Passover - private house

Passover Observances Ordained

Passover - temple

The Passover ordinances are specified in the twelfth chapter of the book
of Exodus.


The 13th Passover was to be kept in much the same manner as it was originally
observed in Egypt.

    Exod  12:21  Then Moses called for all the
                 elders of Israel and said to
                 them, "Pick out and take lambs
                 for yourselves according to your
                 families, and kill the Passover
            :22  And you shall take a bunch of
                 hyssop, dip it in the blood that
                 is in the basin, and strike the
                 lintel and the two doorposts
                 with the blood that is in the
                 basin. And none of you shall go
                 out of the door of his house
                 until morning.
            :23  For the LORD will pass through to
                 strike the Egyptians; and when He
                 sees the blood on the lintel and
                 on the two doorposts, the LORD
                 will pass over the door and not
                 allow the destroyer to come into
                 your houses to strike you.
            :24  And you shall observe this thing
                 as an ordinance for you and your
                 sons forever.
first Passover
            :25  It will come to pass when you come to the land which
                 the LORD will give you, just as He promised, that
                 you shall keep this service.
            :26  And it shall be, when your children say to you, 'What
                 do you mean by this service?'
            :27  that you shall say, 'It is the Passover sacrifice of
                 the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children
                 of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and
                 delivered our households.' So the people bowed their
                 heads and worshiped.
            :28  Then the children of Israel went away and did so;
                 just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so
                 they did.
            :29  And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck
                 all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, ...


A verse which has created some confusion is Exodus 12:14.

    Exod  12:14  So this day shall be to you a memorial; and
                 you shall keep[celebrate] it as a feast to
                 the LORD throughout your generations. You
                 shall keep it as a feast[celebration] by an
                 everlasting ordinance.
            :15  Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.
                 On the first day you shall remove leaven
                 from your houses. ...

Verse 14 immediately follows the text which first describes the 13th
Passover. The verse mentions 'this day', but is vague as to whether it
is referring to the 13th day or the following 14th day or the entire
7 day Passover period (14th to 20th). From the text of this verse it
can be seen that it is talking about a 'feast of celebration', which
conforms with the view that it is a reference to the 14th Passover or
the entire 7 day Passover feast. 


This 14th Passover was a service which could only be observed by those
who had been circumcised. This Passover was to observed in one house,
the house of God.

    Exod  12:43  And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the
                 ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it.
            :44  But every man's servant who is bought for money, when
                 you have circumcised him, then he may eat it.
            :45  A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it.
            :46  In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry
                 any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you
                 break one of its bones.
            :47  All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.
            :48  And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to
                 keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males
                 be circumcised, and then let him come near and
                 keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land.
                 For no uncircumcised person shall eat it.
            :49  One law shall be for the native-born and for the
                 stranger who dwells among you."
            :50  Thus all the children of Israel did; as the LORD
                 commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
            :51  And it came to pass, on that very same day, that
                 the LORD brought the children of Israel out of the
                 land of Egypt according to their armies.

The text advises that the children of Israel upon receipt of this ordinance
immediately performed what was commanded, but does not clearly state when
this ordinance was delivered. It is apparent that a mass circumcision could
not have taken place prior to the Exodus, due to the pain which would have
resulted on the third day (Gen 34:25).  

The following verse suggests the ordinance was announced when the children
of Israel reached Marah.

    Exod  15:22  So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then
                 they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And
                 they went three days in the wilderness and found
                 no water.
            :23  Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink
                 the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. ...
            :25  ... There He made a statute and an ordinance for
                 them. And there He tested them,

It seems that at Marah God required circumcision and advised some further
details in respect to the observance of the 14th Passover. 
(NB: An initial mass circumcision, at the time of the Exodus, is indicated
by Joshua 5:4-5.) 

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