Passover Biblical Origin
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Passover: Biblical Origin
facts gathered by: Pam - gone-ta-pott.com
resources, outside links & further reading
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This featured article is about Passover,  a Religious holiday (Christian Holiday) and one of the three Pilgrim Festivals. It is in honor of Jewish Holidays and is related to Shavuot ("Festival of Weeks") which follows 49 days from the second night of Passover.
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  • Official name Hebrew: פסח (Pesach)
  • Observed by: Jews. Also observed by Samaritans, some Christians including Malayali Nasrani Christians, Knanaya and followers of Messianic Judaism.
  • Type:One of the Three Pilgrim Festivals
  • Significance: Celebrates the Exodus, the freedom from slavery of the Children of Israel from ancient Egypt that followed the Ten Plagues.
  • Beginning of the 49 days of Counting of the Omer
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Called the "festival [of] the matzos" (Hebrew: חג המצות hag hamatzot) in the Hebrew Bible, the commandment to keep Passover is recorded in the Book of Leviticus:

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month between the two evenings is the LORD's Passover. 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. In the first day ye shall have a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work. And ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days; in the seventh day is a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work. (Leviticus 23:5)

The biblical regulations for the observance of the festival require that all leavening be disposed of before the beginning of the 15th of Nisan An unblemished lamb or goat, known as the Korban Pesach or "Paschal Lamb", is to be set apart on Nisan 10, and slaughtered at dusk as Nisan 14 ends in preparation for the 15th of Nisan when it will be eaten after being roasted. The literal meaning of the Hebrew is "between the two evenings". It is then to be eaten "that night", Nisan 15, roasted, without the removal of its internal organs with unleavened bread, known as matzo, and bitter herbs known as maror. Nothing of the sacrifice on which the sun rises by the morning of the 15th of Nisan may be eaten, but must be burned. The sacrifices may only be performed in a specific place prescribed by God (for Judaism, Jerusalem, and for Samaritans, Mount Gerizim).

The biblical regulations pertaining to the original Passover (at the time of the Exodus only, also include how the meal was to be eaten: "with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD's passover" Exodus 12:11.

The Biblical commandments concerning the Passover (and the Feast of Unleavened Bread) stress the importance of remembering:

  • And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt; and thou shalt observe and do these statutes" (Deuteronomy 16:12).
  • Exodus 12:14 commands, in reference to God's sparing of the firstborn from the Tenth Plague: And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
  • Exodus 13:3 repeats the command to remember: Remember this day, in which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, for by strength the hand of the LORD brought you out from this place.

In extra-biblical sources

Some of these details can be corroborated, and to some extent amplified, in extrabiblical sources. The removal (or "sealing up") of the leaven is referred to in the Elephantine papyri, an Aramaic papyrus from 5th century BCE Elephantine in Egypt. The slaughter of the lambs on the 14th is mentioned in The Book of Jubilees, a Jewish work of the Ptolemaic period, and by the Herodian-era writers Josephus and Philo. These sources also indicate that "between the two evenings" was taken to mean the afternoon. Jubilees states the sacrifice was eaten that night, and together with Josephus states that nothing of the sacrifice was allowed to remain until morning. Philo states that the banquet included hymns and prayers.

Continue Reading about Passover:

  • Passover (Christian Holiday)
  • Biblical origin
  • Etymology
  • Passover offering, korban Pesach
  • Search for, and burning of leaven
  • Matzah
  • Passover seder
  • Participation of children
  • Hol Hamoed
  • Counting of the Omer
  • Seventh day of Passover
  • Second Passover
  • Passover Traditional Foods
  • Sermons, liturgy, and song
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You may also want to Research:

  •   Jewish Calendar
  •   Fast of the Firstborn
  •   Gebrochts
  •   Haggadah of Pesach
  •   Jewish greetings
  •   Kitniyot
  •   Passover (Christian holiday)
  •   Passover Seder
  •   Passover Seder Plate
  •   Quartodecimanism
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