• Eddie Rogers, Minister

True News 4 U — Passover 2020 — Part 9


The Exodus and the Feast of Unleavened Bread—Part Three


The Exodus from Egypt was an immense undertaking. The children of Israel did not simply wander out of the land of Egypt with their flocks and herds. The Exodus had to be properly organized, and all the people had to be instructed in advance what to do and where to go to assemble for the march. What an event it must have been! This was an entire nation being born at once, as it were, and moving wholly, bodily, with their possessions and animals—leaving forever! Their release from abject slavery had arrived! They were leaving as freed men and women, ransomed and person ally redeemed by YHWH Himself.


Now, we will thoroughly examine the Scriptures to learn exactly how, when, and where the Exodus began. As we study the Scriptural account given to us, we will begin to understand the magnitude of this event, and the time and logistics involved in getting so many people organized to march out of Egypt—perhaps as many as two million or more. But before we begin our study, let’s review the events that led up to the Exodus:


  • Element #1: The Passover lambs were killed immediately after sunset, or erev, of the 13th, at the beginning of ben ha arbayim of the 14th—which is the time between sun- set and dark.

  • Element #2: The lambs were killed at the houses of the children of Israel.

  • Element #3: The children of Israel were in their houses in the land of Goshen during the Passover. The children of Israel did not gather in tents at Rameses before keeping the Passover.

  • Element #4: To kill, roast, and eat the lambs, and to bum the remains, took all the hours from the beginning of ben ha arbayim until 2-3 hours before the sun rose on the morning of the 14th.

  • Element #5: The children of Israel remained in their houses in the land of Goshen all night after keeping the Passover. They did not leave their houses as soon as YHWH had passed at midnight, but remained in them until morning, or daybreak.

  • Element #6: The word “night,” translated from the Hebrew lailah, refers to the entire dark period of each twenty-four hour day. “Morning,” translated from the Hebrew boqer, does not begin immediately after midnight and does not include any of the dark hours of the night. Boqer begins at the first light of dawn, when the sun rises and brings the night to an end.

  • Element #7: The children of Israel spoiled the Egyptians after the completion of the plagues, when YHWH gave them favor in the eyes of the Egyptians. On the morning of the Passover day, they collected the spoils of their victory over the Egyptians.

  • Element #8: When and where did the Exodus begin?


We are now ready to study Vital Element #8, which differs from the other elements that we have already studied. This Element focuses on the Exodus. We will do the same with Element #8 as we have done with the previous 7 Elements and that is to look at the Scriptures more closely to get to the details in order to arrive at a better understanding and to grasp what is written in the Scriptures concerning the Exodus.


Element #8: When and Where Did the Exodus Begin?

The advocates of a 15th Passover are beset with many problems in their attempt to fit the events of the Passover and the Exodus into the same night, which allows only 9-11 hours from the killing of the Passover lambs until the beginning of the Exodus. In order to justify a 15th Passover, they have redefined the Hebrew terms that the Scriptures use to reveal the time at which the Passover began and the time at which the children of Israel left their houses to begin the Exodus. To make it appear that the Passover and the Exodus both occurred on the night of the 15th, they maintain that the children of Israel had assembled in Rameses before keeping the Passover. However, as we have learned in our previous study of Element #3, the Scriptural record shows that the children of Israel did not gather in Rameses before the Passover, but they kept the Passover in their houses in the land of Goshen.

Ignoring the plain statements of Scripture, the proponents of a 15th Passover regard a Passover on the night of the 14th as unacceptable because, as they view it, there would be a wasted day between the Passover and the Exodus. They see no reason why YHWH would allow a “day’s delay” before the beginning of the Exodus. The truth is that this erroneous concept exists only in their minds. If they had been honest and unbiased in their study of the Scriptural record, they would see that there was no delay at all in the events that occurred between the 14th Passover and the Exodus on the following night. But because of their preconceived notions, they cling to an imaginary sequence of events that is based on false and lying premises, and they adamantly maintain that the Passover and the Exodus both occurred on the night of the 15th. As a result of combining the Passover and the Exodus, they have reduced the eight days that YHWH ordained for the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread to only a seven-day observance.

In rejecting the 14th Passover, these scholars are following the error of the leaders of Judaism, who long ago departed from the Passover ordinance that YHWH had established and began to observe a 15th Passover. To justify this practice, they created false chronologies of the Passover and the Exodus by misinterpreting the Scriptural account. They were the first to claim that the children of Israel ate the Passover at Rameses on the night of the 15th, just before the Exodus began. They were the first to argue that a Passover on the night of the 14th would allow a “day’s delay” before beginning the Exodus.

Embracing these false interpretations of the Scriptural account, the advocates of a 15th Passover promote a seven-day Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread, calling the entire seven days “the Feast of Passover,” in accord with Jewish tradition. As one writer asserts, “The Passover [meal] itself, then, introduces the seven-day festival of Passover, or Unleavened Bread. It was actually a seven-day festival, not an eight-day festival” (William F. Dankenbring, When Should the Passover Be Observed?, p. 8).

This teaching violates the Scriptural command that the Passover be observed as a separate feast on the 14th day, followed by the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, making a total of eight days. The records of history verify that the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were originally observed as an eight-day festival. The observance was later reduced to seven days by men, contrary to the commands of YHWH.

Because they have relied on the Jewish tradition of a 15th Passover, Kuhn and Grabbe have discarded the true, Scriptural chronology of the Passover. They strongly support the Jewish tradition of Passover being on the same night as the Exodus. As we study their version of the Passover and the Exodus, we need to carefully note how they present the Scriptures. All too often, different ones will "twist" the Scriptures to suite their theologyreading into Scripture what is not there in order to make it say what they want to. This is called Eisegesis. We need to let the Scriptures speak for itself rather than force it to say something that is not there. This is called Exegesis. We will see that they use Scriptures that appear to justify their claims, while ignoring other Scriptures which clearly contradict the chronology that they have presented. Their error begins with the claim that the lambs were killed in the afternoon of the 14th, toward the end of the day. Building on that un-scriptural foundation, they make a second false claim: “The children of Israel were gathered in Rameses prior to the Passover.” As we have already seen in our study of Vital Element #3 and Vital Element #5, both of these claims are contradicted by the Scriptural account.

After building their theories on false premises, incomplete facts and misleading interpretations, they scorn the truth of Scripture and they reject Passover being observed on the night of the 14th as completely illogical. They support this opinion by claiming that a Passover before the night of the 15th would have allowed “a day’s delay” before the Exodus. Here are their statements:

“Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron at midnight. The Egyptians were as urgent to get the Israelites out as the Israelites were to leave. A day’s delay would have been unusual and there is no indication of one in Exodus. (Ex. 12:39 says explicitly that ‘they could not tarry’) They evidently got underway in a period between midnight and dawn which could be called both ‘morning’ and ‘night,’ thus staying in their houses until ‘morning’ while still leaving at ‘night’ thus stayed in their houses until ‘morning’ while still leaving at ‘night’

(The Passover in the Bible and the Church Today, p. 15, emphasis added)

In our study of Vital Element #6, we learned that the Scriptural definitions of “morning” and “night” allow no room for such a chronology of events on the Passover night. The fact that “morning” (boqer) is never used in Scripture to refer to any hour of the “night” (lailah) shows us that their theoretical scenario has no valid foundation. It is absolutely false, misleading and contrary to the Scriptural usage of the terms “morning” and “night.” Remember, truth agrees with Scripture; error does not agree with Scripture.

Having rejected the true chronology of the Passover, Kuhn and Grabbe appeal to human reasoning to support their speculation concerning a “day’s delay”:

“One might wonder why they would have waited the entire daylight portion of the 14th and then finally left only sometime after sundown on the 15th. They were already ready. They had already spoiled the Egyptians before the Passover. [Not true!] They had spent a sleepless night. The Egyptians wanted to rush them off. Why would they have delayed, even assuming they had to wait until sunrise before leaving their houses? They could still have been underway long before nightfall.”

(The Passover in the Bible and the Church Today, p. 16, comment added)

This scenario completely ignores the logistics of such an enormous undertaking as the Exodus, which involved about two million or more people with all their flocks and herds. When we understand the magnitude of the Exodus, all these false premises and distorted views of Scripture fall by the wayside. Let’s go back in Exodus Chapter 12 to the time that YHWH ordained the Passover day and gave it the name it still bears to this very day. Remember, Passover received its name because YHWH passed over the houses of the children of Israel:

12 ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night [the night of the 14th], and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast. And I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 13 And the blood shall be a sign to you upon the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will PASS OVER you. And the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt. 14 And THIS DAY [the Passover day] SHALL BE A MEMORIAL TO YOU. And you shall keep it [the Passover] a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it a feast AS A LAW FOREVER’.... 24 ‘And you shall observe this thing as a law [the Passover day and its ceremonies] to you and to your children forever. 25 And it shall be when you have come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as He has promised that you shall keep this service. 26 And it will be, when your children shall say to you, ‘What does this service mean to you? 27 Then you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the LORD’S Passover, Who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our houses.’ ”

(Exodus 12:12-14; 24-27, comments and emphasis added)


YHWH did not establish the Passover day as a memorial of the Exodus! The Scriptures clearly teach that the Passover day commemorates the passing over of the houses of the children of Israel. The Passover day, the 14th day of the first Hebrew month of Aviv (March/April), DOES NOT COMMEMORATE OR CELEBRATE THE EXODUS. The Feast of Unleavened Bread, which begins on the following day, the 15th day of the first Hebrew month of Aviv (March/April), is the feast that YHWH established to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt. This Feast, which immediately follows the Passover day, and lasts for seven days, makes a total festival season of eight days, according to the commands given to us by Almighty YHWH.


YHWH’s Commands for the Feast of Unleavened Bread


YHWH’s instructions for observing the Feast of Unleavened Bread begin in Exodus 12:15, following His command to keep the Passover as a separate memorial feast. Now we will examine the commands for the Feast of Unleavened Bread:

15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; howbeit the first day ye shall [have] put away leaven out of your houses, for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. 16 And in the first day there shall be to you a holy convocation, and in the seventh day a holy convocation; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you. 17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day [the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread] have I brought your hosts [armies] out of the land of Egypt; therefore shall ye observe this day throughout your generations by an ordinance for ever. 18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even [Hebrew ba erev, “at sunset,” ending the Passover day and beginning the 15th], ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even [Hebrew ba erev, “at sunset,” ending the 21st day and beginning the 22nd]. 19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses; for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a sojourner, or one that is born in the land. 20 Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.”

(Exodus 12:15-20, Jewish Publication Society of America, comments and emphasis added)


Fred R. Coulter has accurately translates ba erev as “at sunset,” clearly showing that the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins immediately after the Passover day ends:

17 And you shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for in this same day [the 15th, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread] I have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall keep this day in your generations as a law forever. 18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at sunset [ending the Passover day and beginning the 15th], you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at sunset [ending the 21st day].”

(Exodus 12:17-18, comments and emphasis added)


Some have erroneously equated the command in Exodus 12:6 to keep the Passover lambs “until the 14th” and slay them “at even” with the command in Exodus 12:18 to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread “on the fourteenth day of the month at even.” The wording of these two commands in the Hebrew text shows that they do not refer to the same time on the 14th. In Exodus 12:6, the words “at even” are translated from ben ha arbayim, which occurs at the beginning of the 14th. In Exodus 12:18, the words “at even” are translated from ba erev, and refer to the end of the 14th at sunset.


The Scriptures make it explicitly clear that the Passover day and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are two separate feasts with two different meanings. The Passover day, the 14th day of the first Hebrew month of Aviv (March/April), was established as a memorial feast to commemorate YHWH’s passing over the houses of the children of Israel. The 15th day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, was established as a memorial feast in commemoration of the Exodus:

And you shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for [for the following reason] in this SAME DAY I HAVE BROUGHT YOUR ARMIES OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT...”

(Exodus 12:17, comment and emphasis added)


Although both the Passover and the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are memorial feasts, they are not to be observed on the same day! The commands of YHWH as they are recorded in Leviticus Chapter 23 confirms to us the separate identity and timing of these two feast days:

4 These are the appointed seasons of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their appointed season. 5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at dusk [Hebrew ben ha arbayim], is the LORD’s passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD; seven days ye shall eat unleavened bread. 7 In the first day ye shall have a holy convocation.... 8 in the seventh day is a holy convocation...”

(Leviticus 23:4-8, Jewish Publication Society of America, comments and emphasis added)


Notice how Fred R. Coulter translates these commands:

4 These are the appointed feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month, between the two evenings [Hebrew ben ha arbayim, beginning immediately after sunset of the 13th], is the LORD’S Passover. 5 And on the fifteenth day [beginning at sunset (ba erev) of the 14th] of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD, You must eat unleavened bread seven days.”

(Leviticus 23:4-5, comments and emphasis added)


It is contrary to Scripture to observe the Passover on the 15th day of the first Hebrew month of Aviv (March/April), which begins the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is also contrary to Scripture to claim that the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the 14th, as some do. They point to Scriptures such as Ezekiel 45:21, which can easily be misinterpreted as evidence of a combined feast, and ignore other Scriptures which clearly contradict their belief. If they would carefully and objectively examine all the Scriptural commands, they would find no basis whatsoever for combining the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The two feasts are separate and they are to be observed on their respective days, just as YHWH commands in His Absolute Written Word.


YHWH DID NOT COMBINE THE PASSOVER AND THE FIRST DAY OF UNLEAVENED BREAD. It was the leaders of Judaism who changed the commandments of YHWH and they combined the two feasts into one feast, thus eliminating the 14th Passover and proclaiming the 15th as the Passover day, and then supporting their erroneous teaching with the empty argument of a “day’s delay.”


Assembling at Rameses for the Exodus


Having adopted the traditional teachings of Judaism, the advocates of a 15th Passover claim that the Passover was eaten on the night of the 15th, and that the children of Israel left their houses to begin the Exodus sometime after midnight but before dawn. This interpretation of the Scriptural account places the Passover and the Exodus in the same night, thus allowing no time for the children of Israel to travel to Rameses and assemble in their marching order before beginning the Exodus. The account in Exodus Chapter 12 clearly records for us that the children of Israel departed as an organized group from Rameses:

“And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses...”

(Exodus 12:37, emphasis added)


The book of Numbers gives us a detailed account of the Israelites departure from Rameses:

1 These are the journeys of the children of Israel, who went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies [showing an organized marching order] under the hand of Moses and Aaron. 2 And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the command of the LORD. And these are their journeys according to their starting places. 3 And they set out from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month. On the next day after the Passover day, the children of Israel went out with a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians, 4 while the Egyptians were still burying all their firstborn whom the LORD had stricken among them. The LORD also executed judgments upon their gods. 5 And the children of Israel set out from Rameses...”

(Numbers 33:1-5, emphasis added)


The Scriptures plainly show that the Exodus began from Rameses, not from the houses of the children of Israel, which were located in the land of Goshen. It required several hours of travel time to gather in their marching order at Rameses in preparation for the Exodus. The Exodus began as a well-organized march, not as a scattered movement of people and flocks. It is a gross distortion of the Scriptural account to claim that the Exodus began the moment the children of Israel left their houses in the land of Goshen.


It is clearly recorded in the Passover instructions in Exodus Chapter 12 that the children of Israel were forbidden to leave their houses until morning. According to the Scriptural definition of “morning,” which we learned in our study of Vital Element #6, they could not leave their houses until the first light of dawn or sunrise. They did not leave their houses as soon as YHWH had passed at midnight. They waited until the morning of the 14th had begun.


If the children of Israel had left their houses immediately after midnight, they would have been required to travel to Rameses in the darkness of night, since the pillar of fire did not appear until they had departed from Rameses:

21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; that they might go by day and by night: 22 the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, departed not from before the people.”

(Exodus 13:21-22)


Imagine the difficulties the children of Israel would have encountered if they had attempted to travel to Rameses by night with no light to guide them. Some families might have ended up in the wrong city and missed the Exodus! And how could they have kept their sheep and goats from being scattered along the way? It is no easy task to keep stragglers from wandering off during the daylight hours; it would have been an impossible task in the dark hours after midnight.


To claim that the children of Israel began the Exodus in this manner is not only illogical but totally un-scriptural. The account of the Passover events in Exodus Chapter 12 makes it explicitly clear that the children of Israel remained in their houses in the land of Goshen until the morning, or sunrise. They did not travel to Rameses to assemble for the Exodus until the darkness of night had ended. At daybreak on the 14th, they left their houses and completed the spoiling of the Egyptians before assembling in their marching order at Rameses.


The Logistics of the Exodus


Those who support a 15th Passover deny that the logistics involved in moving the entire nation of Israel would have prevented the Exodus from taking place in the same night as the Passover. They claim,

“Despite the logistics of getting such a large group underway, this could have been done since they were already prepared and knew the death angel would pass about midnight.”

(Robert L. Kuhn and Lester L. Grabbe, The Passover in the Bible and the Church Today, p. 8)


Scholars should be the first to acknowledge that the Exodus was entirely a matter of logistics. It requires careful planning and organization to move a large mass of people even with modern means of transportation. But the children of Israel did not have our modern transportation system available to them at that time. They marched out on their own two feet like an army, all their families were loaded with spoiled possessions—jewels of silver, gold and clothing—and accompanied by their flocks and herds. The Scriptures record the number of adult males at about 600,000. Estimating an equal number of women and one child per adult, there could have been as many as 2,400,000 people. The Scriptures describe their departure from Rameses:

37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, the men being about six hundred thousand on foot, apart from little ones. 38 And also a mixed multitude went up with them, and flocks and herds, very much livestock. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not stay, neither had they prepared any food for themselves for the journey.”

(Exodus 12:37-39, emphasis added)


The description of the Exodus in Numbers Chapter 33 shows us that the assembling in Rameses was not a jumbled, mass congregation of people and animals, such as a town square gathering might be but rather, it was an orderly arrangement in columns. As we have read, the “hosts,” or armies, of the children of Israel went forth “stage by stage” (Numbers 33:1-2). Moses and Aaron had undoubtedly instructed the children of Israel to assemble by their tribes at prearranged areas along the highway south and east of Rameses, heading toward the Red Sea. They would have organized in columns after having arrived at their designated places sometime during the daylight portion of the 14th. When all the tribes of Israel were assembled, the columns must have extended for at least ten miles in length. With their flocks and herds along each side of the highway, the columns were very wide. The children of Israel whose houses were closer to Rameses would have been the first to form the marching columns. Those whose houses were located farther from Rameses would have arrived later and would consequently have formed the ends of the columns.


When we analyze the logistics involved in organizing hundreds of thousands of people into orderly columns for a prolonged march, with all their animals and possessions, it is easy to see why YHWH allotted the entire daylight portion of the 14th for the preparations for the Exodus. The Scriptural account shows us that the children of Israel spent the early hours of the day of the 14th for spoiling the Egyptians. Many more hours of the day passed as families from every part of Goshen journeyed to Rameses and formed into columns according to their marching order. When the 14th day ended at sunset, or ba erev, the entire nation was ready to march, and the Exodus began.


It is hard for us to comprehend the magnitude of the Exodus. It might be helpful to relate it to a modern day event which involves a large mass of people. Most of us are familiar with the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. If you have ever watched all or even part of this parade, you will begin to see and understand the enormity of the Exodus. The following information was supplied by the Office of The Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, California.


Each year there are approximately 1,000,000 people who assemble in Pasadena to watch the Rose Parade in person. They are either gathered in stands or sitting or standing on the sides of the street, which is about 80 feet wide. The parade route itself is 5.5 miles long. The parade takes two hours to pass by any set point, making the speed of the parade 2.75 miles per hour, which is the speed of the slowest walking participant and also includes the times when the entire parade completely stops for several minutes. At the beginning of the parade route, the parade starts at 8:10 AM and ends at 10:10 AM. At the end of the parade route, the parade begins at 10:10 AM and ends at 12:10 PM. In reality, the parade is four hours long, although it takes only two hours for it to pass any set point along the parade route.


The people who watch the parade are crowded rather closely together in stands or beside buildings along the parade route. It can be estimated that the 1,000,000 people who watch the parade are crowded into an area no more than 75 feet wide, on both sides of the street, along the 5.5 mile parade route. In many places, the width is less than 75 feet. The street is reserved for the parade participants, who march or ride on horses, on floats or in cars.


Those who have viewed the Rose Parade on television have some awareness of the enormous crowds of people who mass together for this event. By doubling this huge crowd in our “mind’s eye,” we can begin to grasp the magnitude of the Exodus. The columns that formed for the Exodus could have been as long as ten miles and quite wide because of the animals being herded along the sides of the highway. At the perimeters of the column, men were probably appointed as sentinels to keep the march organized and moving in the right direction, and to keep the herds and flocks from wandering off.


Fred R. Coulter states: Thirty-five years ago, while writing a booklet about the Passover controversy, I contacted two specialists in military logistics who were Lieutenant Colonels at Fort Ord, California, and presented the mathematical facts concerning the Exodus. As logistics experts, they concluded that it would not have been possible for the children of Israel to leave their homes after midnight and immediately begin the Exodus. To assemble and move an entire nation of hundreds of thousands of people at one time required expert planning by a master of logistics.


Israel’s departure from Egypt was planned by the Supreme Master of Logistics—YHWH was in charge! Moreover, YHWH’s servant Moses, who had been Pharaoh’s heir apparent and general over the Egyptian armies, was trained in military logistics and organization many years before YHWH called him to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.


In view of the number of people and the distances involved, the two military specialists concluded that the assembling for the Exodus could have been completed within the daylight portion of the 14th, which is the Scriptural time frame. Their standard for calculating the required time was the rate at which a trained army can move on foot. Allowing a ten-minute break every hour, an army can travel at the rate of 2 to 2.5 miles per hour. Refugees, as the children of Israel would be considered, normally traveled at a much slower rate, perhaps 1.5 miles per hour. However, since the Egyptians were urging them to leave in haste, it would be reasonable to estimate their rate of travel at a minimum of 2 miles per hour.


The Scriptural account clearly shows that the children of Israel did not leave their houses until morning. Our study of Vital Element #6 has demonstrated that “morning” in Scripture begins with the first light of dawn. This places the time of leaving their houses at about five o’clock in the morning. Traveling at a rate of about 2 miles per hour, those who lived the farthest from Rameses would have arrived at their designated assembly areas by late afternoon of the 14th, only a short time before the Exodus would begin. Those who arrived earlier would have had additional time to eat and rest before beginning the long journey out of Egypt. When we understand that the entire daylight portion of the 14th was spent in assembling and preparing for the Exodus, we can see the utter falseness in the claim of a “day’s delay.” Those who support this false notion are ignoring the plain facts of Scripture!


When the sun began to set, ending the 14th, and beginning the 15th, the children of Israel were all ready to begin the Exodus. Estimating the total length of the marching columns at approximately ten miles and the rate of travel at about 2 miles per hour, it would have taken approximately five hours for the last of the children of Israel to leave Rameses. The first column would have begun to march out at about 6 PM, as the sun was setting, and the end of the last column would have left the city at about eleven o’clock on the night of the 15th.


The Timing of the Exodus


The account of Israel’s departure from Rameses shows that the Exodus was planned by YHWH long in advance. Notice the use of the phrase “the very same day” to emphasize this fact:

37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, the men being about six hundred thousand on foot, apart from little ones. 38 And also a mixed multitude went up with them, and flocks and herds, very much livestock. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not stay, neither had they prepared any food for themselves for the journey. 40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.... 41 even on that same day, all the armies of the LORD went out [assembled and marching like an army] from the land of Egypt. 42 It is a night to be much observed to the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD to be observed [the night they departed from Rameses, not the night of the passing over] by all the children of Israel in their generations...”

(Exodus 12:37-42, comments and emphasis added)


Exodus 12:17 clearly identifies the day of the Exodus—the “very same day”—as the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread:

“And you shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for in this same day I have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt.”

(Exodus 12:17, emphasis added)


There is no question concerning the day of Israel’s departure from Rameses. The account in Exodus Chapter 12 reveals that the children of Israel left Rameses on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread—the 15th day of the first Hebrew month of Aviv (March/April)—and this fact is confirmed in Numbers 33:3. We know that they did not wait until the morning of the 15th, as Exodus Chapter 12 records that they departed by night. In Exodus 12:42, that night is called “a night to be much observed unto the LORD for all the children of Israel throughout their generations”—showing that it was to be observed year by year as a memorial of the Exodus.


The Scriptures make it absolutely clear that the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread was ordained to commemorate the act of YHWH in “bringing them out from the land of Egypt.” This feast day—the 15th day of the first Hebrew month of Aviv (March/April)—does not commemorate the act of YHWH in passing over their houses before they left Egypt. The passing over did not occur in the same day as the Exodus; and therefore the Passover should not be observed on the night that commemorates the Exodus.


Those who make the mistake of combining the Passover with the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread have lost sight of the special meaning that YHWH has designated for each of these feasts. YHWH Himself appointed the 14th day of the first Hebrew month of Aviv (March/April) as the Passover day, and the 15th as the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The 14th and 15th days of the first Hebrew month of Aviv (March/April) played a significant role in YHWH's plan from the earliest times—long before Israel’s first Passover and the Exodus from Egypt. As the account in Exodus Chapter 12 shows us, the children of Israel departed from Rameses exactly 430 years from the day that YHWH established His covenant with their forefather Abraham:

41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, it was even on that very same day, all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It is a night to be much observed to the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD to be observed by all the children of Israel in their generations”

(Exodus 12:41-42, emphasis added)


Four hundred and thirty years before the Exodus, on the “very same day,” YHWH made a covenant with Abraham, which included a promise to bring his descendants out of bondage and bestow on them great wealth:

13 And He said to Abram, ‘You must surely know that your seed shall be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, (and shall serve them and afflict them) four hundred years. 14 And also I will judge that nation whom they shall serve. And afterward they shall come out with great substance.”

(Genesis 15:13-14, emphasis added)


YHWH fulfilled His promise to Abraham when Israel departed from Rameses on the “very same day” 430 years later with great substance. They marched out of Rameses as the 15th day of the first Hebrew month of Aviv (March/April) was beginning at sunset. That is why YHWH designated the night of the 15th as a memorial for all generations to come:

“...This is that night of the LORD to be observed by all the children of Israel in their generations.”

(Exodus 12:42, emphasis added)


Some who combine the events of the Passover and the Exodus claim that the children of Israel were watching for the destroyer of the firstborn on that night. But that is not what the Scriptures say! The account in Exodus Chapter 12 proclaims the night of the 15th as “a night to be much observed to the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt...” (Exodus 12:42). It is “a night to be much observed to the LORD,” because it was the night when YHWH Himself was personally watching over them, protecting them and leading them out of the land of Egypt:

21 And the LORD went before them [God Himself leading] by day in a pillar of a cloud to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, to go by day and night. 22 He did not take away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night from before the people.”

(Exodus 13:21-22, comment added)


When Pharaoh with his soldiers and chariots pursued the children of Israel, YHWH supernaturally protected them. YHWH was watching over them from the cloud. Here is what YHWH did to shield and protect them from their enemies, when they were trapped by the Red Sea:

19 And the angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved. And he went to the rear of them. And the pillar of the cloud went from in front of them and it stood behind them. 20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptian and the camp of Israel. It was a cloud of darkness to one, [on the Egyptian side of the cloud], but gave light by night to the other [on the Israelite side of the cloud], so that the two did not come near one another all night.”

(Exodus 14:19-20, comment added)


That night YHWH separated the waters of the Red Sea and completely dried the seabed so that the children of Israel could cross to the other side. After they had safely crossed the Red Sea, YHWH again protected them by disabling the Egyptians’ chariots:

24 And in the morning watch it came to pass that the LORD looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and the army of the Egyptians was thrown into confusion. 25 And He loosened their chariot wheels, and made them go heavily, so that the Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians.’ ”

(Exodus 14:24-25)


All these events bear testimony to YHWH’s miraculous protection of the children of Israel from the time that He led them forth from Rameses on the night of the 15th day of the first Hebrew month of Aviv (March/April), which began the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is proper and right to celebrate this night to commemorate what YHWH did in bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt. Some have condemned the observance of this night, claiming that such an observance is an invention of men. But the commemoration of this special night did not originate in the minds of men! YHWH commands us to observe this night. It is the beginning of YHWH’s proclaimed Holy Day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is “a night to be much observed,” because on that night YHWH brought the children of Israel out of Egypt.


The Scriptures clearly record that the Exodus began at the going down of the sun, and continued on into the night:

1 ...the LORD your God brought you forth out of Egypt BY NIGHT.... 6 at sunset [ba erev, the beginning of the 15th], at the going down of the sun, at the time that you came out of Egypt.”

(Deuteronomy 16:1, 6, comment and emphasis added)


As these verses show, the children of Israel began leaving Rameses as the sun was setting, ending the 14th day of the first Hebrew month of Aviv (March/April). But they did not complete their departure until long after the darkness of night had come—the night of the 15th! THEY DEPARTED FROM EGYPT BY NIGHT! Based on the logistics of the Exodus, we have estimated that it was about eleven o’clock at night when the last of the children of Israel departed from Rameses.


Their Exodus from Egypt began on the night of the 15th, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This was not the same night that YHWH killed the Egyptian firstborn and passed over the houses of the children of Israel, as the Scriptures record:

3 And they set out from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month. On the next day after the Passover day, the children of Israel went out with a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians, 4 while the Egyptians were still burying all their firstborn whom the LORD had stricken among them. The LORD also executed judgments upon their gods.”

(Numbers 33:3-4, emphasis added)


Numbers 33:3 specifically states that the children of Israel departed from Rameses on the 15th day of the first Hebrew month of Aviv (March/April). Nothing could be more plain! As we have seen, Deuteronomy Chapter 16 shows us that the Israelites departure began at sunset and continued late into the night of the 15th.


The account in Numbers Chapter 33 also records that when the children of Israel departed, the Egyptians were burying their dead. If the children of Israel had kept the Passover at Rameses that same night, as the proponents of a 15th Passover declare, the Egyptians would have been burying their dead only minutes after YHWH had struck them dead. They would have been outside digging graves in the dark hours after midnight! Such action would have been unthinkable if that had been the night in which the plague had struck, bringing death and terror to every Egyptian household.


The Scriptural record of the burial of the Egyptian firstborn clearly contradicts the claim that the Exodus began shortly after midnight. The Egyptians would obviously not have begun to bury their dead in the darkness of night, long before sunrise. Once again, error does not agree with Scripture!


Although the Egyptians began to bury their firstborn on the morning of the Passover day, the burials had not been completed when the Exodus began at sunset. It is difficult to estimate how many Egyptian firstborn died in the plague because we have no historical record of the population of Egypt at that time. The only record the Scriptures give us is the number of Israelite men, which was 600,000. Based on that figure, we have estimated the total number of the children of Israel to be approximately 2,400,000. If the ratio to the population of Egypt was one Israelite for every ten Egyptians, there would have been a total population of 24,000,000 Egyptians. On the average, the percentage of firstborn in a population normally runs about 20 per cent. Multiplying the population of Egypt by this percentage, the number of firstborn at that time would have been about 4,800,000! Think of it— 4,800,000, the pride of Egypt, dying violent, excruciating deaths!


EGYPT WAS A NATION TRULY WASTED AND DESTROYED BY YHWH. THEIR FIRSTBORN KILLED! THEIR LAND DESTROYED! CROPS UTTERLY WASTED! ANIMAL POPULATION DECIMATED! AND IN THE END, THEIR WEALTH GONE!


The Mighty One/God of Israel had stretched out His mighty arm and executed His judgments against the Egyptians and their false gods. The gods of Egypt were worthless and powerless in the face of the One True Mighty One/God! They could not protect the cattle of Egypt from the plague of murrain (an infectious disease, especially babesiosis, affecting cattle or other animals). They could not deliver the people of Egypt from the grievous plague of boils and the terrifying plague of darkness. They could not protect the land of Egypt from the devastating plagues of hail and locusts, nor could they keep the waters of Egypt from turning to blood. And worst of all, they could not prevent the plague that robbed Egypt of her firstborn—her pride and strength.


YHWH had not only delivered His people from Egyptian bondage, but He had utterly vanquished the Egyptian nation that had oppressed the Israelites. Led by Israels all powerful Mighty One/God, the children of Israel departed in triumph and great victory. The Scriptures record that..

the children of Israel went out with a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.”

(Numbers 33:3, emphasis added)


Exodus Chapter 13 Confirms that the Feast of Unleavened Bread Commemorates the Exodus


As Numbers Chapter 33 records, it was “on the 15th day of the first month; on the morrow after the Passover” that the Exodus began with Israel’s triumphant march out of Rameses (Numbers 33:3, Jewish Publication Society of America). On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, beginning at sunset and continuing on into the night, YHWH brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. The account in Exodus Chapter 12 calls that night “a night to be much observed to the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:42)


As the children of Israel prepared to begin the Exodus on the 15th day of the first Hebrew month of Aviv (March/April), Moses gave these instructions to them:

3 Remember this day in which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for the LORD brought you out from this place by the strength of His hand. There shall be no leavened bread eaten. 4 On this day [the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread—the 15th day of the first month] you are going out, in the month Abib.”

(Exodus 13:3-4, comment and emphasis added)


The following verses in Exodus Chapter 13 record YHWH’s command to them to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread each year as a memorial of their Exodus from Egypt:

5 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring you into the land of the Canaanites and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month. 6 You shall eat unleavened bread seven days, and in the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And there shall be no leavened bread seen with you, nor shall there be leaven seen with you in all thy borders.
8 And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, ‘This is because of that what the LORD did for me when I came out from Egypt. 9 And it shall be a sign to you upon your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD’S law may be in your mouth, for with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt. 10 You shall therefore keep this law in its season from year to year.”

(Exodus 13:5-10, emphasis added)


This passage in Exodus Chapter 13 plainly shows us that the Feast of Unleavened Bread commemorates the Exodus, when YHWH brought the children of Israel out of Egypt with a strong hand and mighty power:

3 Remember this day in which you came out of Egypt.... 4 On this day you are going out.... 5 shall keep this service in this month.... 6 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days.... 8 tell your son in that day...This is because of what the LORD did for me WHEN I CAME OUT OF EGYPT.... 9 a sign...a memorial... with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt.... 10 keep this law in its season from year to year.”

(Exodus 13:3-10, emphasis added)


Could anything be more clearer than these commands given to us by Almighty YHWH? It is explicitly stated in these verses that the Feast of Unleavened Bread is to be observed for seven days as a memorial commemorating the Exodus. Israel’s journey out of Egypt lasted the entire seven days of this feast. The children of Israel began the Exodus when they departed from Rameses on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and on the seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread they ended their march out of Egypt by crossing the Red Sea! On the seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, YHWH completed the deliverance of His people from their Egyptian oppressors:

29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land through the middle of the sea. And the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 30 So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians…. 31 And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians. And the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses.”

(Exodus 14:29-31, emphasis added)


The miracle of YHWH’s deliverance at the Red Sea has great significance for Christians today. As YHWH completely delivered the children of Israel from their bondage in Egypt, so He now delivers His people from bondage to sin. Since leaven is used in Scripture to represent sin and error, living in an unleavened condition symbolizes living in a state of righteousness before YHWH. That is the spiritual lesson which the Feast of Unleavened Bread teaches us. Is it any wonder that YHWH commands His people to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, as well as the Passover? Each of these feasts has it own special meaning, and each is to be observed at the time appointed by Almighty YHWH.


All of the Feast if YHWH are for His people. Who are His people? That is easy. All who have repented of their sins and asked YHWH for His forgiveness of their sins and then they ask Yeshua/Jesus to come into their lives and change them. These are those who have been grafted into Israel. All Israel are to keep/do/obey His Commandments. Part of His Commandments is to observe all of His Set-Apart (Holy/Dedicated) Mo’edim/Appointed Times. This applies to all Christians no matter what denomination or non-denomination that they may be associated with. It is not a matter of have to, but rather it is a matter of I get to do these things.” After all, we will be observing His Appointed Times when Yeshua/Jesus returns. Check out Ezekiel Chapters 40 thru 48. This is a good place to start. Christians are not exempt from observing all of His Appointed Times.


When we compare what the Scriptures reveal about the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, it is clear that they were instituted as separate feasts to commemorate two different events:


The Passover: “And it will be, when your children shall say to you, ‘What does this service mean to you? Then you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the LORD’S Passover, Who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our houses” (Exodus 12:26-27).


The Feast of Unleavened Bread: “And you shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for in this very same day [the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread] I have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt....And it came to pass at the end of four hundred and thirty years, it was even on the very same day, all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night to be much observed to the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD....Remember this day, in which you came out of Egypt....On this day you are going out....you shall keep this service in this month. You shall eat unleavened bread seven days” (Exodus 12:17, 41-42; Exodus 13:3-6).


The Passover was instituted as a one-day service, a memorial of YHWH’s passing over their houses in Egypt, to be observed on the 14th day of the first Hebrew month of Aviv (March/April). The Feast of Unleavened Bread was instituted as a seven day observance, beginning on the 15th day of the first Hebrew month of Aviv (March/April). The first day of Unleavened Bread commemorates the beginning of the Exodus, and the seventh day commemorates the completion of the Exodus out of Egypt with the total destruction of the enemy at the Red Sea.


We have studied every aspect of the Exodus, and we have seen that the Scriptures do not support the claim that the Passover was observed on the night of the 15th, which was the night that the Exodus began. The Scriptural accounts clearly separate the Passover day from the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As we will see in our next study titled Did YHWH Alter His Commands for the Passover?, we will see the observance for a 15th Passover was developed hundreds of years after Israel left Egypt. The ordinance for the domestic sacrifice of the Passover lambs was changed to a Temple sacrifice long before Yeshua/Jesus was born by Judaism. We will examine the Scriptures to learn whether the Temple sacrifice of the Passover lambs was commanded by YHWH. Stay tuned!



0 views

True News 4 U does not claim credit for any of the images that are used with any post on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on each news article are copyright to their respective owners.

    If you like what you read, please consider donating to this ministry to help offset the expense of this website to continue to provide you with fresh, informative news and more.   

Informing, Warning and Educating since 2012