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Parashah 15 Bo

Exodus 10:1 – 13:16

By Dr. K. Blad  ©

Second edition 2013-14

Lucrative copying not permitted 

Torah Readings:

  1. 10:1-11
  2. 10:12-23
  3. 10:24 – 11:3
  4. 11:4 – 12:20
  5. 12:21-28
  6. 12:29-51
  7. 13:1-16
  8. Maftir: 13:14-16

Haftarah: Jeremiah 46:13-28

The Messianic Writings: Luke 5:12 – 7:50

Bo

Means “come”

Comments

The First Aliyah, 10:1-11

10:1 “HaShem said to Moshe, ‘Go in to Par`oh, for I have made his heart, and the heart of his servants heavy, that I may show these my signs in the midst of them’”(HNV revised) – The Hebrew word that is translated “go”, is bo, which means “come”. This teaches us that the Eternal invited Moshe to follow Him. A servant of HaShem does not do anything on his own, but everything that he does is in cooperation with the Eternal. He does not initiate anything on his own. The servant of the Eternal does everything in an intimate relationship with the Eternal, all according to what He says and does. If we make decisions without asking the Eternal for counsel, we may suffer serious consequences, as it is written in Joshua 9:14,

“The men took of their provision, and didn’t ask counsel at the mouth of HaShem.”(HNV revised)

10:2 “and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your son’s son, what things I have done to Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that you may know that I am HaShem.”(HNV revised) – Parents have the responsibility of teaching their children about what the Eternal has done in their lives, and especially about the deliverance from Egypt. The exodus symbolizes freedom from satan, sin, and the world. Our children must hear about our experience of salvation through the Messiah. We must pass these truths on and tell our children about salvation through the Messiah. This text also teaches us that grandparents are obligated to tell their grandchildren about the redemption of the Eternal. The responsibility of passing on the Hebrew faith does not belong only to parents, but to grandparents as well, as it is written in Joel 1:3,

“Tell your children about it, and have your children tell their children, and their children, another generation.”(HNV)

In Psalm 78:2-8, it is written,

“I will open my mouth in a parable. I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of HaShem, his strength, and his wondrous works that he has done. For he established a testimony in Ya`akov, and appointed a law in Yisra'el, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know, even the children who should be born; who should arise and tell their children, that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commands, and might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that didn’t make their hearts loyal, whose spirit was not steadfast with God.(HNV revised)

The tradition of passing on the revelation from parents to children is what has kept the people of Israel alive throughout all generations. It is a part of the statement of faith, as it is written in Deuteronomy 6:6-7,

“These words, which I command you this day, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.”(HNV)

If parents allow others to take care of their children’s spiritual upbringing, then they are not completely fulfilling their responsibility. Both parents and children need this kind of exchange. Parents need to remember and praise the Eternal for the miracles that they have experienced and to pass on the account of these experiences to their children and grandchildren. The children and grandchildren can partake of, and become conscious of, a spiritual inheritance that has the ability to create a deep trust toward the Eternal within them. A father ought to read the Scriptures to his children every day as long as they are under his roof. By doing this he will raise up a consecrated generation.

10:9 “Moshe said, ‘We will go with our young and with our old; with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast to HaShem.’”(HNV revised) – This verse teaches us that there are three things required in order to hold a feast unto the Eternal:

·         Freedom

·         Family

·         Sacrifices

Without these three, it is impossible to celebrate a real feast unto the Eternal.

10:11 “’Not so! Go now you who are men, and serve HaShem; for that is what you desire!’ They were driven out from Par`oh’s presence.”(HNV revised) – Pharaoh tried to keep the women and children in Egypt, while the men would go out and celebrated a feast unto the Eternal. This is impossible. If our wives and children are not with us, we cannot celebrate unto the Eternal. Children must feel welcome and at home in our meetings. If they do not, then something is wrong. Pharaoh symbolizes satan, who tries to do two things:

·         Divide the family.

·         Take the children out of the meetings.

All Jewish feasts are set up so that children are able to participate in them. Therefore there is much use of symbolism and consecrated objects. This way our teaching and service to the Eternal is easy for the little ones to grasp. The Messiah was irritated with his disciples when they tried to hinder the children from coming to him, as it is written in Mark 10:13-16,

They were bringing to him little children, that he should touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who were bringing them. But when Yeshua saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said to them, ‘Allow the little children to come to me! Don’t forbid them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Most assuredly I tell you, whoever will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.’ He took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands on them.”(HNV)

The Second Aliyah, 10:12-23

10:14 “The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the borders of Egypt. They were very grievous. Before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.”(HNV) – In Joel 2:2, there is a reference to an invasion of locusts in the land of Israel, as it is written,

A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn spreading on the mountains, a great and strong people; there has never been the like, neither will there be any more after them, even to the years of many generations.”(HNV)

How can it be that in the Torah it is written that there never will be so many locusts again, when the prophet Yoel says that “there has never been the like”? We present two possible interpretations to what seems to be a contradiction.

Rashi says that the prophet Yoel says that the plague of locusts that he is referring to was worse than the one at the time of Moshe. There is no contradiction, because the plague that came at Yoel’s time consisted of several types of locusts: arbeh, yelek, chasil, and gazam. The plague that came at Moshe’s time, however, consisted of only one type of locust. Something like that had never happened before and would never happen again.

We can also interpret these texts by pointing out that the plagues happened in two different countries, Egypt and the land of Israel. The promise that nothing like that would ever happen again, applied only to Egypt. The plague that is mentioned in Yoel’s book has to do with the land of Israel, and nothing like that had ever happened there, and would not happen again.

The locust-like demons that are going to invade the world in the last days, (see Revelation 9:1-11), are not going to be as many in number as those who came over Egypt during Moshe’s time, or those who came over Israel in Yoel’s time.

10:22 “Moshe stretched forth his hand toward the sky, and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.”(HNV) – These three days of darkness are a prophetic reference to the three days when the Messiah was dead.

10:23 “They didn’t see one another, neither did anyone rise from his place for three days; but all the children of Yisra'el had light in their dwellings.”(HNV) – The darkness that they experienced was not the darkness that we are used to. There was no possibility for them to bring forth light. Even though they lit fires, there was no light. The darkness was so compact that no one could move from one place to another. All the people were completely still in their places for three days. But the children of Israel had light in their homes. This teaches us that the children of light will walk in the light, and the children of darkness are slaves to the darkness. There are two spiritual kingdoms. The kingdom of light, where HaShem rules over those who walk in obedience, and the kingdom of darkness, where satan rules over those who walk in disobedience. Those who are in the kingdom of darkness can come over into the kingdom of light, as it is written in Psalms 107:10-16,

Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron, because they rebelled against the words of God, and condemned the counsel of the Most High. Therefore he brought down their heart with labor. They fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried to HaShem in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their bonds in sunder. Let them praise HaShem for his loving kindness, for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he has broken the gates of brass, and cut through bars of iron.”(HNV revised)

In Acts 26:18, it is written,

“to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are consecrated by faith in me.”(HNV revised)

In 1 Peter 2:9, it is written,

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light”(HNV revised)

In Colossians 1:13, it is written,

 “who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love”(HNV)

In 1 Thessalonians 5:5, it is written,

“You are all children of light, and children of the day. We don’t belong to the night, nor to darkness”(HNV)

The Third Aliyah, 10:24 – 11:3

10:26 “Our cattle also shall go with us. There shall not a hoof be left behind, for of it we must take to serve HaShem our God; and we don’t know with what we must serve HaShem, until we come there.”(HNV revised) – Moshe could not lie. They really did not know what HaShem would ask for in sacrifice. In order to sacrifice to the Eternal, one has to be prepared to give everything. One cannot leave out a single hoof from one’s dedication to the Eternal. Everything belongs to him, and therefore we are willing to give him whatever he asks for.

The Fourth Aliyah, 11:4 – 12:20

11:6 “There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been, nor shall be any more.”(HNV) – In Isaiah 19, there is a prophecy that speaks about what will happen in Egypt in the last days. It is written there that the Eternal will strike Egypt in the last days, according to verse 22,

“HaShem will strike Egypt, smiting and healing; and they shall return to HaShem, and he will be entreated of them, and will heal them.”(HNV revised)

In Isaiah 11:15a, it is written,

“HaShem will utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea”(HNV revised)

In spite of this judgment, which we will soon witness, the cry in Egypt will not be as great as it was on the night when all the firstborn died.

12:2 “This month shall be to you the head of months. It shall be the first month of the year to you.”(HNV revised) – The month of the aviv, (see 13:4), has been established by the Eternal as the first of the months of the year. This month corresponds with half of March and half of April in the Roman calendar. The word aviv[1] means “green ear of corn”. During the Middle Ages, the word was given the meaning “spring”, and it is used this way in modern Hebrew. During the month of the green grain, in the spring, the people of Israel marched out of Egypt. Aviv is the month of redemption. This redemption is the beginning of the Eternal’s plan of salvation. Everything begins with a lamb being sacrificed and its blood redeeming from death. After that came the freedom from slavery. The entire plan of salvation is revealed in the feasts of the Eternal. That is why this month must be the first of the year. Otherwise the plan is in disorder. If the order of the months is changed, then the Eternal’s program for salvation cannot be understood.

This month is also called by the Babylonian name Nissan (see Nehemiah 2:1; Ester 3:7).

In Talmud[2] there is a discussion between two rabbis about whether the world was created in the month of Nissan or the month of Tishri. The second opinion took over and therefore the year is counted as having begun at the creation of the world on the 1st of Tishri, which is the seventh month in the biblical calendar. Torah has instituted an annual feast on that day, called Yom Teruah, the “day of the shout” or the “day of the alarm”. The Torah says that “to you”, that is to say, to the children of Israel, the month of the aviv is the first of the months of the year.

The expression “to you”, teaches us that it is not this way for others. In the beginning, people counted the months from the day of Adam’s creation as the first day of the first month. When Adam was created on the sixth weekday, he began to count time. To him it was the first day of the first month. This teaches us that Adam was most likely created at the day of the new moon. After that, his descendants continued to count the months and years according to the sun and the moon, see Genesis 1:14.

Here the Eternal says “to you”, and by this reveals that it is not this way for others. Others continued counting time as they had before. Before the exodus from Egypt, the children of Israel did not celebrate the month of the aviv as the first month of the year. But now the Eternal began to put his redemption program into motion, he changed everything. The month that had previously been the first, Tishri, suddenly became the seventh. “To you” it is this way, but others are not going to see it this way because they are not part of the great redemption.

Talmud[3] says,

“The Hebrew calendar has four New Year days. The first day in the month of Nissan – this is the New Year for the kings and the feasts. The first of Elul – this is the New Year for the counting of the tithe of the animals… The first day in the month of Tishri – this is the New Year for the counting of the years (for Shemitah, the Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee), for planting and agriculture. The first of Shevat – this is the New Year for the trees, according to Shamai. In the school of Hillel they say, ‘(New Year of the trees) the fifteenth day of the month.’”

The halachah (practical law) was established according to Hillel. That is why the New Year of the trees is celebrated on the 15th of Shevat.

Approximate relationship between the Roman and the Jewish calendar.

Calendars

(The names found in the Bible are written within parentheses.)

The names of the Roman months from September to December show us that there is an ancient connection between the Biblical way of counting and the Roman way. September corresponds with the seventh month of the Jewish calendar, Tishri. October corresponds with the eighth month of Cheshvan. November corresponds with the ninth month, Kislev, and December corresponds with the tenth month, Tevet. Later the months of the Roman calendar were changed so that they no longer corresponded with their names. September is currently the ninth Roman month.

In Psalm 104:19a, it is written,

He appointed the moon for seasons.”(HNV)

The Torah says that we should use the moon as a point of reference when we determine times. The sun, however, was also created to mark years, as it is written in Genesis 1:14,

God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of sky to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years’”(HNV)

The Hebrew calendar is a combination of the moon and the sun. Presently the moon year is approximately 354.36 days long and the sun year is approximately 365.25 days long. If we only follow the moon, there are going to be eleven days missing in order to arrive at the sun year, which is what determines nature. The Arabic calendar follows only the moon, and the Roman calendar follows only the sun. Neither one of these fulfills the requirements of the Torah. Both the sun and the moon must be used as points of reference in order to count the years correctly.

A biblical month always begins with a new moon. According to the Torah, the first month, Aviv, must occur in the spring when the grain is ready to be harvested in the land of Israel. If we only go by the moon year, which is 354 days long and does not follow the course of nature, the spring will not come in the same month every year. And if we go by the sun year, we cannot celebrate the feasts according to the moon, as the Torah commands us. We must have a combination of the sun and the moon.

In order to compensate for the difference between the moon year and the sun year, in biblical times they added a month at the end of the year, if the grain was not ready to be harvested yet. There was a sacrifice of grain needed for the spring feast, and if there was no grain the feast could not be celebrated. Until the third century CE, it was the course of nature in Israel that determined when the first month would occur each year. If the spring came late one year, an extra month was added. If the grain was already ready to be harvested at the end of the twelfth month, they did not add an extra month. Later a fixed calendar was established, which was developed by Hillel the Second, year 358 CE, where according to the rules of mathematics an extra month (Adar II) is added every other or every third year. Altogether there are seven months added in a nineteen-year period.

The biblical year has 360 days (see Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:5; 11:2-3; 12:6, 14). There is no account in the Scriptures saying that an extra month must be added every other or every third year. The Torah does not even take this into account, see Genesis 7:11, 24; 8:3-4; Esther 1:4. This gives us a hint that from the beginning there was no difference between the moon year and the sun year. The moon month was exactly 30 days long and that way twelve months became a year of 360 days. This meant that the sun only needed 360 days to circle around the earth once.

There are archeological and historical documents from several different ancient cultures that show that there was some type of change in the solar system in the eighth century BCE. There were five days added to the sun year at that time. It looks like something happened in our solar system to cause this imbalance between the moon year and the sun year. The earth moved further from the sun and the moon came closer to the earth. There is one event mentioned in the Scriptures that coincides with the time that the ancient documents speak of. We might suspect from the following passages that this was the moment when our solar system was put out of balance, as it is written in 2 Kings 20:8-11,

“Chizkiyahu said to Yesha`yahu, What shall be the sign that HaShem will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of HaShem the third day? Yesha`yahu said, This shall be the sign to you from HaShem, that HaShem will do the thing that he has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps? Chizkiyahu answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to decline ten steps: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten steps. Yesha`yahu the prophet cried to HaShem; and he brought the shadow ten steps backward, by which it had gone down on the dial of Achaz.”(HNV revised)

In Isaiah 38:7-8, it is written,

“This shall be the sign to you from HaShem, that HaShem will do this thing that he has spoken: behold, I will cause the shadow on the steps, which is gone down on the dial of Achaz with the sun, to return backward ten steps. So the sun returned ten steps on the dial whereon it was gone down.”(HNV revised)

Because of this shift, the exact time for the new moon is no longer known ahead of time since the moon month became 29 ½ days instead of 30 days, as it probably had been earlier. During King Shaul’s time, they knew exactly when the new month would occur, as it is written in 1 Samuel 20:5,

“David said to Yonatan, Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field to the third day at evening.”(HNV)

Later on there were two witnesses needed in order to know when the festival of the new moon would be each month. They could no longer know ahead of time when the annual feast of Yom Teruah ought to be celebrated. Yom Teruah occurs on the first day of the seventh month. No one knows the day or the hour when the new moon of Yom Teruah is visible. This teaches us that the Messiah will come back on Yom Teruah, the first day of the seventh month, as it is written in Matthew 25:13,

“Watch therefore, for you don’t know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”(HNV)

12:3 “Speak to all the congregation of Yisra'el, saying, ‘On the tenth day of this month, they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household’”(HNV) – “every man” means the father of each family. The tenth day in the month of Aviv/Nissan, a lamb was taken for each household to eat. According to Talmud,[4] this was only done once. In the future feasts, the lamb was not brought into the homes. They chose the lamb that would be slaughtered and then it was supervised for four days to make sure that it was without blemish. The lamb could be taken at any time.

On the tenth of Nissan, Yeshua rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, as it is written in John 12:12-15,

“On the next day a great multitude had come to the feast. When they heard that Yeshua was coming to Jerusalem, they took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet him, and cried out, ‘Hoshia`na! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Yisra'el!’ Yeshua, having found a young donkey, sat on it. As it is written, Don’t be afraid, daughter of Tziyon. Behold, your King comes, sitting on a donkey’s colt.’”(HNV)

This could not have happened on a Shabbat, since it was neither lawful to ride nor to break branches on the Shabbat. If the tenth had been a Shabbat, then the 14th would have been on the fourth weekday (Wednesday). This teaches us that Yeshua could not have been hung on the tree on the fourth weekday.

Yeshua came from Beit-Anyah on the sixth weekday (Friday), six days before the Pesach (which was offered up on the 14th of Nissan), according to John 12:1-2, where it is written,

“Then six days before the Pesach, Yeshua came to Beit-Anyah, where El'azar was, who had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. So they made him a supper there. Marta served, but El'azar was one of those who sat at the table with him.”(HNV)

The festival meal that was prepared for him was Kabbalat Shabbat, the Sabbath reception at the beginning of the Shabbat on Friday evening. During the Shabbat day many Jews came to meet Yeshua and Elazar, who had been raised from the dead, see John 12:9. After that it is written in verse 12, “the next day”, which is referring to the first weekday, the 10th of Nissan, which, according to my calculations happened on Sunday the 22nd of April, year 31 according to the Roman calendar.

“shall take to them every man a lamb” – This teaches us that each and every person is responsible to make sure that he gets a hold of God’s Lamb who was given as salvation for the world.

“a lamb for a household” – This teaches us that the father of every family has the responsibility to make sure that the whole family has the opportunity to experience salvation through Yeshua the Messiah.

12:5  “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats”(HNV) – The Hebrew word for lamb is seh,[5] which means the young of a sheep, a lamb, or the young of a goat, a kid. The lamb could come from either of these two animals. The kid is connected to Yom Kippur when two goats were sacrificed to take away the sins of Israel. The tenth day of the first month corresponds with the tenth day of the seventh month, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, see Leviticus 16. This teaches us that the suffering Messiah filled two functions, he was both a lamb and a scapegoat; dying both to deliver the firstborn from death and to take away the sins of the people. This is why Rabbi Yochanan ben Zechariah cried out prophetically when he saw Yeshua, as it is written in John1:29b,

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”(HNV revised)

The mention of the lamb is a reference to the Pesach sacrifice, which did not take away sin, but redeemed from death. The words, “who takes away the sin of the world” refer to the sacrifice at Yom Kippur.

“without blemish” – The lamb had to be without blemish in order to symbolize Yeshua, who had neither any sin nor committed any sins, as it is written in 1 Peter 1:18-20,

“knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, the blood of Messiah; who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of times for your sake”(HNV)

“a male” – It had to be a male lamb in order to symbolize a man, Yeshua.

When it speaks of the Messiah being appointed before the foundation of the world, it is referring to the tenth of Nissan, when each lamb was appointed for the sacrifice on the 14th. Mishnah[6] teaches that before the lamb was sacrificed, a list had to be made of all those who would participate in eating of the lamb. During the second temple period, everyone had to be part of a group that had appointed a lamb. That way each individual in the group had a lamb appointed for him ahead of time, four days before it was sacrificed. This teaches us that the Messiah was appointed 4000 years before he died, represented by the four days, in order to be sacrificed for all those who were written in the book of life before the foundations of the world were laid, as it is written in Revelation 13:8,

“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”(KJV)

Another translation reads,

“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been killed.”(HNV)   

Both translations are possible according to the Greek text, and both fit the context of Pesach. Each person signs himself up to eat of the lamb four days before it is sacrificed, and the lamb itself is appointed four days ahead of time.

In Ephesians 1:3-7, it is written,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Messiah; even as he chose us (wrote our names on the list to eat of the lamb) in him before the foundation of the world (4000 years earlier, which represent the four days), that we would be consecrated and without blemish before him in love; having predestined us for adoption as children through Yeshua the Messiah to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire, to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely bestowed favor on us in the Beloved, in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.”(HNV revised)

People were, however, allowed to add their names to a list right up until the time that the lamb was sacrificed. Mishnah[7] says, “One can always sign up (guests who will eat of the Pesach lamb) as long as there is enough so that each one gets a piece the size of an olive. The signing up (of the participants) and the removal can be done as long as the sacrifice has not yet been made.”

“a year old” – According to Rashi, this meant that the lamb could not be twelve full months old. It had to still be in its first year of life.

12:6 “and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Yisra'el shall kill it at evening.”(HNV) – The lamb had to be inspected for four days so they could be sure that it was without blemish. The same thing happened to the Messiah when he rode into Jerusalem on the tenth of Nissan that year. The most educated among the people came to question him. They tried to catch him saying something incorrect, as it is written in Matthew 22:15,

“Then the Pharisees went and took counsel how they might entrap him in his talk.”(HNV)

First they questioned his authority. After that they tested him with the question about tax to the emperor. Later they asked him about the resurrection and finally about the most important commandment, see Matthew 21-22; Luke 20. In all these texts he proved that he was a lamb without blemish. In the end no one dared to continue questioning him, as it is written in Matthew 22:46,

“No one was able to answer him a word, neither dared any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.”(HNV)

After this he was questioned by the Sanhedrin, Israel’s government, and later by Pilate and Herod, the rulers of the gentiles. No one could find any fault in him. He was the Lamb without blemish.

Mishnah[8] says,

“The Pesach lamb was sacrificed in three groups, as it is written, ‘the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel’; assembly, congregation, and Israel. When the first group went in, the outer court was filled. When the gates of the outer court were closed, the shofar was blown, then the trumpet, and then once again the shofar. The priests stood in two lines and had silver and gold vessels in their hands. One line had all the silver vessels and the other had all the gold vessels. They did not mingle. The vessels had no base so that they could be put down, because then the blood would have coagulated. An Israelite performed the slaughter and the priest received (the blood) and gave it to the next priest who in turn gave it to the next priest who received the full vessel and gave back an empty one. The priest closest to the altar poured it at the foot (of the altar). When the first group went out, the second came in. When the second went out, the third came in. As the first had done, so did the second and the third. They sang Hallel (Psalm 113-118). When they finished, they repeated it again and when they were finished the second time, they repeated it a third time. But the third time they could not finish. R. Yehudah says, “the third group never got to the point, ‘I love HaShem, because he listens to my voice’ (Psalm 116:1), because it had only a few people.”

“the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel” – All of Israel had the assignment of slaughtering the lamb. But everyone could not sacrifice. This teaches us that when something is done by a representative, it is really as though the person who is being represented himself had done it. This was fulfilled when the Messiah was handed over to be killed by three groups that represented all of Israel, according to Luke 23:13, where it is written,

 Pilate called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people”(HNV)

The people of Israel had the responsibility of sacrificing the redemptive Lamb. That was why what happened with Yeshua was not a defeat. Everything was done according to the heavenly plan for the salvation of the world. When the Jews rejected their Messiah, HaShem used that to fulfill the plan that he had revealed to the prophets, as it is written in Acts 2:23,

"him, being delivered up by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by the hand of lawless men, crucified and killed.”(HNV revised)

In Acts 3:12a, 14-15, 17-18, it is written,

“When Peter saw it, he responded to the people, “You men of Yisra'el… you denied the Consecrated and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, whereof we are witnesses… Now, brothers, I know that you did this in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But the things which God announced by the mouth of all his prophets, that Messiah should suffer, he thus fulfilled.”(HNV revised)

In Acts 4:27-28, it is written,

For truly, in this city against your consecrated servant, Yeshua, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the gentiles and the people of Yisra'el, were gathered together to do whatever your hand and your council foreordained to happen.”(HNV revised)

Therefore, the whole people of Israel fulfilled their assignment of sacrificing the Lamb who was slain for their own redemption and for the salvation of the world, as it is written in John 11:49-53,

But a certain one of them, Kayafa, being High Priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is advantageous for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.’ Now he didn’t say this of himself, but being High Priest that year, he prophesied that Yeshua would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day forward they took counsel that they might put him to death.”(HNV revised)

Yeshua celebrated his last Pesach meal together with his disciples one day early in order to be the Lamb of God and die the following day, (see Mishna Zevachim 1:3)

The lamb must be sacrificed in the afternoon, literally, “between the two evenings”. According to Rashi, the expression “between the two evenings” is talking about the time between midday, when the sun begins to go down, and the evening, when the sun goes down, “from the darkening of the day, until the darkening of the evening”. The word erev[9], “evening”, means, according to Rashi, “dusk” or “darkness”, which we can see in Isaiah 24:11b, where it is written,

all joy is darkened (arvah), the mirth of the land is gone.”(HNV)

“Between the two evenings” would then mean approximately three o’clock in the afternoon, according to Roman time.

Mishnah[10] says,

“The daily sacrifice (Numbers 28:1-8) was slaughtered a half hour after the beginning of the eighth hour (14:30, according to Roman time) and sacrificed a half hour after the beginning of the ninth hour (15:30). On the eve of Pesach (the 14th of Nissan) it was slaughtered a half-hour after the beginning of the seventh hour, if it was a holiday or a Shabbat. If the eve of Pesach occurred on a Shabbat eve (Friday), the lamb would be slaughtered after the beginning of the sixth hour and sacrificed a half hour after the beginning of the seventh hour. Then comes the Pesach sacrifice.”

The Messianic Writings say that Yeshua died at the ninth hour, which is three o’clock in the afternoon Roman time, as it is written in Luke 23:44-46,

It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.”(HNV)

The text in the Mishnah shows us that the Pesach lamb was sacrificed after the daily afternoon sacrifice, which on weekdays was sacrificed an hour early in order to leave time for the korban Pesach (Pesach sacrifice). This teaches us that the main lamb to be slaughtered on the 14th of Nissan, when Yeshua hung on the tree in front of the entrance to the temple, died at the same time as he did.

The text in the Mishnah also teaches us that if the 14th of Nissan occurred on the sixth weekday, on the Shabbat eve, the daily sacrifice was offered up two hours early in order to leave time for the Pesach sacrifice. In that case the korban Pesach began around two o’clock in the afternoon Roman time, which does not line up with the time that Yeshua died. This gives us a hint that he did not die on a Friday.

If Yeshua died on the sixth weekday (Friday), it does not line up with the text in John 12:1, where it is written that he traveled to Beit-Anyah six days before Pesach. Yeshua did not travel on the Shabbat. Neither does it line up with Matthew 12:40, where it is written that he had to be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. There are not three days and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.

If Yeshua were to have died on the fourth weekday (Wednesday), the text in Luke 24:21 does not line up, where it is written that the first weekday (Sunday) was the third day after his death. Then it would have been the fourth day after his death.

The resurrection could not have happened on the Shabbat morning, since Yeshua walked several more kilometers than what is permitted on the Shabbat when he joined those who were going to Emmaus, Luke 24:13, compare Acts 1:12.

The expression “first of the Shabbats”, which is found in Luke 24:1, is a Hebrew expression referring to the days of the week, using the Shabbat as the point of reference. The “first of the Shabbats” is the first day of the week, (from Saturday evening to Sunday evening). The expression “second of the Shabbats” is the second day of the week, (from Sunday evening to Monday evening), and so on.

The expression “first day of the week” is found in the Greek text in Acts 20:7 and in 1 Corinthians 16:2. In those passages, it is talking about the first weekday that begins at sunset on Saturday and ends at sunset on Sunday. It is very possible that both texts are referring to havdalah meetings, which are held just after sunset at the end of the Shabbat, on Saturday night.

According to astronomic calculations of the years 30 and 33, the new moon in the month of Aviv appeared on the sixth day of the week. Year 31, Aviv could have come late, and in that case the new moon that year would also have appeared on the sixth day of the week. This means that the 14th of Aviv/Nissan, in the year that Yeshua died, would have been the fifth weekday, which is called Thursday. According to my calculations, Yeshua died the 26th of April, year 31. That year spring came late, and Pesach was celebrated late. In that case the previous year would have had a leap month.

As we said earlier, Hillel the Second established the current Jewish calendar in year 358 CE. Therefore the 14th of Nissan could have been on the fifth weekday (Thursday), since it was before that calendar was instituted. After Hillel II, the 14th of Nissan could never have been the fifth weekday since he removed that possibility.

The 15th of Aviv/Nissan, is one of the seven extra annual festival days, according to Leviticus 23:6 (see John 19:31). The year that Yeshua died, the 15th of Nissan was on the sixth weekday (Friday). Because of this there were two days of rest that week, one right after the other. Ancient sources[11] reveal that businesses were allowed to be open for a couple of hours in the afternoon of the 15th of Aviv, just before the weekly Shabbat, so that the people could buy what they needed for the Shabbat. This way the women had time to buy and prepare nearly 40 kilos of spices. But they did not have time to anoint the body. If we compare the text in Mark 16:1, where it says that they bought the spices after the Shabbat, with Luke 23:56, where it says that they prepared the aromatic spices and oils before the Shabbat, we can draw the conclusion that it was a year with two Shabbats following each other. Friday was the 15th of Nissan, the festival Shabbat, which was followed on Saturday by the weekly Shabbat. Between these two days, on Friday afternoon, the women bought and prepared the spices.

The conclusion is then, that Yeshua died on the fifth day of the week (Thursday), at approximately the ninth hour on the 14th of Aviv/Nissan, a little more than 4000 after the creation of Adam. This corresponds with three o’clock in the afternoon on Thursday, the 26th of April, year 31, according to Roman time. The prophetic foreshadow lines up in every detail with the object that projects the shadow. Baruch HaShem! – Blessed be the Eternal!

12:7 “They shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two side-posts and on the lintel, on the houses in which they shall eat it.”(HNV) – In Egypt the doors had two posts and a beam across the top that formed two crosses in the corners. As we mentioned earlier, the cross is represented by the ancient Hebrew letter tav, which looks like an X. The blood that was put on the doorposts and the beam at the top of the doors of the houses in Egypt, speaks of the death of the Messiah ben Yosef on the tree that looked like a cross, according to Roman tradition. Tav is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet and it symbolizes the end. This teaches us that the Messiah’s work of redemption was fulfilled when he died on the tree, as it is written in John 19:30,

When Yeshua therefore had received the vinegar, he said, ‘It is finished.’ He bowed his head, and gave up his spirit.”(HNV)

The symbolism in Egypt teaches us that the Lamb’s death is a door. It is the door of redemption, as it is written in John 10:9a,

I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved”(HNV)

12:8 “They shall eat the flesh in that night, roasted with fire, and matzah. They shall eat it with bitter herbs.”(HNV) – Only the meat is eaten, not the sinews or the bone. The night that this is referring to is the 15th of Nissan. The Pesach sacrifice is not to be eaten during the day. During the second temple period they used a stick from a pomegranate tree when grilling the meat, which went through the whole animal from the mouth to the anal opening. The extremities and the innards were put back inside after they were washed.[12]

The three most important ingredients in the Pesach meal are,

  • The Korban Pesach – the lamb that was sacrificed and grilled (permitted only in Jerusalem, see Deuteronomy 16:5-6)

  • Matzah – unleavened bread (made from wheat, barley, spelt, oat, or rye[13])

  • Maror – bitter herbs (approved: lettuce, escarole, chervil, and bitter herbs[14])

Mishnah[15] says,

“Raban Gamaliel used to say: whoever does not say these three things during the Pesach sacrifice has not fulfilled his duty, namely, the Pesach lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs. The Pesach lamb, because God passed over our forefathers’ homes in Egypt. The unleavened bread, because our forefathers were redeemed from Egypt. The bitter herbs, because the Egyptians made the lives of our forefathers bitter in Egypt, (Ex 1:14). In every generation one should consider oneself as present at the exodus from Egypt, since it is written, ‘You shall tell your son in that day, saying, ‘It is because of that which HaShem did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.”’(13:8, HNV)”

Hillel added the four cups[16] just before the time of Yeshua. In the Pesach meal that The Messianic Writings describes, we see how Yeshua used the wine cups. This shows us that he submitted to the custom that had recently been incorporated into the feast by one of the judges of that period in Israel.

Yeshua said that the unleavened bread was a reference to him, as it is written in Luke 22:19,

He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave to them, saying, ‘This is my body which is given for you. Do this in memory of me.’”(HNV)

Yeshua took the third of the four cups and applied it to himself, as it is written in Luke 22:20,

“Likewise, he took the cup after supper (the grilled Pesach lamb), saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.’”(HNV)

In John 6:48-59, it is written,

“’I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.’ The Jews therefore contended with one another, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ Yeshua therefore said to them, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don’t have life in yourselves. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father; so he who feeds on me, he will also live because of me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven— not as our fathers ate the manna, and died. He who eats this bread will live forever.’ These things he said in the synagogue, as he taught in Kafar-Nachum.”(HNV)

The prophetic application that Yeshua makes concerning eating his flesh and drinking his blood is clearly referring to the Pesach celebration.

The blood of the Lamb brought freedom from death.

12:9 “Don’t eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted with fire; with its head, its legs and its inner parts.”(HNV) – This teaches us that Yeshua’s spirit had to pass through the eternal fire in order to redeem us from it.

The head speaks of the Messiah’s mind, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 2:16,

“For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him?” But we have the Messiah’s mind.”(HNV)

The legs speak of the Messiah’s lifestyle, of the way that he walked through life, as it is written in Matthew 4:19a,

“He said to them, ‘Come after me…’”(HNV)

In 1 John 2:6, it is written,

“he who says he remains in him ought himself also to walk just like he walked.”(HNV)

The innards speak of two things, the Messiah’s love and his motives, as it is written in Matthew 9:36,

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd.”(HNV)

In Revelation 2:23, it is written,

I will kill her children with Death, and all the assemblies will know that I am he who searches the minds and hearts. I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.”(HNV)

The blood of the Lamb delivers from death. It is the first step on the road of redemption. This is the salvation that a person receives when he puts his trust in the fact that Yeshua was sacrificed in his place. The second step is to eat his head, his legs, and his innards. We receive the Messiah’s mind by studying the Torah with the help of the Messiah’s Spirit that explains things to us. We receive the legs of the Messiah when we follow after his lifestyle in word and deed. We receive the Messiah’s innards by being filled with the Messiah’s Spirit, by being cleansed from our sins, and by walking through suffering.

12:10 “You shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; but that which remains of it until the morning you shall burn with fire.”(HNV) – It is impossible not to leave something. All the sinews, the sciatic nerve (see Genesis 32:33), and the bones could not be eaten. The only option was to burn up the remains. This teaches us how important it is to receive all of Yeshua the Messiah. We cannot say that we only want a part of him. We cannot say that we only want his blood for salvation from death. We cannot say that we do not want to study the Torah in order to partake of his mind. We cannot say that we do not want to imitate his lifestyle. We cannot keep ourselves from caring about others the way that he did. We cannot keep from seeking after clean inner motives. All this is necessary in order for us to reach spiritual maturity. These three steps represent the three levels of spiritual growth for the children of God, which we have spoken about earlier.

This text also teaches us that the first man was totally destroyed through the Messiah’s death. The second man was created through his resurrection, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45, 47,

“For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah all will be made alive… So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit… The first man is of the earth, made of dust. The second man is from heaven…”(HNV revised)

In Ephesians 2:15b, it is written,

“that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making shalom”(HNV)

In Ephesians 4:22-24, it is written,

that you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man, that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit; and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and sanctification of truth.”(HNV revised)

12:11 “This is how you shall eat it: with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste: it is HaShem’s Pesach.”(HNV revised) – The word Pesach speaks, first and foremost, of the sacrificed animal. Therefore it is on the Pesach Day, the 14th of Nissan, when the animal is sacrificed, as it is written in Numbers 33:3,

“They traveled from Ra`meses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the next day after the Pesach the children of Yisra'el went out with a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians,”(HNV)

In Joshua 5:10-11, it is written,

“The children of Yisra'el encamped in Gilgal; and they kept the Pesach on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Yericho. They ate of the produce of the land on the next day after the Pesach, unleavened cakes and parched grain, in the same day.”(HNV)

In Exodus 34:25, we can see how the word Pesach is used as a reference to the celebration rather than to the animal, as it is written,

You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Pesach be left to the morning.”(HNV)

In Luke 2:41, it is written,

His parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the Pesach.”(HNV)

Further on we see how the feast of the unleavened bread, which begins on the night of the 15th of Nissan, is called by the name of the sacrificed animal, as it is written in Luke 22:1,

“Now the feast of the unleavened bread, which is called the Pesach, drew near”(HNV revised)

In John 2:23, it is written,

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Pesach, during the feast, many believed in his name, observing his signs which he did.”(HNV)

In most cases, however, whenever the word Pesach is used in the Scriptures, it is referring to the lamb (or the young goat) itself.

The Hebrew word pesach[17] comes from the root pasach,[18] which means “skip over”, “leap”, pointing to the fact that the Eternal skipped over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt. They did not suffer any harm when he killed all the firstborn of Egypt.

12:12 “For I will go through the land of Egypt in that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and animal. Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am HaShem.”(HNV revised) – The firstborn represent the rest of the people, as it is written in Psalm 136:10,

“To Him that smote Egypt in their first-born, for His mercy endureth for ever”(JPS revised)

12:13 “The blood shall be to you for a token on the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there shall no plague be on you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.”(HNV) – It is written that the blood shall be a token, or a sign, for the children of Israel, not for others. From this Rashi draws the conclusion that the blood was not put on the outside of the houses, but on the inside.

The Hebrew word for sign is ot[19] (alef, vav, tav). In this text it is written incompletely for a reason, without the middle letter vav. Vav means nail (spike). The letters of the word that left are the first and the last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. That teaches us that the blood of the Pesach lamb is an incomplete sign for the children of Israel. There is a complete sign where there is no nail missing in connection with the blood on the tree! The sign is He who said, as it is written in Revelation 22:13,

“I am the Alef and the Tav, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”(HNV)

12:14 “This day shall be to you for a memorial, and you shall keep it a feast to HaShem: throughout your generations you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.”(HNV revised) – “This day” means the 15th of Nissan, which is the memorial day of the exodus from Egypt that took place on that day, see Numbers 33:3. Therefore the 15th of Nissan is a festival day unto the Eternal.

12:15 “Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread; even the first day you shall put away yeast out of your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Yisra'el.”(HNV revised) – In Deuteronomy 16:8, it says that unleavened bread should be eaten for a period of six days. The interpretation is that it is not mandatory to eat matzah (unleavened bread) on the seventh day. It is voluntary, although the eating of any chametz, yeast, is forbidden. Rabbi Yishmael’s eighth rule of interpretation says that everything that is incorporated in a general category and is later pointed out specifically in order to show something, does not only apply to that specific thing, but also to everything that is included in that general category. Using this argument, Rashi comes to the conclusion that it is not mandatory to eat unleavened bread on the other six days of the feast either. There is, however, a specific command to eat matzah on the first night. It is not voluntary, as it is written in Exodus 12:18,

…at evening, you shall eat matzah”(HNV)

“even the first day you shall put away yeast out of your houses” – Rashi translates it this way, “But the day before…” – In this case the first day is referring to the day before the feast on the 15th. Therefore it is called the “first”, meaning that it happens before the feast, which lasts for seven days. There are other cases in the Scriptures where the word rishon, “first”, has this meaning, see Job 15:7. In the English language we have the expression “first of all”, which gives the impression that one must do something before doing something else. Owning chametz, any yeast, is not permitted at the time when the Pesach is slaughtered, as it is written in Exodus 34:25,

“You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice (the Pesach lamb) with leavened bread; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Pesach be left to the morning.”(HNV)

This teaches us that all chametz must be removed by the morning of the 14th of Nissan. The tradition of searching every corner of the house for food that could contain yeast or leaven on the night before the 14th of Nissan (that is to say, the day before the 14th) came from this. The father of the house walks through every corner of the house with a candle and searches the house for chametz. When he finds bread, which might contain yeast, he uses a feather to put it onto a wooden spoon. After that he ties it up in a linen napkin. The following morning all of it is burned together.

Mishnah[20] says,

“R. Yehudah says, ‘one searches on the night of the 14th or the morning of the 14th, or when it must be consecrated.’ The wise ones say, ‘if he has not searched by the night of the 14th, he ought to do it during the day of the 14th. If he has not searched during the day of the 14th, he ought to do it during the feast. If he has not done it during the feast, he ought to do it after the feast. That which one desires to keep (to eat, give away, sell, or burn) must be put in a secure place so that one does not have to search again.’ R. Meir says, ‘it can be eaten during the entire fifth hour, and it shall be burned at the beginning of the sixth hour.’”

The thought behind this is that there should be no chametz past noontime on the 14th, when it is permitted to slaughter the lamb.

“that soul shall be cut off from Yisra'el” – This does not mean that he will be given the death penalty, but rather that his soul is cut off from his spiritual relationship within the people of Israel and the Eternal, as it is written in Leviticus 22:3b,

that soul shall be cut off from before me. I am HaShem.”(HNV revised)

Yeast symbolizes several different things:

·         The yeast of the Pharisees – hypocrisy, Luke 12:1 (not living what one teaches).

·         The yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees – false doctrine, Matthew 16:11-12.

·         The yeast of Herod – pride and political slyness, Mark 8:15; Luke 13:32.

·         The yeast of evil and malice – boasting, adultery, lies, 1 Corinthians 5:6-8.

In summary we can say that yeast symbolizes sin. The Torah teaches us that it is very important to be rid of all yeast and all bread and anything else made from any of the five grains that has gone through the rising process, and not to eat any of it. We can draw several conclusions from this,

  • Sin was taken away by the death of God’s Lamb.

  • In order to partake of the final redemption, one must be diligent to remove all sin from one’s life, the “house”.

  • Yeshua is the unleavened bread, without sin. He is offered to every Israelite so that each and every one can receive him personally and partake of the redemption.

In the book of the prophet Zephaniah 1:12, there is a reference to what is called bedikat chametz, when one seeks after any leftovers with yeast on the night of the 14th of Nissan, as it is written,

It will happen at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are settled on their dregs, who say in their heart, ‘HaShem will not do good, neither will he do evil.’”(HNV revised)

12:16 “In the first day there shall be to you a consecrated convocation, and in the seventh day a consecrated convocation; no manner of work shall be done in them, except that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you.”(HNV) – During the week of the feast of the unleavened bread, in Hebrew chag ha-matzot, there are two festival days, two Shabbats, the first day and the last day, the 15th and the 21st day of the month. On both of these days there is to be a consecrated gathering, mikrah kodesh. As opposed to the weekly Shabbats, cooking the food that is to be eaten during the day is permitted.

12:17 “You shall observe the feast of matzah; for in this same day have I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall you observe this day throughout your generations by an ordinance forever.”(HNV) – According to Rashi, the word “observe” means that one preserves the unleavened bread in a way that it does not rise and keeps the day not to do any work in it.

The rising process of bread represents sin. Sin is symbolized by the slavery in Egypt. The exodus from Egypt, which happened just after the Pesach lamb was sacrificed, is connected with the unleavened bread. This teaches us that the death of the Messiah brings freedom from the slavery of sin. The sacrifice of the Lamb is the stipulation for being able to celebrate the feast of freedom. If we do not apply the death of the Messiah to our lives, we cannot be set free from the slavery of sin and death.

12:19 “Seven days shall there be no yeast found in your houses, for whoever eats that which is leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Yisra'el, whether he be a foreigner, or one who is born in the land.”(HNV) – The foreigner, in Hebrew ger, is in this case a proselyte, one who has converted by circumcision in order to become a part of the congregation of Israel, see Leviticus 24:16; Numbers 15:13-16.

12:20 “You shall eat nothing leavened. In all your habitations you shall eat matzah.”(HNV) – This command is not limited to the land of Israel.

The Fifth Aliyah, 12:21-28

12:21 “Then Moshe called for all the elders of Yisra'el, and said to them, ‘Draw out, and take lambs according to your families, and kill the Pesach.’”(HNV) – This is one of the most crucial acts of faith in the history, as it is written in Hebrews 11:28,

¨"By faith, he kept the Pesach, and the sprinkling of the blood, that the destroyer of the firstborn should not touch them.”(HNV)

To celebrate the feast with the Pesach lamb was a very great act of faith. The people of Israel were, in effect, celebrating their freedom before they had left Egypt. Faith acts and speaks of that which is not as though it was. And that was exactly the way that it happened.

12:22 “You shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side-posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.”(HNV) – Hyssop is like cotton. It absorbs liquid. Hyssop also contains an element that keeps blood from coagulating. Therefore, the blood that was put on the doorposts did not coagulate. It stayed alive. That speaks of the eternal blood of the Messiah, which is constantly present before the face of the Father in heaven.

Hyssop was not used in the future celebrations of the Pesach, only in Egypt. It does, however, reappear again in the Scriptures in connection with Yeshua’s death, as it is written in John 19:29,

Now a vessel full of vinegar was set there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop, and held it at his mouth.”(HNV)

 Hyssop was also used in the process of cleansing from tzaraat, “leprosy”, and when one has had contact with death, see Leviticus 14:4ff; Numbers 19:6, 1 Kings 4:33 (5:13 Heb.). It was also used for sprinkling at the Sinai covenant, see Hebrews 9:19. Hyssop is intimately connected with cleansing from sin and death, as it is written in Psalm 51:7,

Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”(HNV)

Doctor Alexander Flemming, who discovered penicillin, produced the first penicillin from the mold of hyssop.

12:23 “For HaShem will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood on the lintel, and on the two side-posts, HaShem will pass over the door, and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to strike you.”(HNV revised) – The destroyer was sent by HaShem, see 1 Chronicles 21:15-16.

12:26 “It will happen, when your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’”(HNV) – In the Torah there are four boys presented in connection to Pesach. This is the first. This one is called evil, since he does not identify himself with his parents and his people when he asks what the service means “for you”. (The English translations have failed to translate this correctly.) He ought to have said “for us”. Here are the other three boys,

  • He who does not have the ability to question, and does not say anything, Exodus 13:8.

  • He who is ignorant, and says, “What is this?” Exodus 13:14.

  • He who is wise, and says, “What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which HaShem our God has commanded you?” Deuteronomy 6:20.

During the Pesach evening meal each one of these four are to be taught according to his level of comprehension. Mishnah[21] says,

“Then the second cup is poured. Here the son asks his father, but if he does not yet have knowledge, the father instructs him, ‘In which way is this night different that the other nights? Because on other nights we may eat bread with yeast and bread without yeast, but this night all bread must be without yeast. Because on other nights we may eat all kinds of vegetables, but this night we eat (only) bitter herbs. Because on other nights we may eat grilled, cooked, or fried meat, but this night we eat only grilled. Because on other nights we dip only once, but this night we dip twice.’ He begins with the oppression and ends with the glory. He confirms, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father’ (Deuteronomy 26:5f) until he has finished the passage.”

Here we see that at the beginning of the children’s questions, the Pesach lamb is mentioned. Later, however, it is removed because of the destruction of the temple and the exile. As long as there is no temple, we cannot sacrifice Pesach.

The Sixth Aliyah, 12:29-51

12:30 “Par`oh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.”(HNV) – Every firstborn in Egypt was killed, see 12:12, not only the firstborn of the Egyptians. The only way to be delivered from the plague was to be united with the people of Israel and believing in the blood of the lamb. In every home there was a dead person. According to Rashi this meant that the main person in each home was considered firstborn, even though he may not have been born first, see Psalm 89:28.

12:37 “The children of Yisra'el traveled from Ra`meses to Sukkot, about six hundred thousand on foot who were men, besides children.”(HNV) – The deliverance brought the people to Sukkot. The Sukkot celebration is the last feast on the Eternal’s program of redemption. It is celebrated at the end of the year, as it is written in Exodus 34:22b,

and the Harvest Feast at the year’s end.”(HNV revised)

12:38 “A mixed multitude went up also with them, with flocks, herds, and even very much cattle.”(HNV) – As far as I understand, this mixed multitude that joined the people of Israel had been circumcised in order to eat Pesach and take part in the redemption, see 12:48-51.

12:43 “HaShem said to Moshe and Aharon, ‘This is the ordinance of the Pesach. There shall no foreigner eat of it’”(HNV) – The Hebrew word that has been translated as “foreigner” is ben nechar, which means stranger. It could also mean an apostate Israelite as well as a gentile (Rashi).

12:45 “A man from a strange country living (temporarily) among you, and a servant working for payment, may not take part in it.”(BBE) – The Hebrew word for “living among you” is toshav, which means “settler”, “one who is dwelling”, “living”. He is also called a ger toshav. This is a gentile who has walked away from idolatry and who, according to many rabbis, also has accepted the seven commands that pertain to Noach’s sons. The servant working for payment, sachir, is any gentile at all who is not a ger toshav. Talmud[22] says,

“Toshav means a non-Jew who has forsaken false gods but who is still permitted to eat certain things such as, for example, certain kinds of food that are not suitable for a Jew to eat. Sachir means a non-Jew who had been circumcised but who has not yet gone through mikveh (ritual purification bath that completes the conversion process).”

In any case, the words toshav and sachir mean people who are not members of the congregation of Israel.

12:46 “In one house shall it be eaten; you shall not carry forth anything of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall you break a bone of it.”(HNV) – This was written because of what was to happen with the Messiah Yeshua, as it is written in John 19:31-37,

Therefore the Jews, because it was the Preparation Day, so that the bodies wouldn’t remain on the tree on the Shabbat (for that Shabbat was a special one), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Therefore the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who was hanged on the tree with him; but when they came to Yeshua, and saw that he was already dead, they didn’t break his legs. However one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. He who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, that you may believe. For these things happened, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, ‘A bone of him will not be broken.’ Again another Scripture says, ‘They will look on him whom they pierced.’”(HNV)

12:47 “All the congregation of Yisra'el shall keep it.”(HNV) – On account the Messiah Yeshua’s great act, the gentiles can come in and be a part of the heavenly, spiritual congregation of Israel. This happens through a conversion that does not require circumcision in the flesh. These are the stipulations for a Messianic conversion,

·         Repentance from sin and the idol worship of the nations.

·         Acceptance of the yoke of the Kingdom and the yoke of the Torah.

·         Circumcision of the heart and receiving the Spirit of the Messiah.

·         Receiving Yeshua’s atoning sacrifice.

·         Faith in God who raised Yeshua from the dead.

·         Confession of Yeshua as Lord.

·         Cleansing through water in Yeshua Messiah’s Name.

These seven steps constitute the Messianic door for a gentile to convert and come into the people of Israel in a spiritual way. After he has gone through tevilah, the purification bath, he is no longer considered in heaven to be a sachir, ben nechar, toshav, or only a ben Noach, but he is a complete member in Messiah’s body, which is the heavenly Israel. He is a son of Avraham through adoption and a part of the family of God, as it is written in Ephesians 2:19,

So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the consecrated ones, and of the household of God”(HNV revised)

In Galatians 3:7, 9, it is written,

“Know therefore that those who are of faith, the same are children of Avraham… So then, those who are of faith are blessed with the faithful Avraham.”(HNV)

In Romans 4:11, 16, it is written,

“He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while he was in uncircumcision, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they be in uncircumcision, that righteousness might also be accounted to them… For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace, to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the Torah, but to that also which is of the faith of Avraham, who is the father of us all.”(HNV revised)

In the same way that the Torah forbids the physically uncircumcised to partake of the Pesach, no one can partake of God’s Lamb without having experienced a spiritual circumcision of the heart, as it is written in Colossians 2:11-13,

in whom you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, in the circumcision of Messiah; having been buried with him in tevilah (baptism), in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses.”(HNV revised)

In Romans 2:29, it is written,

“but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God.”(HNV)

In Philippians 3:3, it is written,

“For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Messiah Yeshua, and have no confidence in the flesh”(HNV)

The Seventh Aliyah, 13:1-16

13:2 “Sanctify to me all of the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Yisra'el, both of man and of animal. It is mine.”(HNV) – This was written for two reasons. When the Eternal killed all the firstborn in Egypt, he delivered the firstborn of Israel through the blood of the lamb. They were condemned to death, but thanks to the ransom, the blood of the lamb, they were redeemed from death. Therefore HaShem set them apart in a special way unto himself. This includes people and animals. The other reason is that it is a prophetic reference to the Messiah Yeshua who was his mother Miriam’s firstborn and therefore he belonged to God in a special way. The firstborn were appointed to be priests, but because of the sin of the golden calf, this right was transferred to the Levites, see Numbers 3:12, 41, 45; 8:16, 18.

13:7 “Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and no leavened bread shall be seen with you, neither shall there be yeast seen with you, in all your borders.”(HNV) – This is the attitude we need to have toward sin. We ought to make an effort to remove sin from every area in our lives.

13:8 “You shall tell your son in that day, saying, ‘It is because of that which HaShem did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.’”(HNV revised) – The father of the house has the responsibility of telling the story of the exodus from Egypt on the night when the Pesach is celebrated. This story is called the haggadah.

Tefilin13:9 “It shall be for a sign to you on your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the Torah of HaShem may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand HaShem has brought you out of Egypt.”(HNV revised) – There are four texts written in the tefilin, which are placed on the arm and on the forehead during the morning prayer, Exodus 13:1-10; 11-16; Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21. The Exodus from Egypt is something that ought to be remembered every day. The work of redemption must be carried on the arm and between the eyes. It ought to be included in all our actions and the foundation for our visions.

 

13:13 “Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and you shall redeem all the firstborn of man among your sons.”(HNV) – The donkey is the only unclean animal that is redeemed. It represents our work-lives. It belongs to the Eternal and needs to be redeemed by the Lamb.

13:16 “It shall be for a sign on your hand, and for symbols between your eyes: for by strength of hand HaShem brought us forth out of Egypt.”(HNV revised) – The Hebrew word that is translated “symbols” is totafot. It is hard to translate this word. Rabbis have given many different suggestions. Among them are “diadem” and “reminder”.

So far we have covered 23 of the 613 commandments in the Torah. They are,

  1. The command to “be fruitful and multiply”, Genesis 1:28.

  2. The command to be circumcised, Genesis 17:10; Leviticus 12:3.

  3. The prohibition of eating the sciatic nerve (guid hanasheh), Genesis 32:33.

  4. The command to consecrated the new moon, Exodus 12:2.

  5. The command to slaughter the Pesach sacrifice on the 14th of Nissan, Exodus 12:6.

  6. The command to eat the meat of the Pesach sacrifice on the 15th of Nissan, Exodus 12:8.

  7. The prohibition of eating the Pesach sacrifice raw or boiled in water, Exodus 12:9.

  8. The prohibition of leaving the Pesach sacrifice until the next day, Exodus 12:10.

  9. The command to remove all yeast products from our possessions, Exodus 12:15.

  10. The command to eat matzah on the 15th of Nissan, the first day of the feast of Pesach, Exodus 12:18.

  11. The prohibition of having chametz among our belongings during the feast of Pesach, Exodus 12:19.

  12. The prohibition of eating any product at all that contains chametz during the feast of Pesach, Exodus 12:20.

  13. The prohibition of sharing the Pesach sacrifice with an apostate Jew, Exodus 12:43.

  14. The prohibition of sharing the Pesach sacrifice with a half-proselyte (a gentile who has been circumcised, but has not yet gone through the mikveh) or a foreigner who has settled (a gentile who has renounced idolatry), Exodus 12:45.

  15. The prohibition of taking the Pesach sacrifice out of the house, Exodus 12:46.

  16. The prohibition of breaking any of the bones of the Pesach sacrifice, Exodus 12:46.

  17. The prohibition of giving of the Pesach sacrifice to an uncircumcised person to eat, Exodus 12:48.

  18. The command to consecrate the firstborn of the animals in the land of Israel, Exodus 13:2.

  19. The prohibition of eating chametz during the feast of Pesach, Exodus 13:3.

  20. The prohibition of having any yeast seen in our possession during the feast of Pesach, Exodus 13:7.

  21. The command to tell about the exodus from Egypt, Exodus 13:8.

  22. The command to redeem the foal of the donkey, Exodus 13:13.

  23. The command to cut the throat of the donkey foal who is not redeemed, Exodus 13:13.


[1]       Strong H24 aw-beeb', From an unused root (meaning to be tender); green, that is a young ear of grain; hence the name of the month Abib or Nisan: - Abib, ear, green ears of corn.

[2]       Rosh HaShanah 10a-11b.

[3]       Rosh HaShanah 2a.

[4]       Mishnah Pesachim 9:5; Talmud Pesachim 96a.

[5]        Strong H7716 sìeh  sìêy, seh, say, Probably from H7582 through the idea of pushing out to graze; a member of a flock, that is, a sheep or goat: - (lesser, small) cattle, ewe, lamb, sheep.

[6]       Pesachim 5:3.

[7]       Pesachim 8:3b.

[8]       Pesachim 5:5-7.

[9]       Strong H6153 ‛ereb, eh'-reb, From H6150; dusk: -  + day, even (-ing, tide), night.

Strong H6150 ‛ârab, aw-rab', A primitive root (rather identical with H6148 through the idea of covering with a texture); to grow dusky at sundown: - be darkened, (toward) evening.

[10]     Pesachim 5:1.

[11]      Messiah: Understanding His Life And Teachings, Avi ben Mordechai.

[12]     Talmud Pesachim 74a and Rashi.

[13]     Mishnah Pesachim 2:5.

[14]     Mishnah Pesachim 2:6.

[15]     Mishnah Pesachim 10:5a.

[16]     The most renowned and acknowledged rabbi during the second temple period. His work lasted between the years 10 BCE and 10 CE. (Encyclopedia Judaica).

[17]     Strong H6453 pesach, peh'-sakh, From H6452; a pretermission, that is, exemption; used only technically of the Jewish Passover (the festival or the victim): - passover (offering).

[18]     Strong H6452 pâsach, paw-sakh', A primitive root; to hop, that is, (figuratively) skip over (or spare); by implication to hesitate; also (literally) to limp, to dance: - halt, become lame, leap, pass over

[19]     Strong H226 'ôth, oth, Probably from H225 (in the sense of appearing); a signal (literally or figuratively), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.: - mark, miracle, (en-) sign, token.

[20]     Pesachim 1:3-4a.

[21]     Pesachim 10:4.

[22]     Jevamot 71a.