Clarifying seeming contradictions and conflicts of Scripture

Fred R. Coulter—May 13, 1989

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This is just a little bit of 'out loud' thinking that I'm going to do. I want us to notice several things that are very important in the difference between the commands in the Old Testament concerning the Passover and where there is an apparent contradiction of those clear Scriptures. The apparent contradiction appears in Deut. 16.

I don't want to turn to Deut. 16, yet, but we will first of all go to Exo. 12, where we have the very first command for the Passover lamb: the time and who should kill the Passover lamb. Let's just note some important things that it tells us as we're going. This is going to be important when we get to the comparison in Deut. 16.

Exodus 12:3: "Speak to all the congregation… [this is not to the Levites or to the priests, it's to all the congregation] …of Israel, saying, 'In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them each man a lamb for a house.'"

{the following is the makeup of the chart talked about on the audio}

 LAMB or Kid (Exo. 12:3-5)

  • small
  • of first year
  • male
  • killed at home by head

            of house

Exodus Passover

  • (Exo. 12:11, 13)
  • because of passing over
  • Lev. 23:5

Feast of Unleavened Bread

  • month of Abib
  • Exo. 12:40
  • bringing out
  • Lev. 23:6-8

Deuteronomy 16

I'm still thinking while I'm going along here. Let's follow the commands; there was to be a lamb for each house

Verse 4: "And if the household is too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take according to the number of the souls, each one, according to the eating of his mouth, you shall count concerning the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year … (vs 4-5).
It's very important, a male of the first year, or in the first year. Generally the lambs were born prior to the time of the Passover. Generally the lambs are born counting somewhere around February or the first part of March in our time. Even here in the United States, that's when the lambs are born, February or the first part of March. It could not be a lamb of more than one year. It wouldn't be a big lamb. It would be a small one.

We know in another place that it tells us that it will be under it's mother seven days and the eighth day you can use it for a sacrifice. It had to be over eight-days-old and less than a year old; in the first year, of the first year. That's very important so that you're not going to have a huge, gigantic, one-year old-lamb that you're going to use for the Passover sacrifice. It had to be within one year. You couldn't have a lamb born in February of one year and go past the Passover time, come clear around to the Passover time the second year and then use that lamb. That lamb would be gigantic by that time.

"…You shall take it from the sheep or from the goats" (v 5). We'll put (on the chart) a lamb or kid and right next to that Ex. 12:3-5. It should be a lamb or a kid.

Verse 6: "And you shall keep it up until the beginning of the fourteenth day of the same month. And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it between the two evenings." We've gone through that showing that this evening is the beginning of the day, 'ben ha arbayim.'

Who was to kill the lamb? The whole congregation! There was to be a lamb for a household, so who would kill the lamb? The head of the house!

The reason we're doing this, you'll see as we go along. It will be very important. We'll do a comparison. Then the rest of it, 'take the blood,' etc., etc.

Verse 11: "…It is the LORD'S Passover." It's called the Passover. Why? Because He passed over their houses (v 13)! So, we can put Passover vs 11 & 13. There's a subtle, sleight of hand that takes place in Deut. 16.

Verse 26: "And it will be, when your children shall say to you, 'What does this service mean to you?' Then you shall say, 'It is the sacrifice of the LORD'S Passover, Who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt…'" (vs 26-27). We have Passover because of passing over. That was to be the explanation.

When God passed over the houses of the children of Israel, where were they? At home in their houses! You might not think that that's a very important question because it's so simple and so obvious, but it is very important.

"…when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our houses" (v 27). That's very important because some people try to say they were all gathered together at Rameses in tents.

Josephus, who was a Pharisee, also said that they were gathered together in one place. If they were gathered together in one place, why call for the elders of Israel and tell them to go tell everyone in their houses? They were in their houses; they had not yet been let go! Very important thing! They weren't let go until after the killing of the firstborn. They stayed in their houses all night and no one went out until the morning. We all know that. It's very fundamental, but you're going to see why this will be so important in a minute.

"…And the people bowed their heads and worshiped. And the children of Israel went away and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron; so they did" (v 27-28).

Verse 40: "Now, the sojourning of the children of Israel in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years, And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, it was even on that very same day, all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt" (vs 40-41). Now they are gathered as an army.

Verse 42: "It is a night to be much observed to the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt…." When did that take place? They left their houses in the morning, they all gathered at Rameses and all left from Rameses and they left starting late in the afternoon.

I'm sure they started late in the afternoon by the time everybody got there. By the time the last ones left, it was into the 15th day. So, they departed Egypt on the 15th day. They started leaving on the day part of the 14th, but they couldn't all possibly get out of Rameses when you figure a million and a half people. You start lining up and now it's your turn, now it's your turn and now it's your turn. Time is going and the sun is going down and they did not get out of there until that night in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. Very important to remember.

Still under the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Exodus 13:1: "Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Sanctify all the firstborn to Me, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, of man and of beast. It is Mine.' And Moses said to the people, 'Remember this day in which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for the LORD brought you out from this place by the strength of His hand. There shall be no leavened bread eaten. On this day you are going out, in the month Abib'" (vs 1-4). The Hebrew is 'Aiv,' but it's pronounced in the English Abib.

What is the month of Abib associated with primarily by declaration? Passover? or The Feast of Unleavened Bread? It's associated with the Feast of Unleavened Bread! It's not mentioned with the Passover, but it is mentioned directly with the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We'll see that two more times. A very important thing to remember.

Verse 6: "You shall eat unleavened bread seven days,…" I want to emphasize seven. That'll become important when we come to Deut. 16.

"…and in the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And there shall be no leavened bread seen with you, nor shall there be leaven seen with you in all your borders. And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, 'This is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out from Egypt'" (vs 6-8).

What shall be in the month of Abib? The service of the Night to be Remembered and the sacrifice of all the firstborn! They were not brought out at the Passover. He passed over them while they were in their homes. Key to remember.

I know it's only the second day, but we will be dealing with another little sleight of hand we will see and it never dawned on me until I was really thinking about it, praying about it and trying to work on this thing to solve the problem with the 14th and 15th. You'll see why, it will dawn clear in just a little bit.

I want you to pay particular attention to the way that this is structured; Exodus 23:14: "You shall keep a feast unto Me three times in the year. You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. You shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib…" (vs 14-15). Very important.

"…for in it…" (v 15)—the month of Abib. Notice wherever it come with the month of Abib, it is connected with:

"…you came out of Egypt. And no one shall appear before Me empty. Also, the Feast of the Harvest of the Firstfruits of your labors, which you have sown in the field. And the Feast of Ingathering, in the end of the year, when you have gathered in your labors out of the field. Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD. You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread, neither shall the fat of My sacrifice remain until the morning. The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God. You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk'" (vs 15-19). That last sentence has nothing to do with what we're doing here.

Again, the month of Abib is associated with the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the 'going forth.' We know the Passover is the day before, but the Passover, though it is in the month of Abib, is not directly associated in the same phrase, 'in the month of Abib,' as is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. A key important thing, we'll see that as we go along.

What I want to do is to get an old Bible and do a little bit of cutting and splicing or maybe make some copies of pages and cut and splice and do a parallel with these because this will be very important. It will prove the point that I'm going to bring here.

Exodus 34:18: "You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. You shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, in the time of the month Abib, for in the month Abib you came out from Egypt." Then it emphasizes the situation there with the firstlings.

Then we come down here to v 22: "'And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year's end. Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel'" (vs 22-23). He repeats the thing again in v 25 about offering 'the blood of the sacrifice.' Then it says:

"…Neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Passover be left to the morning" (v 25). That ties back in with Exo. 12, 'not to be left till morning.' We're also told that the sacrifice for the Days of Unleavened was not to be left till morning.

All this we know, but I'm building a base so when we get to Deut. 16, we'll understand exactly what I'm doing here.

Leviticus 23:5: "In the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings… ['ben ha arbayim'] …is the LORD'S Passover, and on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD. You must eat unleavened bread seven days. On the first day you shall have a Holy convocation. You shall not do any servile work therein, 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" (vs 5-8).

Numbers 28:1 talks about an offering made by fire: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Command the children of Israel, and say to them, "My offering and My bread for My sacrifices made by fire, a sweet savor to Me, you shall be diligent to observe to offer to Me in their due season." And you shall say to them, "This is the offering made by fire which you shall offer to the LORD: two lambs of the first year without blemish day by day, a continual burnt offering"'" (vs 1-3).

Bill Dankenbring says that 'day by day' means that they're both done in the daytime. No! This means day after day for 'a continual burnt offering.' If they're both burned in the daytime, how can you have a continual burnt offering? One is for the daytime and one is for the nighttime! The one that's offered in the daytime is at 'boqer' in the morning when the sun comes up and the other one that is offered in the evening is 'ben ha arbayim' so that it burns all night. Just right after sunset, then it is killed and burned.

Verse 4: "The one lamb you shall offer at sunrise… ['boqer'] …and the other lamb you shall offer between the two evenings." I do not care if later the tradition was to offer it before sunset. That is contrary to what is in the Bible! What I'm trying to do with this is to establish Biblical authority over traditional authority. Too many people go back and say:

  • Josephus wrote
  • tradition has it
  • the Talmud says
  • the Targum says
  • the Mishnah says

No! We want to know, 'What does God say?' Here it is, "…between the two evenings." Then it gives the meal offering (vs 5-6), the drink offering (v 7).

Verse 8: "And the other lamb you shall offer between the two evenings, even as the grain offering of the morning, and as its drink offering, you shall offer it, an offering made by fire, a sweet savor to the LORD. And on the Sabbath Day two lambs of the first year without blemish…" (vs 8-9).

Verse 10: "This is the burnt offering of every Sabbath, besides the continual burnt offering, and its drink offering." What they had to do was this: After the sacrifice in the morning was already started, then they had two more sacrifices of the lambs for the Sabbath offering. Then we find:

Verse 11: "And in the beginning of your months you shall offer a burnt offering to the LORD: two young bulls, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without blemish." I want to emphasize bullocks in the beginning of the month. That's going to be important, as we will see later. Then:

  • v 12 is the meal offering
  • v 13 is a meal offering
  • v 14 is the drink offering

Verse 14 says, "…This is the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year. And one kid of the goats for a sin offering to the LORD shall be prepared, besides the continual burnt offering and its drink offering" (vs 14-15). All of these were commanded offerings at the tabernacle. These were mandatory.

Verse 16: "And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of the LORD"—and you shall bring your offering to the priest to be offered. It does not say that; it is not there—is it? No! The Passover offering was not to be offered at the temple! Maybe the priest would offer his own there because he was there, but the people did not have to come and offer the Passover offering there.

Right in the middle of all of these commands for burnt offerings, it's conspicuous for it's absence. That's why I facetiously made that statement, 'And you shall all bring your Passover offering to the priest.' No! Not there!

Verse 17: "And in the fifteenth day of this month is the Feast. Seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. In the first day shall be a Holy convocation. You shall do no kind of servile work. But you shall offer an offering made by fire for a burnt offering to the LORD: two young bulls and one ram… [that would be something that was over a year old, a male.] …and seven lambs of the first year. They shall be to you without blemish" (vs 17-19)—the meal offering, and so forth. It gives all the things that they were to do.

Then in the day of the firstfruits, they were to bring the meal offering, the burnt offering and all of that (v 26). Num. 29 has to do with all of the offerings commanded for all of the rest of the Feasts and every day of the Feast of Tabernacles, though they were not Holy Days.

Now, let's go to Deut. 16 and I think you will be surprised. I think we caught somebody's sleight of hand in making it appear that the Passover was to be just right as the sun was setting on the 15th. This is the only place in all of the Old Testament that gives any indication that it possibly could be on the 15th. Let's read it carefully and let's ask some very hard questions.

Deuteronomy 16:1: "Keep the month of Abib, and observe the Passover…" I'm going to read this all the way through without making any comment. I'll come back and we'll analyze it and then I'll come back and we'll look at it again. We're going to go through this three times.

"…to the LORD your God. For in the month of Abib, the LORD your God brought you forth out of Egypt by night. And you shall, therefore, sacrifice the Passover offering to the LORD your God, of the flock and the herd, in the place, which the LORD shall choose to place His name there. You shall eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, the bread of affliction, for you came forth out of the land of Egypt in haste, so that you may remember the day that you came forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life. And there shall be no leaven seen with you in all your borders for seven days. Nor shall any of the flesh, which you sacrificed in the first day at sunset remain all night until the morning. You may not sacrifice the Passover offering within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you, but at the place which the LORD your God shall choose to place His name in, there you shall sacrifice the Passover offering at sunset, at the going down of the sun, at the time that you came out of Egypt. And you shall boil and eat it in the place which the LORD your God shall choose. And in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. Six days you shall eat unleavened bread. And on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD your God. You shall do no work" (vs 1-8).

Now, let's go back and look at this again. Let's look at some contradictions, because there are some contradictions here, very definitely. They contradict the original Exo. 12. Let's look at it very carefully.

First of all, the month of Abib we found associated with Unleavened Bread and not the Passover, because on Unleavened Bread, they came out of Egypt. There's the first conflict.

Deuteronomy 16:2: "And you shall, therefore, sacrifice the Passover offering to the LORD your God of the flock and the herd…"

That was not the original command. It was a lamb or a goat. Flock refers to either goats or lambs. Herd refers to bovine. Nowhere were they ever to take a beef and offer it for the Passover! They could on the first day of Unleavened Bread—couldn't they? Yes! They were commanded to. Yes! They were! 'Of the flock and the herd' has to do with the sacrifices for the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Num. 28). Another contradiction 'of the flock and of the herd.'

Verse 3: "You shall eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, the bread of affliction, for you came forth out of the land of Egypt in haste, so that you may remember the day that you came forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life. And there shall be no leaven seen with you in all your borders for seven days. Nor shall any of the flesh, which you sacrificed in the first day at sunset remain all night until the morning. You may not sacrifice the Passover offering within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you'" (vs 3-5),

That contradicts what they did with the first Passover, they sacrificed at home. We will show that they were still doing it during Jesus' day. Philo is another Jewish historian who says that the Passover is the only sacrifice whereby everyone of the nation of Israel becomes a priest for that day and they sacrifice the Passover at home according to the head of the household.

This then is a contradiction, unless a word was changed. One change of one word would put this where I think it originally should have been.

Verse 6: "But at the place which the LORD your God shall choose to place His name in, there you shall sacrifice the Passover offering at sunset, at the going down of the sun, at the time that you came out of Egypt. And you shall boil and eat it in the place which the LORD your God shall choose. And in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. Six days you shall eat unleavened bread…." (vs 6-8).

The only place in all of the Bible that says, "Six days you shall eat unleavened bread…." Another contradiction! So, what are the contradictions that we have here?

  • Abib is associated with the Passover and not Days of Unleavened Bread
  • the sacrifice in the place that God would choose instead of at home
  • the sacrifice would be of the flock and of the herd

You never heard John the Baptist say, 'Behold, the bull of God that takes away the sins of the world.' He said, 'The Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.' Nor was it said, 'Behold the calf of the Lord which takes away the sins of the world.' It is, 'The Lamb of God.' It was not 'the ram of God.'

You can take of the flock and it could be a ram. It doesn't state, 'of the first year,' in this particular case. Something is wrong! What is wrong? The fourth contradiction that we have here:

  • six days shall you eat unleavened bread

We can resolve the fourth one easy by saying that it says right after that, 'in the seventh day shall be a Holy convocation,' which would then extend it to seven days. We can overcome that contradiction pretty easy. That is not a difficult one.

How then do you overcome the contradictions that we see here? There's a fifth contradiction.

  • the sacrifice, 'in the first day' (v 4)

I think that gives a dead giveaway—'the first day.' Now, I think we can solve the problem. The phrase, 'in the first day,' is one of the keys that helped me unlock the problem here.

I think that the Jews, in order to justify a 15th Passover, inserted in place of Unleavened Bread the word Passover. Very simple to do. Let me read it with the word 'Unleavened Bread' and it clears everything all up very nicely.

Deuteronomy 16:1: "Keep the month of Abib, and observe the Passover [Feast of Unleavened Bread] to the LORD your God. For in the month of Abib, the LORD your God brought you forth out of Egypt by night." It agrees with Ex. 13; 23; & 34.

Verse 2: "And you shall, therefore, sacrifice the Passover [Unleavened Bread sacrifice] offering to the LORD your God, of the flock and the herd…" Does that fit with the rest of the Scriptures? Yes!

"…in the place, which the LORD shall choose to place His name there" (v 2). Is that required of all the other sacrifices except the Passover sacrifice? Yes!

Verse 3: "You shall eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, the bread of affliction, for you came forth out of the land of Egypt in haste, so that you may remember the day that you came forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life." An Unleavened Bread message. The same as Exo. 13; 23; & 34.

Verse 4: "And there shall be no leaven seen with you in all your borders for seven days. Nor shall any of the flesh, which you sacrificed in the first day… [of Unleavened Bread] …at sunset remain all night until the morning. You may not sacrifice the Passover offering within any of your gates, which the LORD your God gives you" (vs 4-5).

Verse 5: "'You may not sacrifice the [sacrifices of the Feast of Unleavened Bread] Passover within any of your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, but at the place which the LORD your God shall choose to place His name in, there you shall sacrifice the Passover offering at sunset, at the going down of the sun, at the time that you came out of Egypt'" (vs 5-6).

I think Passover in vs 5 & 6 were inserted into the text to justify a Passover sacrificed at the temple. That's what I think and they slipped up on their little subterfuge, by putting in v 8, "Six days you shall eat unleavened bread…." Because they reduced the Feast from eight days to seven days!

It makes sense if you read the 'Days of Unleavened Bread' in it. It is perfect! It agrees with the rest of the Scriptures! When you read this, 'Feast of Unleavened Bread,' all the way through the context fits and there are no contradictions. How could this have been done? I haven't figured out when it was done. It think it was justified this way because the Jews call the entire thing 'the Passover!'
I want you to follow through the rest of Deut. 16 and you will see that it has the same sequence as Exo. 23 & 34. What did it talk about? 'Three times in the year shall all your males appear before Me, in the Feast of Unleavened Bread…' If we take the Feast of Unleavened Bread and apply that to Deut. 16:1-8, what was the next sequence of the three times they were to appear? At the Feast of Firstfruits, which is Pentecost!

Verse 9: "You shall count seven weeks to yourselves…" So, we have the Feast of Firstfruits. It follows the same sequence. Then what do we have? Three times in a year shall you appear, Feast of Ingathering or Feast of Tabernacles!

Verse 13: "You shall keep the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine press. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your male servants, and your female servants, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a solemn feast to the LORD your God in the place, which the LORD shall choose. Because the LORD your God shall bless you in all your increase, and in all the works of your hands, therefore, you shall surely rejoice" (vs 13-15).

(go to the next track)

Let's review Deut. 16:16; this agrees exactly with Exo. 34 & 23.

Deuteronomy 16:16: "Three times in a year shall all your males appear before the LORD your God in the place which He shall choose: in the Feast of Unleavened Bread…"—not the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Therefore the first part of Deut. 16 should read 'the Feast of Unleavened Bread' all the way through to solve the problem. Verse 16 didn't say 'in the Passover.' Since the Jews later called the whole thing 'the Passover.' Therefore, it was very convenient to substitute the word 'Passover' for Feast of Unleavened Bread in Deut. 16, at the first part, to make it look like a 15th Passover. The thing that gives it away, three things:

  • the requirement to sacrifice only at the place which God chose, which was never required
  • the month of Abib always referring to the Days of Unleavened Bread
  • 'You shall make your sacrifice of the flock and of the herd'

Never, never, never for the Passover, but absolutely okay for the Days of Unleavened Bread. Isn't that interesting? I think that we will find that that is the solution to it.

When you have one part of the Bible that seems to contradict the rest of the Bible, then something happened. The Word of God does not contradict itself.

"…and in the Feast of Weeks, and in the Feast of Tabernacles. And they shall not appear before the LORD empty" (v 16).

I want to emphasize this thing of 'home'; Exodus 12:43: "And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 'This is the ordinance of the Passover. No stranger shall eat of it. But every man's servant that is bought for silver, when you have circumcised him, then he shall eat of it. A foreigner and a hired servant shall not eat of it. It shall be eaten in one house…. [of the family] …You shall not carry any of the flesh out of the house. Neither shall you break a bone of it. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it" (vs 43-47). Where? In their homes, not at the temple!

Verse 48: "'And when a stranger shall dwell with you, and desires to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it. And he shall be as one that is born in the land. And no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. There shall be one law to the one born at home and to the stranger that dwells among you.' Thus did all the children of Israel. Even as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. And it came to pass the very same day, when the LORD brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies" (vs 48-51).

  • How did it get into the Bible? I think the answer is very simple, the Jews did it!
  • How well did they preserve the Bible? You read some cases, they didn't even know where it was and they dug in the temple and found it!
  • Have the Jews always been faithful? No!
  • Can you depend on their history? No!

The greatest event that ever happened, the coming of the Son of God, is not even mentioned in any of the things that they did, except in very derogatory terms. They blotted it out from their history!

Josephus blotted out from the history the fact that Jesus was there, except for one slight little mention and the Apostle Paul said, 'This was not done in a corner.' Everyone knew about it. Is it then conceivable to think that in one place in the Old Testament where they would like to justify a 15th Passover that that could be inserted there with no problem? Yes! Maybe perhaps not mischievously, because we'll look at a couple of places where it says that the king ordered the priests and Levites to offer the sacrifices.

Numbers 33:1: "These are the journeys of the children of Israel, who went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies… [showing that it was a great host] …under the hand of Moses and Aaron. And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the command of the LORD. And these are their journeys according to their starting places. And they set out from Rameses in the first month…" (vs 1-3). They departed, left; they were gone from Rameses.

"…on the fifteenth day of the first month. On the next day after the Passover day… [on the next day after the Passover] …the children of Israel went out with a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians, While the Egyptians were still burying all their firstborn whom the LORD had stricken among them. The LORD also executed judgments upon their gods" (vs 3-4).

What was happening? Let's get the sequence; we'll just summarize it this way:

  • they selected the lamb or the kid on the 10th day of the 1st month and kept it up to the 14th
  • at the beginning of the day after the day began, 'ben ha arbayim'—between the two evenings—they slew the lamb
  • they took the blood and put it on the post of the house
  • took the lamb in and they roasted it and ate it
  • God passed over at midnight and they were instructed not to leave their houses until the morning
  • in the morning they left their houses and they gathered to Rameses during the day part of the 14th; I would say, late in the afternoon, say four or five o'clock when they started leaving Rameses and were gone by night, on the day after the Passover

Now we've got everything in agreement. All of the Scriptures are in agreement. This is proof to you that the Passover is on the 14th, but some people argue that this shows that the Passover was on the 15th. It doesn't! It says that they left on the 15th, the day after.

Traditions:

  • What if the Jews had tradition that they did sacrifice at the temple?
  • What if some of them did sacrifice at the temple?
  • Did it make it right?

There is one man who says that we should follow what the Pharisees taught because they sat in Moses' seat. Should we follow the traditions of the Pharisees? 'After all, Paul was a Pharisee and the Pharisees controlled everything. They are the ones who set down the Law. Therefore, we should follow what the Pharisees say because they sat in Moses' seat.'

  • Should we do that?
  • Is that what we should do?
  • Is that what Jesus said?

We'll find out. He qualified it.

Matthew 23:1: "Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying, 'The scribes and the Pharisees…'" (vs 1-2). What about the scribes? A scribe could be also a Sadducee!. A scribe could be a priest! A scribe was put before the Pharisees. Where is the word of the scribes? We don't have it, but just a point.

"…'The scribes have sat down on Moses' seat as judges; Therefore, every judgment that they tell you to observe, observe and do. But do not do according to their works; for they say and do not'" (vs 2-3).

  • What does that mean?
  • Does that mean that you do anything that they tell you to do?
  • What if they tell you to do a traditional thing that is against the Law of God?
  • Should you do it because they sit in the seat of Moses? No!
  • When was it that the Pharisees and the scribes spoke properly? When they read the Scriptures, when they were seated in the synagogue reading the Scriptures sitting in the seat of Moses!

That's the only time you're to do what they did. The only time they exercised the authority of Moses was when they were reading the Scriptures. Any other authority they exercised was not in the seat of Moses and was not exercising the authority of Moses, but their own.

To prove a point, let's go back to Matt. 16. The same writer recording something very important for us.

Matthew 16:6. "And Jesus said to them, 'Watch out, and be on guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.'" The Pharisees were the ones who controlled the synagogue system and the Sadducees were the ones who controlled the temple system. There were the two systems. Scribes could be either Sadducees or Pharisees, but in most cases the scribes were the Sadducees.

Verse 7: "Then they… [the disciples] …reasoned among themselves, saying, 'It is because we did not take bread.' But when Jesus knew this, He said to them, 'O you of little faith, why are you reasoning among yourselves that it is because you did not bring bread? Do you still not understand? Do you not remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up? Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up?  How is it that you do not understand that I was not speaking of bread when I told you to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees?' Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees" (vs 7-12).

  • What is their doctrine? Their teachings!
  • What are their teachings?
  • What do they teach by? Tradition!

Now let's see about traditions and what God says when those teachings and those traditions do something to the commandment of God. Are we to follow them as if they sit in the seat of Moses? No!

Mark 7:1: "Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes from Jerusalem came together to Him…. [reiterating, more probably, the Sadducees] …And when they saw some of His disciples eating with defiled hands (that is, unwashed hands), they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews, holding fast to the tradition of the elders, do not eat unless they wash their hands thoroughly. Even when coming from the market, they do not eat unless they first wash themselves. And there are many other things that they have received to observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and brass utensils and tables. For this reason, the Pharisees and the scribes questioned Him, saying, 'Why don't Your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?' And He answered and said to them, 'Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you hypocrites, as it is written, "This people honors Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from Me.  But in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men." For leaving the commandment of God, you hold fast the tradition of men, such as the washing of pots and cups; and you practice many other things like this.' Then He said to them, 'Full well do you reject the commandment of God, so that you may observe your own tradition'" (vs 1-9).

Enough said? Yes! Traditional proof is not Biblical proof! Please understand that. Whenever you read any writings concerning the Passover, or a traditional things, or tradition for counting Pentecost, if it is not agreeing with the Word of God, it is tradition! We have sort of somewhat a schizophrenic thinking within may of the Churches of God and that is:

  • Catholic tradition is wrong
  • Buddha tradition is wrong
  • Protestant tradition is wrong

—which it is wrong. Oh, but Jewish tradition, we ought to look at that and accept it. What the Jews traditionally taught, that's fine. No! All traditions of all men are wrong! Anyone who brings any proof as to the tradition of the Jews, if it does not agree with the Word of God, you must not accept it for doctrine or teaching! Otherwise, you're accepting the leaven, or the sin, of the teaching of the scribes and the Pharisees. Is it sin to follow tradition and reject the Word of God? Yes, absolutely it is, with anybody!

Let's go to the Old Testament and look at a couple of places where the priests did sacrifice and the Levites did sacrifice for the people. In 2-Chron. 30, we have a case where the priests did sacrifice for the people and where, in order to rally the nation of Judah—including some still of the remnants of Ephraim and Manasseh, etc—that they did sacrifice for the people, but not all of them. Let's consider this very carefully.

In the first part of 2-Chron. 30 Hezekiah sends out a letter saying that we ought to keep the Passover—I'll just summarize it. However, it was too late to keep it in the first month. So, they decided, according to Num. 9, to keep it in the second month. You can do that. God gives allowance for it.

2-Chronicles 30:13: "And many people gathered at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month, a very great congregation. And they arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense to other gods they took away, and cast them into the Brook Kidron. And they killed the Passover, on the fourteenth day of the second month.…" (vs 13-15). They did it on the 14th not the 15th. Whatever they did, they did it on the 14th. That's what it says.

"…And the priests and the Levites were ashamed and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the LORD… [referring to the Feast of Unleavened Bread] …And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the Law of Moses the man of God. The priests sprinkled the blood from the hand of the Levites, for many in the congregation were not sanctified. And the Levites were over the killing of the Passover lambs for everyone who was unclean, in order to sanctify them unto the LORD" (vs 15-17).

It said 'many' were not clean, but there were also many who were clean. They did not kill the Passover for those were clean. Where was that done? That was done at whatever household they kept the Passover!

Verse 18: "For many of the people, many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, but ate the Passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, 'May the good LORD pardon everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.' And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah and healed the people. And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with great gladness. And the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day with loud instruments to the LORD. And Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who taught the good knowledge of the LORD. And they ate the appointed things seven days, offering peace offerings and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers. And the whole assembly took counsel to keep another seven days. And they kept another seven days with gladness, for Hezekiah king of Judah gave to the congregation a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep. And the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep. And a great number of priests sanctified themselves. And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and who lived in Judah, rejoiced. And there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon the son of David, the king of Israel, there was nothing like this in Jerusalem" (vs 18-26).

In the days of Josiah, 2-Chronicles 35:1: "And Josiah kept a Passover to the LORD in Jerusalem. And they killed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. And he set the priests in their charges and encouraged them in the service of the house of the LORD. And he said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were Holy unto the LORD, 'Put the Holy Ark in the house which Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built…. [v 4]: Prepare yourselves… [v 5]: And stand in the Holy place… [v 6]: And kill the Passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren so that they may do according to the Word of the LORD by the hand of Moses.' And Josiah gave to the people from the flock, lambs and kids, all for the Passover offerings…" (vs 1-7). So, the people did it in that case.

"…for all who were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand oxen. These were from what the king owned. And his princes gave willingly to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings two thousand six hundred…" (vs 7-8). Obviously it had to be of the flocks of the lambs.

Here, we have absolute Biblical proof, let's go back to v 7, just in thinking. 'The flock' means lambs and kids. 'Herd' means, of the bullocks and things.

Verse 8: "And his princess gave willingly to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave to the priests two thousand six hundred sheep…"—lambs and kids.

Verse 9: "And Conaniah, and Shemaiah and Nethaneel, his brothers, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chiefs of the Levites, gave to the Levites for Passover offerings five thousand sheep and five hundred oxen." Which had to be in this case, it had to be for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but they gave it to them before the Passover.

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. And they killed the Passover offerings, and the priests sprinkled the blood from their hands, and the Levites flayed them. And they removed the burnt offerings so that they might give, according to the divisions of the families of the people, to offer to the LORD as it is written in the Book of Moses; and so they did to the oxen. And they boiled the Passover offerings over fire according to the law. And the Holy offerings they boiled in pots, and in kettles, and in pans, and divided them speedily among all the people. And afterward they made ready for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the sons of Aaron, were busy offering up the burnt offerings and the fat until nightfall" (vs 10-14).

They were offering other sacrifices beside the Passover, apparently it is what they were doing here. This may be one of the very first times when the Levites and priests were sacrificing the Passover for the people. Or, you can also have a situation here, that here is where, maybe, an instance of the beginning of shifting over of those onto the 15th. Possible, I don't know.

The bullocks probably were not the Passover offerings, but they probably were used for the cleansing and sanctification of the priests, which was required to do. You go back to Lev. 16 and see how the priests were to sanctify themselves for the Day of Atonement. There was to be a bullock offered along with rams, etc. They were offering those to cleanse the priesthood as they would come on down the line. They were not offering the oxen as a Passover sacrifice, here, but they were offering them in cleansing of the priesthood. There were two things going on at the same time here.

This is where you could look back and say, 'Oh, in this emergency condition, they did it. Therefore, we're going to do it that way all the time.' God does not expect you to take an exceptional emergency situation and make it the rule!

What if every year it came along for the Passover and in the first month you said, 'Oh, I don't have time for it in the first month. I'm going to do it in the second month, because God allows it?' No, way! No, way! God allows the second Passover in case of uncleanness or sickness.

Today, if you're going in your car and the car broke down on the way to the Passover, then you'd take the Passover in the second month. You can't every year make your car break down so you can take it in the second month and not keep it in the first month. I think this is possibly where the tradition got started.

If you're going to kill a lot of Passover lambs for a lot of people, can you do it at night when it's dark? No, because you couldn't do it between that small space of window from sunset until dark! You couldn't kill thousands of lambs at that time. So, that's where they said, 'What we'll do, we'll do it over into the daytime.' It's still on the 14th but at the end of the day. You see how easy that got started? They made the exception the rule!

In order to justify it, the Pharisees did exactly what they always do, they go back and figure out a way to explain it. A couple of the explanations have been:

  • between the two evenings means, anytime from one sunset clear to the other sunset
  • the evening starts as the sun starts coming down from its zenith. Then it's the evening. Anytime between it's starting to come down and sunset is 'between the two evenings.' The first evening begins when the sun starts going down.

Nonsense! It's broad daylight at 12:10 p.m. I mean, come on! Therefore, once they accept that, now, you have the Passover being killed in the afternoon on the 14th and they would eat it on the 15th, combine it together.

Now we've got to justify this. So, our ready scribes went back—and I suspect, I do not have absolute dogmatic proof, but I won't believe anything else until I see something to the contrary—and they changed the words, 'Unleavened Bread,' to read 'Passover,' because at that time they called the whole thing 'Passover.' They could justifiably do it with a conscience of great pangs, that they altered the Word of God—they were just updating it for a later clarification. Notice they did not touch the original writings of Moses in Exodus.
When I first came into the Church of God, I had the toughest time trying to figure out the evening. I was sitting there reading this and my eyes would go cross-eyed, it really would.

Of course, the New Testament, in these places in the English, followed the Pharisaical tradition. So, in 1611 when this was translated from the Greek into the English, they followed the Pharisaical teaching. This added confusion, unfortunately.

Mark 14:12: (KJV): 'And the first day of unleavened bread…" Now the Greek reads: "And the first day of the unleaveneds…"

It is not the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. If it were, what problem would you have? What would be the major problem that you would have?

  • It's on the wrong day
  • that would mean, as we'll see later in John 18:28, the Pharisees who ate the Passover the day after Jesus, would be eating the Passover on the second day of Unleavened Bread, which would be a problem too difficult to ever explain

So, this means:

Mark 14:12: "And on the first day of the unleaveneds…" Referring to the event when they put leaven out of their homes at the beginning of the year for the Passover.

"…when they were killing the Passover…" (v 12). You don't pick it up in the English. You must pick it up in the Greek. The Greek word for 'killing' means to kill and sacrifice and it comes from the Greek word 'ethuo.' This particular tense of the verb is pronounced 'ef-u-wan' that means they, (that is, third person plural) and it is active, indicative, incomplete. It means when they were killing. Or:

Mark 14:12: "And on the first day of the unleaveneds when they… [generic, not the priests] …were killing… [on going] …the Passover lambs, His disciples said to Him…" Now picture this: Here is Jesus and the disciples walking into Jerusalem:

  • What are they seeing?
  • What was going on?

If it's actively going on, they saw people killing the lambs!

  • If you're the disciples and you see people killing the lambs, what is the first question you're going to ask the Lord?
  • What's the first obvious question?
  • Where are we going to keep the Passover, Lord?

That's very interesting. 'They' is what you would call a 'generic they,' not referring to the priests, because they were not anywhere near the temple. So, they could not see the priests doing that. It was something that was actively going on. You look over here and there's someone killing a lamb for the Passover. You know the sun is just over the horizon and it's getting dark so the disciples say:

"…'Where do You desire that we go and prepare, so that You may eat the Passover?' And He sent two of His disciples, and said to them, 'Go into the city, and you shall meet a man carrying a pitcher of water; follow him. And whatever house he shall enter, say to the master of the house…'" (vs 12-14). Again, following what it was, a house, that was the command originally.

"'…that the Teacher says, "Where is the guest chamber, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?" And he shall show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. There prepare for us.' And His disciples went away: and when they came into the city, they found it exactly as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover" (vs 14-16).

What does it mean to 'prepare/make ready' the Passover? To make ready the Passover could involve killing the lamb! They were only a few minutes down the road. They walked in there. Also, the man carrying the picture, could that be the water that Jesus washed the feet of the disciples with? Very possibly! Apparently, whatever communication that Jesus had with God and the angels He knew that something was going on with this man and so He said to follow this one.

It could be that they had to go on and kill the lamb. To kill a little lamb doesn't take very long at all. It could be that the lamb had already just been killed by the head of the household! He had several guest chambers where people would come and eat the Passover, so he would have it already killed for them. They could hustle in, really quickly. Hurry in and start the Passover. So, they made ready the Passover.

What else would you do with the Passover? You've got to roast it! I imagine that in each one of the rooms there was a fireplace type of oven where you could roast it. There 'they made ready/prepared the Passover.'

Bill Dankenbring makes a statement that the Old Testament Passover had to be on the 15th and the New Testament Passover was one that Jesus specially instituted. How could it be when they saw people already killing the Passover? Was the Passover eaten on two days? Yes, it was!

Luke 22:7: "Then came the day of the unleaveneds in which it was obligatory to kill the Passover lambs." We're being told a message here. This is the proper day when Jesus did it and the lambs were killed on that day.

Verse 8: "And He sent Peter and John, saying, 'Go and prepare the Passover for us that we may eat.' But they said to Him, 'Where do You desire that we prepare it?' And He said to them, 'Watch, and when you come into the city, you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters; and you shall say to the master of the house, "The Teacher says to you, 'Where is the guest chamber, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?'"'" (vs 8-11).

Nothing special about it an ordinary Passover as far as the disciples were concerned. A little rushed for time because they were going into town.

If this were truly the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, then Jesus was not killed on the Passover Day by any stretch of the imagination. He would have to be called, 'Jesus our Unleavened Bread,' but Unleavened Bread follows the acceptance of the sacrifice. You must have the sacrifice first. Jesus is the Unleavened Bread of sincerity and Truth, but He is the Passover and you must have the Passover before the first day of Unleavened Bread.

Verse 12: "And he shall show you a large upper room furnished; there prepare.' Then they went and found everything exactly as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover. Now, when the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. And He said to them, 'With earnest desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer" (vs 12-15).

Dankenbring says that this means this Passover was a special one going back to the 14th instead of on the 15th. No indication at all anywhere of that! Jesus, when He said, 'This Passover,' He meant this specific Passover, because it was His last one until He comes again with the Kingdom of God.

Verse 16: "For I tell you that I will not eat of it again until it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God."

I'm going to have to draw up a couple of charts to show all this. It's got to be answered once for all on the whole thing. We ought to have it all in one place and cover everything. {Note book: The Christian Passover truthofgod.org}

John 18:28: "Now then, they led Jesus from Caiaphas…" Let's just summarize here:

  • Jesus ate the Passover
  • went out after the Passover with His disciples
  • prayed
  • was arrested about midnight
  • was led away to Annas
  • then Caiaphas
  • back to Annas
  • over then to Caiaphas

Caiaphas then sends Him "…to the judgment hall, and it was early. But they did not go into the judgment hall, so that they would not be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover" (v 28).

  • What is the conclusion we can come to? During the days of Jesus, there were two days of eating the Passover that were commonly accepted, the 14th and the 15th!
  • Which one did Jesus keep? The 14th, that was according to the commands of God!
  • Which one did the Pharisees keep? The 15th, according to tradition!

Therefore, Deut. 16 had to be slightly modified to make it appear that the Passover was indeed on the 15th.

One other thing that is said, and you will read in the book by Garner Ted Armstrong—which was written mostly by Robert Kuhn, by the way, this particular portion was—how that when the priests took the lamb up to the altar and slit its throat that was when Jesus died, the temple was rent in two and what a 'great and marvelous symbolism' this is.

God used the whole thing. The proper Passover and then the symbolism of when Jesus died was a rejection of their Passover and a rejection of their way, not a 'great symbolism' of fulfillment.

One other thing we need to cover. That is Luke 22:1: "Now, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called Passover, was approaching." Whenever they came to call the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, generally as the Passover, therefore, it would give them easy conscience to go ahead and change it in Deut. 16, to Passover from Unleavened Bread.

All Scripture from The Holy Bible In Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

  • Exodus 12:3-6, 11, 26-28, 40-42
  • Exodus 13:1-4, 6-8
  • Exodus 23:14-19
  • Exodus 34:18, 22-23, 25
  • Leviticus 23:5-8
  • Numbers 28:1-4, 8-11, 14-19
  • Deuteronomy 16:1-8, 2-3, 1-6, 9, 13-16
  • Exodus 12:43-51
  • Numbers 33:1-4
  • Matthew 23:1-3
  • Matthew 16:6-12
  • Mark 7:1-9
  • 2-Chronicles 30:13-26
  • 2-Chronicles 35:1-14
  • Mark 14:12-16
  • Luke 22:7-16
  • John 18:28
  • Luke 22:1

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Deuteronomy 12:13
  • Numbers 28:5-7; 12-13, 26
  • Numbers 29; 9
  • Leviticus 16

Also referenced: Books:

  • Josephus
  • The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter

FRC:nfs
Transcribed 8-28-16
Proofed: 9/4/16

BOOKS