PASSOVER UNDERSTANDINGS Part Six "AND ON THE DAY OF UNLEAVENED BREAD" It has been a puzzle to many who read the KJV to find sentences in the Gospels that say: "Now on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, Where will you that we prepare for you to eat the passover"(Mat.26:17). Something similar is said in Mark 14:12, yet there it seems to say they killed the passover on the first day of unleavened bread. And Luke says the same as Mark(Luke 22:7). Reading the plain easy to understand scriptures in the books of Moses as we have done in our previous studies, we clearly find as in Lev.23 and Num.28 that the Passover was the 14th day and the first day of the Unleavened Bread feast was the 15th. This 15th day was also a holy convocation day - a Sabbath assembly day, as was the last or 7th day of this Unleavened Bread feast. Days began at even in Israel as seen from WHEN to observe the feast of Atonement in Lev.23. So how could it be possible that the disciples came to Jesus on the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread as Matthew seems to say, which would then be the 15th day of the first month, which would also be a Sabbath, and ask Jesus where they could prepare the Passover which obviously they had not yet killed and eaten. Where they killing the Passover on the 15th, a Sabbath day? Did Jesus die on the 15th, a Sabbath day? Of course not! The Gospel of John tells us they were in a hurry to take Jesus down from the cross and place Him in the garden tomb BECAUSE the Sabbath drew on - the Sabbath of the feast - the 15th. The law of Moses stated that no one should remain dead on a tree over any night of any day(Deut.21:23 with John 19:31). The Passover lambs were never to be killed on a Sabbath day. There is NO HISTORY of the Jews that teaches or recorded that the Jews ever killed the lambs of the Passover on ANY Sabbath day(at least the Jews that John has in mind in his gospel, who were using the 14th as a preparation day for the coming 15th Sabbath). There was much work in slaying and roasting the lambs, never did God allow the Passover sacrifice to be done on a Sabbath. Certainly the Pharisee sect that killed the lambs at the Temple never taught or practiced doing it on any Sabbath. They did it in the afternoon of the 14th, leading up to the Sabbath of the 15th, which was the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread proper, from the evening at the end of the 14th to the evening at the end of the 21st day(Exodus 12:18). The scribes and Pharisees and their followers who practiced and taught this way to observe the sacrifice of the Passover, leading into the 15th Sabbath, were doing JUST THAT as John records for us in the last chapters of his Gospel. All is very clear from all four Gospel writers that Jesus died on the afternoon of the 14th, after He had observed the Passover at the beginning of the 14th(the night before), at dusk(when it was killed) and on into that night(as we have seen in earlier studies). As the Passover at the end of the 14th(for those who followed the Pharisee teaching and practice) which led up to the 15th Sabbath day, they wanted Jesus down from the tree and in the tomb. This is very clear from the Gospel of John. So how on earth could the first day of the Unleavened Bread feast have arrived and Jesus had not yet observed the Passover, yet observe it on the 14th, die on the 14th, when it seems to say, it was already the 15th, the first day of the feast of UB, and Jesus had yet to observe the Passover? It does seem rather confusing to say the least. It is such seemingly contradictions of the Bible that make many into "sceptics" and even agnostics of the Bible. Because of such things many stumble and fall backward, and reject the Bible as inspired, and often they reject the truth that there is a God who does not contradict Himself in His word. A FEW KEYS TO UNDERSTAND THE KJV Many KJV Bibles will use italics for many words. Maybe you have wondered why, maybe you already know why. In case someone reading this does not know why italic words are found in English translations of the Bible, I will state the reason here. All italic words are to tell you that such words ARE NOT in the original Greek! They were added by the translators to try and make the reading easier to comprehend. Sometimes, maybe most of the time, such is the case, BUT sometimes it actually not only does not help, it makes things worse and ends up causing what seems to be contradictions with other scriptures. Now to add to that, sometimes words that are not in italics and so making it appear that they are IN the original Greek, ARE NOT THERE EITHER! So the original Greek becomes very important to have and see when we are dealing with some of the verses that seem to contradict one another. Let's go to the Greek. Here is how the Greek reads as translated into English from the Textus Receptus in the Greek/English Interlinear by George Ricker Berry Ph.D. Luke 22:7,8. "And came the day of unleavened in which was needful to be killed the passover. And He sent Peter and John saying, Having gone prepare for us the passover, that we may eat." Matt.26:17. "Now on the first of unleavened came the disciples to Jesus, saying to Him, Where will you we should prepare for you to eat the passover." Mark 14:12. "And on the first day of unleavened, when the passover they killed, say to Him His disciples, Where desirest you going we should prepare that you mayest eat the passover." It is very clear that Jesus and His disciples HAD NOT YET prepared and eaten the Passover meal. It is just as clear that they came to Him concerning WHERE to prepare the Passover ON THE DAY THEY KILLED THE PASSOVER. We know from the truth of Exodus 12 this was in the evening, at sun-set, between the two evenings, at DUSK, when the sun went down over the horizon TO START THE DAY OF THE 14TH, the day they killed the Passover lambs! As we can plainly see from the Gospels this was the 14th day of Nisan, the first month, NOT the 15th or ANY other day but the 14th. Remember the 15th was the Sabbath that was coming on in the Gospel of John, the first day of the FEAST of UB, when they hurriedly wanted Jesus' body down off the cross and into the garden tomb. I want you to NOTICE the word "bread" is not in the Greek! Of course by implication bread is meant, for "unleavened" was to do with BREAD not gape juice or fried green tomatoes. MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT is to notice the fact that the word "feast" is NOT USED!! None of the accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, use the word "feast" with the word "unleavened." The Greek language did have a word for "feast." John used it in a number of times in his Gospel(i.e. chapter 13:1; 7:2). They did not use it in the verses above to be specific. Luke used the word feast in chapter 22:1. He and the others did not use it when they were referring to THE DAY they killed the Passover lambs, and on which day the disciples came to Jesus to ask Him where they should prepare the Passover meal for them to eat. They had VERY GOOD REASON why they DID NOT use it. They did not want you to believe this was the 15th day of the month, the first Sabbath day, the holy convocation day, of the seven day FEAST of Unleavened Bread. Oh, it was indeed THE FIRST OF UNLEAVENED(bread) in an official, God commanded way, that unleavened bread was to be used and eaten. I shall show you how this was so shortly, if you have not yet called to mind the instructions of Exodus 12. And I will show you from Jewish CUSTOM and TRADITIONS that this 14th day was a day, the first official day in their religious traditions, to be unleavened. First, I want to look at the term "the unleavened" as it is in the Greek. It is "toon azumoon." And it is the plural of ta azuma. The plural form toon azumoon, "the unleavened" reflects the point it is or can be MORE than the 7 day feast of UB. The plural form is unlimited unless it is limited by the specific use of a number along with it. Here in the verses above there is no such limiting number used with this plural form. Let's once more re-examine in basic form, and the outline of the use of unleavened bread, that God gave to Israel through Moses in the law of Moses. From our previous studies we have seen: 1. By the first day of the FEAST of UB, all leavened bread was to have been put out of the houses(Ex.12:15,19). Verse 15 is correctly "shall have put out leaven" as it is in the past tense in the Hebrew. So past action competed by the start or beginning of the 15th day. But past action a few seconds UP TO the beginning of the 15th is still past action to the start of the 15th. 2. No leaven was to be found in their homes during the seven day feast of UB(Ex.12:19). 3. They were to eat unleavened bread for seven days starting with the or on the 15th day and continuing for seven full days(Lev.23:6-8; Deut.16:3). 4. The first(15th day) and the seventh(21st day) of this first month of Nisan/Abid, was to be holy convocation days, no servile work performed, they were Sabbath days(Ex.12;16,Lev.23:6-8; Deut.16:8; Num.28:17-25). 5. No leaven was to be within their boarders, the entire country was to be without leavened bread(Ex.13:7), although it could possibly be argued that "quarters" here means houses or dwelling places only. 6. The Passover meal was to be eaten with UNleavened bread. No leavened bread was to be eaten with the Passover meal(Ex.12:8). This last point IS VERY IMPORTANT! Remember it! Mark it in your Bible! It was the law of the Lord, it was a command of God, it was a precept of the Eternal, that ONLY UNleavened bread was to be eaten with the Passover meal! This 14th day was then the FIRST OFFICIAL God commanded day within the context of His FEASTS, that unleavened bread was to be used and eaten. The 14th day of Nisan is a FEAST day all to itself, different from and apart from the FEAST of the 7 days of Unleavened Bread which began on the 15th day of the first month, and continued until the end of the 21st day. The 14th day is NOWHERE in the law of Moses commanded to be observed as a COMPLETE, 24 HOUR, DAY OF UNLEAVENED BREAD ONLY EATING, WHERE LEAVENED BREAD WAS TO HAVE BEEN PUT OUT OF THE HOMES BY THE BEGINNING OF THIS 14TH DAY!! NOTE THAT FACT, NEVER FORGET IT! Because some have forgotten this fact of truth, they believe the 14th day must also be a day where leavened bread must be put out of their homes, and only unleavened bread eaten. They believe by the time the 14th day is to START, at the end of the 13th day, in the evening, at sunset, dusk, of the 14th, all leavened bread is to be out of their houses. THIS IS NOT WHAT THE LAW OF MOSES SAYS! It was UP TO and by the time of the beginning of the 15th day, that all leaven was to be out of the homes. With the START of this 15th day no leavened bread was to be eaten for seven full days, but ONLY Unleavened bread was to be partaken of with their meals. This is VERY CLEAR from all the scriptures on the subject within the books of Moses. UNLEAVENED bread was to be eaten with the Passover meal on the 14th, at the beginning of the 14th, in the night of the 14th. So it was a day of UNleavened (bread) in that sense ONLY! It was the FIRST official God appointed day of the new year, in which unleavened bread was, as a command, to be eaten. It was a SPECIAL day, it was the PASSOVER DAY. It was the first of God's SEVEN festivals. So it is not surprising that the Gospel writers said "Now THE first of unleavened, when they killed the Passover...." Putting some emphasis on THE DAY. That 14th day was indeed special - it was the Passover day, the day of the first commanded eating of unleavened bread. But it was never a command of the Lord that the entire day was to be unleavened in both eating and in their homes. Some just think it odd and strange that after observing the memorial of our Lord's death with unleavened bread, we should or could go back to eating leavened bread again until the 15th arrives so many hours later. Yet it should not be that strange when you consider the 14th day was NEVER by God instituted as a holy convocation day, a "no servile" work day, or called a Sabbath day. It could just as easily be asked that after having a serious memorial service at the beginning of the 14th, in the night of the 14th, why should we be able to work at our servile jobs the next day, for the 14th is not a Sabbath. The answer to that is found in the typology of the day and the prophecies concerning the suffering Messiah. What Jesus was to be put through, His trials, His mocking, His buffeting, His scourging, His walking to the hill of crucifixion half dead already, and hanging on the cross where He was finally thrust through with a spear and killed, WAS NOT SABBATH ACTIVITY!! He after observing the Passover with His disciples, eating unleavened bread(picturing righteousness - 1 Cor. 5), WENT OUT INTO THE SINFUL WORLD AGAIN TO FACE SIN AND TO LOOK IT IN THE FACE AND OVERCOME IT. THEN HE ENTERED THE REST OF THE GREAT FEAST THAT PICTURES THE PUTTING AWAY OF SIN TO DO HOLY PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS - THE FEAST OF PERFECTION, THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD! JESUS RESTED IN HOLINESS FOR THE FIRST THREE DAYS OF THAT FEAST AND WAS RAISED IN PERFECTION TO EVER LIVE IN THAT PERFECTION, AND NEVER AGAIN EVEN TO BE TEMPTED TO SIN(Heb.4:15). THE 14TH WAS THE FIRST OFFICIAL DAY OF UNLEAVENED BREAD FOR THE PHARISEES AND THEIR FOLLOWERS There is a dual meaning as to why Matthew, Mark, and Luke used the phrase "And on the first of unleavened." It was not only the first official day as given by the Lord in which unleavened bread was commanded to be eaten(with the Passover meal) as we have seen, but the popular scribe and Pharisee religion that most of the religious Jews followed, also had a TRADITION, and let me give emphasis to the word TRADITION, THAT LEAVEN BREAD WAS TO BE PUT AWAY BY AND DURING THE 14TH DAY OF NISAN. From the NEW UNGER'S BIBLE DICTIONARY, page 411, we read: "......The 13th of Nisan. On the evening of the 13th Nisan........every head of a family searched for and collected by the light of a candle all the leaven. before beginning the search, he pronounced the following benediction: ' Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with thy commandments, and has enjoined us to remove the leaven.' After the search he said, ' Whatever leaven remains in my possession which I cannot see, behold, it is null, and accounted as the dust of the earth.' "......The 14th Nisan........Handicraftsmen, with the exception of tailors, barbers, and laundresses, were obliged to cease from work, either from the morning or from noon, according to the custom of the different places in Palestine. No leaven was allowed to be eaten after noon, when all that had been found either on this day or the preceding one was to be burned........" Let me put this all in simple language for you. The people who followed the scribes and Pharisees in their traditions of religion, would start to clear the house of leavened bread, crumbs etc. on the 13th of Nisan IF NOT BEFORE THAT! For the reason that by the time the 14th day had come at evening time, when the 14th began, the head of the household would make one final search and look for leaven using the benedictions mentioned above for the start of the search and for the end thereof. It was done on the night of the 14th by candle-light. The next day, the daylight part of the 14th, by noon at the latest, NO MORE LEAVEN WAS TO BE EATEN, and all leaven had been burned. This 14th day of Nisan under the religion of the Pharisees was for all intents and purposes, a DAY OF NO LEAVEN. They had even made it a semi-Sabbath day as only certain trades were to work on that day, everyone else stopping work either from morning or the latest from noon, depending as we read, what the CUSTOM was in their part of Palestine. You see now a little more of those TRADITIONS of men that made void the commandments of God, Jesus so often spoke against concerning the religion of the scribes and Pharisees. You see how much they had added to and changed the laws concerning the Passover day as given in the books of Moses. They had through the process of time moved the sacrifice of the Passover from the beginning of the 14th, to the near end of the 14th. They had moved the killing of the Passover lambs from the heads of groups of people gathered here and there in Jerusalem(Jesus sent Peter and John to prepare the Passover), to having the Priesthood kill the lambs, and that not in houses but in the Temple. They even went as far as having all the leaven out of their homes by the beginning of the 14th, as they had one more final search by candle-light for leaven. None were to eat leaven after at least noon of the 14th. Then after all that it did not stop there, they had made the 14th into a semi-Sabbath day. None of the above customs and traditions were part of the laws of the Passover day according to the books of Moses. The law of the Passover meal was very clear in Exodus 12. The lamb was to be killed at DUSK, between the two evenings, at the start of the 14th, and only UNleavened bread was to be eaten with THAT meal. The 14th day was NOT a Sabbath, and it was NOT a complete full day of no leaven in the house, or to be eaten. No leaven was to be eaten with the Passover meal, and that was it, period! All leaven was to be out by the time the 15th day started, and from that time through to the end of the 21st day, only UNleavened bread was to be eaten. A full and complete perfect seven days. This was the command of the Lord, no more and no less! Now we see no contradiction in the word of the Lord. All harmonizes perfectly. The scripture cannot be broken as Jesus told us. The 14th day as it arrived, as the sun set over the horizon, as that day arrived when they killed the Passover, as they were about to start to kill the Passover (those who knew the truth and did not follow the Pharisees) at the beginning of the 14th, in their different groups, in different homes within and around the extended city limits of Jerusalem. As it was the first official God ordered, commanded day of the year to eat UNleavened bread on during the Passover meal(and even unleavened as far as the Pharisee religious traditions went), Matthew, Mark and Luke correctly said: "Now on the first of unleavened, the disciples came to Jesus and said, Where shall be go to prepare the Passover for you to eat." Next time we shall look at a few passages in the Gospel of John that puzzle and confuse many. ..........................................