Keith Hunt - Passover Study #8 Restitution of All Things


                       PASSOVER
                    UNDERSTANDINGS
                       Part Four


                  DEUTERONOMY 16:1-8

     Before we look in detail at this section of scripture, a
section that has given many a problem to many a person as they
try to understand the feasts of the Passover and Days of
Unleavened Bread, we need to bear in mind some basics on how to
read and understand the Bible.
     There are portions of the word of God that are HARD to
understand. Peter was inspired to say concerning the writings of
Paul that "in which some things hard to be understood"(2
Pet.3:16). It is to be noted Peter did NOT say they were
IMPOSSIBLE to be understood, only hard. It took a little more
effort and meditation, a little more study and thought, than
other parts of his writings.
     So it is with the word of the Lord. There are sections of
scripture that are not as easy to understand as other sections.
The Eternal has purposely written His word that way, so those who
will not dig, search, study, meditate and realize that there is
no contradictions with God, will as Peter said, WREST to their
destruction. They will fall, be deceived and be blinded to the
truth. 
     There is the principle in the word of the Lord that not
everything concerning a subject matter is found in one single
place. There are usually many verses and passages of scripture on
any important topic of the Bible, scattered here and there. We
must be willing to find ALL the information from ALL the Bible on
any subject, before we conclude what is the truth.
     Then together with the above point, is the fact that God has
written some very plain words on the subjects of importance to
us. He wants us to find those easy to understand verses first,
then within the light they give as the foundation, we can go on
to ascertain the meaning and truth of the harder to understand
sections on the subject.

     We need to keep in mind some other points as to how the
Bible is written.  Sometimes the writer moved from one thought
into another thought and back to the first thought, and then once
more to the second thought, WITHOUT TELLING US HE WAS GOING TO DO
SO!  Paul and his writings are a good example of that kind of
letter or way of writing. Anyone who has studied Paul for any
length of time will know that was how he often wrote. He would be
explaining something, then in his explanation something
he said would trigger another thought that would lead him off to
explaining something else, then later he would come back to his
original thought and continue his first explanation.
     We have the book of Revelation that uses what some motion
pictures use. A scene of the time, then a "going back" in time
scene that fills in or brings you up to date on something that is
needed to understand the present time and plan of the story. This
can be used more than once in the unfolding of events.
     There are passages of scripture that move from one event to
another event without any warning. The events told may be years
apart or even thousands of years apart, yet the writer does not
tell you this. An example is Isaiah 61. Jesus read this section
when starting His ministry. He read verses one to the middle of
verse two and stopped(see Luke 4). This section had to do with
the Messiah's FIRST coming, but from the middle of verse two and
on this section in Isaiah has to do with the Messiah's SECOND
coming. No warning is given to us as to moving from one to the
other.

     NOW WITH THAT let's start to look at Deuteronomy 16. 

     We have here mentioned the Passover by name and the days of
UNleavened Bread. It seems a little confusing to understand. So
let's STOP for a moment. Let us realize this is the FIFTH book of
Moses. We have already had Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. In
those books we have ALREADY been given some verses on the
Passover and Unleavened Bread feasts, some quite EASY to
understand.  Let's get the easy ones clear in our mind.
     We have seen by letting the Bible interpret the Bible that
the phrase "between the two evenings" as used in Exodus 12:6 and
16:12 is clearly the DUSK or twilight part of the beginning of
the day. The Passover was killed and eaten at the BEGINNING of
the 14th, the death angel passing over the houses the NIGHT of
the 14th.  Then in Leviticus 23:5 we are told plainly that the
Passover is in the 14th at EVEN.  This corresponds clearly with
Exodus 12:6.  Lev.23:6 very plainly tells us the feast of
Unleavened Bread is on the 15th for seven days, the first and
seventh of those seven days are Sabbaths.
And this is exactly what Numbers 28:16-25 tells us. We saw last
time the logical way to understand this section in Numbers is NOT
that the Passover was at the END of the 14th for then the feast
of Unleavened Bread would not begin until the end of the 15th.
But Lev.23:6 says it is ON THE 15TH that is the feast of
unleavened bread, not after the 15th. 
     These clear scriptures make it plain that the 15th is the
first day of unleavened bread, the feast begins with this 15th
day, not after it. And as this is the first day of the feast of
unleavened bread, it is a Sabbath day, as is the 7th day of this
feast(the 21st of the first month). 
     We have seen that the NT gospels verify this to be the plain
truth. Jesus was killed on the 14th, the Passover day, which is
not a Sabbath. He was hurriedly taken down from the cross and
buried towards the end of that 14th day BECAUSE the Sabbath drew
on, the Sabbath of the feast of Unleavened Bread, which was the
15th day of the first month.

     With all that clear easy to understand information we can
also now understand correctly Exodus 12 and verses 6 all the way
through verse 20, which some have difficulty with. The Lamb was
killed on the 14th at the beginning of the 14th. The Lord passed
over that night of the 14th(verse 12). That night was to be a
memorial and that day also(verse 14) corresponding to 1 Cor.11
and Paul's instructions. Then in verse 15 of Exodus 12 WITHOUT
ANY WARNING the topic changes to the feast of UNleavened Bread.
Seven days unleavened bread was to be eaten, from the first day
of it unto the seventh day of it. In the first day was a Holy
Convocation - no work - a Sabbath day then.
It was on this day, the 15th that God started to bring Israel out
of Egypt from Rameses where they gathered(see Num.33:3;
Deut.16:1-3; Ex.12:37-42). It was at the beginning of the 15th,
at night, when they left Rameses. So in Ex.12:18 we have the
EXCEPTION to the general rule used in the Bible(and there is
another point many stumble over, the Bible does use "exceptions"
at times). The evening of the 14th is this time in verse 18 the
END of the 14th, as YOU BEGIN THE 15TH. UNleavened Bread was to
be eaten from the END of the 14th(the beginning of the 15th) the
start of the Sabbath of the 15th(the first day of the 7 day feast
of unleavened bread), to the END of the 21st day, the seventh
day of the feast, which was also a Sabbath day.

     You will notice from all these sections of scripture,  that
sometimes the FIRST day of the feast is only mentioned as a
Sabbath, sometimes BOTH the first and seventh days are mentioned
as Sabbaths. In Deut.16 we shall see that ONLY the 7th day of the
feast is mentioned as a Sabbath.  Again, putting ALL verses
together we can know that indeed BOTH the first and seventh day
of this seven day feast of unleavened bread were Sabbaths.

     The plain, clear, easy to understand verses MUST COME FIRST! 
As we take them and hold the foundation to THEM, then the harder
to understand sections can be put together correctly, so there is
a NO CONTRADICTION in the word of the Lord on the matter.

     I am now close to getting into Deut.16, but one more thing
before I do. It is also very important to realize and to remember
that in the ORIGINAL HEBREW of the OT there were NO PUNCTUATION -
no periods, no comers etc. just one letter after another
letter. Remember this and remember the point that sometimes
writers moved from one thought to another thought and back again,
WITHOUT ANY WARNING to you the reader.

     We shall see that this was the case with HOW Deut.16:1-8 was
written.



                        DEUT.16:1-8

     FIRST thought and admonition: "Observe the MONTH of Abid,
and KEEP the Passover unto the Lord thy God."
     Two points given - the month of Abid is important and has to
be observed in some way. The Passover in that month is to be
kept. Why is this month important? Moses goes on to say: "for in
the month of Abid the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of
Egypt by night."
     Yes as we have seen, the night of the 15th when they left
Rameses, the beginning of the feast of Unleavened Bread, the
first day of the feast, the evening of the Sabbath when they went
for a while and then tented(Succoth meaning tent, Ex.12:37).
     The thought now goes to the Passover sacrifice: "Thou shalt
therefore sacrifice the Passover unto the Lord thy God, of the
flock and the herd, IN THE PLACE WHICH THE LORD SHALL CHOOSE to
place His name there. Thou shalt eat NO LEAVENED BREAD WITH IT."
     Period, end of this thought. Should be end of sentence here. 
We need to note this was the "second law" - Deuteronomy (meaning
second law) - given by Moses shortly before Israel was to enter
the promised land. They had been wandering the wilderness for 40
years. They had been one community, one large town or city of
people, together as one. They had observed the feasts for 40
years as one town of people. Now they were going to posses a
land. They would be scattered  over a large area. They would have
many towns and villages, large and small.   God was instituting a
law here, a rule for them on WHERE to observe the Passover when
they would inherit this land of promise.
The Passover memorial service was not just to be everywhere in
the land, it was to be in THE PLACE that God would choose to
place His name. We know from the other books of the OT that it
was first placed at SHILOH and then later at JERUSALEM.  

     Now after this thought and instruction on the Passover
sacrifice, the thought CHANGES to the feast of Unleavened Bread.
Beginning a new sentence: "Seven days shalt thou eat unleavened
bread therewith(therein, when you eat or consume as the
Hebrew is), the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of
the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day(the
time, not just one single day of 24 hours only) when thou camest
forth out of the land of Egypt all the days(time, years,
generations) of thy life. And there shall be no leaven bread seen
with thee in all thy coasts seven days(this is exactly what the
clear plain scriptures we have already looked at teach in
Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers); neither shall there any thing of
the flesh which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain
all night until the morning."

     End of thought on the seven day feast of Unleavened Bread
for the moment. All is fully in line with the other scriptures on
the feast as given in the other books of Moses.
The last sentence about no flesh remaining has mixed up some.
They think this is a reference to the Passover sacrifice. BUT IT
IS NOT!  Moses when his thoughts and instructions are on the
Passover in this section, ALWAYS makes it clear to us it is the
Passover he is now addressing. Notice it in verse ONE, and again
in verse TWO, also in verse FIVE and once more in verse SIX.  The
sacrifice thought about and instructed about in verse FOUR is not
called the Passover sacrifice.
     There were DAILY sacrifices all through the year, every day
of each week, never ending.  During the feast of Unleavened Bread
no evening sacrifice was to be left until the morning, it was to
be consumed or burnt away. In that sense it was like the Passover
sacrifice, but this verse is NOT SPECIFICALLY talking about the
Passover sacrifice, but the daily evening sacrifice starting on
the first day(the 15th) of the feast of UB.

     Moses' mind and thought and instructions ONCE MORE goes back
to the Passover sacrifice to GIVE RE-EMPHASIS, and nail the truth
home to them about WHERE TO kill the Passover lamb. He did not
want them to NOT GET IT!  We often do the same today. Something
that maybe NEW, or the situation is going to change for those
within the doing of certain practices(as to how they were doing
it for a long time), we will give the instruction MORE THAN ONCE.
We do not want any to not understand it clearly, or say "well I
didn't hear it the first time" and so we GIVE IT AGAIN!
     Moses and other writers of the books of the Bible were no
different. We shall say God is no different(as He is the one who
inspired the writers), so it is really He that REPEATS for us
IMPORTANT instructions. So it is with many of God's laws. He
repeats them over and over again for us, instructs us over and
over again on the same law, maybe coming from a different angle
at times, or adding a slight variation to it. But many things God
repeats to us in His word. He wants to make sure we GET IT!
     Back to the thought of the Passover by Moses(verse 5), a new
sentence: "Thou mayest not sacrifice the Passover within any of
thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee. BUT at the PLACE
which the Lord thy God shall CHOOSE to place His name in, there
thou shall sacrifice the Passover, at even, at the going down of
the sun( the Hebrew says literally - ' when goes the sun ' and we
have seen from our previous studies and previous books of Moses
this was at sunset, dusk, between the two evenings, at the
beginning of the 14th day of the first month), at the season that
thou camest forth out of Egypt. And thou shalt roast and eat it
in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose( notice how
Moses stated this again for the THIRD time, really wanting to
drive the point home to them), and thou shalt turn in the
morning, and go unto thy tents(the Passover memorial service in
ancient Israel with a full killing and eating of the lamb etc.
probably lasted well into the night and in the morning of the
14th day, they would go to their tents and sleep, for that day
was not a Sabbath day, no holy convocation was called for on the
daylight part of the 14th).

     Moses's mind had now brought them to going to their tents on
the morning of the 14th to rest and sleep. His mind was now once
more taken further on into the feast of Unleavened Bread. His
mind was triggered once again to give instructions concerning the
feast of Unleavened bread. He had covered the 14th, the killing
and eating of the Passover sacrifice and the rest of the day as
they went to their tents. Now to finish his thoughts on this
whole Passover Feast of UB topic, he comes back to reminding them
that AFTER the PASSOVER DAY, there was SEVEN DAYS of UB to be
observed with the eating of unleavened bread. He has already told
them just a few sentences back that
there were 7 DAYS of unleavened bread(from the 15th to the 21st
as clear scriptures in Leviticus and Numbers show). Now he does
not contradict this in verse eight. He only breaks it down into
two points that he wants to give emphasis to. Namely that after
the Passover day, there are days to observe as UNleavened bread
eating - there are six days(he does not even mention here that
the first of those six days is a Sabbath - the 15th of the month,
but other scriptures in Lev.and Ex.give us that truth), but
really seven(as he has above stated), only the 7th day of this
feast is a Sabbath day, a holy convocation day(as the other
scriptures in Lev.Ex.Num.prove).

     Do you see how Moses went back and forth, moving from
admonition and instructions concerning the Passover memorial
service to the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and back again, with
more emphasis on this part of the Passover day or that part of
the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Sometimes repeating certain
important points he wanted them to make sure they understood.
     He brought out certain points and left out other points(like
not mentioning the first day of the UB feast as a Sabbath day).  
     There are no contradictions here in Deut.16 with the rest of
the scriptures on the spring feasts of the Lord. A little new
rule about the Passover being held in one location chosen by God
as they went to inherit the land of Promise,  a little specific
emphasis on certain parts of this 8 day spring festival, but
nothing to contradict Exodus, Leviticus or Numbers.
     
     In closing it is important to notice that in all the
instructions about the Passover sacrifice in all the books of
Moses, there is NOTHING WHATSOEVER stated or laid down as a rule
or law, that the Passover lamb was to be slain by the Priesthood,
OR that it was to be slain in the Tabernacle. The lamb was to be
slain in the PLACE where God chose to place His name, the town,
or the city, where God would place His name and tabernacle, BUT
NOWHERE was it ever stated in the law of God, the books of Moses,
that the slaying of those lambs was to be done by the Priesthood
in the Tabernacle. That practice came about MUCH LATER in the
history of Israel, and was never a commandment of the Lord. It
was one of the many "traditions" of the scribes and Pharisees
that Jesus said made void the law of God, and condemned them for
putting those traditions above the word and law of God.

     Next time we need to look in depth at whether Jesus on the
last day of His physical life really observed the original
Passover memorial service, or was it an early supper type meal
without any lamb, to introduce the bread and cup of the NT
symbols of His death,  as some are claiming it was.
    
.............................................................


Written March 1997
by
Keith Hunt

 
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