Refuting the False Doctrine of Combining the14th/15th

Fred R. Coulter—February 4, 2006

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Let me say before we get started, if you haven't gone through The Christian Passover book recently… The reason that it's 500 pages is because there is such a controversy over the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread is that there are so many arguments that come along that need to be covered.

There's one aspect of this that we did not cover in the book, so we're going to cover it today, and it has to do in a different sense of what the Jews have done. They have changed the Passover from the 14th to the 15th and essentially because of tradition, and mainly because the Passover of the Old Covenant could not be observed outside 'the land of Israel.'

So, those in the Diaspora did not keep the Passover, but the kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread and they changed the Night to be Much Observed into their Seder Passover. Of course, I have all that covered in the Christian Passover book, 3rd edition Appendix Y: Christ's Last Passover: Leavened or Unleavened? by Ben Ambrose covers the Passover of the rejected!

Another thing to understand is that regardless of the tradition—whether Jewish, Catholic or just the idea of a man—if it does not square with the Word of God, then it certainly should not be followed. Let's also understand that we all need to be subject to the Word of God, because the Word of God is what's going to judge us.

If we follow the Word of God the way that God wants, in an attitude of love and spiritually serving Him, then certainly we are going to come to a proper understanding. If there is anything that we don't understand, or anything we are doing incorrectly, we certainly do want to change and correct anything that is not correct. The Truth of God is going to stand overall

I do realize that the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread is a very contentious thing with a lot of people; the Jews and especially Orthodox Christendom. Why would the Passover be such a hostile contentious thing, more than anything else? More than the Sabbath and the Holy Days! Why has the Passover become such a contentious thing?

The key is this: if you do not keep the Passover the way that Jesus said, in the timing and the manner that He said, you have no part with Him! That begins with foot-washing, which is the very first thing that people get rid of. Then follows the whole lesson of the Days of Unleavened Bread; a little leaven leavens the whole lump! Then it all starts to expand from there.

What we have in what we're going to study is combining the 14th Passover and the Night to be Much Observed, instead of the 15th Passover and the Night to be Much Observed. Hence, you end up with only seven days!

Either way you end up with a great problem. The Jews, in order to have eight days, they have extended their feast from the 15th to the 22nd. Where do we begin with this?

There was doctrinal paper put out by Darrel Hanson who is a minister in Moab, Utah, who claims that Zion National Park is the place of safety, and if you want to avoid the Tribulation you join his group and you go out there and stay with him. Well, let's also understand something that I talked a bit about last year.

In talking to someone who left Hanson's group, because of this very thing that we're going to go through, that he started the year before he wrote this paper by saying, 'Let's have the foot-washing after all the rest of it'—the Passover—putting the foot-washing at the end rather than at the beginning.

That's why I wrote that I have covered this problem going clear back to 1975. What are we dealing with? The recycling of ideas, doctrines and traditions of men! So, we have to stand and fight against those things. Sometimes it becomes very laborious and tedious, and sometimes you have to ask yourself: Why do we have to go through all of this?

If you are not given to being technically minded, this becomes very difficult to handle, indeed! You wonder how the arguments can come up and how they come about. I understand why a lot of people feel and where they're coming from when we go through these things.

Why do these things keep happening? As I've said before, we have recycled heresy come along all the time. This is recycled heresy with a new twist! We will see how that comes about, and some of the things that are done.

The man that sent me this paper has a very good attitude, and he really wants to know the answers. I'm going to read some of the things from Hanson's paper and we'll look in the Scriptures. The man who sent me this paper is truly searching for the Truth. That's the reason I'm going to go through it and answer it. I it were otherwise, I would just dismiss it and go on.

1-Cor. 11 and 1 Cor. 5 and the Passover and Feast and they were doing it incorrectly:

1-Corinthians 11:17: "Now in this that I am commanding you, I do not praise you, because when you assemble together, it is not for the better but for the worse."

And I tell you that there are many Churches of God today where that is so, in many different ways and aspects all the way from lethargy to fighting and contention. I think that until the brethren of God submit to God the Father and Jesus Christ, and until everyone stops doing his own thing, or wanting to do his own thing, it's going to continue.

When you read Rev. 2 & 3 you see the problems and difficulties that even the Church has because of our own carnal human nature that gets involved, because we are not willing to truly submit to God in the way that He wants.

Verse 18: "For first of all, I hear that there are divisions among you when you are assembled together in the Church, and I partly believe it."

I think that 1-Cor. 14:26 is the way that the whole Church is today. I get letters from people:

Why can't we all get together and get along?
Love is more important than doctrine.

But if you don't have right doctrine can you have true love? You need to understand that they go hand-in-hand! One is not different than the other.

Some say, 'All you do is emphasize doctrine.' If you think that's so, then get our sermon series: The Love of God. We cover a lot of that.

Note our series on 1st and 2nd Corinthians, and going through that seems like one continuous correction of carnality. The condition of the Church of God today is that, yes, we do have all these problems.

1-Corinthians 14:26: "What is it then, brethren? When you assemble together, each of you has a psalm, has a doctrine, has a language, has a revelation, or has an interpretation…."

  • there's one group talking about a psalm
  • there's another group talking about doctrine
  • another group speaking in tongues
  • another group says they have revelation
  • another group says they have an interpretation

Stack that together and mix that in where Paul says in beginning that one is of Paul, one says 'I'm of Apollos' and another says, 'I'm of Cephas,' and another says, 'I'm of Christ.'

Just picture that you were coming to church for the very first time in your life and you walked into the Church of Corinth? What would you say? Is this the Church of God? Unfortunately, that's the way it is with too many Churches of God today! That's what Paul had to put up with.

1-Corinthians 11:18: "For first of all, I hear that there are divisions among you when you are assembled together in the Church, and I partly believe it." Paul is being very kind with that statement!

Verse 19: "For it is necessary that heresies be among you…"

Why is it necessary? You would think that it would be wonderful if we would all think the same thing, all speak the same thing and have peace and love and harmony! That's the idea! It would be great! But Paul says that it's not so!

Why is it necessary? "…so that the ones who are approved may become manifest among you" (v 19).

  • Who is going to teach the Truth?
  • Who is going to believe the Truth?
  • Who is going to live by the Truth?

So, it's necessary!

Here's what they were doing for the Passover, and we've had people do this, too.

Verse 20: "Therefore, when you assemble together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord's supper."

Why? Jesus ate His own supper! So, what was the first thing that happened when they wanted to change the Passover? What did they call it? The Lord's Supper!

It doesn't say the 'you are improperly eating the Lord's Supper.' That's what most people contend; Not so!

Verse 21: "For in eating, everyone takes his own supper first; now on the one hand, someone goes hungry; but on the other hand, another becomes drunken. WHAT! Don't you have houses for eating and drinking? Or do you despise the Church of God, and put to shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you!" (vs 21-22).

Verse 34: "But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home… [don't come to the Passover to have a meal] …so that there will be no cause for judgment when you assemble together…."

So, for the Passover there is not be a meal, there is only bread, wine and the foot-washing. That's what it is. Why do people insist—like the Corinthians here—try to improve on what God has said?

I mean, if the Word of God is perfect and God is perfect, and Jesus Christ is perfect, why do we assume that we being imperfect can improve upon God? That's what we're dealing with here! Paul had to make it clear from where he God his instruction.

Verse 23: "For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread."

This is after He finished the Old Covenant Passover! He had to finish that first, then institute the New, which He's doing here.

Verse 24: "And after giving thanks, He broke it and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body, which is being broken for you…. [an ongoing perpetual propitiation and sacrifice] …This do in the remembrance of Me.' In like manner, He also took thecup after He had supped, saying, 'This is the cup of the New Covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in the remembrance of Me'" (vs 24-25).

{note chapter 20 The Christian Passover book, section: A Memorial of Jesus' Death.

Verse 26: "For as often… [yearly, annually] …as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you solemnly proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes."

The reason that the true Church of God keeps the Passover in remembrance of His death is because the greatest thing that God could do to redeem mankind was to become a man, carry human nature, live a perfect life—never sin—and then give His life in sacrifice for His creation.

Our covenant with God is also based upon a death. That death is the death and burial in the watery grave of baptism!

Verse 27: "For this reason, if anyone shall eat this bread or shall drink the cup of the Lord unworthily… [in the manner that it's taken and when it's taken] …he shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord."

I've never seen it fail this way, that those who get involved in things contrary to the Word of God, especially concerning the Passover, they eventually dry up on the vine! They become guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord!

Verse 28: "But let a man examine himself…"—which we have to do; we have to go before God and examine ourselves and understand about our human nature! How we need Christ; we can't do it ourselves. It has to be through Christ. That only through the covenant that was established by Jesus Christ—the covenant for eternal life—are we going to have eternal life and be able to be in the first resurrection!

Another thing that is important to understand and why we have the Passover every year is that human beings—because of sin and our nature—need new beginnings, where we can repent and put the past behind us and go forward. That's just the nature of how God made us!

That's why every year that we are to examine ourselves. Not that we don't during the year—because we do; not that we don't repent during the year, because we do. We don't store everything up until the night before Passover and then repent of our sins and then come to the Passover and say that our sins are forgiven. NO! We are to ask for forgiveness every day, as the model of the daily prayer is!

But the Passover is more than the forgiveness of sin. The Passover is the renewing of the Covenant of Eternal Life, which can only come after our death!

  • after our spiritual death in the watery grave of baptism, and then we walk in newness of life
  • after our physical death, so that when Christ returns at the resurrection we will be changed and receive eternal life

That's what it's all about! So the stakes are really high.

"…and let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup accordingly, because the one who eats and drinks unworthily is eating and drinking judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord" (vs 28-29).

So, I cover all the things about not taking it worthily(in the book: The Christian Passover; chapter 19). You don't want to be judged of God!

Verse 30: "For this very reason, many are weak and sickly among you, and many have fallen asleep."

When we understand the nature of the Church today, we see that this is still true among us. Unfortunately, that's the way that it is. However, we have to take it one step further: we are long removed from the days of the Apostle Paul, and everyone who has died in the faith has made it! So, for people to get sick and die at the end of their lives—like if they're in their late 70s, 80s and 90s—don't take that as guilty thing upon you, because you have done something wrong. When you get old, you're going to die of something!

Something is going to wear out, give up and breakdown, and you are going to die. Very few of us can be like ancient Israel—after he blessed Ephraim and Manasseh—who said, 'I go the way of all flesh,' and he got in bed and expired. Very few will have that. We're all going to die of something, and when we do it will be a sickness, disease, or the wearing out of the heart, liver, stomach, intestines or whatever. But as long as you've been faithful, you're going to make it into the Kingdom of God.

We need to take this verse in relative terms, but also see and understand that we probably have far more sickness and disease among the people in the Churches of God because they have not learned the lesson that refraining from eating unclean foods is not the only key to health today. There are many other things that people need to look into to understand that.

Verse 31: "Now, if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged"—of God! So, we examine ourselves and repent! Can we not, with the Spirit of God, judge ourselves? Yes, we can! God expects us to!

With the Spirit of God He will lead us to see the things and sins in our lives. That's why when you find sin in your mind and things like this, God knows that in the flesh that we're never going to be perfect! What God does is reveal these things to us so that we can repent.

Go back to the time before you were converted, the things that you repent of now never bothered you. Why? Because you didn't have the Spirit of God to prick your conscience and show you what sin was!

Verse 31: "Now, if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged… [because God loves us; tie in Rev. 2 & 3, judging the churches and having them repent] …we are chastened by the Lord, so that we will not be condemned with the world" (vs 31-32).

That's overcoming and how it fits in with the Passover. I want to be sure can cover this before we get into this doctrinal thing.

Verse 33: "So then, my brethren, when you assemble together to eat the bread and drink the cup, wait for one another. But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home…" (vs 33-34).

So, eating the bread and drinking the cup is not having a supper. That comes with the Night to be Much Observed.

Right from here we can begin to ask some question and find the difficulty in the combining of it: Was it that they were combining the Passover and the Night to be Much Observed with:

  • what they were doing?
  • calling it the Lord's Supper?
  • doing it on the 14th?

It looks like it, and if this was so:

  • What do we have? We have the Apostle Paul rejecting it!

If you combine the Passover and the Night to be Much Observed (or Remembered) you will have:

  • the Passover ceremony
  • wash the feet at the end
  • get up from there and then have a joyous meal while you're trying to remember the death of Christ

How can you have a Night to be Much Observed and have a celebration of God's deliverance from sin and the Passover at the same time? Beginning in 1-Cor. 11, it tells us that this was probably the practice that they had then!

I'm going to read excerpts from this man's paper, and he did a good job in writing it up. I really appreciate him doing it and taking the time. In going through this, I'm not coming down in correction against him and saying that he's a bad and evil person. That's not so! He had some legitimate questions. If he didn't take the time to write it up and send it in and ask for an answer, then I wouldn't bother to take the time to answer it. So, I'm going to try and answer this in kind, in the way that he wrote his paper, which was sincere and straightforward, and I do appreciate that.

From the paper: A Few Comments about Darrel Hanson's paper (I haven't seen the original paper)

This was not Hanson's original idea, it was brought to him by a church member from Texas, and that information was given to this church member, the information questioning some of the things about the Passover, which came from a non-member who was studying the Bible with the intention of becoming a member.

This also tells us that you have someone who knows nothing about the Bible. Someone who is studying, lacking the skills and the depth to be able to understand the Bible, because we're dealing with a very technical thing. It's very easy to get confused!

This non-member did not have some of the pre-conceived ideas about the Passover, Unleavened Bread and the Night to be Much Observed that those of us who have been in the Church a long time have…

Do we have the true understanding of the Scriptures, or pre-conceived ideas? You need to be careful in using this kind of terminology of 'pre-conceived' ideas, because you are immediately impugning that what we are doing with the Passover, Unleavened Bread and Night to be Much Observed are our own ideas and not following the Word of God. So, you need to be careful in that!

…believing the things that we have been taught and never questioning them.

I tell you what, we always question them, and the whole Passover book has been a result of questioning and searching, going through meticulously in detail. Please understand that I, nor any of the Church members out here who had a lot of input and gave a lot of things concerning what is in the Passover book—and I appreciate it—we do not have an agenda! We are not seeking anything but the Truth of God and what God would have us to do. These cannot be pre-conceived notions; please don't misconstrue it that way!

After Darrel got the information, he says that he studied it for about a year and came up with his paper.

Then a friend of mine, who is not with Hanson, gave him my name and address, and he sent the paper to me.

Also, Darrel opens the door to the possibility…

Listen carefully to how this is phrased

…that some of Israelites may have left their home before daylight.

We need to understand that it didn't happen that way!

…They wouldn't have dared to go out, they would have been scared out of their wits!

That's true, too!

I feel that Darrel was off base in his thinking and some of the things about those in Utah will be spared the Tribulation.

That's very convenient and carnal, isn't it?

You move out here in the middle of the desert in Zion in Utah, and do you know how he came to where Zion was? He overlaid a map of the Holy Land and the state of Utah.

  • Why didn't he do it with Texas?
  • Why didn't he do it with Alberta, Canada?
  • Why didn't he do it with New South Wales, Australia?
  • Why didn't he do it with the Republic of South Africa?
  • Why didn't he do it with Brazil?

He overlaid a map of the Holy Land with Utah and looked at where Petra was, and it fell on Zion National Park.

Very spiritual!

He said, 'this is the place of safety.'

There's another man—and they need to work out the argument of it—whose name is David Smith from Texas, and says, 'Texas is the place of safety and if you're in our group then you will be saved.'

The Truth is if you are not with Christ, and He doesn't count you worthy to escape, you aren't going to escape! It's just that simple! No man is going to make the choice as to who is going to go to a place of safety. God is going to make the choice, and you are not going to get there by buying a mobile home out in the desert of Moab, Utah, so you can be in the commune and under the control of Darrel.

The angels are going to come and get you and take you to a place of safety if you go. I would dare say that the way that most of the Church of God is today, I don't think that a lot of people who think that they're going to a place of safety are going to get there.

Part of this is: Is the Passover a Holy Day? Then he gives many quotes out of

  • Tanakh Bible
  • Schocken Bible
  • Green's Interlinear
  • Moffett
  • Owens' Analytical Key

I went through them. In going through this, what are we going to do? Let's understand that when we prove all things—which we are to do because we're commanded to—Truth always agrees with Truth!

If you prove something correctly using the Truth and rightly dividing the Scriptures—as Paul said to Timothy (2-Tim. 2:14-15)—you can take something and prove and reprove it over and over again.

Leviticus 23:4: "These are the appointed Feasts of the LORD, Holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings… ['ben ha arbayim'—after sunset as it is starting to get dark; in the evening between the setting times (Schocken Bible)] …is the LORD'S Passover, and on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread…:" (vs 4-6).

So, you have two different days! If one is on the 14th and the other is on the 15th how can you combine the 14th with the 15th? It makes it very difficult, indeed!

"…to the LORD. You must eat unleavened bread seven days. On the first day you shall have a Holy convocation…." (vs 6-7).

What we have here is a Holy convocation vs a Feast, and it can be a different thing, and we will see that.

"…You shall not do any servile work therein" (v 7). It defines that!

  • Do you see that with v 5?
  • Does it define the 14th day as a 'Holy convocation' and you shall 'do no servile work therein'? No it doesn't!
  • Can you have a Holy gathering of brethren, gathered in the name of Jesus Christ, that is not on a Holy Day, but still be a Holy convocation? Yes!

Look at this way:

  • How long is the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Seven days! It's the Feast!
  • How many days are Holy Days, not counting the weekly Sabbath if you have one? Two days! Normally it's four days that are not Holy Days!
  • Are these other four days of the Feast still the Feast though they're not Holy Days? Of course!

Even though the Passover Day is a Feast, it doesn't say that it's a Holy convocation like a Holy Day where you do not do any servile work.

Verse 8: "But you shall offer a fire offering to the LORD seven days. In the seventh day is a Holy convocation. You shall do no servile work therein." It doesn't restrict the Passover Day to that!

Now let's look at another day of importance, which is a Feast to God, but it is not a Holy Day:

Verse 9: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, "When you have come into the land, which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest of it, then you shall bring the premier sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD to be accepted for you. On the next day after the [weekly] Sabbath the priest shall wave it"'" (vs 9-11).

That was a special ceremony, and this year we have that the Wave Sheaf Offering Day falls in the same sequence that it did in the year that Jesus was crucified, which falls on a Sunday.

That is not a Holy convocation! Is it a major important ritual and Feast? Yes! But mainly for—the fulfillment of the New Testament shows—God the Father and Jesus Christ. It is an event that occurred in heaven, not on the earth. That's why the wave sheaf was elevated.

Go through every one of the Holy Days—not the Feast days—because just like the Feast of Unleavened Bread, five days are not Holy Days (not counting the weekly Sabbath), though they are Feast days. Same way with the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day. You have the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles is a Holy Day, six days of the Feast that are not Holy Days, then the Last Great Day (8th day) is a Holy Day. They are also called Sabbaths!

Go through each one and you have the same thing, 'you shall do no servile work': Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets and especially the Day of Atonement, and the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles and the eighth day (Last Great Day).

Let's look at some things that we need to define a little more carefully here; this is very basic:

Verse 32: "It shall be to you a Sabbath of rest, and you shall afflict yourselves. In the ninth day of the month at sunset… ['ba erev'] …from sunset to sunset, you shall keep your Sabbath.'

When the sun touches the horizon 'ba erev' begins and when the sun dips below the horizon 'ba erev' ends. It's a very narrow three to five minute period of time. The reason that it's defined by this and very narrow period of time is so that everyone will be on schedule though you do not have a watch or clock or any way of telling time. You look at the horizon, and everyone, regardless of their level of intelligence or degree of expertise can see that when the sun touches the horizon 'ba erev' begins and when it goes down below the horizon 'ba erev' ends.

When it goes below the horizon you are into the next day. So, when you have 'ba erev' of the 9th day, the sun beginning to touch the horizon, the 9th day is ending and will be over in three to five minutes. The 10th day begins right then and continues till the next 'ba erev' of the next day. That's important to understand!

From even to even—from 'ba erev' to 'ba erev'—shall celebrate your Sabbath, and every day is calculated that way.

We've got it all in detail in The Christian Passover book, but I needed to through that first so that we could establish when a day begins and when a day ends, because that is always central to which is the 14th and which is the 15th.

(go to the next track)

{note booklet: The Fourteen Rules for Bible Study}

You have to go through that, because this is a technical and complicated thing to go through; not that of itself it's technical and complicated. It is the variant teachings and doctrines that men come up with that make it more technical and difficult to understand, because of confusing things and running them together.

I'm going to read out of The Schocken Bible Vol. 1: The Five Books of Moses by Everett Fox that are very important. Today, we kind of misconstrue the word doctrine, and we bring it up when there is a conflict between two opinions. However, doctrine in the Bible means teaching. What we're really doing is not trying to establish a doctrine separate from the Word of God; what we're trying to do is rightly divide the Word of God so that we know what the Word of God is telling us. That we rightly understand what God is telling us.

From Darrel Hanson's paper, referring to Lev. 23:4:

The 14th day of the month at even is the Lord's Passover. The 14th is a Holy convocation.

Yes, it is, but it's not a Holy Day!

This day shall be a day of remembrance for you…

The Passover and so forth!

Nothing significant happened on the 15th; no miracles, no watching, no observing, no keeping vigils to the Lord, no slaying of the Egyptians' firstborn. No sanctifying of Israel's firstborn, no leaving in haste. All of this happened on the 14th. Would anyone dispute this?

The 15th is never mentioned as an ordinance or a Holy Day. There is no instruction to keep it Holy.

We just read that it did!

Only the assumption that the 15th is the first day of Unleavened Bread…

It's not an assumption; it is declared!

…which does not say that the 15th day is the 1st day of Unleavened Bread.

He refers to what I said in a sermon in Sept. 2005 that you should not ask just what the Bible says, but ask what it does not say. Well, that' true! It does not say that the Passover Day is a Holy convocation. It is a Feast of God. It doesn't say that you 'shall do no servile work therein.' It does not say that at all! Nowhere does it say that of the 14th, but it does of the 15th!

I submit to the contrary of what we've always been taught, Lev. 23:6 and Num. 28:17 does not say that the 15th day is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, only that it is a day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

So, also is the 16th, 17th, 18th, etc.

When we consider the facts that we just have, unquestionably Lev. 23:5 shows the Passover is a Holy convocation.

But it doesn't mean that it's a Holy Day! Very important to understand. Remember what we just covered in Lev. 23 about when a day begins. In Exo. 12 we will see that it does say the first day is a Holy Day, the 15th! Let's establish that it is the 15th.

Exo. 12:18—this is where Strong's Concordance and the King James Version of the Bible cannot give you the sense of it. The reason being is that in Strong's Concordance you do not have 'ben ha arbayim' listed separately. The reason is because 'ben ha arbayim' is a derivative of 'ba erev.'

It's just like the English verb 'to be.' There are many subdivisions of 'to be': am, is, are, was, were, have been, shall be, will be, could have been, might have been. They're all different conjugations of the verb 'to be'; they are all spelled differently.

So, if you look up the master verb 'to be' and you don't define all the others below it and give the spelling of it, then you never know the difference. That's why Strong's Concordance should never ever be used to determine difficult and hard to understand doctrine, because it does not define the different derivatives of 'ba erev.'

We will see that 'ben ha arbayim' must follow 'ba erev.' The problem and  point that the Jews have, they say it comes before, in the afternoon. We will see why that can't be.

Exodus 12:18 (SB): "In the first (month), on the fourteenth day after the New-moon at sunset…" The 14th day at sunset ends the 14th and begins the 15th!

Just exactly as the 10th day of the 7th month begins at 'ba erev' or sunset on the 9th and goes to 'ba erev' or sunset on the 10th; that is the 10th day of the month.

Likewise, the 15th day of the month begins at 'ba erev' of the 14th, because it says in Lev. 23 that on 15th day of the month is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

"…you are to eat matzot… [unleavened bread] …until the twenty-first day of the month, at sunset" (v 18)—which ends the 21st day and begins the 22nd day.

Verse 19: "For seven days, no leaven is to be found in your houses, for whoever eats what ferments, that person shall be cut off from the community of Israel, whether a sojourner or native of the land. Anything that ferments… [leavens] …you are not to eat; in all your settlements, you are to eat matzot. Moshe [Moses] had all the elders of Israel called and said to them…"(vs 19-21).

These are the instructions that he gave to the elders to give to the people, because they didn't have cell phones, e-mail or instant messaging and things like this.

"…'Pick out, take yourselves a sheep for your clans, and slay the Passover animal. Then take a band of hyssop, dip (it) in the blood, which is in the basin…. [v 22]: Now you… [very emphatic in the Hebrew] …you are not to go out, any man from the entrance to his house, until daybreak" (vs 21-22)—or sunrise!

Verse 28: "And the Children of Israel went and did as YHWH… [Yahweh or the Lord] …had commanded Moshe and Aharon, thus they did."

If they did what they said, this proves that what the Jews say that they left as soon as they could after midnight. No, they did not! They stayed in their house until daybreak.

Now let's look at something concerning the Passover and the way that it should be kept, then we are going to see something very important that the way that it breaks in the Hebrew is different than the way that it breaks in the English:

Exodus 12:3: "Speak the entire community of Israel, saying: 'On the tenth day after this New Moon they are to take them, each man, a lamb, according to their father's house, a lamb per household. Now, if there be too few in the house for a lamb, he is to take (it), he and his neighbor who is near his house, by the computation according to the (total number of) persons each man according to what he can eat you are to compare for the lamb. A wholly sound male, year-old lamb shall be yours…" (vs 3-5). That is up to one year; this means not over one year!

The instructions are that after eight days it can be taken out from underneath it's mother and used for a sacrifice at that particular time.

"…from the sheep and from the goats are you to take it. It shall be for you in safekeeping…" (vs 5-6).

You can read in A Harmony of the Gospels and also in The Christian Passover showing the parallel that Jesus was selected by God the Father on the Sabbath, which was the 10th day of the 1st month in the year that Jesus was crucified (John 12).

"…until… [not past or through] …the fourteenth day after this New Moon… [the first month] …and they are to slay it—the entire assembly of the community of Israel—between the setting times" (v 6)—which is 'ben ha arbayim': after sunset but before dark! So, this must have been some fantastic thing.

I can almost picture it. With the instructions that they had from Moses, you know they had certain ones on top of their houses watching the sun set. Egypt is flat, so there was no dispute as to when 'ba erev' began. You probably had to probably look out and see that the sun has just touched the horizon, probably many of them scattered about throughout the whole community. Everybody is ready; each head of household is there with the lamb having a sharp knife and ready to take care of killing the lamb.

Then a few minutes later they would say, 'It just went below the horizon, and all the heads of the house—all at once—where the children of Israel were, and there were well over million, which means that there were at least 180,000 lambs that they were going kill right at that time.

Someone was right there to put a bowl under the throat to catch the blood. Someone then had a stick with hyssop on it and immediately put it on the sides of the doorpost and on the upper lintel. It says that 'they did what Moses said.' If they didn't they would have died.

Verse 7: "They are to take some of the blood and put it onto the two posts and onto the lintel, onto the houses in which they eat it. They are to eat the flesh on that night…"

The 14th day begins when? Based on the definition of Atonement and the what we just read concerning the beginning of the 15th ;when does the 14th begin? Right after 'ba erev' or sunset of the 13th! It can't be any other way, otherwise you have two different ways of calculating.

Verse 8: They are to eat the flesh on that night…"—the night of the 14th; couldn't be the 15th! Since they didn't calculate time from midnight to midnight you can't say that the next day begins at midnight, like they do today.

"…roasted in fire…" (v 8). I've got this all covered in the Passover book and how meticulous it had to be.

The Jews explain that they could not roast the lamb and have it touch anything where any of the Jews would boil some of the meat. That would have to be cut off because it had to be roasted. It couldn't be boiled!

"…and matzot, with bitter herbs they are to eat it" (v 8).

Let's understand concerning the day of Passover: The Passover is a day of unleavened bread! How can we know that?

  • they were to eat unleavened bread with the Passover
  • they had bound up in their packs ready to go, unleavened bread
  • they had put all leaven out of their homes before the Passover began
  • when they went to assemble at Rameses, they did not go through the drive-in at McDonalds and get a hamburger

As some people have mistakenly calculated that they could do on the Passover Day because they thought it was not an unleavened bread day!

I challenge anyone who says that the Passover Day is not an unleavened bread day—separate from the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread—to show me where that the Passover Day that they ever allowed leaven to be eaten.

They may still on the Passover Day had been getting rid of some of the leaven at a later time when they kept the Passover in the land. But they were to have it all out by the beginning of the 15th.

Verse 8: "They are to eat the flesh on that night… [v 9]: Do not eat any of it raw, or boiled, boiled in water, but rather roasted in fire, its head along with its legs, along with its innards"—obviously not with its intestines!

If you try to cook an animal with its intestines, it would blowup! So, this means the eatable parts, the heart, liver and probably kidneys were put back into the interior cavity where they took out the intestines.

Verse 10: "You are not to leave any of it until morning; what is left of it until morning with fire you are to burn."

In the Passover book I explain all about that, how long it takes to burn the skin, the intestines, bones and the whole thing. We actually ran an experiment: how long it takes to kill the lamb and skin it. We took two little kids of goats and had someone who knew how to kill them. He slit the throat, cut them open, took out the intestines…

And the way that they skin them is really something. If you're skilled, you just make a little incision on each side and stick your hand in between the flesh and the skin and it comes off very easily. You can have a lamb ready to go in about ten minutes, fifteen at the most.

What did he do with the bones? If you have a young animal the bones are very soft and burn very quickly! If you have an older animal it takes more time because they're harder.

What we did I timed how it was in killing the lamb, timed how long it took to burn it, which took about an hour or hour and a half. An older one it takes up to three and a half hours to burn to bones to ashes, because the bones are pretty hard.

Why did God have them burn anything that was left? No idols! Someone sure enough would take a bone or piece of the hide, or foot and make it a 'good luck charm.'

Since they were in the land of Egypt and following the religion of Egypt in the main, they weren't worshipping God in Egypt. They were thoroughly paganized! Don't you think that being superstitious because God spared them, they would like to have a 'good luck charm'? That's why God said to burn it!

Verse 11 is an important thing to understand, because the King James says that you are to eat it 'in haste.'Unfortunately, that is not a good translation; it gives the impression that they were ready to go, eating it in haste, and they could leave immediately after midnight. But that's contrary to what the Scriptures say! It says that they stayed in their houses until morning (daybreak)!

Verse 11: "And thus you are to eat it: your hips girded, your sandals on your feet, and your sticks… [or staff] …in your hand; you are to eat it in trepidation…"—because it was a night of fear and awesome destruction!

In a night of fear and awesome destruction and trepidation, how are you going to celebrate a joyous feast of the Night to be Much Observed? It's an impossibility! It's like saying turn out the lights so I can see.

"…it is a Passover Meal to YHWH. I will proceed through the land of Egypt on this night and strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from man to beast, and on all the gods of Egypt I will render judgment, I YHWH. Now the blood will be a sign for you upon the houses where you are: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, the blow will not become a bringer of ruin to you, when I strike down the land of Egypt" (vs 11-13).

Very interesting that it says the Lord is doing this! It says in one of the Psalms that there are angels assisting, you've heard of the 'death angel'; but it was the Lord to do. Nowhere does it say 'death angel'!

Verse 14: "This day… [Which day? The Passover Day] …shall be for you a memorial… [just like the Passover in the New Testament is a remembrance] …you are to celebrate it as a pilgrimage celebration for YHWH… [that is a later interpretation because the Passover was always to be domestic celebration] …throughout your generations, as a law for the ages you are to celebrate it!"

Now, right here there is a break! Between verses 14 and 15 there is a break in the Hebrew that is distinct, which shows that the Feast of Unleavened Bread is separate from the Passover Day. There is a special way of doing that in Hebrew. We will see that when we come to the end of Exo. 12. You can't see that in English, and that's where part of the problem comes, because part of the argument is that vs 14 & 15 run together, therefore, the first day of Unleavened Bread is the same as the Passover Day. That's where the difficulty comes!

That's why I went to v 18 first, to establish when the 15th day began. It begins when the 14th ends.

Verse 15: "For seven days…"

It's a complete break, and unfortunately that's a mistake that was made by Darrel Hanson, because he doesn't know enough Hebrew. The other man who was not in the Church…

  • How can a non-church member have insight into the Word of God?
  • When they don't know and understand God?
  • When they don't have the Spirit of God?

That's like trying to establish the spiritual Truth by going to the scholars of the world who don't believe in God! Who don't have an understanding of God!

"…matzot you are to eat, already on the first day you are to get rid of leaven from your houses…" (v 15).

In other words, by the time the 15th day begins you're to have all the leaven gone from your houses, but you're not to eat it on the Passover Day. You're to have it gone!

We have a very similar parallel here; the subject of the Passover and Unleavened Bread is so technical, and everything in here is such a heavy duty subject.

from The Christian Passover book; Josephus Records Eight-Day Festivals in His Time

As Josephus shows, the transition from eight days to seven days was not yet complete in New Testament times. In the late first century, Josephus recorded his understanding of the number of days included in the observance of the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread: "...We keep a feast for eight days, which is called the Feast of Unleavened Bread" (Antiquities of the Jews, Bk. II, Ch. 15, Sec. 1, emphasis added). "

We will cover that when we come to the New Testament!

There is no question that the Jews in Josephus' lifetime observed a full eight days for the spring festival…

Now we have a 'new' doctrine coming along saying that it's not eight days, its really seven!

…exactly as they did for the fall festival, which includes the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days and the Last Great Day, making a total of eight days. Notice Josephus' statement concerning the observance of this fall festival: "Upon the fifteenth day of the same month [the seventh month], when the season of the year is changing for winter, the law enjoins us to pitch tabernacles in every one of our houses, so that we preserve ourselves from the cold of that time of year....and keep a festival for eight days....on the eighth day all work was laid aside, and then as we said before, they sacrificed to God..." (Antiquities of the Jews, Bk. III, Ch. 10, Sec. 4, emphasis added).

What we are dealing with here is that Josephus is showing us that the Passover being one day of unleavened bread and the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days do not contradict one another, but flow from one to the other.

Just like the Feast of Tabernacles, do we mean only seven days of the Feast, or do we also include the eighth day? We include the eighth day!

Likewise, with the Passover it is one separate day, the 14th from sunset to sunset, and from sunset to sunset is the 15th.

Referring to handout of Darrel Hanson's paper; the Hebrew makes a distinct break, and unfortunately in the English it doesn't.

{continuing in Exo. 12 from the Schocken Bible}

Exodus 12:15: "For seven days…"

If you are going to say that this means the Passover Day, then you have to say that the whole Feast of Unleavened Bread is a memorial Feast in the same sense that the Passover is. But there's a different meaning for the Feast of Unleavened Bread and why we have the Night to be Much Observed and what it means.

"…matzot you are to eat, already on the first day you are to get rid of leaven from your houses, for anyone who eats what is fermented… [leavened] …from the first day until the seventh day---: that person shall be cut off from Israel. And on the first day, a proclamation of holiness…. [a commanded Holy convocation] …shall there be for you…" (vs 15-16)—which is not said of the Passover Day!

It is a commanded assembly, it is a Feast of God, but is not a Holy convocation that is a Holy Day that says the following and does not say this of the Passover Day:

"…no kind of work is to be made on them… [the first and seventh days] …only what belongs to every person to eat, that alone may be made ready by you. And keep the (Festival of) matzot! For on this same day I have brought out your forces from the land of Egypt…." (vs 16-17)—different from the Passover!

What did God do on the Passover Day? He passed over! But on the first day of Unleavened Bread—which begins as the 14th ends and the 15th begins. This becomes very important for us to understand. So, there are two different things:

 "…Keep this day throughout your generations as a law for the ages. In the first (month), on the fourteenth day after the New Moon at sunset… ['ba erev'; that ends the 14th and begins the 15th] …you are to eat matzot, until the twenty-first day of the month, at sunset…" (vs 17-18)—'ba erev'—which ends the day!

So, you have how many days? 7 days for the Feast of Unleavened Bread! Let's count them very carefully: 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21—7 days. If you count the 14th you end up with 8 days. It distinctly says that this is a proclamation of Holiness on the first day, so this is saying that the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a Feast and a Holy Day!

The other days of Unleavened Bread are part of the Feast but are not Holy Days. Do we have 7 Holy Days? No! We have the first day and the last day; first and seventh!

Verse 40: "And the settlement of the Children of Israel which they had settled in Egypt was thirty years and four hundred years."

This is a very important thing to understand, because this defines what this day is. It is not defined by the Passover Day. This is defined by something that occurred 430 years earlier.

Verse 41: "It was at the end of thirty years and four hundred years, it was on that same day…"

It's talking about the same day referring back 430 years! It's not talking about the same day referring to the Passover Day so you can combine the 14th and 15th together.

"…All of YHWH's forces went out from the land of Egypt" (v 41). It doesn't say that they left their houses!

Verse 42: "It is a night of keeping watch for YHWH… [or a Night to be Much Observed] …to bring them out of the land of Egypt; that is this night for YHWH, a keeping watch of all the Children of Israel, throughout their generations."

There are several things involved here for what it means:

  • keeping watch—God was watching over them
  • a night of rejoicing—they were now free to go and follow the Lord.

When they were slaves in Egypt they could not do that!

  • we are to observe—The Night To be Much Observed—unto the Lord

because the firstborn were the heart and core of why God spared all Israel

This begins a celebration by the firstborn all assembled together, whereas, on the Passover they were scattered throughout their houses. Now they're all assembled at Rameses and ready to leave. They left with a 'high hand.'

It's different from the Passover night in which they were to eat it in trepidation, eat it in fear!

Num. 33 is always the one that is a 'bug-a-boo' in trying to get this thing understood by people; either 15th/14th or the 14th/15th.

Numbers 33:3 (SB): "They marched from Rameses…" Remember, they had to come from their houses, which were scattered throughout the land of Goshen!

"…in the first New-Moon… [first month] …on the fifteenth day after the first New Moon; on the morrow of the Passover meal the Children of Israel departed with a high hand, before the eyes of all Egypt, while Egypt was burying those what YHWH had struck dead among them, all the firstborn., and on their gods, YHWH had rendered judgment" (vs 3-4).

If the Passover was on the 15th—which the Jews contend—and they could leave their houses right after midnight, do you think the Egyptians would be out there burying the dead in the dark of night? Hardly! How many were killed?

Very few even ask that question, so I did some rough calculations just based upon the number of Israelites—if it's 1.8-million—and their slaves per household, etc. the population of Egypt could have been as many as 24-million. Since firstborn usually constitute about 20% of the population, that means you would have 4.8-millon people killed in addition to the firstborn of the animals.

This was a horrendous thing! Even if you minimize it down to a million—and you know the heat that they have in Egypt—how those bodies are going to rot and stink and begin exploding in a very short time.

So, they probably began burying them beginning on the day portion of the 14th. Are you going to get them all buried from sunrise to sunset? No!

People read this and they come to an assumption, which is that it was the morning after the Passover meal. NO!

  • When does a day begin?
  • When did the 15th day begin? After the 14th ended at sunset!
  • When it ended at sunset, do you suppose that the Egyptians were still burying as many as they could to get the bodies underground, lest a plague come through and strike them again? Of course!

They would bury them until they could no longer see, because it would be getting dark! However, on the 15th day of the 1st month you have a full moon. Also, with the children of Israel you had—on the 15th day of the 1st month—which was not there before: the pillar of fire by night to lead them!

So, over where the Israelites were, as the sun was setting and the Egyptians were still burying their dead, and the children of Israel were leaving, they could look up and see the pillar of fire! I imagine that was a huge pillar of fire that had light coming out like there were clouds of light at the base and came out and lit the whole way where the children of Israel were going, in addition to the full moon.

To say that this restricts it to the day portion of the 15th is incorrect because it begins at sunset, and they left beginning at sunrise [transcriber's correction] and the Egyptians were still burying their dead while the sun was setting and the 14th was ending and the 15th was beginning.

Couldn't be any other way, otherwise you couldn't make the Scriptures agree one with the other.

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

  • 1 Corinthians 11:17-18
  • 1 Corinthians 14:26
  • 1 Corinthians 11:8-22, 34, 23-34
  • Leviticus 23: 4-11, 32
  • Exodus 12:18-22, 28, 3-18. 40-42
  • Numbers 33:3-9

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 1 Corinthians 5
  • Revelation 2; 3
  • 2 Timothy 2:14-15
  • John 12

Also referenced:

From: The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter

  • Appendix Y: Christ's Last Passover—Leavened or Unleavened? by Ben Ambrose (The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, a Faithful Version)
  • Chapter 20, section: A Memorial of Jesus' Death
  • Chapter 19, section: Jesus Institutes New Passover Ordinances

Sermon Series:

  • The Love of God
  • Epistles of 1st & 2nd Corinthians


  • Tanakh Bible
  • The Schocken Bible Vol. 1: The Five Books of Moses by Everett Fox
  • Green's Interlinear
  • Moffett
  • Owens' Analytical Key

Booklet: The Fourteen Rules for Bible Study

Transcribed: 7/23/2020