PASSOVER UNDERSTANDINGS Part Three continued EXODUS 12:18 DOES THE PASSOVER AND 7 DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD ALL BEGIN AT THE SAME TIME, AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 14TH, AND SO WE THEN HAVE ONE SPRING FEAST FOR 7 DAYS? If from Ex.12:18 we are to understand the Feast of Unleavened Bread beginning at the beginning of the 14th of the first month, and if verse six is telling us that the Passover was to be slain and eaten at the beginning of the 14th of the first month, that together with verse 16, would be stating a number of things we have not understood before, namely: 1) The Spring Feast is 7 days long and not 8. 2) The 14th day is a Sabbath day. 3) The Passover day is the first Sabbath day of the feast of Unleavened Bread. Understanding these verses this way, may seem correct within Exodus chapter 12. But, the Bible contains other verses on the same subject matter. These also we must take into account. We are not to read the Bible with horse blinkers over our eyes, or just ignoring other verses that shed light on the same subject. When we look at all the other sections of Scripture in the Old Testament(OT) concerning the Passover day and feast of Unleavened Bread, there are some large errors in believing the Passover day and feast of Unleavened Bread(FoUB) are all one, both beginning at the same time, at the beginning of the 14th. There are some sections of Scripture that are hard to understand, at first glance. Peter was inspired to say that some of the things Paul wrote were hard to understand, by the unlearned that is, as he went on to say (2 Peter 3:15 and context). Sometimes we have to search the Scriptures (Acts 17), study to show ourselves approved, rightly dividing(putting together verse with verse) the word of truth (2 Tim.2:15), to come to the truth of the matter on a specific subject. The above are a few keys to correctly understand the Bible. I have covered in other Passover studies, many other truths concerning this Spring Feast. I have proved in earlier studies that "between the two evenings" - the phrase used in Exodus 12:6 as to when the Passover lamb was to be killed and then eaten, MEANS, from letting just the Bible interpret itself, at DUSK, or TWILIGHT - the BEGINNING OF THE 14TH DAY. All of this I have covered fully before. Hence we clearly and plainly see from Exodus 12:6 that the Passover lamb was slain as the 14th day began, and the Passover meal was eaten as that 14th night moved on. That was the FIRST Passover celebration, starting at DUSK, at the beginning of the 14th day of the first month. Then if we turn to Lev.23:5 we find this truth once more reiterated. And again the phrase "between the two evenings" is used. The Passover, which was the killing of the lamb to spread it's blood upon the door posts (in Ex.12) so when God passed over THAT NIGHT (Ex.12:12) those under the blood of the lamb would be saved from death, that Passover is IN the 14th day, and at TWILIGHT of the 14th day. The Passover lamb has to do WITH THE 14TH DAY, and I have proved in other studies on how God used NUMBERS in the Bible, that the number 14 is the number for SALVATION - BEING SAVED! It is two times 7, the number used by God for PERFECTION or COMPLETENESS (the Eternal completed His work and rested the 7th day - Gen.2). The number 14 is DOUBLE perfection, as if saying completely perfect, or perfectly and completely saved - God making sure it is double "perfect" if He saves anyone. Now, notice Lev.23:6,7. "And ON the fifteenth day of the same month is the FEAST of UNLEAVENED BREAD unto the Lord: seven days you must eat unleavened bread. In the first day you shall have a holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein." Within THREE verses next to each other are TWO days mentioned - the 14th and the 15th. The Passover on one and the feast of Unleavened Bread starts on the other. I submit this is prettysimple to understand. I submit to you that a grade school child could easily figure this one out. Something called the Passover is IN the 14th day, not before and not after, but IN the 14th day. Argue all you like about WHEN in the 14th day, but the words clearly say it is IN the 14th day. Then ON the 15th day, not before, is the feast called Unleavened Bread. Then the thought continues with verse seven, that the FIRST day of this feast is a Sabbath of rest from servile work. The 15th comes AFTER the 14th. On the 15th and for SEVEN days is the feast of Unleavened Bread in which unleavened bread is to be eaten. Now ask your grade schooler to start counting SEVEN DAYS, with the first day being the 15th. Ask them to stop when they come to the seventh day count. They will stop counting ON and including the 21st day. As the 15th day starts at the end of the 14th, when the 14th finishes, which according to the beginning, from the beginning as Christ often said ("....but from the beginning it was not so" Mat.19 for one example) was the "evening" (days beginning and ending in the evening, Genesis chapter one), was at dusk or twilight, the 15th was from dusk, evening to evening. So the 21st day was not over until the END of that day at dusk or evening. I submit, these verses in Leviticus, are simple to follow. In the first month there is the Passover day, being the 14th, followed by, starting with the 15th day, the feast of Unleavened Bread, continuing for seven day, until the end of the 21st day. This makes a TOTAL of EIGHT DAYS, not seven! One of the keys to understanding the Bible and all its doctrines, is to let the simple easy to understand verses tell you what they are telling you, in a logical way, without any fancy foot interpretation. Let's look at one more simple logical couple of verses concerning the Passover and feast of Unleavened Bread. Turn to Numbers 28, and just read verses 16 to 18. Again, it is IN the 14th day that the Passover is. And it is IN the 15th day is the feast, the feast of seven days of unleavened bread, and IN the first day (of this feast, the logical continuation of the thought) is an holy convocation with no servile work to be done. Now, with simple logic, if as some argue the Passover is at the END of the 14th day, and if we go along with their argument for verse 16, then the same logic and context of words for verse 15, means the feast is at the END of the 15th. Yet, no one that I know about who observe the feast of Unleavened Bread, start it at the END of the 15th day. Once more in pretty clear language, the Passover is not before or after the 14th but IN the 14th day, and the seven days of Unleavened Bread feast, is not before the 14th but starts with and in the 15th day. The word "passover" is found 48 times in the OT. Only in the two sections of Scripture we have looked at - Lev.23 and Num.28 do we find the word used with fourteen and the feast on the fifteenth. In other words only in these two places do we have the simple and logical truth clearly laid out for us that the Passover is IN the 14th day and the feast of Unleavened Bread is IN the 15th day, and continues for seven days, the 15th day being a Sabbath of rest from servile work. In Exodus 12 and Lev.23 we are also told that the seventh day of this feast is also a Sabbath of no servile work. All of what I have just taken you through is very important to our understanding of Exodus 12:18. It is first of all a letting of the easy Scriptures tell us in plain language what they say, meaning what they say and saying what they mean. When we have that as our foundation and rock to stand on, then we may proceed to untangle the few harder verses that seem to say something different. Now, as we read the Bible from cover to cover, there will be some other things we will pick up on such as a BASIC NORM on certain words and then now and again EXCEPTIONS to that norm. We need to remember that exceptions are just that - exceptions, to the normal. They are not the norm or normal, but exceptions, otherwise the exceptions would be the norm and the norm would be the exceptions. We may ask: How or WHEN does God start the 24 hour day? Is it at noon? Is it at sunrise? It is at 12 midnight? Is it at 3 p.m. in the afternoon? Going to the BEGINNING - the book of Genesis and chapter one, we learn right off the bat, from the beginning, that God STARTED days in the evening. Now that is the NORM! You can even look up the word "evening" in the Hebrew lexicons, especially the larger and more detailed ones such as "The Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament" and see that from the Hebrew language, the norm is that days began in the evening, at dusk or twilight. So, in the norm, a 24 hour day has only ONE evening, at the very beginning of that 24 hour day. Hence, when God was telling Israel about the day of Atonement feast in Lev.23, He told them that they should celebrate their Sabbath from EVEN(ing) to EVEN(ing). And that Sabbath day of Atonement was the 10th day of the seventh month. The norm in God's mind is that days begin from evening and last (the 24 hour day we are talking about, not the day light part of a day) until the next evening, when a new day then begins. The celebrating of Atonement feast was IN or ON the 10th day, from evening to evening. The word "even" or "evening" is used dozens of times throughout the Bible. In most cases it is just a part of speech, such as saying, "and the evening had come." Sometimes it is used in conjunction with a number, like: "during the evening of the third day" and no more is said. In all such places it takes the NORM, as first given to us in the beginning, the evening of the day being the beginning of the day. That is letting the basic simple, first and MAIN meaning and understanding of how the Bible uses "evening" interpret for us, as we find this word in dozens of places. But, and here come the "but" with capital letters, BUT, from time to time there are EXCEPTIONS, with capital letters for emphasis, so you will remember this point. And as we are talking about the feast of Atonement in Lev.23 we shall stay there and see our first exception example. Lev.23:26 tells us in clear language that it is the 10TH day of the seventh month that is the day of Atonement. Verse 32 says it is a Sabbath of rest, then the last half of that verses says we shall celebrate it FROM "even" to "even." The NORM is that God starts days from evening to evening as we see in Genesis chapter one. But there are times when God inspires writers to use what to us has come to be known as the Roman way to start and end days, from midnight to midnight. When we understand this then all what might seem to be contradictory is cleared up. The evening of the 9th day, in this case, is indeed the evening that follows the day light portion of the 9th day. And can so be called, in the Roman way of counting days, the evening of the 9th day. At the same time, in the norm of how God counts days, from evening to evening, it is the start of the 10th day in this 7th month. Within a relatively short passage of Scripture, God uses BOTH ways to count days. He uses His way, hence the 10th day, and He uses the Roman way, hence the feast of Atonement begins on the evening of the 9th day, which is also the start of the 10th day as we view it from the counting of days as found in Genesis chapter one. The evening following the day light part of the 9th day is called here still the evening of the 9th day. It is the way we think of it in our Roman way of counting days, from midnight to midnight. It is the evening of the 9th day, but in the norm of God's recognizing it is the start of the 10th day. So God uses both ways of recognizing in one sentence. It is the evening of the 9th in Roman counting of days, but it is also the start of the 10th in the norm of Genesis chapter one. There are NORMS in the Bible for MANY things, but there are also EXCEPTIONS to the norm at times. Generally and normally, the Spirit of God is given to a person under the New Covenant, at BAPTISM, see Acts 2:38, BUT we find in the book of Acts some EXCEPTIONS to that norm, the Spirit was given BEFORE baptism! See Acts 10:44-48. We find in the New Testament, concerning "evening" an EXCEPTION to the norm. Turn to the gospel of John, chapter 20. The context is clearly the FIRST DAY of the week. Also proved by the rest of the gospel writers - Matthew, Mark and Luke as they write concerning the same happenings. Notice, verse 19. Mark it well. "Then the SAME DAY, at EVENING, being the FIRST DAY of the week......" Here John, under inspiration by the Spirit, does the same as the Eternal did in Lev.23:32. He puts the evening that would normally start the new day, or in this case, would have started the SECOND day, as PART OF the same day of the context - the FIRST day. Yes, there are now and then exceptions to the rule or the norm. Now, with all the above firmly and clearly understood. Knowing from the easy to understand verses we looked at in Lev.23 and Numbers 28 concerning the Passover in the 14th day and the feast of Unleavened Bread in the 15th day, starting and continuing for seven days, to the end of the 21st day. Knowing there are EIGHT days altogether from the 14th to the 21st - eight days not seven. Knowing that the rule and norm for the evening of a day to be the beginning of the day, but knowing the Bible does use exceptions to that rule once in while. Knowing we must take the easy to understand verses on a subject, first, and let them say what they say, and then in their light tackle the harder and at first what may seem like contradictory verses. With all the above we are now ready to understand Exodus 12:18-20. Previous studies have proved from the Bible interpreting itself, that "between the two evenings" and "even" of the 14th day when the lambs were to be killed and the Passover eaten, was the BEGINNING of the 14th, at DUSK or twilight. Hence verse 6 of chapter 12, was at dusk, the beginning of the 14th day. The CONTEXT, right up to the end of verse 14 (interesting, verse 14 the context goes to) NEVER CHANGES. The Lord's Passover (verse 11) is IN the 14th day, not after it. The Lord PASSED OVER (Passover) "this night" (context is still 14th day) of the 14th day (verses 12-13). This SAME DAY - the 14th - is a MEMORIAL (see also 1 Cor.11 and the Greek for "in remembrance of me" - verse 24,25. It is "in THE remembrance/memorial of me." And Paul was talking about the SAME NIGHT in which Jesus was betrayed, verse 23). Verse 14 of Exodus 12, calls the Passover a MEMORIAL and a FEAST. God has SEVEN feasts and the Passover is ONE of those feasts. Verse 15 of Exodus 12, STARTS a NEW thought and a set of new commands and instructions. From verses 15 to 20 the context is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is the same as Lev.23 and Numbers 28 we looked at, with a few differences. It is SEVEN days in duration, the first of those seven days is a holy convocation, a Sabbath of rest, no work except that which may be for eating food. Exodus 12 tells us the 7th day of this FoUB is also an holy convocation, a Sabbath day. We now come to verse 18. The only way to understand this verse, in the light of the plain simple verses on the subject of starting and finishing this seven day feast, as given to us in Lev.23 and Numbers 28, is that here we have an EXCEPTION to the norm or rule, of the use of evening. An exception such as found in Lev.23:32 and John chapter 20. The evening here in verse 18 would normally be the START of the 15th day, but God chose to change the fast ball to a curve ball for this pitch to home plate. He can do this you know, as He is God, He is the pitcher, the one delivering the goods, and He can deliver as He chooses. God here chose to deliver with an exception to the norm of speech that uses the word "even" or "evening." Here God chose to put the evening of the 15th AS PART OF THE EVENING OF THE 14TH, THE EVENING HERE IS THE END OF THE 14TH, STARTING INTO THE 15TH DAY, GOING TO THE END OF OR THE EVENING OF THE 21ST DAY, WHICH IS THE START OF THE 22ND DAY, BUT PUT HERE AS STILL BELONGING TO THE 21ST DAY. The same principle as John saying Jesus came to them in the evening, being the first day of the week. John putting the evening of the second day (normally speaking as from the beginning - Gen.1) not with the second day, but as part of the first day. The same principle as God putting the day of Atonement in Lev.23:32 as from the evening of the ninth day to the evening of the tenth day. An exception to the norm, which usually as the rule of thumb, puts the evening of a day at the beginning of the day, the start of a new day, as from the beginning in Genesis chapter one. So, Exodus 12:18 DOES NOT CONTRADICT Lev.23:5-7 and Numbers 28:16-18, or the rest of the Scriptures proving the Passover was at the beginning of the 14th, and the feast of Unleavened Bread beginning on the 15th at dusk or evening, being a Sabbath day, the first day of the seven day FoUB, lasting to the end of the 21st day, which was the last day, and a Sabbath day, to end this Spring feast season, which consisted of TWO feast to the Lord, the Passover memorial feast and the feast of seven days called Unleavened Bread. All is in complete and perfect HARMONY when you believe the simple and easy to understand verses FIRST, willing to search for all verses on a subject, and then realize there may be an EXCEPTION to the norm which then seems to be harder to understand and even contradictory, but it is not, when you understand the use of exceptions to the normal. .............................. All articles and studies by Keith Hunt may be copied, published, e-mailed, and distributed as led by the Spirit. Mr.Hunt trusts nothing will be changed without his consent.