PASSOVER UNDERSTANDINGS Part Eight NT Proof the Passover lambs were being slain at the Beginning of the 14th This study is going to get quite technical. I will try to make it as clear and as plain as I can. Turn to Mark 14:12. The Greek in Berry's Interlinear reads: "And on the first day of unleavened, when the passover they killed........" In our last study we saw all about the phrase "And on the first of unleavened." This time I want to focus on the phrase "when the passover they killed" and especially the words "they killed." Actually in the Greek it is only ONE word for "they killed" - it is ETHUON. This word is most revealing when we look at the Greek TENSE! As Fred Coulter in his book THE CHRISTIAN PASSOVER points out(page 197), "The verb ethuon reflects the following case and action: 3rd person plural - they; imperfect - meaning an action not yet completed but taking place at that very moment - were killing; active indicative - being done personally at the moment by the subject - they. A literal translation of the Greek would be as follows: 'AND ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE UNLEAVENEDS, WHEN THEY WERE KILLING THE PASSOVER....' "THE ORIGINAL GREEK TEXT SHOWS THAT THE LAMBS WERE BEING KILLED AT THAT VERY MOMENT AS JESUS SENT HIS DISCIPLES INTO THE CITY OF JERUSALEM! THESE LAMBS WERE NOT BEING KILLED BY THE PRIESTS AT THE TEMPLE - THAT WOULD FOLLOW THE NEXT AFTERNOON, FOR THE 14/15 TEMPLE-KILLED PASSOVER. "Who were 'they'? The word 'they' in this verse can only refer to those who were killing the Passover lambs at that moment on the 14th.........who were killing the Passover lambs at the houses and inns........The lambs were being killed at the beginning of the 14th........This was the exact moment that Jesus sent His disciples into Jerusalem - '.....when they were killing the Passover.....' "Properly translated, this verse in the Gospel of Mark has profound meaning! When Mark's account is combined with Luke's account, the impact is even greater! Here are Mark 14:12 and Luke 22:7 combined in a literal translation: ' On the first day of the unleaveneds, in which it was obligatory for the Passover to be killed, when they were killing the Passover, His disciples asked Him, Where do You desire that we should go and prepare the Passover that You may eat?' " End quote. Back to the word "Ethuon" - they killed. The ANALYTICAL GREEK LEXICON, page 116 gives the sense as: "3 person, plural, IMPERFECT, active. The same Lexicon under section 39 THE USE OF THE TENSES says this about the "imperfect" tense: "The imperfect expresses a PROLONGED or RECURRENT action in PAST TIME." From the book ESSENTIALS OF NEW TESTAMENT GREEK by Ray Summers, page 55, we read this: "The imperfect tense indicates continuous action in past time. Contrast 'I am loosing' (present) with 'I was loosing' (imperfect) and the significance is clear. There are several varieties of expression in the imperfect. ALWAYS IT REPRESENTS CONTINUOUS ACTION IN PAST TIME.........The repeated or iterative imperfect shows action repeated in past time. It would be represented by a broken line (------) rather than a continuous line (_____) which would represent the descriptive imperfect. A good ILLUSTRATION is found in Acts 1:6, ' They WERE ASKING HIM, Lord, art thou at this time restoring the kingdom to Israel? ' This could well be translated ' They kept on asking him.' The context indicates that the same question was asked Jesus frequently by the disciples..........." Now that reading was taken from Lesson 13 and the section called IMPERFECT ACTIVE INDICATIVE. Turning to the ANALYTICAL GREEK LEXICON for the tense of the Geek word used in Acts 1:6 (eperootoon - number 1905 in Strong's), we find this on page 153, " 3 person, plural, imperfect, active. " The Greek Tense for BOTH Acts 1:6 "asked" and Mark 14:12 "they killed" IS THE EXACT SAME!! Hang on to that, hold it firm. BOTH are in the same Greek tense - the third person, plural, imperfect, active. The disciples in THE PAST from when Luke was writing the book of Acts, did not just ask Jesus ONCE about if the time was now that the kingdom would be restored to Israel, but they asked Him REPEATEDLY - action many times on a continuous basis in past time. So Luke really recorded that the disciples WERE ASKING HIM OFTEN OR REPEATEDLY THE QUESTION, WOULD IT BE AT THIS TIME THE KINGDOM WOULD BE RESTORED TO ISRAEL! Now let's put ourselves in Mark's shoes. He knew the truth. He knew what exactly was going on when the disciples at the very beginning of the 14th day, the Passover day, the day they were obliged to sacrifice the Passover lambs. He knew the truth about groups of people being able to get together and sacrifice the Passover lambs themselves, not having to have priests in the Temple or anywhere, doing it for them. He knew the Passover lambs were to be slain and eaten that NIGHT of the 14th, the BEGINNING of the 14th, at DUSK, between the two evenings, over a period of about 1 HOUR or slightly more. He knew the disciples were coming to Jesus quite concerned that it was NOW the beginning of the 14th, and Jesus had not TOLD THEM WHERE TO PREPARE THE PASSOVER! He knew it was the time of day as they came to Jesus, when the Passover lambs were beginning to be slain among the various groups within the city limits of Jerusalem. It would be a REPEATED CONTINUOUS ACTION for an hour or more. One group would slay their lamb at the stroke of sunset, another group would slay their lamb a few seconds later, another group a few minutes later, and still others later, and so on until DUSK was over, and the NIGHT had come in its full moon blackness. Obviously the two disciples Jesus sent to prepare the Passover for themselves(the 13 of them), it would be towards the END of the two evenings, or dusk, when they would arrive at the place Jesus said was waiting and ready for them. In that context, as Mark knew it, he wrote: "And the first day of the unleaveneds, when they WERE REPEATEDLY(and continuously) KILLING(imperfect active tense) THE PASSOVER, His disciples said unto Him, Where will you that we go and prepare that you may eat the Passover?" Now we need to look at Luke 22:7 and the phrase "must be killed." First I will give it as it is in the Greek/English Interlinear by Berry. "And came the day of unleavened in which was needful to be killed the passover." The word "needful" (edei in Greek) means "mandatory, compulsory, obligatory, one must, or has to, is required to, compulsion of duty and compulsion of law" (Arndt and Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament). The phrase "to be killed" is the Greek word "Thuesthai" and the TENSE from the ANALYTICAL GREEK LEXICON, page 197, is: "PRESENT, INFINITIVE, PASSIVE." The ending to this word is ESTHAI, please keep that in mind. Now once more we shall go to the book ESSENTIALS OF NEW TESTAMENT GREEK by Summers. Lesson 3 under, Verbs: Present Active Indicative, we learn this about the present tense: "The present tense indicates progressive action at the present time - ' he is loosing.' " That is the BASIC meaning of the Present tense. There can be more to it as we learn from The Analytical Greek Lexicon. Under section 29 (The Use of the Tenses) we read: "The use of the present and future tenses is sufficiently explained by their names. But the present is sometimes used as a lively expression of a past action as.....John 9:13......" In John 9:13 Berry translates it as: "They bring him to the Pharisees...." The word for "they bring"(Agousi) is Present, Indicative, Active (Analytical Greek Lex. page 5). Here we have a Present tense used as a lively expression of a past action - "They bring (as if present time but really an action of the past) him to the Pharisees." John was writing some years AFTER the event. He is relating it to us, and he takes himself back in time as if he was writing it at the PRESENT time of it happening. Writing as if he was standing there as a reporter writing it down as it happened , in the present time of it happening. So then he uses a PRESENT tense - " And presently they are bringing him to the Pharisees, the one who was once blind." Back to our phrase "to be killed" or "be killed" in Luke 22:7. We have seen the basic use of the Present tense. This Greek is also PASSIVE. From Lesson 6 by Summers, page 35, we learn: "......Present active...' I am loosing ' ; present passive...' I am being loosed. ' Thus the present passive pictures continued action received by the subject in the present time. This Greek word is also INFINITIVE. Lesson 12, page 51, 52, by Summers we read: ".......(4) Present Infinitive: The infinitive is a verbal noun. This means that it partakes of the nature of a verb and the nature of a noun in its function....The Present middle and passive infinitive ending is - esthai. Thus the middle and passive infinitives will be Luesthai, Blepesthai, ginoskesthai, etc..........The passive voice indicates that the subject is being acted upon........' I am beginning to be loosed by the man.' ........." Oh, I've probably lost most of you, but I will try to put it all together for you in simple language. The subject of the Greek word "to be killed" is the Passover, of Luke 22:7. The subject is being acted upon. Something is being done to it. The word "be killed" or "to be killed" is a verbal noun. We know a verb is a doing word, an action word. We have ACTION here upon the SUBJECT, which is the Passover. This action is also in the PRESENT tense - a progressive action in the present time. But was this action going on while Luke was writing these words many years AFTER the actual day he was writing about? No, of course not! We will remember what we also learned. Present tense can also be used, is sometimes used as a lively expression of a PAST action as in John 9:13. Luke puts himself at the scene of the day, as if he was standing there, reporting it WHILE IT HAPPENED! He did not choose to do as Mark did, use the IMPERFECT TENSE, report about a recurrent action in past time. Luke takes himself back as if there at the time all this was happening and gives it to us in the PRESENT PROGRESSIVE action as the subject, the Passover was BEGINNING to be ACTED upon with CONTINUED ACTION. So to try to put all this into English for you, it would be like this: "And came the day of unleavened in which it was obligatory(mandatory, compulsory) TO BE BEGINNING AT THE PRESENT TIME TO CONTINUOUSLY (until finished) BE KILLING THE PASSOVER." Luke as if standing there right on the spot, right at the beginning of the 14th day, when it had arrived, and the time had come to START AND CONTINUE KILLING the Passover lambs until it was over, until DUSK had turned into NIGHT, when "between the two evenings" had ended and it was now full moon blackness. He writes as IF IN THE PRESENT continuous action upon the subject(the Passover) was taking place as he was writing it all down. Oh, the tools of written language, vast and intricate, involved and sophisticated they can be at times. Yet the wonderful truth they hold is for us to find and search out as the pearl of great price. And as the sure "word of prophecy whereunto you do well to take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place......."(2 Pet.1:19). Ah, how it all fits so nicely and so perfectly together, when we forget about Jewish Pharisaical traditions and customs. Let them alone. Let them follow their late 14th Passover, going on into the 15th Sabbath day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Let them alone. By using the Bible ONLY we see that between the two evenings was DUSK time, the beginning of the new day, from sunset to the black of night. We see that the lambs in Exodus 12 were slain at the BEGINNING of the 14th. They were up most of the night of that 14th day. They moved out of Goshen with their herds and cattle(that do not walk very fast), spoiling the Egyptians along the way. They arrive some early some later in the city of Rameses during the day of the 14th, a work day, not a Sabbath day. They assemble, get organized, ready to leave Rameses at the beginning of the 15th, the night of the 15th. They travel probably only a short distance and pitch their tents - Succoth - meaning tent. There they rest on the Sabbath of the 15th, a rest they now needed and enjoyed. So it was when the Passover day started for Jesus' last Passover meal and celebration on this earth, until He returns in glory. The sun had set and still the disciples had not been told where they should prepare for the celebration of the Passover. They could wait no longer as the sun sank behind the horizon. With urgency they came to Jesus asking Him where the place would be. He sent two of them to a man in town that had a room all ready. The home owner did not seemed shocked at all to learn Jesus and His inner 12 men would celebrate at His home. The hour came and they were together in the upper room. That evening was to be like no other. Jesus was to introduce something new, in fact a number of new things. First he answered their argument as to who was the greatest among them, by SERVING them, in washing their feet, and telling them He had set them an example that they should do likewise and serve each other. Then He takes some bread, breaks it, and tells them to eat it, for it will represent His broken body. He then take the fruit of the vine, and has them drink it, telling them it will represent His blood of the New Testament, shed for many. After that Passover, well into the night of the 14th, they go to the garden, where Jesus pours out His heart and soul to the Father in heaven. He has much work to yet go through. It is not a Sabbath day, and so much toil, sweat, pain, and suffering, awaits Him. He knows what the prophets have written. He knows the type of death He will face before it is finished. Before freedom from the bondage of sin could be secured. But it was secured. Jesus was obedient even unto death, the death of the cross. Even the Father could not help in the last seconds. Jesus cried " My God, MY God, why have you forsaken me?" It was needful. For He had to take the sins of the world completely on Himself and so die, that for those who would accept His sacrifice, the Father's Passover sacrifice, they could be free to live for God and enter the promised land of the Eternal Kingdom. Free to be led into righteousness and life everlasting. Jesus died close to the end of that 14th day. They hurriedly took Him from the tree, anointed His body with myrrh and aloes, wound it in linen clothes, and placed Him in the tomb. Christ rested on the 15th day of the month of Abid, as did Israel after coming out of Egypt from Rameses. Jesus rested for two more days, for a total of THREE, the number used by God for "resurrection" (that is another fascinating subject - the arithmetic of God - for another study at another time). After he arose from the dead, the first human ever to be raised to eternal glorified life, He presented Himself to the Father on the morning of the first day of the week. It was the first day after the weekly Sabbath during the feast of Unleavened Bread. The very day that the wave sheaf was offered in Israel(according to how the Sadducees read the scriptures, and they were correct in that particular case). Jesus was accepted officially by the Father as the FIRST OF THE FIRSTFRUITS, of the first harvest of the land (1 Cor.15:20-23). Those who will heed the calling, who will repent of their sins, of being sinners, who will accept Jesus as their personal savior, who will yield to the righteousness of God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They can be firstfruits and not only be with Christ at His coming, but also look like Him, for they shall see Him as He is (1 Cor.15:23; James 1:18; 1 John 3:1-3). What JOY and what GLORY that will be!! The Passover Lamb is sacrificed for us, let us therefore KEEP the feast, not with old leaven, neither, with the leaven bread of malice and wickedness, but with the Unleavened Bread of sincerity and truth (1 Cor.5: 7,8). " Let a man EXAMINE himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup" (1 Cor.11:28). Here we are ONCE MORE coming to the Passover Day and that special ceremony. It's time again to start to examine ourselves for that very sacred service and night of the 14th day of the first month. ...........................