Insights Into The Exodus
The Feast Of Unleavened Bread
This year’s Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, in 2016, have been a wonderful time of discovery for me, so much so that I thought I would record for posterity those things I believe our merciful ABBA has brought to light for me in this season of my life.
The revelations all seemed to begin the night of Passover and continued for several weeks. I say ‘revelations’ but honestly, although they are ‘revelations’ to me, they are extraordinarily simple insights and yet in my mind rather profound in that they have the power to transform my observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread into something so much more meaningful and memorable. Maybe they’ll do the same for you! As unlikely as it would seem I have never before seen these subtle nuances in the Scriptural text before, which makes me wonder how many other gems I’m bulldozing past as I read the Scriptures! As the first revelations came they seemed to open doors to other revelations but as I’ve noticed before in my days of Scriptural discovery they didn’t necessarily come in logical order! I’ll try to discuss them with you in a somewhat more logical order than they came to me!
First off, I stumbled across a new translation... actually not new, but new to me, it’s The Scriptures 2009 and I like it a lot! I’ll be quoting from it throughout this article unless otherwise noted. (For formatting reasons I will be replacing the Hebrew Tetragrammaton with it’s English equivalent throughout this article.)
I hadn’t read from this translation much at all having only recently downloaded it from My Sword but when Passover season came and I began to read Exodus 12 from TS2009 I fell in love with it! As a Full Moon Rosh Chodesh Lunar Sabbath observer I couldn’t ask for a better translation of Exodus 12:1-2.
And YHWH spoke to Mosheh and to Aharon in the land of Mitsrayim, saying, “This new moon is the beginning of new moons for you, it is the first new moon of the year for you. (Exodus 12:1-2 TS2009)
As I read that translation of those verses the mental picture that forms in my mind’s eye is that of YHWH speaking to Moses as Moses is standing outside under the heavens one evening witnessing a particular phase of the moon according to a particular situation in the spring of the year. From my perspective, that is as good as it gets! Why would I say that? Because as I’m reading it I am thinking forward to Deuteronomy 16:1, which is translated incorrectly, in my opinion, by nearly every translation I’ve checked. Here’s Deuteronomy 16:1 according to TS2009.
“Guard the new moon of Aḇiḇ, and perform the Pĕsaḥ to YHWH your Elohim, for in the new moon of Aḇib YHWH your Elohim brought you out of Mitsrayim by night. (Deuteronomy 16:1 TS2009)
That makes so much more sense than other translations that tell us to guard the ‘month’ of Abib. Rather than ‘guarding’ or ‘observing’ the month of Abib we are to ‘guard’ or ‘observe’ the New Moon of Abib, i.e. the 1st Day of the 1st New Moon, i.e. New Year's Day as a 'day' of festival!
This then has me looking forward to Psalm 81:3, which TS2009 translates this way.
Blow a shophar in the New Moon, in the covering for the day of our festival. (Psalm 81:3 TS2009)
I am convinced that “in the covering” which is translated from the Hebrew word ‘keseh’ is a reference to the Full Moon, which is how ‘keseh’ is also defined, when the moon is covered with light.
Although I love the TS2009 translation I am not at all convinced that the above is the best translation of Psalm 81:3. Here is the same verse from the WEB-HNV...
Blow the shofar at the New Moon, at the full moon, on our feast day. (WEB-HNV Psalm 81:3)
Many translations translate ‘keseh’ as 'Full Moon' just as the WEB-HNV does above.
In my mind Psalm 81:3 is referring to Exodus 12:2 which I’ll quote again.
And YHWH spoke to Mosheh and to Aharon in the land of Mitsrayim, saying, “This new moon is the beginning of new moons for you, it is the first new moon of the year for you. (Exodus 12:1-2 TS2009)
The context of Psalm 81 is without a doubt the exodus out of Egypt and therefore Exodus 12:2, when the 1st New Moon of New Moons is revealed to Moses, it is referencing a Full Moon as is Psalm 81:3. And according to Deuteronomy 16:1 we are specifically commanded to ‘guard’ or ‘observe’ that New Moon, the Full New Moon beginning the New Year!
“Guard the new moon of Abib, and perform the Pĕsah to YHWH your Elohim brought you out of Mitsrayim by night. (Deuteronomy 16:1 The Scriptures 2009)
Fifteen days later, in the darkness of the Dark Moon Conjunction the exodus began and the Israelites left Egypt behind at night via a column of fire to give them light, something the Egyptians didn’t have!
And YHWH went before them by day in a column of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a column of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. (Exodus 13:21 TS2009)
Having established ‘when’ the Feast of Unleavened Bread takes place it would be good to also establish what the Israelite’s unleavened bread was made of. Ever since I began striving to keep the Festival of Unleavened Bread I’ve always used wheat flour to make the unleavened bread, often times mixing white flour with whole wheat in a 50/50 mix. I would venture to bet almost everyone is using wheat flour for their unleavened bread because that's what we use to make our bread in the western world. But is that what the Israelites used way back then? Was it just plain old wheat bread or was it a bit more elaborate? Multi-grain? Seeds? Nuts? I have done a bit of digging and have concluded that the bread the Israelites would have been eating, whether leavened or unleavened would have been made from Hulled Barley! Not wheat! When the Israelites finally enter into the Promised Land forty years later they were to offer a First Fruits offering of the land on the 16th Day of the 1st New Moon. That First Fruits offering was of the Barley crop! They were also commanded to eat of the old corn up to the First Fruits offering when they could then eat of the new corn. If the new corn is barley then the old corn is barley too! Barley had the reputation of being the poor man’s grain, a grain with a humble character. I’ve always wondered why Yeshua, who fulfills the First Fruits offering from earth to heaven when He ascends from the grave to heaven, would associate Himself with the barley harvest. And that those who are of the 1st Resurrection are also considered First Fruits of the barley crop, why? Wouldn’t you think both would be more accurately represented by the wheat harvest? Isn’t wheat the more esteemed grain of those who were of the upper class? But then I remembered the Sermon on the Mount where Yeshua says,
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, because theirs is the reign of the heavens.” (Matthew 5:3 The Scriptures 2009)
Then I made the connection to the humility of those who will one day reign in the heavens, those who are ‘poor in spirit’, the spiritually needy! Barley as the poor man’s grain is the perfect representation of those who seek the One who ‘humbled’ Himself on the pagan cross of the Roman Empire!
I’ve now had the opportunity to test the waters with the barley matzah and have had a pleasant experience in that I have eaten nothing but unleavened barley bread during the 2017 Feast of Unleavened Bread and even though I have manifested signs of hypoglycemia over the last two plus decades I can honestly say that I got through the week with flying colors! That happened to be a week of heavy lifting at work so I was very pleased to have gotten through it without difficulty.
Although I think we should keep things pretty basic to reflect the deliverance our ancestors lived through, that is the whole purpose of the feast, I did splurge by adding some Olive Oil, Rosemary and Sea Salt the last two days. That made the unleavened barley much more palatable, improving both its taste and texture. Personally, I wouldn’t get far beyond that in dressing it up, but now that I’m thinking about it I might try adding some garlic! Oops, tried the garlic and didn’t care for it but do you see the slippery slope we all too willingly trend towards? We’re always trending toward dressing things up, never being satisfied with just the basic. The point here is not to get legalistic about how you prepare the unleavened barley bread but do keep in mind that Yeshua was the fulfillment of the First Fruits of the barley harvest, can you imagine Him being ‘dressed up’ to make Him more ‘palatable’? Keep the unleavened barley bread as the focus of the diet for the entire week of the feast.
The next revelation that eventually surfaced came through my son and daughter-in-law who claimed that the Israelites made all of the unleavened bread dough, probably on the 14th Day of the 1st Month, which is always the preparation day for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and packed the entire amount of unleavened bread dough on their back that they would then bake and eat day-by-day during the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. In other words all of the baked unleavened bread for the entire week was made from dough that was made before they left Egypt!
And the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their garments on their shoulders. (Exodus 12:34 TS2009)
After having tried this in 2017 I quickly realized there is a problem with that view. I mixed all of the dough I thought I would require for the entire week of Unleavened Bread on the 14th Day of the 1st New Moon, the Preparation Day, I kept the dough in the bowl I mixed it in and covered the bowl with a plastic bag. (It would have been better to use a cloth towel.) Each day I would use dough from that bowl and bake my unleavened barley bread. With every day that passed, the aroma of the dough changed, becoming more and more pungent. So much so that one day when I walked into the presence of my Grandson he immediately reacted in a VERY negative fashion questioning, “Eww, Eww, What is that smell?” Honestly, I didn’t think it was that bad and was actually eating it! Two days later... can you imagine how much worse the smell had gotten? The bitter reality had manifested visually... MOLD! Please keep in mind that I have no cooking skills and NEVER make bread! When my son had told me the Israelites had made their unleavened bread during the 7 days of the feast from dough they had brought out of Egypt I clearly remember protesting saying maybe they would have baked all of their unleavened bread before they left Egypt but surely they didn’t make unleavened bread from dough that was up to 7 days old! My protest was based on the thought that the dough couldn’t remain unleavened for seven days, after all, the rabbis say you have to bake the bread within 18 minutes of mixing the dough! Otherwise, according to them the leavening process has begun, I think this is Rabbinic nonsense at its best and don’t adhere to this oral tradition. Nevertheless, at the first opportunity I looked at the Scriptures and sure enough... both Exodus 12:34 & 39 confirmed what my son was saying. At least every translation I have available to me confirms what he was saying. So did the Israelites have to eat unleavened bread made from moldy dough after the first day? Not likely! Did they use something in their ingredients to prevent mold from occurring after the first day? Again, Not likely! There is certainly no Scriptural support for such a hypothesis. So what’s the deal?
In my 2017 observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which ended just yesterday as I write this, when I was eating nothing but unleavened barley bread for the entire feast for the first time, I noticed the small colonies of mold on the dough the morning of the fifth day. Now please... try to smile as you read this... I’m just a bachelor cave man trying to survive! Okay, shake your head if you must! But when I saw the mold I obviously concluded, “Uh oh, this isn’t good!” and I proceeded to remove the mold by hand! Once I couldn’t see anymore mold I baked two more matzah! With YAH as my witness I swear this is true! What’s worse, throughout the course of a heavy workday, I ate them! And having done so I concluded, “That really didn’t taste all that good!” I’m slow but brilliant! After much deliberation on the matter I decided I needed to do something different! For the 6th and 7th Day of the feast I batched fresh dough each day and tinkered with the ingredients list finally settling on adding Olive Oil, Rosemary and Sea Salt to the mix, I baked fresh matzah each day for the remainder of the feast saving the moldy dough for a memorial picture!
So once again, what’s the deal? How can I reconcile the true Written Word of YHWH with my personal reality? Last night as my head rested on the pillow of my bed having just eaten the last matzah of my Feast of Unleavened Bread observance I wondered what I would find if I looked up the word translated as ‘dough’ in Exodus 12:34 & 39 in every translation I’ve checked. It was an eye opener this morning when I followed up on last night’s thought. Here is the Strong’s Definition...
Strong’s Definition: From H1216; dough (as swelling by fermentation): - dough, flour.
Here is the root word H1216...
Strong’s Definition: A primitive root; perhaps to swell up, that is blister: - swell.
Do you see a possible problem? Or maybe even two...
The Strong’s Definition includes ‘flour’ as a definition of H1217! Then in the Strong’s Definition of H1216, which is the root word of H1217, it uses the phrase ‘perhaps to swell up, that is blister’. The word ‘perhaps’ does not give me a whole lot of confidence in this definition! But setting the root word H1216 aside I also noticed that H1217 is translated as ‘flour’ in 2 Samuel 13:8! I’ll quote it for you with the Strong’s number included...
So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was laid down. And she took flour (H1217), and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes. (2 Samuel 13:8 KJV)
The verse has a note attached to it which says, “flour: or, paste”. The verse is variously translated using ‘flour’, ‘dough’ and ‘paste’.
Allowing Exodus 12:34 to speak naturally to us and translating H1217 ‘bâtsêq’ as ‘flour’ we can know beyond a shadow of doubt ‘why’ the Israelites took their ‘flour’ before it was leavened. I’ll quote the verse again, but this time I’ll replace ‘dough’ with ‘flour’...
And the people took their ‘flour’ (H1217 bâtsêq) before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their garments on their shoulders. (Exodus 12:34)
It is undeniable that the first step in making leavened bread is to add water; the second step is to knead the flour into dough. That being done all that is now needed is time for the dough to rise. To assist in that process a sour dough starter can be kneaded into the fresh batch of dough. There is no doubt however, that the Israelites didn’t use the sour dough starter (śe’ôr) seeing as they were commanded to remove the śe’ôr from their homes in verse 19. Without the śe’ôr the leavening process takes much longer, so much so that even though the leavening process begins once water is added to the flour it will not be considered leavened for quite some time. From my experience this year working with barley flour I would have to say that the leavening process is much slower than it would be with wheat flour. In other words if you bake bread from barley dough that has not been leavened with śe’ôr or has been setting around for a long enough time to begin to swell it is still considered unleavened bread. So why should H1217 ‘bâtsêq’ be translated as ‘flour’? Exodus 12:34 tells us straight forwardly...
...having their kneading bowls bound up in their garments on their shoulders.
They were in a state of haste, their kneading bowls were bound up in their garments on their shoulders and they couldn’t knead the ‘flour’ into ‘dough’ and therefore it remained ‘unleavened’! Read it again!
And the people took their ‘flour’ (H1217 bâtsêq) before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their garments on their shoulders. (Exodus 12:34 TS2009)
With these things being established I am confident when combined with every day reality that we have latitude here in translating H1217 used in both Exodus 12:34 & 39 with ‘flour’ instead of ‘dough’ even though every translation I looked at translated H1217 as ‘dough’. I know of no way to preserve bread dough from molding for 7 days, especially in the warm climate that the Exodus took place in 3,500 years ago!
It may have seemed obvious, to those who bake often and have even an ounce of common sense, that my plan to mix dough on the 14th Day of the 1st New Moon and then bake matzah from that raw dough for 7 days was foolishness and of course it was! But to the casual reader of Scripture how many would have noticed the unresolvable problem of mixing the dough on the 14th Day of the 1st New Moon and then expecting that dough to remain fresh enough to bake matzah from for the next 7 days which is exactly what the translations say? Probably precious few! Although I initially objected to the idea because of my belief that it could not remain unleavened for that period of time I never so much as gave a thought to it molding! Now it may not have molded if I hadn’t placed the dough in a plastic bag but rather covered the bowl of dough with a cloth, I’ll do another batch of dough when I get some more hulled barley and test it accordingly. But it is a rather moot point, it is the molding of the barley dough that brought me to the point of looking into the definition of H1217 ‘bâtsêq’ which is always translated as ‘dough’. Regardless as to whether the dough will mold within a week or not is no longer the issue, when H1217 ‘bâtsêq’ is properly translated as ‘flour’ Exodus 12:34 finally makes perfect sense! I laugh at the thought that it took 5 full days for me to realize I had a problem, a problem I had to finally see and taste with my dim senses. A problem which my hyper sensitive 6 year old Grandson was totally repulsed by within just two or three seconds without even seeing where that smell was coming from, he was waving his hands in front of his face and moving away! Kind of made me feel bad! He knew there was something wrong and no one was going to convince him otherwise! Next year for the Feast of Unleavened Bread I will mill fresh barley flour on the 14th Day of the 1st New Moon and then, day-by-day, throughout the rest of the 7-Day Feast of Unleavened Bread I will mix, knead and bake my Unleavened Barley Bread matzah!
The Hebrew word that has been translated above as ‘took’ in verse 34 quoted earlier is ‘nasa nasah’ and it means ‘to lift, bear up, carry, take’. That matches perfectly with the fact that the verse also tells us their kneading bowls were bound up in their garments on their shoulders. But the real kicker is verse 39 below.
And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough (H1217 ‘bâtsêq’) which they had brought out of Mitsrayim, for it was not leavened, since they were driven out of Mitsrayim, and had not been able to delay,... (Exodus 12:39a TS2009)
Once again I believe the word H1217 ‘bâtsêq’ translated as ‘dough’ in verse 39 above should be translated as ‘flour’. But my main point here is that not only did they eat unleavened bread for seven days made from 'flour' brought out of Egypt but that’s all they ate!!!
...nor had they prepared food for themselves. (Exodus 12:39b TS2009)
Think about it! They ate unleavened bread made from 'flour' for 7 days and ate nothing else the entire week! It was a week of unleavened bread and nothing else! Let’s make the application...
With many commands there is both a positive and negative side. It’s the ‘to do’ and ‘not to do’ in our observance of the commandments. In the case of the Feast of Unleavened Bread we’re commanded to not eat leavened bread, we’re not even to have it in our homes, that’s the negative side of the commandment. But we’re also commanded to eat unleavened bread, that’s the positive side of the commandment. Now then, many of you may have kept the commandment better than I have in that you have disposed of the leavened bread in your house (the negative side) and every day of the feast you eat unleavened bread (the positive side).
I on the other hand, at least up to now, after removing all leavened bread from my home have typically made unleavened bread dough on the 14th Day of the 1st Month which I then bake into unleavened bread and eat the night of the Passover and if I have any left over I might eat it the next night or two. After that I typically eat no bread of any kind. In doing that I am fulfilling the negative side of the commandment but for all intents and purposes ignoring the positive side in that I am not eating unleavened bread every day throughout the week of the feast. In doing that I look around and think to myself it would be hard to distinguish this week of unleavened bread from any other. I am eating whatever I normally eat, meat, vegetables and fruit, but just not eating leavened bread. And to be honest I don’t eat that much leavened bread anyway. So how does this week look any different from every other week of my life? Since I don’t eat that much leavened bread in the first place it’s no big deal for me to eliminate it ‘and’ I’m not eating unleavened bread every day as commanded, therefore there is very little change! Where is the impact of the object lesson that the Feast of Unleavened Bread should provide?
What is the answer to this low impact observance that I am guilty of? And maybe I’m not alone, maybe you can relate. How can you and I transform the Feast of Unleavened Bread so that it has a powerful impact on all who observe it? How can we make it especially meaningful so that it impacts the next generation?
The Answer... And I am serious about this... Eat unleavened bread and ONLY unleavened bread every day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, just as our ancestors did as they escaped from the bondage of Egypt in HASTE!!! The ‘bread of haste’ can and will tell the story of our ancestor’s race to freedom during the first week of the exodus in a way that is enduring in the minds of all who will keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread by eating ONLY unleavened bread for the entire week. No meat, no vegetables and no fruit! If you and your children want to feel what it is to be set-apart, to be called of the Father, observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread as our ancestors did! Imagine the teachable moments that would come from doing this with your children!
What was your first thought as you read my answer to the five questions above? Was it, “No way, not happening!” When I suggest eating nothing but unleavened bread for the entire week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread does it seem a bit extreme? A bit over zealous? I would venture to say that the typical response would be for the reader to recoil at the thought of eating nothing but unleavened bread for the entire week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Nevertheless it seems obvious from Scripture that the men, women and children of Israel did exactly that ‘and’ marched over 200 miles from Ramses in Egypt to Pi Hahiroth and Ba al Tsephon on the west and east shores of the Red Sea eating nothing but unleavened bread! Imagine that, 200 miles from bondage to freedom on nothing but unleavened bread! Have we grown soft? Without a doubt we have! So much so that as I said above, we recoil at just the thought of eating nothing but unleavened bread during the week of the feast.
After reading my answer to the problem of a low impact observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread you might think “What would people think, if they knew my family eats unleavened bread and ONLY unleavened bread during the entire week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread?” My answer...
Let no one therefore judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths – which are a shadow of what is to come – but the Body of the Messiah. (Colossians 2:16-17 TS2009)
Don’t let what others think have influence on your decisions!
Do you remember the complaints of the Israelites to Moses just a bit later in time when the people had tired of the manna? Although those complaints began once the manna had been falling for some time, surely seeds of the complaints were planted the first week of the exodus when they ate nothing but unleavened bread.
And the mixed multitude who were in their midst lusted greatly, so the children of Yisrael also wept again and said, “Who is giving us meat to eat? “We remember the fish which we ate without cost in Mitsrayim, the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic, but now our being is dried up. There is naught to look at but this manna!” (Numbers 11:4-6 TS2009)
Our Israelite ancestors may have endured it for a short while but eventually the lack of meat, vegetables and fruit took its toll. If you should choose to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread by eating nothing but unleavened bread as I intend to do from now on you can surely expect to hear complaints from nearly everyone, including yourself. A teachable moment indeed!
But would it be worth it?
In Exodus 19:5 from the King James Version we read this.
Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: (Exodus 19:5 KJV)
That same theme of ‘peculiarity’ is repeated in Deuteronomy 14:2 and 26:18.
And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; (Deuteronomy 26:18 KJV)
This same theme of ‘peculiarity’ carries over into the Apostolic Writings as well.
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14 KJV)
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people: that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: (1 Peter 2:9 KJV)
Eating nothing but unleavened bread for an entire week would be peculiar, at least in the modern sense of the word! But maybe we should dig a little deeper into the Hebrew and Greek words translated as ‘peculiar’.
valued property, peculiar treasure
Origin: from an unused root meaning to shut up
TWOT entry: 1460a
Part(s) of speech: Noun Feminine
Strong's Definition: Feminine passive participle of an unused root meaning to shut up; wealth (as closely shut up): - jewel, peculiar (treasure), proper good, special.
a preserving, a preservation
possession, one's own property
Origin: from G4046
TDNT entry: None
Part(s) of speech: Noun Feminine
Strong's Definition: From G4046; acquisition (the act or the thing); by extension preservation: - obtain (-ing), peculiar, purchased, possession, saving.
According to both the Hebrew and Greek words translated as ‘peculiar’ in the KJV we find a peculiar definition. Of all peoples we are to be YHWH’s property by possession, a peculiar treasure! Via the exodus from Egypt during the Feast of Unleavened Bread YHWH took possession of His ‘peculiar people’. Do we still look ‘peculiar’ today? Or should we be eating nothing but unleavened bread during the entire week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread just as our ancestors did when YHWH took possession of our people as His property? Would eating nothing but unleavened bread for the entire duration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread help us achieve that peculiar look we’re looking for?
Our observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread should bring to life a living memory that connects us to our Deliverer and our Deliverance (The Exodus) just as Passover does. The Feast of Unleavened Bread should be an effective tool in our toolbox used to pass our heritage from one generation to the next as Abba’s call goes out to His people.
According to The Passover...
“And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What does this service mean to you?’ then you shall say, ‘It is the Pĕsaḥ slaughtering of YHWH who passed over the houses of the children of Yisra’ĕl in Mitsrayim when He smote the Mitsrites and delivered our households.’ ” (Exodus 12:26-27a TS2009)
According to The Feast of Unleavened Bread...
“Seven days you eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day is a festival to YHWH. Unleavened bread is to be eaten the seven days, and whatever is leavened is not to be seen with you, and leaven is not to be seen with you within all your border. “And you shall inform your son in that day, saying, ‘It is because of what YWHW did for me when I came up from Mitsrayim.’ “And it shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a reminder between your eyes, that the Torah of YHWH is to be in your mouth, for with a strong hand YHWH has brought you out of Mitsrayim. “And you shall guard this law at its appointed time from year to year. (Exodus 13:6-10 TS2009)
This is what eating nothing but unleavened bread for a week should do for you and your children! It should bring questions to their minds... like “Why in the world are we doing this?” which gives you the opportunity to answer and strengthen their faith through our observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. From this day forward I will purpose myself to eat nothing but unleavened bread the entire week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
A question has also occurred to me in regard to when the Feast of Unleavened Bread officially comes to an end. Does it end at sunset on the 21st Day of the 1st Month or does it end at the sunrise following the night of the 21st Day of the 1st Month? By the way, I begin and end my monthly dates at sunrise not sunset. If a person says the Feast of Unleavened Bread continues to the end of the night of the 21st Day of the 1st Month, i.e. the morning of the 22nd Day, then you will have 8 nights and 7 days of unleavened bread since we begin our unleavened observance on the evening of the 14th Day of the 1st Month. On the other hand if we terminate our unleavened bread observance at sunset on the 21st Day of the 1st Month then we end up with 7 nights and 7 days of unleavened bread observance. I don’t know the answer to this question but I am reminded of Yom Kippur in that ‘abstinence’ is a key element in both Yom Kippur and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For Yom Kippur the ‘affliction of our souls’ begins on the evening of the 9th Day of the 7th Month, evening to evening, even though Yom Kippur is to be kept on the 10th Day of the 7th Month. From the evening of the 9th Day to the evening of the 10th Day we afflict our souls via fasting (abstinence). Is this same modus operandi to be incorporated in the Feast of Unleavened Bread? To do so would result in consumption of unleavened bread beginning the evening of the 14th Day and ending on the evening of the 21st Day, that would result in 7 nights and 7 days of ‘abstinence’ from leavened bread? It’s just a thought; I don’t have the answer yet!
Updating a year later... I have chosen to eat unleavened barley bread from the evening of the 14th Day to the evening of the 21st Day just as Scripture tells us.
‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the new moon, in the evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the new moon in the evening. (Exodus 12:18 The Scriptures 2009)
Then I eat nothing after sunset on the 21st Day until sunrise on the 22nd Day. I then resume my normal diet after sunrise on the 22nd Day of the 1st New Moon.
On the evening I kept Passover with a rather new acquaintance, I was reading Exodus 12 aloud and as I read verse 16 I experienced a rush in my spirit. Here is the verse.
‘And on the first day is a set-apart gathering, and on the seventh day you have a set-apart gathering. No work at all is done on them, only that which is eaten by every being, that alone is prepared by you. (Exodus 12:16 TS2009)
The rush in my spirit came as I read, “and on the seventh day you have a set-apart gathering”. Up to that moment I had felt this was a reference to the 1st Day of the Feast and the 7th Day of the Week, in other words a redundant command to keep the 15th Day of the 1st Month, which is both the first day of the feast and the seventh day of the week in Lunar Sabbath observance every year. Therefore I observed the 15th Day of the 1st Month as fulfillment of both the first and seventh day to have a set-apart gathering and I totally ignored the 21st Day of the 1st Month, the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Although I said nothing at the moment I read Exodus 12:16 the Spirit of The Most High had captured my attention and I knew in an instant that I had a problem.
I had earlier made up my mind to attempt to keep an all night vigil on the night of the 15th of the 1st Month according to Exodus 12:42, which is itself a revelation to me according to the way the verse is translated in The Scriptures 2009.
It is a night of watches unto YHWH for bringing them out of the land of Mitsrayim. This is that night of watches unto YHWH for all the children of Yisra’ĕl throughout their generations. (Exodus 12:42 TS2009)
When I saw “night watches” in the translation of that verse I knew the old tradition of staying up all night was legitimate and I needed to adopt the practice. I had attempted to do so once before a few years ago but wasn’t able to stay up all night, falling asleep fairly early on. With new resolve to do so I thought to myself I would use that night to investigate this matter of keeping the seventh day as a set-apart gathering further. Here is what I found.
‘Set-apart gathering’ as it is used in Exodus 12:16 is the English translation of the Hebrew words ‘qodesh miqra’, which is exactly as the 7th Day Sabbath of the Week is described in Leviticus 23:3 as you can read here.
‘Six days work is done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a set-apart gathering. You do no work, it is a Sabbath to YHWH in all your dwellings. (Leviticus 23:3 TS2009)
At first I thought my original observance was standing on solid ground, but I kept reading. As you will see, I didn’t have to read very far to find a big problem!
“Seven days you eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day is a festival to YHWH. (Exodus 13:6 TS2009)
Do you see the problem? The English word ‘festival’ above is translated from the Hebrew word ‘Chag’, which is defined as ‘festival’ and can be defined as a ‘travel festival’. It is clear that in this verse the ‘seventh day’ is more than just a qodesh miqra, it is also a ‘chag’. The problem here is, regardless of how you define the Hebrew word ‘chag’, the 7th Day of the week is NEVER referred to as a ‘chag’ in Scripture! The door of my observance just got slammed shut in my face! If a man remains humble, days like this, when you’re proven wrong, can be some of the best days you could ever hope for, for you have the opportunity to then grow and get it right from that day forward and from now on I’ll be keeping the 7th Day of the Feast as a Qodesh Miqra and Chag unto YHWH!
But why? Why is the 7th Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread to be kept as a Qodesh Miqra and Chag? Again, at about the time this was all taking place I ran across an article posted on Facebook that reminded me of something ‘I think’ I knew but had obviously forgotten. Unleavened bread is referred to as ‘the bread of haste’ for the Israelites were traveling as fast as they could to get as far away from Pharaoh and Egypt as they could. They didn’t have time to leaven their bread. The reason the 7th Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a Qodesh Miqra and Chag is because the Israelites had crossed the Sinai Peninsula during the Feast of Unleavened Bread and had arrived at Nuweiba beach on the 20th Day of the 1st Month, the sixth day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. That same night they would then cross the Gulf of Aqaba, which is the Yam-Suf, or the Red Sea! When Moses and the Israelites had safely crossed the eight-mile stretch between the shores of the Yam-Suf, the Pillar of Fire allowed Pharaoh to pursue the Israelite bait. Once Pharaoh and his army mindlessly entered into YHWH’s trap and were destroyed in the Red Sea just before daybreak of the 21st Day of the 1st Month and the seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread there was no longer any need for haste. The haste comes to it’s end just before the last day begins, the 7th Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a Qodesh Miqra and Chag unto YHWH!!! HalleluYAH!!!
But is that possible?
So Elohim led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Sea of Reeds. And the children of Yisra’ĕl went up in fives from the land of Mitsrayim. (Exodus 13:18 TS2009)
The word translated as ‘fives’ above is very interesting as the definition below reveals!
in battle array, arrayed for battle by fives, armed
Origin: pass. participle of the same as H2570
TWOT entry: TWOT- 688a
Part(s) of speech: Adjective
Strong's Definition: Passive participle of the same as H2570; staunch, that is, able bodied soldiers: - armed (men), harnessed.
From that definition of the word ‘chamush’ translated as ‘fives’ we can see that the exodus of the two to three million Israelites was extraordinarily organized, to the point that they left in military formation. This really shouldn’t be a surprise since in the writings of Josephus, Moses is noted to have been a very successful Egyptian military commander for many years. And, as already quoted above, they traveled day and night by the guidance of the column of cloud by day and column of fire by night, which is YHWH Yeshua by the way! This exodus was by no means mass chaos; it was well planned with a destination in mind and a route to that destination. There was also a two-fold purpose to be accomplished, 1) free Israel 2) destroy Pharaoh and his army. Both are realized between Pi Hahiroth (Nuweiba beach) in the Sinai Peninsula and Ba al Tsephon in Arabia through the Yam Suf, the Red Sea. Mission Accomplished!
Maybe you doubt that Moses and Israel could travel that far in just six days. As an affirming piece of evidence that the route Moses and the Israelites took can be traveled in six days it would be good to know that in 1967 Moshe Dayan, a military leader of modern day Israel, marched his army across the Sinai Peninsula in the opposite direction using very nearly the exact same route and did it in six days! Moses and the Israelites traveled day and night but Moshe Dayan and his army traveled only by day and camped every night!
So yeah... It is possible!
I can’t remember when I decided I wanted to attempt a 200+ mile hiking trip and do it during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but it has become a mission of mine! I want to do this! And I want to do this eating nothing but Unleavened Bread! I wanted to do it this year, 2017, but a one day trial run didn’t go well, my feet fell apart with blisters, so I’ll take the lessons learned and give it another go next year Yah willing! To do this I’ll have to average about 35 miles per day, finishing the trek in 6 days and nights and celebrating on the 7th Day Chag of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. If Moses and Israel managed it in 6 days and nights then I should be able to as well.
My purpose here is four fold,
That the festival should be observed by healthy people eating nothing but Unleavened Barley Bread for the entire feast thereby causing the next generation to ask, “Why are we doing this?”
That Israel’s march to freedom took place in 6 days celebrating as they did (Exodus 15) on the 7th Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread!
For those who say, “That’s impossible!” I want to be able to say, “No, actually it is possible... I’ve done it!”
I want to relate to the Exodus at the most elemental level that I can. I want to experience the physical and mental struggles. I want it to become ‘real’ to me; I want to ‘own’ it as my own experience! As a believer in Messiah Yeshua, this is my heritage and I want to claim it in a fashion that I’ll never let go of!
With that in mind I will from this year forward make it my tradition to read aloud or sing the song Moses recorded in Exodus 15 on the seventh day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a Qodesh Miqra and Chag unto YHWH.
1 Then Mosheh and the children of Yisra’ĕl sang this song to YHWH and spoke, saying, “I sing to YHWH for He is highly exalted! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!
2 “Yah is my strength and song, and He has become my deliverance. He is my Ěl, and I praise Him – Elohim of my father, and I exalt Him.
3 “YHWH is a man of battle, YHWH is His Name.
4 “He has cast Pharaoh’s chariots and his army into the sea, and his chosen officers are drowned in the Sea of Reeds.
5 “The depths covered them, they went down to the bottom like a stone.
6 “Your right hand, O YHWH, has become great in power. Your right hand, O YHWH, has crushed the enemy.
7 “And in the greatness of Your excellence You pulled down those who rose up against You. You sent forth Your wrath, it consumed them like stubble.
8 “And with the wind of Your nostrils the waters were heaped up, the floods stood like a wall, the depths became stiff in the heart of the sea.
9 “The enemy said, ‘I pursue, I overtake, I divide the spoil, my being is satisfied on them. I draw out my sword, my hand destroys them.’
10 “You did blow with Your wind, the sea covered them, they sank like lead in the mighty waters.
11 “Who is like You, O YHWH, among the mighty ones? Who is like You, great in set-apartness, awesome in praises, working wonders?
12 “You stretched out Your right hand, the earth swallowed them.
13 “In Your loving-commitment You led the people whom You have redeemed, in Your strength You guided them to Your set-apart dwelling.
14 “Peoples heard, they trembled, anguish gripped the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 “Then the chiefs of Eḏom were troubled, the mighty men of Mo’aḇ, trembling grips them, all the inhabitants of Kenaʽan melted.
16 “Fear and dread fell on them, by the greatness of Your arm they are as silent as a stone, until Your people pass over, O YHWH, until the people, whom You have bought, pass over.
17 “You bring them in and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, in the place, O YHWH, which You have made for Your own dwelling, the set-apart place, O YHWH, which Your hands have prepared.
18 “YHWH reigns forever and ever.”
19 For the horses of Pharaoh went with his chariots and his horsemen into the sea, and YHWH brought back the waters of the sea upon them. And the children of Yisra’ĕl went on dry ground in the midst of the sea.
20 And Miryam the prophetess, the sister of Aharon, took the timbrel in her hand. And all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
21 And Miryam answered them, “Sing to YHWH for He is highly exalted! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!” (Exodus 15:1-21 TS2009)
How awesome will it be to join with others as a Qodesh Miqra and sing that song on the 7th Day Chag of the Feast of Unleavened Bread as the need for haste has ended and therefore the need for the unleavened bread of haste has ended as well! Indeed, “The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!” I love it!
This is what I think our observation of the Feast of Unleavened Bread should look like as we look back on what our endlessly merciful Creator and Redeemer has done for our people, Israel. But, looking forward there is yet another exodus to come, the Greater Exodus. As I have studied the exodus from Egypt I have applied the belief that Scriptural history is Scriptural prophecy and I am sure there are many take aways that we can make use of from the first exodus out of the land of bondage. However there was this little nugget that I stumbled across during this season of personal discovery from another article posted on Facebook and if it applies to the Greater Exodus yet to come then we will not leave in ‘haste’ as did our ancestors when it comes time for us to come out of the Babylon we live in today.
Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Yerushalayim! For YHWH shall comfort His people, He shall redeem Yerushalayim. YHWH shall lay bare His set-apart arm in the eyes of all the nations. And all the ends of the earth shall see the deliverance of our Elohim. Turn aside! Turn aside! Come out from there, touch not the unclean. Come out of her midst, be clean, you who bear the vessels of YHWH. For you shall not come out in haste, nor go in flight. For YHWH is going before you, and the Elohim of Yisrael is your rear guard. (Isaiah 52:9-12 TS2009)
In Isaiah 52 quoted above I believe ‘Yerushalayim’ is a reference to The Bride of Messiah Yehsua! I don’t know about you but I am expecting the Greater Exodus to possibly take place in my lifetime and I for one am looking forward to it!
So here’s the wrap up.
Exodus 12:2 should be translated with the words ‘New Moon’ rather than month. Such a rendering lifts our eyes to the heavens to mark the beginning New Moon of New Moons, it also helps to harmonize Exodus 12:2 with Deuteronomy 16:1 and Psalm 81:3. The New Moon is the Full Moon.
The dark night of the 15th of the 1st New Moon, the night that Israel began its exodus from Egypt, is to be kept as a ‘night watch’, a vigil throughout the entire night by the children of Israel throughout their generations. That includes you!
Verses 34 and 39 of Exodus 12 should be translated with the word ‘flour’ in place of the word ‘dough’. This is an obvious conclusion considering it is impossible for dough to not mold in 7 days without preservative measures. The Scriptures are silent on the matter and therefore I have no reason to think the Israelites resorted to such preservative measures. The Israelites would have packed their flour along with their kneading bowls and mixed, kneaded and baked unleavened bread from that ‘flour’ which they brought out of Egypt day-by-day.
The Unleavened Bread of the Israelite Exodus was made from Hulled Barley not wheat! Our Unleavened Bread should be made of Hulled Barley as well!
During the first seven days of the Exodus and the Feast of Unleavened Bread our ancestors ate ONLY unleavened bread! Upgrade your observance and enjoy the impact it can have on your life and your children’s lives by keeping it as our ancestors did.
When does the Feast of Unleavened Bread end? Should it end at sunset on the 21st Day of the 1st New Moon resulting in 7 nights and 7 days of Unleavened Bread? Or, should it end at the sunrise following the night of the 21st Day of the 1st New Moon resulting in 8 nights and 7 days of Unleavened Bread? I have opted to eat unleavened bread up to sunset the evening of the 21st Day and then eat nothing more until the sunrise marking the morning of the 22nd Day. I will then return to my normal diet after sunrise on the 22nd Day.
The 1st and 7th Days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are to be kept as a Qodesh Miqra and Chag unto YHWH. Lunar Sabbath observers, take note!
The 7th Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a Qodesh Miqra and Chag unto YHWH because it is the day of celebration that immediately followed the Israelite crossing of the Red Sea the night before when they then turned back to watch the complete annihilation of Pharaoh and his army as YHWH collapses 900 foot walls of the abyss upon them just before daybreak, thereby eliminating the need for haste on the last day of the ‘bread of haste’!
Moses and the Israelites along with all their herds, flocks and belongings cross the Sinai Peninsula in six days traveling both day and night in military formation, a logistical extravaganza! Moshe Dayan and his army did the same thing in 1967 traveling only by day and camping every night.
Sing Moses’ song “The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!” on the 7th Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Enjoy the calling ABBA has on your life!
On a personal note I have made it a mission of mine to try to trek 200+ miles in six days during the Feast of Unleavened Bread at least once and do it eating nothing but Unleavened Barley Bread. This would be the approximate distance between Ramses and Ba al Tsephon on the Arabian side of the Yam Suph. I would love to see others, who are physically qualified, to take up this challenge. By doing this we can establish the true history of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Exodus out of Egypt to freedom! It was accomplished in 6 days during the Feast of Unleavened Bread! If Moses and Israel did it we can too!
Looking to the future... The Greater Exodus, yet to come, will not be carried out in ‘haste’. YHWH will go before us and the Elohim of Israel will be our rear guard!
Well, there you have it. This year’s Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread season (2016 with updates from 2017) has been a wonderful time of revelation for me and I hope what I’ve written above will become a blessing to you as you strive to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in a more meaningful, more memorable way. There can be no doubt, the observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, as it is being promoted in this article is not for pretenders, it's the real deal, for real 'truth seekers' looking to establish a 'generational blessing' within their families as they seek to return to "the faith once delivered unto the saints."
With the restoration of Scriptural facts regarding, the Exodus from bondage to freedom in 6 Days and resting in freedom on the 7th Day, the 'Night Watch' of the 15th night, returning to the true unleavened bread made with hulled barley instead of wheat, understanding that they carried barley 'flour' rather than 'dough' out of Egypt, understanding that unleavened barley bread was all that they ate the entire week and that the 7th Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread was spent by Israel rejoicing on the beaches of Arabia after Pharaoh and his Egyptian Army had been destroyed in the waters of the Yam Suph, we can then relate and apply these Exodus realities to our observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and restore the Feast of Unleavened Bread to what it was supposed to be all along, an 'object lesson' to remind us of what our forefathers experienced in the first 7 Days of the Exodus out of the bondage of Egypt!
Having now had the opportunity in 2017 to keep much of what this article promotes I can honestly say, with all sincerity, that I have experienced a much fuller, far deeper observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. By returning to the roots of the Feast of Unleavened Bread my mind has been focused on our Israelite forefather's Exodus from Egyptian bondage to freedom throughout the week like never before, it truly has been much more meaningful and memorable!
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