Understanding the timing of the two Passovers is not possible without
first gaining a proper understanding of exactly when the biblical day
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).
FIRST PASSOVER - 13TH PASSOVER
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.
SECOND PASSOVER - 14TH PASSOVER
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
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.