THE TEMPLE PASSOVER
Lev 23:5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at
twilight (between the evenings) is the LORD's
We can easily gain a starting point for this observance.
Deut 16:2 Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover
to the LORD your God, from the flock and
the herd, in the place where the LORD chooses
to place His name.
:6 ... there you shall sacrifice the Passover
at twilight (evening), at the going down of
the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt.
[ This reference to their departure from Egypt is a reference
to when they started to cross the Red Sea, Exodus 14:21-22. ]
Having seen that the LORD's Passover is an event which begins with the
'sunset evening' it is apparent the second evening must be some time
after sunset! This means that any conjecture that the missing evening
could occur at 3.00pm, or at any time prior to sunset, can be eliminated.
In 2 Chronicles 35:1-19 we find a detailed description of the temple
Passover. We can see in verse 14 that the animals (which included cattle,
verses 7-9) were slaughtered (and the appropriate offerings made) up until
2Chr 35:1 Now Josiah kept a Passover to the LORD in
:14 Then afterward they prepared portions for
themselves and for the priests, because the
priests, the sons of Aaron, were busy in
offering burnt offerings and fat until night;
therefore the Levites prepared portions for
themselves and for the priests, the sons of
:15 ... Also the gatekeepers were at each gate;
they did not have to leave their position,
because their brethren the Levites prepared
portions for them.
:16 So all the service of the LORD was prepared
the same day, to keep the Passover ...
Nightfall was not the end of the Passover observance, but rather its
beginning! There was a need to ensure all concerned, including the
singers and gatekeepers, were handed a portion of the meat prior to
the start of the ceremony.
[ NB: The animals to be eaten at this ceremonial Passover were
slaughtered during the daylight hours prior to sunset.
In this respect this Passover differed from the family Passover
(observed the prior night) where the lamb was killed 'between
the evenings', Exod 12:6. ]
The completion time for the observance of the LORD's Passover was
Deut 16:7 And you shall roast (boil) and eat it
in the place which the LORD your God
chooses, and in the morning you shall
turn and go to your tents.
[ 'Morning'? This may at first appear to be saying that
this Passover finished at sunrise, but it actually finished
at the arrival of the latter 2nd evening (ie, the evening
which marked the completion of the 'between the evenings'
NB: 1) This Passover night represented the first of seven
sequential nights of celebration and those who
took part in this observance did not stay awake and
celebrate from sunset to sunrise for seven sequential
2) Like the term 'evening' the term 'morning' refers to
two points in a 24 hour period. The 1st morning being
the same as the 2nd evening. The latter 2nd morning
being sunrise. ]
THE FAMILY PASSOVER
Let us consider when the family Passover ended.
Exod 12:10 You shall let none of it remain
until morning, ...
:21 ... Pick and take lambs or
yourselves according to your
families, and kill the Passover
:22 ... And none of you shall go
out of the door of his house
:29 And it came to pass at midnight
that the LORD struck all the
firstborn in the land of Egypt,
The lamb was to be eaten before midnight. At midnight the firstborn males
of Egypt were killed and this ended the Passover observance. Verse 22
states that no one was to go out of their house until 'morning', but this
'morning' was not sunrise! Note, that when Christ and His disciples kept
this Passover they departed for the Mount of Olives many hours before
sunrise. Once the angel had passed over at midnight there was no longer
any need to refrain from leaving one's house.
[ NB: Exodus 12:10 refers to a 'morning' when the non-edible
remains of the lamb would be burnt. The 'morning' in
this case would be sunrise! Those who observed this
Passover ceremony would normally go to sleep after
midnight and rise around sunrise to burn the remains
of the lamb. ]
The examples of the Passover observances, the temple Passover and the
family Passover, indicate that the term 'between the evenings' defined
the time between sunset and midnight.