sun is shining until it has completely set. At the same time, when He refers to the start of a (new) day He may use the ending "event" of the preceding day, hence the setting of the sun, to set, or demarcate, the front end boundary "after" which the new day is begun. While this understanding must be ignored when "proving" the 14th & 15th, as explained by HWA, it was actually incorporated into his teaching without anyone realizing it, and the error still remains. This is the way that one can arrive at sacrificing the lamb immediately after sunset, at the very beginning of the 14th and then eating it that same evening, oops, I mean night. While at the same time they could offer no explanation as to why God requires His people to keep Atonement beginning from the 9th at even (Lev. 23:32 …from the 9th, at even…), and the Days of Unleavened Bread from the 14th at even through the 21st at even (Ex. 12:18 from the 14th at even …). If we applied this method consistently, then we would be keeping Atonement on the 9th day of the month instead of the 10th day, and the First Day of Unleavened Bread on the 14th instead of the 15th!

This brings up a question; why don’t we look at Ex. 12:6’s "between the evenings" the same as we do Lev. 23? Why couldn’t the "between" in Ex. 12:6 be referring to the sunset (evening) which ends the 13th day of the month and simultaneously starts the 14th day, and the sunset (evening) which ends the 14th day, and simultaneously starts the 15th day? Why should we believe the "Jewish official translation" concerning "dusk" while rejecting "when" the "Jews" themselves "keep" the Passover? The only apparent explanation for this contradictory behavior is the fact that this is the only way possible for this particular explanation to make any sense. Although there is more startling evidence to show from the Bible concerning "evening", what we have covered thus far ought to be sufficient to disprove the premise offered in the booklet. But let’s continue, for there’s more evidence, and it gets better.

As a note, please consider the following Scriptures in light of what has been presented thus far. In Ex. 30:8 Aaron lit lamps "before" dark/night, right? In Ex. 16:13, do quail fly at night, or dusk, or during daylight? In Numbers 28:4, was the "evening" sacrifice done in daylight, or dusk, or darkness? In Judges 19:16, was he coming out of the field after sunset or before? In Ruth 2:17, Ruth gleaned until evening then beat out what she gleaned. Did she beat it out in the daylight, or at dusk, or in the dark? In I Kings 17:6 do ravens fly in daylight, or dusk, or at night? In I Kings 22:35-36, the king died before the proclamation went out, and the time that the proclamation went out was about sunset.

Here are some very revealing Scriptures beginning with Numbers 19:17.

17 And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel:

18 And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave:

19 And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even.

20 But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the LORD: the water of separation hath not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean.

21 And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them, that he that sprinkleth the water of separation shall wash his clothes; and he that toucheth the water of separation shall be unclean until even.

22 And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean; and the soul that toucheth it shall be unclean until even.

There should be no doubt that if one is unclean, they are unclean until "even" as shown above. Is there an "even" after sunset? We have not seen one yet. Can "even" include time before "sunset"? It seems that it could. Compare this with Deut. 23:10-11.

10 If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night <#3915>, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp:

11 But it shall be, when evening <#6153> cometh on (approaches), he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again.

Deut 23:10-11 limits "evening" to being no later than sunset for those who were unclean. Once again, we see that "night" (3915) and "evening" are two completely distinct periods of time, which do not overlap. [As we will be made evident later, evening "ends" at "sundown", and night begins at "sundown"] Furthermore, from the time that "the sun is down" the individual is considered to be clean, and as such, is permitted to reenter the camp. It does not say "after the sun is down...", but "rather, "when" the sun is down. This is "sunset" and a new day has begun. There is no concern with dusk at all, rather it is the time leading up to sunset and not after it, which is the time frame of this scripture. In addition, if "evening" is after sundown but before "night", then what was a poor Israelite to do, who became unclean at some time during the "evening"? Apparently, either God provided no instruction for the poor fellow, or "evening" is not after the sun has set, but before!

Now let’s look at Deuteronomy 16:6.

6 But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the Passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt.

Notice that the Passover lamb is to be sacrificed "at even", at the going down of the sun. Notice again that it does not say, "and when the sun is down". It must still be visible. It is in decline, but not extinguished. So what we have is a glint of the solution to the Passover controversy. The "sacrifice" is to occur BEFORE sundown while the consuming of the Passover lamb is to be when? Continuing in Deut. notice verse 7.

7 And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents.

After the lamb is killed, on the 14th, it is to be roasted and eaten, and none of it is to remain until morning [sunrise]. This verse, along with many other verses tell us that the lamb was to be eaten in their houses at "night" and they were not permitted to go outside until sunrise [morning]. This can only mean the "night" of the 15th. The sunset after the sacrifice, and before they eat the lamb, is the sunset that began the 15th. This explains why Israel was commanded to eat "unleavened" bread with the lamb. The reason for this is simple; Israel was to eat the lamb during the First Day of Unleavened Bread!

Deut. 16:3 Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.

This verse tells us that the very reason for eating unleavened bread was due to the fact that they "came forth out of the land of Egypt in haste". The reason given for making, eating, or having unleavened bread available with the lamb as given in this scripture, was because they had to be packed and ready to go for a hasty departure in the morning. The night they remained in their houses they could not have had leavened bread because the First Holy Day had started. The requirement for eating unleavened bread with the lamb was due strictly to the fact that the Days of Unleavened Bread had begun, and was not in any way associated with the Passover lamb itself.

Compare Ex. 12:11 with Deut. 16:3 (above).

Exodus 12:11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S Passover.

12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.

13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

Notice the word "haste"; it is the same word in both verses. However, the word "haste" refers to two separate, though associated, things. In Ex. 12:11, "haste" refers to the manner in which the lamb was consumed because "it is the Lord’s Passover", while in Deut. 16:3, "haste" refers to the actual exodus. Exodus 12 tells us "in what manner" they ate the Passover, and Deut. 16 tells us "why" they ate it that way. This instruction to Israel is given so that in the future they would "remember the day" that they came out of Egypt. This very command "to remember the day" has been lost on the Church of God as the Church thinks that Israel exited Egypt at "night".

Remember that the eating of unleavened bread is not because of any association with the Passover lamb, rather it is the consequence of the "day" that the lamb is eaten, which was the First Day of Unleavened Bread. If for some reason the lamb were to have been eaten at any time unassociated with the Days of Unleavened Bread, there is no Biblical requirement preventing the lamb’s consumption with "leavened" bread. If this were not the case then why wasn’t Israel commanded to eat lamb for the next seven days rather than being commanded to destroy by fire the "leftovers"? Or, on the other hand, why was Israel commanded to eat only unleavened bread for the next seven days and not just the "first" day? The reason for bringing this point up will become evident later, so please just place this in the back of your mind for now.

The "memorial" of Ex. 12:14 is then the First Day of Unleavened Bread, which is a Holy Day, and we are commanded to keep this feast day "as an ordinance forever" unto the Eternal.

No, we have not overlooked Deut. 16:1; we will address that verse shortly. There is one more "Passover" we need to consider, and it is recorded in II Chron 35.

1  Moreover Josiah kept a Passover unto the LORD in Jerusalem: and they killed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.

2 And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the LORD,

3 And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the LORD, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the LORD your God, and his people Israel,

4 And prepare yourselves by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son.

5 And stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the families of the fathers of your brethren the people, and after the division of the families of the Levites.

6 So kill the Passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses.

7 And Josiah gave to the people, of the flock, lambs and kids, all for the Passover offerings, for all that were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bullocks: these were of the king’s substance.

8 And his princes gave willingly unto the people, to the priests, and to the Levites: Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave unto the priests for the Passover offerings two thousand and six hundred small cattle, and three hundred oxen.

9 Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethaneel, his brethren, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chief of the Levites, gave unto the Levites for Passover offerings five thousand small cattle, and five hundred oxen.

10 So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their courses, according to the king’s commandment.

11 And they killed the Passover, and the priests sprinkled the blood from their hands, and the Levites flayed them.

12 And they removed the burnt offerings, that they might give according to the divisions of the families of the people, to offer unto the LORD, as it is written in the book of Moses. And so did they with the oxen.

13 And they roasted the Passover with fire according to the ordinance: but the other holy offerings sod they in pots, and in caldrons, and in pans, and divided them speedily among all the people.

14 And afterward they made ready for themselves, and for the priests: because the priests the sons of Aaron were busied in offering of burnt offerings and the fat until night; therefore the Levites prepared for themselves, and for the priests the sons of Aaron.

15 And the singers the sons of Asaph were in their place, according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s seer; and the porters waited at every gate; they might not depart from their service; for their brethren the Levites prepared for them.

16 So all the service of the LORD was prepared the same day, to keep the Passover, and to offer burnt offerings upon the altar of the LORD, according to the commandment of king Josiah.

17 And the children of Israel that were present kept the Passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days.

18 And there was no Passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a Passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

19 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this Passover kept.

Why was there "no Passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet..." (verse 18)? What about King David or King Solomon? Surely they would have had a Passover that was as full of meaning and love for God, wouldn’t they? Were the Israelites in Josiah’s time more converted than other Israelites of other times in the history of Israel, or was there a simpler explanation? First of all, notice that "they killed the Passover" on the 14th (not the 13th or 15th), as per verse 1.

Next, notice the tremendous amount of preparation that was necessary and so ordered. Notice verses 4 and 6, and in particular verse 6. So kill the Passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses. Then verse 10, So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their courses, according to the king’s commandment. There was a tremendous amount of preparation necessary that day because of the unprecedented amount of animals to be offered, sacrificed, or cooked!

In verse 11, they killed the Passover after all of this preparation. Then we see in verse 13, And they roasted the Passover with fire according to the ordinance: but the other holy offerings sod they in pots, and in caldrons, and in pans, and divided them speedily among all the people. Why "speedily"? Could it have been because they had their backs up against the clock? All of these thousands of animals and so little time to sacrifice them. This could not have been accomplished if it had started AFTER sunset and had to be completed BEFORE dark. As scripture makes clear in verse 16, this all transpired during "daylight" and all in "the same day", the 14th, for both the preparation and the sacrificing. They had to perform this "speedily" because after sunset they had to stay indoors all night long, according to the ordinance of the Passover. This is also the reason why the Levites "made ready for themselves" and the priests. The priests, the sons of Aaron, were busy with other burnt offerings, which they had to finish "before" night (vs. 14).

Finally, the reason that there was never a Passover like this one was due to the incredible number of sacrifices offered, tens of thousands. This was the largest number of animals ever offered in the history of Israel. Remember that this all took place "within" Jerusalem. There was a lot of work to be performed in a short period of time and it was confined to a very limited work area.

From this Passover story, we can see that the Passover was killed "on" the 14th, late in the day, after all of the preparations had been completed. Then, after sundown, they "kept" the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days (verse 17).

There is one last point that needs to be explained. Just what does it mean to "keep" the Passover?

Numbers 9:11 The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

12 They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the Passover they shall keep it.

Joshua 5:10 And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.

11 And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the Passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day.

If "at even" refers to the time about sunset then what follows sunset? The new day is what follows a sunset. Now look at Nu. 9:11, they are to "keep" it (the "Passover") the fourteenth day of the second month. We know from many Scriptures that they are to "eat" the Passover with unleavened bread. We have shown that the "eating" of the Passover did occur during the nighttime portion of the 15th.

The word for "keep", or "kept" is #6213 in Strong’s.

#6213 ‘asah (aw-saw’) a primitive root;

AV-do 1333, make 653, wrought 52, deal 52, commit 49, offer 49, execute 48, keep 48, shew 43, prepare 37, work 29, do so 21, perform 18, get 14, dress 13, maker 13, maintain 7, misc. 154; 2633

The word means to: do, fashion, accomplish, make, produce, work, deal, act, act with effect, effect, prepare, make (an offering), attend to, put in order, observe, celebrate, etc.

From the above, it becomes obvious that to "keep" the Passover has to "do" with "making" the sacrifice, and the sacrifice is what is "kept" on the 14th day of the second month, as in Num. 9 and the first month in other related Scriptures. Exactly what specific aspect or portion of the sacrifice is being referred to in any given scripture is determined by the context of the scripture. Thus, depending upon which aspect of the Passover the scripture is referring to, that aspect is the one that will pertain to either the 14th or the 15th. Since the Passover was to be eaten on the 15th and nothing was to be left of it by the sunrise of the 15th, and the actual sacrifice occurred the evening before on the 14th, either day may be the subject or reference point in any given scripture. Hence, the meaning of all "kept" or "keep" Scriptures can be understood by applying whichever of the two perspectives may be necessary, as determined by the particular day of the month being referred to.

Now, to get back to the "evening", "at even" subject, there are just a few more Scriptures to present that will add even more light to the previous viewpoints mentioned. The first of these is Jeremiah 6:4.

4 Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening <#6153> are stretched out.

How can a "shadow" be "stretched out" after sunset, when there is no "direct" sunlight? Shadows begin to disappear after the sun has set! Therefore, shadows cannot grow longer "after" the sun has set because the maximum angle of the sun, with respect to the object casting the shadow, is reached at "sunset" and so the longest shadow physically possible is cast at sundown. Once the sun has set in the west, the source of the diminishing light effectively becomes stationary, but beneath the horizon, with respect to the viewer on the earth. The effect of this is not a lengthening of shadows as during the "afternoon", but only a diffusion and fading of whatever shadow existed at sunset. Once again, we see that "evening" is a time of daylight.

Next, let’s take a quick look at II Chronicles 18:34.

34 And the battle increased that day <#3117>: howbeit the king of Israel stayed himself up in his chariot against the Syrians until the even <#6153>: and about the time <#6256> of the sun going down <#935> he died.

"Evening" again applies to the sun "going" down as opposed to "being" down.

Next, let’s look at Ezekiel 12:3-4.

3 Therefore, thou son of man, prepare thee stuff for removing, and remove by day in their sight; and thou shalt remove from thy place to another place in their sight: it may be they will consider, though they be a rebellious house.

4 Then shalt thou bring forth thy stuff by day in their sight, as stuff for removing: and thou shalt go forth at even in their sight, as they that go forth into captivity.

Whether by "day" <3117> or "at even" <6153>, Ezekiel was in "sight". Notice, too, that the implication was that when they went into captivity they would not be walking at night. Apparently, even the "captors" of the "captives" needed to sleep sometime, that being at night. Please keep this in mind, as it will become pertinent later. Most people sleep at night. They do not walk, nor work at night because it is dark.

Next, we will consider Ezra 6:19-22.

19 And the children of the captivity kept the Passover upon the fourteenth day of the first month.

20 For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed the Passover for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.

21 And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat,

22 And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

Often, interruptions in continuity are perceived which do not exist, due to a chapter break or verse break. This scripture falls into this category. When we begin reading a verse, we tend to perceive that a new thought has begun. Sometimes this is the case, but certainly not always. Verse 22, from above is continuing a thought from verse 21. Notice the flow of verses 21 and 22 without the verse break inserted, "...to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat, and kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy...". They "killed" the lamb at the end of the 14th, and proceeded to eat it, and keep the feast of unleavened bread, all according to the ordinance of the Moses and the Passover, during the 15th, which is in the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The WCG teaching was that they "killed and ate" it, stayed home all night, looted the Egyptians all the next day, and then, finally, kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Finally, one last "evening" scripture. This one is not directly related to the Passover, but the understanding of "at even", or "evening" (either way it is still #6153) applies to the Passover understanding. Let’s look at Genesis 1:2-5.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness <#2822> was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3  And God said, Let there be light <#216>: and there was light <#216>.

4 And God saw the light <#216>, that it was good: and God divided <#914> (8686) <#996> the light <#216> from <#996> the darkness <#2822>.

5 And God called the light <#216> Day <#3117>, and the darkness <#2822> he called Night <#3915>. And the evening <#6153> and the morning <#1242> were the first day <#3117> .

Beginning in verse 2, light cannot be seen from the surface of the earth because the earth is still in "darkness" <#2822>. Then, in verse 4, after the advent of "light" in verse 3, we are told that there is either "light" or "darkness", obviously relative to the rotation of the earth and one’s location on it. Please notice that all of this "re-creation" is relative to, and described as, being seen from the earth’s surface. For example, the word for "moved" in verse 2, means "to hover", as required by the verb stem, which is Piel. This would be appropriate since there is no ground to stand on, only water. Following are the meanings of the two words: "darkness" and "light".

Darkness, #2822 choshek (kho-shek’), means: darkness, obscurity or secret place.

Light, #216 ‘owr (ore) means: light, light of day, light of heavenly luminaries (moon, sun, stars), day-break, dawn, morning light, daylight, or light of other things.

As you can see, there is no darkness in the light (pun intended and appropriate). These are two opposites, as they relate to the earth, which are created or "set" on the surface by the rotation of the earth relative to the sun. Therefore, whether you are in the darkness or in the light, solely depends upon your physical location on this planet with respect to the sun (unless you can prove that the sun is not responsible for the light on the earth as described in these verses).

Notice Gen.1: 4, "…and God divided <#914> (8686) <#996> the light <#216> from <#996> the darkness <#2822>." "Divided" means that God "caused to be separated", as determined by the use of the "Hiphil" verb stem in the Hebrew. Next, the word "from" is the same Hebrew word which is rendered as "between" <#996>, in Exodus 12:6. That rendering is the cause of the misunderstanding, which we have addressed. This places the "light" between the periods of "darkness". If God had begun with light and subsequently established darkness, we would end up with exactly the same result, but it would have simply been worded with the "darkness" existing between the periods of light. It should be obvious how this affects our understanding of the Passover. What we have is a very simple contrast between two entities, darkness and light. There is no room for "dusk" here. Although we understand that we have a term, or word which we call "dusk", it is irrelevant to either "darkness" or "light" as stated in Genesis. Notice also that "dusk" has absolutely NO bearing on what follows in verse 5.

Verse 5 says, "And God called the light <#216> Day <#3117>, and the darkness <#2822> he called Night <#3915>. And the evening <#6153> and the morning <#1242> were the first day <#3117>." Here God introduced the two words we have been dealing with since the beginning of this article, "night" and "day". God told us that if we have "light", we are in the "day"-time, but if we are in the "darkness" (no day light, or daylight) then we are "in" the "night". Hopefully this is very simple and easy to understand. However, if this is so easy to understand, then why do we traditionally explain it wrongly? You ask, "what do you mean by we explain it wrongly?" If we have understood this then why don’t we seem to understand the end of this verse? Notice verse 5 again, "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening was the first night and the morning was the first day." Isn’t this the way we believe it to be? Isn’t this incorrect paraphrase the understanding that we were taught? Is it right?

All we have to base our understanding of "day" on is the context in which it is used. This is the method we have always applied to properly understand scripture. If we do not apply this principle, then we can not understand the Scriptures. We might "think" that we understand them, but what we "think" will inevitably be flawed as the result of applying a meaning which is not possible, according to the context. The meaning of any word must be defined within its context! God told us that the "darkness" IS "Night", and that the "light" IS "Day". God clearly defined light and darkness as day and night, respectively. We totally agree that the Hebrew word for "day", #3117, can mean much more than only the daylight, but what does word #3117 mean here, as it is used in this verse? It would be ridiculous to try to assign all of the meanings of the word to one particular usage. After all, if we tried to do that in this scripture, we would have the "day" representing both a 24 hour period of time, which would include the night, as well as the 12 hour period of time when the sun is shining, which excludes the night. This is not only impossible, it is absurd. So how would you explain the "darkness" vs. "Night" definition, which was offered by God in the same verse? If God had meant that the "evening and the morning" were the first "night and day", then the word "evening" would also have had to include the entire time period relegated to being "Night". Does the Bible ever use "evening" to include "midnight", or 2 a.m., for example? If not, then we must accept the following conclusion: "Evening" is inescapably a "part" of daytime, that is, the "light" portion of a twenty-four hour day, as defined by God in Genesis. It is apparent that "evening" has acquired a broader meaning, but never the less, this still provides us no excuse for ignoring the original scriptural application of the word. This daylight rendering is in stark contrast to the booklet’s definition for "between the evenings" being "dusk" and "dusk" alone. God provided the definition for "between the evenings" in verse 5, which can by no means mean dusk. It is the period of time from one evening to the next, which "spans" one day and one night. That definition fits perfectly with every other scripture presented thus far, especially Ex. 12:6. We see from verse 5 that "sunrise" begins the day and "sunset" ends the day. "Night" begins "after" sunset and ends just "before" sunrise.

Also, notice that "twilight" is not a relevant consideration in any way. If it were, then we would be forced to deal with the twilight just before sunrise, as well as the twilight following the setting sun. Twilight is mentioned in the Bible, but only when it is pertinent to the subject, etc. "Twilight" is NOT relevant to Genesis and it is NOT relevant to the Passover!

If you are still reading, then you are probably ready to move on to the next point.

Deut. 16:1  Observe the month of Abib, and keep <#6213> (8804) the Passover <#6453> unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth <#3318> (8689) out of Egypt by night <#3915>.

The time has come to address the second misunderstanding that has hindered the Church of God from understanding the Passover properly. Again, it is a matter of translation, specifically the Hebrew verb which is rendered as "brought forth" in verse one. The word is #3318 in Strong’s, and the definitions follow

3318 yatsa’ (yaw-tsaw’)

a primitive root;

AV-....out 518, ....forth 411, bring 24, come 24, proceed 16, go 13, depart 10, misc 53; 1069

1) to go out, come out, exit, go forth

1a) (Qal)

1a1) to go or come out or forth, depart

1a2) to go forth (to a place)

1a3) to go forward, proceed to (to or toward something)

1a4) to come or go forth (with purpose or for result)

1a5) to come out of

1b) (Hiphil)

1b1) to cause to go or come out, bring out, lead out

1b2) to bring out of

1b3) to lead out

1b4) to deliver

1c) (Hophal) to be brought out or forth

Knowing the applicable "verb stem" is the key to determining which usage to apply to a word. A person should not simply choose the application that best suites his own purposes, yet this is exactly what the translators did in this instance. The verb stem of the Hebrew word "yatsa’" in this verse is the "Hiphil" stem and its explanation follows.


a) Hiphil usually expresses the "causative" action of Qal-see 08851

Qal                 Hiphil

he ate             he caused to eat, he fed

he came          he caused to come, he brought

he reigned       he made king, he crowned

b) Hiphil is often used to form verbs from nouns and adjectives.

Noun or Adjective Hiphil

ear         to listen (lend an ear)

far          to remove oneself, put far away

c) Some "simple" verbs are found in Hiphil.

to cast, to destroy, to get up early, to explain, to tel

So in the simplest terms possible, just what was the "causative action" that occurred on night of the 15th, "causing" it to be possible for Israel to "be delivered" from Egyptian captivity? Would it not be the action taken by the Eternal God when he destroyed the firstborn? Yes, it would! This verse does not tell us "when" that is, at what time of the day or night that Israel left Egypt, but it does indicate when the "cause" occurred that made the departure from Egypt possible. The Hebrew is perfectly clear on this. It is unfortunate that the English is not clear. This particular verse was the very reason given by Herbert Armstrong in support of his "explanation" of the events of the 14th & 15th. HWA’s entire explanation was predicated upon having the children of Israel begin their Exodus from Egypt at the beginning of the Holy Day, the First Day of Unleavened Bread. In spite of all those who sensed or knew that something just was not quite right about the sequence of events taught them by WCG, any member’s objections were dismissed as spurious if they contradicted the Church’s teaching on Deut. 16:1. No one could successfully refute the Church’s teaching because no one really understood the cause of the error, until now.

Why, with all the brilliant minds in Pasadena and elsewhere in the Church of God, has no one ever been able to explain the correct sequence of events concerning the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread? We do not care to speculate why, except to mention that when we had a strong leader, we sheep were very comfortable with being told what to think. When there was something that we did not understand, we would not worry about it. We suspected that the problem was with "us", because the Church "certainly" could not have been in error. Isn’t that pretty much the way many of us reasoned, perhaps even unwittingly? Also, we believed that, for the most part, we could not expect to understand something that our own leader did not. He admitted that he was a fallible human being but we did not believe him. That is a very big problem for many today. There are entire church organizations whose very basis for existence presupposes that Herbert Armstrong was 100% correct, in everything that he said or did by the time of his death. Most of these groups maintain that he was "the Elijah" who restored "all things" and now that he is dead nothing can be changed, and that nothing "new" could possibly be worth studying into. Is this kind of reasoning evidence of a "sound mind", evidence that the Holy Spirit is guiding us? These are our brothers and sisters in Christ, yet if any of these people were to read this article, they would spew out "righteous indignation".

Why is "holding fast" to HWA’s teachings such a "holy cow"? Why couldn’t Herbert Armstrong just have been a man, a human Church of God leader, like scores of others since the time of Christ? Anyone who discovers an error taught by Herbert Armstrong is immediately considered to be "Armstrong bashing". Are modern day "Bereans" being forced out of your group? We have had individuals get upset with us if we mention that, even though Herbert Armstrong was clearly God’s servant, he was not infallible. These individuals generally acknowledge that he was fallible, but can not cite anything noteworthy that he was still wrong about by the time of his death. Why are there apparently only two camps? One camp idolizing him, sometimes to the extent that they refuse to change an acknowledged erroneous doctrine because HWA "set" it in the church. Doing that is to putting HWA, or "government", or the "church" before God! The other camp believing that he was a false prophet. Surely, the majority of God’s people are content to believe that Herbert Armstrong was God’s servant, and that he did the best job humanly possible, errors and all. He was not the "end time" Elijah, which should be obvious since Christ has not yet returned. He did not even have to be an apostle. If he was, fine. If he was not, that is fine, too. He certainly was not an Apostle on the level of John, Paul, Cephas, etc. Herbert Armstrong has not written any "holy" scripture, not even Mystery of the Ages. Herbert Armstrong did not bear the fruits of apostleship according to what is required by the New Testament. Did he "raise up" the church from a decayed condition? Of course, he did as a servant of God. Are we to take the "talent" that we received from God, while under Herbert Armstrong, and bury it because he died? Can no doctrine or "understanding" change? HWA was called to make necessary changes! Doesn’t God, time after time, instruct us to "grow" in "faith and knowledge"? Surely, the demise of the Church in recent years is no excuse to bury our heads in the sand!

Could today’s trying times simply be for the purpose of forcing us, for the first time, to truly "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling"? There is no mother to shelter us and to feed us any longer. It may be that we have simply been forced from the nest! Now it is up to us to fly or die!

Now we’ll return to Deut. 16 and the verb "brought forth". Although the Hiphil verb stem is not necessarily common, it is used in a number of places. For example, let’s look at a few verses from Genesis 1.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided <#914> (8686) <#996> the light from the darkness.

7 And God made <#6213> (8799) the firmament, and divided <#914> (8686) the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth <#1876> (8686) grass, the herb <#6212> yielding <#2232> (8688) seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

12 And the earth brought forth <#3318> (8686) grass, and herb <#6212> yielding <#2232> (8688) seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

14  And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide <#914> (8687) the day <#3117> from the night <#3915>; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

In verse 4, the word "divided" uses the Hiphil stem regarding the Hebrew word (#914). In verse 7 the same Hebrew word (#914) is translated again as "divided", and again its meaning is derived from the Hiphil stem rather than other available stems for this word. In verse 11, the verb in English is "bring forth", and is #1876 in Strong’s. In verse 11, the verb stem used is Hiphil and not Qal, so we see again that this verse reflects the "cause" that enabled them to "bring forth" and grow.


#1876 dasha (daw-shaw’)

a primitive root;

AV-spring 1, bring forth 1; 2

1) to sprout, shoot, grow green

1a) (Qal) to sprout, grow green

1b) (Hiphil) to cause to sprout, cause to shoot forth

Next, still in verse 11, we come to the Hebrew word "zara", which is translated as "yielding", #2232 in Strong’s. Of all of the possible meanings to "zara", the Hiphil stem applies in this verse. (The various verb stems used in the Bible for this word are, "Qal", "Niphil", "Pual", and "Hiphil", see below.) The other "meanings" are not applicable to this verse. There are many other verses in the Bible where these various other meanings apply, but Hiphil does not. So this, in essence, is the problem which led to our not being able to understand the correct sequence of events for the 14th & 15th. Strong’s does NOT inform the user "which" verb stem applies, and therefore which meaning to apply, to any particular usage in scripture. It only "lists" all of the various meanings possible for the word without regard to context. Strong’s is just like a dictionary listing many of the possible meanings that typically apply to the word. It is how the word is used, its context, which determines which possible meaning to apply in a particular case. (Incidentally, Strong’s does not list every possible meaning for every conceivable usage). In the Hebrew, we are told in advance which meaning applies because of the "verb stem". Here is #2232

#2232 zara‘ (zaw-rah’)

a primitive root;

AV-sow 47, yielding 3, sower 2, bearing 1, conceive 1, seed 1, set 1; 56

1) to sow, scatter seed

1a) (Qal)

1a1) to sow

1a2) producing, yielding seed

1b) (Niphal)

1b1) to be sown

1b2) to become pregnant, be made pregnant

1c) (Pual) to be sown

1d) (Hiphil) to produce seed, yield seed

Next, verse 12 is interesting because it uses the exact same word that is found in Deut. 16:1, "brought forth", #3318, and it uses the Hiphil stem as well. As a reminder here is Deut. 16:1 & Ge. 1:12.

Deuteronomy 16:1 Observe the month of Abib, and keep <#6213> (8804) the Passover <#6453> unto the LORD <#3068> thy God <#430>: for in the month of Abib the LORD <#3068> thy God <#430> brought thee forth <#3318> (8689) out of Egypt by night <#3915>.

Ge. 1:12 And the earth brought forth <#3318> (8686) grass, and herb <#6212> yielding <#2232> (8688) seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Can we see from Ge. 1:12 that (in the context of the verse) it was the "earth" that caused the grass to grow? The grass required soil for nourishment, it did not grow on its own. In the same way, Israel was not able to leave Egypt until God "caused" it to be possible.

So, the question we are faced with is; "when did the Israelites leave Egypt"? They left Egypt just when the Bible indicates that they did, on the 15th day of the first month. But it was not during the "night", but by "day".

Let’s do a quick review of the sequence of events. First, the lamb was killed on the 14th, late in the day as it approached sunset, perhaps 3 to 5 p.m. They sprinkled the blood on their houses and went inside. They roasted the lamb and ate it completely that night (the start of the 15th) leaving none of it by morning. By sunrise they were rushed out of Egypt at the Pharaoh’s behest, just as the Bible records (Ex. 11:1, "…when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether.)

When did they "borrow" of the Egyptians? The Bible indicates that it could have been earlier in the month, or even, to some extent, as they were leaving Egypt. Regardless of the timing, we cannot overrule the other known "whens" for the killing of the lamb and the passing over of the "Destroyer".

More than likely, the Israelites received the bulk of the goods from the Egyptians during the days just before the Passover. The plague of darkness is described beginning in Exodus 10:21. By the end of chapter 10, Pharaoh told Moses to get out and not come back. Moses told Pharaoh, "Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more." Moses already knew that he would not see Pharaoh ever again because Moses already knew what would happen next.

What some people do not understand is that Ex. 11:1-3 is out of chronological order. Actually, chapter 11 and chapter 12 through verse 28, is a flashback. The Eternal had told Moses about the Passover and the "destroyer" (death angel) and all the things that Israel was to do, days before his final meeting with Pharaoh. The story flow skips from the last verse of chapter 10 to the fourth verse of chapter 11, continues through to verse 8, (which is included), then skips all the way to Ex.12: 29. In time sequence, this is how it would read beginning with Ex.10:28:

Ex.10:28 And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.

29 And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.

Ex.11:4  And Moses said (Moses continued to say from Ex.10:29), Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt:

5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.

6 And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.

7 But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.

8 And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger.


Ex.12:29  And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

31 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.

32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.

33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.

34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.

35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:

36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.

37  And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.

There can be no doubt that the verses mentioned constitute a flashback because of what Moses said and did in Ex. 11:4-8. In Ex. 10:28, Pharaoh said that if he were to see Moses again, he would kill him. In verse 29 we see that Moses understood completely and even restated that they would never again see each other. Of course, Moses knew why this was to be true as discerned by the wording of his reply to Pharaoh, in verse 29.

If chapter 11, and part of chapter 12, is not "inset", or a "flashback", then how would you explain Ex.11: 4-8. Moses was unquestionably speaking directly to Pharaoh, yet he wasn’t killed. Furthermore, even Moses stated that he would never again appear before Pharaoh, but in chapter 11:4-8, yet he was present with Pharaoh. Unless Moses and Pharaoh were both lying, then these verses indicate a flashback, and were inserted, by God, into their proper place in Holy Scriptures, not for the sake of chronology, but to enable us to understand the context!

Now, we can consider just when it was that the Israelites plundered the Egyptians. In Ex.11:2 God told Moses to tell the people of Israel to "borrow" (require, demand, hence plunder) of the Egyptians (Israel’s neighbor). Remember, God told this to Moses "before" the Passover, because in verse 1 God said to Moses; "Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt", and then he will let Israel go. The death angel was the final plague. This means that the ninth plague would have to have at least begun by the time that God told this to Moses, otherwise God would have said, "Yet will I bring two plagues more…".

In verse 3, God made it clear that Israel was in "favor" with the "Egyptians", but notice that God did not say, or include Pharaoh in this. The reason why is forthcoming, but notice also that the verse makes it very clear that Moses was considered to be a very great leader by virtually everyone, except Pharaoh. Why? Notice also, in Ex. 10:7, that Pharaoh’s own servants (governmental leaders, not butlers, drivers, etc.) acknowledged the power that they had witnessed working through Moses. Next, look at Ex.9: 20-21. There were, even then, servants of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Eternal. Why?

The answer to the "why’s" is simple. Moses was raised in Pharaoh’s family and was a prince in Egypt. For 40 years he had been not only a part of the "upper crust", but more importantly, he was also of the royal family. It was no secret, contrary to the Hollywood’s version of the "10 Commandments", that Moses was a Hebrew in the court of Pharaoh. However, the Pharaoh at the time of the exodus, was not an Egyptian. There had been a change of dynasty, and even race in the house of Pharaoh, sometime just prior to the birth of Moses. (Pharaoh means "the Great House" and is a title, which indicates that there were also "lesser" houses in Egypt) Remember Ex.1: 8? Verse 8 states, "Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph". Doesn’t this indicate that it is referring to more than just knowing Joseph as a personal acquaintance? Sooner or later, due to the passing of the years, no one would still be alive who knew Joseph personally. This has more to do with knowing who Joseph was and respecting what he did for the land of Egypt. The native people of Egypt would have remembered history through their family members who would have passed down the story of the seven "fat" years and the seven "lean" years, etc. But, those stories would not mean anything to an outsider, especially to one who had conquered them and had begun ruling over them. In such a situation, would not the native Egyptians have remembered and been somewhat comforted by the memories of the "good old days" of their grandparents and earlier? Why not? But you say, "you are just making presumptions". Well, not quite.

God does not change! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, is he not? So should it surprise you to learn that, in the end time, the House of Israel will go into "bondage", or captivity, or be "oppressed" by the end time Assyrian people? Perhaps it should be stated as "empire" since it is to be a confederacy of 10 nations led by the Assyrian Beast, right? Would that surprise you? Well then, would it surprise you to hear that the House of Israel went into captivity under the Assyrian empire around 721 BC? I hope not. Finally, would it surprise you to learn that the Israelites were in bondage and were being "oppressed" in Egypt by another Assyrian. Oh, that might surprise you? Why should it? If that is the case, then every time that the House of Israel has ever gone into captivity, they will have been under Assyrian rule. And that is exactly what the Bible shows!

It was not until there was a Pharaoh who "knew not Joseph", that the Israelites were "oppressed". If you consider Isaiah 52:4, probably for the first time you will notice that the dynasty in Egypt which "knew not Joseph" was Assyrian! "My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there and the Assyrian oppressed them there without cause." this explains why Pharaoh did not know him. He was not a native Egyptian. Pharaoh was Assyrian, and he had just come into power over Egypt. Now it should become clear "why" Pharaoh did not hold Israel in favor, while the native Egyptians did. Therefore, long before the Passover night, the Egyptians were quite willing to let Israel go with whatever supplies were needed, as indicated by Ex.10: 7, among other places.

Here is one more consideration on the "borrowing". Moses was aware of the need for this as far back as the burning bush, so we can see that this would have been well understood long before the Passover, see Ex.3: 21-22. Therefore, the "when" of the "borrowing" is not a factor. If anything, Ex. 3 actually discredits the old WCG teaching that it had to occur during the daytime after the death angel passed over. Any final "spoils" probably came with the servants of Pharaoh. They delivered the "time to get out" message to Moses about dawn following the night of the death angel (Ex.12: 29-36). Ex. 12:35-36 restates what had already been stated as far back as Ex.3: 21-22. Again, a sort of flashback, if you will.

Thus, with all of the "foundational" points of the old WCG teaching about "when" the "death angel" passed over, and "when" Israel walked out of a decimated Egypt, and the actual sequence of events established, we are left with a question of great enormity: What does this entire issue have to do with the "New Covenant Passover"? The answer to this question has completely vanished from the consciousness of the Church of God since the apostasy of the first century. Do you perceive the interesting consequences of this lost understanding? I am presently writing the sequel to this article concerning the "New Covenant" Passover, which answers the question posed in the subtitle: Do you need to know?

Word Study #1

Let’s look at Strong’s definition of Passover.

Strong’s #6453 pecach (peh’-sakh)

from #6452, Greek #3957 pasca;

AV-Passover 46, Passover offerings 3; 49

A pretermission, i.e. exemption; used only tech. Of the Jewish Passover (the festival or the victim): -Passover (offering).

We can see that #6453 is from #6452, which means to hop, etc. According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, copyright 1977, the word "pretermission" means the act of pretermitting. "Pretermitting". "Pretermit" means, 1) to let pass without mention or notice: omit 2) to leave undone : neglect 3) to break off : suspend. Pretermit is what happened the night the "death angel" passed over the houses of Israel, but how is the Hebrew word used in the Bible and just what meaning is supposed to apply to its uses in the various biblical Scriptures contained in the booklet is the question?

The first time we find the word "Passover" in the Bible is in Exodus 12:11. It states:

Exodus 12:11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste <#2649>: it is the LORD’S Passover <#6453>.

It would seem, from this scripture, that the "Passover" spoken of here is the lamb, because they are to eat it.

Please note the following Scriptures as well.

Exodus 12:21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill <#7819> the Passover <#6453>.

Exodus 12:27 That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice <#2077> of the LORD’S Passover <#6453>, who passed <#6452> over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered <#5337> (8689) our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshiped.

Exodus 12:43 And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance <#2708> of the Passover <#6453>: There shall no stranger eat thereof:

Exodus 34:25 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice <#2077> with leaven <#2557>; neither shall the sacrifice <#2077> of the feast <#2282> of the Passover <#6453> be left unto the morning <#1242>.

Deuteronomy 16:1 Observe <08104> the month of Abib, and keep <#6213> (8804) the Passover <#6453> unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth <#3318> (8689) out of Egypt by night <#3915>.

Deuteronomy 16:2 Thou shalt therefore sacrifice <#2076> the Passover <#6453> unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there.

Deuteronomy 16:5 Thou mayest not sacrifice <#2076> the Passover <#6453> within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee:

Deuteronomy 16:6 But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice <#2076> the Passover <#6453> at even <#6153>, at the going down <#935> of the sun, at the season <#4150> that thou camest forth <#3318> (8800) out of Egypt.

Leviticus 23:5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even <#6153> is the LORD’S Passover <#6453>.

2 Chronicles 30:1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep <#6213> (8800) the Passover <#6453> unto the LORD God of Israel.

2 Chronicles 30:15 Then they killed <#7819> the Passover <#6453> on the fourteenth <#702> <#6240> day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings <#5930> into the house of the LORD.

2 Chronicles 30:18 For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the Passover <#6453> otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one

2 Chronicles 35:1 Moreover Josiah kept <#6213> (8799) a Passover <#6453> unto the LORD in Jerusalem: and they killed <#7819> (8799) the Passover <#6453> on the fourteenth day of the first month.

Ezra 6:19 And the children of the captivity kept <#6213> (8799) the Passover <#6453> upon the fourteenth day of the first month.

Ezra 6:20 For the priests and the Levites were purified together, all of them were pure, and killed <#7819> (8799) the Passover <#6453> for all the children of the captivity, and for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.

Hopefully, we can see that "one" of the meanings in the Bible for the word translated "Passover" is referring to the lamb that is sacrificed. The "Passover" is "killed" (Ezra 6:20; 2 Chron.35:1; 2 Chron. 30:15; Exodus 12:21). The "Passover" is a "sacrifice" (Ex. 12:27; Ex. 34:27; Deut. 16:2,5,6). The "Passover" has "blood" ( Ex. 34:25). The "Passover" is "eaten" ( Ex. 12:43; 2 Chron. 30:18). The "Passover is "killed" or "sacrificed" on the 14th day of the month. ( 2 Chron. 30:15; 2 Chron. 35:1; Ezra 6:19).

Notice now, too, that this "sacrifice" is the "Lord’s Passover" and is "unto the Lord", or "kept/ keep" … unto the Lord (Lev. 23:5; Ex. 12:27; Deut. 16:1,2; 2 Chron. 30:1,5; 2 Chron. 35:1).

From these Scriptures it is evident that there are at least two meanings for the word translated into "Passover". The "Passover" can be either the "lamb", or the "sacrifice" (of the lamb, therefore applying to the ritual or ordinance as conducted or performed). Elsewhere this sacrifice is also called a Passover offering (2 Chron. 35: 7,8,9, all are #6453).

Word study #2:

Strong’s # 996 beyn (bane)

(sometimes in the pl. masc. or fem.) properly, the constructive form of an otherwise unused noun from

0995; TWOT-239a; subst m (always used as a prep)

AV-between, betwixt, asunder, within, between, out of, from; 32

1) between, among, in the midst of (with other preps), from between

The second Hebrew word is #6153 in Strong’s.

#6153 ‘ereb (eh’-reb)

from 06150;

AV-even 72, evening 47, night 4, mingled 2, people 2, eventide 2, eveningtide + 06256 2, Arabia 1, days 1, even + 0996 1, evening + 03117 1, evening + 06256 1, eventide + 06256 1; 137

1) evening, night, sunset

    1a) evening, sunset

    1b) night

Written by Richard Fix (about 2001)

Edited by Lonnie Martin

The Mishnah has this to say on the day the Passover was killed: “On the eve of Pesah, it [the Tamid] (daily sacrifice) is slaughtered at seven and one-half hours and offered at eight and one-half hours [since the Pesah offering had to be slaughtered after the Tamid, the Tamid was slaughtered an hour earlier to allow time for the Pesah offering]”

From Samuel Bacchiocchi: The Passover celebration by Christians: “at the same time as the Jewish Passover, that is, on the night of the 15th of Nisan" (Page 76-77)

The Karaites on the timing of the Passover ze’bak [sacrifice]—at the end of the 14th, (see sections “When the Passover was brought” and “Beginning or End of the 14th?”

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