Passover - private house

Timing of the Passovers

Passover - temple

Understanding the timing of the two Passovers is not possible without
first gaining a proper understanding of exactly when the biblical day


The common view, that the biblical day ended at sunset, has been a modern
day misconception which has caused much confusion.

         ***  In reality the biblical day ended at MIDNIGHT!  ***

For a fuller discussion of this topic refer;


This helps us understand:

  - The first Passover came to an end following the passing
    over of the LORD at midnight.

  - The second Passover came to an end upon the expiry of
    that day (ie, at midnight).   


A verse which has contributed to a great deal of confusion is;

    Exod  12:6  Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth
                day of the same month. Then the whole assembly
                of the congregation of Israel shall kill it
                at twilight (between the evenings).

The portion highlighted was rendered by the KJV as;

                   "up until the fourteenth"

The word in the Hebrew rendered 'until' or 'up until' is Strong's
reference 5704, which means 'as far as'.

Because there exists many verses which state the Passover was to be
observed on the 14th, it was taken for granted that this verse was to
be understood to be inclusive of the 14th day. 

This assumption was incorrect!

The first Passover took place in the latter hours of the 13th day!

It took place between sunset and midnight of the 13th day. The Passover
lamb was killed after sunset, roasted whole and then once cooked finally
eaten in the hours prior to the start of the 14th day. The lamb was kept
'as far as', but not into the 14th day.

This timing is confirmed by the New Testament verses:

    Matt  26:17  Now on the first day of the Feast of the
                 Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus,
                 saying to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare
                 for You to eat the Passover?"

    Mark  14:12  Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when
                 they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples
                 said to Him, "Where do You want us to go and
                 prepare, that You may eat the Passover?"

    Luke  22:7   Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the
                 Passover must be killed.
            :8   And He sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and
                 prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat."

The translators have corrupted the message of these verses by adding the
words 'the Feast of' in Matthew 26:17 and by capitalizing the references
to unleavened bread. The translators have given the reader the initial
impression that these verses are discussing the seven day 'Feast of
Unleavened Bread', when in fact the verses are merely stating this was
the first day of the year in which some unleavened bread was to be eaten
at a meal. Nevertheless, these verses when properly rendered prove beyond
all doubt that the day (the 13th!), prior to the death of Jesus Christ
(on the 14th day), was the day unleavened bread was first to be eaten
(in that year) and was the day the Passover lamb was killed.


The following second Passover was observed, between sunset and midnight,
on the 14th day.

    Lev   23:5   On the fourteenth day of the first month at
                 twilight[between the evenings] is the LORD's

    Num    9:5   And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day
                 of the first month, at twilight[between the evenings],
                 in the Wilderness of Sinai; ...

          28:16  On the fourteenth day of the first month is the
                 Passover of the LORD.

    Josh   5:10  Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and
                 kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the
                 month at twilight on the plains of Jericho.

    2Chr  35:1   Now Josiah kept a Passover to the LORD in Jerusalem,
                 and they slaughtered the Passover lambs [NB: the
                 word 'lambs' here is not present in the original
                 Hebrew] on the fourteenth day of the first month.
    Ezra   6:19  And the descendants of the captivity kept the
                 Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.

This Passover could be observed on the 14th of the second month if
circumstances prevented its observance in the first month.

    Num    9:10  Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'If anyone
                 of you or your posterity is unclean because of a
                 corpse, or is far away on a journey, he may still
                 keep the Lord's Passover.
            :11  On the fourteenth day of the second month, at
                 twilight[between the evenings], they may keep it.

    2Chr  30:2   For the king and his leaders and all the assembly
                 in Jerusalem had agreed to keep the Passover in
                 the second month.

The 14th Passover celebration started at sunset (although the slaughter
of the animals took place prior to this) and ended at midnight when the
first morning arrived (the second morning being sunrise). (The ceremony
began at sunset because this was the time of the day when the children
of Israel began to cross the Red Sea, refer Exodus chapter 14.)  

    Deut  16:6   ... there you shall sacrifice the Passover at
                 twilight[evening], at the going down of the sun,
                 at the time you came out of Egypt.
            :7   And you shall roast[boil] and eat it ... and
                 in the morning you shall turn and go to your

The word 'sacrifice' in this verse tends to envisage the notion of
'animal sacrifice' (the killing of the animals), but by referring
back to Deut 16:4, "... the meat which you sacrifice ..." we can see
that what is being 'sacrificed' is the meat (ie, cooked meat).
This Passover took the form of a thanksgiving meal celebration, a
celebration which began at sunset. 

Since the 14th Passover observance ended at midnight it did not encroach
upon the annual sabbath day of the 15th (which marked the start of the
7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread). The feasts of the 14th and 15th did
not overlap.

    Lev   23:4   These are the feasts of the LORD, holy
                 convocations which you shall proclaim at
                 their appointed times.
            :5   On the fourteenth day of the first month at
                 twilight[between the evenings] is the Lord's
            :6   And on the fifteenth day of the same month
                 is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD;
                 seven days you must eat unleavened bread.

and the

of the




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